A dog can be a great addition to your busy family. In fact, one 2017 study found that having a dog can actually help children handle stressful situations.
The right dog can become an essential companion for your kids and a valued member of your family.
Keep reading to find out what makes a dog a good fit for children and check out our list of the top 5 child friendly dogs.
Common Traits of Child Friendly Dogs
No matter how well-behaved your kids are, they may overstep some of your new dog's boundaries at some point. That's why it's essential that you choose a docile, inhibited breed.
It's also important to teach your kids how to interact with a dog. Make sure they don't push, pull, or otherwise annoy the dog. Go over the basics of canine body language with them.
The right activity level will depend entirely on your family.
If you and your kids spend a lot of time outdoors, choose an active breed with enough energy to keep up.
If your kids are more likely to stay indoors gaming or binge-watching the newest show, choose a dog with a low activity level.
While the thought of your child growing up with a young puppy makes for a sweet mental image, consider your family's needs before you decide to adopt a younger dog.
Adult dogs are already grown, which means you'll know their full size, their personality, and their activity level right off the bat. There's also a good chance they're already housebroken and obedience trained.
A puppy might not be a good fit for families with very young children. This is because:
- Puppies require lots of time, attention, and training
- Puppies bite, and could accidentally hurt a very young child
- A young child can also unintentionally injure a puppy
This one can definitely vary. The right size of dog for your family depends on your preferences and the size of your home.
As a general rule, a giant breed may not be a good fit if you have small children. On the flip size, toy breeds are also not a great match for young families. Toddlers can easily hurt a small dog without even realizing it.
Top 5 Child Friendly Dogs
1. Golden Retriever
There's a reason Golden Retrievers are a perennial family favorite. They are mid-sized, good-natured, easy-to-train dogs who live to please. They can be active dogs, so prepare to exercise your Golden regularly.
Poodles are incredibly intelligent, highly trainable dogs. They also come in three sizes—toy, miniature, and standard—so you can choose the right size your family.
A Boxer can be a quirky, hilarious addition to your family. Keep in mind that this fun-loving breed is very active, so they will need regular exercise to keep them well-behaved.
4. English Bulldog
On the flip side, English Bulldogs are quite happy to spend their day sleeping at your feet. These stocky dogs work well for families that prefer to stay indoors.
Newfoundlands are the definition of a gentle giant. They're docile and well-behaved around children and are protective of their families. Just keep in mind that this furry breed will require a lot of grooming.