10 Best Dog Breeds for Kids
Having a pet dog in the home is one of the most rewarding experiences one can ever provide to children. It teaches them responsibility for caring for these pets. It also allows children to form a special bond with animals, teaching them the value of respect for all creatures. While any canine breed can be a young child’s best friend, there are those that are more inclined to be a kid’s pet. And if you are thinking of bringing home a dog for your child, then you’ve got to check what we have in store for you. We’ve rounded up ten of the world’s most adorable and friendliest dog breeds for kids.
Ten Dog Breeds that are Best for Kids
They call it the “canine nanny” or “Mother Nature’s babysitter” because of its unequaled love of children. Newfoundland dogs are very protective of young children, treating them as if they were the dog’s own puppies. It is gentle, patient, and kind. Many fanciers of the breed consider the Newfoundland as the canine equivalent of Mother Teresa. Whether you have a very young child or a teen, the Newfoundland will melt his or her heart in an instant.
An intelligent breed, the Newfoundland is never difficult to train. They are also prolific swimmers, making them excellent swim buddies for your kids. Such a hound requires plenty of mental and physical stimulation. As such, it is best for families with a large backyard. And while it drools and sheds like a storm, it’s never a reason for keeping the Newfoundland outdoors. This is a gentle giant that deserves a space indoors in the company of its family.
Confident and smart, the Golden Retriever is a dog made for kids. It has the playfulness and good spirits that kids will love. It may be large, but not as much as the Newfoundland. This makes it a wonderful playmate for small kids. And no matter how rambunctious and roughhousing your kid can be, the Goldie can take it. This is a patient dog that you will never see frown or complain.
It is never timid nor aggressive, traits that have made the Golden Retriever one of the favorites among American families. They love to play games that allow them to retrieve objects. Teach your child how to throw a tennis ball and the Golden will be very happy to oblige. Frisbee and dog flyer disc toys are also favorites of this breed. And if you happen to live near a body of water, rejoice. The Golden Retriever can be a great swimming buddy for young children.
There are three Collies that one has to be aware of. All three of them have starred in Hollywood films. There’s Lassie from the 1943 film Lassie Come Home, Rex and Fly from the 1995 film Babe, and Khyi Yang Po in the 2006 movie Shaggy Dog. All three Collie breeds make excellent playmates of children. However, one breed stands out from the other two when it comes to its gentler temperament and moderately-high energy levels – the Rough Collie, or Lassie.
This is a very predictable breed and one that never misbehaves. The Rough Collie is also very easy to train and mild-mannered. However, like the two other Collies, the dog also has a strong herding instinct. It may “herd” your children like its flock. The good news is that it is trainable.
It may never win a prize for the most photogenic but when it comes to affection and devotion to children, very few dogs can ever match those of the English Bulldog. Although it will not take home the plum for the most energetic canine, it sure is one tough nut to crack. Because of its docile nature and very gentle temperament, the Bulldog is perfect for children who love to roughhouse. The hound will never mind. Its stocky built is made for such an activity.
Despite its only-moms-can-love-look, the English Bulldog is a champion when it comes to making friends. It is a friend to other pets in the household and neighborhood, including other dogs. Its loyalty is to its owner and family; although it will always show a warm greeting to visitors and guests. The Bulldog is an adaptable breed, making it an excellent pet for any kind of family.
America’s canine sweetheart also happens to have a very soft spot for children in its heart. The ever-reliable Labrador Retriever has the gentleness and friendliness of a great dog for kids. This is a very versatile canine, owing to its high intelligence. If you want it to be a full-time nanny for your children, then the Lab has it covered. It is easy to train and is very eager to please its owner. And if you socialize it early on, the Lab will look at your child as its young master.
Labs are the perfect playmates for children with active lifestyles. Like their cousin, the Golden Retriever, the Lab excels in retrieving objects. Playing ball games and water-related activities can bring so much joy and happiness to this dog. And if your kid happens to love such activities, too, then you’ve got the perfect pair.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
One of the cardinal rules for child-friendly dogs is to stay away from toy breeds. While the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy dog breed, it also happens to be the largest. It can stand up to 13 inches at its shoulder and weigh about 18 lbs. tops. This makes the Cav a great choice for families with preschool and school aged children. Cavs are the quintessential lap dogs, following their masters around the house for the opportunity to jump on their lap.
The Cavalier King Charles also enjoys long walks. And if your child loves flushing out birds from the bushes, then this breed is the ideal companion. These dogs have a calm disposition that allows them to enjoy quiet times with you and your child. However, what they do want is plenty of opportunities to work out their insatiable appetite for games.
If you have kids who love activities in the outdoors, then the Beagle is a good companion for them. Nothing excites a Beagle more than being able to explore its “new” surroundings. Having said that, it is best to train the Beagle early on. One needs to understand that this breed has one of the strongest motivations to follow its “nosy” instincts. You can say the Beagle lives by its nose.
The good news is that your child can also use the Beagle’s remarkable scenting abilities to his or her advantage. Playtime can be made more fun by integrating activities that have something to do with the dog’s use of its sense of smell. Beagles are always happy, friendly, and smart. They also have boundless levels of energy so they’ll never tire as fast as other canine breeds.
For many years, the Bull Terrier had to endure negative publicity after negative publicity. It’s also the subject of several breed-specific legislations in many countries all over the world. However, there is a growing body of evidence showing that the temperament of Bull Terriers is similar to that of a Golden Retriever. And if the latter’s temperament is one of its strongest points for being a child-friendly dog, then the Bull Terrier should also be one of the best breeds to have for kids.
Do take note that Bull Terriers are often stubborn and independent. However, this does not mean that they are bad for kids. On the contrary, the Bull Terrier is good with people. It is courageous, fun-loving, and full of spirit. It’s a family member and considers children as the love of its canine life.
The American Gentleman is not a new Hollywood film. It’s what people call the Boston Terrier because of its signature look, sporting a tuxedo. These dogs may have been the prized canine fighters of old, but they are now a favorite companion of American families. And with their intelligence and high energy levels, the Boston Terrier also makes a wonderful pet for kids.
Born and bred to be a child’s best friend, the Boston Terrier can adapt to how your child wants a dog to be. It can be a worthy athlete for like-minded kids or it can also be a couch potato for similar children. Unlike other small dogs that may have a bloated ego, the Boston Terrier is happiest when it sees its human family enjoying its company.
They may be like turtles in their movements but no one can question the Basset Hound’s love for its family. It also has this long and sad face that many people think is gloomy. But the dog’s gentle demeanor and sturdy body make it a great playmate for young children. It has this robust build that will do well with rambunctious kids.
They’re prolific hunters, using their scenting abilities to follow game. Unfortunately, they can be pretty stubborn, too. As such, they’re best suited for those who can display patience in the dog’s training and socialization.
Things to Consider When Picking a Dog for Your Kids
In case you don’t like the canine breeds we included in our list, you have to be wise in picking the right one for your child. It may not be easy. However, if you keep in mind the following factors, you may be able to end up with a dog that’s not only perfect for your young child. It can be great for the entire family as well.
- Friendliness and Sociability
Friendliness is a natural trait of dogs. As puppies, they have this friendliness that makes them so adorable. However, take note that there are different levels of friendliness. Hence, in picking a canine friend for your kid, it’s best to look at its open demeanor. It should not be nervous, anxious, impatient, or fearful. Ask the breeder how well-socialized the dog is as a puppy. You’d want a dog that is not only amiable, but also very sociable.
A dog may be the friendliest in the neighborhood but if it is not sturdy enough, then it might not be able to endure the rambunctious play of most kids. If your child does not play as rough as a typical kid, then a dog’s fragility is not an issue. However, given that young kids have yet to learn the correct way of handling pets, it is best to get one that is sturdy. As such, it is often not a good idea to bring home a toy dog as they can get injured if a child plays with it in a rough manner.
- Energy Level
Akin to a dog’s sturdiness, it is important to get a pet that has almost the same level of energy as your kid. If you’re having a difficult time keeping up with your child’s energy bursts, what more a low-energy dog? You need a pet that has the stamina to keep up with your child’s playfulness. It is for this reason that those in the working group of dogs are best suited for the job. However, keep in mind not to get a canine with ultra-high levels of energy. Your kid might give up.
All dogs that are great around kids are those that are biddable or obedient. In other words, they are easy to train. They will follow your commands. An intelligent dog knows what “no” and “stop” mean. These are for your child’s own safety as well as your dog’s happiness. Hunting dogs are revered for their intelligence. So are herding dogs. The only issue is that there are intelligent dogs that can be stubborn if one doesn’t know how to train them.
Getting a child-friendly pet dog is easy. Consider the four factors that we shared with you in your decisions and you’ll be able to bring home the perfect dog for your child. If not, you can always pick one from out 10 dog breeds that are best for kids.