A dog is famously considered to be man's best friend, but while it's a beautiful thought in itself, your pet can become so much more than that. Beyond friends, they are protectors, a source of comfort, and can easily become members of your family. They grow to be an integral part of your life, making it easy for you to trust them. Not just with your expensive shoes or fragile furniture in the house, but with the people around you, as well. This is especially the case with children. Dogs can have numerous benefits for your kids and can help advance their development and promote harmony within your family. Besides the fact that they're extremely cute and fun to have around, they could be just the right addition. As long as you raise them right, they will be incredibly outgoing, friendly, and energetic, which is precisely what a young child needs in a companion. However, before getting a dog for your kid, make sure they're ready for it. While they are the epitome of a calm, protective, and sociable pet, they can also be quite the responsibility. It all depends on you to take care of them. Never lose sight that your dog will not always be the tiny little puppy running around your house, eating small bites of kibble. It requires care and love, attention, food, exercise, and an occasional visit to the veterinarian. But if you believe yourself to be ready, and you know your kid is ready too, here are ten dog breeds that will be suitable for your child and who will sync perfectly with your family.
1 - Saint Bernard
If you've seen "Beethoven", perhaps you're already sold on getting a Saint Bernard for your child. However, if you're not convinced yet that the furry giant will be a suitable companion, know that this dog was bred to assist people. The Saint Bernard has a long history of helping people through their travels and hardships, so they developed a natural love for humans. They have quite a relaxed temperament, playful, and most importantly for kids, they're very, very patient. When mixed with their sweet demeanor, this patience will make them an incredible pet. This is especially the case since they can take any accidental hits or toys thrown at them due to their size, without acting out with aggression.
2 - Corgi
With their tiny legs and long bodies, Corgis have become a favorite of children. They're adorably small and full of energy, ready to play at any time. Whether you opt for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi or the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, expect to have one of the sweetest and most playful critters out there. In fact, it's a guarantee they will be able to keep up with your kid and become a very loving companion. Their size is also a tremendous advantage because it's easier to take care of them.
3 - Dalmatian
The Dalmatian is another iconic breed of dog due to the Disney animation and movie "101 Dalmatians". These dogs were depicted as intelligent and family-friendly animals, who are easily trained to adapt to any kind of house. And they were right. The spotted pooch possesses excellent abilities to learn how to handle their environment and people around them. They will be the essence of discipline, one that will surely love to play with your child.
4 - Bernese Mountain Dog
These adorable tri-colored giants are famous for being both calm and goofy. Originally bred for farm work, such as aiding in gathering the sheep in their stocks, the Bernese Mountain Dog is exceptionally easy to train. With just a bit of dedication, this breed will become the perfect mix of discipline and playfulness at the same time. They will act goofy around your kid, make them laugh, run around, and they will immediately stop if that's your command. However, keep in mind that they require large spaces. They need room to run, and it's only recommended that you meet their needs before thinking of getting one for your family.
5 - English Cocker Spaniel
Dubbed as one of the happiest dogs on the planet, English Cocker Spaniels are set to bring joy to every member of the family. They're always wagging their tail, eager to please, and happy to just be around you. Kids love them because of their forever-sunny disposition that borderlines on almost comical at times. They are loving, intelligent, and incredibly loyal. Be sure you're ready to handle their energy because these adorable critters will always be following you and jumping around, willing to play.
6 - Collie
"Lassie" might've made this particular breed famous, but its exceptional intelligence and active demeanor is what kept it among the most popular choice for children. The Collie was originally trained for farm work, just like the Bernese Mountain Dog, which means that it is highly receptive to training. Collies get along exceptionally with children and have the stamina to keep them entertained for a long time. The Collie is also very mild-mannered. They are one of the unlikeliest dogs to bite their human owners. You only need to remember that this breed can sometimes be shy. Be sure to socialize them from a very young age, so it won't have issues with other dogs in the future.
7 - Beagle
You will often find yourself wondering if the Beagle drank all the coffee in your house because it refuses to stay still. This little bundle of energy is incredibly loving and happy, always willing to play. It's perfect for children as they will run and chase them, be it around the apartment or yard. Their size makes them the prime companion for any type of home. The Beagle will bond quickly and deeply with every single member of your family, especially your child. They absolutely adore children because they're the only ones coming close to nearly buzzing with energy as this dog is. Your kid will surely wear out after an intense playing session, long before the Beagle will.
8 - Newfoundland
Do you remember Nana from "Peter Pan"? She was the kids' watcher and a Newfoundland. Otherwise called Newfs, these gentle giants have been nicknamed "Nature's nanny" because of their unwavering devotion and loyalty. Never be intimidated by their appearance. These black-furred mammoths could not be gentler, calmer, and more careful around your child. They have a very sweet and patient temperament, and all that extra fluff will make your kid fall in love with them instantly. Newfs are extremely good companions and, even more, they want to be part of your family.
9 - Labrador
One look at that adorable face inspires the essence of the Labrador: playful, fun-loving, and outgoing. This dog will have no problems making friends with anyone, be it dogs, cats, adults, children, guests, your mail carrier or virtually anyone else. As long as you have a hand willing to pet them, they will become your best friend and your most loyal companion. Labradors love to play, always bouncing around seeking the best next adventure. They are near exhaustingly athletic, loyal, and protective. In good or bad, sleeping or awake, this dog will be there for you, ready to put a smile on your child's face.
10 - Golden Retriever
It won't retrieve any gold for you, but the Golden Retriever is, without question, the best family dog to have. It is intelligent, kind, devoted, patient, sociable, and fiercely loyal, which makes it effortless to bond with every single member of your family. There is not enough praise to cover their friendly and energetic demeanor that kids love so much. And, more importantly, they love children back. There is a reason why they're one of the most popular breeds because they just get along with everyone. While choosing a dog for your family, never forget mutts and possibly going to shelter in order to find a beautiful animal in need of a home. Do not be afraid to take a chance with a mixed breed, because you might just be saving their life and adding a devoted new member to your family. Always remember that, ultimately, your dog's demeanor is a reflection of yourself. They're only as calm or aggressive as you teach them to be.
About the Author
Mike Jones is a Boston University graduate, with an MS in Mass Communication. He is crazy about all things environmental, such as animals, plants and climate change.