There’s no such thing as the perfect family dog. They all have strong jaws, sharp teeth and can react unexpectedly in strange situations.
A dog lives for an average of twelve years, a huge commitment and a massive part of a childhood. So the breed has to be the right one for your family.
My daughter and nephew with family dogs.
It is always a good thing to look at a dogs genetics first to see which are most likely to fit in with an active family. Secondly, a dog who is easy to train likes to play and enjoys an energetic lifestyle.
What you need in a family dog?
Gentle enough to be around children but sturdy enough to cope with children who are occasionally loud and boisterous. A calm dog who takes life in their stride, obedient, respectful, loyal and kind.
Breeds Recommended To Be Great With Children
1 Olde English Sheepdog
A working dog known for herding, athletic and clownish in temperament
2 Labrador Retriever
Eager to please, active and easy to train.
3 Golden Retriever
Friendly, confident, kind and intelligent.
4 Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Loves to be part of a family, extremely loyal.
5 Border Collie
Gentle, well behaved and mild mannered.
What children can learn from a family dog.
Training the Child
Before introducing a child to a new dog or puppy some ground rules must be observed. The child has to understand that some things are not acceptable, like poking, prodding, getting into the dogs face and not encroaching on a dog’s personal space ie his bed. Also that no matter how friendly their own dog is, to not approach strange dogs.
Adopting a Rescue Dog When You Have Children
My childhood was enriched by the company of a Jack Russell who needed a home when I was around five. Jack Russell’s can be snappy but this one had been well trained and we knew the people who had owned her before.
Any dog rescue will tell you that one of the main reasons for people handing in their dogs is because they have expanded their family. If proper training is put into practice with the dog and the child many rescue handovers can be avoided and the child and dog can grow up learning and playing together.
A good dog rescue will put the dog into foster for assessment before he/she is available for rehoming. The dog can then be tested around children and prospective adopters know what to expect. If you are thinking of adopting, make sure that the dog and children meet beforehand to see if they are a good match.
No dog should ever be left unsupervised in the company of children.
Some more family photos, as you can see we have had many dogs in the family.