How To Choose A Dog For Your Family

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Royal Canin. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, but all opinions are my own. Royal Canin is not responsible for the content of this article.
Tips on how to chose a dog for your family and information about the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin showing on January 23, 2017.

This is Bitty (as in Itty Bitty). We also call her Fred for some reason which none of us can seem to remember. Bitty has been part of our family since before we had the kids. Bitty is a purebred West Highland Terrier. She’s almost 12 years old, which means she’s an old lady. She’s still a happy, easy going dog and the kids love her.

Tips on how to chose a dog for your family and information about the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin showing on January 23, 2017.

We’ve recently been considering getting another dog because the kids have been asking (read: begging for one.)

When considering bringing home a new dog to make part of the family, it’s important to keep in mind that every dog breed was designed for a specific purpose to fill a specific need. Bitty’s breed used to hunt fox, badger, and otter and also killed vermin such as rats. We call Bitty our Great White Hunter, because she loves to hunt things down in our backyard. We’ve found rabbits, snakes, squirrels and even rats that she’s proudly brought to the backdoor as gifts. If we can understand the job for which breeds were originally created, it gives us a glimpse into why our dogs do the things they do. It definitely explains why our dog likes to hunt so much!

Tips on how to chose a dog for your family and information about the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin showing on January 23, 2017.

How To Chose A Dog For Your Family

What dog is right for your family? Well, according to the American Kennel Club, that depends on many factors.

Temperament: Are you an active family? You many want an active dog. Do you want a dog with a strong will or that you can easily train? A friendly dog or a dog that is loyal to your family and aloof toward strangers? Do you live in a big home or small apartment? Certain dogs can be left alone for long periods of time while others will become bored and destructive.

Puppy or Adult: Yes puppies are cute, but they also require A LOT of work and cannot be left alone for long periods of time. Adult dogs-whether purchased directly from a breeder or adopted may be ideal for families that don’t or cannot invest a lot of time and energy into raising a dog. Mature dogs also tend to be calmer, house-trained and know some basic obedience.

Size: If you get a puppy, most are cute and little. Many don’t stay that way for long! Big dogs eat more (and make bigger messes!) while smaller dogs may be more active and need to burn off energy. Make sure to do your research and find out how big the dog you’re family is considering will actually get.

Other Things To Consider: Other things to consider are whether you want a male or female dog, grooming needs, and health. Some breeds need a very specific diet, while others will eat just about anything. Because every dog is different, with individual traits and needs, Royal Canin™ developed breed-specific diets to provide your particular breed with the best overall nutrition possible.

You can find more information about what dog is right for your family and things to consider at AKC.org.

Another cool way to find out what type of dog might be right for your family is by watching a dog show. You can learn a lot about the different breeds and even about breeds you may have never seen! Dog shows are meant to determine which dogs are most suitable for the purpose for which they were bred, and should contribute to the gene pools of their breeds. How well a dog matches its breed standard will determine how well the dog places.

Jerry O’Connell at the AKC National Championship 2016 Dog Show in the Orange County Convention Center, on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in Orlando Fla. (Jesus Aranguren/Startraksphoto)

photo credit: Michael Simon

It’s a fun show to watch…especially because you never know what a dog might do! Tune in to the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin on the Hallmark Channel on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 6-9 p.m. ET/PT. The show will be anchored by AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo and sportscaster Jason Knapp and will feature special appearances by celebrity Jerry O’Connell. While we get to watch on the 23rd, the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin was held in Orlando, Florida from Dec. 17-18, 2016.

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photo credit: Mark Jordan

More than 5,000 dogs will be competing in the three-hour special, and America’s most beloved dog breeds will be featured. That’s a lot of dogs to check out! You’ll also get to watch the winners from each of the competition categories, highlights from the Agility and Dock Diving competitions, and some of America’s brightest up and coming Junior Showmanship handlers, culminating in the crowning of Best in Show.

We’ll be watching, will you?

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My Life In Pictures: January 1 – 15, 2017

Over the last year or so, twice a month I share my Instagram pictures since I can’t seem to find time to write! I call it My Life In Pictures. You can see all of my previous posts here.

Having the kids home for three weeks really threw off my blogging, so I am also sharing a few pics from the end of the year too.

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The girls had a blast decorating Christmas cookies with their friends! The cookies may not look very appetizing, and there was definitely WAY too much frosting, but they tasted delicious.

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I met the helpful Honda people on Christmas Eve! I had just finished grocery shopping, and they unloaded my cart for me! Such a nice surprise. They didn’t give me a car or anything, but they definitely made my day.


Ethan got a virtual reality screen for Christmas. It’s so much fun to play with! My entire family had fun trying it out on Christmas morning. I wish I would’ve videotaped my dad watching it!

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He also got money for Christmas and wanted to go directly to the bookstore! He settled on Fablehaven and Matilda, but Wonder also got many recommendations from friends, so we added it to our To Read list.

Screenshot 2017-01-19 11.25.25 I made the kids watch Sound of Music for the first time (against their wills), but they ended up really loving it!

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Feb 7, 2016. Jason had to cut my wedding ring off of my very swollen, sore, fat finger. Jan 7, 2017. I FINALLY got my ring fixed! It looks brand new!

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I treated myself and bought Oprah Winfrey’s cookbook! I started Weight Watchers last year, and lost almost 20 pounds. I love how easy it is and how I don’t feel like I’m “dieting”. This book is full of amazingly delicious and healthy recipes. She also includes Smart Points with each recipe, so it’s perfect to use with my Weight Watchers. If you are trying to eat healthy or lose weight, I highly recommend this cookbook! And I even have shared some of my favorite Weight Watchers snacks and meal recipes here and I’ve got a Healthy Eats board on Pinterest.

And if you are looking for even more Weight Watchers recipes, check out my Pinterest board for my favorites.

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Ethan started playing flag football and absolutely loves it! He got to pick his jersey number, and of course he picked his Dad’s old number. Jason is helping coach, and I’ve never seen him so happy about Ethan’s chosen sport!

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I found these cute #Besties shirts at WalMart and got them for Lila and Mia. They asked if I would get one more so they could give one to their cousin Sydney. “We are all besties, mom!”

What have you been up to so far this month?

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My Life In Pictures: December 1 – 15, 2016

Over the last year or so, twice a month I share my Instagram pictures since I can’t seem to find time to write! I call it My Life In Pictures. You can see all of my previous posts here.

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The girls joined a cheer squad, and have been practicing for months! They got to perform in the town’s parade, as well as at a professional soccer game. Their hard work paid off, and they did great!

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This is the first year that we went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own tree. The kids had a blast finding the perfect one (which is actually far from perfect.) We’ve started a new family tradition!

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We are fully decorated for Christmas! I have a thing for Christmas trees – this is only half of my collection. These are the only things I look forward to putting out each Christmas. If not for these trees, I may not even decorate for Christmas!

And in between lots of shopping, the kids getting sick, and general holiday craziness, I’ve been enjoying the season but will be glad when it’s over and I can put all the glittery things away (because there is glitter everywhere!)

What have you been up to this month?

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites.

My Life In Pictures: November 16 – 30, 2016

Over the last year or so, twice a month I share my Instagram pictures since I can’t seem to find time to write! I call it My Life In Pictures. You can see all of my previous posts here.

I shared what we were up to at the beginning of November, and here’s what we were up to at the end of November.

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The kids were off for Thanksgiving break, and spent lots of time in their PJs. They also all got the stomach flu, which was not fun, though much easier now that they can all make it to the toilet when they get sick! We saw the movie Trolls and loved it.

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I devoured the book Victoria, by Daisy Goodwin. I loved it and wanted more! You can check out my book review or pick up a copy to read here.

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We celebrated my sister-in-laws’s baby shower! She’s having a little girl in April, and that baby will be the 16th grandchild and my 17th niece/nephew! Funny thing is, she already has a nickname…Number 16. Nicknames are huge in our family – between my siblings and all of our kids, we have over 80 of them.

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I started decorating for Christmas! How cute are these wine cork Christmas trees that my SIL makes? They are perfect sitting on our bar.

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Since they were little (no seriously, click that link because the pictures are SO cute!), the girls always sit together or are very close to each other. And like in this picture, I often find them sleeping together and touching. I hope they always stay close.

What were you up to in November?

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Winter Fest 2016: Check Out So Cal’s Ultimate Winter Experience!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post about Winter Fest 2016 on behalf of Gigasavvy. All opinions are my own.

Here in So Cal, we don’t really get a whole lot of winter. It gets cold (those of you reading anywhere east of us are probably laughing about our idea of “cold”) and occasionally we’ll even have to put on boots or tennis shoes instead of just wearing flip flops. So to say my kids haven’t really ever experienced winter is an understatement. That’s why I’m looking forward to taking them to Winter Fest 2016 at the the OC Fair & Event Center!

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My kids have never even been in real snow. A few years back, it did snow here in our town but it barely even covered the ground and was gone by the end of the day.

At Winter Fest 2016, they blow snow in daily and there will be enough of it for the kids to make their first snow angels, build a snowman, and even try snow tubing! Best of all, it’s included in the price of admission so you don’t have to pay extra for it!

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There’s even an ice skating ring so they can try out ice skating for the first time!

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There is a ton of attractions at Winter Fest 2016, and while the kids are excited about snow, I’ve got lots of other things I want to check out!

One thing we love to do as a family is look at Christmas lights. We bundle up in the car and drive around looking at all the decorations and lights. At the Festival of Lights, we’ll can stroll through a 2 million light illuminated pathway to explore 10 holiday themed lands. I think I’m most excited about this!

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And don’t judge me, but my kids have never been to a Tree Lighting Ceremony before (I actually haven’t either), so I’m really looking forward to seeing one. Every night at 5:30, you can watch the 30 foot tall Christmas tree light up!

And so much more to do: from the Candy Cane Carnival (Carnival tickets are $1. A pack of 16 tickets is $14 and a pack of 36 is $28. All carnival tickets sold onsite. An unlimited ride wristband is available online for $20,) to festive entertainment, seasonal eateries, to visits with Santa and so much more. Check out this video showing all the fun!

Additional Winter Fest 2016 Information

Kids 3 and under are free. parking is on site and $8 Season passes are also available. Get all the ticket info, dates of operation and hours here. Psst! Purchase your tickets online and use the promo code HOLIDAY to save $5!

Winter Fest 2016 Dates: December 16th thru January 1st

Winter Fest Located at: 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Follow Winter Fest on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to keep up with all of the holiday fun So Cal style!

Sounds like a blast, right? I have a Family 4 pack of tickets for one lucky So Cal reader! Enter below and good luck! 

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