Five Criteria of Best Dog Breeds for Kids
Generally, there are 197 breeds of dogs in the United States that suitable to become your beloved companion. To select the best dog breed for kids and your family, you need to consider five main criteria – dog size, your environment, your dog’s energy level, dog’s personality, and trainability.
These five criteria can help you to choose the best dog breed for your kids.
Dog Size – Small dogs are not necessarily the right choice for kids. It needs to complement both the dog’s personality and energy. Some large dog breeds can be very calm, and some small breed dogs can be too energetic. The size of the dog must be suitable for your kid’s size. An accident can happen, especially with big dogs. Due to the immense size, your kids might get knocked down intentionally or unintentionally.
Environment – You need to consider the space you have around your house. Different dog breeds will suit you depending on the type of home you and your kids reside in. For people living in an apartment, you have a constraint on your dog’s space, so you need to choose wisely. People living in a house with spacious yards would be more flexible on the dog breeds to choose from.
Personality – Kids are different from teenagers or adults. They tend to seek someone with a loving, caring, and calming nature. Dog breeds with calm and friendly personalities will likely form better bonds and become best friends for your kids. Best dog breed for kids is the one that has great personality.
Energy – This criterion will directly be connected to your family lifestyle and the space you have around the house. Dog breeds with high energy levels need bigger space and active companions to keep up with the playing. You need to identify your kid’s energy and match it with the dog’s energy level. Excess energy in dogs can result in lousy behavior so choose based on your lifestyle and space accordingly.
Trainability – Kids can be very fragile and vulnerable. It is best to get a dog that is easy to train or already trained around kids. Training dogs can be challenging for the first-time owner and can very tough for the kids. Trained dogs are the best choice for the kids, or else select dog breeds that are easy to train. It is best to introduce and teach the dog from an early age to your kids. Involve your kids in this process so they, too, can learn how to care for the dog.
Meet and Greet Session
Right after you have chosen your best dog breed for kids of yours, you need a meet and greet session between the dog and your kids. This session is essential to observe how the dog and the kids react to each other.
Suppose one session is not enough; set up another session with the same dog or different dogs. In this meet and greet session, you need to observe two important things.
1. How the dog approach your kids or your family?
If the dog is wagging tail while approaching your kids, it is a good sign. If they are trying to get away from your kids, it might reflect a bad signal.
2. Is the dog willing to share or not?
It is important because kids can take anything and unwilling to share, that include dog toys. Place a dog toy between the dog and your kids. If the dog is willing to share, it is a good sign that the dog is happy and comfortable around your kids. Some dogs are reluctant to share this might endanger your kids.
Top 5 Best Dog Breed for Kids
Number 5: Beagle
Weight: 20-30 lbs.
Height: 12-15 Inches.
Life Expectancy: 11-15 years.
Beagles are divided into two categories – below 13 inches and between 13 and 15 inches from the feet up to the shoulder. They come in the uniform color of white, yellowish lemon, and red. Their trademark features are the large brown eyes and large hound ears set low on the broadhead. They are generally active and playful dogs, which makes them suitable for young kids.
Diet and Nutrition
For beagles with weight ranging from 20-30 pounds they will need around 700 to 900 calories daily. You need to adjust the calorie intake with the dog’s active activity. Beagle’s age between one to seven years tends to be very active and require a high-calorie diet daily.
They are one of the pickiest eaters among other dog breeds. You can try and error with different dry dog food brands until you find the best brands that suit your beagle. It is best to sort the meal into two or three times a day and choose high protein dog food as the main diet.
If your beagle is active playing outdoor, make sure he is bathed regularly and brush the coat using a bristle brush daily for a few minutes each time. Bear in mind, beagle’s skin and coat are prone to dry because of frequent baths, so limit the bath for every three to six months.
Beagle has a double coat – hard outer coat and soft inner coat. They will shed a lot of undercoat during fall and spring, so make sure to thoroughly brush them daily.
Clip their nails and clean the ear weekly. Dampen a clean cloth with some dog ear-cleaning soap and carefully wipe the inside and outside of the ear. You can read our reviews for the best dog nail clippers for your guide to buy a nail clipper.
Training a beagle is challenging, and you need to start them early. However, beagles are not very good if left alone for a long time.
Their anxiety level is directly proportional to the energy level. If you need to go to work and your kids need to go to school, bring them for a walk before leaving them at home. This activity will help to burn the energy and keep their anxiety at a minimum level.
Keep your kids involved in every outdoor and indoor activity because they love to play with their companions. Playing together can create a strong bond between your kids and the beagle, making them the best dog breed for kids.
Number 4: Vizsla
Weight: 55-60 lbs.
Height: 21-24 Inches.
Life Expectancy: 11-14 years.
Vizsla dog breed is well known for its gentle, affectionate, and friendly dog despite its big body size. The trademark feature of a Vizsla is the golden-rust short coat. They are usually chosen as the hunter’s companion for their agility, energy, and high-performance smell sense. Also, Vizsla dog loves to work closely with their human, and they hate to live alone. They are perfect for older children aged seven and above for their playful nature.
Diet and Nutrition
Vizsla usually is not a picky eater. High-quality and high-protein dog food will be excellent for them. Two meals a day should enough for them to keep up with the active lifestyle. If you train them with treats, make sure it is not over ten percent of the total daily meal.
The raw diet is exploding right now, especially for the Vizsla dog breed. If you wish to try raw food, make sure you consult with your veterinarian to learn the correct way to do it.
Vizsla dog breed requires minimum grooming due to its short coat and does not have an undercoat. Brushing with a dog bristle brush or grooming glove is recommended weekly to remove loose fur and evenly distribute skin oil for a better coat.
Vizsla can usually clean themselves due to its nature. However, it would be best if you bathed your dog in an interval of two or three months apart. Clean the ears thoroughly using a soft brush and whole body with dog shampoo for the best result.
They are easy to train and would prefer a human companion beside them. It would help if you made sure training is given at an early age and always exposed your kids to them. They are not a fan of harsh punishment; instead, good praise and treats will do better.
Exercise such as brisk walking or running can help your Vizsla to be happy. Let your kids do the exercise with the dog to strengthen the bond between them.
Number 3: Poodle
Weight: 40-70 lbs.
Height: 10-20 Inches.
Life Expectancy: 11-18 years.
Poodles are very smart, elegant, and proud. They are grouped into three categories – standard (more than 15 inches), miniature (10-15 inches), and toy (below 10 inches). All three types of poodles have the same build; only the size differs them.
They are active, athletic, and brilliant, thus easily trained. Poodles are the best dog for first-time novice owner and adapt well to apartment despite the space constraint. Also, they are very friendly and affectionate towards kids especially.
Diet and Nutrition
A balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins is essential to a poodle. High-quality commercial dog food is good enough for the poodle. Make sure you do some research and trial and error with different kinds of dog food brands. Some are dogs have sensitive stomachs and allergy so monitors your dog closely after each meal.
Fish or vegetable oils are great for poodles to maintain the curly and thick coat. Avoid dog food that contains a high percentage of grains, such as corn or wheat. For the best dog food for puppies, you can read our article here.
The transition from puppy hair to adult hair usually occurs nine months until one year and a half. Some poodle dogs take more than three years to grow their adult coat.
The curly hair will trap the shed hair so that you will notice a very minimum of fall-out hairs. They will need daily brushing to prevent shed hair become mats. You are recommended to use for professional grooming for at least one to two months to keep the poodle’s coat neat and clean. It would be best if you clip their nails once every two or three weeks.
They are the second smartest dog in whole dog breeds! So, it is easy to train a poodle if you start them young. They can follow any simple instructions with less than five times hearing it.
The downside of being a smart dog, they are easily bored. So, it would be best if you kept poodles occupied and engaged during a training session. Avoid lengthy instructions and use a simple command with some treats as a reward.
The first thing you should be teaching poodles is their name. Once he knows what he is called, they are open to receive commands.
Number 2: Labrador Retriever
Weight: 55-80 lbs.
Height: 20-25 Inches.
Life Expectancy: 10-13 years.
Labrador Retriever is rated as the number one out 197 dog breeds in the USA as the best dog for a human companion. Their body build is very sturdy, and they come in black, yellow, or chocolate colors.
They are amiable dog and perfect for kids. Labrador Retriever is a very social dog breed that can fit your family, neighbors, and neighbor’s dogs. They are pack with high energy and need a lot of exercises to keep fit both mentally and physically.
Diet and Nutrition
Labrador Retriever needs high protein and low carbohydrates in their diet. The amount of food will vary on their age and activity. For a Labrador Retriever weighing around 40 pounds to 65 pounds, they need at least 250 grams to 300 grams of dry dog food (kibbles). Adjust the amount of food with the activity intensity so that they can grow at an optimum rate.
Different Labrador Retriever will prefer other brands of dog food. It is your job to try feeding them and select the best one for your dog. Beware of your dog’s allergic reaction and upset stomach.
Labrador Retriever’s coat is very short; however, they shed a lot and can bit overwhelming, especially during the molting period. We would recommend brushing your Labrador Retriever once every two days with a bristle brush. Start brushing them as early age as possible so they will be comfortable and familiarized with it.
They love playing outdoor and rolling in the mud especially. Usually, you should bathe your dogs once every month, but if your dog is very active outside, you should wash them more often. It would help if you did nail trimming once monthly.
Labrador Retrievers are very active and suitable for family with active kids. They need exercise almost daily, and if not, they will become bored, thus showing destructive behaviors. Labrador Retriever is not suitable to live in an apartment because they need space to move freely.
An hour of brisk walking with your dog in the morning or evening would be ideal and sufficient to burn off that energy.
They love to learn and easy to train. The first thing to do when you start adopting a Labrador Retriever, you should begin the obedience training. You can teach them on your own or enroll them in the dog obedience class near to you.
Number 1: Golden Retriever (Our Pick for Best Dog Breed for Kids)
Weight: 55-80 lbs.
Height: 20-25 Inches.
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years.
The Golden Retrievers are a medium-sized dog with a beautiful and thick golden coat that reflect their name. They make a perfect kid and family dog with a friendly, gentle, and devoted personality. They like kids as much as they want good playing companions. Also, they enjoy playing outdoor such as fetching, swimming, and walking.
Diet and Nutrition
Large breed dogs such as Golden Retrievers need to avoid high-calorie dog food to prevent them from growing too fast. The body build needs to be healthy and naturally grown to support the muscles over time. If they grow too quickly, their skeleton might not be able to support the body mass. Let them grow naturally by monitoring and controlling the calorie intake daily. Golden Retrievers with a weight of around 10 kg need a maximum of 350g of dry dog food daily. It is recommended for 25kg of dog weight to limit the food to 400g to 450g daily.
Golden Retrievers are known as heavy shedders, so they need regular grooming to maintain their beautiful golden coat. You can choose whether to do it at home or let the professional groomers do it.
They are categorized as having medium-length double coat – topcoat and undercoat. In the cold season, the undercoat will grow long and thick and shed during the warmer season. During winter, you might want to increase the frequency of brushing to avoid mats from forming.
They need to be bathed once every two or three weeks. Proper bathing and drying are essential to maintain a healthy coat and skin.
Golden Retrievers is smart and easy to train. They should be trained as early as 2-months age to establish a strong relationship with your kids and family. Involve your kids in the training session to initiate bonding and develop trust between them.
Make training fun and give them treats as a reward. You should do training in short and simple session. One session should not be more than 10 minutes for a puppy as they can get bored quickly. Reward training will do wonders on Golden Retrievers. Reward them every time they show good behaviors and vice versa. You also need to discipline your kids with the training method and be consistent with it.
Now you should know the top 5 best dog breed for kids, and hopefully, this article will help you choose the best dog that suits your kids.