Dogs are often praised as “man’s best friend.” A recent video of a little girl with her dog shows that some dogs are also “children’s best friend.”
A mother in China recently posted a video she had taken of Harry Potter, the family dog. Why? Because she could not believe how he responded when she spoke harshly to her 2-year-old daughter YouYou. The loyal golden retriever was trying to protect her.
The video, which went viral in China, shows Harry with his paws around the little girl’s waist and his head on her shoulder as if he were hugging her. Harry also bared his teeth while Ms. Sun was scolding YouYou as though warning her to stop.
Ms. Sun commented that she took the video because she found Harry’s reaction so “funny and infuriating” but then realized how heart-warming the situation was.
The 5-year-old golden retriever and the 2-year-old child grew up together and have developed a deep bond.
Best Dogs for Children
Although many parents are wary of buying a family dog when young children are in the house, there are some breeds which are more suitable for children. In addition to being protective like Harry, many dogs show unconditional love, teach responsibility and cooperation.
When choosing a dog for your family, consider your lifestyle and the ages of your children. Some breeds have infinite patience, others can play endlessly. Parents may need to do a bit of training of the dog and child to teach them how to behave. The trick is picking the right kind of dog to blend in with your family’s lifestyle.
There are several factors to consider when choosing what breed of dog will best suit your family. Focus on size, temperament, energy levels, and specific care needs when you begin your search.
According to PetMD, an online veterinarian website, the following breeds are most popular for families with children.
- Golden Retriever: confident, smart, kind, and loyal; need a lot of exercise and care of its long coat; affectionate and obedient
- Labrador Retriever: playful, patient, loving, protective, and reliable; stamina, strength, and obedient; needs a lot of exercise like running and swimming
- Poodle: smart and gentle; proud and elegant; caring and loyal; great for kids with allergies as they shed very little
- Irish Setter: playful and energetic, loves being around people, and plays well with children; smart and trainable; need regular grooming of their long hair
- Border Collie: gentle and predictable; rarely misbehave and easily trainable; sensitive and intelligent; need regular grooming of their long coats
- Beagle: smart, calm, friendly, and happy; small size; loves to play outdoors
Last but not least are the mutts. Mixed breeds often provide the best traits of two (or more!) great breeds in one dog. They also tend to be less expensive than purebreds.
Once families have decided on the breed, finding a breeder may be challenging. Check out rescue groups where you might find the family dog that everyone falls in love with. Plus you are giving an abandoned dog a new home.