Choosing a new pet for your family is not an easy choice, especially if you have young children. Although dogs from a specific breed generally share similar characteristics, each dog should be thought of as an individual. That being said, it is important to recognize that breeds do play an important factor when choosing the best dog for your kids. To determine the best family-friendly dog breeds, consider the following four factors:
Also referred to as a dogs’ temperament, this determines how a dog forms strong bonds with members of your family. Typically, calmer, larger dogs make great companions for kids, though some small breeds are also known to be kid-friendly dog breeds.
Your dog’s energy level should match your family’s lifestyle. Some breeds are naturally more active than others, so it is critical to consider if you and your kids can dedicate enough time to meet your dog’s exercise and energy needs.
Size goes in hand with personality and energy level. Though not always the case, the general rule of thumb is that smaller breeds are generally more energetic and larger breeds tend to be more docile. The size of your home should also play a part in determining what good dog breeds for kids are. Larger dogs need more space to move around. Otherwise, they will develop stress and anxiety disorders which can trigger changes in personality.
If you are adopting, you might want to consider an adult dog who has already been around children. Puppies require more attention and care which young children may not always be able to provide.
Dogs on the smaller side of the size scale tend to be a better fit for older kids. Smaller dogs usually require more attention and more time dedicated to their exercise needs which toddlers or very young children can’t provide. On the other hand, since older children are more energetic, they can match a smaller dog’s high energy levels. Smaller dogs are also a better choice for apartments and small homes.
Bigger dogs are often more calm and docile, making them a great addition to any family. They are also known for being protective which is why parents prefer them for toddlers and young children. However, large breeds may not be the best choice for older children who may want a dog to always play with.
Dogs can provide children with autism companionship that otherwise may be hard to come by. Additionally, studies have demonstrated that having a dog can be extremely beneficial for children with autism. Young autistic children who live with dogs have shown improvements in certain social behaviors like offering to share, making tactile contact, looking at faces, and offering comfort.
If you are considering a dog for your family, don’t count out mutts, or mixed breeds. Mutts can be as loyal and protective as any other breed, with some individual mutts providing the best traits of two dogs in one.
Nowadays more families are adopting from shelters, especially if there are young children in the house. Adopting sheltered dogs can teach kids valuable lessons in kindness, empathy, and animal protection.