Child Friendly Dogs
It can be a very difficult choice when there are children involved.
Is it nature or nurture your may ask, that determines a pets personality?
Some qualities to look for ……
Think about your lifestyle. Dogs, like babies bring about a massive change to the home, so you need to choose a dog that will easily fit into your existing lifestyle.
Energy levels : Children can be very active, so better to introduce a younger pet rather than older, to be able to keep up with the pace, or a certain breed e.g. Spaniel. But with high energy levels comes the need for exercise. So be prepared for lots of walks also.
Tough : Children can be a bit heavy handed unintentionally. So a timid, nervous , delicate dog probably wouldn’t be ideal. e.g. miniature breeds.
Friendly : Not determined by the breed, as all dogs have different personalities. Better to choose a friendly dog who wags their tail and is not shy, hiding in the corner.
Intelligent : Easier to train and perfect for child’s safety.
Size : Think about the size of your home. Also smaller dogs can be very excitable and chatty, whereas the larger breed tend to be more docile when adults. Mostly. Hs does not apply to all larger breeds.
Age : Younger dogs can be trained and form bonds more easily and quicker than older dogs. However older dogs are mostly house trained and know generic rules.
Which breeds are child friendly?
There really isn’t such thing, but some have treats which suggest they have great potential:
- Labrador or Golden Retriever.
- Cocker Spaniel
- Springer Spaniel
- Maltese Terrier
- Beernese Mountain Dog
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
When choosing a puppy, go to a reputable breeder, preferably registered with the Kennel Club and who tests for hereditary problems. Reared in a home rather than a kennel, where both parents can be seen and who will advise you before and after your purchase.
Do not buy from a puppy farm.
Introducing children to a new dog
Always supervise the first time your children meet their new dog/puppy. Even if the new pet is used to children, they will need time to get to know each other.
Allow the dog to approach the children first, rather than the other way around.
Not all dogs/puppies, like cuddles, so make sure you know how close you can get to your new pet as children love to cuddle. Its not always appreciated.
Continue to supervise your children to ensure that behaviour remains acceptable at all times on both sides.