Starting and growing a family is not for anyone. It demands unconditional love, commitment, loyalty, and certainly a lot of courage. If you already have children you know about these values and the unique relationship that comes with parenthood. Dogs embody these values and are able to develop special friendships with the youngest members of the family.
Adopting a four-legged family member will be one of the most nurturing and rewarding experiences for anyone in the house, mainly the children. Bringing a pet to your home implies responsibility and care, so it is a decision that should be thoroughly considered. When choosing, all the characteristics an animal posses should be weighted and taken into account.
Choosing the perfect furry match to coexist with your young family implies considering temperament, size, demanding care and energy levels of the dog. Assuming that each pooch is different, some breeds or mix of breeds work better with babies, toddlers, and children of any age.
Your household characteristics will also play a key role when narrowing your search, since an energetic dog will demand more exercise and play time which is perfect for older children, but not the best when a newborn monopolizes all the parents' time and energy. Furthermore, a bigger and more active dog living in an apartment could develop anxiety and behavior problems leading to undesirable results. An older dog already trained could be a good choice to any kind of family and household and hypoallergenic dog breeds are a solution for pet lovers who suffer from allergies.
Even thought there is no fixed rules, we have listed ten dog breeds of different size whose temperament and traits make them more tolerant and appropriate to families with children.
Bichon Frisé: These small dogs are very friendly, ideal for company and well-suited to coexist with children. Their white and fluffy fur requires visits to the groomer, but are perfect for people with allergies. Their cheerful and active temperament makes them an ideal pet and constant companion. They tend the be very healthy and quiet. They love being in the company of humans, which is close to the ideal dog for therapy centers and nursing homes. They don't require much exercise, but one should avoid leaving them alone, because this causes them to suffer from anxiety, which can cause health problems.
Havanese: They are renowned for their pure white silky fur, combined with black, gray or brown. They are affectionate, sociable, friendly, warm, funny and playful dogs. Like all Bichon breeds, these dogs are an excellent companion for both single people and families with children. They are exceptionally alert and easy to train as alarm dogs. They rarely behave aggressively. However, they tend to be proud and conceited.
Because they are very agile and a little bit jester-y, they love doing tricks to draw attention, and while they don't need too much exercise, they like to play with children and run from one room to another around the house. They are ideal for apartments and great companions for children, and even seniors. However, they are not very friendly with other dogs.
Boston Terrier: They are small dogs, compactly built with a gentle and friendly personality. They are very protective and always eager to please their owner.
They can also be easily trained and enjoy being around people, children, seniors, and other canines, and non-canine pets. They are perfect companions, excellent for apartment dwellers due to their small size and the fact that their are clean, quiet and bark only when necessary. They have short hair and the fact that they don't require high levels of activity makes their maintenance easy. Boston Terriers as well as Shih Tzu and Pugs are Brachycephalic breeds, i.e. they are susceptible to heat and low ventilation areas and may be prone to snoring as well as suffer from breathing difficulties and get exhausted during exercise.
Beagle: They are popular amongst pets for their small to medium size and their quiet, peaceful, and loving character. They are not aggressive generally and behaves well with other dogs. They are joyful, but don't demand too much exercise. However, they are not the best suited dogs for allergy sufferers.
Basset Hound: They are small and have a peculiar appearance. They are a popular and easily recognizable breed. They are very quiet, friendly, loyal, and affectionate. They are not very active and often very stubborn, but they are good playmates for children and other dogs. Like Beagles, this breed has a genetic predisposition for obesity and is not advised for allergic people.
Golden Retriever: These are friendly and very patient dogs, especially with children, making them one of the most popular dogs for families. Their name comes from the color of their coat, which has different shades of light and dark gold. They need daily mental and physical stimulation and may be prone to overweight and allergies. They are naturally intelligent, confident and exceptionally docile. They respond well to training, so they are very good as assistance and service dogs.
Labrador Retriever: They are intelligent, obedient, and talented as well as the most popular breed in the world according to the number of registered dogs. Their coat can be solid black or yellow, in all its variants, and chocolate brown. They are exceptionally talented and perfect for people of all ages. They are also ideal as working dogs and companion care. Their temperament is balanced, making them excellent family dogs, as they have a very good reputation with children of all ages and other animals. They tend however to be a little noisy. They need exercise, socializing and training. Due to their voracious appetite, they are also susceptible to health problems associated with overweight, poisoning, and ingestion of non edible objects or dangerous substances.
Pugs: These small dogs a and enjoy playing as well as cuddling. Very affectionate, they have a wonderful temperament and a passive behavior. Perfect companions for children and seniors they are ideal for small spaces and non-regular walk routine. Due to their short nose, they have to be careful when exercising in the summer and are not able to run without becoming exhausted. Despite their small size, they are fairly resistant and good at providing protection by barking to alert the presence of strangers but should not be left alone for long periods of time. Obesity, allergies, and respiratory problems are among their most common health issues.
Cocker Spaniel: They are beloved companions, cheerful, sensitive, and always willing to please their owners. They love to snuggle on the couch or to play outdoors.
Their social nature makes them gentle, trustworthy, and eager to be part of the family, regardless of the latter's size. Cocker spaniels are hunter dogs by nature and the largest-sized on our list. So, they are not really an ideal dog for apartments. Conversely, they combine a sweet temperament with watchdog traits, making great for houses. They are easy to train and walk, but their long and luxurious coat requires daily brushing as well as regular shampooing.
Shih Tzu: They are small, vigilant, and simply adorable. Since they are lap dogs, they enjoy attention and get along well with people of all ages and other pets. They are clever and have character, so their training should begin early on and it should include barking control. They prefer playing around the house to outdoor exercising, which is perfect for families residing in apartments. They can also tolerate short walks well and are fine if they are not walked for a few days. This breed is great for those suffering from allergies, as Shih Tzus barely shed any hair. Their coat is long and requires a certain amount of care. Brushing and combing to avoid hair knots or frequent trimming is a good option.
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