Letting your kids grow up with a dog can be a wonderful way to teach them responsibility and empathy, and can help keep them active and fit.
It’s absolutely essential, however, to do your research and make sure that you’re bringing home a dog that’s a good match for your lifestyle and your domestic sphere.
The furry new addition to your family must have the right temperament and be tolerant and non-aggressive toward your children so that every member of the family is happy and comfortable with their new companion.
Take the time to find the right dog for your kids, and you’ll gain a loyal, affectionate friend and bring many years of joy to your family.
It’s worth stating what should be obvious, but too often isn’t: A dog isn’t a toy. Puppies are small and sweet, yes, and they are the cutest thing ever, but that little puppy may grow into a huge, temperamental dog that doesn’t really cope well with kids.
You need a dog that is going to be tender with them no matter how big he gets. There are breeds that really grow large, but are actually incredibly sweet, gentle, and well-behaved even in adulthood, and you can leave your kids with them without having to worry about a thing.
All you need to do is do your homework: Conduct some thorough and comprehensive research to find the breed that suits your family the most. It’s important that when looking for a new puppy with your children in mind, you carefully screen your choices based on the animal’s temperament, trainability, and behavior.
Certain breeds tend to be better-behaved and safer around young kids than others, and using these breeds as a starting point for your research helps start you on the path to finding the perfect pet.
1. Bichon Frise
Originally used as companion dogs for sailors on long voyages, these small, curly-haired white dogs–derived from a poodle and water-spaniel heritage–are known for their gentle and affectionate natures. They love people and crave attention, making them perfect for families with energetic children.
A fixture in Europe for centuries, the Bichon Frise was widely introduced to the U.S. in the mid-20th century and its popularity both in the showroom and as a household pet has only grown since then.
Friendly and easy-going, Bichon Frises do not shed, so many people who suffer from dog allergies don’t have problems with this adorable breed. That’s a significant bonus. Their diminutive size–Bichon Frises typically weigh less than 20 pounds–makes them a potentially good size for a small or cramped household.
All those good traits aside, Bichon Frises may not be right for every family, though. For one thing, they require regular and frequent grooming, and unless you want to learn how to effectively do it yourself, you’ll have to pay a professional.These dogs can also be expensive to procure, as they are popular in the show-ring and most breeders are producing puppies with this in mind.
Though they are excellent playmates for younger or gentle children due to their size and affectionate disposition, families with older children who like to play rough may find the Bichon too small and fragile to be an appropriate playmate. And that’s an important point: Just as you don’t want to bring home a breed that’s too rough or strong for a household with children, you don’t want one that could easily be hurt by overzealous kids.
Given the right situation, a Bichon Frise can be a marvelous addition to the home: a faithful, friendly, easygoing, and immensely affectionate little buddy for young and old alike.