A good friend and her five-year-old son came to visit for the weekend not too long ago. Lilly, my seven pound, thirteen-year-old Maltese usually loves company. It means more people to rub her tummy and possibly give her a treat. The little boy was rambunctious. At first, he was afraid of Lilly. After she licked his hand, he was enamored with her. That is, until she started playing with one of his toys. Then, he was quite upset.
Throughout the weekend, he kept trying to pick her up, grab her tail and generally torment her. Lilly would run away from him and look up at me to rescue her. I spent the entire weekend holding her as much as possible, worried that she would get hurt.
Little kids and little dogs are not a good combination. Children don’t realize how easy it is to hurt a small animal. They are not aware of their strength.
Small Children need a bigger dog with a good disposition. A dog they can’t hurt when they pull his tail or hug him too hard or even fall on him. Kids need a dog that can tolerate some rough housing.
Following is a list of some larger dog breeds with great dispositions for families with small children:
Golden Retrievers are one of the classic “family” breeds and known for being overly friendly, but not necessarily a good watchdog for that reason.
Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the world. Retrievers are well -known for their loyalty,
Collies -Remember Lassie?
Boxers-They may not look friendly but they are a breed with a good disposition and instinctively protective.
Larger Schnauzers-A loyal breed that loves being around people
Standard Poodles- Many dog experts consider poodles to be one of the smartest breeds. Poodles have the added advantage of not shedding and low dander, as do designer breeds such as Goldendoodles and Labradoodles that also make great family pets.
Bulldogs- This is a very docile breed, also known for their loyalty.
Portuguese Water Dogs- The “First Dog” in the Obama White House chosen for his non -shedding, low dander traits, as well as his amusing, affectionate nature.
Gentle Giants such as Newfoundlands and Bernese Mountain dogs also make great family pets if you can handle the “Newfies” drooling. However, because of their size, these breeds are better in households with slightly older children of eight years or more.
This is not a complete list, but enough to get you started on researching your perfect new four-legged family member.