Which Dog Breeds Will Play The Best With My Kids?

BFFs in no time 💞

best dogs for kids

If you’re planning on making your family a little bigger by adopting a dog, it’s so important that your pup is good with your kids.

Your first thought might be to to research the best dog breeds for kids.

But we spoke with Iris Ulbrich, a behavior consultant and owner at Trust Your Dog in Los Angeles, who revealed why a dog’s breed shouldn’t be your main focus and what you should look for instead.

The best dog breeds for kids

You might think that only certain dog breeds are the best ones for kids, but that’s actually just a myth.

A dog’s training and individual personality are far more important when it comes to making sure your pup and your kid get along.

“They are very impressionable and learn their world usually within a few weeks, which can lead to good or bad behavior, depending on how their human interacts with them,” Ulbrich told The Dodo.

Keeping that in mind, there are certain dog breeds that are — on average — more naturally inclined to have characteristics that make them great options for kids.

Some of these breeds include:

  • Labradors
  • Golden retrievers
  • Collies
  • Wheaten terriers
  • Beagles
  • Pugs
  • French bulldogs
  • Newfoundlands
  • Bernese mountain dogs

But again, since an individual dog’s personality is what matters most when finding the perfect pup for your kids, you don’t only have to choose a dog from that list — and even if you find a pup who is on that list, you still need to confirm he has the right temperament.

Personality traits in dogs that are best for kids

The reason those breeds are listed is just because they tend to have certain characteristics that make them great with kids.

But that’s not a guarantee — which is why focusing on an individual dog’s personality is so much more crucial.

According to Ulbrich, some personality traits that will make a dog your kids’ instant BFF are:

  • Friendliness
  • Activeness
  • Eagerness to please
  • Playfulness
  • Curiosity
  • Adventurous nature
  • Gentleness

In some cases — like if your kid gets scared pretty easily — you might also want to opt for a dog who’s more low-energy, so your kid feels relaxed and comfortable around him instead of spooked.

And the thing is, you can find these traits in any dog breed, since a pup’s personality is unique to him.

How to train dogs of any breed to play well with your kids

Training is a crucial tool when it comes to making sure your dog and kids get along.

“As long as people jump into training as soon as they get the puppy, learn about appropriate grown-up/kid/dog interaction and pay close attention to proper socialization, most dogs can be great family dogs,” Ulbrich said.

In fact, you can even train your dog to be gentle while playing, which is perfect for kids who tend to stick their fingers in places they shouldn’t.

“The command ‘gentle’ ... is a crucial part of puppy training, for any breed,” Ulbrich said.

Combined with bite inhibition training, you won’t have to be so worried that playtime could end in tears.

A great way to teach your dog the tools he needs (like that “gentle” command or having a soft mouth) is through positive reinforcement. If he’s showered with treats every time he’s playing gently, it’s sure to become second nature in no time.

So, with the right training and temperament, a dog of any breed can be the best one for kids.

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