Top 5 Dog Breeds For Families With Kids

Raising children and a puppy can be an awesome experience, yet challenging at the same time if you’re not sure what your doing. Raising a puppy means housebreaking and lots of poop, not unlike raising a child in diapers. The good news is that a puppy’s developmental process happens a lot faster, all within the first year. Sure, the concept of puppies and children seems amazing but can be a lot of work if your not prepared. Success largely depends on your time, previous experience, lifestyle match of the breed of dog you pick and your child’s age.

Puppies are great, but remember they loose their teeth during a teething stage and that sweet 8 week-old angel you got can quickly turn into Cujo for a short period of time. Navigating through this puppy stage with children around and doing it gracefully is the key to success.

It’s all manageable if you’re organized and know how to surf through the housebreaking and chewing phase of puppyhood. Choosing the right breed, size and temperament to match your lifestyle is key!

 

 

There are many breeds and mixes that awesome when raised with children. Success depends on your former experience, time and lifestyle. Choosing the right breed and temperament to match your family and lifestyle is so important. If you and your partner aren’t seasoned dog owners, then choosing certain breeds can be more challenging to raise than others. The following examples are some of easier breeds to manage in terms of size and innate temperament for the first time dog owner that has children. Remember, a puppy is a puppy, no matter what breed you choose!  Mastering a great experience is all in the process of how you raise, train and housebreak your puppy.  Dogs can live a long time, up to 15 years and beyond. So if you’re contemplating getting a puppy for your child, remember it’s your new baby, first.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This breed is a great starter dog for families with children. They must be trained and well socialized. Housebreaking and addressing separation anxiety in puppyhood ( like with all breeds) is important. In general, the King Charles Spaniel has a sweet, loving and easy temperament. They are playful and love to chase birds or butterflies but generally do not possess super high-prey drive.

 

 

Pros:

  • Size is manageable (they average about 12″ to 13″ at the shoulders and weigh about 13-20 lbs) as adults.
  • Love to snuggle and lay in your lap.
  • Are playful but not in your face self assured.
  • Pretty mellow and easy-going with children, other dogs and older people.
  • Great size for traveling. Generally will fit into traveling bags and not take up too much space in the car.
  • Come in many colors. Black and tan, red and white, ruby (red), and tricolor (black tan and white)
  • They are not super territorial in nature, which averts many issues concerning children.
Cons:
  • Can have health problems. Choosing the right breeder is important.
  • Do shed but not tiny needle hairs like pugs and other short haired breeds
  • Are so cute many people do not train them early one. Often resulting with separation anxiety issues.

2. Bichon Frise

A lovely choice for families with young children. This white fluff ball breed is a happy, very cheerful, non-shedding and make great companions. They make great apartment dogs and an easy size for travel, and happy go lucky in nature and generally not hyper. Their nature is playful and intelligent yet very tolerant of children and good with elderly people.

 

 

Pros:

  • Non shedding
  • Cute
  • Oder less
  • Not terribly territorial or yappy
  • fun, loving and ready to play and easy to train

Cons:

  • Regular grooming is a must. Brushing is essential because hair gets matted.
  • Painful hair mats need to be cut out if not groomed properly.
  • Grooming means bath, haircuts and blow drying to keep mats at bay.
  • Hair around the eyes can stain if not cleaned often.
  • $$ -Grooming costs can get expensive and need to be done monthly.
  • They are so cute, many do not formally train them or get them housebroken early in puppyhood. Hence, they can be labeled difficult to housebreak. This is not true. It’s up to the owner to achieve this by understanding how to accomplish this stage during puppyhood.

3. Shorty Jack Russell 

Some people feel that the Jack Russell Terrier is a hyper breed. However, this breed comes in many versions. The short-legged Irish and or English “shorty” jack as they’re referred to can be a calm loving lap dog, with a little zip! Training is key to this breed, yet once trained they are sturdy, lovely playful happy dogs, who can do very well with children. They come with many coat types: smooth, broken and rough. Ironically the rough or long coat version is known to shed less.

 

Pros:

  • Funny looking and come in many colors and crazy cute markings
  • Very smart and easy to train
  • Great travel size 8″ to 12″ at the shoulders and weigh 8 to 15 lbs
  • Many say they are like potato chips.. you can’t have just one
  • Good with children
  • Do well with structure and rules. Training is a must.
  • Can become ball-o-hollics which makes exercising them easy
  • Rugged, athletic and calm all in the same day.
Cons:
  • They shed a lot. The short coats have small needle like hair similar to Labs, Chihuahua’s and Pugs. The broken coats look like they don’t shed as much, but they do. The rough coated ones shed less but look more like a Benji type dog.
  • Must be apart of the family. Not a dog to be kept in the yard alone or to get bored.
  • Training and exercise must be included in your daily schedule from puppyhood through adulthood.

4. Miniature or Standard Poodle

This breed often gets a bad wrap because of their hair cuts, but in reality they are rugged, very smart, sturdy and fun dogs. Not foo-foo at all! Hence, the ever popular Labradoodle hy-bred of Lab- Poodle cross. The real deal comes in many colors, four sizes and is awesome with children. No need to go designer mix.

 

 

Pros:

  • Smart, fun, athletic with an easy going nature
  • Comes in a variety of sizes from a tiny tea cup to Standard big dog size of 70 lbs
  • Easy to train and housebreak if you put the effort into it
  • The toy, miniature or standard sizes are best for families with small children
  • Does not shed
  • You can keep this dog in a puppy cut for life, avoiding the known Poodle cut and stereotype.

 

Cons:

  • Grooming costs can add up. Haircuts needed regularly.
  • Can get ear infections due to floppy ear set. Ear cleaning is important for prevention.
  • Must train. If not they can get anxious and be prone to nervous reactions only due to a lack of understanding and training.

5. French Bulldog

This cute. small sturdy breed can be wonderful with children. Small enough for children to  play with, but a little too heavy for a child to actually pick up. They are awesome apartment dogs and do not need HUGE amounts of exercise comparable to other breeds.  They can weigh anywhere from 18 to 28 lbs as adults.

 

 

Pros:

  • Easy to train if owners are educated to their puppyhood needs.
  • Lovely with children
  • Easy grooming care. Wash and go.
  • Exercise needs are manageable
Cons:
  • Shed
  • They can get gassy and can have delicate stomach issues.
  • Snore when they sleep
  • Tend to drool occasionally
  • Known to have health some issues down the road

Please remember that all pure bred dogs are available in your local shelters and rescues. If choosing a breeder, choose carefully and really do your research!

Dog Training Tip: Walking Your Dog or Heel Thy Self?

Being dragged down the street by your dog on a daily basis, multiple times day, can become annoying to say the least!  Especially, when you’ve envisioned a brisk, refreshing morning strut with Starbucks-in-hand kind of walk with your new dog. I know, once the dopamine of love has worn off and puppy teenage-hood has set in your now energetic larger puppy, has learned to jump on people, chase squirrels and bark at on coming dogs! Now, your morning ritual has become walking and cursing while holding on to the leash and a poop bag in-hand!

So what’s “dog pulling” and being dragged down the street all about? Well, generally speaking the leash is not just to hang on to, it’s actually a tool in training.

If your dog pulls on walks, a great technique is to teach your dog to create eye contact with you, hence a bond will develop. You can achieve this by using treats or an additional technique is to create focus by using movement, voice inflection and a command. Let’s focus on the latter technique. Treats can work, but not always with all dogs especially while on walk! Besides, it’s best to vary all techniques when dog training. To change the rules of the walk, in a fun way, think of it as you’re driving the car on this walk, not your dog!

On your next daily stroll practice turning or pivoting in the opposite direction every once in a while. You see, dogs are pack animals and LOVE to play follow the leader. If you remember to think of it as a game and not discipline it will help you use a “happy voice” while changing directions. Remember, you can show love in many ways, not just treats! Keep your voice sweet as you say heel or let’s go, as you indicate the command with your movements, both will capture your pups attention.

 Changing directions suddenly helps alert your dog to a follow the leader game. The trigger of fun for your dog happens when you use your voice think of it as you would a gas pedal or steering wheel of the car. If you make it a fun game your pup will be looking up at you, rather than pulling. Occasionally stop, ask your pup to sit then praise and even give a treat. Your pup will become far more interested in your moves than she will about pulling.

Many people walk their dogs more for the intention a bathroom break than mere exercise. Sure, exercise is included but a distinction between the two activities is often not defined on the walk by the dog owner. Therefore the intention of a nice walk becomes a natural conflict. Best to initiate potty time by indicating the act with a word, like go potty, then go on your walk.

If you separate the concepts you’ll get a better result. You can also practice the concept of walking your dog in a “heel” command in the house, while on the leash, in order to accomplish the process without the distractions of the street. This exercise will help you succeed with getting the eye contact from you dog, hence you’ll get the bond you’re looking for on your walks.

Does Your Dog Really Know What He’s Done Wrong?

Paws For A Minute® … and think about this…

Some people give lengthy verbal dissertations trying to explain to their dog their extreme displeasure they feel after they’ve discovered their best shoes chewed. Other’s righteously feel their dog totally gets what he’s done wrong. Absolutely, 100 %.. slinking out of the room with their ears back and tail tucked. For sure they know! Right?

 Some people try to punish their dog by using spray bottles, crating or putting your dog outside in the yard to “think about” what he’s done. This may give the person time to cool off after being mad, but really? Does it get the right point across?

Well, the truth is that dogs do respond to voice inflection and body language. So yeah, they get that your mad, but not at what? Dogs associate to things with sense of smell, patterns and triggers. It’s best to explain to them what they’ve done wrong with a sensible process that has a beginning, middle and end to it. Whether your pup has chewed something or gone to the bathroom in the house, get the leash, put it on and guide them over to what they’ve done wrong. Isolating the item or area by guiding your dog to it helps them associate the scent and your voice inflection to the word NO.

Reprimanding your dog this way you’re actually associating the smell of their saliva on the chewed item or urine on the carpet and that identifies to your dog what you’re saying NO for and to what?  After saying no, take your dog “outside” ( in the case of a bathroom mistake) or (in the case of chewing the wrong thing) give them the right chew bone. Then say “okay” in a happy voice indicating that the reprimand is over! Over time he’ll learn the pattern of where to go to the bathroom and what to chew. The days of needing to catch your dog in the act of doing something wrong are over.