Parents are smart to research which dog breeds are best for their children. Below are a few breed suggestions and tips as you consider which breed will function best in your family.
- Labrador Retriever – Labs are a very popular family dog. Generally this breed is non-aggressive, and it’s playful, easygoing demeanor makes it a great fit for children of all ages.
- Golden Retriever – Similar to Labs in personality, Goldens are mild mannered and enjoy being around families and other people. These dogs are easy to train are gentle with children.
- Beagle – Despite a Beagle’s bark, they are also non-aggressive. Beagles are great around people, but don’t like being left alone. Watch out for Beagles’ boredom to lead to behavior problems if left alone for too long.
- Basset Hound – This breed is good with children of all ages. They are known for their docile nature and gentleness. Their long backs need to be supported when they are picked up, and an eager child can accidently injure them.
- German Shepherd – This dog is good for older children. They are playful, loyal dogs with considerable size and strength. Start training your German Shepherd early; without training they can quickly become a handful.
- Cocker Spaniel – These lap dogs are sensitive and sweet and enjoy the attention of children. Cocker Spaniels are obedient with training and friendly around people.
- Poodle – The standard sized Poodle is intelligent and eager to please. Labradoodles are a mix of Poodle and Labrador Retriever and can be a great alternative to a Lab for children with allergies to pet dander as Labradoodles are a hypoallergenic breed.
- Cairn Terrier – This sturdy breed is great for families that prefer a smaller dog. Cairns are about 10 inches tall and weigh about 13 pounds and are good with children.
- Pug – This affectionate breed loves being part of a family. Outgoing and mischievous, they make playful companions for children.
Keep in mind this list is not exhaustive. Each dog is an individual and can be an exception to the rule. With that in mind, here are a few breeds to be more cautious of around young children and toddlers.
- Dominant and Willful Breeds – Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Coonhounds, Border Collies and Weimaraners all have personalities that make them difficult to train. These dogs may function better in homes with older children.
- Toy Dog Breeds – Young children may play too roughly with Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas or other breeds under 10 pounds causing serious injury to the dog. Small dogs can also be more temperamental around children and may snap at them.