We’re researching breeds to try and find a good match for our family. I have two boys - ages 8 & 2. We do have a fenced yard - although not huge. I would love to find a small to medium sized dog that would be a good choice for the boys - which is to say sturdy, likes to play but not too hyper.
Suggestions for further research are greatly appreciated.
Thank you! schatterjee
“Small” and “medium” are relative terms. With young children, esp. a two-yr-old, I’d recommend staying away from the toy and miniature breeds. They won’t be rough and tumble enough for two little boys, and small dogs sometimes become snappish with children who don’t respect the dogs’ boundaries.
Labs and Goldens are known to be exceptional family dogs, but they’re both on the larger side. A nice compromise might be a Springer Spaniel, but you’d have to make sure you get one with a tolerant and even temperament.
I’m a great fan of the good old fashioned mutt, and shelters are full of worthy, loving animals just waiting for the right family to come along. If you have a well-run shelter in your area with competent adoption counselors, they should be able to make recommendations to you.
Breed rescues are also terrific places to look for specific breeds. A big advantage to working with a breed rescue is that the dogs are typically fostered in homes and evaluated for temperament and training by the fostering individual. Breed rescues are likely to be able to provide considerable information on their dogs and which ones will be most appropriate for your family, your home, and your lifestyle.
I assume you are seeking an adult dog, but just in case you’re tempted by a cute little puppy, think again! Puppies are not only a TREMENDOUS amount of work, but they are psychological wildcards as well. It’s very difficult to tell what sort of personality a puppy will have as an adult dog. It would be a shame to buy or adopt a puppy who matures into a dog that can not tolerate your children. You’re much better off adopting an adult dog with an established personality that you can evaluate for suitability for your family.
I wish you all the best!
through my work at the local humane society we have adopted a lot of border collie mixes to homes with young boys they have the energy to run and play and are pretty sturdy the seam easy to teach an loyal although the draw back is they must be groomed almoet daily there are a lot of lab mixes that might meet your needs also good luck hunting and don’t pick out the first one you see spend time with it at least 20 minutes or so the first time. debra hayes
Although there are certainly enough individual personalities within any breed to discourage stroking all members of a breed with the same brush, I would, nonetheless, *not* recommend a border collie for your family. Borders are exceptionally active and intelligent dogs who need to be kept both physically and mentally stimulated to keep them out of trouble. They have an intense work drive and an irrepressible herding instinct that will often be displayed by herding children.
A border would most likely require more extensive and focused exercise than you would be able to provide while raising two small boys. The same would hold true for any of the herding breeds - Australian Shepherds, Blue Heelers, etc. Great dogs, all, but probably not suitable for your family circumstances. Unfortunately, a lot of the herding breed dogs end up in shelters because folks don’t anticipate how much exercise and training they require to stay happy and well-behaved in a home setting.
I will again recommend the spaniels. Many members of the spaniel group should meld into your family beautifully, and they’re generally somewhat smaller than the labs and goldens (which also make great family dogs).
I HAVE 2 AGREE WITH TEMPEST HERE. I HAD A BORDER MIX AND SHE HATED KIDS, SHE WOULD EVEN NIP AT THEM IF THEY CAME NEAR HER. COLLIES ARE VERY SMART. THEY CAN BE VERY SWEET BUT THEY REQUIRE A LOT OF ATTENTION 2 BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY. I HAD 2 END UP GIVING MINE 2 MY MOTHER BECAUSE SHE WOULD ALSO ATTACK MY OTHER DOGS. THE CHANGE IN HER BEHAVIOR HAS BEEN GREAT. SHE SEEMS MUCH HAPPIER ALTHOUGH SHE IS GETTING FAT. BUT BEST OF ALL I CAN STILL SEE HER WHENEVER I WANT 2. I DID A LOT OF RESEARCH BEFORE I GOT MY SHIH TZU AND EVEN THOUGH THEY R CONSIDERED A TOY DOG THEY R VERY STURDY 4 THEIR SIZE AND THEIR PERSONALITIES R GREAT. MINE JUST LOVES EVERYONE AND EVERY DOG BUT SHE IS ALSO VERY INDEPENDENT. JUST A THOUGHT IF U WANT A SMALL DOG. JUST DON’T RUSH IT. DO YOUR HOME WORK AND DEFINATELY CHECK OUT THE SHELTERS. YOU COULD ALSO TRY FOSTERING THEN ADOPTING IF IT WORKS WELL . LABS CAN B A LITTLE RUFF, MINE CAME FROM MY NEIGHBORS BECAUSE THEY WERE GOING TO TAKE HER TO THE DOG LB. BECAUSE SHE KEPT JUMPING ON THEIR 2 YEAR OLD AND KNOCKING HIM DOWN AND SHE IS A VERY SMALL LAB. I ABSOLUTELY ADORE HER BUT SHE’S A HANDFUL EVEN 4 ME AND EVEN AFTER A LOT OF TRAINING. GOOD LUCK. THOTSR
I think a poodle would be a good choice the boys would love to get to brush her.. and they are very intellegent dogs. Doxie
SORRY DOXIE, BUT I HAVE 2 DISAGREE ON POODLES. I HAVE HAD SOME EXSPEIRENCE WITH POODLES AND THEY TEND 2 B VERY HIGH STRUNG, VERY NERVOUS AND VERY YAPPY. THEY R ALSO QUITE FRAGILE 4 THE RUFF AND TUMBLE WAYS OF LITTLE BOYS.
SORRY, BUT I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH KNOWLEDGE OF ALL DOGS 2 REALLY RECOMEND A GOOD BREED. I AM ONLY GIVING U THE INFO ON WHAT I KNOW FROM MY EXS. WITH THE DOGS I HAVE KNOWN.
U MIGHT WANT 2 CALL A LOCAL VET AND ASK THEM. I WOULD STILL RECOMEND CHECKING OUT THE LOCAL SHELTERS. THERE R DOGS THERE THAT R GOING 2 BE PUT DOWN, U MAY FIND 1 THAT JUST SIMPLY NEEDS LOVE, AND IF HE/SHE DOES NOT WORK OUT, U CAN SIMPLY TAKE THEM BACK. EXCUSE THE “SIMPLY”, IT’S NEVER SIMPLE 2 JUST TAKE THEM BACK, BUT SOMETIMES A SIMPLE MUTT CAN BE 1 OF GODS GREATEST GIFTS. THOTSR
your best bet is a german shepherd.our family has had them for years there great with the kids and are guardians.golden ret. are also good family dogs and very loyal..good luck. teebos69
Small dogs can be fiesty and annoying sometimes. But malteses are great, they don’t take up too much space, and they get along great with children! I believe goldens are too, but the best dog I’ve had in my life was Tyler, my maltese. But my old golden retriever was good, but a little fiesty. Cappy