Children usually love dogs. And even those who are afraid initially, grow to love these adorable creatures once they get to know them. There are many small dog breeds that are suitable as pets for children, in case your little one is asking for a dog of his/her own.
I think dogs teach us a lot about all the things that matter most. Firstly, they love unconditionally! If you forget to feed your dog for a day, he will still love you. If you are too busy all day and do not spend enough time with him, he will be sad, yes, but he will still love you. No matter what, your dog will love you. Dogs do not hold grudges and are never vengeful. I cannot remember any incidence of a dog getting back at someone for something they did. Dogs are the perfect example of living in the moment. They are not concerned with the past or the future. If you yell at your dog right now, and then ask him to come play with you within 4 minutes, all the yelling will be forgotten and forgiven and he will play with you like it never happened! Dogs are always there to comfort you when you are low. With them, you always come first. If you are hurt and your dog is hurt, your dog will not sit there licking his wounds. He will come to lick your wounds believing it will make you feel better! They are loyal and faithful as well, and will never leave your side if you lose your money, looks or glory.
They love, they care, they forgive, they forget, they are selfless and loyal, and they have but the most basic expectation of being fed once a day. They are the best friend anyone could ask for, and if you have the privilege of having a dog as a friend in your life, consider yourself truly blessed! These creatures never cease to amaze me. It’s incredible how much they can teach you without uttering a single word, or referring to any book! Give your child a dog, and half his education will be taken care of. It truly is the best gift you can give your child.
Choosing a Suitable Dog
When choosing a dog for children, a number of factors need to be kept in mind. People are tempted to select a dog based on its looks. However, looks can be deceptive, as a cute, innocent looking dog might be aggressive, and a strong, stern looking dog might be docile. Hence, it is important to choose a dog based on its temperament, rather than its looks. Some dog breeds are known to be very friendly and gentle, while other dog breeds have a reputation of being rough and feisty. However, one should not select a dog based purely on its breed either, as there are always exceptions. The temperament of a dog depends on the individual dog, as much as it does on the breed it belongs to.
Another factor that needs to be kept in mind, while choosing small dogs for children, is the temperament of the child who is going to be with the dog. If the child is boisterous, the dog should be energetic, sturdy, and patient, so that it can take all the rough-housing it might be subjected to. On the other hand, if the child has a quiet nature, a dog who is gentle, calm, affectionate, and sensitive will be more suitable. Whippets, bulldogs, and vizslas are ideal dog breeds for quiet-natured children.
It is also good to have a dog that is easy to train, so that it can be taught to behave properly with children. This will ensure that the child is safe with the dog. However, it is not a good idea to leave a young child alone with a dog.
Top 20 Child Friendly Dog Breeds
The following is a list of small dog breeds that are known to be suitable for children, because of their gentle nature. However, as mentioned earlier, there are always exceptions to these breeds, and each dog should be judged by its individual behavior.
Terriers are excellent pets to have. They are friendly, loving, and gentle dogs. The Boston terrier is very loyal and protective, especially towards children. He is playful and sturdy as well, which makes him a perfect pet for children who are energetic. Boston terriers also make good guard dogs.
Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell terriers are playful and fun-loving dogs. They are friendly and outgoing, and love to be active and play games. They are also gentle and kind at the same time. They are fiercely loyal, which makes them excellent guard dogs. With a Jack Russell terrier around, one can be sure that no strangers will be able to trespass their house.
Yorkshire Terriers are very sweet tempered dogs. They are very affectionate and intelligent, easy to train, and eager to learn. They are ideal as pets for kids, as they do not shed much hair, are not aggressive, and are very protective of their owners. Yorkies also make excellent watch dogs, and excellent pets for kids as they are very active and playful.
Beagles adore children, and love to play with them. They are gentle, and love everyone in the family, including any other pets that may be in the house. They have a lot of stamina, and enjoy being outdoors. However, they shouldn’t be left alone outside the house, as they like sniffing and roaming around, and may dig up the neighbor’s yard!
Pugs make for a great pet, as they are deeply loving and loyal. They love human companionship, and are very sensitive and affectionate. For this reason, they are considered to be the best small dogs good with small children. Pugs look like miniature bulldogs, and are really cute.
Chihuahuas come in two types, the long coated variety, and the short coated variety. You can choose one according to your liking. Chihuahuas are feisty and confident dogs. They are also gentle and good-natured, and enjoy sitting on the lap and being petted. One should note that Chihuahuas are fragile dogs though, and hence more suitable for older kids, who will know to handle them gently.
English Cocker Spaniel
English Cocker Spaniel is also one of the small dogs that is good with children. Cocker spaniels are intelligent and sensitive, and love human company. They are affectionate and happy dogs, who will lick their owner’s face, and wag their tail excitedly when they see him. They are also lively and like to play outdoors, which makes them fun playmates.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These are small dogs good with young children, as they are good-tempered and patient. They are quite sturdy, despite their small size. They love to be hugged and cuddled, and follow their owner everywhere. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels also get along very well with other pets, even cats! However, because of their friendly nature, they don’t make very good watch dogs.
There are three types of Dachshunds – long haired, wire haired, and smooth. They are very energetic and tenacious, and can be quite rambunctious at times. They are, thus, naughty and active yet good with kids. They are not very sociable with strangers, and hence, should not be left alone outdoors. They make good guard dogs because of this quality though.
Papillons are active and high on energy, but calm and gentle at the same time. They are very patient and obedient, making them small dogs good with kids. They are easy to train, and are fast at learning new tricks. One needs to note that these are delicate dogs, and hence, not ideal for young children, as they may not handle them with care.
These are happy, playful, and fun-loving dogs. They love to be around people, and are very affectionate. They also like being at the receiving end of affection in the form of hugging, cuddling, pampering, and petting. Shih Tzus are gentle and quiet lap dogs.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Corgis are loyal, protective dogs. They are extremely fond of children, and, thus, are considered to be ideal companions for young children. They are dependable and responsible and make good watchdogs. They are also lively and enthusiastic, and quick to learn new tricks.
These dogs are very sociable. They are lively and cheerful, and make wonderful companions. They are not outdoor dogs, and prefer to stay at home and play with everyone in the family, especially children. Bichon Frise have white, fluffy coats which need grooming. They are good with children, as they are not at all aggressive.
The Lhasa Apso is a hardy dog. These dogs are steady and confident and make excellent show dogs. They are devoted to their owners, and become quite attached to them. They are also playful and mischievous, but need to be treated kindly and gently, as they don’t like to be manhandled.
These dogs love to do tricks and enjoy being the center of attention. They are really fond of children, and like to play with them. The Havanese are gentle and affectionate, and need to be talked to gently, as they are also sensitive and intelligent. They are robust dogs, and hence perfect for children who are boisterous.
Miniature Schnauzers are very playful dogs which is why they are ideal companions for kids. Make them sit still for a substantial amount of time, and they will get bored and in your way, just like kids! They are also very affectionate, friendly and smart dogs. They are quick in picking up anything taught to them, hence easy to train, and they make excellent watchdogs.
Vizlas are great family dogs. They are mild mannered, affectionate, extremely loyal and protective and very friendly! This breed too, is high on the energy quotient, and enjoy playing with their owners. They are very gentle and loving and love to be with their masters all the time. They are nicknamed “velcro dogs” because of this trait. Their docile, appeasing and very loving nature makes them perfect pets for kids.
Bulldogs are highly family oriented dogs. They are homebodies and would prefer sitting inside the house doing nothing rather than being out playing. They love children, have a pretty gentle and friendly disposition, and will get along well with other pets as well. They rank slightly low on the intelligence scale but they more than make up for that in other areas. They are loving, protective, and loyal and great companions for kids.