If your kids are enthusiastic about dogs and keep asking if they can have a puppy, it is easy to get worn down and finally capitulate to their demands without fully thinking things through. However, it is vital that if you are considering getting a dog to join your family, you are as enthusiastic about it as your children, regardless of their age, as you will ultimately be the dog’s primary caregiver.
If you have decided that a dog is a good idea for your family, you will then need to narrow your selection down to breeds or types of dogs that will fit your living situation, and of course, there are many different things to take into account where this is concerned! Obviously, picking a breed that is great with kids is the most important consideration, regardless of the size of the dog, but one request or preference that many family dog owners have is for a dog that will not shed their fur heavily in the house, necessitating constant hoovering and clean ups.
While there is no such thing as a dog that does not shed their fur at all, it is certainly fair to say that some dogs shed significantly more than others, so the Golden Retriever, for instance, might make an excellent family dog, but is very hairy and tends to shed a lot.
So, what breeds or types of dog would fit the bill, of being both good with children and not prone to excess shedding? Read on for our suggestions of just a few possibilities at each end of the size spectrum!
Little dogs can make a good choice for families with children for a lot of reasons; they will not physically intimidate shy or nervous kids, they fit into smaller homes and apartments without a problem, and they are available in a vast variety of types and breeds!
The elegant Shih Tzu might have long hair that requires brushing and grooming, but despite this, they really don’t shed much at all, and really love to cuddle with kind children. They are playful and active, happy to get involved in rough and tumble, but do not tend to be nippy or snappy, and are lively, active dogs that will very much enjoy running around in the garden with the kids.
The Bichon Frise is a small, white woolly-coated dog that does not shed unduly, but may require trimming and clipping. They tend to be loyal and relatively quiet within the home and are unlikely to scare nervous kids with over exuberant play, but they are also happy to be included in games of catch and playing with the kids.
The Miniature Poodle has a similar coat to the Bichon Frise, and also has similar care requirements, and Poodles of all sizes are intelligent, love to play, and are friendly and loyal to both their family and new people that they meet.
Medium sized dogs are generally well suited to most households, and will be able to hold their own and keep up with older children too.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a stocky and compact dog with a very short coat that does not shed heavily or make much of a mess, and they are also very easy to bathe and clean up if they get mucky when out and about! The Staffy is renowned for their loyalty to their families, and gentle nature with children, but they are also more than happy to get involved in energetic running around and lots of time spent playing outdoors!
There is a Poodle present at every stage of the size range, from miniature to large, and so the low-shedding Standard Poodle is worthy of consideration within the medium sized category, for the same reason that their smaller counterparts work well in the small dog section.
To own a large dog, you will need a relatively large home, as well as a big enough budget to cover their feeding requirements and all of their other care needs! Do not be put off owning a large dog out of fear that they will dominate your children or cause problems; some of the large and giant breeds are actually the most gentle dogs around!
The Greyhound is a large, lanky laid back dog that enjoys cuddling up on the sofa and outdoor play, and is generally very gentle and kind natured. They have incredibly short coats, meaning that clouds of fur all around the house will not be a problem!
Finally, the Irish Water Spaniel has a very Poodle-like coat, being very curly and puffy but not heavy shedding! Like the Poodle, their coats require care, but they do not shed much. Like most spaniel breeds, they love to play, bond strongly with children, and are full of life.
There are of course a wide range of other breeds that are both great with kids and have either a low shedding coat or very short, easy to manage fur, and these breeds are just a suggestion! Keep looking until you find the perfect dog to match your family, and don’t discount a mixed breed or mutt either!