If your children have started asking you that question all parents know is coming – “when can we have a dog?” – you may be stuck figuring out how to respond. Are the kids going to help take care of the pet? Is it going to make a mess in the house? Is it even safe to have an animal around children? There is some research that should ease your concerns about having a dog in the house. A study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Science found that dogs can provide great stress-relief for kids. Additional research published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that children with dogs are more securely attached both to their parents and their friends. Pediatric Research reports that kids with dogs are even better behaved than those without pets.
As tough as it is to admit, your kid might be right this time. Maybe your household could benefit from a dog. The question is: what kind of dog should you get? The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently recognizes around 200 unique breeds. Some breeds are best for hunting. Some are great guard dogs. Some are excellent at tracking things down. So which one will make a good best friend for your children? Below, we’ve listed seven of the best family-friendly dog breeds.
1. Labrador Retriever
Labradors are notoriously gentle and affectionate. They love adults and children, as well as other dogs. They’re famously patient and calm in the face of little toddlers running around them, and they’re incredibly loyal. If you want a large family-friendly breed, you can’t go wrong with a Labrador. The AKC gives them very high rankings when it comes to openness to newcomers, so they should remain friendly with friends and other visitors who come to your home. The AKC also gives them top scores when it comes to affection towards their family and being good with small children. Just keep in mind this breed needs plenty of exercise, which could actually encourage your kids to get out and play.