What’s the Best Dog Breed For Children?

Answers to a Very-Frequently-Asked Question

Dogs and kids are a great mix, but what’s the best dog breed for children? Well, to be honest there are very few breeds that are bad with children! Almost any dog of any breed is going to bond closely with your children.

The fact is, the breed barely matters. There are other factors in each individual dog’s personality and upbringing, that have a lot more to do with how long that dog will get along with your children. They are:

  • The breed type: Working dogs are usually great with children. Toy dogs are sometimes at risk with children, or become agitated by them.
  • The level of socialization and obedience training that you give the dog.
  • The dog’s heredity, and how personable the dog’s parents were.
  • Whether your children are taught about the right and wrong ways to treat a dog.


How to Ensure a Good Bond Between Children and Dogs

Since the real question isn’t “what is the best dog breed for children,” let’s look into answers to the right questions. You probably have fond memories of the dogs you met as a child – let’s do the same for your child and the kids in your neighborhood.

The steps to securing a great relationship between your child and your dog, have to do with teaching your child how to care about non-human creatures. How to be responsible around that dog, how to be compassionate, and so-on. Here are some specific things you can do:

  • Buy your dog from a well-known, reputable and responsible breeder. This is your best bet for getting a dog that has excellent temperament.
  • Avoid mixing big dogs and small children. On a related note, avoid mixing “yappy” dogs with small children. In both cases, there are risks of accidents and misunderstandings.
  • Before you buy a puppy, do some research about the breeds. Visit the list of dog breeds on my website, or the American Kennel Club’s website for any dog I didn’t write about. In either case, you’ll learn about size, temperament, and how well-suited they are for families with children.
  • Learn about puppy socialization training, and get started doing it as soon as your dog or puppy comes home. Puppy kindergarten is also a good idea, but socialization is mandatory.
  • The same goes for obedience training – learn in advance, and start as soon as your dog comes home. This is critical to having control over your dog in any situation. Tense situations can easily be dissolved by issuing the command “leave it” or “go to your spot,” but only if your dog is trained to obey.
  • Teach your child that the dog feels pain and can be injured. Pulling on ears, trying to ride the dog, trying to feed them toys or steal the dog’s toys – all these are common mistakes kids make with dogs, early in the relationship. Set the right example before you let your child directly interact with the dog, and explain things in advance.
  • Don’t let your dog and your young child be alone together. If your child isn’t tying his or her own shoes yet, then they’re not ready to be alone with the dog.

Best Dog Breed for Children – A Few Candidates

Please don’t skip down to this list without reading the above – you can’t just pick one of the breeds below and pat yourself on the back. With that said, there are several breeds that are better-suited than others to mingle with your children, for various reasons that are described in the links below:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Beagle
  • Bichon Frise (AKC link)
  • Boxer Dogs
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • English Bulldog
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador
  • Norfolk Terrier (AKC link)
  • Poodle
  • Whippet (AKC link)

Once again, these are by far not the only dogs that are good with children. They’re just a selection of popular breeds that are well-known for their exceptional temperament around kids.

As soon as you bring that new puppy home, get started with puppy socialization and obedience training. Involve your children in these processes, it’ll be a great way to bond as a family!

I strongly recommend the Secrets to Dog Training Home Study Course. It’s got loads of essential material to help you train your dog, and ensure a long, happy time with your human-canine family.

Return to my overall dog training guide, or go back to choosing a dog breed.

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