Kids and Dog

What is the best dog for kids? This is a common question, but there is no solid answer. In theory, almost any dog has the potential to get along great with children. One can speculate about which breeds might be best for kids, but you just never know how each individual dog will turn out. There are many factors that affect a dog’s ability to get along well with kids. Here are several things that you will need to keep in mind before you get a family dog.

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Training

Obedience training is absolutely essential! Make sure someone in the home can spend a lot of time training the new dog, especially if it is a puppy. If a child wishes to participate in training, it should be done under the supervision of an adult. In addition, the children in the household will need to be taught how to conduct themselves around dogs.

Age and Size

Think about the ages and activity levels of your children. Toddlers can be knocked over by an awkward, gangly puppy who does not know his own size. Bigger kids could crush a small dog if they are not always careful. You may wish to consider getting an adult dog that has been around children – a puppy needs a lot of extra attention.

Personality

A family with kids ideally needs an intelligent dog with a good temperament and moderate energy level. Certain breeds may be naturally good with kids. Here are just a few of many dog breeds that tend to do well with children:

  • Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever: These breeds are usually great with kids and pretty smart, but they can be very hyperactive if they do not get enough exercise.
  • Poodle: Believe it or not, the Poodle is extremely smart and has a great temperament. Plus, you have a size choice – toy, miniature, or standard. Regular grooming is necessary.
  • Bichon Frise: This little cotton-balls breed loves to play, but is not usually too hyper. It is also a small dog, which is perfect for your little humans. Regular grooming is necessary.
  • Beagle: These dogs are friendly, clever and not too big, making them very suitable for kids. Though some can be a bit high-strung, they typically respond very well to training.
  • Collie and Shetland Sheepdog: These are both very calm, gentle and tolerant breeds that often do well with children of all ages and sizes – kind of like Lassie.
  • German Shepherd Dog: This breed is extremely loyal and protective, but MUST be well-trained. The GSD does have a playful side, especially at younger ages.
  • Mixed-breed dogs: Mutts are typically well-balanced and intelligent. Overall, they are truly amazing dogs! Plus, you can save a dog from life in a shelter.

Finding the Family Dog

When it is time to look for a dog, try visiting local rescue groups. Ask about dogs that have been in foster care. Their foster “parents” know and love them. Since they want the dogs to go to the right homes, they tend to be very honest about the dogs’ personalities and temperaments. You can ask the rescue workers to guide you towards dogs that fit your kids’ lifestyles. If you want a purebred dog, go to a reputable breed-specific rescue. Otherwise, you can go to a general rescue group with a good reputation.

If you choose to get a purebred dog from a breeder, thoroughly research the reputations of multiple breeders. Ask for references and talk to fellow dog lovers in your community. Your vet may also be able to advise you. Once you choose a breeder, spend a lot of time talking about the temperament and socialization history of the pups. A good breeder will know the pups and parents well and share information freely.

Home at Last

Congratulations, you have found a new dog for your family. Having a dog is a wonderful way to enrich your child’s development and create beautiful memories to be treasured for years to come. The bond between dogs and kids can be magical. Remember, though – your work is not done. In fact, it will never be. Training your dog and your children together is a life-long project. Responsible dog ownership goes hand-in-hand with responsible parenting. Good luck, and enjoy!

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8 Responses to “Kids and Dog”

  1. old friend slippers 21. Dec, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Bookmarked, I love your blog! :)

  2. GreenTent Design 25. Apr, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I love these! :) My husband and I got a teacup chihuahua just in time for the birth of our daughter. She’s 2 years old now. Their pictures together are just as priceless as these. :)

  3. Princetown at the Landings 17. May, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    These are probably among the cutest photos I’ve ever seen!!! :) I love dogs and I love how loyal and gentle they always seem to be when around kids.

  4. midland maternity photography 19. May, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Now you make me want to go and get a dog. My boys have been bugging me about it. Maybe a yorkie would be just perfect for us. Small, cute, playful … :)

  5. Jarvis Photography 11. Jun, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I can’t wait for our little Hercules (a chihuahua) to have a playmate! Our little bun is coming out in September!

  6. Cristy Cross Photography 27. Jun, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Among the most fun to photograph are kids with animals. You never know what to expect. As well, the most absurdly cute things almost always happen that the photos are always a joy to look at because of the apparent spontaneity and innocence one can see in the photos.

  7. A Better Exposure 16. Jul, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Dogs and kids are just the cutest to photograph! There’s just something about dogs that exude love, care and gentleness for kids. Just look at that dog in the last photo — despite being squeezed into an extremely uncomfortable-looking position, he seems to be just hanging in there. :)

  8. you’re pictures are so inspirational!!!!

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