When a family with children considers bringing a dog into their home, weighing the compatibility of various breeds with young people is a good step. Once you have narrowed down your list to a few promising breeds you can then move on to identifying the right puppy or dog that meets your criteria. Ten breeds that can be excellent companions for kids include:
1. Bichon Frise
This happy and affectionate dog really enjoys spending time with humans and will be a wonderful pet for kids, especially if socialised as a puppy to be with youngsters. The breed is gifted with a hypoallergenic coat that sheds little if groomed properly, helpful for families with allergies. Expect this dog to be easily trained and fun to be around.
If your children are eager to play with the new dog, a beagle won’t let them down. Tireless when chasing a ball and running about the yard, a beagle is a charming pup who will keep children occupied and active. Sturdy and smart, they also get along well with other pets in the family too.
This is another breed of dog that loves playing with children and the boxer will consider the whole family to be part of their pack. Loyal and gentle with kids, this breed is fun to have around and they never get bored with childish games.
4. Labrador or Golden Retriever
Smart and much acclimated to people of all ages and sizes, these breeds are often used as service dogs because of their adaptable and trainable nature. Calm and loving, they are gentle with kids and the rest of the family, and have a quiet side that can be soothing.
One of the iconic ‘Nanny Dogs’, this gentle giant is a genius with children – patient and loyal, even to the youngest ‘hair puller’. Originally a working dog, imagine how much fun your kids would have as this strong, willing partner drags them behind in a wagon or lets them climb on top for a ride.
6. Hungarian Vizsla
If you are always on the lookout for activities to keep your energetic brood occupied, look no further than this eager to be walked, or run, breed. Caring and obedient, a Vizsla is extremely loyal and always up for another round of vigorous play.
Intelligent, highly trainable and easy on families who suffer from animal hair sensitivities, a poodle in any size is a great choice. An ancient breed used for hunting, they now come in all colours and range from tiny through to very large.
8. Rough Collie
Good watchdogs, this type of collie is nevertheless very calm and gentle with its own family, including children. It may partner better with older kids, but is trainable and very interested in pleasing its humans of any age.
9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Full of playful energy, this dog is able to fit into a variety of different lifestyles, country or city. Non-aggressive and very sociable, they make great family pets. They will love your kids and enjoy playing, walking and snuggling with the whole family.
Some of the best dogs for children are crossbreeds, exhibiting the characteristics of their mixed ancestry. Take a day to visit your local animal shelter and spend time walking or just playing with the dogs that are looking for a home. The chances are good that the perfect pet will pick you and your kids, rather than the other way around.