What dog breeds are good with kids. How to pick a puppy that is good with children. Tips for parents when selecting a new dog or puppy. How to choose the best dog or puppy for a family.
Although this article will provide information for
to get a new dog, or puppy, is is primarily written with the thought of a family with young children. Children add a dynamic of concern as they can be hurt by a puppy, and can also be a risk to the puppy itself.
If you are considering getting a puppy for your family, this is important information to read first.
Dog or Puppy?
If your children are under 8 years old, and especially if they are very active, you may find that getting a mature dog is the better option. Puppies are typically playful, they tend to nibble everything, including your child and their toys, they also tend to jump up a lot and a larger pup can knock down a smaller child. Equally so a parent must be concerned that a playful child could accidentally hurt a tiny puppy, especially a toy breed. Note that if you do not have time to watch your child with the puppy (or dog) do not get one.
One final thought is that adult dogs are often already spayed or neutered, so it can save you quite a lot of money compared to getting a puppy and still having to go through the procedure.
Adult dogs should be house trained, this is worth considering since it can be very difficult to properly house train a puppy if you have young children.
What Breed of Puppy is Best with Kids?
You may want to avoid any of the very intelligent dogs, as well as those bred to hunt and kill. Smart dogs are constantly looking for signals and kids are not familiar enough with body language to be safe. Unless given enough mental stimulation a smart dog can be a real handful. Terriers were bred to hunt and kill, they tend to be more mouth aggressive than other dogs meaning they are often looking for something to chew. If they happen to select one of your child's toys and your child tries to take it back, this could be a problem. Again, if you cannot watch your child and dog together, do not get one of any kind.
Be aware of how much mental and physical exercise a dog breed needs, if you are busy with children and cannot meet the demands of a particular dog it will be bored and destructive.
Toy breeds should be avoided with small children, these dogs are fragile and easily hurt. Spitz breeds are sometimes moody and not always good with kids.
One of the best breeds with kids is the Shih Tzu, or for people who want a larger, more active dog, the Golden Retriever. Consider mutts too!
Where to Find Your New Dog or Puppy
The best place to look for a new canine pet is your local SPCA or humane society (you can look on petfinder.com too) as these animals will be veterinarian checked, wormed, and vaccinated (they may even be spayed or neutered too) saving you expense and grief that so often comes when getting a free puppy and finding out later it is sick. There is a fee for adoption but it is generally lower than taking a free puppy to the vet and having the medical done to it. There is no reason to get any pet if you are unwilling to have it vet checked, vaccinated, wormed, and so forth.
The reason why animal shelters are such good places to look for pets is that they have the best selection. If you go to someone's home they may have one litter of pups, but most shelters have over a dozen very different dogs and pups, allowing for the best selection in terms of breeds and behavior. As well they usually have health guarantees allowing you more peace of mind, and will accept the dog returned if something does not work out.
Although pet stores may seem like a tempting place to buy a pup, they are usually a poor choice, offering cute, but over priced pups. More and more pet stores now offer shelter pets for adoption, which would be acceptable.
Selecting your New Dog or Puppy
If you are looking for your new dog, or puppy, at an animal shelter, first go without the kids, tell the staff what you are looking for, a bit about your family dynamic; how much time you have for a dog, how old are the kids, how much dog experience you have. The staff should help point you in the right direction and discourage you from making a bad choice. You can bring your kids later to meet the dog.
Do not pick a shy dog, or puppy, they would be better off in a quiet home without children. Instead pick one that is outgoing and curious.
Look for a puppy that approaches you, is bright eyed and playful. The tail should be wagging not held low which would indicate uncertainly. Nervous dogs are sometimes more apt to bite.
Note that puppies with big paws grow into big dogs.
If you are buying a costly purebred insist on seeing the parents, if they are not friendly the puppy may not grow up to be friendly. Ask to see the dog's parent's certification for hips, eyes, and ears. Ask to see the parent's show records – which will demonstrate quality. Ask what kind of guarantees the pup comes with, and get everything in writing, you should get the registration papers at time of purchase. If there are no registration papers, the dog is not legally considered a purebred.
All in all if you have done your homework in terms of breed selection as it relates to your family and your lifestyle you should make the correct decision when choosing your new puppy or dog.
What to Expect when you Bring Home a New Dog