When you’re on your own or part of a couple, choosing a dog is easy – you can really select any breed you prefer. But once you have tiny tots in the house, the proposition becomes a little more difficult. Whereas you might have felt safe and comfortable with a pitbull or German shepherd in the house when it was just you adults, there’s no denying that some dogs have been bred for aggression, and you might not want them around your kids, even if they seem sweet enough on the surface. That said, there are definitely breeds that tend to be a bit more gentle and relaxed where kids are concerned, making them excellent options for family pets. Here are a few great dog breeds that should be ideal for families with babies and young children.
- Retrievers of any sort are bound to be a good choice for a family dog, but Labrador retrievers, in particular, make for some of the best family pets. They are both lovable and family-oriented, for starters – they like to be with their people. But they also tend to have very affectionate dispositions, and they don’t get anxious when small kids pull on their ears and tails. Of course, you want to teach kids not to abuse the family pet, but in the meantime, labs aren’t likely to go agro on their owners. In addition, labs love to run, play, and swim, making them excellent companions and playmates for your kids as they grow. If you want a family pet that is smart, friendly, and relatively easy to care for, a lab will quickly become an integral member for your family.
- These large, shaggy dogs look a little intimidating because of their size, but you really can’t find a breed that’s better suited to a family with kids. Newfoundlands tend to be calm and loving and they will happily lay in the living room with the family or pull the kids around in a wagon. Their coats require some care, which can be a hassle for the harried parent, but there’s a reason this dog is often depicted as a nanny – Newfoundlands like to keep track of their pack. And their sweet and gentle manner makes them perfect family dogs.
- You might not have the room to accommodate a larger dog. In this case, a beagle is a good choice for a medium-sized breed. Beagles are the quintessential kid-friendly dog. They’re loving, energetic, and a bit goofy, and they’ll accompany kids on their many adventures.
- If you’re looking for a dog that’s low-maintenance and family-friendly, you might be surprised to learn that bulldogs are a great option. They’re sturdy and calm, so they can put up with the rigors of dealing with small children better than nervous breeds like the cocker spaniel. But they’re also fairly low-energy, so they won’t require tons of play time like some other dogs their size.
- Shih Tzu. When it comes to small dogs, you might be more concerned about your kids hurting them than the other way around. But Shih Tzus are robust and energetic, the perfect combination for families with kids.
Whether you go for large or small breeds, it’s important to find a furry friend that is suited for life with children. So check out breeders that let you view their puppies online, visit shelters, and consider all your options. When you take into account the breeds that are better suited to kids, you’re sure to find the dog that’s perfect for your family.