The Best Dogs for Kids

Look Below for Articles About What Kids Can Do To Get Along Great With Their Small Dog

What are the best dogs for kids? Good question.

First of all, it's a small list. Because often small dogs don't like kids. Why?

1. Children dance. They jerk. They scream and have melt downs in the middle of the kitchen. Small dogs are often intimidated by a child's loud noises and sudden moments. Kids simply move and change too fast for them. They aren't as predictable as us slow adults.

2. While most small dogs are lions in miniature, they are yet aware of their smaller body mass, and tend to be suspicious and concerned around hurtling bodies. Children can bounce off the walls -- small dogs often worry about getting caught in the crossfire.

3. Many small dogs are hardwired to be independent hunters. They were bred to keep the house and yard free of mice and other small beasties like my own breed, the Silky Terrier. Or they were bred go to ground after the badger like the independent Dachshund.

My girlfriend Lee was a longtime breeder of Dachshunds. She has told me stories of taking her dogs out for a walk, having them find an interesting hole and disappearing down it for what seemed like ages. She would follow them by listening for their barks underground.

She reports that they sometimes would came back up with very interesting things in their mouths! Kids mimic prey in many ways with their quick moments and sudden spurts of energy. Some small dogs consider them so.

4. Many small breeds were bred to be herding dogs like Corgis. They consider kids something to be managed and controlled. While this isn't as bad as thinking of the kids as dinner, they tend to nip ankles and butt against knees.

Okay. Please don't think that all is lost. What really are the best dogs for kids? There actually are some small dog breeds that are great with them. I've made my own Top Ten List, with a separate page for each one. You are welcome to disagree with me. And please understand; I'm sure there are stellar examples in all small breeds of wonderful kid dogs, but these are the Top Ten small breeds that seek out children and truly like to be around them.

10. Bichon Frise -- a gentle cousin to the Havenese and Maltese, Bichons tolerate kids well; they can however be noisy.

9. Parson Russell Terriers -- known as the wild child of the canine world, they are yet quite tolerant of children.

8.Shetland Sheepdogs -- Shetland Sheepdogs, even though they are herding dogs and can get a bit pushy with children, are generally very tolerant and live to please their owners.

7. Shih Tzus -- Delightful and sweet. They can be quite tolerant of kid shenanigans.

6. Portuguese Podengo Pequeno -- In 2006 I was at the World Show in Poland. We were watching the big evening spectacular when one lady started passing around a 12 pound, short-haired, fawn colored little dog. She said it was a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno.
When it was my turn to hold him, he snuggled into my arms and looked up at me with big brown eyes. What a lovely disposition! I am sure this ancient hunting breed would be great with children.

5.Poodles -- We had Standard Poodles when I was a kid and I loved their sense of humor. All three sizes have the same disposition, though I think Minatures would do better around small children than Toys. Poodles are always up for the next game. They are really smart and do best with an owner as least as intelligent as they are.

4.Havanese -- delightfully sweet; they actively look for kids to play with.

3. Border Terriers -- will actively seek out the nearest child. They have a pretty high energy level, but are extremely un-aggressive -- for a terrier.

2.Cavalier King Charles Spaniels -- adore kids and have loving sporting dog temperaments in a small package.

What is the best small dog for kids? Drum roll, please!

1.Beagles -- If you are missing your Beagle, he is either one of two places. Either he is half way across the county chasing a rabbit, or he is playing with the kids next door. Without a doubt, Beagles are the ultimate kid dog.

In closing, it is extremely important to note that the habit of parents giving in to kid pleading to get a dog with the idea that the child will take 100% care of the animal is just plain wrong. It doesn't work, and in the end everyone suffers. I am reminded of a good friend who is a cat lover. Her son begged and pleaded for a dog so she came to me. I wouldn't place one of my dogs with her. She went elsewhere for her dog. The dog was miserable, my friend was miserable and her son was miserable. After 4 months, my friend gave the dog away.

So in that case, which was the best dog for kids? Very simple. No dog at all.
Calming Your Dog - The Power of a Good Yawn
How to Turn Your Dog Into a Show-Off
Dog Communication

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