Photo by: Home Photography
Story By: dwaser
Answer: No, but it depends.
Are small dogs good with kids? Most people can’t seem to come to a consensus about this question. People who regularly place rescue dogs with adoptive families do not believe that children are good for small dogs. On the other hand, some people believe that some small dogs are good with kids. Both points are valid. Let’s discuss each opinion separately.
The people who believe that small dogs are not suitable for kids see it from the small dog's perspective. These people believe that a child could easily harm a small dog by acting like the dog is a toy and not a breathing and living creature. Small dogs can attack a child just as much as large dogs can. As far as the safety of the child is concerned, the injuries from small dogs would likely be minor compared to the possible injuries caused by larger dogs.
Some parents believe that their child is mature enough and “dog friendly” enough to enjoy the company of a small dog. Most of the time, these parents are wrong. Breeders and adoption agencies will often refuse families with children younger than seven or eight years of age. They do not think that it is in the best interest of the dog, which could easily be traumatized by living with small children.
People believe small dogs are safe for children because they are little. Many children do not realize their own power and strength as they are still growing up. They are simply not aware of what little effort it takes on their part to accidentally and unintentionally kill a small dog.
On the other hand, some people agree that certain breeds of small dogs are safe for children. Such small dog breeds include: beagles, terriers and collies. These dogs normally behave just fine around children and do not pose any kind of threat. However, you should avoid the biggest small dogs and toy breeds such as
In order to keep both child and small dog safe, you must monitor both the child and the dog at all times. If you can’t watch them both, place the dog in a safe room or in a crate away from the child. With proper behavioral training and enough exercise, a small dog can learn to adapt and fit in with the family. Therefore, it’s possible for a small dog to be good with kids.
A note of caution: parents must warn their children to never put their face in front of a dog. Dogs can get spooked and snap, which could result in severe medical injuries, no matter how big or small the dog is. Small dogs are not typically good for kids in the long run and they are not the smartest choice for both the dog’s and child’s safety. It is best to research all of your options first and determine why you really want a small dog as opposed to a big dog. Perhaps you shouldn’t get a dog at all…?
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