How to Choose a Dog if You Have a Little Child

A dog can bring a great deal of joy to your family life. Known for their faithfulness and loving nature, they are great companions for people of all ages. Owning a dog also has many health benefits: they promote self-confidence and help their masters cope with stress, lower a human’s blood pressure, and “train” owners to go outside more frequently for a good walk.

However, if you already have a sweet little kid in your family (or plan to have a baby soon), choosing the right dog must go beyond your own comfort and preferences. It’s crucial to ensure that your child’s growth into a responsible pet owner will be safe and delightful. To make the process even more exciting, consider documenting your child’s first pet experience in the form of a website created with a website builder for kids. We’ll guide you through the most kid-friendly breeds to help you choose a buddy for your child.

What should I take into account when choosing a family-friendly dog?

First of all, as your kid is still a kid and you can’t expect them to take care of a pet, the dog choice must be a decision of adult family members based on their time, finances, level of energy, and even the space available at home. Here are some tips for a start:

  • If you have a compact house, we recommend adopting a smaller dog that won’t make you feel pushed out of your own home. However, keep in mind that a very small dog is fragile and won’t be a good fit for a little clumsy madcap.
  • Large dogs are a perfect choice for active pranksters always romping about, but such dogs demand frequent walks and open space.  
  • Also, if you’d like to skip the training phase and get a calmer pet, consider an older dog instead of a playful puppy.
  • All dogs have their unique personal traits: adventurous or sedate, bouncing or lazy, Mr. “Catch me” or Miss Cuddles… The ideal dog for a family with a child will be the one that has a gentle friendly heart and a temper that fits in your family lifestyle.

A short guide of kid-friendly dogs by size

Best small dogs for children:

  • Havanese. An easy-to-train, tender, and sweet companion with hypoallergenic fur. Requires grooming and brushing. 
  • Dachshund. Playful and trainable, this adorable pup has, however, a passion for sniffing out scents (originally bred to detect vermin) so it may feel uncomfortable in a house with other pets.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This super-friendly buddy loves a company of people and other pets. It also adores spending time outside sniffing and exploring. 
  • French bulldog. This funny little prankster with a lovely wrinkled face doesn’t require too much training or grooming.

Best medium-sized dogs for children:

  • Poodle. Affectionate, obedient and intelligent, this pup is absolutely hypoallergenic so it can be a great friend for a kid with an allergy. 
  • Beagle. This cute and friendly fellow is considered to be the best family dog ever, but it requires lots of training as it easily gets distracted and carried away by strange scents.

Best large dogs for children:

  • Collie (standard). An affectionate companion with graceful manners and a passion for small kids. Requires brushing and grooming. 
  • Golden retriever. An intelligent, playful, and gentle pup that requires lots of movement and space. A good fit for active kids. 
  • Labrador retriever. It is said to be the best service dog ever and for a good reason. It is a perfect companion for all sorts of activities and games, especially swimming and retrieving. 
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