Do your kids constantly beg and plead for a dog? If your answer is yes (and you’ve finally given in to the idea), then we can help. But how exactly do you go about choosing a dog from the multitude of breeds available?
While Lassie and Lady and the Tramp are fun to watch, they’re probably not the best way to choose a dog for your kid. Instead, choose the breed by its disposition, temperament, size, and energy level, all of which should suit your family’s lifestyle.
Ten Kid-Friendly Dogs Approved by PetMD
#10 The Bull Dog
The Bull Dog (not to be confused with the aggressive “Pit Bull”) has a sturdy build that is perfect for kids who like to roughhouse. However, it won’t win any awards for “most energetic dog.” A docile, friendly, and loyal dog, it gets along well with other pets and dogs, too. The Bull Dog is comfortable living in large houses as well as small apartments.
#9 The Beagle
While your beagle most likely won’t have a bird named Woodstock as his best friend, you can, by all means, name him (or her) Snoopy. Originally kept as hunting dogs, Beagles fit well in homes with active kids, as they are sturdily built and never too tired to play a game. Smart, friendly, and happy, the Beagle usually gets along with other pets, too (except for a bit of chasing here and there). However, they do shed, and require frequent brushing and bathing.
#8 The Bull Terrier
Unfairly compared to the Pit Bull at times, the Bull Terrier was bred to be a companion dog—friendly and loving towards grown-ups and kids alike. This well-framed dog also has a high threshold for pain, making it perfect for rambunctious children who are learning how to properly treat dogs.
The Bull Terrier can get quite rambunctious and requires plenty of playtime. Therefore, it is a perfect dog for a large family. The Bull Terrier will return your affection by being very protective of your children.
#7 The Collie
This is the dog Lassie made famous. Collies are a very gentle and predictable breed, rarely biting its human family and easily trainable. Perfect for families that are unfamiliar with dogs. Collies get along great with children and love to please their owners and protect their family.
#6 The Newfoundland
Nicknamed “Nature’s Babysitter,” the Newfoundland dog loves children and is very protective of them. Gentle, kind, and patient, this breed is almost like the Mother Teresa of dogs. Both young and old will quickly fall in love with this wonderfully sweet, large dog.
The Newfoundland best suits a family with large open spaces. And although it is known to drool and shed excessively, it is not considered a proper dog for the yard. This breed wants to be inside with its family. Wouldn’t you? The Newfoundland is also a great swimmer and has been known to save lives in emergency situations.
#5 The Vizsla
This may be a breed you haven’t heard of before, but it’s actually one of the best dog breeds for kids. The Vizsla has a gentle disposition and manner, and is loyal, quiet, and affectionate. Additionally, it is obedient, confident and smart, forming close bonds with its family and able to learn new tricks quickly. Best of all, the Vizsla has very little “doggy” smell about it.
#4 Irish Setter
Known for its red coat, the Irish Setter is playful, energetic, loves being around people, and plays well with children. This doggy needs lots of exercise, and is a good match for energetic kids. A smart and trainable companion, the Irish setter is perfect for people with a yard.
#3 The Poodle
Often given rather curious haircuts by their owners, the Poodle is a very smart and gentle dog. It’s also great for kids with allergies, as it sheds very little; it does, however, require scheduled grooming. This is a proud and elegant dog that is both caring and loyal. Seldom annoyed or bored, the Poodle’s good nature, friendly demeanor, and patience make it an excellent playing partner for a child.
#2 Labrador Retriever
This is one of the most popular dog breeds, and for good reason—the Lab is playful, patient, loving, protective and reliable. Its beauty is only matched by its sweet personality and intelligence. What does this mean for you? A perfect family pet.
#1 The Golden Retriever
Not as big as the Lab, the Golden Retriever is a confident, smart, kind, and loyal dog. Neither aggressive nor timid, the Golden Retriever is extremely patient, which is perfect for kids. While it does need a lot of exercise, its love of play makes this an easy thing to achieve.
So now that you know a thing or two about kid-friendly dogs, choosing one for your home and your family should be a little bit simpler. And remember, highly-strung small dogs are usually not the best choice for children. Also, keep in mind that mutts from the pound are a fantastic option, as they are often more docile and well-tempered. Good luck!
Originally published on PetMD