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Look at traits, not breeds when choosing dog for kids
Growing up with a dog is one of the best experiences you can provide for your children – a new puppy or adopted adult dog will provide a constant play companion as well as an emotional confidant. Choosing the perfect family dog is crucial for the dog's well-being as well as your family's.
While there are certain breeds that are known for their patience and pleasant demeanor around children – Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and collies being the top picks – the news source reports that choosing the "best breed for children" can be like looking for the "best hair color for a good babysitter." This is because despite the breed (or hair color) dogs and babysitters have unique personalities despite their "obvious" traits. However, looking into the history of a dog's breed can tell you a lot about how it may respond to the family environment.
A dog that was bred to herd cattle, like an Australian shepherd, might fit your family's activity level, but will the children be OK if it nips at their heels in an attempt to herd them? St. Bernards were bred to save people, which means they tend to have good social skills with all types of humans. In addition to looking for safety and temperaments of certain breeds, consider your family's lifestyle. Border collies or huskies might be perfect for active families that love to be outside hiking, skiing or running, while a bull dog or smaller breed may be better for families who prefer low-impact activities or don't spend much time outside.
If you raise a puppy with children, your dog will usually end up tolerant, and if you adopt an adult dog, make sure it has lived with children before to ensure that it will get along with your kids. However, all dogs and all small children need to be supervised at all times. If your child needs some alone time from the dog, make sure the pooch can't climb up its pet steps onto the couch. If you can't supervise the kids and dog, set up a gate like the One-Touch Pet Gate to keep them contained. You should also always give your pooch a safe, quiet space where it can retreat to when it wants to. Make your dog's Super Dog Crate with Cozy Bed or the Indoor Pet Pen a kid-free zone for your pooch.