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What small dogs make good pets for a 3 year old?

(24 Posts)
nappyaddict Tue 14-Apr-09 16:18:54

I want something fairly easy to look after. Nothing that requires a lot of grooming or hoovering up after.

Was thinking of something like an Italian greyhound, Basenji, Border, Westie, German hunting, Wire fox or Cairn terrier.

DisasterEggs Tue 14-Apr-09 16:23:26

delicious. cuddly. small. non shedding. perfect.
but expensive and must be insured for potential back issues.

DrNortherner Tue 14-Apr-09 16:25:08

A friend of mine has a westie and he is lovely, all the kids adore him.

Also know a woman with 2 king charles spaniels and they are adorable too...

ScummyMummy Tue 14-Apr-09 16:25:32

Don't know much about dogs really but sausage dogs can be snappy with children, ime.

nappyaddict Tue 14-Apr-09 16:29:50

Also been thinking about a Miniature Pinshcer but don't know anyone with one of those.

Someone mentioned an English toy terrier might be good so will have to google that one i think.

ohdearwhatamess Tue 14-Apr-09 16:37:28

King Charles Spaniels have very good temperaments. Never known a snappy one. Do shed a lot of hair though, are prone to ill health, and will eat you out of house and home. Quite dull too.

I'd be wary of terriers (excluding Westies) or greyhounds. Known lots of very snappy ones who had to be kept away from children (I'm sure there are plenty of lovely ones too though).

mrsgboring Tue 14-Apr-09 16:41:04

A stuffed one

ScummyMummy Tue 14-Apr-09 16:48:56

Westies look very cute.

Marne Tue 14-Apr-09 16:56:51

Our neighbour has a King charles which they got for their 3 year old son, he seems like a lovely dog. I know of a few cairn teriers which are snappy. We have a small staffie which spends most of its time following my 3 year old around, dd2 loves her to bits but she is full of beans grin.

clumsymum Tue 14-Apr-09 16:58:26

"King Charles Spaniels have very good temperaments. Never known a snappy one. Do shed a lot of hair though, are prone to ill health, and will eat you out of house and home. Quite dull too."

Now, do you mean King Charles, or Cavalier King Charles??

They are different breeds, and you probably mean Cavalier King Charles, as they are the more commonly found breed. These are LOVELY dogs with children, and not in the least bit dull shock. We have 2, they are very sparky, playful dogs, super temperaments, never ever snap. They love attention, even toddler type attention, and one of mine adores being dressed up in bonnets and pushed about in a pram !!! They CAN walk for miles, and love being out in the open air, but don't need much exercise if you don't have lots of time (and don't overfeed).

They don't eat much at all (well they shouldn't. You have to stop them learning greediness in puppyhood)

Cavvies do havea reputation for health issues. You need to find a good reputable beeder, and ask lots of questions about the parents. But they are THE best breed with small children, I'm sure.

King Charles are slightly bigger. They don't have the same health issues (not so interbred), and tend to be less out-going that Cavaliers, but still lovely dogs. Again, shouldn't eat much, they are only small dogs.
Harder to find as a pup tho'

Both breeds can grow long coats, and would need loads of grooming UNLESS you do as I do, and have them clipped 3 times a year.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 14-Apr-09 19:21:03

Shih Tzu's are dim but adorable and very affectionate. They do need grooming but you can keep them clipped short in summer.
We always had daxies when I was a child - very clean and non-shedding, lovely temperament and very affectionate. But the last time I bigged them up on here, the hereditary back problem thing was raised and it IS a big issue.

ohdearwhatamess Tue 14-Apr-09 21:04:35

Sorry Clumsymum, no offence intended. I was thinking of Cavalier KCSs. My MIL and GMIL have had many over the years. Lovely, lovely dogs - perfect for children - just not my cup of tea. I prefer the total chaos and lunacy that seems to be a feature of springers.grin

3catstoo Sat 02-May-09 20:39:08

CKCS's are great with children. My dcs are 9, 7 and 5 and our 10 mth old cavvie adores them.

Unfortunately today she was attacked by a staffie and now has cuts on her head!

Agree about the not over feeding!

Good luck.

CountryGirl2007 Thu 28-May-09 23:13:12

Greyhounds are generally 100% good tempered with children and shed very little.

As for terriers, they are a dog more suited to older children and toy breeds are a bit fragile for a young child.

Staffies are also a very playful and robust breed.

Cavaliers are very sweet dogs but prone to health problems so you'd be better off getting a rescue one rather than supporting a breeder.

The best thing to do would be to contact a rescue and discuss it and see if they have any suitable dogs but would definetly reccomend a greyhound. The only thing they need is a secure garden with 6' fencing as they are very athletic! they don't require much exersize either, generally a 45 minute walk every day is sufficient.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 28-May-09 23:17:03

Our sausages have been good with kids but we were very careful to choose for temperament. Definitely low maintainance, and it seems the breeders have been breeding out the back problems (touch wood)

flatcapandpearls Thu 28-May-09 23:17:24

They don't as a rule.
However dp had a springer when I met him, dd was 2 and we never had a problem. But he does require at least 2 hours of walks a day,

Twinklemegan Thu 28-May-09 23:31:58

I certainly wouldn't go with any toy breeds as they're generally pretty temperamental (looks like you're not planning to anyway). I'd also avoid terriers in the main. I think I'd go for a puppy of a larger breed if I were you.

KingCanuteIAm Thu 28-May-09 23:41:27

Miniature Pinshcers and Italian Greyhounds can be very breakable! They have very fine bones and do not stand up well to being hugged or trodden on! They are also very difficult to heal when they do get injured, again because of the fineness of their bones.

Any small, fine dog can be snappy with children, simply becasue they can be hurt so easily and they are naturally a bit defensive because of it.

If I were you I would stick to CKC or KC spaniels, both can be great family dogs.

MmeLindt Fri 29-May-09 10:10:54


<gets a bit overexcited and zealous>

I always recommend a Maltese Terrier X Cavalier King Charles as we have one and she is an absolute darling.

She is gentle, sweet and loyal (normally to be found curled up at my feet) absolutely adores DC. She has already learned to sit and turn her back on the really little DC, so that they can stroke her back (they are often scared to go near her head/face/mouth).

She does need a bit of grooming, we have her hair clipped every 3 months. She does not shed though.

gegs73 Fri 29-May-09 13:54:26

We have a Minature Schnauzer who is adorable and have a 2 and 5 year old which is working out really well in the puppy stage.MIL has a 13 year old girl who is adorable and doesn't mind being dressed up, prodded and poked and being played with by lots of children.

They grow a little bit bigger than Westies, dont shed fur and are adorable!

spugs Fri 29-May-09 19:23:01

Haven't read the whole thread yet so sorry if this has already been said

Italian greyhound- snap very easily, not good with boisterous 3 yr old.

Basenji- need experianced owners, have unusual temprements and im not sure how well they would get on with kids. (Also not small)

Border-very energetic need lots of excercise, can become destructive when left/bored.

Westie- Careful to go to a good breeder as some have skin disease and other inherited illnesses. My friend has one and its good with his kids.

German hunting, Wire fox or Cairn terrier-not sure on these but if you want a terrier then check out the temperament first as there quite feisty little dogs.

What about a mini schnauzer I have a mini x and they dont shed, they do need some grooming though and hair cuts at the groomers. There good with kids and make nice family pets.

Or if you can find a properly health checked king charles cavalier there supposed to be lovely family dogs.

Or a rescue dog?

alisha29 Fri 29-May-09 22:09:46

a lady i knew had a cairn terrier and it bit her granddaughters face quite badly, also border forever on the go they never stop and will destroy your stuff when bored. i think ckc is a good choice also the westie can be good dogs

PrammyMammy Sat 30-May-09 12:34:03

I have a cavalier king charles and she is great with ds and my dn who is ages with your ds.
I also looked after 2 older cavs for a friend of my parents who was ill (had them a year) and they were great with the kids too even though they hadn't been brought up with any and lived with an elderly lady.
I rescued my ckcs from a puppy farm in Ireland who was giving people pups in trade for DIY.
She is just over a year now, we got her at 12 weeks last may and still has short hair except her ears and tail.
I'll put a pic on my profile.

SarfEast Sat 30-May-09 20:04:45

I wouldn't go for a terrier at all, poodles are really cool dogs actually if you don't do the silly pom pom haircut, they are intrepid and adventurous and don't moult. I think you would have to be careful to avoid a highly strung one though.

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