It has to be said that no dog should be treated as though it is 100% safe, especially around children. In many cases children are as much the problem as are the dogs. Children who are allowed to pull a dogs ears or tail are not being taught to respect the animal, and even if the dog is large, kids should never be allowed to ride it.
Labrador or Golden Retriever
These dogs are bred to be patient, waiting for the hunter to get his shot. They generally make good house pets for this reason. Golden retrievers are often considered to be the quieter of the two, but their longer coat requires special grooming attention. These breeds, and any breed used for retrieving, are said to be “soft-mouthed” dogs. They love to carry things in their mouth, and tend to have a more gentle bite. In contrast, Terriers were bred to hunt and kill, and have a stronger bite.
PugRead more in Dogs
Small dogs are naturally safer simply because if they do bite, they will do less damage, and are easier to remove. Many small dog breeds can be snappy and nervous around children, Pugs are one of the few that seldom will show this trait. They have short hair, and do shed. They are a lower energy breed so work well in young families where not a lot of time will be afforded for long walks. Because they are small, children will want to carry them around, special attention should be made to ensure the children know the correct way to carry the dog, a drop could easily result in broken bones.
A Spayed or Neutered Dog
Spaying, and particularly neutering, have the benefit of removing some levels of aggression in dogs. Although it should be noted that this is not a guarantee of making a dog safe with children, it will make them safer. It should be noted here that keeping a dog up to date on its rabies vaccination is also a good idea.
An Adult Dog
Adult dogs are generally safer with children than are puppies. This is not to say that ALL Adult dogs are safe, but puppies are jumpy and can knock children down in an instant. Similarly puppies are teething, and will teethe on toys as well as kids. It is very hard for a parent to properly train and socialize a puppy if they have young children at home also demanding attention. Some of the giant breeds are known for being quiet and even lazy as adults, they are often excellent around children, but as puppies are too boisterous, and can easily cause problems.
A Well-Socialized, Obedient, Dog
A dog who has been properly socialized will be loads safer around children than one who has not. Socialization starts from the moment a person gets a new dog. Obedience classes also reinforce proper socialization skills. A dog who thinks it is the pack leader, with your family representing the “pack”, is not a well socialized dog. A well trained obedient dog is safer around children. They know and understand what, “No” and “Leave It” mean. Because their owner has taken time to sharpen the dogs mind, it usually is calmer than a completely untrained dog who may lack proper mental stimulation.
A Supervised, Well-Cared-For Dog
The safest dog with children is the one who is never left alone with them. This dog receives proper exercise, and mental stimulation, and it is not looking to the child for direction. It is never put at risk for getting mixed signals from a child. This dog is having its mental needs met, as well as its physical ones. By not leaving it alone with the children it is not put in the position of reacting negatively to the child’s behavior, a factor that is undoubtedly overlooked when some dogs do attack a child. Similarly the child is not allowed to mishandle the dog. They are taught that pulling the ears, tail, fur, or riding the dog, is not acceptable, and teasing the dog is never allowed.