Best Dogs For Kids

If the truth be known, there are many dogs good for kids, it's just that some breeds have a better reputation with children than others. What it mostly boils down to is the dog's temperament plus your child's age, maturity level and previous relationships with pets.

If you select a dog breed based just on the general opinion that it's a good dog for kids, you may be barking up the wrong tree! Dogs, like children, can be unpredictable.

One of the most important things to investigate is how the dog was bred and by whom. Was the breeder experienced - were they particular in the selection of the dogs being mated in order to preserve the best traits of the breed?

When you are looking to get the best dog for kids, it really pays to know if the dog has been tested for temperament. Of course there are other issues to consider such as size, trainability, puppy or adult dog, time needed to groom and exercise the pet, etc.

Let's take size for example. If you have a toddler, a very large dog - especially a playful one - may unintentionally knock your child over.

Likewise, if you're considering a very small dog, toddlers as the name implies, are not very steady on their feet and could easily step on and injure the dog by accident especially the fragile toy dog breeds.

Also when it comes to very small dogs, a majority of them get nervous around young children or won't tolerate being mishandled by them.

Time is another major consideration. If you are thinking of a puppy, bear in mind that their schedule can be quite intense during the first year. Are your children old enough to share the responsibilities of caring for the pet? And will they follow through?

Maybe an adult dog that has had some good training and whose temperament around children is known, might be a better choice.

Dogs For Kids - Prepare Them Both For Success!

Many of us have memories of dogs we enjoyed as children, either our own or a favorite pooch in the neighborhood. One thing that children and dogs have in common is that if you want them to get along, they both need training!

If you bring a dog into your family, not only can it be a great buddy for your child, it can also teach them a lot about life, and taking responsibility.

Now I realize that if you say that to a child, they will not necessarily get it, but if you put it into action, they will learn about it.

In order for children to have a safe and enjoyable relationship with the family dog, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Before bringing a dog into the family, children should have a thorough understanding of how to handle pets - what is and is not acceptable.
  • Even breeds considered most tolerant and reliable, may suddenly have an out-of-character reaction to mistreatment by a child.

  • Of course, children of any age should always be supervised by a responsible adult whenever they are interacting with pets no matter what. As was mentioned earlier, kids and dogs are not 100% predictable!
  • For the most part when you are looking for dogs good for kids, it is  often best to steer clear of breeds that are either too big, too small, too dominant, or too boisterious for the age and maturity level of your child.

boy with black dog
  • If you want a puppy, consider if you have enough time to supervise and care for the pet as well as your family!
  • When buying a puppy, look for a reputable breeder that has tested the puppies for temperament. This way you will increase the odds that the dog will have the best characteristics of the breed and as a result may be more predictable. The breeder ideally should have also begun to socialize the puppies.
  • Begin or continue socializing your dog as soon as possible. A good relationship between dog and master usually thrives if the basic dog obedience training is started early on.

  • And even though some breeds will recognize one family member as the leader of the pack, it is good if all family members are consistent in using the same words for various dog commands.

A Few More Breeds To Consider

Many of the breeds listed below have been described as favorable for children. This sampling includes both big, medium and and small dogs and are just a few of the dog breeds described on this site - there are many others that also get along well with kids.

We recommend that you investigate some of these dogs by clicking on the links to get a more information about a particular breed as well as a picture.

What you will learn is that some of the breeds suited to be around kids are described as patient or affectionate, while others may be described as more energetic, playful, resilient, protective, or trustworthy.

This information, including best age of child for the pet in question, will give you additional help in choosing a dog that will suit your family.

Last Important Tip

As mentioned earlier, children need to learn how to treat pets fairly and dogs need to be socialized and trained to properly understand what's expected of them.

We can't stress enough how very important this step is to a successful relationship between a dog and its family especially when there are children involved.

When you hear about various dogs for kids working out well in families, it is often because they have been conscientiously trained from the very beginning with the children participating in the process.

Throughout this site we have recommended some excellent dog training programs that families have used to get started on the right foot as soon as they bring home a pet. We hope you'll do this too.

dog training book

Breed Groups That Include Dogs Good For Kids

Cairn Terrier
List Of Small Dogs


Sporting Dogs
English Foxhound
Bernese Mountain Dog
Working Dog Group
Airedale Terrier
Terrier Dogs

Havanese dog

The Toy Dog Group

Finnish Spitz dog
Non-Sporting Breeds

Old English Sheepdog
Herding Group

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