5 Most Popular Dog Breeds for Children

Dog Breeds You Children Will Always Love

popular-dog-breedsGetting a new puppy is an exciting event for a child.  As fun and exciting as it is, it is important to understand that there is a lot of work that goes into raising a puppy especially when there are children in the home.

There are some breeds of dogs that are better suited for children and families than others.

These are the breeds that you may want to take a serious look at if you have decided to make the jump and get a new puppy for your family.

There are a few things that you will want to take into consideration before you purchase a pup.

The following questions are good to ask yourself to help determine exactly what you’re looking for.

  • Will the dog be a good fit for ALL family members? – Since you are purchasing a dog for the whole family you will want to concentrate on the breeds that love socializing with all family members and not one that tends to develop a close bond with only one member.
  • How much energy does the dog have? – There are all sizes and temperaments of dog out there to choose from. If you want a dog that loves to play and run around, look for the more high energy breeds but keep in mind that this means they will need ample amounts of exercise. Getting a high energy dog and expecting it to have a low energy temperament is recipe for disaster, not to mention an unhappy and stressed dog.
  • What kind of care does the breed require? – Certain breeds will require more care than others. One example of this is coat length. A long haired dog will require much more grooming than a short haired breed. It will also require more housecleaning since long haired dogs have more hair to shed. Also pay attention to any breed specific issues the dog may have or that will require more care.
  • Do you want a puppy or grown dog? – Raising a puppy can be a full time job but there are many positives to getting the dog as a puppy rather than integrating a grown dog into the family. If the kids are older, an older puppy or grown dog could be an excellent fit. Much of this depends on the temperament of the older dog.
  • Do you have other pets? – If you have other dogs or cats already in the home, you want to choose a dog that will get along with your existing pets. A little bit of grumpiness between dogs getting to know each other is normal but you don’t want to have to break up dog fights every day. Look for a puppy or dog that readily accepts others and take the time to integrate them into the home with your existing pets in a way that doesn’t breed jealousy or resentment for the existing pets either.

Once you have answered these questions, you can take a look at the different breeds of dogs to see which one would fit the best into your family.  Below we have listed 5 of the most popular breed of dogs for children, according to the American Kennel Club.  The breeds are in no particular order.  We have also provided some additional information about each of the breeds featured here.

1. Bulldog

bulldogBulldogs are medium energy dogs that are not very tall. They have a calm, friendly and courageous personality that blends well with children.

You want to look for bulldog pups that have this kind demeanor.  Don’t confused courageous with aggressive. You want to steer clear of bulldogs or any other type of dog that shows aggression.

If you are purchasing a registered puppy, spend some time with the parents to see what kind of temperament they have.  They should be loving, friendly, and kind, not suspicious and aggressive.

Bulldogs in general have a tendency to form a strong connection to the children in their lives.  They are very gentle and protective as well.   There is not much grooming and exercise required by a Bulldog which makes them easy to take care of.

Because of their shorter noses, they can overheat fairly quickly so be sure they have ample shade when the temperatures are up and plenty of cool water on hand whenever they want a drink.  An automatic water fountain is a good choice to ensure they have plenty available at all times. Bulldogs typically live around 10-12 years.  The Bulldog will need to be groomed weekly to stay in the healthiest shape but this is not labor intensive grooming.

Cleaning their face and ears with pet wipes daily keeps them looking and feeling great.  Nails need to be trimmed on a regular basis so they don’t get too long and crack.  Make sure to check their ears often and clean them to get rid of wax buildup and debris.  Also, make sure to check their skin folds and keep them clean so infection doesn’t become a problem.  Last but not least, make sure to brush their teeth regularly.  Include a good flea treatment, especially in warm climates and feed them a good quality dog food and they will be happy.

2. Beagle

beagleThis small breed is a medium energy dog that is very curious and merry. They are easy going dogs that love being played with.

All in all, these are happy little dogs that make great pets for children due to their easy going temperament.  One of the things people tend to like about beagles is their small size.  They have a lifespan of 12-15 years.

They don’t take up a lot of room and they are usually too short to sweep valuables off the table with their tails.  They have a short haired coat that requires a good brushing at least twice a week due to the fact that they tend to be big shedders.  The easiest and best way to deal with this shedding is with a shedding tool or hound glove.

Grooming with this a couple of times each week will keep their coats in excellent condition. Because they have long ears that hang down, it is important to check their ears on a regular basis for debris and wax buildup. Not tending to this properly can result in ear infections.  A good dog ear cleaner can keep their ears clean and free of problems.

Also be sure to keep their nails trimmed. Beagles are naturally pack dogs and enjoy being around other pets and people.  They are also very curious which can lead to them getting into things if they are not given enough exercise and entertainment.  Feed them a good quality food for their age and they will be even happier and healthier.

3. Newfoundland

newfoundlandThis impressively large dog may look intimidating but they are one of the sweetest, most patient breeds there are.

They make excellent children’s companions and are very devoted as well.  They do not have problems with being ill-tempered or grumpy and are medium energy dogs that enjoy regular exercise.

Their coats are very heavy and the dog itself is big-boned and strong.  This breed eats a lot so be sure to get a high quality dog food for large breeds to ensure they get all they need.

Newfoundlands have a lifespan of 10-12 years.  Grooming is easy with this lovable breed. The occasional bath and weekly brushing with a good brush for longer, thicker coats is all they will need unless they get dirty.

Their nails are strong and they grow fast so this will need to be monitored on a regular basis so they don’t get to long.  Check their ears on a regular basis to prevent ear infections and make sure to take care of their teeth regularly as well.

4. Golden Retriever

golden-retrieverOne of the most popular of all the breeds when it comes to children is the Golden Retriever.

They are highly intelligent, very friendly and devoted as well.  They are considered a large breed and need plenty of room to run around and release their energy.

They are very eager dogs that miss nothing and are commonly used to as seeing-eye dogs due to their temperaments and intelligence.

They have a long coat that requires simple, weekly brushing a long with the occasional bath.  Checking the ears, teeth and nails should be a weekly part of the grooming routine to ensure that no problems arise.  They have a lifespan of 12-14 years.

Golden Retrievers are excellent for kids and are more than happy to run around with them and play.  This breed is perfect for an invisible dog fence so they have freedom to run around the yard, but the protection of the invisible fence to keep them safely where they belong.

They also have a tendency to love water and can enjoy playing with the backyard hose.  They are a happy go lucky breed that will bring a lot of energy and happiness to the home.

5. Labrador Retriever

labrador-retrieverThis friendly dog is the most popular breed of all the dogs. They are active, outgoing and very friendly.

They do well with households that have other pets and enjoy interacting with other dogs and people.  Labradors have a lifespan of 12-14 years.

They are high energy dogs that are often used for hunting. This high energy personality is not a problem unless they are not given the exercise and mental stimulation they need.

They have a short haired, easy to take care of coat that requires weekly brushing and the occasional bath. Take care of the ears, nails and teeth and they will look great, feel great and stay healthy.

Making sure that this breed gets out and runs every day will ensure mental health and a dog that isn’t causing trouble out of boredom. Because of this high energy, they love to run around a lot, which makes them fun for children.  Make sure you get a good quality flea treatment for dogs if they spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in warm weather.

There are other breeds that do well for homes with children, so if none of these breeds appeal to you, take a look at some of the other suggestions. These include Boxers, Weimaraners, and a few other breeds.  If a dog is raised properly and has good breeding, almost every dog can be great with kids.

Introducing Your Children to a New Puppy or Dog

Training is so important and so is teaching your child how to interact with a puppy or dog.  It is not the responsibility of the dog to make allowances for a child that is treating them roughly.  From day one make sure that your children know how to act around this new member of the family.

Give the puppy or dog a place to escape safely – It is very important that the puppy/dog has a place to escape the attention of enthusiastic children. This retreat needs to be a place the children are not allowed to bother them.  It can be another room, their dog crate and/or their dog bed.

This is very important, as dogs and puppies need down time too and children can easily over-stimulate a dog. Make sure to enforce the rule that the dog has a place that is off-limits to the children in the household. As they get older they will know where to go when they have had enough play and want to be alone for awhile.

new-puppy-or-dogTeach your children how to pet a dog – This may sound very basic, but young children don’t really understand being gentle with dogs and can easily pat them on the head too hard as well as being too rough with them.

Children can pull ears or tails and even lay on the dog without realizing the dog may not like it.  It is up to the parent to educate the child on the right way to pet and play with the new dog or puppy.

Make sure that you exhibit the right behavior for them to have. Gentle petting and stroking on the head or back is always a great way to start.

If the child is old enough to walk the dog, make sure that they know not to drag the dog around and use a good quality dog leash that is secure and that allows the dog room to check out their surroundings.

Let the dog have time to explore and sniff around without being pulled on and they will look forward to those walks every day.

Use the inside new-puppy voice – Children are prone to shrieks, screams and loud talking and laughing. These high-pitched tones can cause the puppy to act aggressively toward them children.

It is important that the children understand that they need to use inside voices when talking to the puppy and interacting with it or an older dog. High pitched noises can scare puppies as well, so explaining to them that loud noises frighten the puppy can help them remember to interact quieter.

Teach your children proper puppy etiquette – There are things that a child should never do with a dog or puppy and it is the responsibility of the parent to teach these things to the child or children.

These things involve pulling the ears, tail or hair, approaching the dog or puppy while it is eating, jerking on the leash if it is being walked, hitting the puppy in any way, grabbing their face.  These are all things that can cause the puppy or dog to snap at or even nip the child.  Puppies and dogs should be handled gently and with affection and care.  Teaching the children early on how to interact with their pets will keep everyone safe and happy.