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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Safest Breeds of Dog For Children

It's no secret that children love dogs. However, the feeling is not always reciprocated. Small children can often provoke dogs unintentionally, leading to potentially dangerous or even fatal altercations. Most of these tragedies could be avoided if parents took the time to learn about the potential dangers associated with certain breeds of dog. Although any breed of dog can be raised to be a loyal, loving pet, the fact is that some breeds are safer for children than others.

Although it is a fact that certain breeds can be more dangerous to children, the truth is that any dog can be a threat to a young child. The reason for this usually has more to do with the children than the dog. Young kids often annoy and harass dogs by pulling their tales or ears. Also, children are often unaware of boundaries and tend to do a poor job of discerning when a dog is becoming scared or angry.

That being said, there are certain breeds of dog that should be avoided if a child's safety is of specific concern. There are literally tens of thousands of breeds of dog, and it can be confusing to know which breeds represent the greatest threat to a child. One helpful rule in general is to avoid large, loud and hyper breeds like, Dalmatians, Boxers and Huskies. Although these dogs may not intend to harm your child, their large size, raw power and tendency toward excitability make them prone to crashing into things and potentially knocking children over. Breeds with aggressive temperaments, like Chows, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls should also be avoided. Although these dogs are often raised to be loyal, loving pets, they can be specifically dangerous to children because of their strong territorial instincts and deadly raw power. These breeds have amazingly powerful jaws and this biting power can make even a well-trained pet a significant danger to a child who doesn't respect boundaries.

So, if those breeds are generally the most dangerous around children, which ones are the safest? Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are good choices for people with children because they are generally intelligent and good-natured. Not only are these dogs usually quite docile, they are good at following instruction and are relatively easy to train. Boxers, Shih-Tzus, Pugs, Border Terriers, English Bulldogs, Norfolk Terriers, Beagles, Poodles and Cocker Spaniels are usually safe breeds for children because of their small non-threatening body sizes. These types of breeds are typically safe for children to play with; as an accidental or even intentional bite usually requires nothing but a band-aid or, at worst, a couple of stitches.

Although, some breeds of dog are a better fit for people with children, it is important to remember that no dog is 100 percent safe. Parents should always supervise young children when a dog is present. Even a good-natured, well-mannered dog can react aggressively when he or she feels threatened or confused. Many people are often shocked when their normally gentle dog erupts in an aggressive manner after being provoked by a small child. If you have children and are planning to adopt a puppy, you should definitely be selective when choosing a breed. However, there's more to the safety equation than just that. Teaching children how to behave around dogs combined with thorough supervision can help ensure that you and your family are able to avoid a potentially dangerous altercation.

Copyright © 2009, Ian White

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