Picking a Child-Friendly Dog

by admin on September 18, 2012

 A dog can be the best companion a child can have.  There are so many good memories for me, when I think about how lucky I was to grow up with my childhood friend.  It was a huge decision for my parents at that time. And looking back at this as an adult, I can only imagine their discussions at that time.  I’m sure they asked themselves if we were ready as a family to take on the responsiblity of a puppy.  So, with that being said and my experience with puppies and dogs there is a lot to consider when deciding if a dog or pup is right for your home and child.

Here’s my tag line and I’m sticking to it; dogs and puppies are a huge responsibility to take on, especially when you have children.  Dogs are living little being that require loads love, exercise, time and funds. Dogs become a part of your family. They require a long-term committment from you. I believe that you should not get a dog for the sole purpose of using the dog as a teaching tool for your children.

I am all for getting a dog for your home. As I mentioned, they are a HUGE responsiblity.  Who is going to walk, feed, clean up and train your dog or pup?  Be prepared that even though you have set out guidelines for your children to learn these lessons, you’re probably going to end up doing all these jobs yourself.  My parents did. Before you begin thinking about bringing a dog in to your child’s life and yours, I recommend that you think long and hard about this endeavor.  Do you have the time, energy, patience and funds for taking care of a dog that will be a living being for 10+ years?

Ok, those questions are out-of-the-way.  So, let’s tackle what types of pups or dogs would best be suited for your family and lifestyle.  I believe that there is a perfect dog for every family. But truth be told, there are better dogs suited for a family with a child.  So, which ones could be right for you?

That depends on how old your children are and what your lifestyle is all about.  If you children are young, I would consider a dog with a low-key temperament.  Children, sometimes, can play rough.  Pulling on ears and tails. It’s important to get a dog that can tolerate these activities, without biting.  At the same time, you want you dog to be playful, but not so playful that they can cause injury to your child by accident.  What to do?  Not to worry, I have a few ideas here to help you out.

Bigger breeds, like the Golden Retriever or Irish Setters are good with children, since they are very loyal companions.  If you’re thinking about a smaller breed, I would recommend a schnauzer or West Highland terrier.  These are 2 that come in a petit packages and are great with children, since they’re very calm in temperament.  Still unsure about what breed is best for you home?  Use the internet and check out dogs that best suits your family life in terms of personality, size, and demeanor. You want the perfect match for your family.

Now that you’ve narrowed down your search.  I would check out the best sources to get your dog.  I would ask you to read up on local rescues, breeders, weighing out the pros and cons of each.  Ask about the size of the dog, personality, age and gender.  I would also ask your vet for some ideas on this topic too.

Finally, if this is your 1st dog for your family, I would read up on the dog you choose carefully.  What type of care will this dog require. Read up on training your dog. If your children are old enough get them involved with this process, so all of you can make the right decision on bringing a new family member in to your lives.

Remember where you live.  Do  you live in a house or apartment?  Do you have other pets?  Any allergies? All of these questions should be addressed before you bring in your new addition.

Hugs and Licks and follow me on facebook: Alanna aka The Dog Buddha.  Sign up for my blog, it’s easy! Find my picture and follow the prompts. See you next time.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie @Tempo Life Coaching September 18, 2012 at 5:30 am

Reading about picking out the right puppy makes me want to go out and get one. Ah, but I know better. My time is limited, and that means I don’t have proper time to adequately train a puppy. But, I like your picks for families with young kids. Goldens are one of my favorite breeds. Hyper buggers when they are puppies, but I don’t think they get any sweeter. And a mini schnauzer is what we have. He has always been fantastic with kids (with anyone really). He’s incredibly patient and mellow. The only activity he won’t participate in is letting someone paint his nails. ha! That’s about where he draws the line.



admin September 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Carrie, you are right on the money here. Dogs and puppies require tons of time and you’re right again. If you don’t have the time, enjoy a friends dog until you do. I love the Goldens too. They are hyper pups, but when they mature, watch out. They are big lovers, as you know. I dig the mini schnauzer too. We get many here for doggy daycare and they are not only cute, but very smart and loving dogs. I’m so laughing at your comment, about drawing the line on painting nails. I have not done that yet either:)
Thank you for your comments here. You put a big smile on my face.


Pum September 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm

My dog has HIS tbooyxMy Baby has HER tbooyxToys are kept separate.Baby is only allowed to play with her toys.. if she has a dog toy, I remove it from her and give her one of HER toysDog is only allowed to play with his toys.. if he has a baby toy, I remove it and give him one of HIS toys.Eventually the toys will have their individual scent and your dog should be able to recognize which are his and which belong to the baby.Baby toys are also put away when she’s done playing.. they are not left laying anywhere. Most of her toys are kept in the living room, which is baby gated off- the dog has limited access to that room.The best solution is to just supervise, and make sure that baby toys are put away when the baby is not playing with them. Your child can learn at a young age to keep her toys picked up, or they may become chewed up.


admin September 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Hi Pum! You’re smart to pick up all toys when they are finished playing. Pups and dogs have no idea between a baby’s toy and a dog toy. By the looks of your post, you are doing all the right moves to keep peace in your home with all the toys. You have a lot to watch out for and you have already figured out a safe place for play by using a gate to separate play. I agree with you 100%. Supervision is key. I like your style about that.
Thank you so much for the read and your comments. I hope to see you here again. Cheers!


Isaack October 1, 2012 at 4:55 am

Mine definintely does! She elelciapsy loves the toys i get her with that squeaky noise .she’ll run all over the house with it like its some huge prize. Makes it worthwhile for me (im sure you’re in the same boat i’ve spent so much in toys just to watch my baby’s excitement over them)


Eolo September 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Personally, I don’t think you can teach your dogs the difference beweetn baby and dog toys because to him, toys are toys and they look the same. I would just keep the baby toys in one area and the dog toys in another. It may settle a little confusion. Sooner or later the dog will catch on: my toys are over here and the baby is over there playing with hers . Any time you see him trying to play with the baby’s toys, correct him. Hope i helped atleast a little. Also, you may want to let the dog/baby play at the same time but in different areas. This way the dog won’t take the baby’s toys and vise versa.


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