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Suggested small dog with small kids?

(16 Posts)
alysonpeaches Sat 24-Oct-09 22:24:12

Our last dog was a Jack Russell. we him when our son was about 6 and our daughter 2. he lived a long and happy life growing up with our children, he even got on with the two rescue cats we took on.

We havent had a dog for about 7 years now, our children have grown up, but we have 4 grandchildren who live with us, aged between 7yrs and 1 year. We would love to have another dog, even though people say we must be mad with all the kids. We are used to small dogs, particularly terriers, and note that all the books or websites recommend larger dogs with young children.

Anyone got a small dog thats OK with young kids?

amazonianwoman Sat 24-Oct-09 23:20:01

Don't do it!! We have a nine week old mini schnauzer and while he's a fab fab little puppy, we're having a nightmare time with DS 2.7yrs sad sad

He's just so small that DS thinks he's a toy and no amount of reasoning/explaining/time out etc etc is working. I thought he'd be fine cos he was always (and still is) very gentle and caring with our 2 (very big) cats. Of course I've no idea if he'd be any better with a bigger breed, DH thinks he would.

DD 5.4 is fantastic with him though!

Sorry, I'm sure someone much more experienced will come along with better advice sad

Vallhala Sat 24-Oct-09 23:35:35

Not more experience here than AW, just different experiences.

Both my DDs, now 12 and 14, have been brought up with dogs. With the exception of one (rescued) puppy, the others have been older rescued dogs. I also used to foster rescue/pound dogs and (don't tell the landlord!) hope to have a GSD here for a few days in the near future, to help overcome his nerves. He's currently in the care of the rescue I help out in.

And... I have never had a problem with my DDs and any of the dogs which have come through my door. Admittedly they have had dogs in the home since the day they were born and are read the riot act regarding pulling dogs about/not giving them space etc, but even so, its been fine.

I would say its less of a case of finding a SMALL dog than the RIGHT dog, and being sure in your heart that your Grandchildren can be sensible and trustworthy in his company, for their own sakes.

Its a bit like breed-bias... its not the case that small dogs are better than bigger ones any more than its the case that ALL German Shepherds or Staffies are unsuited to family life, its the case that SOME aren't. Of course if you want a small dog because you have a small house or garden or can't restrain a bigger one thats a different matter.

Very often crossbreeds are a wonderful choice for a family - pedigrees can come with inherent health problems which aren't an issue with X breeds. Its not the size or the breed, its the dog and the family which count.

(Just to explain - I work with rescue so see and deal with an awful lot of dogs of all sizes).

exexpat Sat 24-Oct-09 23:50:55

Border terrier? It's one of the breeds that a lot of books/vets recommend as family dogs, which is why I got one. Ours is great with children - mine are school age rather than toddlers, but the dog is very forgiving of "cuddles" from them and friends' younger siblings. He does like licking the face of anyone who is an accessible height, though. Or maybe it's just because toddlers usually have interesting food remnants around their mouths...

Cadelaide Sat 24-Oct-09 23:52:22


BiteOfFun Sat 24-Oct-09 23:54:01

I've got a Patterdale/Border cross who is fantastic with the kids (pic on profile), including one with special needs.

I would also recommend cavalier king charles spaniels, which I grew up with- fabulously good-humoured with children, and with a major cute factor!

sillysalley Sat 24-Oct-09 23:56:27

Def a King Charles!

VengefulSinner Sun 25-Oct-09 00:06:55

I have had many dogs, all different breeds, myself both growing up and as an adult and would have to agree with a King Charles. Out of all the dogs I have encountered they are the best natured and will easily handle anything a child can/will dish out.

amazonianwoman Sun 25-Oct-09 21:03:56

I think I was a little over harsh in my other reply - DS has been a bit better today smile We're working on some new strategies with him and the puppy!

Good luck with whatever dog you choose.

alysonpeaches Sun 25-Oct-09 21:08:58

I thought about a border terrier too. My mum used to have a border/lakeland cross and she was a lovely dog, no nastiness at all, very lively and loved to play with kids, especially if they had a ball.

TBH though I have wanted a Yorkie since I was a very little girl and never got one, so although they are small and likely to be considered a toy, its probably a matter of training the kids how to behave with the dog (I hope). We didnt let our own children pick up our Jack Russell, and thats probably the way forward from the start.

I had a friend with a cocker spaniel and he was good with children and babies, but their in laws had a King Charles and that was snappy with the grandkids. But it was probably just that dog. Our Jack Russell adored all our family, but didnt want anything to do with anyone else.

I think everyone gets hung up on dogs they had as kids though, and often that influences their choices. I cant have a big dog though, because although my husband is fit and well I have a bad back and if a big dog pulled me on the lead it would really be painful for me. We have a medium sized (4 bed) family house with a long, fenced off garden so space isnt really an issue. We are just not keen on big dogs really.

flowerybeanbag Sun 25-Oct-09 21:09:15

Must vote for Cavalier King Charles, ours will put up with anything and is so gentle with DS and his cousins. See pics on my profile and prepare to fall in love

alysonpeaches Mon 26-Oct-09 22:20:51

Im afraid I just have to have a Yorkie. Its a must. I really really want one. He has been socialised with children apparently (6 girls!!).

Littlepumpkinpie Mon 26-Oct-09 23:25:33

I would vote for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for a cute little family dog. They are fantastic to own. I have two at present aged almost two and three. I know loads of Cavaliers and have only every met one nasty one and that lived with a cocker whom was also nasty they brought the cavalier in hope that the cocker would become friendly.

ShinyAndNew Mon 26-Oct-09 23:31:03

King Charles are good dogs as are the dreaded Staffordshire Bull Terrier. But the latter are high maintenance dogs that require a firm hand and lots of exercise. OTOH they are robust and would easily cope with a boisterous two year old.

I'm not sure how King Charles are as puppies but all the adukt ones I have come accross are incrediably calm and placid.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 26-Oct-09 23:35:08

It does indeed depend on the dog. We had an adult dachshund when DD was born, and he was absolutely fine. But we'd carefully chosen on temperament because DH had a much-beloved vicious bastard of a dachs when he was growing up.

Our current dachshund again was chosen for his character and is entirely mild.

alysonpeaches Wed 28-Oct-09 16:32:40

Our Yorkie is settling in and is a little darling. I hope he continues to be so sweet with the kids.

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