Every grown-up with fond memories of their childhood dog wants their children to have the same. Here’s how you can choose the best dog for your kids.
The bond between kids and their dogs is a friendship like no other. But, while dogs and children can be the very best of mates, not all dogs are well-suited for young children. We’ve provided this guide of what you need to consider when choosing the best family-friendly dog breeds for your little one, and you can also try our Dog Breed Selector Quiz to find the best dog for your family’s lifestyle.
It bears repeating that young children, especially those three years and under, are little. They’re short and slight and often unsteady on their feet. For this reason, large and giant breeds are often not recommended for families with youngsters. Even the gentlest big dog may cause serious injury if they inadvertently knock over or jump up on a small child.
On the other hand, some breeds of dogs are even smaller than a child, even when they’re fully grown. Puppies and small dogs are fragile and could be accidentally injured by children if they play too rough with them.
Therefore, some of the best dogs for kids are small and medium-sized breeds who are affectionate and patient when interacting with children. Popular small and medium-sized family dogs include Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Any dog breed has the potential to be a loving and loyal family pet when raised with patience, empathy and consistent training. However, there are some breeds that prove more popular with families that have young children, for a number of reasons. Some breeds like Newfoundlands and Collies are just more people-oriented. They bond strongly with their families and want nothing more than to spend time with them.
Another factor that makes certain breeds the best dogs for kids is their energy levels. For young children, a docile and calm breed like Bichon Frises make a great companion. Meanwhile for sporty and active older kids, a breed with lots of stamina such as Kelpies and Australian Shepherds could be the right choice. It’s vital to research the breeds you’re interested in to determine which will be the best match for your family’s lifestyle.
Just like human beings, dogs are individuals. One might love people and other dogs, while their sibling prefers their own company. However, some dog breeds do share character traits, known as their ‘temperament’, that are more compatible with young children. The Irish Setter, for example, is affectionate and loves to play, just like a child. The Poodle is known for being friendly and active, while the Border Collie is highly intelligent, alert and inquisitive. Sound like any youngsters you know?
Regardless of what type of dog you ultimately decide to bring home, it’s important to note that no child under the age of 10 should be left unsupervised with any dog. Use our Dog Breed Selector Quiz to be matched with the best dog for your kids.