A Perfect Breed for Babies?
So baby Molly is on her way and you would love to raise your little girl with a dog. What could be better than growing up with a furry best friend? But what kind of dog to choose? Is there a perfect breed of dog to have around a baby or to raise with a child? Many experts would give you a laundry list of the best dogs for kids: golden retrievers, labradoodles, bichon frises, beagles, cocker spaniels, and so on. Yes, these are wonderful dogs that can be great with kids, but the real truth is that the breed is almost entirely insignificant. It’s all in how you treat and train the dog.
There are several breeds of dogs that are considered to be especially good with kids. Goldens and labs are your loveable friends. They are typically gentle and patient. American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are sometimes called nanny dogs because they love children and will tolerate their rowdiness with ease. Bichon frises are small but sturdy and very good-natured. Shetland sheepdogs or shelties are fantastic with kids. They are very smart and tolerant. These are just a few.
Proper training and socializing are the true ways to be sure you have the best dog for Molly. However, there are a few breeds that are naturally not very tolerant of little ones. These include Chow Chows, toy and standard poodles, giant schnauzers, Jack Russell terriers, Pekingese, Pomeranians, llhasa apsos, and Chihuahuas. Each of these breeds can be good with children with the right training and socialization, but they are not naturally inclined to get along with little folks.
What about a mixed breed dog? A mutt could be a really good choice for baby Molly’s new friend. There are plenty of even-tempered, intelligent, and loveable mutts waiting it out in shelters. They are looking for love and a new home. Mutts have a lot going for them. They can have really great personalities and loving dispositions. They seem to really appreciate being rescued and are forever grateful to their owners. Also, mutts typically live longer and have fewer health problems than pure bred dogs. The pure dogs have become pretty inbred over the years, which exacerbates genetic health problems. A mutt could be Molly’s buddy for many, many years. It’s not unheard of for mutts to give their two-legged siblings the send off to college along with the parents.
Picking your Perfect Pooch
Regardless of what kind of dog you want to get for Molly, take care to select the right individual based on some simple observations. Every dog is different and while a breed’s guidelines can give you some indication of a dog’s personality, it is just that: a guideline. When you select a dog, you want to choose the individual carefully. If you have your heart set on a golden or a sheltie for your little girl, consider finding your furry baby through a rescue group. Every breed has an associated rescue. Dedicated volunteers take in dogs that have been rejected, abandoned, or surrendered by owners, foster them, and look for their forever homes. The people who work for these groups really know their breed, so they can pick out the perfect dog to match your lifestyle and needs.
If you plan to go to your local shelter and pick out a dog for Molly, visit several times before you take one home. It is a big decision to bring a dog into your family, especially when you have a baby, so don’t take it lightly. Talk to the people who work at the shelter and find out which dogs are most patient, calm, and trainable. With little Molly on the way, the last thing you need is a hyper dog who needs all of your attention.
When you are considering your options for getting a baby-friendly dog, remember that breed is just one piece of the puzzle. Don’t be afraid to give a nice dog a chance just because he looks big or scary. Some of the toughest looking dogs are the gentlest and any dog is going to respond to you based upon how you treat him and how you train him.