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Top five dog breeds for homes with children
* Bernese Mountain Dog
* Bichon Frise
* Boston Terrier
* Brittany Spaniel
* English Setter
* Gordon Setter
* Irish Setter
* Labrador Retriever
* Siberian Husky
* Springer Spaniel
* Standard Poodles
With proper training of both the children and the dog, any one of the above breeds should be able to adapt without many problems. Of course, there are some individuals, both human and canine, that simply refuse to get along.
Watch for warning signs like overprotection of food, toys, bed, or an area that he has claimed as his own. Be especially careful with very young toddlers that may crawl right up to the dog while it is eating. Even small dogs can leave a nasty bite on a small child. Be careful not to let children play tug of war or wrestle with dominant breeds, when the dog wins, he will feel empowered and will consider your child inferior. This may lead to more aggressive actions against your child.
Some dog breeds to avoid, or at least be wary of are listed below. Obviously there are exceptions to every breed, but research shows that the following are some of the worst breeds for homes with small children (alphabetically):
* Chihuahuas - Intolerant, especially toddlers and infants
* Chow Chows - Often bond to just one person, can be very cranky with kids
* Dachshunds - Intolerant
* Dalmatians - Too excitable, prone to jumping on and knocking down kids
* Dobermans - A dominant breed, may consider child inferior
* Giant Schnauzers - A dominant breed, may challenge even adults
* Heelers - Prone to nipping at legs and heels of children
* Lhasa Apso - Intolerant, may be intolerant of some adults too
* Malamutes - A dominant breed, may consider child inferior
* Mini Pinchers - Intolerant, fierce for their size
* Pekinese - Intolerant
* Pit Bulls - Either adore children or hate them, Powerful bite can break bones
* Rhodesian Ridgeback - A dominant breed, may consider child inferior
* Rottweiler - A dominant breed, may consider child inferior
* Toy Poodle - May be injured by children, may bite in self defense
These following breeds may adapt to family life but should have come with warning labels attached. Dogs chosen from these breeds should be very carefully screened individuals that were raised in homes that also had children. They should be well socialized with many children from puppyhood, and they should most definitely be obedience trained.
* Cocker Spaniel - Inbreeding has caused personality defects in some pups
* German Shepherd
* Golden Retriever
* Great Dane
* Great Pyrenees
* Irish Setter - Inbreeding has caused personality defects in some pups
* Irish Wolfhound
* Old English Sheepdog - Either like children or hate them
* Saint Bernard - Either like children or hate them
So which dogs are the very best breeds for homes with children? In my opinion, there are five.
I think the very best suited for the position, is the Labrador Retriever. They are intelligent, affectionate and can take a lot of abuse from children without getting grumpy. A Lab is most likely to lie on the floor, wagging its tail, as your toddler plays his stomach as a drum set. They should receive firm obedience training, but they will make excellent pets.
Second is the Golden Retriever. They are reliable, loving and very sociable dogs that will also be able to take some rough handling from children without getting too upset.
Third is the Basset Hound. Lazy and stubborn they most certainly may be, but also very sweet and gentle. They adore children and can be very affectionate with them.
Fourth is the Beagle. They are affectionate, intelligent and lively dogs best suited for children over the age of six, but somewhat adaptable.
Fifth is the Bulldog. They can be very good with children over the age of six if the child is taught to respect them. They are generally good natured, but very strong dogs.
The best choice for young children is always going to be a puppy born and raised in a household with children. A good dog is one that already has a history of pleasant interaction with youngsters.
Introduce the dog to your children before you agree to purchase or adopt, and make sure that there aren't any personality conflicts. The dog should be attentive, loving and gentle even if the children are a little rough with their affection. If the dog or puppy plays well with your children in it's current home, it will probably play well with them in your home.
Best of luck, and happy puppy hunting!
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