Which Are The Best Dogs For Kids; and Which Breeds Aren’t?

  • Pin It

  • Pin It

puppy training, best puppies for kids, labrador training

Thanks to Pawmetto for the photo.

I get asked this question a lot. “Which dog breed is the best for kids?” Every parent wants the perfect dog for his/her children.

But finding the perfect dog is sometimes hard.

Nature vs. Nurture and Why I Don’t Often Recommend Puppies

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and temperaments, and I am a firm believer that temperament is inherently genetic.  That is not to say that I think that “nurture” and how we treat our pets doesn’t come into play with what kind of dog they grow up to be.

But I have seen six week old puppies with severe aggression issues and since most puppies open their eyes between 9 and 11 days, I can’t imagine that the experiences in those 2 or 3 weeks can really change a young puppy.

And I have seen extremely abused dogs be completely kind and sweet.  And, I have seen emaciated and starved dogs that would never think about being food aggressive.

As a professional dog trainer and specialist on dog aggression I see that most often aggressive or skittish puppies have aggressive or skittish biological mom and dad.

Although I have certainly seen aggressive puppies come from non-aggressive parents this is rarer than puppies that show the same temperament traits as their parents.

This is why I think it is so critical for owners and breeders to breed only temperamentally strong dogs.

Just today I went over to a lady’s home who wanted to sell a 2 year old female Belgian Malinois, and I had a friend that was interested.  However, when I entered her home and then her back yard the dog became very defensive and incredibly skittish.  She would dart between trying to bite me in the butt and hiding behind her “human mom”.

This dog is a “fear biter” in the making.  So is it nature or nurture?  I can’t say for sure, but I am guessing nature has a big part to do with it.

And unfortunately this lady is considering breeding the dog; despite my warning not to.

This is why when I am looking for a dog for a good friend, I often recommend or search for adult dogs either from a shelter or a rescue organization.  Sometimes it is difficult if not impossible to see both the “sire and the dam” (dad and mom) when you go to get a puppy.

puppy training, best puppies for kids

Even Young Puppies can Be Seriously Aggressive

Puppies are a “crap shoot” and their temperaments can change as they develop and work towards adulthood, but with an adult dog usually what you see is what you get.  A confident adult dog usually remains confident and a scared or skittish adult dog often remains that way especially if their triggers or fears are stressed.

So as odd as some of you might find it; I like adult dogs for inexperienced owners or people who have children, instead of puppies.  Yes, even a normally aggressive puppy may bond well with his family but he might become a liability when your children have friends over and let’s face it your kids are going to have other kids over!

Take my puppy for example.  He is 10 months old now, and at this stage in his life he hates people.

When he was 8 weeks to about 5 months, he loved people.  But he has matured and developed and become more like his mom.

His mom is a working police dog, and a very serious one at that.  She also doesn’t like people she doesn’t know.  And, his father is also a “sport” like police dog who is very protective and possessive of his things.

So it is no wonder that when I got him he showed serious signs of aggression and possessiveness.  But at least at that time, he liked people.  And, although I hate that he is not social (I socialized him very well as a baby and until I saw signs of unfriendliness) even as a professional trainer I cannot change his innate temperament.

But, I wanted a competition “sport” police dog and I knew what I was getting into.  He would make a terrible pet and would likely be euthanized for his aggression.  However as a professional and sport dog person, I know how to handle him and keep everyone safe (even if he has to wear a muzzle to do it).

In a “normal” or pet home, he would have likely been euthanized by now.  I don’t even trust him with my step children.  So he spends his time with me on a leash when they are here.

And, I can tell you he leads a charmed life, in the home as a pet; so nurture has nothing to do with his naughtiness!  But it is important for regular normal dog parents to know that we “professionals” can’t fix everything either.  Sometimes we just learn to control things.  And dog trainers are really good at “hiding” behaviors!

Good people get aggressive dogs.  It is so very much easier to blame the owner for abuse or not socializing but in many cases the owners of aggressive dogs do the best they can for the dog that they own but don’t know how to deal with!  I can’t imagine someone getting a dog that is like my puppy and knowing how to deal with him.

Sure people abuse dogs, but this isn’t always the case.

Consider an Adult Dog

puppy training, boxer training, best puppies for kids

Rescue Dogs can make GREAT and Thankful Pets!

So first off, I like adult dogs for homes with kids.  And usually a good rescue organization can help people find a dog that is already actively living successfully with young children.  This makes life safer than a puppy (in my opinion).

Many shelters also, now, temperament test dogs prior to adoption to weed out the dogs that are overly reactive, jumpers, or even food aggressive or possessive over their things.

People think that all dogs that come from a shelter or a rescue has “problems” but their “problems” could be as simple as their owners are moving, or the dog no longer matches the color of the carpet, or for whatever reason the person just never made the dog a priority.

When I trained Service Dogs for adults and children with disabilities, ALL of my dogs came to me as adults 2 years old(ish) and out of shelters.  I never used puppies because I didn’t want temperaments to change after several months and the investment in training lost and I also wanted to make sure they were physically able to do the work.

And, I know if I found hundreds of dogs over the years, in shelters there are others out there!

I always wished that whomever threw their dog away at the shelter would see him/her with me in public someday and realize their dog was now worth $10,000-$20,000!

Don’t discount a dog just because it is an adult!  Remember you miss out on potty training, and that WILD puppy stage, and you have a better idea of what you are getting when it comes to temperament.  And, if the dog grew up with and loved children you are already half way there!

Children are Not all Created Equal

puppy training, best puppies for kids

I can only pray this was photo shopped! This could cause severe aggression in a painful dog

Not all children are created or “parented” equally!

Unfortunately I see a lot of abuse that comes from young kids.  And, some of them are too young to know any better; but lack of parenting skills and not teaching kids to be kind toward animals leads to aggression and bites and the ultimate euthanasia of animals.  It also leads to emotional trauma and the disfigurement of many children.

Just recently I was told a story about a mom who had gotten a kitten for her 2 year old (I have never seen a 2 year old that “needed” a kitten nor one who could truly appreciate one).

But there were no lessons about “handling the cat kindly” so the 2 year old would grab the kitten WAY too hard and then not release it until the child was bitten.  The mother was considering getting rid of the cat.

And then one day she looked down to see her toddler covered in blood.  Furious that the kitten had bitten her child she frantically searched for the wound.  But, it wasn’t the child’s blood it was the kitten’s.  The child had broken the kitten’s jaw nearly off!

How does anyone allow this to happen? I OFTEN wish that penalties were greater for animal abuse and neglect!  The story makes me physically sick every time I share it; and yet it needs to be shared so that people can learn.

Take a normally social dog who loves kids and then allow a child to jump on it, trip and fall on it, stomp it, kick it, and poke it in the eyes continuously and you will see a social dog go to a fearful dog, and then an aggressive dog.

It would be like living in a prisoner of war or torture camp.  At first you go in a normal person, and soon you end up having your spirit broken, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and resorting to aggression to save yourself.

This is how these dogs feel and why children get mauled.  And, this is a clear case of nurture gone wrong.

A child is seen as an equal and therefore is more likely to be bitten for bad behavior.

So the next thing to do as a parent is to make sure you have a child that is kind toward all living things.  And if your child is too young and you have trouble keeping an eye on him/her (first kids need to be kept tabs on) and if this is the case your child is too young to appreciate a pet; perhaps wait until he/she is older before getting a pet.  Let’s face it parents of young children don’t need the stress of training and cleaning up after something else anyway!

The behavior of the children and respect they have for animals and the knowledge and parenting of the parents is more important than the pet!  For more on teaching children to be kind to animals and mindful of dogs and educating others click here.

So You Need a Puppy

puppy training, best puppies for kids

Thanks Photosof.com for this incredibly cute photo

Heck, I like puppies too!  I like being in control of their learning and their experiences!  But I also know how to deal with a difficult puppy!  And if you’d like to see how I’d do that, I made these videos.

So sit down and make a list.  Figure out what you are going to expect from a puppy or an adult dog throughout his life.

Is there a sport you have in mind; hunting, obedience, protection, herding or agility?

Are you active?  Do you go hiking or running or are extremely active, all of the time?

Or, do you like to hang out with your family and chillax and watch TV or movies often?

Now do some research on the web about what kind of dog will fit your lifestyle specifically and will want to join you in your adventures.

But most people should avoid “working” dogs or “working dog” lines, unless you want to compete in whatever they are talking about.

A “hunting” stock Labrador Retriever is going to drive a sedentary family NUTS!  Anytime you see “working dog or working stock” before a listing this means that the dog probably has crazy drive and energy and is not going to be happy sitting around.  This goes for herding dogs, hunting dogs, protection dogs and the like.

A professional can deal with working dogs but a regular dog person doesn’t usually always have what it takes to live with these dogs unless they are involved in the “working dog world” or need the dog to work.

I wouldn’t even want a “hunting” stock Labrador or Golden unless I was going to do hunt competitions.  That would be too much energy even for me!

If you like chillaxing a “hound” may be better for you; they too enjoy some snuggling and a good TV show or animal planet marathon.

 

getimpulsecontrol

Breeds to Avoid and Breeds to Research if You Have Children

puppy training, best puppies for kids, pitbull training

Some Pitbulls are Great with Kids

Several years ago I would have advocated for Pit Bull or Rottweilers with kids.  But nowadays ruthless people are overbreeding both breeds.  Not only can you end up with an aggressive dog or an overly protective dog (neither or which is good for young kids unless you are a professional and know what you are doing) you can also end up with a dog with severe health issues like hip dysplasia or a tendency toward cancer (also sad for kids who love their dog).

I would also not recommend crazy herding dogs; so if you get a “working” stock border collie you will likely end up with a dog that chases and nips your kids.  If herding dogs are not stimulated they often find their own job to do, and herding kids is one of their favorite sports.

Aloof breeds; Akitas, Chows, Malinois, Dutch Shepherds, and the like are not something that will want to share their space with visiting “friends” of your child.  We had a Chow when I was a kid, and one night when a friend spilled a little bit of her milkshake on the carpet and was wiping it up my Chow ran and bit her… not good!  My dog could tolerate her being what she considered “normal” like sitting, walking, standing but as soon as the picture was not normal; bent over and scrubbing the carpet the dog became very aggressive.

The above also goes for extremely protective breeds.  You may want to feel that your family is safer with a guard dog… but having friends in and out constantly increases the risk of having your dog bite doing something that feels natural to him.

I would also stay away from very small dogs.  I just read an article that stated that a study that involved researchers from the University of Pennsylvania as well as 6,000 dog owners found that Dachshunds had the highest incident of biting followed by the Chihuahua and then the Jack Russell.

The reason that you don’t hear about this on the news is because they are small dogs and rarely inflict enough damage to need hundreds of stitches or reconstructive surgery and therefore most bites are not reported.  Small dogs, in general, are often less tolerable of children and their antics and childlike behaviors; they are often worried about being stepped on or grabbed so they get defensive and aggressive to keep that from happening.

Plus a child stepping on a small dog on accident could break or even kill it.

Breeds to Consider

puppy training, best puppies for kids

Elkhounds a breed that is not well known, but one I adore!

I personally love Mutts!  They have so much to offer and usually get the best of whatever breed they are mixed with and tend to be healthier.  Although I would have never chose a Chow as a Service Dog… I often took Chow mixes from shelters because they passed the temperament tests.

One of my favorite breeds is the Greyhound when it comes to living with kids.  They are mellow, sweet and usually tolerant of children.  They are happy to lay around the house all day with you or to go for a walk (in moderate weather or a sweater) or a run or a hike.  They have thin skin, so they can be easily scratched or injured but are very resilient and most are saved from race tracks and live with rescue families who want only the best for their new owner and the dog.

I also love Bassett Hounds.  Although their brain is in their nose and they can’t always be trusted off leash they make wonderful house “sloths” and are very mellow and tolerant.

Elkhounds are another breed that I love that aren’t very well known.

I like collies although they are “herding” dogs the instinct to herd has often been mellowed out by breeding good family collies together to make a wonderful family pet.

Of course the Labrador and Golden Retriever are high on the list and several other “sporting” dogs.  However care needs to be taken that these retrievers are given the emotional and mental stimulation and exercise they demand.  Retrievers and sporting dogs like the Weimaraner and Vizsla and Brittney Spaniels are great companion dogs, they need serious training and stimulation to activate that brain that was bred to hunt all day!  These are very active dogs by default!

I also love Pugs!  Although they aren’t the healthiest breed can still “break” easily with small children; I can’t help but love their sweet temperaments!  And for older children I like Papillons (if you want a small dog).

I also love Newfoundlands and Boxers although both can have health issues and Boxers are known for being super active!!

puppy training, best puppies for kids

Petey from the Little Rascals

It All Comes Down to The Individual Dog and Your Experience Level

And what you need in a dog as far as activity.

There are great Pit Bulls, German Shepherds and Rottweilers that can be wonderful pets.  And I have likewise been called on many emergency “bite” calls and assessments for Golden Retrievers.

The most important part is the individual dog and the genetics of the puppy (how their parents like people, etc.).

Take Your Time

Do your research visit several dogs or puppy litters until you know exactly what you want; and don’t just fall in love with the first thing you see or you might be putting your children in danger!

And don’t bring your kids until you know which dog you will be getting.  Kids fall in love with any dog and want it!

Parents need to make rational informed decisions when it is as important as selecting a new family member that they will have for the next 10-20 years!

What do you think?

Please help to share this so people can find the right dog or puppy for their family!

Save

Save

Save

Save

There are 155 Comments

  1. holly says:

    I have a 10 month old bernese he is a little stubborn being a adolescent:-) but he is wondeful with my 3 and 6 year olds. he never bites at them even with all the extra squeezing hugs around his neck he loves the attention. he is very leary of adults and hides behind me when i take him for a walk and they want to pet him, (HE NEVER BITES) but any child walks up and he sits down and proudly waits to be pet.He was housebroke within a week and immediately another one of the kids:-)

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Dogs don’t always like hugs, I would be careful of that.

    If he is not neutered I would get him neutered.

    And, he is only 10 months and for a Berner that is still very young. But doesn’t mean that this behavior won’t escalate, be very very careful!

    Never force him to be petted and allow him to work things out, sometimes giving a stranger a treat to toss at his feet will make him more receptive toward people but be careful not to reward him for being fearful. Don’t coo to him or tell him “it’s okay” or he will think you like that behavior, instead ignore it.

    I love the Bernese, but I didn’t list them because they have such a high incidence of cancer that a 6 year life span is just not enough for me!

    [Reply]

  2. June says:

    I really enjoy your articles. I’m lucky to have chosen a rescue maltese cross nd she is an absolute delight.

    [Reply]

  3. Johanne Lacoste says:

    Very interesting! I apreciate your opinion about Soft coated Wheaten Terrier for family pet.

    [Reply]

  4. Bud Wilson says:

    Minette: I enjoy reading everything You write. I check My e-mail every day to see if I can learn anything from You.

    Thank You,
    Bud Wilson

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Thanks Bud!!! You just made my day!! I am so happy that you like what I write 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Alison MacDonald says:

    I have three rescue dogs, all of whom are great with kids. The first is a Shih Tzu cross but about 25 lbs. so larger than that breed. I’ve had her for 5 years and while she barks when she’s nervous she is never aggressive. The second is a Papillon that I got about a year later. I asked the rescue organization if I could take him home for a week to make sure there were no issues and they were fine with that. While he’s not aggressive, he will nip at times, for example if his hair gets pulled while brushing. He has never bitten a child, but I’m not sure that he wouldn’t if one hurt him. The third is called a “Lhasa type” by the vet and he thinks that children, especially little ones, are the best thing in the world. When we’re at the park if he sees a stroller he runs over to say hi and at times will try to climb in. He has no aggressive tendencies at all and will walk away if another dog or child takes something of his. I have no idea what else might be in his mix – he could be full Lhasa – because he was found wandering the streets.

    [Reply]

  6. Judy Mitchell says:

    Hi, I have had english cockers, a rottweiler and now have the love of my life_ a miniture snauzer ( spelling is wrong I think ). She is 18 months old and the only minus about her is the barking. Very intelligent and energetic as well as stubborn. She will try to hang off doing what I have told her to do until she thinks she might be disaplined. Great size and hardy. Would like your opinion. Thanks, Judy.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I don’t think they would make great family dogs for everyone with the barking, and the stubbornness! But I like them!

    [Reply]

  7. wendy says:

    We have two labradle, and they are both great with our son. Thay are brother and sister and are great around otther people as well. We have had a few dogs and have found this breed to be very good nature.

    [Reply]

  8. Marie says:

    Labs sometimes (i think) are good with kids. Golden Retrievers are also good with kids.
    I wonder if Jack Russells are good with kids?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Jack Russells are at the top of the list for bites. That is not ALL Jacks but some.

    I use to pet sit for one who was marvelous with my step kids but very dog aggressive.

    If you like a breed it is all about finding the right individual (which is why I like older dogs if there is any question).

    [Reply]

  9. Bob says:

    Does anybody have a daschund? I have a daschund that is approximately 2 years old and simply hates a bath. She growls and gets angry when I give her a bath.

    [Reply]

    Debbie Reply:

    Dear Bob…i have 3 Doxies and adopted out 6 pups. Doxies have a mind of their own but do well with positive reinforecement. Try putting them in water half way up their legs. Take it slow and treat their bath like a reward. Tell them how pretty and handsome they are in a calm soft tone as you bath them. They love praise and reward them if they do a good job. Also be careful of getting water in their ears and eyes. Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

  10. Wendy says:

    Hi I found your comments about dog breeds who are good with children interesting,in my experience most puppies will nip adults as well as children,
    When the dogs mature the golden rule is never leave your dog whatever the breed alone with young children,there have been several cases here in the uk of terrific attacks on young children by family pets,
    I have an adorable Scottie who is 11months old and who is brilliant with my grandchildren ,other dogs and people,which is good being a terrier,have you had any feedback about Scotties

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I agree with you, puppies nip anyone 😉 but they do tend to bite children harder. We are BIG adults and kids look like another puppy.

    I love Scotties but some are known for their barking and they too can be stubborn or nippy terriers.

    When I was a kid my Grandma had one and I certainly loved it.

    [Reply]

  11. I own a blue female Australian Cattle. She is wonderful with kids; especially todlers and infants. She was born around March 9th 2012 so shes almost a year old now. To her, I am her mother. She will only listen to comands from me and small kids. She will not listen to other adults, and does not like other dogs around me or small kids; such as my baby brother. She loves people in general; even though she may not like some animals. She loves horses, goats, rabbits, and kids. She hates birds, cats, dogs, and will only go after cattle if I tell her to. She is somewhat energetic, but is totally lazy when she gets the chance. But when I am outside in the yard playing with her; she is a ball of energy. She has never bitten anyone, except she likes to chew on my legs or hands(she has done this ever since I got her). She will not leave my side unless I put her up, shove her outside, or tie her up somewhere. I have actually seen her follow my baby brother outside, just protecting him. She would not let any of our ‘watch dogs’ or cats near him. An Australian Cattle Dog is very loyal, smart, great with kids, and amazing if you only want one dog. They also love attention and love. She also returns the love; for instance, once I got bucked off a horse and had to go to the hospital. I couldn’t take her with me and my step-mom and dad said that she somehow got into the house(I bet my brother or one of my sister let her in)and went to my room. They said that she laid there the whole time(a few hours)and would not eat, drink or leave my room. My sister said that she tried to pick her up, but she just growled and bared her teeth at her. They left her alone and when I was coming up the driveway, they said that she was out of the house and already sitting at the gate waiting for me. She babied me the rest of that evening. She kept making sure I was ok. She truly is an amazing dog, and her breed is amazing and I recommend and Australian Cattle Dog for a family who only wants one dog. But remember, this breed will pick a favorite family member(or if you live alone)and most likely only listen to that one person.

    [Reply]

  12. Beth Hesch says:

    A breed that is very good with children that I did not see mention is Keeshonds. I’m on my 3rd keeshond after losing the other 2 & he can’t get enought of people & other animals. He sees everything & can’t understand why I won’t let him just run over & play. He is just now 8 months & ususlly learns everything quickly except for wanting to see everyone & jumping on them. Now he is learning the STAND command & has caught onto that pretty quickly. Thanks for your help.

    [Reply]

  13. Ginger Rybicki says:

    Thank you so so much for printing this very intelligently presented material. I will be forwarding and copying it for future distribution. I would like to share my story about aggression and puppies if you will all be willing to hear it(it’s rather long).

    New neighbors moved in behind me several months ago. With them was a large black dog I’m guessing Lab/Greyhound/Bloodhound mix). He was terribly underfed and undersocialized. In fact, I never saw anyone pay him a minute of attention or food. So, I started feeding/watering him on a regular basis. He was very fearful and never did come to the fence. After a while, he started to put on weight and was feeling better. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the owner decided to chain him up in the middle of yard. I no longer was able to get food to him(I would have jumped the fence, but I really thought he’d bite me if I got to close). So,I had to sit back and watch him get skinnier and skinnier again. After awhile,I couldn’t take it anymore and called animal control who took him away and gave them a hefty fine.

    Four days later FIVE (yes 5) new dogs showed up on the property. My heart sank. Among them was a very fear aggressive Sheppard, a very nice Pit Bull, a little Terrier of some kind and two 6-7 week old puppies. The owner had taken in two roomates.

    The condition of these new dogs was almost as bad as the other dog, especially the puppies. A few days later, I was able to catch one of the roomates in the yard. I talked him out of giving me the puppies and the little Terrier. A friend agreed to take the terrier and is now a wonderful addition to a new forever family. I took on the puppies. They were a mess. Almost all thier hair was gone, crawling with fleas, and ematicated, I immediately took them to the vets. Technicians bathed and bathed and bathed them to get all the fleas off. The worst case they had ever seen. Covered in ringworm and loaded with intestinal parasites, the vets didn’t hold much hope for recovery.

    Because of the ringworm, I had to quarentine them away from all the pets in my house (I have a Boykin Spaniel/Chow mix, an English Lab mix, and a cat). This proved to be challenging since I have a small one bed one bath house, but we made due putting the puppies in the bathroom). For 5 weeks they got mega doses of vitamins, antibiotics, and medicated baths several times a week, in addition to good groceries and many trips to the vet. I would brake out in a rash every time I touched them, so I had to cover up from head to toe when I was with them, but still we managed. They were spayed and got all their shots. Against all odds, they lived and were getting stronger every day. Behaviorally, they seemed to be normal happy puppies.

    Thinking they were ready to find forever homes, I started the process of getting them on board with a local “friends of the shelter” group that arrange transport of puppies from South Carolina to states up north that have a shortage of puppies (imagine that!). I was denied twice due to being “out of the system”, and due to their size (only looking for small dogs,which these pups where not). While trying to figure out what to do next, I stated noticing behavioral changes. Now out of quarentine and out in the yard, when people came they became fearful and hid. Okay, I thought, understandable, they need socializing. I began taking them for long walks (with my other dogs) in the public woods near our home. Many dog walkers and people on horse use these woods. At first, they were fearful and ran to hide off the trail into the woods when we came upon people, dogs or horses, but after awhile something changed. They found their barks. When this happened, they lunged and barked ferociously with every hackle on their backs standing up. I was shocked, and dumbfounded. Someone suggested splitting them up, so I did.

    It was at this time they were finally accepted to be transported up north. However, with this aggressive behavior, no shelter would be able to adopt them, so I decided to keep them knowing that was probably my last change to find them another home unless I could change their behavior. It was not an easy decision. I’m not a professional dog behavioralist by any stretch of the imagination,have never had an aggressive dog of any type, didn’t really have the room for two more large breed dogs, would really have to tighten the budget to keep all these dogs on flea & tick and heartworm prevention (a must in the south), and I knew I simply couldn’t afford professional trainers or behavioralists, I was willing to give it a go.

    I started researching on-line, learning all I could about fear aggression, and socializing fearful dogs.

    I left them outside once when I went out, to have my neighbor come over yelling and screaming that they aggressively and constantly barked at him for an hour while he was out in the yard, and he would call animal control if it didn’t stop. Shoot! How do I get them to stop barking? I tried using the – “it’s okay Blossom, it’s okay Lolli” for weeks to no avail, I tried positive association with treats when neighbors or dogs or cars or a leaf blew to no avail. Once again I went to the internet for help. The only way they can go outside now is on leash. Being they aren’t housebroke yet (having to use newspaper while in quarentine just added to this frustration), I spent half the day taking them outside. They did settle down (after 5 minutes or so) on leash, so I clung on to the hope they would eventually come around.

    Inside, my household was turned upside down. Not being able to play outside very often, these now 50 plus pound puppies where destroying my little house. I had to purchase large, expensive, extra strong doorway gates to seperate spaces so the adult dogs and cat would have access to the dog door, but they couldn’t get out.

    As a gift, my stepfather hired workers to come to my house to fix my shed and carport and do some trim work on my house. Blossom puppy (after being thoughly introduced and seemed relaxed around the workers), ran up and nipped the one guy. This was the 4th time she had nipped a person. I never take nipping lightly. If a dog will nip, he will bite. How long until they BITE someone? the workers spent the next three weeks trying to make friends with them – they continued to charge and pounce on the fence, bark ferociously, and snap at them.

    One side of the fence in my back yard is nothing but chicken wire and some posts. I don’t have the money to replace the fence. I would wake up in the middle of the night worrying that they would go through that fence and attack my neighbors little boy that likes to play along the fence line.I would be lying if I didn’t admit I was completely overwhelmed at this point. The idea of “putting down” puppies was not something I was willing to even contemplate at this point, but I felt like a prisoner in my home and yard who’s only task in life was to keep these puppies from excessively barking, and having access to hurting anyone. I couldn’t have company over anymore. My 10 year old nephew used to come stay overnight with me on the weekends, but the pups become increasing more aggressive with him and at the very least would bark no stop the entire night.

    To add insult to injury, Blossom puppy also starting showing signs of dominance aggression. Although one of my adult dogs tryed not to allow this – (my other dog is 13) he is a follower and it wasn’t easy for him, and she knew that. So, her and I were in this constant battle for alphaness. Physically, she would run circles around me when I would try to gather her up, which frustrated me to no end, but I had to let her run around in the yard sometimes. So who was alpha? Mmmm, good question. As she stated to lose some of her fear, I noticed she just didn’t like, or want anything to do with people or dogs (other than me and mine).

    Someone suggeste seperating them. So I did – in the woods atleast. It was while seperated I could observe each pup as individuals. Over time, I started to see positive improvement in Lolli – when and only when seperated from Blossom.

    I contacted no less than 12 rescue groups and organizations for help. Not one was willing to take them on – especially Blossom. After much soul searching,and encouragement from friends and family, I made the gut wrenching decision to humanly euthanize my poor sweet Blossom. I’m 51 years old, and this was by far the hardest thing I’ve done.

    Now for some positive and good news! In just days after having Blossom girl put down, Lolli became a different dog (actually she is becoming herself). As I had hoped, she (a follower) started to look to my adult dogs as to how to behave. In less than two weeks, I am happy to report she is completely housebroke, is greeting people and dogs(she knows)in the woods wagging her tail, giving kisses, and even trying to play some. Although still fearful and barky at strangers and my neighbor, it’s not with near the same intensity. I was so confident in her transformation that I invited my parents and sister over for dinner this weekend. She did beautifully! Although somewhat fearful and tentative, her hackles never rose, she gave kisses, and only barked once. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Our household is again peaceful and she has even made friends with the cat (although Elsa kitty is not buying it quite yet, she is starting to come around more). She no longer barks at the neighbor dog – she actually sits and observes now. I’m cautiously optimistic she continue to become a well adjusted and social dog.

    Although this entire experience has been bitter/sweet (and long – thank you for your tolerance) I wanted to share it. Blossom and Lolli’s parents are the Sheppard and Lab/Greyhound mix I mentioned earlier. Both were fearful and aggressive. Where they born that way (NATURE), or where they victims of an abusive and neglectful owner NURTURE)? Don’t know. I used to think that aggressive dogs where only “created” by their owners. No longer. Although my puppies had a tragic beginning, Lolli has proven that she was only following Blossom’s dominance and instability, and given a chance to be in a nurturing environment was able to allow the real stable Lolli to come through. Was Blossom’s fear and domanice aggression due to those tragic first weeks of her life? Maybe, but I don’t think so. The fact is that her negative behaviors started AFTER she was in a stable loving environment. This says to me that it was in her NATURE to be aggressive,dominant,and unsociable.

    I agree with Minette that it would be best to get an adult dog instead of a puppy if you have children. Ya never know.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Sad story but thank you for sharing. So many people want to blame the owner… it’s easier.

    But puppies can be aggressive and although they were neglected it doesn’t sound like the other people were out beating them at 2-3 weeks of age.

    Clearly you gave them what they needed and certainly tried. Blossom knew what love felt like and had a good life. I am proud of you.

    [Reply]

  14. charles hildebrand says:

    we have three choclate labs. all very good dogs all from the same breeder. one is three and a half years the other two are nine months old. the smaller of the two puppies is very good walks well knows her commands. the other puppy is lovable but has some insecurity problems/separation anxiety problems. when I walk her she pulls excessively, and when inside she will pee in areas of the house even after we have taken them out. have tried putting her in her crate for periods of time but she still does it. do you have any ideas?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Concentrate on her, she needs more of your time.

    Start lots of obedience at home, it builds confidence and then consider a class just the 2 of you; bet she’ll love it

    [Reply]

  15. zoe says:

    we have a pitbu and she is a lovey ltte dog wel i say little but not anymore and shes not even a year yet!!! but atey she has started to Bark Alot and runnnig up 2 people and barking kinda like be Fearful From me.Pease any suggestions would be very well appreciated.thanks.zoe

    [Reply]

  16. erin doyle says:

    Hi,
    If no-one has considered a Great Dane, I would do so. They are fabulous with young children, adults, strangers and they are totally friendly, adorable (big babies) and just the most gorgeous animals I have come across. They are needy as far as company is concerned. I work from home and my darling dog is delighted I do! As am I!!!!!!!

    cheerio,
    Erin

    [Reply]

  17. CappyKan says:

    When my sibling and I were around five years old, our parents got us two miniature Schnauzers. Their intial reasoning was that the dogs were miniature versions of Schnauzer which is a German war dog, so they’re structed sturdily, good for rambunctious children. However, they were also mixed with other terriers so the genetic issues of merely being runts didn’t arise, at least with less effect.
    They were exceptional. We were expected to do all the training and caring, which a person would think as a death-trap for both the puppies and children, but it was surprisingly easy. Both of our dogs were exceptionally obedient immediately, hanging off our every word and house-training only took a couple weeks. My dog didn’t require being taught to come or follow, as she was glued to my leg and seemed to understand what to do purely on the tone of my voice. The other puppy had similar actions, but she was more of a family dog and seemed to be occupied with the entire family and not focused on just her.
    They were both energetic and always happy to run around a bit, but the moment we stopped playing they’d go back into a calm, perhaps even lethargic state only to bounce back to an apparent sugar-high when we took off again. Neither of them had any behaviour issues like aggression or possessiveness and were very social with other dogs and, to an extent, strangers.
    The same was for the other few we adopted, but all of them came from seperate families and breeders.

    [Reply]

  18. sarah says:

    I completely disagree that small dogs, “are often less tolerable of children and their antics and childlike behaviors”. I have grown up with Yorkies and never had a single problem. They are amazing dogs, and extremely smart. I have never had a single problem with any of my dogs around small children.

    [Reply]

    GRACE Fritz Reply:

    I got a rescue dog, a 6 year old chihuahua from the humane society in October. She hasn’t been around children yet but I am concerned by all your remarks. She is so loving and loves to sit on my lap and I adore her. she is getting socialized to adults and want them to take her up, except for my one daughter whom she nipped at once. My daughter doesn’t like small dogs. My sister had just dids and we were all in shock and upset and I think that had something to do with it. Anyway, she reacted very strongly when my daughter came in the other day, barking and barking. She doesn’t act this way with my other children. Any suggestions? I am 85, in good health and walk her every day. She is a sweetie pie , a great companion and I would like them to at least get along. I think she senses that my daughter doesn’t like her

    [Reply]

  19. patricia says:

    I sit for my nephew’s son who is 18 mos. old. They acquired a pit bull/boxer mix from the shelter. She is 1 yr old and very energetic. I also just started your program so I could teach her some manners. She is fond of me because I spend time with her and try to maintain the alpha presence. I have a lot of work ahead of me since she jumps, chews, and digs holes all over the back yard. She also jumps the fence. I will try to use your teaching methods as much as possible in the hopes of stopping this unwanted behavior. Please let me know if you have a vidio on digging and jumping the fence.

    [Reply]

  20. the teacup says:

    what a bout yorkie teacup puppies. They are very small and adorable too. What do you think about teacup puppies and children ?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I think they are too small and fragile for most children.

    [Reply]

  21. Zoe says:

    Hi,
    Just read your article and found it very helpful thank you.
    I have two daughters aged 8 and 6.
    Would an american bulldog be a good choice for a pet?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    American Bulldogs can be very hard headed, harder to train and territorial.

    If you and your family can handle that, I suggest you find a good breeder and make sure mom and dad are good with people and kids.

    Steer away from litters where mom and dad don’t like people or are skittish

    [Reply]

  22. Terri says:

    I have had many breeds in my lifetime. My childhood pet was a german shepherd.. blindly loyal, great all around family pet, followed us kids on our bikes all day and guarded our bikes at the mall, waiting for us to come out. He was fine until passing school children came by our house and banged on our trash cans or little bitty dogs nipped in his face. I’ll never forget that dog! I’ve had many breeds in my adult years, but the poodle is my favorite. Highly intelligent, eager to please, easy to train, polite, plus they don’t stink or shed makes them the greatest ever. My current 2 are a 11 year old standard female, Zoe and my 1 year old miniature female, Pippa. We have 7 kids ranging from 30 to 13 and now a 22 month old granddaughter living with us. They are great with her and watch her while she plays, coming up for pets. I also have a 6 year old female german shepherd who adores everyone and follows us on our walks, protecting us from the neighborhood dogs. All she does is wait until they threaten and bound up to them. They always back down and she comes back to herd behind us, but never nips or chases, just crosses back and forth. All of our dogs were well socialized to humans and other dogs and were obedience taught. Zoe even did agility in her young days. We recently lost our 16 year old yorkie. He was fonder of men than women, great with guests, but understandably slightly afraid of small children, although he never nipped, just stayed cautious and out of their way. I can’t imagine life without a dog! They bring such joy……

    [Reply]

  23. Amy says:

    Wonderful piece, thank you! I’d come to some of these conclusions through bad experiences and my family is on the verge of adopting a 2 year old Boston Terrier. The rescue says he loves kids, plays with them and snuggles with them,…but then they also say the dog is dog and cat aggressive “especially off leash) and gets scared easily. Do these things sound incongruent with a dog that’s great with kids? Our boys are 6 & 4. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  24. Jennifer says:

    I have an 8 year old daughter. She is VERY well behaved and has always been very gentle with all animals. My mom has cats and from the time my daughter was a baby she was taught to respect animals and was never allowed to pull tails, grab, or otherwise bother an animal. So we finally decided to get a pet of our own. My husband brought home a lovely 9 week old puppy about a month ago. She is generally sweet, rarely barks at anything, seems very smart. She is a mix that came from a breeder. Breeder usually breeds mini poodles, but the neighbors Chihuahua got under the fence at an inopportune time. So she is a mini poodle/chi mix. We really feel like we got the best of both breeds. Except for one problem. She is a puppy (that is not the problem) and has a ton of energy like any other puppy. She wants to play. The problem is that “playing” for her involves a lot of biting. I hesitate to even call it biting. Maybe nipping? It usually starts out light and tolerable, but as she gets more excited it gets out of hand. She will go for my hands and arms….but she has jumped and nipped at my daughters face. It never seems mean spirited or aggressive. Like I said…I hesitate to even call it biting. Never drawn blood or even come close. We love this dog. We have had her fixed. We are working on crate training. When she does get over excited and I am no longer able to calm her simply by speaking calmly or holding and petting I confine her to her crate or to the kitchen with a baby gate for a while until she is calm. I do not see the point of trying to handle a dog who is in that state of excitement…I do not feel she can understand or comprehend what is happening when she is in that state. Just like kids sometimes. lol The big question is….is this something puppies grow out of? Is there something we need to be doing to put a stop to it? That and she likes my daughters shoes….but only her shoes. She has destroyed a few pairs already. But THAT is more of an issue of training my daughter to put her shoes away. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Yes, on putting your daughter’s shoes away!

    This puppy needs more exercise than she is getting!! She needs a good run and some obedience training every day to entertain her mind and her body.

    Without training and exercise puppies bite and jump and destroy things. Biting can be a way of interacting with us; and although it is not appropriate it is a way for them to get our attention.

    So first is exercise!!! Not just a stroll or a walk but real running exercise http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/exercise-dragon-oops-puppy/

    then read this one http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/taste-horrible-aversive-dogpuppy-training-mouthing/

    [Reply]

  25. Sara says:

    The Havanese is the BEST dog ever!

    [Reply]

    Toni Kae Reply:

    I agree. I have a 3 year old granddaughter and 8 year old grandson and they love watching tv with Gizmo.

    [Reply]

  26. Stacy says:

    We have a Saint Bernard and she is the sweetest, gentlest dog ever! We adopted her from a rescue as a puppy and other than her getting overly excited with certain visitors and excessive shedding she is perfect. She doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her body. She loves kids, adults and gets along with all dogs. We also have a Pomeranian/eskimo mix (pomimo). She is also very good with anyone.

    [Reply]

  27. Michelle says:

    I have a 4 yr 7 mo old female Pekingese who viciously attacks one of my other pekes (male 5 1/2 yrs). She was only going after him. It’s been since she was approx 6 mos. she was on Prozac for 4 years and it worked great, but our (now former) vet gave her the wrong med for 2 mos. she was back attacking our male as she was withdrawing from the Prozac. We have since placed her back on the Prozac but I know once you stop a psychotropic med cold turkey like that it never works right again. She is better now, but the attacks still occur. At this point she knocked out all 6 of her bottom front teeth (when she was a baby) and 4 or his. We have an appointment with a behavioralist this week, but any input you have would be greatly appreciated. They are well socialized and she only really has issue with the one male. The other 2 fight back and this male just drops submissive and that seems to enrage her! She is a perfect angel other then that! Someone suggested rage syndrome but I don’t think it’s that. Seems now that it’s mostly when she is overstimulated but she never used to do it when we weren’t home but now she does. Also when out walking. I’m rambling… Thank you so much in advance for any guidance you may be able to offer.

    Michelle

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would leave it to the veterinary behaviorist since I can’t see the behaviors and the dogs interact and he/she may want to switch, change, or add meds

    [Reply]

  28. Michelle says:

    I am hoping she will display her evil side when the behavioralist comes! Lol. She’s usually excellent around other people! That’s why I have been stocking up on video of attacks and behavior leading up too.

    Thank you for your input!

    Michelle

    [Reply]

  29. Michelle says:

    I sent video to the behavioralist and she said its referred aggression. When he licks her he is challenging her to be nice! She recommended melatonin who’s has totally done the trick! Things have returned to normal in our household!!!! Thank goodness!

    [Reply]

  30. Elaine says:

    Hi Minette,

    What about Bullmastiffs and children? We recently adopted an 8 week old male and do far he’s been lovely. Very chilled and relaxed. Plays with children ok, bit nippy initially but now only a little with my youngest ( 3years old). Bit worried if you saying he could go fom gentle relaxed puppy to potential lunatic big dog! Mum and dad dogs were gorgeous and relaxed when we met them.
    Tx for your opinions…

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Due to their size and health conditions, I wouldn’t list them as “ideal” for most people, however with training and proper socialization you will probably end up with a great dog.

    [Reply]

  31. Ruth Smith says:

    I have a 2 year old English spring spaniel. she is a very loving dog. I need to know what to do with her jumping on people, she has been trained, and I have had her since she was 12 weeks old. the trainer helped a lot, but when we go walking she stills pulls, and she barks at people when we pass them. I don’t believe in shock collars. when people come to my house, she goes crazy for attention, and will not mind me at all. I end up putting her in her crate. she is crate trained, and sleeps in it too. any help please

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this; it explains what to and not to do http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/correcting-dog-jumping-people-create-aggressive-dog/

    [Reply]

  32. Morris Fisher says:

    I have a 5 year old beagle and got him from a family. He is friendly to all people. He has a friendly bad habit of jumping up on people and giving them a kiss. Especially women he loves them (smart dog). He does all kinds of tricks and enjoys playing. We live in a five story condo o there is a lot of elevator riding up and down. We usually have a stroll twice a day and he loves to sniff everything. I trained him not to pee on the couch leg and he waits to go outside. He is a great companion and is my PTSD pal and we get along fine and he sleeps at my feet every night and keeps them warm (he eats table food and a no fat diet low diet of fish meal pellats that I use as treats. He also likes blue berries.he also takes two Spirugreen supplements twice a day and they include Astaxanthin along with other requirements. I obtain the supplements from DR. Mercola and receive his healthy pets newsletter. I walk him on a leach and he is friendly with all dogs and cats and likes to chase squirrels and rabbits and is not aggressive. He loves car rides and has his own seat belt. He watches me close and appears to understand that I have health problems. He is a great companion for a senior war veteran and a smart dog companion who understands and we love each other. He loves children but if they pinch or squeeze him too much he will nip them which is understandable. and he watches me close and know when Its time for my meds.Any advice or suggestions would be welcome. Thank you.

    Morris & Dexter

    I’m a diabetic on insulin).

    [Reply]

  33. Carol Weekly says:

    Thank you for this great article.

    [Reply]

  34. Prem says:

    Hi,

    I have kid one year old I need to buy a dog which dog breed i should buy.

    I need a guard dog too so please don’t just a small dog breed .

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You don’t need a “guard dog” with a child. You just need a dog. The presence of a dog keeps people away.

    Thinking you need a dog to guard or bite is setting you up for a scary situation

    [Reply]

  35. Emma says:

    We have a nine month old rescued BoxerxBeagle, who is great with the kids next door! No matter how worked up she gets, she’ll never jump at them or bite them (when it’s just her with me or Mum or Dad, on the other hand…). She’s very active but, at night, can be the world’s biggest sook, whinging for attention and trying to sneak into the family room.

    The dog that we had previous, a LabxRetriever, was anti-social due to us being told not to socialise him until after all of his injections (big mistake!) but, he loved us and was so tolerant of my sister and I as kids. 🙂

    [Reply]

  36. Emma says:

    My Nanna had a Dachshund that loved her, but would growl at everybody else and bite you if you got too close to it. Meanwhile, my old riding teacher had a Jack Russell that was good with everything – kids, other dogs, horses, you name it! I think that it depends on the particular dog, really…

    [Reply]

  37. tiffany baker says:

    I really need your help. I am getting so many mixed articles of the proper dog for our home. We have older teens, but only part time cause we share with their other parents. But the one we really worry about is our full time 3 year old. He loves chill dogs and affectionate ones but when they bark a lot (meaning really loud and deep), get jumpy, or nippy he is very afraid. We have someone home all day to be with them and all night, so wont be left on its own unless to got out or run errands. We rarely vacation, maybe only once a year and not far. Please what do you suggest? We also need a healthy breed so we are going to be constantly running to vet for health issues, not unforeseen ones but ones that are almost always common with that breed and are unavoidable. Please help.
    Research has said that a bull terrier would be great, but when I read the comments on a Bull terrier rescue site they all say many were returned because the proved to be too much for a small kids in particular.

    I was told a Beagle is great. But some one else said beware if they don’t get enough exercise, they will knock him over and tare up the house.

    I was also told and french or English bull dog but they also have a lot of heath issue that can start almost immediately.

    I was told not to get an older dog because they are so difficult to break out of bad habits already learned or itemization trauma from a prior home or shelter.

    I am doing research but I am very very confused.
    Please help.

    I am doind research

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Beagles can be nippers. French or english bulldogs have horrible health problems (I hope you are a Dr.) and are very stubborn.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t get a dog with a 3 year old, you are compounding your work load by 1000 and that gives the baby time to grow up and become less scared and also to learn some manners before you get a dog.

    If you are hell bent, then I would find a rescue. Many rescue dogs come from homes with young children and not all of them have issues. People move and people don’t apply any commitment. I used to get ALL of my service dogs from shelters and if I can find good adult dogs that can go in public where they are stepped on and yanked then I know there are dogs with great temperaments out there.

    But I would go rescue vs shelter because most rescue dogs live in a home with people and those people will know the good and bad about the dog

    [Reply]

  38. Stephanie Roderick says:

    I have a 3 mo old mini schnauzer. She has been with us for 3 weeks. She is a very social puppy and seems very quick to learn most things. She can sit,down,stay(30 sec) , is mostly potty trained (unless she gets excited playing). She is very good with the children in the family(so far just the 10+yr odds). I am having a problem with her around my 17 yr old cat. She wants to play and he does not. So he hisses and swats at her(he is declawed front paws) , but she still thinks he’s playing, she will bark at him and paw him back. She also runs like crazy trying to get him to chase her. She does the same thing around my one daughter’s yorkie and my others chiweenie. They are all very active and love the chase game. Any suggestions of how to help her understand that the cat doesn’t want to play?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Put the puppy on a leash and teach it manners.

    And, give the cat a room or a place that the puppy can never go.

    [Reply]

  39. Amber says:

    I have had a german shepherd, shetland sheepdog, and pitbull and I would spend ALOT of time playing with my aunt’s rottweiler as a kid. Top 2 most gentle dogs with kids would absolutely be the rotty and pitbull. They are so gentle and adore kids. As kids me and my sister would spend hours playing in the backyard with my aunts rottweiler and she was the sweetest thing, never so much as nipped, just full of love. Unfortunately in the early 90’s rottweilers were being villainized by the media as pitbulls are today. One day things changed and she said we couldn’t play because she watched a news story about an aggressive rottweiler. It’s funny because you’ve never seen a mauling but a golden retriever on the news when It absolutely does happen. The problem is that by villianizing a breed you will draw bad people to that breed which further perpetuate the myth as a bad owner results in a misbehaved and oftentimes aggressive dog. The owner of a vicious dog is MANY MANY times more likely to have a criminal record. If you want vicious dog attacks to end, stop allowing violent criminals to have dogs in the first place. I treat my pitbull with love and affection and he rewards my family with being the best dog we’ve ever had. He is an absolute angel and so loving and gentle with my daughter. If I even play battle with my daughter (she loves it) he’ll start howling at me and grab things he knows I dont want him to have and come by me with them to distract me away from her. I highly recommend pitbulls as family pets. With any dog make sure the dog has no aggressive tendancies at all (with food, toys, playing, etc) before adopting and introducing to children. Also teach your children to respect the dog in the first place. In a wolf pack all members of the pack care for the pups. If the dog believes him or herself as part of your family’s pack he will treat your kids with the love of a parent.

    [Reply]

  40. My mom said that I can’t get another dog until I am 13 years old. How do I show her I can get it sooner?

    [Reply]

  41. Erin says:

    Hi Minette,

    I read your above article and found it to be informative, but maybe too late for us. My family and I (consisting of me, my husband and four kids 6yr to 1yr, and two cats) adopted a golden mix from a local rescue about two months ago. We did two test weekends with her and she was very mellow and gentle around the kids. She was interested in the cats but always would just sniff and then walk away. I had been researching dog breeds for about a year and thought that with the golden retriever in her, we were matched well. We went ahead with the adoption. She has been good; however, she has been increasingly possessive over me to the point that she attacked our cat when the cat was trying to get to my lap. She growled, barked, bared teeth, and pinned the cat down. The cat was able to get away unhurt. Now, I am not only worried about the cats, but also that she may do this when one of the kids runs to me. She snapped (did not bite) at the 1 yr old when she got to close the first week we had her, but since then we have kept them completely apart unless my husband or I are holding the baby. I have been researching some more and I can only tell by looks that she may be a golden/chow mix. We have called in an in-home trainer, but if you have any other advice on if this is something we should be concerned about or if the trainer can help her possessiveness that would be great! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  42. Brianna says:

    So your saying that nobody should get a dog or puppy for their child?I have a almost 3 yr old and a 1 1/2 yr old and I have had a dog before they were born but she’s very old now and don’t play with them much we live in the country and I was raised with animals since I was little…are u saying that nobody should get a puppy or dog for a kid younger then 5?? I’m just curious because I don’t think getting a dog for them would be bad my kids love animals and we always teach them manners and my son who’s almost 3 is very smart for his age I think if you have children around my kids age that they can have a puppy or dog if u supervise and teach them the right way to treat a dog…I do want to get my kids a puppy or dog but I just haven’t found the right breed for them because we don’t want a huge dog we want one that’s not to small or big for them and my son is very energetic and absolutely loves animals and to play with them what would u suggest? Even though you don’t agree with people getting a dog for children at this age

    [Reply]

  43. Carrie Allen says:

    I agree about collies. We had a pure bred collie and her half breed daughter for years when my kids were babies. Til about middle school. They were outside dogs, but they eere great with the kids. Both oof them at about 3 attempted to ride her. She was big about 100 lbs. She didn’t complain but she wouldnt move. Very sweet. Collies have the sweetest eyes. I had a Doberman when my oldest was born he was really great. I was worried about him because he was so intent on protecting Drake. When he was about 9 mo I would put Drake in the kiddie pool and Max would circle where ever Drake was. What concerned me was my ex would bring his friend with six kids around. They would throw a ball around and Max would madly bounce around to intercept it. I was scared he would accidentally bite their hands. Now my boys are grown but in college live at home. We have two black lab mixes. They are great but I wouldn’t recommend one to a smal child just because they are very enerjetic and bumbly for a couple years. Mine wouldnt bite a biscuit. But my nine month old dives on the bed and tackles me like a linebacker. My suggestion is a toy poodle. Had a male 13 yrs and he was sso easy to train, to care for and they will stay as close as possible to their owners. No one didn’t love Jackson. He regularly would go to the elementary school to pick up my son or help in the class. Mosy I held him and let them pet him. He would sit just as still as if he were a toy. He could swim, won over any man that thought poodles weren’t cool. He was my baby. I still miss him though he has been gone 4 yrs. Three years ago I got two female toy poodles. And they are great too..

    [Reply]

  44. Heather says:

    What about the barking tendency of the Norwegian elkhounds? Is that inevitable or trainable? I don’t want a barking dog but we do live in a cold winter climate. Also we have 4 boys ages 6,8,10,12. Is that too young for a dog? Or what type of dog would you reccomends for an active family of boys? We dog sat (2 weeks)for a labpit mix mutt not sure what else it had and it was an amazing dog especially considering it was still not an adult. It played great with the kids never ran off and stayed and would do anything we said. Even sit and wait wherever we asked. I grew up with a cocker spaniel that was impossible to train the obedience school sent us away! So I’m terrified of getting a dog that is crazy like that.

    [Reply]

  45. Hi i want to get an mini american eskimo some people say they are great with kids and other animals some people say that they are not . I just dont know what to belive. Can you help ? Also when people say they are good with something is that only when they grow up around it ? Like for say : i have small children around but only for short periods of time (2-4hrs) maybe one week then another week i dont .then the next week maybe a couple days then next week nothing . How do i judge ? I dont want to get a dog and have to put them away while kids are here .but also dont want kids to be scared if the dog is out and about in his home. What to do? Any help ?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I do not think american eskimos are typically good with children.

    [Reply]

  46. owner of 3 Collies says:

    This is a great article and I have to agree. I own 3 Rough Collies (collies). They are the sweetest, most gentle, loving dogs ever! They still have a herding instinct, but don’t require as much exercise as you think. 3 bathroom breaks a day and 1 walk a day…and that’s all! If you have enough time, 2 walks a day is ideal! They can bark a lot, but that is easily fixed with training. They will entertain you and be a couch potato with you! A couple times a day, they get a burst of energy and race around the house, but that is normal! 1 brush a week and 1 bath every couple months…and the occasional paw trim and that’s all! I highly recommend the breed! You can get from breeders or your nearest Rough Collie Rescue!
    They also tend to talk with you and tell stories. They make a Chewbacca sound and it is so cute! (They are not growling, they are talking.)

    They help your kids grow! Our friend who has recently had a baby is staying with us and our Collies have taught her to walk and play! They are able to handle the average baby, but as with all breeds, supervision is required. Not so much for the baby’s safety, but for the dogs.

    A Rough Collie is REQUIRED to help your baby!

    [Reply]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *