Not every dog is right for every household, so if you are considering small dog breeds, make sure you read through these descriptions and ensure that you are finding the dog breed that is suited for your childs age, your dogs specific medical needs, and the conditions in your home. Options are limited even more when you factor in size restrictions, but many small dog breeds are great with kids and are great family pets.
If you like small dogs and you have kids, finding the right breed may be a difficult balancing act. While they may be easier to care for and longer-lived dogs, find a different breed if you have little kids. It is best to not let the Chinese crested dogs stay around too long, but if you can handle it, they are certainly one of the best little dog breeds that are best suited to children.
The Frenchie is one of my favourite little dog breeds; part of the reason why I love them so much is because they are just that great with everybody, including families with young children. French bulldogs are wonderful family dogs, and warm to anyone they meet easily.
Cocker spaniels make great family dogs because of their loyalty and affectionate nature. Pugs seem to consistently be at the top of lists for best family dogs, and no wonder. Basset Hounds are incredibly loyal, low-maintenance dogs who are happy to be non-focussed — as opposed to other breeds, who can become jealous when babies or small children take away all of the familys attention.
Some of the best dogs for children are smaller to medium-sized breeds who are affectionate and patient while engaging with children. That is why we looked at what the best smaller dog breeds are with the best track records for getting along with kids, so that your kid can have the canine BFF they dream about. There are plenty of dogs who are great with kids, but finding the best dog for family needs some digging, and many will say small dog breeds just do not cut it.
If your children are young and are likely to drop the dog, or rough-house (from a dogs perspective) with it, then I would suggest getting one of the breeds in the list who are best for small children. If there is already a toddler or children in your household, however, you will want to choose carefully what kind of dog is joining your household. If you truly love a dogs appearance and personality, do not plan to add it to the household until children are older.
Children are fine with Boston Terriers because of their energetic nature, but very young children need to be taught to manage a dog this small. One thing to watch out for is that many terriers can become snappy when provoked, so matching dog to child is the most important thing with this breed. For both children and dogs, an adult would do well to make sure playtime is always tender, safe, and under supervision, even if you have adopted one of the smaller dog breeds that are best suited to children. With proper training, any dog can safely enter a home with small children, but it goes without saying that certain breeds have a temperament and build that makes them better suited to the home environment.
In my opinion, families with children should avoid dog breeds that were traditionally bred for fighting purposes, because the breeds differ in both bite rates and severity1. Size does indeed matter, but maybe not as much as you might think. While smaller dogs might be at lower risk of crushing, intimidating, or slamming into a young child, the breed and temperament are much more important. Some larger dogs are shockingly laid-back. Larger dog breeds, on the other hand, are generally more gentle, but may risk accidentally knocking smaller children over during play.
A large, energetic, and boisterous breed dog may accidentally end up knocking children over due to their eagerness to play, and that could be intimidating to younger children or their friends as they arrive for play. If you have younger children that are constantly running, you should not pick a low energy dog who might get frustrated with constant stimulation. If you have young children, then a gentle, low energy breed dog will be the most appropriate choice.
Look for a dog who matches the energy level of your family, keeping one thing in mind: medium-sized and larger dogs are best suited to families, whereas smaller breeds are not. If you have young children, such as babies and pre-schoolers, you may feel you are better off with a smaller dog. In general, you cannot go wrong with a dog who has a gentle demeanor, friendly attitude, training nature, and the ability to get along with your family. Different dogs also have different personalities, and your pet needs to be right up there with your family.
The best family dog – and this will vary, of course, depending on your family, so think about if your group is looking for a hiking partner or a fuzzy cuddlebug. We provided this guide on what to consider when choosing the best family-friendly dog breeds for your smalls, and you can also try out our dog breed selector quiz to find the best dogs for your familys lifestyle. Below, we have collected the best small dogs for kids, so that you can find your familys next ideal pet.
Some of the best child-friendly dog breeds include the bulldog, golden retriever, beagle, pug, Irish setter, Brussels griffon, Newfoundland, and French Bulldog. Popular family dogs in the small to medium sizes include Beagles, cocker spaniels, West Highland white terriers, and cavalier king charles spaniels. While the Irish setter is not exactly a household name–mostly because it requires a lot of exercise–it is actually one of the best dog breeds for active, energetic families with older children. Especially suitable for larger families, pit bulls do not complain much about being handled by children, and they actually help teach kids the proper way to bond with dogs.
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