The dog has been a true friend of man for several thousand years. But starting it in a house with children is much more responsible than where only adults live. Here you need to thoroughly and deeply know the characteristics of specific breeds and be able to choose the right animal.
As even somewhat experienced dog breeders know very well, the ideal of a dog is obviously unattainable. It is not in vain that hundreds and even thousands of breeds were bred, each of which has its own unique set of features. But at the same time, there are several points that are strictly required when choosing a pet for a family with children. In the first place, there is certainly the absence of any aggression towards the owners. As practice shows, sometimes children are also loved by representatives of harsh outwardly protective breeds.
Such a companion in the yard, on a walk, in the entrance or the elevator will not allow you to encroach on the child. But if the dog in a normal situation begins to behave rudely, cruelly or in some strange way, he must be immediately disposed of. Such animals are even more dangerous than explosive devices because of their unpredictability. However, even if the purchased pet turns out to be accommodating, this does not guarantee success.
The next important parameter is the dimensions of the beast. Any dog grows much faster than a person. It is sometimes surprising how quickly an initially miniature individual reached the sizes provided for at the genetic level. This circumstance is important to consider when choosing a particular breed. Outbred puppies can grow not only quickly, but also in completely unpredictable ways. Even experienced veterinarians and dog handlers cannot always predict the outcome of this process.
A big risk is the choice of both very small and giant dogs. Already at 3-4 years old, children can accidentally cause injury to the “baby”. At the same time, the grown-up “giants” sometimes hurt the children themselves without malicious intent. And no check for malice will help here. It’s all about the elementary laws of mechanics.
As for the choice by gender, then everything is purely individual. It is best to seek the advice of a specialist. However, with proper training, this factor is practically leveled, since any dog can be instilled with suitable qualities. Much more important is another circumstance – pets must be safe for children. This is expressed in:
- absence of infectious diseases;
- absence of parasites;
- minimal spread of allergens.
If the child suffers from allergies (even food or seasonal – it doesn’t matter), an analysis of the potential reaction to dog allergens should be carried out. In the absence of negative reactions of this kind, you can safely choose a suitable animal. But additional consultation with allergists is required. But it is almost pointless to select exclusively hairless dogs for children suffering from allergies. Sometimes even densely overgrown, but little shedding individuals are quite safe. At the same time, completely “smooth” dogs can intensively distribute an even more active allergen – their own saliva. In terms of the sum of allergenic factors, the most attractive choice is:
- dwarf poodles;
- bedlington terriers;
- Chinese crested;
- shih tzu;
- Giant Schnauzers;
- Russian terriers.
Lack of hair can even be a bad trait. After all, we urgently need unpretentious dogs that can live in peace in the Russian climate. Therefore, the approach to the size of the hairline must be carefully thought out and balanced. Another requirement for four-legged companions of children is the size of the animal. Very small breeds often have a complex disposition, prone to hysterical reactions to various stimuli.
They usually lack poise and calmness. But there are still a number of relatively small breeds that know how to behave calmly. You should also pay attention to the following points:
- reputation of the breeder;
- animal pedigree;
- its colour.
The number of the best breeds for families with children is consistently included Labrador retriever. This variety is included in most thematic ratings. Labradors literally adore the children with whom they happened to come into contact. The slightest danger of causing them any offense is completely excluded. The dog is very friendly and directly bursts with energy. But it is the latter circumstance that somewhat limits the prospects of this breed. In the heat of the game, a four-legged pet cannot always act with sufficient restraint. Sincerely wanting to express his positive emotions and show affection, he knocks the kids down. Labrador retrievers are well suited for children from 4-5 years old.
Universal according to the age of the owners golden retrievers. They are also quite active, but more restrained in behavior. Such a pet will willingly execute any command. At the same time, he has a good intellect and will always be able to help if he finds some problem that is within his power. The Golden Retriever tends to keep track of the state of affairs in the whole family. Therefore, adults also will not feel deprived of attention.
Another dog that is suitable for children is welsh corgi (one of the varieties in a large group of shepherd dogs). Corgis are lively and active. They can behave fearlessly if the owners are in some kind of danger. Developed intelligence and the ability to quickly resolve emerging problems will also please the owners. These small dogs perceive children as a herd that must be carefully guarded and patronized. True, corgis are recommended for strong and well-developed children. Nevertheless, this breed can cause some inconvenience due to its physical activity.
A good alternative is irish setter. He is also cheerful and smart, distinguished by an affectionate disposition. The Irish are also loved for their beautiful appearance. This dog is exceptionally good with children. It is considered the ideal choice, regardless of the specific age of the owners. But also St. Bernards appear to be no worse. They are characterized by constant fuss with smaller “flock members”. External calm and composure should not be misleading. If necessary, the St. Bernard will instantly respond to any incident.
He constantly controls everything around, and woe to the intruder who ignores this. This Alpine dog has only one drawback – these large and heavy dogs are not suitable for an ordinary city apartment. But if this circumstance does not scare people, they can get a Newfoundland instead of a St. Bernard. Its undoubted positive features are:
- lack of excessive malice;
- patient and gentle nature;
- propensity to supervise children.
If preference is given to small breeds, then a pug will be a very good choice. Its strengths will be:
- quick wits;
- affectionate disposition;
- attachment to owners;
- relatively low activity;
- good teaching ability.
Pugs are suitable as a gift for a calm child. They don’t need long walks. However, you will have to communicate with these dogs more often so that they do not get bored.
And of the hunting breeds deserves attention beagle. He is distinguished by a joyful disposition, good nature towards people. The beagle should be bought by those who can provide him with constant communication and games in a large company. Another breed name that is suitable for children is american cocker spaniel. These dogs are very charming and always have a positive attitude. But their high mobility can cloud the situation somewhat. At the same time, Cocker Spaniels look very attractive.
Among medium-sized animals, the top suitable for children is German Shepherd. It also includes a lateral branch – VEO. Along with excellent service properties, she is very kind and complacent towards family members. Powerful intelligence allows shepherd dogs to clearly distinguish between normal situations and the aggressive behavior of others. Therefore, they do not attack without a reason, but if the need arises, they will act quickly and mercilessly.
Skillful upbringing will turn a shepherd dog into a patient and calm guard. She is especially good with school-age children and teenagers. In such a pair, the disclosure of the positive properties of the breed occurs easily and naturally, naturally. But if for some reason people do not like the German Shepherd, they can opt for a collie. Scottish Cattle Dog:
- excellently trained;
- shows ingenuity;
- very devoted;
- willingly enters the game;
- easily masters new skills and unusual situations.
Collies are recommended for children of all ages. But there is a caveat – you will have to control the correct attitude of children towards these dogs.
And from the natives of the British Isles, another breed deserves attention – Yorkshire Terrier. It is distinguished by its modest size, which does not prevent the dog from being fully developed intellectually. At the same time, it must be remembered that Yorkies are distinguished by a fragile structure of bones, and their coat needs to be looked after more actively than when choosing other dogs. But breeds that are obviously unsuitable for children deserve a separate discussion. These include:
- Alaskan Malamutes;
- american staffords;
- Caucasian and South Russian Shepherd Dogs;
- pit bulls;
How to choose?
But when choosing a dog breed for a child, one must focus not only on its general suitability. A very important point, especially when keeping a pet in a private home, is that it is odorless. Even with the most active care, with constant ventilation and cleanliness, the unpleasant odor emitted by the animal will constantly be renewed. Exceptions to this rule are “naked” species:
- peruvian dog;
- Chinese Crested;
- american terrier.
However, it is important to understand that the absence of hair does not only mean that the smell will stop accumulating. You will have to carefully care for the bare skin of the pet and constantly wash it. Active sweating creates a different, no less “pleasant” smell than wool. Grease, mixed with dust, will spread around the house unpredictably. A naked dog will have to be warmly dressed in winter, lubricated with special creams in summer and systematically subjected to epilation.
The way out for those who want to get a minimally smelling animal is to choose breeds with long hair without undercoat. The awn of such pets looks more like human hair than dog hair. For information: it is the undercoat in animals that actively absorbs sebum and begins to exude an unpleasant odor. If there is no undercoat, even wet dogs usually do not smell. The most popular of these breeds is the Yorkshire Terrier.
But every medal has a flip side. The special structure of wool leads to the fact that it rapidly absorbs foreign odors. Therefore, the animals will have to be bathed at least once a week. If they are actively walking down the street or hot weather has come – even more often. For the same reason, you will have to carefully monitor that the animal does not climb into garbage dumps, landfills, and other polluted places. A washed dog will need to be carefully dried, otherwise it may develop a cold. The coat of the Yorkshire Terrier and similar dogs needs regular combing. To reduce the unpleasant odor, you can also choose small-sized individuals. The smaller the animal, the less intense the scent it emits.
Poodles, despite the presence of an undercoat and a well-developed coat, practically do not smell at all. And under the condition of frequent and careful washing, the characteristic “ambre” will disappear altogether. Puppies for keeping in families with an infant deserve a separate discussion. Many pet owners simply give them away somewhere, fearing negative consequences for the baby. But in fact, such worries are groundless. The main thing is that the pet should not be overly aggressive.
For kids, you need to select animals that unquestioningly obey their owners. The slightest disobedience must be completely eradicated. Such manifestations on the part of the dog as aggression are unacceptable when:
- combing wool;
- touching the food bowl;
- ear cleaning.
Another important topic for beginners in dog breeding is how to choose a breed suitable for an apartment. In urban housing, small and medium-sized individuals are usually the best choice. However, they must be very carefully selected according to temperament and the intensity of the spread of allergens. The larger the pet, the more significant should be the territory in which he lives. You will have to spread the place for lying and the feeder as far as possible, and this is not always possible.
But when choosing a dog for an apartment, you also need to pay attention to temperament. The more active the animal, the more vigorous its nervous system, the more problems can arise with neighbors. Theoretically, it is possible to remove excessive excitability through intensive training with pets, but it is rare that urban residents have enough time and the necessary training ground. Therefore, the mastiff, for example, because of his calmness, turns out to be much better in practice than the spaniel.
It is not bad to keep Yorkshire terriers in the apartment. Their advantages are the almost complete absence of molting, low appetite, no need for long walks. But it is important to remember that Yorkies can pounce on other quadrupeds and birds, even if the “prey” is many times larger. A negative feature of such terriers is a very difficult care.
The apartment can also contain basenji. This breed is distinguished by cleanliness and curiosity. The pet passionately strives to climb higher. The Basenji does not take contact with water well, and this can cause a number of problems with care. But the low growth of the African breed makes it a good candidate for apartment breeding. This dog has a high coexistence with other pets, but on the condition that they have lived together since childhood. It is worth remembering about such features of the basenji:
- the need for significant physical activity;
- the need to strictly regulate the saturation of the diet;
- thermophilicity (because of it, it is required to use clothes in autumn and winter);
- unsuitable for beginners (due to a masterful disposition and constant stubbornness).
The Basenji is not physiologically adapted for barking. But representatives of this breed can make many other sounds. So the owners will have to take this feature into account in advance. In the apartment, the Pomeranian is no worse. This animal is modest in size and requires relatively little physical exertion. However, it is worth remembering about its shortcomings, such as:
- loud barking;
- the likelihood of aggression towards other individuals;
- the difficulty of keeping in hot weather;
- weak obedience (if the upbringing is wrong);
- the need for careful care – work with tangles, eyes, teeth, ears, claws.
These problems are largely compensated with a competent approach. So, the normal upbringing of Spitz (including Pomeranians) allows you to teach them various commands and even tricks. The animal will get along well with other pets. Asian Spitz cannot be kept in the apartment. They need to be started in families with children under 10 years old.
If you need to settle in an apartment a calm dog that does not need active rest, then the best choice would be bulldog. This breed is characterized by great drowsiness, even more than that of cats. When the owner goes for a walk with the dog, the bulldog will go along with him. Of course, puppies sometimes frolic, however, special long-term pranks are unusual for them. The bulldog is calm about children and teenagers. You can buy it for a house where there are already cats, you can quite calmly. However, we must remember that many bulldogs are inactive. You will have to make a lot of efforts so that the dog often shows his strength. Bulldogs keep snoring and salivating. They are hardly suitable for squeamish and scrupulous people.
Features of education
Just getting even the best dog for a home with a baby is unlikely to be enough. If she is not taught to properly interact with the child, she will sometimes have to suffer from the fact that the animal is jealous of children for adults. It cannot correctly understand this situation at its psychological level, so it is very important to provide the pet with full assistance. Whatever techniques are used, they are all based on one thing – determining the specific place of the dog in the “pack”.
The first and most important rule that all trainers must take into account is the complete refusal to beat pets. This approach is simply ineffective. You don’t have to be a great zoologist to understand that no one beats each other in dog packs. Therefore, the dog will not be able to correctly recognize what exactly is required. As a result, his psyche is only significantly damaged, and this can negatively affect his behavior towards children and even adults.
Wolves and feral dogs use another channel of communication quite effectively. The leaders of the packs bite low-ranking individuals by the neck or simply fill them up on their backs. These methods of expressing dissatisfaction are easily understood by animals. Imitation of a bite is very simple: they strain their fingers and vigorously hit them with their tips on the neck. You need to strike from the upper side, where the skin is rough and dense.
But it happens that reproducing a bite does not help. The dog continues to play pranks. Then a new “bite” is applied, but the hand is not removed, and the pet is thrown onto its back. The first few attempts will be overshadowed by resistance. You can overcome it by holding the beast by the neck until it is completely calm. Outwardly, in the opinion of an amateur, it looks very aggressive. However, cynologists have long established that dogs are quite adapted to this form of exposure and do not experience pain. The next point to remember when buying an animal for the family is he should not be on sofas, beds, chairs and armchairs, on other furniture. It can only and exclusively be used by humans.
Another habit should be instilled in the dog from the very beginning: in the home “pack”, people eat first, and only then dogs. But at the same time, it is unacceptable, of course, to violate their normal diet. It is also necessary to draw a clear line between the animal and its owners in another respect – when the owners are eating, it is forbidden to sit next to them and beg for food. It is necessary to categorically refuse to independently serve anything from the table.
It is not uncommon to see how adults rejoice watching the game between children and pets. But the instincts of the animal world determine a different attitude towards the game than in the human community. What seems to be just a fun pastime is actually a workout. And therefore, pets must deeply learn: they cannot, even jokingly or “accidentally”, bite any of the family members. But mobile entertainment in the spirit of “give-bring” is necessary and even desirable.
The strict ban also applies to jumping on people. It is not difficult to accustom animals to such a restriction: as soon as the dog’s desire to get closer to a person is outlined, it is necessary to pull the leash. If emotions are overflowing, you need to force a landing and keep the animal like that until it calms down. You can even fake a bite to the neck.
The most important person regarding the dog – the owner – is obliged from the first minutes to let her know that all family members are dear to him and are under his protection. When a puppy is just brought into the house, everyone who is in it is hugged and caressed. It is better to carry out the same procedure in relation to pets. The dog is kept at a distance. If such a technique does not help to develop the desired attitude, they overwhelm the pet on its back, and put the cat or other dog on top – this is even more likely to carry out a certain hierarchy. Experts advise buying a puppy when the child reaches the age of at least 1-1.5 years. It is required to develop in the beast the habit of not touching the toys of babies (and vice versa). This alone will save you from a lot of conflict situations. You should be prepared for the fact that the puppy will grow up faster than the child. At some point, it is he who will get the leading role in this pair.
By the time the children go to school (based on the very early, up to 2-3 years old, taking a dog), the situation will change. They will already be on the same level. But here a lot depends on the position of the owners themselves. It is strictly unacceptable to scream at the child, the slightest infringement in the presence of a dog. At the same time, moral pressure is almost worse than physical pressure (because pets very accurately recognize such a situation, although they interpret it in their own way). The manifestation of touching, touching care for young children can be considered the height of perfection. In this situation, dogs guard the sleep of children, comfort crying and worried babies.
This means that the pet took the child in much the same way as his own puppy. But naughty puppies are often punished by adult dogs. Therefore, as soon as the children are out of infancy, it will be necessary to closely monitor the reaction of animals to the desire to pull them by the tail, cling to their ears. If the “most important in the pack” at first expresses the correct reaction and does it repeatedly, the necessary reflex will gradually develop. Sometimes another situation arises: when the dog sees the owner’s child for the first time, the dog does not react to him at all and goes far.
Attempts to impose communication forcibly then turn into only new problems. When the right time comes, the relationship will inevitably improve. The worst thing to deal with is the painful jealousy of dogs for children. It usually occurs in animals that, before the birth of the child, actually took his place. In this case, two extremes must be avoided: leaving the situation uncontrolled and severely punishing the dog for any barking towards children.
Punishments alone, not supported by other measures, will only provoke greater anger. You definitely need encouragement for a normal attitude. If the problem becomes protracted, you will have to consult experienced trainers. If you use their help, you can correct the behavior even in adult dogs. To avoid problems, it is required from the very beginning to select the breed and the specific animal with the participation of the child.
Practice shows that if he really likes a pet, the likelihood of conflicts will be much less. It is very important to explain to the child clearly and consistently that the dog has a strict daily routine. It is useful that children and adults take care of the animal in half. You need to constantly monitor how the child behaves with the puppy. He must not allow deliberately unfair, disproportionate punishments, senseless cruelty and bullying towards a living being.
It is very useful to explain to children in a popular and intelligible way, what are the features of the psychology and behavior of animals, even before getting a dog. It is necessary to explain this psychology later on with concrete examples. They immediately say:
- what exactly the pet does not tolerate (gestures and actions);
- how he reacts to obsessive and unpleasant behavior for himself;
- what signals the animal gives in a given situation;
- what are the signs of possible aggression from the pet.
For information on how to properly raise a dog for children, see the following video.