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By Kim Campbell Thornton |

You know the type. They're happy. They love to greet people. And their smiling eyes and wagging tails always bring attention their way. Why wouldn't you love them back?

Certain breeds are famed for their sociable dispositions - we're going to meet some of them below - but personality varies, so don't assume that every member of a certain breed will be a good-time Charlie.

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10 Breeds That Will Keep Your Family Safe10 Breeds That Will Keep Your Family SafeThough it may seem impossible for your wiggly, snuggly pup to sound the alarm in the presence of danger or dutifully stand guard on the threshold of your home, some breeds were developed to protect their owners and keep their families safe.

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MK via Shutterstock

With busy work days and packed weekend schedules, sometimes we all need to take a cue from our pups and do one thing - relax. While it may seem impossible to calm down and chill out for some people (and dogs!), others can hit the "relax" button fairly quickly.

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It's a debate over animal behavior. Some think it's a dog's breed that determines its aggression. Pit bulls, Dobermans and German Shepherds are often breeds that get labeled aggressive. But, that may not always be the case.

"I've got a chihuahua inside, six years old. His owner is gone now and this dog, if I go in there, well it's already bitten me twice," says Mike Steffen with Haven of the Ozarks.

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By Michele C. Hollow on Apr 7, 2014


Take a look at an old photo of the iconic German Shepherd, Rin Tin Tin, who died in 1932. Now look at a photo of another of the breed, a German shepherd show dog of today. Notice the difference?

The second photo shows a German Shepherd with a sloping back and legs splayed apart.

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Pets often make ideal companions. They are around when a person needs support, they can provide protection for those living alone, they're always willing to lend an ear to problems, and many tend to offer unconditional love. Seniors facing an empty nest or the loss of a spouse may find pets can buoy their spirits.

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Dear Dr. Fox:

I have just adopted a 6-month-old female Australian shepherd mix. A friend warned me that this breed can get ill and die from heartworm prevention medication. I respect his advice; he is a dog trainer and seems to know a lot. What is your opinion?

K.P., Silver Spring

DF: First, let me say that I now endorse year-round heartworm preventive medication for most dogs.

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Owen Naquin, 1, sits on his pit bull Rosco's head at their home Wednesday in Houma.

Benjamin Oliver Hicks/Staff

Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 9:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 10:06 a.m.

Whether the fatal dog attack on 4-year-old Mia DeRouen of Houma on March 25 will have any effect on Terrebonne Parish’s dog ordinance is uncertain, officials said.

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Welcoming a pet into a home can be a joyous event. Companion animals have a way of assimilating into a family rather quickly. Some prospective pet owners spend months researching the type of breed they prefer, while others prefer to adopt mixed-breed dogs from a nearby animal shelter.

Purebred and mixed breed dogs both make great pets.

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CIN 9 p.m. EDT March 31, 2014

Roncy Roeham of Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati, shown in 2005, sits with one of the dogs she had for adoption at the Eastgate Animal Hospital in Mount Carmel. (Photo: File photo )

Story Highlights

  • The 2014 top 10 dog names are Lucy (580), Max (536), Buddy (506), Bella (477), Maggie (436), Daisy (428), Sadie (415), Molly (404), Charlie (361) and Bailey (346).
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