Good Kids Dog

Updated on November 13, 2013
S.R. asks from Kansas City, MO
26 answers

Good morning mama's and papa's!
I am looking for a good kids dog for our family. I want a medium sized dog that is very tolerant with children. In your opinion what do you think would be a good kids/family dog. I was thinking either a mini schnauzer, a king charles cavalier, boston terrier or a beagle.
What do you think? and if you have other ideas please shout them out! Thanks everyone!
Happy Monday!

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So What Happened?

Thanks guys! My SN child is afraid of big dogs, so we are going to stay away from the labs, german shepard...etc..... that is why i want a medium sized dog. The pound is a good idea! I might just have to try that!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd get a puppy in the larger size dog breed then let it grow up close to kiddo SN. This way they'll be over their fear of big dogs and they'll have a dog that has been socialized around them and loves them. That dog will be their best companion.

I don't think a pound dog would be any sort of inside pet for a long time. You really do not know what their life was like before they got to the pound. They could have been sent to the pound because they like to eat children....seriously, you don't know where they've been.

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answers from Columbus on

I would suggest you go to the pound and take a dog one by one into the visiting room and see which one they bond with. We did this with our son intending to get a smaller dog but we walked out with a German Shepherd mix - they bonded instantly and he has been the best dog going on 10 years now!!

Some of those small dogs are way too hyper for little kids!!

Good luck!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

A mutt (or any other dog) from a shelter. Mutts are often healthier than pure breds. And I am just a shelter dog advocate! :) That's where mine have all come from.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Hands down, I would pick the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, from a personality standpoint. However, health-wise, they often have heart problems. My second choice would be a standard schnauzer, not a miniature schnauzer (standards are bigger, but have better personality profile for kids, imo).

A Boston terrier is a good dog, but very high energy. Beagles are great, but have a pretty strong need/urge to roam/run (they are bred for hunting, and that is part of their nature, to try to scent things and follow scent trails).

Personally, I think that bigger dogs are actually better and less "breakable" than smaller dogs.

And a mutt is much more likely to have fewer genetic problems and better overall health than a purebred (it's called hybrid vigor). So if it were me, I'd be looking for a Lab cross or other cross my the pound. Look for a rescue or pound that does temperament testing and/or personality evaluation. And be willing to spend the money for obedience classes for the dog and have all members of the family old enough to participate (like older kids) help with obedience.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

bostons are notoriously hyper, so i'd avoid that. if your kids are small, i'd also avoid a puppy - they tend to jump and mouth... they're not being BAD, it's just what they do. beagles are great dogs, look at adopting from an all breed or breed specific rescue. look at your local animal shelters as well - if you get an adult dog, you will be a little more sure of his/her temperament, it's hard to judge how a pup will turn out. we have Dobermans and have since our oldest child was 6 months old, they have been GREAT with our kids, but I see you have one that is scared of large dogs - causes me to suspect that child will also not be thrilled with a jumpy/hyper dog - choose carefully and good luck! rescue or animal shelter, do not support backyard breeders :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I have first hand experience with a beagle. Daisy is her name and we hate her. But of course, we love her too. She's such a handful. Mouthing, chewing, digging, barking. It's about 60% good dog, 40% nuts. She's like the neediest most annoying kid you've ever come across. But she's one of the family, so we are stuck with her.

I vote for anything but.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

They've gotten a bad rap because of idiot owners, but think about the Pit Bull breeds ( American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier or any mix thereof) were originally trained as Nanny Dogs. They can be some of the sweetest, most loyal dogs around.

I believe that all dos are a reflection of their owners and training. Train a dog to be loving and you have a great dog. Train a dog to be a jerk and you have a fighting dog.

Oh, and a good place to get information on Pibbles: Villalobos Rescue Center in NOLA. They are the largest Pibble rescue in the US.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

We used petfinder (dot com) to find our family dog. The foster families can give you excellent info on the dog's temperament and what kind of home would be a good fit for the animal. And you can search by size, breed, gender, etc.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Yes, go a to your local shelter and fall in love! Don't dismiss Pit Bulls or pit mixes, they can be great kid-friendly dogs. We have two that have a great relationship with our kids. They are bred for fighting, but part of that breeding is to be people-friendly. They can also take a beating, so to speak- like a full-body check from a two year old, or stepped-on feet, or a head butt, or a pulled tail- all without flinching.
The staff at the shelter will be a great resource on finding the right dog. They want to find dogs permanent homes so they do not end up back in the shelter, so they will be conscientious in helping you make your choice.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I suggest you go to the pound and give an honest assessment of your family and it's needs. They will match you accordingly. We did extremely well with a lab terror mix.

Certain breed specific traits will likely be there and are difficult to overcome even with training, so get to know what you might be getting into.

F. B.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

We just went through this, so I'll put in my 2 cents...

Of all the breeds you mentioned I would choose a Beagle. However, they do chew, have high energy and they bark and howl. The other dogs you listed may be ok temperament-wise, however most do have health issues that you may not want to deal with.

My vote would be a mut/mixed breed. I would contact your local SPCA and take your time choosing the right dog for your family. Many organizations like the SPCA foster animals, so they can be better at assessing the right dog for you than you can be just going to the pound or shelter...especially if you are an inexperienced dog owner.

Pit bulls have gotten bad reputation, but they are listed at THE most tolerant of any breed. The second most tolerant is a golden retriever. However, pit bulls are all muscle and because of their power,(in my opinion) you need to have some experience working with dogs to adopt one.

We recently adopted a boxer/lab/rottweiler mix. He's a wonderful dog with a good temperament, but I found out quickly that you need to immediately establish yourself as the pack leader with ANY dog or you will run into problems. Before you get your dog, watch Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer and/or read his book. It's a wealth of information that I wish I had had before we brought our dog into our home.

The age of your kids plays a big part in this too. My dog is great with our kids ages 8 & 9, but he can't handle the energy level and noise of small kids (as in my home daycare.) So he doesn't stay out with us while I am working.

Also really think about what kind of time and attention you have to care for a dog. I love our dog and he has helped me get into shape because I walk him 2 or the 3 walks we give him a day. It is not enough to have a backyard and not walk them daily. There are also things to consider like how much you are home (or not), if you can afford to board them during holidays or travel etc... The cost of food, vet bills, etc... I only add this because in looking for our dog I saw ads and profiles over and over saying, "we just don't have the time or attention for this dog..."

Good luck~

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Other than the Beagle, those are actually small dogs, not medium sized. I'm not sure a Boston Terrier or a mini Schnauzer have the right temperament for younger kids. How old are your kids? Beagles can be very high maintenance--they need a lot of exercise and because they are hounds they like to run (often as in run away) and howl. Beagles usually need a fenced-in yard. Can you call a local vet clinic for suggestions? Otherwise I might check out or the local Humane Society. Some sort of mixed breed might be perfect. I have a Miniature Poodle (14 pounds) and they are supposed to be generally good with kids, but mine is not suitable for young children. I have teenagers. A lot of people in my neighborhood with kids have Shih Tzus, but they are small and would probably be best for older kids. Wheaton Terriers are a good size, but they can have a terrier attitude if you are o.k. with that. I've always had smaller dogs and it's worked out for us, but most people recommend larger dogs for families with young children. Golden Retrievers or lab mixes (although they have energy too!). My neighbors had a mixed breed "designer dog" bred to look like a mini Rottweiller (about 15-20 pounds) and they had to find a non-kid home for him because he bit their kids. So they ended up with a chocolate Lab and that has worked out really well for them so far. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree with Purple Mom. And if you go to the pound sometimes they will know the temperment and can rule out some for you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) are fantastic family dogs - they are small with a mighty dog complex, but their personality is phenomenal!! As puppies they can be expensive, & many breeders hold on to their puppies until they are a bit older (4-6 months). You can also look into breed rescue. If you are intersted in finding a reputable breeder, feel free to contact me privately. CKCS do have some known health issues (eyes, heart), but responsible breeders are aware of these & do testing to work towards eliminating them from their lines.

Schnauzers can be a bit "sharp" in personality. Same with Bostons, but this is just my overall opinion based on hearsay, I don't have any personal experience.

Beagles are great dogs, but they tend to be high energy. Good personalities with children, & a nice size. Many also tend to be vocal. I would not recommend this breed if you are not able to give it plenty of exercise - they demand quite a bit more than their size indicates.

If you go to a pound/shelter, some things to be aware of:
Many shelters do not screen the dog to fit the family, they just make sure the family does not 'disqualify' to have a dog, & then it is typically their choice which dog. Well, you can't know what the "right" dog is for your family in the 1 hour you are there looking @ them, & most don't come in with detailed histories.
So please, be cautious about getting a dog through a shelter. If they have a puppy, chances are there won't be as many issues with the past experiences, but it can still be a crapshoot what breed you are getting. (many many many shelter dogs are mis-categorized into generic breeds - shephard mix, lab mix, etc.) And, not every breed is right for every family. Since you have young children, you need to be more specific about the dog you bring into your family, so that it is the right fit, the first time.

Breed rescue offers opportunities to give a dog in need a home, & many (if not all) will do home-foster. A lot of history is usually known about the dog, & even if not, the dog has lived in a home environment & been exposed to different situations. Breed rescues will also work with families to find the right dog for THAT family.

Good luck! T.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

The best dog is a cat.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Have you thought about a Golden Retriever. These are the most friendly well adjusted dogs, and awesome with kids. Very easy to housebreak and ours never chewed on toys or furniture. Our daughter was 8 when we got ours and she dressed her up and played with her like crazy. Goldens just want to be part of the family. They stay close to you and we've never had a problem with her leaving the yard. We do have a fenced back yard, but when we wash the car or even sitting in the driveway for halloween, she ever leaves our side. We also have a beagle/pug mix and she is much more hyper than our Golden. Going forward the Golden will be the only dog I will own. Absolutely love her!



answers from Seattle on

We have a Beagle. She is 1.5 years old now and absolutely great.

Sure, if you get a puppy you are in for a wild ride for the first year, but it was absolutely worth it. One thing I have to say though: it is much harder to train your kids to be appropriate with the dog than the other way around. My DD is 6 and was very hesitant around dogs before we got our own - once you have your own it is different! Just be aware that it is A LOT of work - about twice as much as you imagine it to be.

As for the breed - they are the best if you don't want a bigger dog. Gentle, patient and playful. Once she was out of the puppy phase we never had a problem with chewing, she does dig though (they are known to be diggers) - so if you want immaculate lawn, they may not be for you.
Good Luck.



answers from Dover on

We have always gotten a beagle. They are so tolerant and playful. Our dog has never been aggressive but is always up for a game of fetch or tug of war. She loves us so much that when we come in the door she looks around for something to give us as a welcome home present, whether it's a sock or a toy or someone's shoe. She loves to snuggle and cuddle and play hide and seek. Beagles are barkers, so that's the only downside, but one we live with because we have never had a dog that is better with children and we have had many kinds of dogs. They are medium sized (so not fragile) but don't get too big. Ours averages 30 lbs full size.

Mini schnauzers are cranky and snappy.


answers from San Francisco on

We have been doing a ton of research into this, as we are also looking to get a dog, and we have settled on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The only thing is, it's not a hugely popular breed, so they're very expensive. However, the King Charles Spaniels we have met have been super sweet and have obviously adored children.

I will also say that my best friend growing up raised Mini Schnauzers and showed them. They were very high-strung, and would bite when stressed. It's not like they did enough damage to cause permanent damage or anything, but the younger the child, the more damage a nip could do. They are, however, extremely intelligent, so if you have older kids, a Schnauzer could be a good choice.

Be careful of Beagles. They chew EVERYTHING, and it continues for years. A friend of mine had a Beagle that literally ate ALL of her wooden furniture over a period of 4 years. He was a cute dog, and was otherwise well-trained (he didn't jump, bite, etc, and could walk nicely on a leash), but if/when he ever got out of his crate, or if he was simply unsupervised within the house, he would chew the furniture. The vet confirmed there was nothing wrong with the dog physically, and the breeder pretty much told her, yeah, that's what Beagles do. :-/



answers from Las Vegas on

Our most recent dogs were a Boston Terrior and a Rottweiler. Believe it or not, the Rott was the lover and the Terrior was the hyper jumper who has nipped at a few people.

The Rott loved kids. My daughter had friends over plenty of times and she loved the kids. One time the neighbors kids were over and I locked the rott in her dog run while the kids played in the back yard. The mom came over and stepped outside and the Rott went into mama attack mode. As soon as the mom went back inside the house, she was fine.

So I understand you are looking for a small dog, but the Boston may not be what you are looking for if your child is timid.



answers from Seattle on

Our Beagle is a sweetie and very gentle with the kids. They can be barkers/howlers so be aware of that!



answers from Jacksonville on

I have a beagle and he is a WONDERFUL breed for kids. He was a pain in the butt as a puppy -my baseboards are chewed up-but he's 2 1/2 now and hasn't chewed anything in over a year. He potty trained vey easily, but he does have separation anxiety. On the plus side, he is so smart and vey sweet and doesn't bark at all. Beagles are a big ball of pure love!



answers from New York on

English Springer Spaniel hands down. Could find a better dog with kids. Loving, playful, easy to train. Just a pure gem. My kids all have Springers, we have had two, and several friends have them.



answers from Dallas on

Not all Boston's are hyper, and they are usually quite calm with the family it's when new people come over that they get a little nutty. We've had Boston's since before my kids were born - 3 total. All were fantastic with the kids. My daughter dresses them up, my son used them for a pillow when he was a toddler. Never, ever a nip from any of them, ever. My youngest Boston (2) will give a low growl if the kids cross a line (mess with him when he's sleeping, pull on him etc) but if they don't back off he just gets up and walks away. They are loyal, smart, and a good cross between energetic and couch potato. IE - they will jog with you if you are a runner, but are not pestering you for walks every day - they're content to run around in the back yard if you don't have time to walk them. They are very trainable, very smart - my first Boston never jumped on anyone, we worked with him diligently and he was very well trained. The other two came along after the kids, so they are not quite as well trained but that's not their fault, it's ours. The only concern about a Boston in MO is the cold - they don't do well in either extreme, heat or cold, so they have to be inside dogs. We will probably never have another type of dog since we are so smitten with this breed.



answers from Detroit on

my friend loves her pug. but they are stubborn.

a lab mix is a good choice.. depending on what the mix is.. can be medium sized..

labs have the best disposition.. they almost never ever bite..


answers from Lakeland on

We have a Boston Terrier and yes she can be hyper but she is loyal and loving to everyone. She mostly gets excited around other people and dogs. They also love to please and are easy to train (including the hyper tendencies).

I decided to get a Boston because they are companion dogs and don't shed much (mine hardly ever sheds, but we live in a warm climate). Most Boston's are around 20 lbs. or so but mine is a runt at 13lbs. She is the best dog I have ever had. Their life span is around 15 years so keep that in mind as well when choosing a pet, they do become a family member.

I wanted to add that I would never get a big dog that I couldn't handle. I was walking my dog when she was a pup and twice had big dogs that pulled their owners down trying to get to my dog. There were all on leashes but the owners of the big dogs let go and got hurt, thankfully I picked up my dog before they got to us.

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