Looking to get your family a pet dog? There are many reasons why introducing a dog to your home can be beneficial. They teach your child responsibility, encourage regular exercise, and provide an extra member of the family to love.
Picking a child-friendly dog can be stressful. It’s natural to worry about your child’s safety and not want to put them at risk with a more aggressive breed. We’ve put together this easy guide to help you pick the right dog for your family.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a family pet. The following are some top issues to think about when picking a breed:
- Aggression: You should choose a naturally docile breed, particularly if your children are younger.
- Size: Research how big a potential pet can become — even Great Danes start off as tiny puppies! Although a bigger dog isn’t necessarily less safe, your family might find it easier to accommodate a smaller animal.
- Activity Levels: Although this does not significantly impact the safety of the dog, you should choose a breed that is compatible with your activity levels. For example, if you have three small children, it may not be a good idea to get an animal like a husky that needs a lot of exercise. However, if you have a big, active family, this may be manageable.
Additionally, you should consult with a vet if you have specific needs. For example, if you have a child with asthma, you may need a hypoallergenic breed. It’s also important to ensure that you have the right equipment for your new pet, whether it be leashes or one of the high-quality best dog beds we are reviewing here.
Each dog breed has distinct personality traits. The following breeds have characteristics that make them great for children but are of course not the only breeds that fit this category.
- Labradors: Labradors are gentle, sociable, and very intelligent. They’re great companions for adventurous families and love walks and playing. I wrote about the best dog beds for Labradors to help you find one.
- Bichon Frise: These pint-sized pups are ideal for city-dwellers or less active families. They don’t require much exercise — just a quick daily walk. They’re also friendly and loving.
- Hungarian Vizsla: If you pick these loving pups, you’re not just getting a dog — you’re getting a best friend for life. They’re ideal for active families and will happily accompany you on a morning jog or afternoon hike.
- Poodle: Poodles are small, loving, and friendly, making them great for all kinds of families. As a bonus, many poodles and cross-breeds are hypoallergenic, which is ideal if a family member is allergic to animals.
- Shih Tzu: Spend a lot of time at home? The loving Shih Tzu will love hanging out with you all day on their dog beds. They also require less exercise than larger breeds.
- Golden retrievers. These dogs are a little more active and have more energy but are still very good to be around children. Since they are also very active I tried to find the best dog beds for Golden Retrievers also.
It’s important to note that no breed of dog is inherently dangerous. With proper training and care, any dog can be safe for children. However, some breeds of dogs can be naturally more aggressive. If you are concerned about a vulnerable child, you may want to avoid the following breeds.
- German Shepherd: German Shepherds can be great dogs for children and vulnerable people. However, they can also be aggressive and volatile if not properly trained. Only choose this breed if you are confident in your dog-handling experience.
- Chihuahua: Admittedly, the sight of a Chihuahua doesn’t fill most people with terror. However, these tiny dogs are actually the most aggressive breed. And because they are smaller, your child may be more likely to bother these animals.
- Doberman: Doberman are known for their excellent guard dog capabilities. They can be great, gentle pets if properly trained. However, if this is your first pet, you should opt for an easier-to-manage breed.
There are so many reasons why getting a dog is a good idea for your family. They are lots of fun while teaching your children responsibility and compassion. However, it’s important to make sure that the breed you choose is compatible with your family.
Just remember that although these dogs are known to get along with children very well you still have to watch them and realize that they are a dog and at the lowest point of the ladder in your family rank order.
Feel free to bookmark this guide and refer back to it during your search!