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Small Dog Breeds Good For Children?
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Small Dog Breeds Good For Children?

Are there actually any small dog breeds good for children?

Or is it a lost cause to even think about getting a small dog in your family, well, at least until the kids grow up more?

It seems a lot of people believe that small dogs are just too nippy or plain old too fragile for them to own while their children are growing up. We often visualize those little, tiny dogs such as the chihuahua or teacup poodles when we think of a small dog breed. So, if that is why you hesitate on getting a small dog, there are other small breeds that are not as tiny, but just as cute! This way you will have a dog that is still small, but not as fragile.

Small, Medium, or Large? What dog is better for a family?

Many people seem to have the belief that the bigger the dog the better when it comes to it being gentle and all around good, especially with little kids. Yes, some breeds are more likely to be easier to train, more willing to please, and act a lot calmer than others. Breeds that have these characteristics come in all sizes....not just large!

There are always both good and bad examples in every breed, no matter what size. It all comes down to the many factors that can affect a dog's reaction towards children and people in general. Some things that can affect a dog's behavior are things such as illness, pain, past experiences (good or bad), and training.

Why is it that the large and medium size breeds seem to behave so much better?

Most large and medium size breeds are usually trained a lot more than small dog breeds. This seems to be one of the biggest downfalls when people get a small dog...they don't seem to think it important to actually train the dog any further than teaching it to go potty outside.

Even if it is a small dog by letting it learn bad behaviors and worse yet, letting it continue with these bad behaviors people end up with a small dog that may end up being a huge terror to the whole house! Once it is used to doing things such as nipping at your fingers and feet, begging at the table, or jumping up on people it is very hard to "untrain" these behaviors....not impossible, but it is better to start off the right way in the beginning.

So, first of all think about what kind of dog would suit your family best...not just what is so cute or what someone else likes! There are hundreds of different breeds to choose from and in all different sizes. Once you decide on what size dog you want, either a small, medium, or a large dog, then narrow down what breeds you would most likely prefer in your family.

What to look for in a good family dog

There are certain breeds that are more likely to get along well with children than other breeds...at least, in general they usually do. Although there is never any guarantee on how an individual dog will act. Those breeds all share a lot of the same characteristics whether they are large, small, or medium.

Some good characteristics to look for in any size dog that you are considering for your family are

  • Calm or gentle nature
  • Easily trained
  • Friendly nature
  • Playful

A few small dog breeds that usually have these qualities are beagles, shih tzus, and Boston terriers...to name just a few, since there are so many small breeds of dogs....but, remember within every breed each dog has its very own personality. Whether looking for a small dog, medium dog, or large dog for your family make sure to do your research on what is typical of each breed first.

Some Things to Think About

  1. Why do we want a dog? Think about what reasons you and your family want a dog in the first place...remember once you get a dog it is your responsibility, which could last for many years to come.
  2. What activities can we do with a dog? Think about what activities you and your family enjoy doing and what kind of dog, large, medium, or small would be better suited to fitting into your family.
  3. Who will end up being the one who usually takes care of it? You know, making sure it has food and fresh water, cleaning up after it, grooming, etc. You or another family member? It is a really good idea to research the breed of dog that you are interested in getting since some do require more work.
  4. Assign each person in the house a responsibility for taking care of the dog or puppy that you do get and also make it clear to everyone in the house on what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

No, I'm not trying to talk you out of getting a dog...just trying to help you in choosing one that you will be happy with for the rest of its life and not end up so frustrated that it ends up getting dropped off at the animal shelter.


Street Talk

Thanks for a good article - and thanks for ending with some good questions. I've never had a dog. So I did not realize that specific breeds are so very different. It makes sense that training is a big factor. After all, if we reward a dog for behavior that might (once;) be cute we'd better expect more of that behavior. And what activities we want to do with our dog, who is primarily going to walk, feed, vet and all... responsibilities... are day to day critical. Getting a dog seems to be kind of adding a family member!!

Reply
  about 4 years ago
  

Hi Cynthia, It certainly is like adding a family member, but one with fur and four legs,lol. It's certainly a good idea to know who'll be responsible for all the day to day tasks that go with having a dog. Usually in our family, we each chip in with walking, feeding, water, grooming, and whatever other things may come up in the day. My son enjoys it anyways, which is such a help with having five dogs. The only thing is if something doesn't get done, it's usually me that ends up doing whatever still needs to be done. Every dog I've owned or own now has their own unique personality, at least that's my opinion anyways. The one thing all dogs share though is their unconditional love towards their owner or even the whole family. It's what makes them so wonderful!

Reply
  about 4 years ago

Not a fan of small dogs. The small ones always seem to have the most behavior problems. Did ya know that Chiwawas are the most aggressive breed? Look it up!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Hi Chip, That's okay if you're not a fan of small dogs, not everyone is. I gotta say I don't really care whether a dog is small or not, I still love 'em. We have two small ones and three medium-size dogs, which all have their good and bad points, but for the most part they all are pretty well behaved. I do agree that there's a lot of small dogs with behavior issues, I think more so than larger breeds. I think it has a lot to do with the way their owners train, or should I say, don't train them though. I never knew that about Chihuahuas, but I could see that they could tend to be more aggressive. Thanks for reading and commenting! Best wishes!-Sherry

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Ya I think you might be on to something. Being small makes them look more "manageable" so owners get lax on the training... You can tell a lot about someone by the way their dog behaves.

  
  about 5 years ago
Cena  

Hi Sherry! Great article! Having a pet need the whole family to be prepare. And the pet not battery operated. I always tell my adopter who want adopt cats/kittens not to be impulsive.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Hi Cena, Thanks for reading and commenting! Yes, what you are saying is very true! The whole family needs to be prepared for the responsibilities that come with owning any pet and it's not a great idea to get one impulsively. Best wishes!-Sherry

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Kymee  

Great job!!! Very informative. Now that I have a empty nest I have to keep from getting dogs...being more freed up it does not make sense to have a lot of dogs. but I love them.... God Bless Kymee

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Thank you Kymee! Yes, I sure can see your point there...if you have any dogs or other pets you can't just go whenever you want for as long as you want....gotta find a "babysitter" first unless you bring them with you. Having 5 dogs, we're pretty much stuck if we want to go anywhere (without them) for just a few days even... Best wishes and God Bless! Sherry

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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