When people say that dogs are man’s best friend, they are not wrong. These lovely canines have become a significant part of our families and provide us with unconditional love throughout their lives. As gentle and empathetic creatures, most dog breeds are great companions for babies — some even offer the possibility of a friendship that will last a lifetime!
As a parent, both hooman and doggo, we’re sure that you want to cultivate an environment where both can co-exist and enjoy each other’s company. There is no doubt that doggos can bring about positive reinforcement for our little ones, but it’s important to know the different dog personality types and best dog breeds for babies (and your lifestyle!)
WHY DOGS ARE GREAT PALS FOR CHILDREN?
- Dogs teach children how to socialize
- Teaching kids to care for a puppy can make them more cooperative and generous.
- When kids imagine how a dog feels, it helps them learn to empathize with their peers and take their feelings into account. It results in better emotional intelligence. It also helps them cope.
- Children who grow up with a dog are less likely to develop allergies & kids who own dogs may experience fewer sick days.
- Kids are often in a better mood when around dogs.
- Having a dog helps children create consistency and a routine.
- There’ll be more exercise and play!
- If you have a special needs child at home, dogs can also potentially encourage social interaction.
BEST DOG BREEDS FOR BABIES
Border collies were originally bred to be working and herding dogs — they’re as active, loyal, and hardworking as any other pooch, making them one of the most popular domesticated pets in the world. Little do people know that collies likewise show more empathy towards newborn children, and for this reason, they were given the nickname “caregivers”.
The border collie’s biggest strength is its flexibility to adjust to new people, rules, and environments. As a family pet, they act just like a second baby who can grow together with your child.
Golden retrievers are well-known for being extremely loyal and playful pets, no doubt about it. Not a single day goes by that goldies don’t exude youthful, vibrant energy when they spend the day with their hoomans…including kids! Veterinarians often recommend goldies for bigger families, as they can grab the attention of little kids without any problem.
Goldies are also patient enough to deal with toddlers who would give them endless amounts of fur and tail scratches. Simply put, golden retrievers are paw-some companions for your toddlers!
When first-time owners do their research on dog breeds, they would quickly notice that the poodle doesn’t have the best dog personality. Poodles can be as adorable as they are aggressive — when you get on their bad side, they would immediately show signs of disdain and disobedience. With kids, however, a poodle’s behavior goes full 360! They go from sassy pooch to an infant’s best pal with adequate care and monitoring.
The poodle is also known for being an intelligent breed of dogs that can easily adapt to both young and old members of the family. They’re certainly smart enough to realize that they’ll receive more treats if they are kind to the infants!
If your family lives in a small house or apartment, this dog breed is perfect for you.
This fact may come as a surprise since they are known as “Hound dogs”, but Beagles are actually really great around children. By nature, this breed has a bubbly yet protective personality which makes them the perfect balance when being around children all the time.
Because Beagles were bred to be in packs, a pup will be like a playful shadow that always follows your children around no matter where they go. Having said that, Beagles are hyperactive and need tons of exercise and walks so this is best for outgoing families who love walks in the park. Love beagles? Read more about them here.
The Labrador Retriever is a common breed for a good reason: they can adapt to any environment fairly easily. Labradors thrive in any given situation and can even play many roles such as being therapy and guard dogs. They are gentle, playful, and friendly — all the qualities one ought to have in order to be around kids.
Young labs are hyperactive and would always want to play or go out, but they become relaxed after the age of 3. If the duality of dog personality is something you’re up for, then you’re in it for a treat! Nonetheless, you will never go wrong with this kind-hearted cuddle buddy.
Pugs were bred to be companions, and this is immediately obvious to anyone who meets one. Pugs are playful dogs, always ready and able to play games. They love to be the center of attention and are heartsick if ignored, but they are the perfect partners for your kid. Despite their small size, they’ll be very protective of their hooman.
Originally bred as large working dogs for fishermen in the Dominion of Newfoundland, the Newfoundland Dog has evolved from merely being a hard worker to a multifaceted canine capable of doing many things. These large-sized canines are fairly known for their excellent swimming abilities, so they are now currently being used as rescue dogs. But above all, this breed possesses unwavering loyalty to its owners, and can be extra loving (sometimes overprotective!) to babies!
The Newfoundland dog, now called “Newfies”, is sometimes even referred to as a “nanny dog” for its innate ability to care for its children. Its combination of a sweet temperament and a fairly gentle disposition is a hallmark trait that not many canines have, so definitely consider having a Newfie in your home!
While there are certainly other pups with the best dog personality types for babies, these three doggos are your go-to breeds to ensure that your kid is protected by a lovely canine. The last thing you’d want to happen is to add more to your stress at home. Introducing a new dog that doesn’t match your baby’s energy will cause problems in the long run!
INTRODUCING THEM TO EACH OTHER
Now that you’re prepped with all that information, time to introduce them! We know you’re excited to get them to play with each other, but we have to put safety first!
Start slow, introduce through scent
Dogs are creatures that associate everything with how they smell. They use their noses much more than we do. When you first meet your new doggo, bring your baby’s blanket or shirt (anything that has the baby’s scent) and let it sniff it.
Consider your dog’s perspective
Children, especially toddlers, can get quite excited or scared when encountering a doggo. They might grab or approach eagerly and it might scare your doggo. Kids often are full of energy, moving abruptly and even erupting in high-pitched noises that can startle and unnerve your dog.
Keep the interaction positive
The goal of this is for both of them to walk away from their first interaction happy and comfortable. Make sure that you observe their body language and their demeanor. Once you see them getting agitated or frustrated, it’s time to put a pause to the interaction and try again at a different time.
Make sure that you are supervising their first few interactions, just to make sure that both are safe. Once they develop a sense of understanding of each other’s existence, you can ease up on the supervision.
If your choice of dog isn’t on this list, remember that the responsibility of making it the best dog breed for kids is now on you. Doing ample research on the needs and dog personality types is something you should not skip, no matter how tedious it can be. Having a dog and a child is a lifetime commitment, it’s best that you know how to cater to both without sacrificing anything!
A house with the right dog breed for your babies is one that will always be alive and active, there will never be a dull moment for sure. Best of luck on your new doggo adventure!