45 answers

What Kind of Dog to Get for 5 Year Olds and 3 Year Old.

Hi Moms,

I am driving myself crazy trying to figure out what kind of pet to get for my children.

We asked the people at the pound what they suggested, and they said either a kitten that would learn that it is normal to be around loud, hyper little kids, or a full grown dog that has been raised around kids and wags their tail around them. No toy breeds.

I took my kids on a field trip of the pound and to PetCo to see what they seemed interested in. My one daughter loved the kittens, but my 3 year old couldn't seem to leave the cat alone. She never hit it or was mean, just so hyper with it! My other daugher (age 5) prefers dogs, but the large room filled with barking dogs intimidated her.

I think that they would emotionally benefit from having a really friendly dog that is not too big. We walk to and from school every day, so we go on lots of walks. We have a fenced in back yard, but part of the fence is only 4 feet tall. I am a stay at home mom, so I have time to spend training and paying attention to a dog.

I would love to have a surprise dog under the Christmas tree, but maybe that is a bad idea. I want my kids to have a dog that they can love on and run outside with as well. I also think emotionally they would benefit from having that unconditional love while their dad is deployed.

I think Maltese dogs are adorable. Any ideas?

Thanks,
M.

We have close family members that are allergic to cats, so I don't want a cat. We tried a toy breed dog and it started biting my little one, so we rehomed her.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hey All Moms! We just adopted a german shepherd mix from a foster home out of an animal shelter here. She is so incredibly loving and gentle! I never would have thought of this breed and totally was leaning towards other kinds of dogs, but after reading more about the pet overpopulation and how horrible it is in the pounds, I will never buy from a breeder! I can't believe what a special dog we have now. She wants everyone to pet her all day long, and if you stop petting her, she rolls on her back and wants her belly rubbed. Thanks Moms!

Featured Answers

We have had a Basset/retriever mix and a Chesapeake Retriever mix. They were both medium-sized, calm, didn't bark much, happy to be loved, climbed on, brushed, kissed, etc. I have 6 kids, so it was important to me to have a calm temperament. I knew I could not deal with a jumpy, yippy dog that would snap at people. You can go online and research dog breeds by temperament. good luck!

We had a lhaso apso growing up, and she was just the best family dog there could be. I don't remember her ever biting or being vicious.

I have a chihuahua pomeranian mix now, and he's very nervous (not mean, just nervous) around the kids until they get to be around 5/6 years old then he likes them. Because by then they understand not to attack the dog, and they know how to pet him nice.

Sounds like you need a medium-sized dog (about 20-30lbs). Australian shephard or jack Russel? Both of those breeds require a lot of exercise. I agree about toy dogs. You'll need a more resilient size. I have two labs that are wonderful but i wouldn't trust them to stay enclosed within a 4-foot fence. BTW-getting a dog is like having another kid... you might benefit from an older, already trained one. Good luck.

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Labs are the best dogs for kids. We have a dog that is half beagle and half lab and she never has ever growled or even barked until she thought that someone was trying to hurt the kids. She is very gentle and we got her when my son was almost a year old. Now my son is five and they love to play ball in the front yard.

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I volunteered for a puppy rescue for many years and here is what I have learned. Keep in mind there are always exceptions.

Medium to large dogs do better with kids. The smaller dogs get scared since the kids are larger than them and they will tend to snap. That is their defense when they are scared.

Herding dogs (heelers, border collies, Aussies, etc.) are good with kids, but keep in mind they are herding dogs. They will try to round up the kids and to do this they nip at the heels.

The best dogs I have found with kids are the retrievers, especially the Golden Retrievers. Labs are wonderful family dogs, but they do have a lot of energy as puppies and you just have to get through that phase.

The Doodles are a great choice also, Labradoodle and Goldendoodle.

Another breed that is wonderful with kids is the Boxer. I have a boxer and he was 3 when my first child was born. We were a little worried since he wasnt around many kids. He is fantasic with the kids. Lets them give him big hugs and lay on him. He will just look at us as if to say "Mom I am done with the loving"

I also agree with the others that say the best dog is a mixed mutt. They seem to take on the best quality of the dogs they are mixed with.

The best thing to do is go to a puppy rescue, pound, etc. and play with the dogs. You will find the right one that will bond with your family.

Good Luck.

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M.,

You are right in asking opinions of others before getting a dog!! Thank you!! I loved having a Shetland Sheepdog growing up, but I'll tell you they are barkers... And need constant grooming. My husband got our daughter a Weimaraner puppy for her 6th birthday... BAD IDEA! Oh, we love her to pieces, but a puppy was a bad idea. She's incredibly intelligent and can get herself out of almost anything. And it is hard to keep her in the back yard, and she loves to run. The person you spoke with about the breed/type of dog to get was spot on. You really do want one that is already used to kids. May I suggest doing a google search for breed specific rescues in your area? There are lots of dogs that are looking for good homes, and you are doing a terrific thing looking for a dog and not a puppy.

And maltese are cute, but that is a small dog that doesn't tend to like children. THey are easier to pick up, and carry which if the dog doesn't want to, will make it known!!! Go with a lab or a golden, or a smaller big dog (sheltie my personal favorite!) Get a dog YOU want too. Because let's be honest, I have to, ahem, get to feed my daughter's dog. She's not hers, she's really mine to care for. So if you don't like the dog, it will be harder to deal with.

Good lucK!
V.

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I wouldn't do a Maltese. If your 3-year old is hyper, a Maltese will be too small to feel comfortable with that and may lash out. I'd go with something like a golden retriever, they are pretty unflappable. Also, you can look at the list of dogs they have at the colorado correctional institute site. Essentially, they have a program where inmates train dogs, and then the public can adopt them. It's a terrific program because it helps the inmates do something worthwhile, and the dogs are apparently very highly trained, and well assessed, so you'd know what you are getting, which you might not if you get a regular pound puppy. People who have used this program highly recommend it. Last time I looked they had a lot of goldendoodles and labradoodles on teh site, which are great because they don't shed, and they can be a little hyper as puppies, but the older, trained ones might be perfect!

http://www.coloradoci.com/serviceproviders/puppy/index.ht...

Oops, also forgot to mention that if you want to research the temperments of different dogs, a good site is dogbreedinfo.com. For example, in the description of temperment for a Maltese it says:

Do not allow these dogs to develop Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors, where the dog believes he is pack leader to humans. This causes a varying degree of behavior problems. If the dog believes he is boss, he can be snappish with children and even adults. Do not over-pamper or overprotect these little dogs, for they will become unstable, and some may become jealous of visitors. Maltese who are allowed to take over the house, being boss of the humans can also develop separation anxiety, guarding, and obsessive barking.

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M.,

It is wonderful that you are considering adding a member to your family. I would highly recommend that you follow the advice that they gave you at the shelter. There are so many wonderful dogs that need new homes (Because of our economy right now it has increased tremendously.) An older dog that is already tolerant and loving toward children will bring you almost instant happiness once they have adjusted to their new home.

I agree with the previous poster that labs/lab mixes make awesome family dogs and are normally extremely tolerant and gentle. Some labs have higher energy than others and they are notorious for having a long adolescent period, so around age 3 they are usually a little more mellow.

Other absolutely awesome breeds are golden retrievers/golden mixes because they usually have the same awesome temperament and are usually just a little calmer than labs. Another great asset to have a retriever (any kind) is that they happily fetch things and kids love to throw balls and toys for them. (Don't get a retriever if you like to have shoes, socks and toys stay where they are put though, because they are also great at relocating things!)

If you want a dog that sheds less, than you should look for breeds that have "hair" instead of fur. These do include Maltese, poodles and Bichon Frise. There are many dogs available in shelters that have poodle in them and that can make there coat shed less.

These breeds are highly intelligent and easily trainable. I would highly recommend that you look at petfinder.com to search for possible matches for your family as you can search for dogs (or other pets) by putting in your preferred parameters. I think that you will find a best friend that will complete your family.

I see that you are located in Idaho, so remember to consider the comfort of your dog in the cold weather and don't get a dog with too little fur unless you are willing to outfit it for the snow!

I wish you the best of luck with finding a buddy for your family and safe deployment for your husband.

Blessings, L.

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I echo a number of others - australian shepherds, border collies, labradors are all great dogs. We have a lab mix - at the time, we got her when the kids were just getting to be teens. We didn't give much thought to how she would behave around little ones, since we weren't expecting, and weren't expecting to be expecting. Well, along comes our little "surprise". Although our lab is a little more high maintenance than most, she's been AMAZING to the little one (now 4). As my daughter grew up, she did all those things that you have to train kids not to do. The poor dog has even been subjected to dressing up like a princess - crown and all. And she just will lay there until she's had enough, and get up and walk away. She's incredibly protective of all the kids - will check to make sure everyone's in bed before she goes to bed herself.

The other breed that can be amazing around kids is dobermans. I would never have believed it until I went to visit my husband's uncle - he has 2 dobermans that are the most amazingly lovable dogs. There were tons of very little kids around, and the two dogs were just big bags of love.

Having had a cat for 18 years, I wouldn't necessarily recommend cats for little kids - maybe when they are a little older. Cats tend to not be as appreciative of kids and chaos :-)

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I wasn't able to read all the responses, so please excuse me if I repeat advice. I would definitely avoid the toy breeds, and even the smaller dogs. I would go for a breed that is known for being great with kids and very trainable - labs or golden retrievers (doesn't have to be purebred to be a good dog). And whatever you get - go to training classes with them. Kids and dogs get excited, and if you can control one with a voice command, that will definitely help the situation. Since you state that you aren't looking for cats, I won't say anything on that topic, but you want to really check out the personality of the dog. It needs to be a bit kick back, and willing to have the kids "hug" it alot. If it is skittish in any way, it will make it hard on all of them. Ground rules are also good for the kids - leave the dog alone while it is eating, or in a corner (it can't escape if it doesn't want to play right then) and if the dog walk away, let him/her go.
I have a 17 month old and an 11 year old lab mix. While she is sweet, she wasn't around kids when she was younger. She is getting old, and I worry about my son hugging her, and unintentionally hurting her and her reacting. With her, and any dog, I never leave him unsupervised. Good luck.

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The best dog in the whole world to have with children is a golden retriever! I grew up with them, andmy husband grew up with them. Children can do ANYTHING to them and they will not recipicate. I have never seen a reteriver bite or growl at my children and we have had two of them. They are just well natured dogs. I cannot say enough good things about a pure bred goldren retriever! good luck in your search.

I have two boys, one 4 years old, one 8 months. I work part time.

I vote a good dog with kids. Do your research on what breed you choose. It is VERY important that you get a breed that is good with kids, then make sure you also find a good breeder. They can help you find an older dog that's house trained that needs a home or rescued, or help you choose the kind of temperament in a puppy that would be good. I would NOT buy a puppy from a pet store unless you have had a lot of experience with dogs and training!

Website www.dogbreedinfo.com is a terrific site that tells you what is normal for each and every breed.

We have allergy problems at our home, plus we had 2 little ones that were not going to be extremely gentle with a dog! We chose the Havanese breed because of its temperament and strong bone structure (and of course hypoallergenic), and we have never regretted it for a minute!

Good luck!

My parents have a Bichon Frise. (Little white fluffy dog) She is really patient and good with my 4 year old and 8 month old. She is such a good little friend. Good luck in your search! :)

You have lots of adivse about chosing a breed, but I don't see much about getting a dog in the first place. One thing I would caution you against is getting a dog "FOR" your children. Dogs are a huge responsibility, and you absolutely cannot expect your children to be the caretakers of a dog. Will YOU be able to properly exercise, train, and care for a dog? Are vet bills in your budget? What is your plan if the dog doesn't "work" in your environment? You mention that you "rehomed" a toy breed, so this time you should probably have a plan in place prior to bringing an animal into your home. Many breed rescue organizations

Different breeds work well for different situations. Labs are indeed good with kids, but require quite a bit of exercise and training. Greyhounds are also great with children (I have 2), but are larger dogs with whip-like tails, so it is very important that your dog be trained to respect you as well as your children to respect the dog (i.e. how to approach and pet a dog, to NEVER approach a sleeping or eating dog, etc).

And most importantly, no matter what breed you chose NEVER EVER leave a child alone with a dog. Any dog.

Good luck! I love having animals in my home, but it certainly adds a great deal more to the day in terms of responsibility and daily tasks.

Sounds like you need a medium-sized dog (about 20-30lbs). Australian shephard or jack Russel? Both of those breeds require a lot of exercise. I agree about toy dogs. You'll need a more resilient size. I have two labs that are wonderful but i wouldn't trust them to stay enclosed within a 4-foot fence. BTW-getting a dog is like having another kid... you might benefit from an older, already trained one. Good luck.

I would suggest a boxer. They are great with kids, they also are medium sized so are not likely to get hurt if the kids get a little rough. I don't know were you live but we have a female that might be having a litter soon. They will not be purebred though.... the father is a lab. If you are interested though and live close by let me know. I live in Wyoming. The pups would be ready to go right around christmas time... we find out on thursday if she is pregnant or not. Just write back and let me know what you think

Hi M.,

It looks like you have tons of awesome advice. My suggestion is if you get a puppy, meet and play with the parents, both of them. It will tell you alot about how the puppy will be when full grown, size tempermant, acivitiy level, etc. If you get an older dog go through a rescue that does in home fostering. They will make sure you get an adult that is good with your childrens ages. What ever you do dont get the puppy at christmas. There is just to much going on that time of the year. People visiting, New Years right after. Even with out a new dog/puppy it already is a stressful time. You want to get a new pet when things are calmer (ok calm is relitive), so that when tings are crazy they are already use to you and your family. Another suggestion is to crate train. It is painful at first, but now my dog loves the create and can go there to get some rest. The crate is a baby free zone. Tons of good luck. And remember no one breed is right for everyone

R.

uh, a boxer? no... They will jump your 4 ft fence in a heartbeat. Many breeds will in fact, so do your research. Will the dog be left at home for long periods of time? Consider shedding/grooming requirements, weather tolerance. Do you vacation often? Who will watch the dog while you're gone? take him/her with you?

I agree with someone else's advice on possibly waiting until the kids are older, and can help shoulder the responsibilities. Ask your kids what kind of dog they want. A big dog? medium dog? small dog? Do they really want a dog? My son told me he wanted a puppy, but in reality he just wanted a small dog (he thought all small dogs were puppies).

I would highly recommend a pound dog, since you can get some idea of their personality up front. Golden Retrievers are definitely good/great dogs with kids, but they are HUGE, so that means a lot of dog food and a lot of dog poo. Are the kids going to help clean that up? Can you afford the $50/month + in dog food? Do you care that your lawn will turn brown from pee stains?

Also, will barking be an issue? Some breeds bark for protection, some bark at virtually everthing. Try some of the Breed Selectors/quizes online to get ideas of breeds to avoid or select based on the answers to some of the questions I've asked (and they will ask). Look for mixed breeds, as you will usually have fewer health problems (again, the pound is good for those).

We had a lhaso apso growing up, and she was just the best family dog there could be. I don't remember her ever biting or being vicious.

I have a chihuahua pomeranian mix now, and he's very nervous (not mean, just nervous) around the kids until they get to be around 5/6 years old then he likes them. Because by then they understand not to attack the dog, and they know how to pet him nice.

There are probably quite a few dogs that will meet your needs. Labs are great family dogs. Good with the kids, very even tempered. My folks had a Brittany Spaniel. He was a good dog - mostly. But the mostly isn't because of his breed - he was mistreated and then left locked in someone's yard and they moved away. If he was nervous, he would bite, but again I think that was because of his history.

I came across a breed I had never heard of - Catahoula Leopard Dog - good dog. They are VERY versitle and they seem to be pretty easy to train.

I got mine as a pup and he was a perfect gentleman even then. My 18 month old niece would walk around my yard with her plug in her mouth. That dog wanted SO bad to know what that was and he tried to get it - but he never touched her while doing so. He was 4 months old.

Australian Shepherds are good dogs - had one when I was a little girl.

And don't rule out mutts - there are some amazing dogs that are just Heinz 57.

Do some research on dogs. Look at the AKC site - it will give you some idea of what you're looking at with regard to temperment.

I have 3 kids 9 years, 3 years and 5 months. I would get another Catahoula in a second. I would also (if it wasn't so cold here) look into a Hungarian Vizsla - but they are high energy dogs.

Good luck - it's a hard decision to make.

A Lab is the best dog for kids we have a english yellow lab, and they are so well tempered and great with kids. I would reccommend if you do to look at buying one i would buy a female because they are very calm and also i would also try and get the runt of the litter. We have a yellow english lab there is no difference between an english and an american lab except the shape of the head and size. he is just great with our kids we have a 2 and 3 year old, he is the best dog and most labs are just so great with kids. I would also make sure that you see both parents when you pick out your puppy. I hope this helps in your quest for a family dog.

We have had a Basset/retriever mix and a Chesapeake Retriever mix. They were both medium-sized, calm, didn't bark much, happy to be loved, climbed on, brushed, kissed, etc. I have 6 kids, so it was important to me to have a calm temperament. I knew I could not deal with a jumpy, yippy dog that would snap at people. You can go online and research dog breeds by temperament. good luck!

we have an australian shepherd and she is great with our 3 year old. they are like sisters! australian shepherds or bordie collies are great dogs for kids because they are herders..so they will watch over them, are very gentle and playful, and are medium sized.

We have two labs and from the time they were puppies, they were great with children. I would go for a larger breed dog, they are less likely to be aggressive. Our nieces have climbed on, hugged and done about every thing else to our dogs and they just sit there. Our baby is 3 months old and they are great with him and very protective. But puppies are like kids and learn what they live...we are mellow people so our dogs are! Anyway, I would choose labs and if you don't want hair issues, there are always the labradoodle breed. They are great dogs! Good luck!

M., well it all depends on if u are dead set on getting a pet from the pound. I prefer to get a puppy so that it can grow up with my kids and they all learn together you never really know how an older dog is going to react even if they say they are good with kids. Small dogs are generally not very good kids dogs especially if the kids are rough the small dogs are more prone to bite if they get hurt. We have had labs and they have been wonderful with the kids we have a 6 month old yellow lab and I have an almost 2 year old little girl who rides her and then the next minute is asleep on her or just uses her as a pillow while reading books. Good luck in your search and remember it is always a good idea to introduce the whole family before making your decision.

We did a lot of research online before we got our dog, into the different qualities of the breeds and what their natural tendencies are and which are good with kids. Many said that even with lots of training a dog might have, if something happens wrong(kids always guarantee this) they go into what comes natural to them.So that was good to know when looking at the shelter which ones might not be a good fit for our family.

We found that a mixed breed is better than a purebred they're less aggressive. Ours is a schnauzer mix and he is very protective of our house, barks at anyone coming by, but that's how the breed is very protective of their home and family. He is fabulous with the kids and he doesn't shed which was important to my hubands allergies. The kids haven't always been nice but he doesn't ever do anything he just runs away from them, but then he'll still love to play a few minutes later.
We're unsure of his exact age but he was older and didn't have to deal with puppy accidents etc...
I wish you luck in your search !!!

I would suggest getting a puppy, around 3 to 6 months old and preferably a mixed breed (from the pound) and not a toy or small dog. I picked up a couple of Rottie/Australian Shepard/Lab girls 10 yrs ago, and they are DEFINITELY the kids' dogs. I got myself a Chesapeake Bay Retriever/Blue Heeler cross at the pound last year and he is the greatest dog I've come across. He is just as well behaved as my older girl that passed away on me a few years ago. I say get a puppy from the pound, because it will already be fixed, and have it's first round of shots, as well as a health check. I would really look into a mixed breed just because after comparing the purebreds to the so called mutts, The mutts are generally healthier long term with less genetic defects. Spend some time researching different breeds on line or research the types the pound has and find one that will be a good family dog, and won't be a hyper dog (labs notoriously) all the time. Rotties are good dogs for families, they are a shepard dog, without the hyper that Border collies, Aussies and Labs generally have. Another reason to get a medium/large sized dog, is that they generally don't go berserk if they have to be left alone for any length of time, and tear the house or yard apart. Good luck in your search and best of luck.

I had a neighbor who worked at a vets. She said to get a mut. They are less expensive, and tend to have fewer health issues (avoid the cocker spaniel like the plague! Tons of ear problems!), and they get along better with kids than pure breeds.

I personally believe that you will go looking for a dog, and whatever kind of dog that is supposed to be in your family, you will find it. Getting a dog is something you do with your heart, not your head. Have fun in this adventure. :D

Talk with your local AKC people. They can point you in the right direction and get you together with local breeders who can introduce you to different breeds, recommend reading etc. Do your research carefully keeping in mind your lifestyle before making a decision.

M.,
Maltese are adorable, but I would not recommend this breed. They are too small and sensitive, and require regular grooming.

My thoughts tend toward spaniels like a Cocker or a Springer. Also a Corgi might work well, too. They certainly couldn't jump the 4 ft fence. These dogs are all sturdy, have energy enough for children, and are loyal. The spaniel types usually require regular grooming, but a Corgi would just need regular brushing and bathing.

These are just breeds that popped into my mind right away.
I would suggest checking out some books from the library like "The Right Dog for You" by Daniel F. Tortora. It is a great book for looking at your lifestyle and needs to help you pick the right breed. Also check out AKC's website at akc.org. They have an area there to help as well.

As far as being intimidated by all the barking dogs at the shelter, I can totally understand that. I would suggest asking to take out particular dogs to a special greeting room or something. If the shelter does not allow this, go somewhere else! You need to be able to have the children and dog interact freely to really get a sense of their possible relationship. You also need to know how the dog reacts to you since you will be its primary caregiver, no matter how much responsibility you give your kids.

Good luck, and please remember to be careful with this choice. Pets are not throwaway commodities as so many people treat them these days. You need to find the right fit for your family so that everyone will be happy for the rest of the pet's life.

Hi M.,

I have a 2 1/2 yr old daughter and another on the way and we have 2 male shitzu dogs. They are not considered a toy breed but stay small, under 15lbs. From the first day that we brought our daughter home we have never had to worry with our dogs and now that she is able to play with them they love it. They travel well, and can be socialized easily. I do recommend getting one as a puppy so it can be trained to be with kids because they can be biters if you get one at an older age that is not used to kids. Hope this helps.
K.

I have heard golden retrievers are great, my in laws have one and he is great around my 1 year old, but a little hyper. We have a blue heeler and an english bulldog. Our blue heeler has been my dog since college, he is a sweetie, but I trained him that way. They are normally snappy dogs, but mine is 8 and he has never bitten anyone or even come close. However I don't trust him completely around my 1 year old, I watch him close because he is older and more of a work dog. However, our english bulldog is the most gentle sweetest dog ever!!! They are excellent around children and they are smaller. They also like to be a little active, but not too much. Labs, retrievers, are really hyper and need LOTS and LOTS of exercise. So bulldogs are great if you don't have tons of time to exercise them, they can be lazy lap dogs too! They are expensive if you get a puppy, but we got this one from family and he was 2 when we got him. If you get a dog that is a puppy, make sure you play with them by gently tugging their tail, ears, and feet. Flip them on their back, go near their food when they eat. You need to do things that children would do to dogs and make sure they know its playful so they don't bite later. Good luck!

just an idea??? I recieved a beagle puppy for my birthday from my husband. I had never had a puppy much less a dog- as it turns out I'm not much of a dog person...So now we have a 2 yr old beagle (pure bred between a 13 inch dad and 15 inch mom) that we want to find a new home for because our boys are too young (three in december and a 7 mo old)to be nice enough to him. He is a wonderful dog, we love him lots he just has to be the bottom of the totum poll at our house so he doesn't get the attention he should be getting. He's house trained, he's been raised around small children and he's never once bitten them. He knows some basic tricks: sit, stay, up (and he dances on two legs), down, lay down, shake. We have all the kennel stuff, the dog house, a stake and tether for outside, all the toys and such. He just had all his shots and a check up with a clean bill of health in july. We'd like to get about $200 for him because of all his stuff that we're sending with him- let me know if you're interested- we really do just want him in a good home where he can be loved. I'm in Magna UT and I'd love for you to come meet him sometime if you're interested.

Border collie - Australian shepherd mix or Australian shepherd

If you could I would wait until your 3-y/o is 5. We got a dog this summer. My oldest is 5 and my youngest are just 3 today. They were excited about her for 1 week. Now I am stuck with training a dog and playing with her, everything. My husband likes dogs so I thought that he would spend a lot of his time with her, but it ended up me. Now my neighbors come complaining because she gets out of the fence once in awhile and it is just a pain. The kids don't want anything to do with her, and the twins just freeze up and cry anytime she comes around. So if you could wait just 2 more years you would probably benefit a lot better than we are right now.

Hi there,
A mini Australian Shepherd would be a WONDERFUL dog for your kids & family as a whole. They are kid friendly and wonderful babysitters, they are on top of the intelleigence list which means they are easy to train and quick to learn. A mini aussie height size is anywhere between just over 13" up to just under 18" (that is at the shoulder not the head). These dogs are very versitle, they adjust to your life style & you don't have to take them to the groomer for anything unless you want them to give them a bath. If you would like to see some, you can email me at ____@____.com . There are also toy size ones, they are anything up to 13" tall. Weight wise for the smallest toy to the tallest mini you are looking at anywhere between 5 lbs all the way up to about 35 lbs.

Let me know if you would be interested in seeing any. My home ####-###-#### or email me at the email address I gave you.

Good luck on your search & I hope to hear from you soon.

C.

My best friend got a miniature goldendoodle (golden retriever and poodle mix). It is one of the most hypo allergenic dogs and they got him as a puppy about 6 months ago. He has been the best dog. Her kids range from 10-1 and the dog is great with all of them. The youngest will climb on him and sometimes pull his hair and he just lays there. I am convinced on getting one of those dogs now. She did a ton of research and was torn between the goldendoodle and the labradoodle. I suggest taking a peek at one of those. :) Good Luck!

Get a Lab. We got a chocolate lab before we started having kids and he was just wonderful with them. He passed away a couple years ago and now we have a black lab. He is wonderful with my kids now 9 and 6 but when my kids were little the climbed all over our chocolate lab and he just sat there. They even tried to ride him on occasion. Anyway I think they are the best family dog.

Personally, I will always have a poodle. I'm 31 and have had poodles since I was 2 years old! They are not as snooty as everyone says, that just happens if they have an uptight owner! ;)

Also, I wouldn't necessarily shy away from smaller dogs. It's just important to teach your kids to be gentle. My own 2 year old has a mini poodle of her own, less than 15 pounds. She also has a lab-shepherd mix at 45 pounds. Actually, these dogs were mine and my husband's, but she took them over!

But to the advice... the most important thing I can tell you is to pay attention to the temperament of the dog and make sure it is a good match for your family. There are a lot of breeds out there great for families, but the individual dog's personality should be the most important thing to look at.

Also, research what kinds of behaviors different breeds have to see which will fit in with your lifestyle. This is important even if you end up with a mix because sometimes you can tell what the contributing breeds are and this can give you a clue to likely future behavior. For example, was the breed bred to dig, pull, herd, track, guard? This info will also help you to devise ways to exercise the dog that it will respond to best. My lab-shep loves to run and herd my daughter. She (the dog) also loves it when we strap a little backpack to her for walks.

Cesar Millan is a great resource for advice of this kind. PLEASE check out this link: http://www.cesarmillaninc.com/tips/addition_right_energy.php.

Good luck!

Hi M.,
I'd say Lab or golden retreiver and female. We always got puppies and trained the kids and the pup at the same time. Kids no matter how young need to learn it is not okay to hurt or mistreat the animal as does the animal. i've seen homes where kids were allowed to kick and hit their animals and the animal was forced to tolerate it, that isn't fair to anyone.
We have a lab and my daughter is special needs, our Shadow girl is so protective over her human friend that I don't think anyone could ever hurt Bree while Shadow was around. And Bree feels the same about her dog friend. We got Shadow at 8 weeks and they learned to get along.
maybe this helps.

Good Luck, And please tell your husband that I said thank you to both of you for your service and safrifice to our country.

An Aerdale. They are strong and sturdy and enjoy playing. Small dogs can get hurt by kids and their hyperness will end up scratching your kids.

For Christmas...if you know what dog you are going to get, then you can have the leash, collar, bowls, brush, etc. under the tree for the kids to open...and make arrangements to pickup your new friend the next day, after the chaos of the holidays. Good luck.

Hi M.,
we have a border collie and a sheltie and they are both awesome with our toddler. I searched for family friendly dogs and Border Collies were recommended.
http://www.dogbreedadvice.com/Placeholder-Kid-Friendly-Do...
We had a wonderful experience with the pueblo collie shelter and got both of our dogs from them. It's wonderful because the dogs are in foster homes, so you get to talk to the foster parents aboout the dog and their behaviors. Both our dogs came to us housebroken (YEAH!)
http://pueblocolliesheltie.org/Available_Dogs/Available_D...

Good luck!
L.

When we decided to get a dog for our four children we did a lot of research into different types of breeds. We finally settled on a cockapoo, a cocker spaniel, poodle mix. The no shedding was a big bonus for me. We started with a puppy and had read lots of books how to raise a dog that we wanted to be good with kids. ie. Playing with his ears and tail while he ate, having him around lots of people and other dogs. He has been a great dog for our family and all of the neighbor, kids as well as nieces and nephews. He weighs about 20 lbs and is can be picked up, dressed up, chased and patiently puts up with it all. He is a sweet, friendly dog and has been a wonderful addition to our family.

I suggest you do your research (other people gave great ideas, look online, check out books), and then make a list of 4 or 5 breeds that you like that would be a good fit for your family. That's what I did when looking for my dog. Then go look, meet some dogs, see their personality and how they interact with you and your kids. KSL.com and craigslist are good resources, because most of the time the families have had the dog for a while and can let you know a lot about the dog. We found our Australian shepherd/border collie mix this way, and he is great with our 1 year old.

Having grown up with dogs, my parents had two German Shorthaired Pointers when I was born, so literally all my life. My best advice to you is, pick the dog that fits your lifestyle and family. Meet with the dogs, get to know them, you don't have to take them home right away and any shelter worth it's salt will let you come back and visit the dog, take it for walks, meet and talk with the dog's handlers.

Pick a dog that will match your energy level, do you stay home most of the day and only go outside a little bit? Get a dog that matches that engery, or are you extremely active, outside all the time going here and there, can't sit still? Get a dog that needs lots of exercise. Don't get a lab if you are going to be sitting in the house most of the time, that breed tends to need more room to run and excercise. But on the flip side if you have an active outdoor family getting a dog that just wants to lay about all day is also a bad match. And you can't always tell by the breed how much or how little energy the dog will have, breed does play a part but dogs have individual needs and personalities, which is why I say get to know the dog.

Sometimes people at the shelters don't always have the best advice. You know what is best for you and your family. Also if you are really unsure of a dog but want to get some more experience with the dog, try fostering it for awhile and see how it goes. I am not sure about where you are, but contact local rescue groups and see what they have to say, some have puppies and older dogs as well. There are rescue groups for all different kinds of breeds and some like the one I foster for, we foster everything.

I was a foster home for dogs and will be again once we move, and we own two of our own, a 6 month old black lab and a 5 year old terrier mix (a toy breed at 7lbs) I have two girls, a 3 1/2 year old and a 19 month old. My neighbor is also a foster home for dogs and we work closely with our organization to place the dogs we foster, lets face we love them but we can't have them yo-yoing back all the time. There isn't one breed that is perfect for a family or not. Our last foster dog, was a pit bull mix and she was as sweet as can be, great with the kids, even let my 19 month old ride her and played with the neighborhood kids. She went to a home similar to yours and they tellm e she is doing great. So dispite what you might hear about this breed or that, negative or positive, it isn't always true.

If you need any more advice or help or have any questions feel free to send me a message, I am always willing to help people find the right dog for them.

Boxers ALL THE WAY!!! Labs and the like usually barkers and major shedders!!! Our boxer has been the best animal we have ever had. He is incredibly patient around our toddler, doesn't jump on people, doesn't bark all the time (or hardly ever), and is just such a love. He is 9 and has so much energy still it's great. We are going to be boxer owners for life.

Good luck!

Hi M.,
For what it is worth, we had a Springer Spaniel. And he was the best dog. He was kind and very obedient. He was also great with the handicapped neighbor girl. They are great family dogs. They are a smaller medium height and about 40-50 lbs. Hope this helps! Good luck to you and your family and congratulations on a new pet!!

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