How many times have you seen Lassie saving Timmy? How about Rin Tin Tin or Rusty? But if you scour the web, you can also find plenty of negative stories too. That’s because not all dogs are a good fit for families. Today, we’ll take a look at what to consider when choosing the best small dogs for kids.
Unfortunately, a lot of dogs are abandoned when a baby shows up in a family. Many owners fail to understand that both kids and dogs might represent a great source of joy. At the same time, inappropriate care might turn this partnership into a real danger. So what can you do?
#1: Train & Socialize Your Dog
Training and socializing your dog must be started from day one. These are the key elements of how your dog will approach particular events in the future.
Young dogs must be taught to accept people of all ages, so this connection between you and your pet is very important. It makes no difference if you plan to have a baby or your kids are already gone to college.
Make sure that your dog is used with different types of actions around. Most babies and children, for example, have sharp voices and quick moves. A dog can easily feel threatened around kids if it’s not properly socialized.
#2: Teach Your Kids Boundaries
Even a well-socialized dog can react poorly if they’re pushed too far. Kids are supposed to learn how to behave around dogs too. Grabbing their nose, ears or tail is definitely not recommended, not to mention chasing or hitting the dogs.
Another no-no is scaring a dog while they sleep. This may lead to both mild and severe accidents that are otherwise easily avoidable.
Anyhow, dogs must be trained to accept being touched on any part of their body, not to mention seeing their toys being taken away. Generally, just like people, dogs do have limits. Plus, they have both good and bad days, so education is the key for everyone involved.
What are the Best Small Dogs for Kids?
Most small breeds tend to be friendly with kids if they are not abused or harassed. Proper training and socialization can go a long way here too.
Here are some of my top recommendations when it comes to the best family dog breeds:
- Bichons (all varieties)
- Brussels Griffon
- Coton De Tulear
- Yorkshire terrier
- Affenpinscher dogs
Keep in mind that chihuahuas might be problematic, especially if they feel attacked. Unless someone in your family is home round the clock, it may not be a good idea to let them play together while the baby is still young.
With proper socialization on both ends, children and dogs can make a wonderful combo. The best small dogs for kids are often the dogs that grow up in a loving, caring home. While it may take a little extra work, training a pet can be a very rewarding experience for both you and your kids.