When you’re looking to expand your family, your mind speeds up into overdrive.
You want to be sure that the new addition isn’t going to harm any of your current members; you want everyone to be included and respected in the new change your family goes through.
You probably know that a new family member is going to alter a lot of your regular routines and habits, but you probably also have a few non-negotiables that you don’t want to change under any circumstances.
The following will explore one type of family addition in particular: bringing a dog into a home with children.
Dog Breeds Vary Widely
The first thing you need to understand is that dog breeds can vary considerably. If you haven’t spent time with a variety of breeds, you might not be aware of this.
Breeds not only influence the way a dog looks but their preferred habitat, the kind of behavior they’re comfortable with, how they like to play and spend their time, what they should eat, and how they react to other species.
When you have children in your home, you want to seek out dog breeds that are known to be good with children. Many dog breeds thrive around children, while others don’t like to be poked and prodded or surrounded by the kind of chaos that tends to follow children around.
Dalmations and Poodles, for instance, aren’t huge fans of children.
After Disney’s 101 Dalmations was released, families all over America sought out Dalmation puppies only to discover that Dalmations would not put up with childish behavior.
Many kids were bitten, and lots of dogs that would otherwise have been excellent pets in a child-free environment were left at the pound.
There’s a reason the golden retriever is seen on so many television sitcoms. These hyper-friendly, tolerant dogs love families and are happy to just hang out.
They are bigger than the average dog, however, so this breed wouldn’t suit smaller apartments and might be hard to move if you need to carry them in the event of an emergency.
Pomeranians are a kind dog breed that tends to love the children they grew up with. If you find a Pomeranian for sale, you’re in luck.
Pomeranians are small, making them suitable for many different environments and cuddly, meaning they are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a lap dog.
Of course, their long, fluffy fur is wonderful to pet, but it does require more grooming work than average.
As well, depending on your children, it’s worth noting that the small size of Pomeranians means that they’re easy to hurt. Children need to be taught to be gentle with a dog this delicate.
Small to medium-sized, Beagles are a highly social breed of dog that love children and bond quickly. Beagles also make excellent home defenders; they like staying alert and are quick to turn to their owners if there’s an issue.
It’s worth noting, however, that Beagles are very chatty; they like to howl and make lots of vocal noises, and this might not be ideal if one of your children is a baby that you don’t want to wake up.
Labrador retrievers are among the most popular dog breed in America. They’re easy to train (because they are extremely approval-oriented), patient, and friendly.
Irish Setters are highly responsive to training and absolutely adore children. They are extremely active and need a lot of time outside.
Newfoundlands are incredibly sweet and devoted dogs who are eager to help their owners with whatever they can. While they’re big and so in need of space, they’re not as active as other bigger dogs, making them an excellent middle-ground choice.
Collies are graceful and proud, as well as highly devoted. Like Beagles, they’re vocal, meaning you can expect lots of noise from them. They’re also an odd type of activity where they need exercise, but once it’s done, they tend to chill out for the day.
It is worth noting that collies are herding dogs. While working dogs tend to make some of the best additions to the family (because they love pleasing and accomplishing tasks set before them), this does mean that puppy Collies go through an ankle-nipping phase.
It won’t last too long, and no serious damage is likely to get done, but extra attention is needed during this time to keep kids from being herded around the house.
A Final Note About Finding A Dog
It’s important that you carefully consider other traits of a given breed besides their friendliness with kids as you choose a dog.
Some breeds are high-energy dogs that require an intense amount of exercise and attention in order to thrive. If these needs aren’t met, these dogs become rambunctious and, sometimes, destructive.
Some breeds are prone to serious health conditions, and this means a high chance of having expensive visits to the vet on the regular.
Some breeds drool constantly, and this means you and everything you own will be spit-coated for the next ten to fifteen years.
No matter what breed you choose, your floors are likely going to get a little scratched up. Your carpets and couches will probably have fur on them more often than not (especially during spring when many dog breeds shed their coats).
You will occasionally have to listen to barking when you don’t want to (like during a Zoom call for work). Consider all aspects of a particular breed carefully before making your choice.
Furthermore, all dogs are highly complex mammals. They’re pack animals, meaning they need physical affection and socialization in the same way that humans do.
Dogs don’t only need food, rest, hygiene, and water. Just like children, they need to play. They need your undivided time and attention. Many breeds also require time-consuming grooming.
A dog is a massive undertaking. And since they are animals that get attached easily to their pack (that would be you and your family), it’s incredibly hard on them to switch homes.
It’s best to really evaluate whether a dog is right for you at this time in your life before you get one. And if you’re getting a puppy, you need to multiply the work you’re expecting it will take by at least five.
Puppies are literal babies. They need almost constant care for the first several months. If the adults in the house work standard or long hours, a puppy will suffer.
The above list is only the beginning! There are countless wonderful dog breeds. Take the time to read about as many as you can before you make your choice.
Hop onto forums for owners of that breed to see what sort of issues people are running into and habitual patterns that those breeds develop. This can help you gain a better sense of what it’s like to live with a given breed of dog.