Your first day home with your puppy is a special day for you and your family. Everyone will be trying to find their new position in the household. There are new responsibilities, new adventures, and new toys everywhere!
If you are already a happy dog owner and your baby is about to arrive, you might wonder whether your baby is going to be safe around the dog, whether you should keep your pet at all. Many families in this situation are worried about the safety of their baby. The truth is, if you have the time to prepare your dog for the baby's arrival, there should be no problem at all.
The opposite case, if you already have a child and are thinking about getting a dog, is a bit easier, because you have the opportunity to choose a breed that is good with children. There is no one breed that is perfect with children. It mostly depends on the dog's individual temperament, training and early socialization. It is a good idea to browse around classifieds and see whats on offer.
If your child is very young (under 6 years old) it is recommended to get a dog which is more than 2 years old, because they need less attention. However, in this case you must make sure that the dog has been well socialized and obedience trained. While it is a common misbelief that small breeds are better with children, in fact, these dogs are usually more fragile, so kids can easily hurt them, which can lead to the dog being aggressive. Herding or protective breeds are not recommended either, as they might try to herd children due to their natural instinct.
Whatever breed you choose, it is always important not to leave your baby or young child and the dog together without supervision, until they both learn the rules. One thing is certain, having dogs can not be a wrong decision, if the parents are responsible. A dog in the family can also teach your child learn responsibility at a young age and that animals need constant care and attention. Learn more about what breeds are considered good with children.
Recently, we received a request for a guide dog for a 10 year old child. The family has been trying to locate a suitable seeing eye dog for their daughter but without any luck. They found that responsible trainers don't allow children under 17 to have guide dogs. The obvious question is, 'Why can't my child have a well trained guide dog if she is 10?'
Here is the question asked by one of her parents:
'My daughter is the one who is in need of a dog. She is almost 10. We adopted her from China when she was 4. You can actually "google" her on internet under "Cricket Bidleman." In the US, we cannot find a guide dog provider who will provide a dog to any child under 17 years. Cricket is in regular school, and her only difficulty is when she moves from class to class or to the field because even with a cane, she ends up running into things a quite a bit since she can't see.'