We put a lot of faith in our pet dogs when we have children in the family. Most of the time it all works out just fine. Your pet loves the kids as much as you do and they never come to any harm. You’re lucky, for your pet is one of the dogs that are good with kids.
It isn’t always so, unfortunately…
Every other day, it seems, we hear or read about someone’s child seriously injured, or even killed. The family dog was always gentle, and no one ever thought the pet was a danger. Yet, it happened. Why? Who knows exactly why, but it happened.
Some dog breeds are naturally better around children than others, but there are many factors to consider as well when choosing a pet dog. For example, will you choose a puppy that you can train from scratch? Or will you choose an older dog, perhaps from a pet rescue shelter?
There are pros and cons to each choice, but first, you should take into account three major factors before choosing a family pet.
The dog’s temperament
Dogs that are good with kids should have an easy going, agreeable personality. Look for a dog with a calm nature, as this type of dog usually provides the best kind of companion for children.
Dogs that are nervous and excitable can also be unpredictable. Yes, they certainly can make great pets too, but if your main concern is your children, and how the dog will be around them, then go for a calm, peaceably natured animal.
The dog’s energy level
A larger dog that will need a lot of exercise may not be the best choice where there are children. If you are unable to meet the dog’s exercise needs, it may cause problems of frustration. The pent-up energy has to go somewhere if it can’t be released naturally through exercise.
It isn’t always a larger dog that needs extra exercise. Some smaller dogs can be like a wound-up toy and seem to always have excess energy levels. While it’s good to have a healthy energetic dog, a calmer, quieter dog will tend to be more easy going around children.
The dog’s size
Don’t think that just because a dog is very small that it can’t inflict damage on your child if something goes wrong. Big dogs will tend to be stronger, but they can be much more docile too.
Small dogs can be overly excitable sometimes. But it isn’t a hard, fixed rule. A dog’s temperament, energy level, and size will all be connected, and you should find a dog that seems just right for you and your family.
Are dogs that are good with kids good with the rest of the family too?
Some dogs are great with every family member, seeing everyone as part of the tribe. Other dogs are only good with adults, or at least, seem to prefer the company of adults. Yet other dogs might prefer the company of a certain gender, the man of the house, for example.
It can be hard to know in advance how a dog will react to all the family. Just like people, dogs are individuals with their individual temperaments. Some see the glass half empty, and some see it half full, so to speak.
However, there are some dog breeds that, generally speaking at least, are normally good choices for family pets. Some may surprise you, and some others will have you nodding in silent agreement as something you always suspected.
So, what are the best dogs that are good with kids?
This dog is usually at or near the top of most child-friendly dog lists. It may not be the prettiest dog, or the most gainly one, but it is a dog that usually acts extremely affectionately towards kids and adults alike.
They are not overly energetic dogs. They are built strong and sturdy though, which can be a good thing if your kids play a bit rough at times. The bulldog is great at adapting to any new situations. They tend to fit right in very quickly, making them ideal family pets.
The Bull Terrier
This breed has had a bad press at times. It’s a bit unfair, as this animal was originally bred as a friendly, faithful companion dog. It is too. The bull terrier usually gets along with kids or adults equally well.
It’s an ideal pet when it comes to rough and tumble, hardly ever complaining, whatever happens. Bear in mind that this breed can be a bit mischievous at times, but usually in good fun. They like to play, so make sure they enough space to do so.
There are several collie breeds, such as the border collie. Lassie, the dog featured in the series of popular movies, was a border collie. Collies are easy to train. They are mild-mannered and easy going. They have a great desire to please and are equally good with children and adults.
The collie was originally bred as a dog for herding sheep and other herd animals. While they are unlikely to try herding your kids, it may not be so bad if they do! They can have a stubborn attitude, which might need some obedience training to smooth out, however.
The Labrador Retriever
This is an evergreen favorite breed for the family pet. Labradors have great patience. They are gentle and loving, and easy going, almost to a fault. They usually treat adults and children equally well.
Labradors can often appear more intelligent than other dog breeds. This usually makes them easy to train, which they take well to. They also get along well with other family pets, such as cats, for example.
So, which is the best dog of all to have around kids?
The answer to that question can really be a matter of personal choice. Many dog breeds not mentioned here make excellent family pets. I have just mentioned the ones that can usually be relied on. The ones with an excellent track record of child safety. The final decision is yours, of course.
The training of a dog can often make all the difference. A well-trained dog is often likely to be better behaved and more trustworthy than an untrained dog.
At the end of the day, however, if you have an untrained dog that is not one of the breeds mentioned, and maybe even a mongrel, and your dog is perfect for your children, then great! That’s all that really matters when all’s said and done.
[The featured image is courtesy of MaxPixel.net: https://www.maxpixel.net/Little-Dog-Young-Outdoors-Mammal-Animal-Portrait-3218469]