Deciding to get a dog for your family is a major commitment. That is especially true when you are looking for kid friendly house dogs.
You need a dog that will respect adults and kids, but treat the kids gently.
This article looks at 9 of the breeds that are great kid friendly house dogs.
Considerations When Choosing a Dog
As you know, there are many dog breeds to choose from. Therefore, you want to consider how a dog will fit in with your family.
Bringing a dog into the home means you are committing yourself to caring for her for many years. At the very least, you’re making a commitment to train her, feed her, and care for her.
Here are some of the things to keep in mind:
Every dog breed has its own temperament profile.
In fact, the American Temperament Test Society tests dogs to quantify how they behave in their environments. One of their goals is to educate dog owners about dog’s behavioral strengths and weaknesses.
As a potential dog owner you will want to get a sense of how friendly or aggressive each breed is. However, even more important, you want an idea of how an individual dog will interact with each family member.
I think you need to take three different “sizes” into account.
In no order they are:
- the size of the dog
- the size of your family and your living space
- the size of your kids
It’s possible that a small dog will be too fragile for rough and tumble games.
Also, a small child may feel too intimidated by a large dog. You will want to avoid a situation where the dog thinks it is above any of the children in the family pecking order.
Here again you need to take into account the energy level of your family and the energy level of the breed.
Do a want a dog you can play fetch with? Or a dog who is content to sleep at your feet while you watch TV?
Every dog is going to need regular visits to the vet. That goes without saying.
But what about every day care needs for your dog? Some breeds will need regular visits with a dog groomer. Or do you want to learn how to do all of that yourself at home?
Some breeds are easier to train than others.
If you have a large yard where your dog can romp around, you may not need to go for daily walks. But if you live in a small apartment, then you may need to go for morning and evening walks.
Kid Friendly House Dogs
Here are some breeds that have a good reputation for behaving well with children.
Even so, it’s important to evaluate each individual puppy or adult to assess his personality and life experience.
All of these nine breeds are kid-friendly, so I’ve listed them in alphabetical order.
Temperament: Beagles have a sterling reputation for tolerating kids and other dogs. However, they tend to be independent and will follow their nose wherever it leads them.
Size of Breed: Beagles come in two sizes. They are either under 13 inches tall or between 13-15 inches.
Energy Level: They enjoy walks and will quickly pick up on interesting scents. This is not a breed that will play fetch. They tend to be vocal and are known for their baying bark.
Care Needed: They have smooth, short coats and do not require much in the way of grooming.
Temperament: Collies are herding dogs that are easy to train. They are good with children but should be watched when around other dogs.
Size of Breed: Adult dogs stand between 22 – 26 inches and weigh about 60 pounds.
Energy Level: They are known to be energetic and need regular exercise.
Care Needed: You should plan on giving your collie a good brushing several times a week. Collies have a double coat that sheds more during the spring and fall.
Temperament: Labrador Retrievers are sporting dogs that are generally friendly and outgoing. They are eager to please and easy to train.
Size of Breed: Adults weigh between 60 – 80 pounds. They are about 23 inches tall.
Energy Level: As you would expect with hunting and working dogs, they need lots of exercise.
Care Needed: They have a short, water-resistant coat that can get by with a weekly brushing.
Temperament: This calm breed is trainable and good around kids.
Size of Breed: The French Bulldog is a rather small breed. Adults are about 12 inches tall and weigh less than 30 pounds.
Energy Level: The French Bulldog is known as a calm breed that saves it’s barking for special occasions.
Care Needed: They have a short coat and only need a minimal amount of brushing and bathing.
Temperament: The Golden Retriever is good with other dogs and with kids. Its eager to please nature makes it very trainable.
Size of Breed: Adults range in height from 22 – 24 inches. They weigh about 60 – 75 pounds.
Energy Level: They are an energetic breed which needs lots of exercise and other activity.
Care Needed: They have a medium coat that will require brushing at least once a week.
Temperament: Dachshunds are hounds and therefore can be a bit aggressive. Though they do well with children, it is best to have some supervision.
Size of Breed: This small breed is only about 6 inches tall and weighs a mere 11 pounds or less.
Energy Level: They are a vocal breed that does need regular exercise.
Care Needed: They do not shed a lot. Their short coat will need at least weekly brushing.
Temperament: Poodles are eager to please and thus quite trainable. They are good with kids but should be watched with other dogs.
Size of Breed: Your Standard Poodle will grow to be 15 or more inches tall. The male dogs weigh about 65 pounds, but the female tops out at about 45 pounds.
Energy Level: Poodles are known to be very smart and energetic.
Care Needed: Though they have a long coat they tend not to shed. They do require professional grooming. You should plan on clipping their coat about every 45 days.
Temperament: The Siberian Husky has a reputation for being friendly with other dogs and constantly curious.
Size of Breed: The adults range from 20 up to 24 inches high. They weigh from 35 – 60 pounds.
Energy Level: They are full of energy that you will need to channel into constructive activity.
Care Needed: They have a medium coat that needs only weekly brushing.
West Highland White Terrier
Temperament: They have an agreeable manner which makes them rather easy to train. They are great with kids.
Size of Breed: West Highland White Terriers, also called Westies, are a small breed that are only about 10 inches high and weigh a mere 15-20 pounds.
Energy Level: In the past they were used to hunt rodents in Scotland. The breed needs regular exercise for good health.
Care Needed: They have a medium coat that should be brushed daily. They are breed that does not shed very much.
Lots More Kid Friendly House Dogs
I hope these 9 kid-friendly house dogs have given you some good ideas about a dog that might be right for your family.
If not, do not despair. There are many other breeds that you can consider.
In addition, don’t forget to consider a mixed breed dog for your family. Many folks have found a mutt to be the best choice for their circumstances.
BTW, if you’re getting a new dog, be sure to check out these good dog training books.