The Best Dog Breeds For Families and Kids
A breed described as “merry” by its fanciers, Beagles are loving, happy, and companionable—all qualities that make them excellent family dogs.
Boxers have a history of working alongside humans, so they thrive on interaction and are patient, protective, and playful. If you have young children, teach them to properly interact with larger dogs so that they don’t get unintentionally knocked over.
Golden Retrievers are easy to train and easier to love. They are frequently used as service dogs and thrive on outdoor play.
Labrador Retrievers are loyal, have great temperaments, are easily adaptable, and have good energy levels.
Despite their size, the Newfoundland is famously good with kids. Their sweet temperament is their most important characteristic.
Leonbergers have a gentle nature and serene patience. They relish the companionship of the whole family.
So, create a safeguard by desensitizing your dog to the things kids may do, such as pulling ears and tails, rough petting, and so on. You—not your kids—can, for example, tug your dog’s ear gently and then feed a treat in order to get him used to this handling. Repeat, eventually tugging a bit harder.
The same goes for other things kids are apt to do. Monitor your dog’s body language to be sure he seems happy with the “game,” stopping immediately if he does not. If necessary, go more slowly or gently the next time. Build gradually to the point where your dog has a positive association with the things your kids or visiting kids might do.
House rules should include never bothering the dog when he’s eating, and not taking his toys or chew bones away. Some dogs come complete with resource guarding issues that need to be addressed, but even if yours doesn’t, it’s all too easy to create one if a dog feels threatened. Another time to leave the dog alone is when he’s sleeping. Some dogs become startled when awakened and may snap. Letting your dog have his space and allowing him to decide whether he wants interaction is very important. When your dog is in his crate, for example, it should be considered his safe spot, and kids should not approach. The same goes for any time your dog is behind or under furniture, or in a corner.
Even the nicest of dogs might bite if he feels sufficiently threatened or cornered. Teach your kids that any time the dog wants to walk away, to let him. You should also share the basics of canine body language. This is a topic I wish was taught in every school, as it would avert countless bites. You need to read this, an illustrated guide on how to read a dog’s body postures.