If you’re introducing a dog to your family while your children are still young, you’ll need to take care when choosing dog breeds. Young children won’t be able to follow instructions as well as older children, when it comes to how to behave around their new family addition.
Therefore, a family dog that will be spending lots of time around young children should be calm and gentle, easy to train and eager to please their owners.
Here are six of the best breeds for families with small children.
This intelligent and loving dog is great with children. They are kind, rarely display aggressive traits and are very even-tempered.
Labs are easy to train which a must in a family with young children. Any family dogs needs to be able to learn quickly, and respond well to commands.
Labradors love being cuddled, and will happily play fetch or tug with your child in the garden for hours. They have a very easy going attitude which is suited to many family dynamics.
This toy dog is an entertainer and will love to show off and make your children laugh. Pugs need constant human companionship, which makes them an ideal breed for a family where there is always someone at home.
This breed is low maintenance, and don’t require a huge amount of exercise, half an hour a day will be plenty.
They do shed a lot though, so you might not want this breed if you aren’t a big fan of dog hair around the house!
The Cocker Spaniel is a trustworthy and loving family dog, and is typically great with everyone including young children, older family members and even other pets.
They love to get stuck in with family activities and need plenty of exercise which makes them a perfect match for any active family who love to spend time outdoors.
As long as a Cocker is raised alongside respectful children, they will fit into any family effortlessly.
West Highland White Terrier
This confident little dog has oodles of personality and will easily fit into your family with his fun and happy nature.
He will happily greet all family members at the door with a wagging tail, and will love playing games and having a belly rub from your children.
Terriers do tend to have a strong will which can cause training difficulties, so he’ll need a consistent and regular training routine put in place.
French Bulldogs are the perfect companion dog, with his adorable squashed face and pointy ears, all children are bound to love snuggling up to this breed.
This dog loves to spend plenty of time with his owners, so would be well suited to a family where there is always someone around at home.
Bulldogs are easy to train but can be stubborn so will need an owner who is firm and fair.
This dog would be perfectly suited to a family who has a member that suffers with allergies. The Poodle is hypoallergenic which means it sheds less than other dogs, and because of their closely packed curls, they don’t drop as much dander which is what triggers allergies.
Poodles are extremely intelligent which makes them very easy to train; they are also lively and inquisitive making them a great friend for your children.
Whether you are looking for a small, medium or large sized dog, there will be a Poodle to suit your family, as they are bred in three different sizes: toy, miniature and standard.
Choosing Your Dog’s Name
As well as getting your children involved in choosing which dog you’d like to introduce into your family, perhaps you could also include them in naming your dog.
Try to choose a name which is easy for your children to say, one or two syllable names are often best.
Also bear these things in mind when choosing a name:
- Make sure it isn’t a fad name which will go out of fashion in the next year or two.
- Make sure it is something you’re comfortable shouting out loud across the dog park.
- Make sure it doesn’t sound too similar to any commands you’ll be teaching your dog.
Raising your children alongside a dog has many benefits, including giving them a friend for life, teaching them responsibility and compassion, and health benefits as it keeps them active.
It is important to remember that choosing a family friendly dog is just the start to creating positive relationship between your dog and children.
All dogs need proper socializing and training with children, and your children should be taught how to behave around the family dog, and be respectful of their space.
Whichever breed you choose, you’ll be sure to have years of family fun ahead of you!
Author Bio: John Woods is an experienced dog trainer, and set up his website All Things Dogs to share his knowledge and passion for everything dog related.