Kid Friendly Dog

Updated on November 25, 2010
L.K. asks from Austin, TX
29 answers

I am thinking of getting my daughter a dog for Christmas. We already have a border collie/australian shepherd mix that sheds like crazy. I had a schaunzer up until last Spring when she passed away. What kind of dog do you have and is it good with kids?


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answers from Austin on

I love a boxer. They are awesome with children of all ages and short haired. Lola is 5 years old and the most patient dog with my rambunctious boys. She has never shown any agressive tendencies except with her stuffed bear. She is very protective of her boys around strangers and other dogs. Labs or Boxers are the best. cb

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'd highly recommend a Boston Terrier!!! They are very family friendly and very adaptable. They just love to please people and hang out with them. They are energetic but not crazy like a jack russell. They also just love to snuggle up with their family at the end of day. They are very patient with children and have amazing little personalities. I'd recommend adopting a Boston from a local Boston Terrier rescue group or contact the rescue group for recommendations for a reputable breeder. However, being a foster mama to Bostons, we often have wonderful pups that are 1-3 years old so you get the best of both worlds - the playfulness of a pup but house trained (and hopefully crate trained). They are also low shedding and low maintenance - no groomer required!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Be careful believing the breed has anything to do with child friendliness. Every dog is different with different temperaments. I would suggest spending time at a shelter and see how the dog is. Talk with the workers and ask their opinions. I would recommend staying away from a weeks old puppy as you won't get any idea of the puppy other than how cute they are. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on


Boy oh BOY, are you going to get a TON of CONFLICTING Opinions with this one! The thing to keep in mind is individuality. I have had a ton of breeds and each individual DOG had been different. My current group includes a toy poodle, a cocked spaniel, a German shepard, and a bulldog. We are DIVERSIFIED! LOL!

They all adore little kids. The GSD is the barker, but our previous GSD never barked. The poodle is the happiest and most playful. He never barks, and has not in his entire life offerred to snap or snarl (he is three) even when a friends' toddler jerked him off his feet by his ears! (yes, the toddler and I had a chat!) My cocker spaniel trembles with delight when he sees little kids. The GSD is a new stray. She is just learning what having a family means. She gets so excited she clobbers everyone. But she wont be like that forever.

I raised my kids with a golden, poodles, rottie, Boston terrier, and blue heelers. They were all great: I highly recommend the golden for disposition, but BOY DO THEY SHED! I do recommend the poodle and Cocker Spaniel for hugability, and no shedding. Though they do need more grooming. I clip mine myself, and its not hard to get the hang of. I think if you are careful how you acclimate your puppy, or get a young adult that already likes kids you have a good chance at a great dog no matter the breed.

After 20+ years of dogs with kids I would say go for an individual based on other preferences like size and coat. I truly ADORE my poodle and Cocker, but am looking to re-home them both because of coat and soil conflicts. We moved last year, and where we live now, they keep their pads pulled off and bloody because of the MUDDD. If you like the Aussie/Border Collie, you might find MY bulldog boring, but she is the sweetest, most huggy, people oriented dog I have ever had, besides my weimer.

The "breed" I recommend is RESCUE. I have had both rescue and home-raised dogs. Hands down the rescue dogs APPRECIATE you, and are devoted like a home-raised puppy can't begin to understand. Not saying a home_raised puppy wont love you... It's just a different mentality. Decide what is important to you as for size, and coat. Then decide on energy level. Now, start contacting rescues. I like dogs from foster care because the foster family can tell you about the dog, and can match you based on your criteria.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

We have mutts and I highly recommend them. :) Go to a shelter and adopt a dog--you're saving a dog's life. Or, go through a rescue (there are lots of specific breed rescue groups out there, but they are way more stringent, usually, than the shelter/pound). Yes, you won't know the pedigree of the dog, but actually mutts tend to be healthier anyway (due to hybrid vigor). Studies have shown that, regardless what the dog's parentage is, the dog will generally have the characteristics of the breed it most looks like. You can do temperament testing of the dog at the shelter ( to see how it reacts.

My 2 cents is that having a dog (or getting another dog) will impact the whole family, so it shouldn't be just one person's pet, but should be a family decision, but that is just my opinion...

I wouldn't actually get the dog and present it on Christmas or even right after Christmas--I'd wait till a couple days later if possible, when things have quieted down some. Getting the dog on Christmas is super stressful for the new dog and also for your family. Instead, if you're set on that, maybe wrap up a dog bone and a letter notifying the person/family of the new doggy family member and the "date of arrival" & other details (use one of those fancy fonts in MS Word or whatever and a clip art pic of a dog (MS Word has a free clip art gallery) and wrap them together.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Well, my dog was a stray so we're not entirely sure what his breed is, but we've been told by many people he's an American Bulldog. We thought he was a Pit Bull when we first got him (though his snout is longer and he's much taller/slimmer than a Pit) so I did an exhaustive amount of research on the breed and found that they were actually rated to be excellent with children due to their high pain tolerance. In other words, where other dogs might lash out at a child when getting hurt, a Pit Bull won't feel it. They're also fiercly loyal creatures and will protect their families to the death. Both of these traits also make them excellent fighting dogs, which attracts the wrong kinds of owners and has given the breed such a horrible reputation. But that's a recent thing. Apparently Pit Bulls used to be America's family dog. Little Rascals, the RCA dog....both Pits.

My dog is wonderful with my kids and so very patient. I tested him every way I could think of when we first got him (messing with his food, pulling his tail, etc) and he was extremely docile with both me and the kids. So I would say get an American Bulldog, but I'm not so sure I can speak for an entire breed like that. Your best bet is probably to go down to your local animal shelter and see what they have. The staff there performs their own tests on the dogs to see what sort of homes they would be suitable for.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I agree with the other posters: wait until Christmas and winter is over to get a puppy or get a mature dog who is potty trained from a rescue or shelter. If you do get a mature dog, then be sure the family sits with him/her before you commit. Dog trainers say to that if a dog avoids the children or seems timid that it is not a good fit for a family.

If you were to get any dog....I would most definitely choose a Boxer. They are amazing dogs for adults and for children. Our girl is protective but knows how to be chill. Whenever someone comes in the house that she does not know, she goes and stands by the smallest child. She is very patient with our 2 yr old. When she runs out of patience, she walks away to another room. Boxers have long puppyhoods as it tends to last until they are almost 2. If you are consistent and firm as a trainer, then your Boxer will be an invaluable family member.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

Our children grew up with collies....they are GREAT around sweet and loving. But I think it depends upon the temperament of the individual can't go by the breed. My daughter has a pit bull mix female that is the most loving,gentle dog that you can possibly imagine!!! She had a little boy 11 months ago and he and Meika are great buddies!!! He gives Meika hugs and kisses....lays with his little head on her neck as he cuddles up with her on the floor. She has never once been less than sweet and loving with him. Now I am not telling you to go and get a pit bull...I wouldnt trust 99.9% of them around a small child...but what I am saying is that a lot of it is the innate nature of the dog and the rest is how you raise the dog!!!
That being said...most dog breeders and porfessionals will tell you that Christmas is NOT the time to bring a new animal of any kind into the house....too much excitement and need to have the time and energy to give to training a new puppy/kitty/any pet....without the distraction of a major holiday

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Our Golden Retriever was the BEST dog ever. Fabulous with all kids-he instinctively knew what kids could handle.
As a prize at school for reading, my daughter was allowed on numerous occasions to take the dog with her in the morning to school. He would sit in the hall with me and wait while all the kids would file to their classrooms, randomly reaching out and patting him or making noises. When the handicapped kids came up to him I was AMAZED more than once to see him lay down and /or roll over so that the child could pat him or lay on him.
He was smart and obedient-although we did have a trainer come and teach us how to train him. But he was so willing!
However! He was a BIG dog. Hair was everywhere. He shed a lot. I miss him, I don't miss all the hair.
Our neighbors who had also had many Golden Retrievers replaced their last one with a Golden Doodle. No shedding and many of the Golden characteristics. My son just spent ten days house and dog sitting with this dog and he said he was so much like our old dog. Since they are crossed with Poodles, expect a little more willfulness and higher level thinking. I grew up with a Standard Poodle and he was fabulous but almost too smart for his own good.
I do think certain breeds are better than others with kids. Most small dogs have a tendency to feel threatened surrounded by larger dogs and children that can hurt them. Smaller dogs tend to nip more but if a big dog bites you, you'll know it! A lot of it is training-expect to WORK with this dog just like you do with your kids if you expect it to have manners. And a lot of it is the dog's temperament.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i totally agree with Lisa C - go to a rescue. tell them the QUALITIES you want - little shedding, good with kids, etc. think about it long and hard and make a list. they will find you the perfect dog and it may be a breed you never thought of - mine turned out to be an english pointer mix - i never would have thought!

(Ps - beware the "designer" dog breeds - they are mixes just like at the pound. and just because you spend hundreds of dollars does NOT guarantee you'll get a dog with a good personality)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I have a golden retriever mix and a german shepherd mix (not sure w/what) they are both great wtih kids. the german shep is more high energy, the golden is so laid back and super gentle even with babies. But, i agree w/what someone said earlier - you can't go by the's each dog. i'd say when you go pick a puppy/dog - pick the CALMEST one you can find!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We have two shepherds and a Beagle.
I would suggest not getting a Beagle, even though they are touted as one of the best breeds to get. THey are dirty and dribble their water all over the house. THey also bark and dig up everything. They will bring you presents too, moles, snakes, rabbits, mice. You name it.

If getting a shepherd type of dog, one who is more protective by nature, shepherds, dobermans, rotties, pits then you might want to go with a puppy.
Personally all ours were rescues. Go to the pound and find one that says good with kids, cats, and otehr dogs.
I wouldn't have a pit bull in my house but I am told they can be good with kids. I have also seen Labs and Goldens bite. It will all depend on the dog itself and how you raise it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Handa down a Lab! We bought my son a yellow lab when he was 8 years old. The best thing I ever did. We adopted him at humane society when he was 9 months old. Our lab is loveable and playful, but labs are very smart dogs.

Labs are really good with kids and other animals. We also have 2 pomeranians and they bark all the time.

Hope this helps.



answers from Houston on

It depends on if you want a big dog that stays outside or a little one thats more of a inside dog. We have 1 inside dog, well she loves it outside but we keep her in at night for sure. She is a Cairkie. She is half Cairn terrior and half Yorkie. She loves all kids and is very smart and obedient. She doesn't bark alot which was one of the things I was worried about with a smaller dog. My little nephew drags her around the house pulls her legs and she never even growls or barks at him. She is very laid back and loyal and does not shed at all, thats another thing I was worried about when I got her. I have never had a inside dog until her and I was real worried about the shedding thing. Our other dog is a outside dog, he is a blue heeler and is the smartest dog I have ever seen. You can talk to him like another person and he understands most everything. In the past we have had border collies and I always thought they were so smart until we got the heeler. Every heeler I have seen has been good with kids, but I'm sure alot of it is that they were raised with the kids since they were pups. I would not buy a grown dog and have it around my kids. I even did alot of research about male and female before I decided too. Females are known to be more laid back and independent for the most part and males are more active and always want to be in the middle of everything. I have watched the difference first hand and it is true! I personally will always stick to a female especially for a inside dog. There is alot of difference!!



answers from Houston on

We have a Shih Tzu that has stolen the hearts in our family. She is a great, friendly dog. We have an 8 year old son and many friends that come over on a regular basis. She does shed, but not like a regular dog. She sheds like a human sheds hair. Her hair grows like a human's. We keep her hair short in the summer and let it grow out in the winter. We take her to the groomers about once a month and bathe her about once a week. I also have a dog grooming kit that we trim her hair periodically with too.

She is a wonderful dog, would definitely have more of them in the future.


answers from San Antonio on

I have a boxer (65 lbs) and he is so sweet. When my neice was an infant, he walked so gingerly around her and cuddled up next to her on the floor. With my son, he was not so gentle if baby was on the floor, but now that my son is 2.5 yrs, we run around outside and the dog is so very sweet and gentle with my son. My son might get licked in the face a lot, but giggles with delight. Oh and sometimes my 10 yr old boxer is jumping around (like a puppy) and knocks over my son. So boxers ARE great, but sometimes dont know their size or have so much energy that they need a lot of run-time outside.



answers from Austin on

First, I agree with the others above about not presenting a dog at Christmas - and waiting until spring for the potty training. Also, you might want to consider a rescue that is not a puppy - you will be better able to see the dog's temperament.

One person mentioned picking the calmest dog in the litter - while that can be true, you do not want to pick the shy dog that hangs back (or the one that's hyper). You want the puppy that is just slightly hesitant at first, but then curious and comes forward to investigate.

We have a pug and it could not be more wonderful with all people. Pugs were bred to be only human companions, so that's their "job" - one at which they are exceedingly good. However, they do shed quite a bit and depending on where they came from/their breeder they can have some unique health problems due to the structure of their faces and bodies. Ours is free of all those problems - but I spent a lot a time investigating breeders and sources.

That said - I also agree with getting a rescue. Their are lots of pug rescues around and I can't recommend the breed enough. A kid could do anything to our dog and she would never show any aggression at all. Pugs also get along well with other dogs.



answers from College Station on

Our border collie and great pyrennes were THE BEST with our kids! We have a siberian husky mix right now and the kids are older. They are good together.


answers from Spokane on

Yellow lab ~ Daisy. Labs are true puppies for the first couple of years and can be a handful :) but in a good way! They are loyal pets and want nothing more than to be with their humans. Daisy is 7 and my boys are 6 and 2 and they climb on her, stand on her, try to ride her, take her for walks, chase her, brush her, bathe her and she lets them! She has never snarled or growled at either one. She grunts occasionally but who wouldn't :) When my step daughter was younger she used to put dresses on her. they'll let you do anything if it gets them some attention!!
My Mom has 2 boxers and my sis had 1. They, too, are amazing with all the kids.



answers from Dallas on

I have two Goldendoodles and I love them - they aren't for everyone, because of the high maintenance coats. One of my girls is an F1b (75% poodle, 25% Golden Retriver) and she doesn't shed, the other is very, very low shedding she's 50/50. We have four kids ranging from under 3 weeks old, to 6 years old and our dogs are a part of our family. They are patient with the kids, love to play and romp, but also are content when the kids go to bed to curl up with my husband and I and relax.

I agree with what some others have suggested though... while certain breeds have traits that are dominant every dog is different. When I was looking for dogs I found information how to pick a dog from a litter that was submissive. This isn't the dog that bounds up to you, bites your hands and is all playful. Both of our dogs were puppies that were calmer (but not afraid). While the temptation might be to get the adorable puppy that climbs over all the other dogs, jumps up on you, barks, etc... just think of that dog 10+ years. You're seeing personality traits right away. The test I used was the Volhard Temperament Test

I would say the individual dogs temperament is MUCH more important then the breed. Find a breed with appealing traits -- shedding/non-shedding, high activity or low activity, size.. or look through a rescue. Petfinder is loaded with tons of wonderful dogs from full bred to mutts.



answers from Syracuse on

We have a beautiful 2 yr old Newfoundland girl (like Nana from Peter Pan!). I have a 6 yr old and an 8 month old. We bought her because of the breeds gentle tempermant. They are known for their maternal instincts with children. She has been absolutely everything I expected from the breed and more. They are amazing dogs!



answers from Austin on

Labs are WONDERFUL dogs! 'Nuf said.



answers from Austin on

I've had four greyhounds in the last 15 years, all of which have been wonderful with my to girls. Greyhounds traditionally are very calm and well-mannered (they've been dubbed the 30mph couch potatoes), shed very little (and are good for people with allergies), very people-oriented, have much longer life spans than most large dogs, hip dysplasia has basically been bred out of them, and if you adopt an ex-racer, they usually come pre-house-trained (kennel-trained is a really easy transition to house-training).

None of my dogs have ever shown any aggression towards my girls (or anybody else). When they're tired of being laid on, dressed up, etc., they will just get up and leave the room.

The ONLY disadvantage to greyhounds, is that they -are- sighthounds. If they get away from you, they're REALLY hard to catch. Most rescues require that they be kept as inside dogs, so you'll need to be careful not to leave doors open, and a fenced yard (not invisible fence) is a necessity.

Regarding Diane's comment about greyhounds being fragile - yes, leg breaks are a common injury on a track (when they're racing at top speed), but I've never heard of any such injuries once they've retired. And personally, -I- have landed on one of my dogs while playing in the backyard, and he survived unscathed.


answers from St. Louis on

We have a black lab and she gets along great with our kids. She is mostly an outside dog, but in the winter she gets to come into the house. Also, she Abbey has only torn up 2 pairs of shoes and was easily potty trained. Her inside manner is great as well. As far as protecting the kids when they are outside she does a great job with this as well. It is funny how she acts when we get close to the road she will start wimpering until we get away. Abbey even does this to me when I am going to the mailbox. LOL We love her and would get another black lab in a heart beat.


answers from Boston on

If you're getting a puppy, don't get it until spring. Housebreaking is very hard in the winter when dogs don't want to go out, and neither do you. (Unless you are in a very warm part of Texas!)

There are a lot of new "mixes" that don't shed. We had a Cairn terrier until last spring - like you, we lost her (at almost age 14). She was great with my son - he was 7 when we got her. He was old enough to be gentle with a small puppy. West Highland Terriers are basically the white version of the Cairns. Tibetan terriers don't shed but they aren't always a healthy breed - all my friends who have them have huge vet bills. Retrievers often have hip dysplasia so although they are great family dogs, I'd avoid them. My brother has had 3, and although he made a huge deal of studying their blood lines, he still wound up with dogs with hip problems. I have a friend with a "schnoodle" (schnauzer/poodle mix) which doesn't shed at all. A lot of breeds mixed with poodle will give you that feature. My niece has a Portuguese water dog (like "Bo" Obama) and they are wonderful and do not shed. They're also big enough to be good with small children. Maltese (and the "malti-poo" mix) also don't shed - they are small so be sure your daughter can handle a little dog. Terriers can hold their own with the collie/shepherd mix you already have. You definitely don't want a dog with a fragile structure - like a greyhound or a whippet. Not with little kids around. They are wonderful and docile, but if a kid lands on them...BOOM - broken leg!

Remember that any dog you get for your daughter will be hers for a day, and then it will be yours to walk, train, feed, and clean up after! So be sure you really want to do this at Christmas!



answers from Miami on

Our boston terriers are great with our kids. They are great family dogs, but they do have a lot of energy. I had an australian shepherd mix growing up and she was awesome, but she shed like crazy as you noted! lol Our bostons don't shed that much.

I'd agree with the posters who said to adopt a rescue dog. There are a lot of dogs out there that need a good home.



answers from Boston on

We have 2 schnauzers and they are awesome with our boys! Plus no shedding which I'm sure you know from your past experience :D



answers from Houston on

I am late in my response....I dont have a favorite dog...just advice. Go to and click on Dogs gives you the tools to pick a breed (or mixed breed, if known) to suit your family.

You never know, you may want a terrier...but end up with a lab/mix.

Good Luck! :)



answers from Austin on

The two best dogs we ever had found us. We adopted them. The first was a Bijon-Frise (sp) mix, and she was perfect for our children, who were very little at the time. She was smart, playful, friendly, and patient when little ones tugged on her. The second was a Golden Retriever mix, and was perfect for kids growing up in the country. He, too was smart, playful, friendly, and patient, but also very protective. We lived in a rural area, and he always warned us when snakes were close by.

A relative had two dalmations, and both of those dogs tended to be very nervous, and bit the kids (more than once). I'd advise against them, no matter how cute the Disney cartoon dalmations are.


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