Getting a new pet is exciting. Doing the researching, picking out your pet, bringing him home and raising him. It is all exciting. If you have children however, you need to pick out a pet carefully for both his safety and your children’s safety.
Although no two dogs personalities are identical, just like people, there are some good guidelines to follow on picking out a type of dog that throughout history has a proven track record of success with children.
Are They a Hardy and Sturdy Dog?
Kids, whether they mean to or not, can tend to be rough on the family pet. They may want to ride it and tug it’s tail a bit. A very small dog may get injured easily. A miniature toy breed has tiny bones and legs. They can get pulled and broken. A bigger dog with thick fur and strong bones is a much better choice.
An Intelligent Dog
For a family pet, getting a smart dog is important. When picking one out get a known smart breed like a hunting dog or one that is a bit older and trained so that you know he has a good brain on him. He has to be able to understand that no means no and that you mean business when it come to your children’s safety. They need to be able to listen quickly and understand when a kid is just being a kid.
High Levels of Energy
Having a high energy dog can entertain kids for hours. Nothing builds memories like remembering playing ball with your best friend when you were young. In order to do this you need a high energy breed. Golden retrievers and Spaniels tend to retain those high energy levels even as they get older and are known great family pets.
Friendly to Everyone
Look for the dog that loves everyone. You don’t want one that is finicky towards men, or certain people. There are dogs that simply do not like an entire gender or children. That is not one that you want in a family pet. You want the dog that you see on the street greeting every person they see with a big wag of the tail and no inhibitions.
Personality varies greatly between dogs so be sure to visit with the one you are interested in getting many times before you commit to bringing it home. You can’t tell a dog’s demeanor entirely on one visit. You want to see him a few times to get a general feel of what he is like. You of course want to bring the kids and see how well they get along. Aquatint them slowly after meeting the dog yourself first.
You want a dog that does not get annoyed easily. Can you throw a ball that accidentally hits him and he doesn’t growl back? Kids can be quite annoying to animals at times and tend to pull on their fur, pick them up, carry them around and just generally do things they are not supposed to do until an adult gets on to them.
If you are washing the dishes and can not scold the kids for a minute or two, will your dog be able to handle the annoyance until you remove the child from the situation or make them stop. Most animals seem to instinctively know that a child is somewhat different in a way than an adult human and that they have to protect and tolerate them.
That is the majority but there are some that absolutely put off by children poking and prodding them. Always surprise your child and new pet closely until you know the dog’s temperament. Never leave them unattended.