Breed suggestions with kids? VERY serious about finding the right fit

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Breed suggestions with kids? VERY serious about finding the right fit

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Old 06-17-2012, 11:07 PM
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Breed suggestions with kids? VERY serious about finding the right fit

Hi! I am in the process of figuring out what type of dog would be happiest and the best fit with our family. We have waited many years to be ready to do this, so I am taking it very seriously and want to do as much pre-planning as I can. I have been reading about different dog breeds, but this is mostly new information for me, so I would love any advice or suggestions.

About us: we have 3 kids (ages 9, 8, & 3- though the youngest is a girl and is very gentle and reserved). The older two are boys, but are not as rough/loud/wild as most boys their age. They all LOVE dogs and have for quite a while. We have a large house with a relatively small, privacy fenced backyard. There is an adult home at all times, though in about 3 years there will be 2-3 days per week where no one is home for approx 6 hrs during the day.
We are moderately active, but would be okay with a dog that is not. Here are the characteristics that I THINK we are looking for: mellow (not easily frightened by sudden movement/noise bc of the kids), low shedding (I am mildly allergic and really dislike lots of pet hair on everything), not an excessive barker (myself and the kids are slightly sensitive and don't appreciate too much noise) and not large enough to kill any of the children (hahaha- but really, probably under 40 lbs but not tiny either). Those are the biggest ones- Beyond that though, I would really like a dog that follows me around, is not too stubborn about housebreaking and is funny/smart/entertaining. Not too concerned about- aggression to other animals, coat maintenance/upkeep, or cost.
I feel so overwhelmed by all the information about breeds right now- I have read that all terriers are out of the question when small kids are in the home, but most low shedding dogs seem to be terriers. I think the Havanese, Miniature Schnauzer and Italian Greyhound are all adorable- but have read things that are scaring me off from them.

Like I said, ANY insight or advice would be greatly appreciated! THanks!
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:45 PM
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Have you considered a shelter dog? You can get a good idea of her temperament and not have to worry about housebreaking If already trained. Usually they are checked out around.kids, noises, you know the grooming needs, and.best of all, you will be saving a life!
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:28 AM
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Thanks for your response- and yes I definitely have thought about a rescue dog. I volunteered at an animal shelter as a teenager so I know how great they can be! I definitely haven't ruled anything out at this point though- I would hope to be able to find a shelter dog, but I would like to start my search by narrowing down which breeds *tend* to have which characteristics. Even shelter dogs can often be identified as one or two specific breeds.
Also, my middle child has autism, which makes our situation more delicate- I want to be sure to get a dog that I can at least somewhat predict their temperament.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:30 AM
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Smaller female golden retriever or a more mild spaniel (like a cocker or cavalier) would be my suggestions.
Both are soft-mouthed (as water retrievers), have very relaxed temperaments and low energy requirements, don't tend to be too vocal, and are known to be excellent around children (provided they are from sound breeding lines).
If shedding/allergens are a dealbreaker, than I would say a miniature poodle. Very bright, usually low key (as long as they get enough exercise).
Unless you get a poodle or another hair-coated dog (Portuguese etc.) ANY dog is going to shed and dander. Don't let anyone sell you on a poodle mix as hypoallergenic. We haven't been crossing them long enough for them to breed true to type, so a mix pup only has something like a 1 in 10 chance of actually being hypo-allergenic.

I know you are intimidated by size a bit, but honestly my suggestion would be the golden. Larger dogs tend to be much more bombproof around kids because they are less intimidated by them. Most small dogs, even those good with kids, tend to be more reactive because they are more likely to be moved around in ways they don't like (picked up, hugged etc.) or feel just at a general disadvantage because we are so much bigger than they are.
As I'm sure you know, no dog should ever be left unsupervised around kids
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:08 AM
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I second the golden mix. Some spaniels may work, but I have seen many cockers with poor temperaments. Probably not very well bred ones, but almost every cocker spaniel that came into the clinic over the years I worked there would bite, including family. Not my favorite breed at all.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:10 AM
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What about a poodle? They do require grooming, but not much shedding, very smart, come in most sizes. The larger ones don't tend to be as yappy as some of the toy breeds. Usually great temperament.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:52 PM
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What about a Bichon Frise or a Bichon-poodle mix? I have a couple of friends with a kid (or three...) somewhere on the autism spectrum, and both those families have done *awesome* with a Bichon-miniature poodle mix. Both Bichons and poodles are hypoallergenic and not terriers. I gather Bichons are significantly harder to housebreak, and my last Bichon was a nightmare in that respect, but my current puppy is doing great.

Goldens are great but not hypoallergenic or low-shedding on epic levels.

P.S. I love your username.

Last edited by Sundog; 06-18-2012 at 05:53 PM. Reason: adding postscript
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundog View Post
What about a Bichon Frise or a Bichon-poodle mix? I have a couple of friends with a kid (or three...) somewhere on the autism spectrum, and both those families have done *awesome* with a Bichon-miniature poodle mix. Both Bichons and poodles are hypoallergenic and not terriers. I gather Bichons are significantly harder to housebreak, and my last Bichon was a nightmare in that respect, but my current puppy is doing great.

Goldens are great but not hypoallergenic or low-shedding on epic levels.

P.S. I love your username.
You're right about the Goldens. But of all the dog's I've met, Goldens are consistently absolutely bombproof with children (I know there's always exceptions )
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:08 PM
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3 kids here too, 9 6 and 3 when we got a dog, (two girls then a boy so opposite of you) We have a Cavalier king charles spaniel. He adores kids. He does prefire the older two kids to my youngest, he has a blast with my youngest but I have to keep a close eye on them and once they start getting too wild rough housey I separate them, but I think that would happen with any breed.

I say cavalier, or a nice shelter mix. After having Bentley I can say for sure I would not want a pitt bull or rottie or doberman or any more dominant breed while having young kids, cause I am not sure they would be as tolerant of wild kids and their fights ect. Bentley enjoys a good bark cheer on while the kids are fighting or play wrestling.. it gets him excited.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by juliemule View Post
What about a poodle? They do require grooming, but not much shedding, very smart, come in most sizes. The larger ones don't tend to be as yappy as some of the toy breeds. Usually great temperament.


I agree a standard poodle would be a good choice with kids, Standards are great dogs. Very smart and easy to train.
I like the larger ones for kids. Great tempered and you can keep them cut short so not much grooming
Standard Poodle Information and Pictures. Barbone, Standard Poodles
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