Of all the things you offer your children, a dog tops the list. They make instant companions and will love playing and cuddling together. Dogs are also great at building up the confidence in young ones; in fact, many libraries and schools have developed dog reading programs during which children read to furry friends. A dog is also a fantastic way to teach your child responsibilities. For example, your little ones can be responsible for filling up Fido’s dog bowl with dog food every day, or they can assist with putting on the dog harness and guide them on a dog leash.
While dogs of all sizes can make great companions for children – even the massive breeds, like Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, and Great Danes, you might prefer a smaller breed to suit the size of your little ones. If you’re looking for a smaller breed for your tykes, here’s a look at 10 of the best dog breeds that mesh well with children.
- The Shih Tzu
This small breed is beloved for its sweet nature and its friendly disposition. They are also incredibly gentle, making them a great companion for children. Your kids and your pooch will enjoy playing for hours together; they’ll love curling up together for naps, too! Just make sure that you have the right grooming supplies available, such as a high quality dog shampoo and a sturdy dog brush, as this breed has long hair and it does need to be maintained. Don’t be afraid to get your kids involved with helping out with this chore!
- The Boston Terrier
This breed is highly regarded for its playful disposition, its loyalty, and its intelligence. Your child will love playing with a Boston terrier just as much as a Boston terrier will love playing with your children! Do make sure that you have plenty of things to keep them entertained, though, as they have loads of energy. Interactive dog toys, puzzle toys for dogs and automatic fetch machines are all great ideas to have available.
- The Beagle
This smaller sized hound dog has the sweetest puppy dog eyes, the floppiest ears, and a sunny disposition that everyone in your family will fall in love with; including your children. Beagles are well-known for getting along swimmingly with children! They are extremely gentle and will certainly keep a watchful eye over your little one. It’s important to note, however, that you should invest in a leash for dogs that pull, as this breed is known for pulling when he picks up a scent on a walk; you should also avoid letting small children walk a Beagle unless they are well supervised.
Related: Best Dog Food for Beagles
- The Pug
This small breed dog has the cutest little pushed-in face and a super adorable cork screw tale that combines to create an insanely adorable pup. Their small size is perfect for children, and so is their friendly and playful personality. They don’t require a lot of exercise either; however, Pugs to love to eat and can gain an unhealthy amount of weight, so you might want to consider offering him a dog food for weight loss if you notice that he is packing on the pounds, or if you just want to ensure that he stays nice and trim. It’s a better idea to offer him a high-quality dog food for Pugs to keep his weight in-check and ensure that he’s getting the balanced nutrition he needs to thrive.
- The Maltese
This is another pint-sized dog that’s perfect for pint-sized humans. On average, the Maltese weights between 3 and 7 pounds, so he’s perfect for little kids to handle. Don’t let their small stature fool you, though; this breed loves to play! They are very good natured dogs and will keep you and your kids laughing for hours! Since this breed is so tiny, you’ll want to feed him a premium quality food for small dogs to ensure that he is getting the vital nutrition that he needs.
- The Bichon Frise
This soft, white, fluffy dog will make the perfect playmate for your children; especially if they are super active. What the Bichon Frise lacks in size it makes up for in energy; and boy, do they have a lot of it! You’ll definitely want to make sure that you offer this pooch tons of activity to keep him entertained, otherwise he could get into mischief. Though they do well in apartments, they do need access to open space so they can burn off all that energy, so make sure you have access to a well-secured dog park if you don’t have a fenced-in backyard.
- The Yorkshire Terrier
These super tiny dogs are just too adorable to resist. They are the perfect size for small kids, as their small stature and light weight is easy for even a toddler to handle. While this breed does love to play and eats up human affection, keep an eye out when your little ones are playing with him; they do have a tendency to get aggressive when they are really involved in an activity (say, when your dog is very intently playing with a toy and a child pulls it away from him.)
- The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This small breed dog has a regal look that will draw the attention of anyone he meets. Of course, they aren’t just attractive; they are also extremely trustworthy and loyal, hence the reason why the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes such a great companion for kids.
- The Pomeranian
This fluffy small pooch is another great option for families with young children; just make sure that your kids are very gentle with this breed because they do have such small frames. While they do love to spend time with their humans, you should focus on letting him learn how to spend time by himself, otherwise your Pomeranian could develop separation anxiety; a trait that this breed is often prone to.
- The Miniature Schnauzer
Lastly, the Miniature Schnauzer is another fantastic small dog that will make an excellent playmate for your kids. They are super intelligent and have such an infectiously cheerful personality. This breed gets along fantastically with kids and will go to great lengths to protect them, too! Plus, they are very easy to train, which makes them even more appealing for families with little ones.
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