This article is a continuation from Dogs Good With Children Part I. If you haven’t already read Part I then I highly recommend you go back and read through the article before starting this one.
Once again I’m going to post my little disclaimer:
***The Disclaimer – This is my personal opinion. Please do your own due diligence when searching for a breed of dog. The personality of a dog is often influenced by several factors including line, breeder, and owner more so than the actual breed of the dog. This list does not imply that all other dog breeds are unsuitable for children. Individual dogs may not show all or any of the traits associated with the breed. Puppy training, socialization with children, education, line, breeder, and living conditions with the family will all heavily influence your dogs personality.
A quick recap of what Part I covered:
- The Top Dogs Good With Children Scoring System
- How I Chose The Breeds
- Dog Numbers 6-10
Top 10 Dogs Good With Children 1-5
Now what you’ve all been waiting for at number 5 we have the…
Number 5 – Vizsla
The Vizsla sounds like a great dog for children. A very loyal dog who is also a quiet dog (they only bark when provoked). I guess this could be a negative if you’re looking for a watch dog. From Wikipedia:
Vizslas are lively, gentle-mannered, loyal, caring and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners, including children. Often they are referred to as “velcro” dogs because of their loyalty and affection. They are quiet dogs, only barking if necessary or provoked.
I know very little about the Vizsla and I’m pretty sure I’ve never run into one in person, but the sites I’ve visited rave about this dog. I go as far in my notes to say that “they have very little doggy smell and hypoallergenic coats”. Coupled with a nearly optimal size gave this dog a high score on my rating scale. If anyone owns or knows a Vizsla I’d love to hear some of your comments.
UPDATE – I’ve learned a lot about Vizslas since I last wrote to this page. We ran into a working Vizsla training to become a Cadaver Detection Dog. We have one friend who has a 3 legged Vizsla. Finally we have a neighbor who regular walks her Vizsla through the neighborhood. Every one raves about this dog being a great family pet from their low maintenance coats and the lack of doggy smell. I have heard that they can be a little energetic, but aren’t all sporting dogs!?!?
Energy Level: 3
Number 4 – Pembrooke Welsh Corgi
Isn’t that picture of the Corgi puppy just adorable? A nice sturdy sized dog with really short legs. It’s hard to imagine, but the Corgi is an active, athletic, intelligent dog despite their short legs and stocky body. I guess there’s hope for my short legs and stocky body. From Wikipedia:
The Pembroke is very intelligent, quick, active, and exceedingly bold. It is thoroughly devoted and protective of its family, defending its home at any cost. It barks occasionally, but makes a good watchdog.
One of my neighbors owns a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and seems active. I don’t think my neighbor has him quite under control as I see the Corgi often pulling his handler in whichever direction he wants to go. He has also met both my dogs and is friendly with them, although the owner has told me that he will sometimes growl at strange dogs as a dominance thing.
UPDATE – Another neighbor just brought home an 8 week old Corgi and I must say he is adorable. They named him BigFoot and he loves people. He’s a tad active and as a puppy might be a little much for younger kids, but overall he seems like he’d make a wonderful family dog after he grows out of puppyhood.
Energy Level: 2
Number 3 – Poodle
What do you think of that Poodle haircut? I’m really not a fan of the funky hair-dos (although I did have a mohawk for a short period of time). The Poodle comes in high on our list only getting average scores for energy (medium-high) and intangibles (I like the poodles coat because it does not shed, but on the other hand it is difficult to maintain and groom). From Wikipedia:
Proud, elegant, dignified, good-natured, highly intelligent, very trainable, pleasant, happy, sensitive, friendly.
Poodles are one of the most intelligent and trainable dogs. That being said there is a standard poodle in our neighborhood who I would consider highly intelligent. However, I have noticed that this poodle does bark a lot (everytime we walk past the house) and is aggressive towards my dogs. I have a feeling these are traits not common to the poodle. Throughout most of my readings the poodle almost always gets high marks.
Energy Level: 6
Number 2 – Labrador Retriever
Coming in at number 2 is one of my favorite dogs and almost always shows up as great family dogs when researching on the internet. The Labrador Retriever is well-balanced and a very versatile breed. Labs are used extensively as Guide, Service, Search and Rescue, Therapy, and Assistance Dogs. From Wikipedia:
Friendly, reliable, loving, affectionate, lovable, patient, highly intelligent, loyal, willing, high-spirited, lively, good-natured,and protective.
As most readers of this blog know I’m currently raising a black lab named Stetson for Guide Dogs of America. I do have a decent background with Labrador Retrievers and have been working on Stetson’s obedience training and socialization for the past year. The only drawback I’ve noticed with Stetson is his sometimes rough play. As he grows out of his puppy stage I think he will mature and be less rambunctious (he’s only a year old). Other than that he’s an excellent dog and he displays all of the great qualities people rave about when talking about labs.
UPDATE – I’ve been around Labs more than any other kind of dog. Since writing this article I’ve raised 4 Lab puppies for the Guide Dog program as well as puppy sat countless others. In my opinion these pups can be a little energetic and oversized for smaller children. However, my older pups have calmed down quite a bit since puppyhood. I highly recommend Labs as great family dogs.
Energy Level: 4
And the number 1 dog who is good with children is…drum roll……..:
Number 1 – Golden Retriever
It was close, but the Golden Retriever edged out the Labrador Retriever by a single point. The two dogs are very similar however I had to give the nod to the Golden in Energy (Medium-High vs High for the Lab) and Size (The lab is slightly larger which I considered less favorable to the smaller Golden). The Golden received lower marks for it’s higher maintenance coat. From Wikipedia:
Friendly, confident, biddable. Never timid or aggressive. The Golden Retriever temperament is a hallmark of the breed and is described in the standard as “kindly, friendly and confident”
Growing up my parents chose the Golden Retriever as the family dog. They purchased our dog Kiko the year after I was born and he was with us until he was 10 years old. He was a wonderful dog and a shining example of the breed. Golden Retriever are used in many of the same service occupations as labs including Assistance, Search and Rescue, Guide, and Therapy.
UPDATE – I’ve raised one Golden Retriever puppy for the Guide Dog program and puppy sat several others. They have great temperaments and are very lovable. Their coats do require a bit of maintenance, but they are wonderful family dogs.
Energy Level: 5
Often times children are unaware of their own strength and can be a little rough (the same can be said for many puppies). Parents should take the responsibility to teach their kids and dogs to be gentle with their interactions with each other.
There are many breeds out there that work well with children not just the breeds I mention on this list. Remember there are good dogs and bad dogs in every breed. No matter what breed you choose you should never leave your dog and children together unsupervised for the safety of not only your child, but the dog as well.
I’m happy to say I learned a lot while putting this list together. Before researching I knew nothing about the Vizsla. Now I’m very interested in this breed and would be interested in any information about them. Do you own or know a Vizsla?
I did my best to be as objective as possible in the compilation of this list. A lot of this information is my personal preference. I prefer a medium to large dog. However, others may prefer small or extremely large dogs for their children. I prefer low to medium energy level and higher intelligence in my dogs. Other people may think the exact opposite. Hopefully this list helps you choose your family dog.
Just in case you missed Part I of this series check it out at the following link: Top 10 Dogs Good With Children Part I
Let me know what you think. Do you have a dog that is good with children? Tell me a little about your dog.