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Best dog for child with autism(27 Posts)
I wonder if you can give me some advice?
We are looking at getting a puppy / dog. My 6 year old has autism - is there any recommendations for the best breed for this?
However any dog would be suitable with the correct training for both the dog and your family.
How does the autism affect him in terms of senaory needs or the types of walks he likes?
It just might mean you go fo a lap dog or a calm breed that walks or one that is bouncy and energetic to match your child or not yappy as a breed.
That would depend very much on how your DS’s autism presents and what it is you’re wanting from a dog...
Thanks for your replies.
He will need a calming dog, one that is happy to sit with him whilst he's feeling anxious.
Ideally not a 'barky' dog as DS is sensitive to loud noises.
We love walks as a family so a breed that is happy to be walked in woods, paths, fields etc.
Maybe an adult dog rather than a puppy? Puppies are excitable! (IANAE)
We got a Lab who was fantastic for my DS, he liked lots of walks, was obedient and affectionate.
Taking him to the park independently really brought DS out of himself.
So... not a puppy then tbh.
Puppies are loud, bitey and unpredictable...
Currently getting a dog at all is like winning the lottery, lol, covid has had a really weird affect.
But normally - I’d suggest scrapping any breed preferences and looking at rescues for dogs past their teenage stage that will suit what you need and can offer in terms of exercise and other care.
Or look at organisations producing therapy dogs.
My son has autism and goes to a school where all the children have autism. Quite a few have dogs from puppy age. 3 cockapoos, miniature schnauzer and a lab in his class of 7. My son gets very distressed by puppy whining noise but is less bothered by the biting. If you son is 6 now by the time you have found a breeder and got the dog he will be a bit older and you can prepare him for puppiness.
An idea, a friend of mine rehomed a retired guide dog?
Bichon frise have lovely temperaments but need a bit of coat care!
We have a mumsnet hated poodle cross - she's a labradoodle. Still very much a puppy, but an absolute dream with DS3, who has ASD and is 9. We've waited a long time for him to able to cope with having a dog/puppy and it's going well. Some of this is, admittedly, down to luck as we have a very easy going, relaxed puppy who doesn't really bite much and has only managed to bark once (her siblings are much more vocal).
I'd highly recommend a labradoodle.
I have a chihuahua. A deer headed fawn.
I know chihuahuas have a bit of a rep for being demanding but I can honestly say ours is not at all.
He's a lap dog. Calm and very loving. He's protective of our DD on walks her doesn't let her out of his sight.
He was demanding when we first got him but only housetraining wise.
The difficulty with a cross is that their temperaments can be vastly different whereas you want to go for something typical in your case due to specific need.
I don't object to a labradoodle at all but not sure for you it would be best unless @AledsiPad is offering theirs (doubt it, sounds wonderful!)
Have you had dogs before and experienced with training? If this is a first time dog for the whole family it will be hard work.
All dogs will potentially bark, they need to be trained to not react to things like people at the door, the Labrador my grandparents had when I was a baby would go absolutely mental at the bin men. (He was fabulous with me as a toddler though!) Labs have big barks too.
As much as breed research is important, if you're going to buy from a breeder you need to make sure they're not only breeding for health (so all relevant breed tests) but also temperament. It may take you 1-2 years to get a puppy at the moment once you're on a waiting list.
But you also need to read up on training your dog. They won't come ready-made and whole family will need to work and your son may find this initial part scary and distressing. Someone mentioned failed guide dogs, that could be an option, but it will depend why they've failed i.e. was it because something was causing them to be reactive.
We have a St Bernard puppy who is very calm around my two DC who have additional needs. She is patient with them. One child has regular tantrums and screams. She tends to take it all in her stride with the children. They are fantastic dogs and often used as therapy dogs for a good reason.
Our son as ASD. We have a Basset Fauve. They are an energetic breed and like a good long walk but very calm around kids and a good house dog. Our son stims a lot and it doesn't phase her.
Would recommend getting a dog crate, making it very cosy so the dog has a safe space of your child is having a meltdown or something. Ours has a cover so it's dark, a clip on water bowl and lots of fleecy blankets. Important the dog feels they can have time out too. We have trained our son to understand that the crate is the dog's special place and he is not allowed inside. When the dog goes in the crate he has to leave her well alone.
Pure poodle. Very clever, loyal, not jumpy. Just bear in mind it's like having a new baby for a while; pup comes first! Our youngest child is nine (not SEN) and in hindsight we feel borderline too young for the neglect we had to submit tjem to in order to successfully socialize, sleep- and toilet train a teething and occasionally very loopy puppy. Our older child is on the spectrum, 12, and it's been great for them.
P.S: Most of puppies go through a loud barking/guarding/anxious stage and personally I find the barking distressing but that is what many dogs do.
If you go for it, make sure you budget for a dog trainer/behaviouralist specializing in SEN children faimiles.
Golden retriever! We also had a boxer who was a very gentle soul and rarely barked.
Chocolate Lab or a Golden Retriever, all day long I'd advise those two breeds.
DS is 6 and autistic.
We have a chocolate lab-vizsla cross and he is just Mr. Cool. He's steady as a rock, very quiet, though he has the vizsla chat, which is lovely.
Labs and goldies are very quiet.
We have a Lhasa Apso and two dc with autism. She is the archetypal lap dog so more than happy to sit or lie on dd or ds for as long as they want. She's also non shedding so they don't get hairs on them or the surroundings which would drive them mad. She does bark but the dc see it as her guarding the house and keeping them safe so don't stress about it tbh.
She is a rescue we got as an adult dog. I wouldn't recommend a puppy as they are nippy and unpredictable, tend to destroy anything left about and may well pee and poo in the house (my dc are very concerned about germs so that's a no no)
We deliberately didn't get a puppy because my SC couldn't cope with the excitability of the two puppies they were exposed to through SEN school.
They would ask for a dog but I did lots of observation of them around other dogs and was glad I did
We did much better with an older gun dog he was calmer and already trained (although still needed work in our environment). Whilst I have always had dogs I didn't want to take on the commitment of training from scratch and my other half had never trained an adult rehomed dog or a puppy. Both can need a lot of work.
Mine dont bark either and they are certainly not watch dogs so wont be botherd every time the door goes or if someone walks past
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