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The Best and the Least Suited Dog Breeds for Children

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Monday, 17 de November 2008

The Best and the Least Suited Dog Breeds for Children
Dogs are man’s best friend, but not all are children’s best friend. Here is a list of the best and worst choices of dog breeds for kids. But remember, dogs and children should only be together when a parent is supervising them.

The problem with children and dog compatibility is in different aspects:

  • Kids aren’t aware of when they are hurting the dog: they pull their ears and tail, squeeze them, etc. Some dogs don’t tolerate this and may growl or bite.
  • Children don’t understand the dog’s signals and may be too pushy and insistent with the dog. More independent dogs don’t like too much attention.
  • Children are fragile and big clumsy dogs may knock them down while playing.
  • Small dogs are fragile as well and this case, children can hurt the dog while playing.

Breed Requirements

The dog breeds more suited for children should be extremely patient. The dogs should be capable to endure the kids’ mistreatment without reacting. Although they aren’t saints, there are some breeds that are generally tolerant.

Unlike most people may thing, big dogs are generally more docile and calm with kids. Smaller dogs tend to be snappy.

However, some big dogs are very clumsy until they reach adulthood. This can be a problem if the owner allows rough playing.

Best breeds


These breeds are the most suited from children of all ages.

American Staffordshire Terrier – Although it’s bad boy reputation, these dogs are only aggressive towards other dogs and are very tolerant with children. However, they like to be the only dog in the family.

Bobtail – Known to be the kids “nanny”, they are very tolerant and calm. However, they require daily brushing.

Hound dogs: Beagle, Bloodhound, Harrier, Irish Wolfhound and American Foxhound – Playful and tolerant, but very energetic. They aren’t apartment dogs. The Irish Wolfhound is very big, one of the tallest breeds, so beware of rough playing.

Boxer – A guard and a friend, handles very well with kids.

Portuguese Water Dog – Active, yet elegant, it is a very tolerant dog with children.

Collie, Rough and Smooth, and Bearded Collie – Patient with kids, they demand a lot of care with the hair.

Retiervers: Golden, Labrador and Flat Coated – The sweet disposition of these dogs precedes them. The Ladrabor is however a very clumsy and excitable dog and may be necessary to keep the playing in order.

Havanese – It’s one the smaller dogs most suitable for children. It is more reliable than most small breeds.

Hovawart, Newfoundland and St. Bernard – Calm and gentle, they endure the worst abuse from children. They are also very clumsy and their big size should be a concern.

Mastiff – This powerful guard is quite gentle with children. However it needs a strong socialization and isn’t a dog for inexperienced owners.

Pug – Small and not as nervous as the other small breeds, it lives well with children.

Other suited breeds


These dog breeds are also suited to live with children, since they also have a very high tolerance rate, but they aren’t as patient as the above. Yet, they fit perfectly in the environment of a family, especially if they need to deal with children that are already able to walk.

  • Basset Hound
  • Bichon Frise
  • Boston Terrier
  • French Bulldog
  • Bulldog
  • Bull Terrier
  • Serra de Aires Mountain Dog
  • Cocker Spaniel English and American
  • Dalmatian
  • Pomeranian
  • German shepherd
  • Portuguese Podengo
  • Schnauzer Standard
  • Setter Inglês
  • Shar Pei
  • Japanese Spitz
  • Springer Spaniel English and American
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Viszla


Breeds not suited for children


These dogs are wonderful companions, but they don’t like to be treated roughly or to be constantly harassed. There are always exceptions and the ability to children and dogs live together depends on how kids and dogs are raised. These are however, more suited dogs to adults or even teenagers and many of these breeds are amongst the best for elderly people.

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Teckel
  • Poodle Standard and Toy
  • Chihuahua
  • Chinese Crested Dog
  • Chow Chow
  • Japanese Spaniel
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Llhasa Apso
  • Pekingese
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Saluki
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Tibetan Terrier
  • Weimaraner
  • Yorkshire Terrier


When choosing a dog, bear in mind all the other characteristics of the breed. If you don’t have time to exercise correctly a hound, for example, he will become frustrated and destructive, compromising his reliability with children. Parents should also know that dogs are irrational and shouldn’t be with children on the same room without supervision.

Children that grow up with dogs find in them a best friend, confident and a emotional support. Realizing that there are limits on dealing with others makes children more responsible, balanced and less egocentric. Growing up with a true friend is in fact one of the best thing a parent can give to a son.

So, good luck with your choice!
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25.08
littlebit said:
I have read several people's opinions on which dog breeds are most reliable with children. Though I know that any dog breed can become unreliable with children, I have to say that most people are in agreement with the most of the breeds with children. I found that here, it is stated that the Alaskan Malmute, the Llhasa Apso, the Chinese Crested, the Miniture Pinscher, the Miniature Schnauzer, and the Standard (not toy) Poodle are listed as being unreliable...I have not read that anywhere before. If this is true, than I am glad that I checked here. Thanks.