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Help with breed of dog for children

(56 Posts)
amatuermummy Sat 23-Mar-13 11:32:58

I feel a bit silly asking this as I have shown and trained dogs for years, however we all tend to stick to our own breed and I need some help picking a breed to own now that we have young children. I prefer big dogs but don't think it would be a good idea to pick a large breed with a baby learning to crawl/walk and a 2 year old running around. We would like to get a small/medium breed that is good with people - especially children. We've researched breeds, looked on breed websites and spoken to some breeders but it's hard to know if they're just trying to sell you a puppy. I just wondered if you wonderful dog owners of mumsnet could give me your experiences, good and bad, of small/medium breeds to help us make our minds up. We're in no rush or anything and will obviously take our time choosing.
The reason we will not be getting a rescue dog at this time is because, having worked in dog rescue for many years, I know that most will not home dogs with young children and, also, I do intend to show the dog as a hobby as I have done this for around 20 years (mostly handling other people's dogs for the past few years).
Thanks for your help.

clam Sat 23-Mar-13 11:43:17

You have now opened the floodgates for everyone to pile on here and sell you their own dog's breed! grin
So I'll start, although mine doesn't count as a breed as he's a poodle-cross (cockapoo). Medium-build (although they vary), intelligent (would be great at agility) and has been easy to train, extremely cute to look at, but his best feature of all is his temperament. He's a real people-pleaser and just wants company, although he can be left alone for reasonable periods too.
Can't fault him. ignores shredded cereal box under table

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 23-Mar-13 11:48:48

All small breeds can be good with children. I would not really say that one is better than another. I would look at what other characterisitics you are looking for. If you maybe prefer maybe bigger dogs it might worth looking at something like borders who are often described as big dogs in a small dog body.

fanoftheinvisibleman Sat 23-Mar-13 12:06:37

I love my Border and he is fab with my 7 year old as they love bouncy games of football but he is a typical terrier and very boisterous. I find it hard when my friend brings her toddler to visit.

MummyNoName Sat 23-Mar-13 12:09:12

Kc spaniel

Nice size. Nice temperament. Not snappy like some terriers tend to be. Easy to train.

And if you like long walks and lots of exercise then a cocker spaniel.

colditz Sat 23-Mar-13 12:10:41

Not a jack russell

HotCrossWeaselInSinisterBonnet Sat 23-Mar-13 12:12:59

Due to circumstance I have had Labrador puppies alongside mobile babies / toddlers.

Yup they get big and bouncy, but I've never had a pancaked child. grin, however it makes training the children easier as its generally more of a challenge to push 25 kilos of lab around than it is a small.

I think whatever size, breed traits you go for you can generally make work with your children as long as the dog suits your lifestyle.

TantrumsAndBalloons Sat 23-Mar-13 12:15:26


And that is all I am saying grin

almostanotherday Sat 23-Mar-13 12:32:44

I Second staffy smile

monkeyfacegrace Sat 23-Mar-13 12:35:58

Staffy. Or Pug. But Im biased. I have 3 grin

abbyfromoz Sat 23-Mar-13 12:55:43

We have 2 cocker spaniels (one 'show' one 'working')
Koko (our working) is THE smartest and best tempered dog i have ever known. Same type of dog the d&c of cambridge have. You could do anything to her and she would just look at you like 'please mum- you're on my tail!' Such a gorgeous girl. I know it's probably better to save a dog from a rescue home but if you can look out for this breed from a rescue you will be lucky! i promise you won't be disappointed. Just keep in mind they have LOADS of energy and really need to be challenged like any 'working' dog. We have an almost 2 year old DD and they have been around since the beginning. They are lovely and gentle with her but especially Koko. She's a real mate.

mrslaughan Sat 23-Mar-13 14:19:16

I know you said you don't want a large dog - but we have a Greater Swiss mountian dog - and he is amazing with kids, and comparatively not bouncy, never had a problem with him jumping up......
low energy, doesn't need long walks, but definately enjoys being part of the family

neontetra Sat 23-Mar-13 14:34:25

My working cocker is fab with my almost 12 month dd - v gentle, but also loves a bit of toddler-themed fun. They have a lovely relationship, to the extent that dd says "dog" more reliably than 'mumum" or "dadda". Think she is pretty typical of the breed too. Also nice halfway house between big dog and small - dh is a german shephard man, i grew up around greyhounds, but she is enough dog for both of us, ifswim? Tbh,, we are pretty much agreed now that we would never have another breed.

ruledbyheart Sat 23-Mar-13 14:54:05

I have rescue mongrels so not a breed but totally amazing with my DCs wink

cathpip Sat 23-Mar-13 14:54:10

Another working cocker fan here, we have two a 5 year old and a 1 year old, we also have dc who are 4 and 2. Yes they need exercise, but my they are gentle and are always up for a game of follow my biscuit with the 2 year old (never nick it though!)Which she loves playing, oh and my 2 year old can walk the younger cocker past other dogs and he will ignore the other dogs completely. (think he just knows that she is little and that you could blow on her and she would fall oversmile)

SorryMyLollipop Sat 23-Mar-13 14:59:22

Rescue a greyhound? Very placid, very gentle, great with kids/babies, don't need much exercise (very lazy too!)

Marne Sat 23-Mar-13 17:20:08

Another vote for Staffie grin ,we have a staffie (now 5 years old) and a lab (4 months old), we got our staff when dd2 was 2 and she has been great with both dd's, she's gentle with them, happy to be sat on (although we have taught them not to sit on her) and she looks after the dd's when they are poorly, although my lab is also lovely he is deffently more bouncy and more likely to pinch food out of the dd's hands.

I know Staffies often get a bad name but they really are the best dogs with children, they are family dogs, they are very loving and very gentle.

barkingtreefrog Sat 23-Mar-13 18:26:50

I second all the spaniel votes. Three friends have spaniels (one cocker two springer) and they've grown up with their kids, been really gentle with no end of ear pulling etc. If you want a slightly bigger dog but my collie x springer is the same, very gentle with kids and totally tolerant of being trodden on and tail pulled by my friend's toddler! Don't know if you'd be interested in a cross breed to show though.

Isandri Sat 23-Mar-13 18:38:07

You want my dog smile he's a black lab crossed with a Gordon setter. He's lovely and very gentle. Alternatively get a setter, but not a red one as they are loopy.

Notonaschoolnight Sat 23-Mar-13 19:11:38

Try the breed quiz on the dogbreedinfo website I found it really useful for highlighting breeds I wouldn't have known/considered

coffeeinbed Sat 23-Mar-13 19:19:37

Retrievers are less bouncy and more relaxed than labs, once you get past the puppy stage.

theynevershutup Sat 23-Mar-13 19:27:11

My friend has a Tibetan Terrier and two small children. Really good with children, like a teddy bear and doesn't moult.

amatuermummy Sat 23-Mar-13 20:00:37

Thanks for all the suggestions, I wouldn't rule out a larger dog or a crossbreed really and we do understand that every dog is different so you can't guarantee anything, but we want to do the best we can by choosing a breed that has the characteristics we would like. The most important thing to us is that it is a breed known for being good with people/children.
We'll go through everyone's suggestions more carefully and hopefully the right breed will become apparent.
Keep the suggestions coming and if anyone has any experiences of breeds that are not good with children, this would also be helpful. Thanks again

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 23-Mar-13 20:07:42

Re. the small children + dog - I'd say it depends on the dog, not the size. For example, I know a woman from dog walking with border terriers that are adorable but totally unsuitable to live with young DCs.

We have a greyhound. He's affectionate, gentle, lazy and folds up small. He is large when unfolded though. And his poos and wees are massive too...

Our friends have staffies. Their two are laid back, very loyal and very cuddly with their DCs. I'd go for one if we didn't have our chap already. Lots of rescues foster their dogs out too, so you can look for one that's already been in a home with young children.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 23-Mar-13 20:08:05

Sorry, x posted.

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