Photo © Kerry Michaels
Age and Size
- Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever: These breeds are usually great with kids and pretty smart, but they can be very hyperactive if they do not get enough exercise.
- Poodle: Believe it or not, the Poodle is extremely smart and has a great temperament. Plus, you have a size choice – toy, miniature, or standard. Regular grooming is necessary.
- Bichon Frise: This little cotton-balls breed loves to play, but is not usually too hyper. It is also a small dog, which is perfect for your little humans. Regular grooming is necessary.
- Beagle: These dogs are friendly, clever and not too big, making them very suitable for kids. Though some can be a bit high-strung, they typically respond very well to training.
- Cairn Terrier: These active little dogs seem to have a natural affinity for kids. They can keep up with them and tolerate just about anything, but are still gentle.
- Collie and Shetland Sheepdog: These are both very calm, gentle and tolerant breeds that often do well with children of all ages and sizes – kind of like Lassie.
- German Shepherd Dog: This breed is extremely loyal and protective, but MUST be well-trained. The GSD does have a playful side, especially at younger ages.
- Mixed-breed dogs: Mutts are typically well-balanced and intelligent. Overall, they are truly amazing dogs! Plus, you can save a dog from life in a shelter.
- The Australian Labradoodle is also an excellent dog with children of all ages. Not only is the Australian Labradoodle hypoallergenic and non-shedding, but it is also highly intelligent and easily trainable.
Finding the Family Dog
If you choose to get a purebred dog from a breeder, thoroughly research the reputations of multiple breeders. Ask for references and talk to fellow dog lovers in your community. Your vet may also be able to advise you. Once you choose a breeder, spend a lot of time talking about the temperament and socialization history of the pups. A good breeder will know the pups and parents well and share information freely.
Home at Last
Congratulations, you have found a new dog for your family. Having a dog is a wonderful way to enrich your child’s development and create beautiful memories to be treasured for years to come. The bond between dogs and kids can be magical. Remember, though – your work is not done. In fact, it will never be. Training your dog and your children together is a life-long project. Responsible dog ownership goes hand-in-hand with responsible parenting. Good luck, and enjoy!