Keeping a pet dog is both a privilege and a responsibility. The same can be said about having children, except that the amount of joy and responsibilities are exponentially greater. When you have the responsibility of running a household with both a kid and a dog in it, saying that things can get hectic would be an understatement.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the stress and maximize the rewards of having both a dog and a child in the household. One such way is by choosing the right kind of dog for your home and lifestyle. If you already have a child and are thinking of getting him or her a canine buddy, you’ll want one that has the right tendencies to be a good fit.
A dog that looks cute to you and your child isn’t always the best choice. Keep in mind that in order for your dog and your child to get along and grow up happy together, the dog needs a few key traits. A good temperament, trainability and a manageable size relative to your kids’ ages are all important factors. At the same time, you have the responsibility to teach your child how to interact with the dog in a way that doesn’t hurt the mutt or stress it out. You will also want to an efficient way to keep your home clean with your dog. You can use the tips provided in this home cleaning guide for homeowners with dogs.
If you’re not familiar with dog behavioral traits with respect to breed and you’re trying to narrow your list down, we want to help. Here are nine of the best dog breeds you can choose for a household with kids:
The bull terrier breed emerged from a combination of the Old English Terrier and The Old English Bulldog. The result is an energetic, fun-loving dog that loves to be around people and is always excited to play with kids.
With their combination of agility, strength an, tenacity, these dogs were once used to hunt vermin and to participate in dog fights. Ironically, these are actually some of the gentlest dogs you can find and they can be very receptive to obedience training. With enough exposure to people and a guiding adult hand to teach the dog discipline, the bull terrier will make an awesome addition to your family.
Don’t let the size intimidate you. Boxers are actually some of the smartest and gentlest dogs you can find. Aptly named for their agility, strength and tendency to stand on their hind legs and paw you playfully, boxers have become so popular that they’re now the sixth most registered breed in the American Kennel Club.
Boxers can be very excitable, so a little obedience training will be in order. Once your dog learns what to do and what not to , you’ll find a very loyal companion that’s highly expressive and always willing to cheer you up. Boxers can grow pretty large in a short while, so they’re more suited for homes with kids 7 years old and above.
Golden retrievers are some of the most popular family dogs in America. Originally bred as work dogs and trained to fetch wild game, these canines are pretty smart and very gentle around humans.
Unlike boxers with short fur, golden retrievers have longer coats that require regular grooming. True golden retrievers which come from reputable breeders have good temperaments and are very gentle around children. However, you do have to develop good habits and discipline in them through a little obedience training. As mentioned earlier, these are dogs originally bred to work, so you’ll have to commit at least half an hour per day for fetching running and fetching activities. Fortunately, those activities are also great for bonding with your kids.
The beagle is one of the oldest dog breeds in existence, dating back to the days of ancient Rome. Like other dogs in this list, they were once used to chase after wild animals. In the beagle’s case, the breed excelled at chasing rabbits across open terrain.
These days, the need for chasing bunnies around is long gone but beagles remain as one of the most beloved dog breeds out there. Thanks to their expressive and charming demeanor, athleticism and trademark howling noises, they’ve endeared themselves to dog lovers across the planet.
Beagles make a great pet even for families with small children thanks to their friendly and eager-to-please disposition. They also don’t require extensive maintenance, allowing you to balance your time better between taking care of them and your own kids. Last but not the least, their smaller size means they can engage in active play with children without you worrying that they’ll accidentally topple your kids when they get excited.
Like golden retrievers, Labradors were bred as work dogs. Unlike the goldens who retrieved game, the Labrador breed was conceived to retrieve fishing nets and sometimes even fish. The result is a strong, intelligent and active dog with a genuine love for water. These canines love the company of humans and are very friendly towards kids.
Don’t let the size and the long hair strands intimidate you: this breed is pretty easy to maintain and requires a brushing just once every two weeks. You will, however, have to spend time with on their play and exercise every day. You’ll also have to live near a clean body of water or have a pool to accommodate their love for swimming. If you need an excellent companion dog that’ll stay by your family’s side indoors and outdoors, there are few better choices than the Labrador.
Bulldogs are often depicted as tenacious, menacing mutts due to their stocky built and aira of confidence. In reality, these are some of the best family dogs that you and your kids can possibly get. Though they have an independent attitude about them, these dogs are equally loyal and friendly around kids.
If you’re thinking about getting a bulldog, just be sure that you have the time and resources to care for it properly. These canines require regular grooming and lots of activity. They also have relatively shorter lifespans than other dogs and they’re more prone to a variety of ailments as they age. They also take in a fair bit of air, so beware of incessant farting from this breed.
Finally, be sure to get a good leash and collar for your English bulldog. They love doing things their way and they have the tendency to wander away from their masters at times. A custom dog collar for identification purposes will help you recover your pet if it ever gets lost.
If your kids are in middle school or older, you can start thinking of owning larger dog breeds. When you do, consider the mastiff. This dog has been around for centuries and is said to have been developed in the British Isles as far back as ancient Roman times. It’s even-keeled temperament, low maintenance requirements and friendliness to both its masters and strangers alike make it a good family dog. While it can be trained to become a serviceable watchdog, this breed is a more natural lover than it is a fighter despite its massive frame.
Just be aware that big responsibilities go along with these bigger dogs. They eat a lot, they defecate a lot, and bathing them can take a significant amount of time and effort. Make sure that if you get a mastiff, your children share the responsibility of caring for it and playing with it.
While they’re not the tallest dogs, American bullies are viewed as being large dogs due to their sheer mass. Often mistaken for pitbulls, American bullies may look intimidating but they were actually developed to be the ultimate companion dogs.
American bullies are pretty easy to maintain thanks to their short coats. Because they’re massive yet not too tall or long, giving them baths isn’t hard either. They do, however, have a big appetite and they can consume a lot of food on a daily basis.
Like the mastiff, this breed would work well for homes with children who are seven and up. They’re very well behaved and would work well indoors especially during the warmer months. However, they can also be kept outdoors as long as the weather stays mild.
And there you have it, eight wonderful dog breeds that are ideal for a home with kids. Keep in mind that family-friendly behavior shouldn’t depend on your dog’s nature alone. The way you nurture, raise and train your dog will have an equally profound impact on how well it fits in to your household.