Whether you feel it is time to add a dog to the family or you have finally caved in to your children’s pestering, you have finally decided to get a dog. But, with so many breeds available, which one would be good for your family and what characteristics should you look for?
Children are often unaware of their own strength and can unintentionally play a little rough. It is the responsibilty of the parents to supervise any interaction between pets and children and to teach the children to play gently. There are, however, times when a clumbsy child may tumble near the family dog and latch on in an attempt to stop a fall. Or, the child may pet the dog a little too rough as she is learning how to be gentle. For these reasons, any family dog should be tolerant enough to allow some hard patting or tail and ear tugging. He might also have to be patient enough to sit through a “dress-up” session or tea party and even periodically allow his nails to be painted. Dogs living with children need to have enough energy to withstand hours of play and yet not be so rambunctious that injury could occur.
Many breeds work well with children, but always remember: There are good dogs and bad dogs in every breed. It’s important to know that individual dogs within breeds can demonstrate their own, unique personality traits. No matter what breed you choose, you shouldn’t leave dogs and young children together unsupervised – for the safety of both.
Below is a list of the top 20.
Golden retriever. The golden retreiver is an excellent choice for families that enjoy lots of outdoor activities. Though originally developed to help hunt birds, the golden rapidly proved himself as a loyal and devoted family member.
Pembroke Welsh corgi. At about 25 pounds, the Pembroke Welsh corgi is a popular pet. This stocky short tailed breed needs daily exercise and loves romping with the kids. They are best with older kids (over 6 or 7 years) as some dogs can be bossy and possessive.
West Highland white terrier. This small white terrier is playful and loveable but does require some exercise to keep him happy. The Westie is a good watch dog and faithful friend that needs some grooming to keep his coat mat and tangle free. The Westie can be an excellent dog for older children. They tend not to be tolerant of children’s accidental mistreatments. They are often not recommended for households with children under the age of ten.
Irish setter. This beautiful red dog was originally developed to help with hunting but early on, the breed showed his natural aptitude as a companion. Loved by many and always eager to please, the Irish setter is a part of many families.
Schnauzer. The schnauzer is a wonderful family pet. Eager to please and to keep the family safe, this breed usually requires regular grooming and daily exercise. This breed thrives on human companionship and is available in three different sizes.
Labrador retriever. The lab is a popular choice for active families, especially those that enjoy water sports. The labrador seems to have boundless energy to keep up with the kids as well as natural protective instincts. Though originally developed to help hunt birds, the lab is also a loyal and devoted family member.
Poodle. The poodle is an intelligent and friendly dog that craves human companionship. Happiest when allowed to run and play, the poodle is well known for being low shed, and comes in three different sizes to suit any taste.
Bichon frise. This white fluff ball is a happy-go-lucky dog. Faithful and obedient, the bichon is a wonderful addition to any home. The bichon does require regular grooming to keep his coat looking great but loves to investigate and participate in anything.
Airedale. A sturdy dog, the airedale takes his job as a family friend and protector seriously. Willing to join in the fun anytime, the airedale always keeps a watchful eye out for any potential dangers.
Basset hound. With his sad droopy eyes, you may think the basset is a lazy hound. But, as soon as kids are around, this dog will jump right in and keep up with the best of them.
Beagle. The beagle may be an active breed but he fits in well with very active families. Needing a good place to sleep and plenty of games to play, this breed can easily join any family.