Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Pets Feed
Your child dreams of a dog, but you can’t make up your mind? A dog is not a toy at all, it cannot be thrown away when it gets bored. Will your child really care for the pet, as promises, or will all the care of him, as always, fall on your shoulders? How to resolve your doubts?
Before purchasing a dog, think about this, it is advisable to do this (think) with the whole family.
- How old is your child? Will he really be able to take care of the pet or will it be an additional burden on you? You shouldn’t buy a dog if your child is under 6-7 years old. Young children often perceive a puppy as a funny toy, not realizing that it is a living creature, that it may be painful or scary.
- Discuss your housing issue. If you do not have a private house, but a small city apartment, it is unlikely that a large dog will feel comfortable in it, and you will most likely also experience discomfort.
- The financial side of the issue is of considerable importance. A dog in the house is quite a decent cost – food, visits to the vet, toys, leashes, bowls and other necessities. At the same time, it does not matter whether you have a small or large dog, the expenses are still quite tangible.
IMPORTANT! Everyone, absolutely all family members must agree with the appearance of a pet in the house. If at least one person disagrees, don’t take the dog.
Should a child have a dog?
Experts say that with families with dogs, children grow up healthier, more sociable and responsible. Sometimes pets are better than psychologists in helping to overcome children’s selfishness and fears. Thanks to the four-legged friend, the child learns to put other people’s interests above their own. And the families themselves become friendlier and more active when a connecting link appears there – everyone’s beloved dog. However, in order for the dog to become a joy for the child and the whole family, and not a burden, it is necessary to think seriously before deciding on such a responsible step.
It is extremely important to understand that just to love a dog and take care of it every day, to do everything to make it comfortable in the house – things are somewhat different. Try to find out if your child is really ready to take responsibility for a living being? Has he matured enough to sacrifice his interests in favor of the dog, primarily in terms of daily walks in any weather? Does he agree to regularly wash, scratch, feed the pet, and constantly clean up heaps and puddles for the first half-year? Perhaps, it has already become his natural need to take care of someone, necessary for the formation of important personality traits. After all, dogs are able to awaken even in adults all the best that is inherent in man by nature. But if a child wants a dog because this is just another child’s whim, then it is better to refuse the purchase. Explain to your child that any pet is not a toy and, like a person, needs care and attention.
Is your child responsible?
Also evaluate, in general, how responsible and disciplined the child is in life. If he is not even ready to answer for himself, he will hardly be able to answer for the dog. But even if you are convinced that the desire to have a dog is not a momentary whim of a child, and there will be no problems with discipline and responsibility, do not rush to buy. Let your child interact with the non-aggressive dogs you know, read books and watch films about dogs. This is necessary first of all so that he and you together with him understand that keeping a dog is not only joy, but also everyday work, and figure out if you are ready for this. It is also worth excluding the possibility of a child’s allergy to a dog – it is better to find out before you have to give up a puppy already bought or taken “into good hands”, injuring both the dog and the child.
When can you have a dog for your child?
At what age is a child allowed to have a dog? Both teachers and dog handlers categorically do not recommend doing this before the age of seven: small children, due to their physical and mental development, are unlikely to be able to fully care for a dog.
From 7 to 13 years old, a child can already, with your help, walk, train and take care of a small breed dog. For example, a miniature poodle, lapdog, bichon, Yorkshire terrier or Chihuahua.
From the age of 14, a young dog breeder can be trusted with a larger dog. But you cannot completely shift all responsibility for it onto the child! First of all, it is you who must monitor her health, nutrition and proper upbringing.
No matter how adult and independent your child may seem to you, it will never be superfluous to remind him of the basic rules of behavior with a dog.
Dog care basics
- You cannot offend the dog, beat him and behave rudely towards the animal. Firstly, because the dog can respond adequately to aggression. Many breeds are vindictive and respond to the offender with evil even after some time has passed. And, most importantly, if a child allows himself to offend a dog, one of the most benevolent creatures, then in the future it will be just as easy for him to offend a person.
- If you gave your child a dog of a small decorative breed, then explain that this is not a toy, but a full-fledged dog with its own character and needs.
- Inform your child not to disturb the dog when it is eating, feed it candy, and wake it up when it sleeps.
You should not try to “cure” your child from fear or cruelty towards pets by having a dog. A dog is not a “psychological trainer”, but a living being that deserves love and care.
Best dog breeds for kids
If you yourself are not against the fact that a dog will appear in the house, and your child still managed to persuade you, then the issue of acquiring a puppy should be taken seriously. At the same time, one should not ask the question “what breeds of dogs love children” – as a rule, most dogs, subject to early socialization and competent training, are loyal to children. However, there are breeds that still feel better in solitude and peace, do not like noise and do not tolerate familiarity.
Dog for a child? Or a dog for a family with children?
It is important to distinguish between the concepts of “dog for a family with children” and “the best dog for a child.” In the first case, it is assumed that the owners of the dog are adults, and all that is required of it is to be simply loyal and non-aggressive towards children. The question “what breed of dog to have for a child” implies that the child himself can take care of such a dog. “Choosing a dog for a child” means that your son or daughter will be the main dog lovers in the family. Of course, this does not negate the need for your active help and understanding that the bulk of the worries will fall on your shoulders. That is why it is difficult to recommend, for example, Newfoundland or Great Dane as the best dog breed for children. These are large breeds that adults should be involved in upbringing and caring for, despite the fact that Newfoundlands are the best nanny dogs.
To choose the right dog for a child, take into account his individual characteristics, in particular, lifestyle, health and temperament. Active, mobile dogs are suitable for active children, and phlegmatic ones for calm ones.
Best dog breeds for children
The best dogs for children are considered the Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, Labrador, West Highland White Terrier, Collie, Bichon, Pug, Spitz.
- Pug. Affectionate, playful, easily forgiving dog. Gets along well with other animals living in the house. Suitable for both active and quieter children.
- American Eskimo. A very intelligent and positive animal with great willpower. He will listen to your every word, so there will be no difficulties with his training. Suitable for children with a calm, balanced temperament.
- Collie. The smartest, extremely good-natured dog. She gets along well with people, especially children. She is easy to train and understands a lot of words. Cases of collie manifestation of any aggression are not described. Perfectly adapts to the character of your child.
- Dalmatian. A good friend for an active teenager, especially a boy. He practically never gets tired. Early and correct upbringing allows you to raise an intelligent and docile dog.
- Golden retriever. The ideal dog for an apartment. She is patient with children, loving and very playful. She will be comfortable with an active teenager, because she never gets tired of enjoying life.
- Labrador. The most versatile dog. Loyal, affectionate, loyal and playful. Puppies love to bite, besides the breed is large, therefore it is suitable only for adolescents.
- Bichon Frise. A small dog for a child, fluffy and very affectionate. She does not shed and her coat is odorless. A perfect companion for a teenage girl.
- Irish Setter. An intelligent and noble dog. Quite active, which is what it requires from its owner.
- West Highland White Terrier. Perfect in beauty and very friendly dog with gentle temperament. Good friend for junior high school students and teenage girls.
What breeds of dogs are not suitable for children
Most dog handlers, answering the question – what dogs should not be given to children, almost unanimously advise against buying representatives of service, fighting and some hunting breeds, such as dachshund, husky, etc. They do not tend to get attached to children, and they are able to show excessive aggressiveness. There are cases when these dogs, living in a family, seriously injured children. It is also undesirable to have a non-aggressive dog of a large breed, such as a Malamute, Husky, German Shepherd – it will be difficult for a child to control it on the street. Not the best option and miniature decorative breeds – such dogs are extremely fragile and delicate creatures and a child can inadvertently injure them in the game. Definitely “banned” breeds such as Amstaff, Rottweiler, Cane Corso, Bull Terriers, Pit Bulls and Bulldogs – not every adult can properly raise such a dog. Also, do not choose a rare breed and dogs that are difficult to care for, in particular, with a non-standard coat structure or excessively shedding – in the absence of experience, its maintenance may be too difficult for both the child and you.
When deciding which breed of dog to choose for a child, do not forget that the character of any pet is formed under the influence of a person. Therefore, it is very important that the atmosphere in the family is friendly and the dog, first of all, is loved.