Not every dog is cuddly and kid-friendly. If you make the big decision to get a dog, it's important to understand the different breeds and how they could relate to your children. There are lots of reasons to get a pet, including teaching responsibility and for your young ones to have something to care for, play with, and love. While much of the relationship your family has with your dog is based on how well behaved and trained the dog is, it's good to know the best dog breeds if you have kids.
Dogs are way more fun and interactive than fish, birds, or hamsters, and certain breeds are hard-wired to be good with kids. Frank D'Andrea, owner of D'Andrea Professional Dog Services in New York, suggests to Romper that the first step is figuring out what size dog you want. Some people prefer bigger dogs and others want a tiny dog to snuggle on their lap.
D'Andrea recommends looking for three things to look for when getting a dog: conformation (overall appearance and stature), temperament, and health. He strongly believes that although there are some breeds that may seem like they are better suited toward a life with kids, the most important thing is how they are raised. "Education and obedience are the two things you need to teach dogs," D'Andrea says. "Dogs can be manipulative, cunning and intelligent," he describes, "and if you give them an inch, they'll take a yard." More than dog training, he recommends that new pet owners take an ownership course where they can learn what to expect from a dog, and more importantly, what the dogs expect of their owners. It's easy to spoil your pet, even if you don't intend to.
D'Andrea suggests getting a puppy if you have young children in the house, but watching the interactions very carefully to make sure the kids don't accidentally injure the puppy, which can cause the puppies to lash out at the child and bite them. Older dogs tend to come with baggage, and it's better to be able to show your dog kindness and work to socialize him with children. That way interacting with the kids in the house just becomes second nature to the dog.
Here is a look at seven breeds that tend to be better with kids.