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!

Paws For A Minute® Puppy Guide 2012: How to Find The Best Puppy.

So you’re looking for a new puppy but don’t know where to begin? The Puppy Guide 2011/12 is here to get you started on the right track to perfect muttrimony! It’s so easy to say “I want a new puppy” but, yet much harder to determine where to look, what to look for and, ultimately, decide which pup is right for your home.

Paws for a Minute® Puppy Guide 2012: How To Find That Perfect New Pup To Fit Your Lifestyle

Know Thy Self: Picking a puppy is not easy. There are so many different breeds and many different personalities within a given breed that it’s tough to know where to begin the search. I suggest you start by thinking about your own lifestyle. Ask yourself some key questions and answer them honestly:

Are you active? Are you a couch potato? Do you travel a lot? Are you single or married? Do you have roommates? Do you have other pets? Are you a parent? How old are your children? What’s the energy level like in your home? Have you had dogs before? Are you allergic?

The answers to these questions will give you a much better idea of what type of dog and temperament will fit comfortably in your daily life. Think about the following questions and or concerns: size, exercise needs of the breed, your time and lifestyle, allergies, does you your financial budget include raising a dog, does the breed you like shed? Once you know roughly what your lifestyle and budget allows then it’s time to start researching breeds.

Do Your Homework: When picking a breed remember that there are always exceptions to the rule. Not every puppy is going to grow up to have the temperament described in the breed’s standard.  In general, go with three top favorites and investigate from there. Another great idea is to visit a local dog park. There you will find many owners with dogs you may be interested in, and be able to ask questions and seek out more information and match your expectations with their experience.

More Food For Thought: It’s not just personality and size that matter most. You should also consider any additional health risks or issues associated with a given breed. There are many breeds out there that have well-known chronic health issues. Issues prevail over time so you may not recognize such conditions during puppyhood. The problem may not prevail in all dogs of that breed but it could potentially mean LOTS of vet bills later so know your facts before hand and rule out anything you’re not prepared to handle.

Where To Buy Your Pup: First and foremost, be wary of online puppy stores and/or breeders. The internet is a great place to do your research but actually buying a puppy on the web usually ends bad. Whether it’s as severe as a rip-off scam or simply buying a puppy mill pup, you may get burned and it’s definitely going to cost you. In the long run you will save time, money and perhaps some emotional distress if you find a reliable breeder, rescue group or shelter. You can always find very reputable breeders on the America Kennel Club site. Or a great thing to do is visit any dog show in your local area. These shows are always hosted by breed or all breed events by a kennel club (such as AKC) there you can meet great people who breed professionally.  Also, keep in mind that nearly every breed has a rescue organization in nearly every major city. Always ask the right questions and make sure to visit them in person. That way you can meet greet and inspect their facilities and get a sense of how they treat their animals. Usually, your gut will guide you to make the right decision.

Good Questions To Ask Breeders

Who are the dog’s parents? Can I meet the parents? Do you have info on the dog’s bloodline? Where are the dogs kept? Can I see your housing facilities? Are there any health issues or risks in this bloodline? Do you have any certifications? Do the dogs have any medical certifications? Do you like the person you are speaking to?

Good Questions To Ask Shelters How old is the dog? Do you have any history on this dog? How long has the dog been in the shelter? Has it ever been adopted and returned? Where are the dogs kept and does it have any outstanding behaviors associated with being approached or while being fed? Can I see the housing facilities? Is the dog spayed or neutered? Does the dog have it’s shots with proper documentation?

Also, steer clear of “puppy stores.” Any shop with puppies playing in the window usually gets their dogs from large-scale puppy mills. Any puppy paper or pedigree that says USDA on it is not a fancy title or kennel. It means the kennel the puppy came from is a commercial one. It stands for United States Department of Agriculture and is one that’s zoned for breeding very large amounts of dogs. There are brokers who farm out these pup’s from other sources to the web and pet stores. The store itself may not even realize it! Not only should you not support this practice for the simple fact that they increase dog populations and we’re already in an overpopulation crisis in most cities but for the dogs themselves. Many puppy mill puppies are bred from dogs with genetic disorders, health issues or other problems that will likely cost you in vet bills later.

If you want the Pet Shop experience but would like to rescue a dog, look into facilities like Found Animals’ Adopt & Shop. This is a great option because you get to walk around and shop as though you were in the puppy store but at the end of the day you are really rescuing a dog from the shelter. What’s also great is that many shelter have older puppies, say 5 months and up.  If you are in LA, Adopt & Shop is a fantastic choice. If not, look online for a similar initiative near you. It’s worth it!

 

Cool Cat Beds: Gift Idea

Great gift idea’s…
I saw these fantastic handmade pet beds and what I really wanted is for this artist make me a sweater! Amazing colors and a must-have unique gift for the holidays. These cute beds will add color to any room in the house and accent like a throw pillow.
The artist is from Boothbay Maine and takes orders.  K’s one-of-a-kind hand-knit pet beds are wool and range from $88.00 USD to $98.00 USD.
Perrfect for cats or even a toy or small breed dogs.
Check it out!

Gift Ideas For The Posh Pup. 7 Things We Love.

Naughty or nice, this year?

Well, if it’s nice, here are seven very cute things to give your posh lil’pup this year, or friend. This list is mainly for the pee-wee’s. The BIG dog list is coming soon…

 

 

 

Kiehls since 1851 makes a spray-and-play

Makes dogs smell great and you not embarrassed. It’s wonderful to have in the house for the holidays. Terrific for in between baths. Just spray on and your dogs, and they will smell lovely before the guests come. To solve goosing guests at the front door, keep reading. $13.00

 

I love this orange quilted canvas dog mat or blanket.

Great for the car or to throw over the couch or chair.

Also comes in honey and cream. Washable.

$168.00

 

Dog rain slicker. This is an old school look made mod.

$124.00

 

 

 

Cute rope chew toy. Peace sign comes in blue and red.

Made by Jax and Bones.

$12.00

 

 

This is a very posh shearling harness.

Comes in black and natural.

$575.00

 

 

Shearling Coat- Large

I’m not sure what large means… but it looks snuggly for the short haired dog who gets cold.

Size details available

$725.00

 

 Perfect tote for the Chihuahua, Yorkie, Mini Dachshund. I know I’m leaving many others out, but you get the idea.

Made by Mungo and Maud

Pod Bag

$575.00

All of the beautiful items are available at www.barneys.com

Paws For A Minute® – Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Your Dog

Thinking about Christmas already… maybe a puppy? I always suggest that when getting a puppy for the holidays to remember the process can be stressful for everyone, including the wet nosed one. So, take your time looking for the right match. You can still have plenty to unwrap and prepare for leading up for the home coming.

Get creative. Collect the things you may need as stocking stuffers and presents to indicate what’s coming to your family. Here are some great ideas to get you started. Check out these beautiful name tags.

I love the idea of these beautiful name tags as a gift, to lead up to the actual puppy. The prices vary between $19.00 -$26.50 USD

All of these tags are handmade and the creation of Tessa Long who lives in Bozeman Montana with her husband and three furry children.

Found on etsy: www.makeyourdogsmile.com

 

The Rin Tin Tin Revival.

As a huge German Shepherd Dog lover,  I could not resist reading Susan Orlean’s new book RIN TIN TIN: THE LIFE AND THE LEGEND.

For those of you who don’t know, Rin-TIn-Tin was a puppy who was found by an American soldier during WW1 in France. He was named after a puppet by the French children who called him Rin-Tin-TIn and given him to the soldier for good luck. They became a team of luck and fortune when he took him back home to Los Angeles just after the war ended, a few months later. The soldier, Lee Duncan, trained him to enviable notice, just as the slow motion camera had been developed. His timing and dedication to his dog was credited by legend to have saved Warner Brothers Studios from bankruptcy and even got him a paw print on the Hollywood walk of fame.

Nicknamed Rinty, word had it that he won the most “best actor votes” at the first Academy Awards in 1929. Crazy, but this gorgeous animal went on to build a career in film, radio and television that carried on throughout many generations.

Susan Orlean takes on this fascinating story, life and journey of a man, little puppy that took on vast dimensions that spanned generations; canine and human. A wonderful gift.

Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $26.99.