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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Non shedding
- Oder less
- Not terribly territorial or yappy
- fun, loving and ready to play and easy to train
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Easy to train if owners are educated to their puppyhood needs.
- Lovely with children
- Easy grooming care. Wash and go.
- Exercise needs are manageable
- 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!