A family dog is not only a much-loved pet, but part of the family, and this is especially true when you have children at home. Most kids love having a dog at home and will spend lots of time playing and petting their family pet. All dogs can be great, child-friendly pets, although some breeds have acquired bad reputations for being aggressive or jealous when kids are around (that’s not to say AVOID AT ALL COSTS, we know some of these breeds prove to be perfect family companions too!). If you’re looking for your first family dog, some of the recognised dog breeds considered to be most child-friendly include:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavaliers are a gentle breed of dog and make particularly good pets for families with young children, as they’re happy to spend loads of time being cuddled and petted. Cavalier King Charles puppies can be quite tiny, though, so you’ll need to watch kids when they’re handling a new pup, and they really enjoy play and training activities. They’re a good choice for smaller homes or apartment dwellers, as they are not large dogs when fully grown.
Labradors are very clever dogs, which is why they are such a popular choice as guide dogs. Although labradors are quite large, they are gentle, playful dogs around the home and will interact easily and happily with children of any age.
Shihtzu make great family pets, too, as they are affectionate and loving, while not being too large or boisterous within the home environment. They won’t require too much regular exercise, so are a good choice for city living families, and will repay your care with affection and devotion.
Boxer dogs are quite a large breed and can be difficult to train, as they’re fairly energetic and boisterous as pups. They are a very sociable breed of dog and enjoy clowning around and playing with kids. If you have plenty of room in the home and are prepared to exercise your boxer regularly and take longer walks, they can be a wonderfully lovable addition to complete any family.
Poodles are available in a range of sizes, so they’re ideally suited to homes of any nature. They are clever dogs and enjoy participating in family activities. As they won’t moult very much, they can be a fairly low maintenance breed just so long as their coats are clipped on a regular basis.
And, finally, mongrels and cross-breeds have interacted as family pets in many homes and have a great reputation for being less demanding and high maintenance than some of the top dog breeds.
Every family with children in the home will find that owning a dog offers enjoyments that can’t be matched and gives love and devotion that can be extremely comforting to kids of any age.