9 Best Small Dog Breeds for Kids – Friendly for Small Children

Taking care of your dogs while looking after your kids is probably not an ideal scenario for most parents. I know, “been there, done that”. But to be honest, dogs and kids can be a great combination if your dog knows how to behave kindly and properly in front of your kids and if you chose the perfect partner in crime for your child.

They say dogs are man’s best friend, I agree – not to mention, they can also be your kids’ guardian angel. Dogs are a source of unconditional love and they can be your child’s best playmate and life teacher – they can teach children how to be responsible and compassionate.

Just like any other kid, dogs have emotions too. They can be nasty, annoying, naughty, jealous, and sweet. However, do you know that not all kinds of dogs can be a good companion for your kids? Some dog breeds have longer patience and can keep up with your kid’s energy while others can be naturally protective of children. There are dogs that can do better with older kids while others are usually aggressive towards the little ones or even to other family members.

So, when choosing a dog for your family, you should consider your lifestyle and most importantly, the ages of your kids. Keep in mind that when adopting a puppy, you should always research about it because taking care of dogs while looking after your child can be a nightmare if it does not suit your current living situation and household activity.

What should i consider when looking for small child-friendly pooches?

Care Requirements: Taking care of dogs is not simple. Just like what I have said, puppies are like babies. They also need full attention or else they will throw a tantrum. You should always consider your pet’s potential needs and whether or not your family can meet those needs.

Size: Size should also be looked at because usually, small dogs can be more fragile and sensitive while some big dogs might require more attention and activities, which may not be totally ideal for some parents.

Temperament: OK, so here’s the tricky part. It does not matter if your dog is small or big because patience usually depends on your dog’s personality. Different pooches have different personalities (like humans), so you should always consider your family members’ personality as well. Are they always chaotic? Do they enjoy physical activities while playing? Or they are those who are outgoing on the outside but a bit nerd on the inside? You should keep in mind that your pet should live in with your family’s lifestyle and personalities.

Energy Level: Just like what I have mentioned, dogs are like humans – some like to be as wild as a rockstar while others want to be as calm as a yoga teacher. The secret here is “be realistic” and consider your current household activities and living situation. Naturally, dogs’ energy level depends on the family, so it’s really crucial to determine if you can meet your dogs’ needs because being unable to get along together might lead to behavior issues in the future.

Still determined to adopt puppies? Then, here is the list:

What are the best small dog breeds for your kids friendly?

1. Beagle

Small, cute, friendly… he has all these characteristics. Beagles are lovable dog breeds and they totally thrive on companionship. They are gentle and even-tempered. According to American Kennel Club, Beagles are generally easygoing. They are a loyal companion and excellent hunting dogs. However, although they were initially bred to hunt, they are poor guard dogs because they enjoy meeting anybody and they like company.

2. Poodle

If you love pets, then I am sure you know the movie “Secret Lives of Pets”. Do you remember the dog who loves rock music in the movie? Yes? Good! Because he is the next star in this list and when I said “star”, it means “a total star”. Why? Because he is described by Dog Time as an impressive dog. He is elegant, proud, smart, and clever. Poodles are highly skilled at learning dog tricks.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Well, if you like a touch of royalty, then the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is what you are looking for. His name is given by the late King Charles II himself because he was very fascinated with the breed. This small dog is described as playful but very affectionate towards his family as well as with strangers.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a gentle dog and they adapt easily to all kinds of environments and situations. He is very suitable for small children and for those families who are too busy to walk their dogs around the park as spaniels do not need extensive exercise. However, these dogs still love to play outside, explore and sniff from time to time.

4. Dachshund

Dachshunds (like Buster from Toy Story) have a long body and small frame. They are friendly, spunky, and curious. Adding on, they are also incredibly kid-friendly pooches and they adapt well with living in apartments. Dachshunds are bred to chase vermin, meaning, they need regular exercise or activities where they can strengthen their body. They like adventure and they are known to be playful, active and responsive to training.

However, keep in mind that although this happy and lively dog is small, they may not do well with other small pets, so better be attentive when letting them play outside or with your other pets.

5. Pug

Pugs were once known as Chinese emperors’ mischievous companions (and as the sidekick of the Men in Black team – Frank the Pug). Like their appearance, these dogs are goofy and sociable; they are actually known as the jokers of the canine world because they have a great sense of humor. They are typically lazy and they only require minimal exercise. Adding on, they are good companions for adults and kids.

If you are planning to adopt Pugs, be sure to be more attentive especially during extremely hot weather.

6. Labrador retriever

Labrador Retrievers are playful pets. They are considered one of the best family dogs in the world. They are adept service dogs and an excellent exercise partner. They are very active which only means they need daily exercise as they possess lots of energy.

Since they love being adventurous, you need to be attentive when it comes to their mental health and physical development. These days, Labrador Retrievers work as an assistance dog to handicapped people, rescue dogs, and retriever for hunters.

7. Boxer

Boxers were originally bred as guard dogs. They are active and protective. These dogs love human company. They are fun-loving and bright and are known as one of the best dog breeds for kids.

This type of dog loves to run, so, they are great partners for exercising and jogging or long walks. If you are planning to adopt a Boxer, then, you should be ready for his playfulness. However, although this dog breed can be stubborn sometimes, they are still considered as one of the most popular dog breeds in the USA because they are known to be really affectionate and loyal.

8. Bulldog

Though French and English Bulldogs are a bit different from each other when it comes to its physical feature, these kinds of dogs are somewhat similar in personality. As puppies, they are playful and active but as they grow older, they become calmer and slower which is perfect for your growing kid. Unlike their appearance, this dog breed has a long history of being a companion dog. They are smart, kind, friendly, courageous and calm.

Since French and English Bulldogs are small and a bit lazy, they only require minimal exercise. However, just like Pugs, since they are small and they have a shorter snout, you should take extra care of them during hot weather. Adding on, see their wrinkles? It should be cleaned regularly with a damp cloth.

9. Havanese

From performing at circus shows to assisting handicapped people, Havanese dogs can also be an ideal family companion as they are even-tempered and well fit for families with kids. They can be one of the best small dogs for families because they can keep your children occupied. They are vivacious puppies that are currently gaining popularity in the USA.

This breed of dog is very sociable and affectionate, so they do not do well when left alone for extended periods. Havanese pooches are very trainable and energetic. They are smart, outgoing and funny.

If you are planning to get a Havanese dog, you should always remember that they have a hypoallergenic coat that needs brushing two to three times a week.

Have you chosen your dog breed now?

If not, that’s fine! Adopting a dog when you are currently planning to start a family or you have children to take care of can be a big move. Taking care of a dog requires effort and patience. You should keep in mind that it will not only affect your time but also your income. So, it’s really vital to consider what’s best for you and for your kids and for your dog as well. 

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