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I've had many dogs in the past but in a few weeks i'm adopting a little boy and I want him to grow up in a home with a great dog. I want a dog that would be completely safe and good with kids. What dog breads are known to be very friendly and loving but yet gentil and child safe?
 

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Congratulations on your upcoming adoption. How old is the boy? I'm sure he'll love having a dog to grow up with, but there are some things to consider. First, you may want to hold off on the dog until the boy has settled and you and he have gotten to know each other, and bonded. He'll need your undivided attention, and the dog may get short-changed at a time when he or she will need some extra help in settling and learning about their new family. Planning for and getting a dog might be something that you and your new son could do together, though it's also important that parents realize they'll be doing the 'dog work', not the kids, no matter what the kids claim before the dog arrives.

While breed does make a difference, it's just as important to consider an individual dog's personality. A breed can have a reputation of being wonderful with kids, but that doesn't help you if you happen to get that rare individual who thinks kids are the devil's spawn and want nothing to do with him. There are many resources on the web that can help you determine likely breeds, and people here may also comment. I don't know the various breeds well enough to suggest any, other than golden retrievers.

It also pays to consider an older dog for a younger child, since you can avoid the added stress of puppy toilet training, teething, basic obedience training, and adolescence craziness; you also have a better chance of getting a dog who has already proven his/her tolerance for kids.

It's also important to teach a child how to behave around dogs; the best dog in the world may snap if a child is allowed to tease it endlessly, pull its ears, tail, fur, smack it, sit on it, ride it, and the list goes on. :)

Hope this helps, good luck and please keep us updated as things progress.
 

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I agree. It's wonderful that you're looking to give your new son the best childhood you know how, but adopted children have a settling in period. It would be best if all your energy and time is available for your son, not divided between your son and a needy, time and energy sucking puppy.

Once your son has settled in, then you can revisit the issue of a dog.
 

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When your son is settled in, as everyone else has said and had time to bond with you, then look for a dog!

Consider an adult, fostered dog for your new son's first dog. You will know if that dog is a good family dog, if it is good with kids, up to date on shots, fixed and so on and so forth. A puppy alongside a young child is a whole lot of work.
 

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Hi CrazyaboutDogs,

To help you narrow your search, I'd like to suggest you go through the list of characteristics on this thread and list your preferences:

http://www.dogforum.com/new-additions/how-choose-right-breed-11760/

However, before you spend too much time comparing and dreaming about different breeds, I'd also highly recommend that you carefully study the resources in this thread:

http://www.dogforum.com/general-dog-discussion/safety-children-babies-dogs-115969/

As a mother, I can relate to your desire and enthusiasm to bring home a dog for your new son. Every child should have a dog! However, I agree with Dia and everyone else that this is not the best time for your family to bring home a dog.

You didn't mention the child's age, but dogs and very young children often do not do well together. We've had countless threads started by stressed moms and dads whose pups either nip at or herd their toddlers. Those are normal, common dog and especially puppy behaviors, but very concerning when the child is learning to crawl or walk. I would not consider a dog until your son is at least preschool age. If your new son is older, then you'll want to see how he responds to dogs. He may gravitate to dogs or he may be scared of them.

I'm assuming that this will be your first child, and becoming a new mom to a child of any age is going to be wonderful, but it's also going to be stressful. Please take your time and get to know and bond with your child first. If I were in your shoes, I would plan on getting a dog a year or two from now (maybe longer if the child is younger).

There's a lot to consider. Good luck!
 

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As someone who has extensively studied dogs and social work as well as spent lots of time with different kinds of dogs and kids I have one word of advice for you: wait. You sound very excited as any new mom should be, but right now what your child needs most is you. I would be very careful not to overwhelm a child with too many new things. If he is not an infant, has any special needs, or is from foster care or an orphanage overseas I would caution you even more. You need to get through the honeymoon and true adjustment period with your son adjusting to his new family and schedule. Also, if he is older than 2 he might have a negative experience with dogs and one might frighten him. So I think it would be great if you introduced him to some friends' dogs, and maybe visited a dog event or donate
to a shelter together. A new dog needs lots of attention, and I think it would disrupt the adjustment of both child and dog if they are adjusting together. I wish you the best of luck wth your new boy! But I would wait at least nine months before considering a new dog.
 

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Also I want to add that while there are many dogs who are perfect with kids and breeds that are more likely to enjoy them, there's no such thing as a dog that is 'completely safe and gentle' with all kids all the time. Dogs are individuals with emotions and might get annoyed, frustrated or angry at a child just like people. All dogs in one breed also isn't a guarantee. There might be a golden retriever who hates children although most love them, and a Doxie rho loved kids though most don't tolerate them. (In my experience). Maybe next year you can meet with shelter workers or a good breeder to pick a family dog. And in the meantime I know lots of good adoption (of humans!) books if you're interested. :)
 

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Some breeds known to be great dogs with children are Labs, Golden Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Boxer, all sizes of Poodle, Irish setter, Rottweiler, Beagle, Bichon, Bull Terrier, Boston Terrier, Collie, Sheltie.

This doesn't mean you should run out and buy one of these. I don't think it's a good idea to get a new dog when you have a very small child, age 0-3. (it's an entirely different situation if you already have a dog fully integrated into the family and now here comes baby)

Second, there are all sorts of other considerations. Collies, Irish Setters, an Newfoundlands are going to need a lot of brushing their long coats, and hair will get everywhere. Poodles and Bichons will need clipping/grooming. Labs, Goldens, Boxers, Irish Setters, are all very energetic dogs and will need a lot of exercise. Goldens 'grow up' slow and seem to stay in a puppy stage longer than most, which can be a pain. Newfoundlands are BIG, tend to drool a lot, and die younger than most dogs. Beagles tend to be very vocal and if they smell something interesting they get distracted by it very easily. Boston Terriers with their squished almost no-muzzle faces can have breathing problems, snore, etc.

Not saying these aren't great dogs, but be very aware when you get a dog what you are getting into.

FURTHER...dogs aren't like boxes of cereal. There is a huge difference with a given dog breed, and the biggest place you find those differences is temperament/personality. Breeder A may be breeding Labs to be very laid back and great with kids. Breeder B may be breeding Labs to be the best duck hunting dogs, or the best drug sniffing dogs, or whatever. These dogs could end up very different!

But there are some counters to this. Dogs tend to have temperaments and personalities very similar to the parents. So if getting a child friendly dog is your main goal, find a breeder whose dogs get along great with kids and spend less time worrying about a specific breed.

Another angle is to look at adult dogs from rescue operations where they don't have a shelter but instead foster dogs out. The person who is fostering the dog will know a lot about it. If you get a dog from a home where the fostering family has young kids and the dog gets along great then you are setting yourself up for success.
 

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Are you set on getting a purebred dog? If not, you would probably look for a nice, calm, gentle adult dog in some of the shelters around you. I would suggest you stay away from puppies of any breed, as you obviously will be busy enough with your new son. Of course, how much time you have to exercise your dog is also a huge consideration. If you really want a purebred dog, here are some good breeds: If you have time to play with, train, and run your dog - a LOT of time - I'd suggest a Collie, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, English Setter, or English Coker Spaniel. If you really don't have the time to exercise and train a highly energetic dog, you might be better off getting a Boxer, Miniature Schnauzer, Bulldog, or, my favorite, a retired racing Greyhound. Greyhounds are very laid back, and not hyper at all. Those are the breeds I would consider. As I said before, puppies are not recommended at all since you'll be so busy, but if you're set on one, make sure it's healthy, and from a good breeder. Or just go with a dog from a shelter. I hope it all works out!
 
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