How to Pick the Perfect Pooch for Your Kids

Filed under: Pets, Adoption, Relationships, Expert Advice: Babies, Expert Advice: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Expert Advice: Big Kids, Expert Advice: Tweens

Look for tolerant breeds when picking a puppy to join your family. Credit: Susan.W.Patton, Flickr

If you've decided to adopt a dog for your family, it's time to do your homework. Because while all dogs require commitment and financial resources, some definitely make better family pets than others.

When choosing a dog breed, there are certain traits you should look for: A good dog for children is friendly, calm and most of all, tolerant.

Before selecting a dog, consider the amount of space, time and energy you can offer this new member of your family. A very large, active dog is probably not well-suited for apartment-dwellers, and busy families should consider a breed that can adapt to being alone during the day. Families with very young children should avoid tiny dogs, as they can be easily injured if dropped or handled roughly.

To help you get started in your search for the perfect pooch, we've compiled a list of some of the best dogs for kids. Click on the links for more detailed information about each breed.

  • Beagle: Beagles are friendly and easy-going. Their short hair and compact size make them easy to live with and they're good with other dogs, as well as humans. Bred to hunt, Beagles need plenty of exercise and activities to keep them out of trouble.
  • Golden Retriever: A beautiful dog with a long, golden coat, Golden Retrievers are the most popular breed in the nation, according to the American Kennel Club. They are easily trained, have a sweet temperament and are known for their loyalty. This dog has lots of energy and needs room to roam.
  • Pug: With their wrinkled faces and expressive eyes, Pugs are playful and even-tempered. Their short hair is easy to maintain and their exercise needs are minimal.
  • Bichon Frise: As happy as it is beautiful, the fluffy white Bichon Frise is a playful dog who needs plenty of exercise. With fast-growing hair, the Bichon requires regular grooming. It doesn't shed and is well-suited for allergy sufferers.
  • Labrador Retriever: Intelligent and friendly, this dog has a yellow, brown or black coat. Long a family favorite, a Lab is non-aggressive, eager to please and known to be quite adaptable.
  • Poodle: Active and proud, the Poodle can sometimes be a little shy. Varying in color, the Poodle's coat is hypoallergenic and requires regular grooming. Despite their reputation as dumb, Poodles are actually quite intelligent.
  • Great Dane: A gentle giant, the Great Dane needs a home that can accommodate its extremely large size and exercise needs. Sometimes referred to as the "king of dogs" the Great Dane's spirit and friendly disposition have made it a popular family pet.
  • Samoyed: With light colored hair, black lips and blue eyes, the looks of a Samoyed are striking. A good-natured dog who enjoys the company of humans, the Samoyed requires patient and consistent training along with lots of exercise.
  • Boston Terrier: Highly intelligent and determined, this made-in-America dog is actually a cross between an English Bulldog and a white English Terrier. With a gentle disposition and moderate exercise needs, the Boston Terrier is easily trained and makes for a loyal companion.
  • Mutt: Because its parentage can be unknown, adopting a mutt requires a little guesswork. While a mutt puppy's breed mix can sometimes be determined by its appearance, adopting an older mixed-breed dog whose behavior and size is already known might be a better choice.
Whichever breed you choose, it should be a decision that your family makes together. After all, the dog you bring home will be a part of your lives for a very long time.

Related: How dogs and toddlers are alike.

ReaderComments (Page 1 of 5)


Flickr RSS



AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.