You have a child and now want to adopt a dog? Great idea! Your child and dog will most certainly be inseparable playmates! But which dog for a child? We’ve selected ten breeds of dogs for you to choose from, that could be a good match for your child!
Before starting on the breeds of dogs adapted to children, it seemed essential for us to remind two or three fundamentals to avoid mistakes and accidents! It will certainly seem obvious to you but it is better to be warned twice rather than once!
#1 A dog is not a toy!
Keep in mind that adopting a dog – let alone a puppy – will take time. You’ll need to take him out, feed him, play with him. Even if your child wants a dog at all costs today, don’t forget that he/she may get tired of him or not want to take him out in the rain: as an adult, you’re responsible for the dog that comes into your family. Get a dog for your child but also for yourself!
#2 Teach your child to interact with your dog
A child is a clumsy little being. Although he/she doesn’t necessarily want to hurt or frighten the dog that will join your family, it can happen: tail or ear pulled, dog mistaken for a horse, dog awakened in startle…
In the first few months of your dog’s arrival in the family, take the time to explain to your child the right behaviors to adopt. A dog, no matter how patient he is, can make a bad move if he’s woken up in startle, for example! These warnings are essential to facilitate the relationship.
As a general rule, avoid leaving your dog and your child under 7 years old alone (or even above if your child tends to be boisterous and careless).
Characteristics of a child-friendly dog
The following breeds have been selected according to several criteria. They are dogs that are:
- dynamic and playful – to keep up with your child’s play;
- patient – to support your child’s impulses;
- not very independent – to prevent your dog from being too withdrawn and annoyed by your child.
Be careful though: race-related characteristics can always differ from one specimen to another. Some dogs may thus have personalities that are far removed from their breed, due to their experience and character. Get to know your dog as well as possible to facilitate the relationship he will have with your child!
The German Spitz
The Pomeranian is the dwarf version of the German Spitz. A very playful ball of hair, he has the big advantage of being a very small dog.
Cute, he will be a good companion for your child and his small size will allow you to easily take him with you.
Be careful though: with less than 1.5 kilos, he’s a dog that remains fragile… it’s better if your child is already a few years old (7-8 years old) so that he doesn’t risk hurting him by playing with him!
The West Highland White Terrier
Also known as a Westie, the West Highland White Terrier is a very hardy and strong white dog. A Scottish hunting dog, he is dynamic and playful, which could make him your child’s best friend! What’s more, he’s the dog of Caesar’s brand and it’s a Westie who plays Dogmatix in Obelix and Asterix movies: that should be an argument in his favour!
The Pug, with his flat nose and bulging eyes is one of Youtube and social networks’ stars. Playful, patient and affectionate, he is a dog that has all the qualities to be a family dog! Your child will love him!
Coton de Tuléar
His crazy white hair and shaggy face should make you and your child fall for him! The Coton de Tuléar is a dynamic and cuddly little dog that make a perfect family dog. If you are in an apartment, this could be the breed of dogs for you!
The Boykin Spaniel
A much less known breed than the others, the Boykin Spaniel is a breed resulting from a cross between a cocker and a spaniel. From this mix comes out a sort of big cocker spaniel with drooping ears and sad eyes. He is absolutely very cute! Playful and cuddly, he will join your family with joy!
The Australian Shepherd / The Border Collie
These two races are quite close. Lovers of wide open spaces and sport, they will be suitable if you have a house and garden, and a sporty temperament. If you regularly walk and/or cycle with your family, the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie should be able to enjoy themselves at home!
On top of that, they are two very intelligent breeds that will love to learn new tricks with your child!
At first glance, the Boxer is a dog that can be a little scary. Very tall, with a flat nose and ears that used to be pointed, the boxer does not necessarily fit the profile!
And yet, he’s the perfect dog for a family: gentle, affectionate and playful, he’s sure to become your child’s best friend.
Kind, cuddly and dynamic, the Dalmatian is a family dog par excellence! Bonus: thanks to Disney, the Dalmatian will always be popular with children! Ready to adopt a Pongo or a Perdita?
Be careful though: like the Boxer (and the dogs that follow in this list), the Dalmatian is a big dog – which implies some adjustments in your life!
The Labrador / Golden Retriever
The Labrador and Golden Retriever are very, very often confused (the first one has shorter hair than the second one and can also have a chocolate coat!). Both are dog breeds known to be good companions for children: as patient as they are playful, they are good paws!
The Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a big teddy bear with brown, white and black fur. Sheepdog, he now guards the couch more than sheep: he is a calm and placid dog that will easily adapt to a family life. Nevertheless, he is a playful dog who will enjoy going for walks and playing with your child.
So, what dog breeds are you going to choose for your family?