What Is the Kindest Dog That Likes Children?
- Golden retrievers are known for their beauty and kind disposition.Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
At the top of the list is the gentle Newfoundland dog. This breed is extra large, around 120 pounds, but possibly the gentlest breed on Earth. They are not bred excessively, so if you buy one from a reputable breeder, you will have an excellent chance of getting a puppy that is a good representation of the breed. Their size, heavy coat and tendency to drool can be too much for some families. Another excellent choice is the golden retriever, which weighs between 65 and 80 pounds. Labrador retrievers are also typically good with children. Large breeds can be exuberant and clumsy while young, and are more likely to hurt a child accidentally than on purpose, so training is a must.
- A standard poodle makes a kind, easily trained companion for children.Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Among medium-sized breeds, the standard poodle is an excellent choice. Intelligent, friendly and easily trained, the poodle has a curly coat considered non-shedding. Basset hounds are typically gentle, but harder to train. Hounds are driven by their noses, and a poorly trained Basset could drag a child to the ground with a leash. A soft-coated wheaten terrier is another choice that doesn't shed and tends to be gentle, as well as free of the overbreeding that ruins many popular breeds. Corgis also tend to be friendly with children.
- A shih tzu can be good with well-behaved kids.Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Most smaller breeds are on the high-strung side and tend to be less tolerant and more defensive. A few can do well with older children, or unusually calm and gentle small children. The shih tzu is usually a charming and gentle small dog, weighing around 10 pounds. Be sure it is really a shih tzu, however, because the lhasa apso looks almost exactly the same, but is not generally good with kids. Boston terriers are sturdier than most small dogs, and can be good with children, but can also be overprotective if not trained and socialized properly. Beagles are exceptionally gentle dogs that might fit your description of a small- or medium-sized dog.
- Don't overlook mixed breeds.Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Don't overlook the lowly mutt. Mixed breeds do not have specific traits you can count on, but they often are a wonderful mix of types, and therefore have fewer strong instincts in a particular direction, such as scent work, herding or protection. A good trainer can help you choose a mixed breed dog likely to be a great match for your children.