Are small dogs safer pets around children? – Part 3

Most small dog breeds are very feisty. Having raised both Labradors and Miniature Pinschers, to answer is no is not for the child safety, but the dogs.

My Labrador mix with Shepherds were the greatest watch dogs when my children were little. Heaven forbid the person who would want to lay a hand on a child or myself. They were docile and sweet. They were also a lot like children, afraid of thunderstorms and loud noises. Most large breed dogs like children and can handle the children’s playing. They are larger and do not hurt as easily and will back off when the child gets too rambunctious. This also has to do with how the dog has been trained. Naturally one would not want a police trained dog for a pet when the kids pull out fake water pistols, that would not be a good idea. But most of the time the dog will be safe and the child will be safe.

The problem with having a smaller breed as a pet, is their temperament is too high strung. When I was a teen I was playing with my Chihuahua, but she stopped playing and hung on to my nose. They play and when they are done, they are done. A Miniature Pinscher lives with me now and a Fox Terrier. They both have totally different personalities. Far more trusting is the Miniature Pinscher with the grandchildren, no matter what they do. The Fox Terrier has had to be locked up, although again, this was not all his fault. He came from an abusive home, was kicked and hung by a leash. He is getting better as the time goes on and he is trusting us more.

Training is an absolute with either small dogs or large dogs. Obedience training is one thing: walk on this side, stop, etc. Child training is another: Don’t sit on the dog, do not kick, do not put your face so close. So both need to be trained. I think the problem with with most dogs, large or small. is that the children have not been trained properly to treat the dog nicely. One has to remember that when the puppy grows it becomes a dog. There are many shelters that have dogs waiting to be adopted, some from Hurricanes or floods, some from abuse. Choose carefully.So many adults chain their puppies and dogs outside and have seen them twisted around trees. Before someone gets either a small dog or a large breed they must consider how much time they have to train the dog and be with them. They must also consider how much time they have to train their children and make sure they know not to hurt the animal.

Either way one looks at it, train the child for the dog and the dog for the child. Both will be much happier this way.

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