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Bringing home baby has its joys and challenges, particularly when introducing your new bundle of joy to her older siblings… the barking kind! Reddit user SaeLow posted this image with the caption: "My newborn daughter came home today and her two brothers were excited to finally meet her." Super cute but it also raises questions around how babies and dogs can live together happily.
Added personal and home security? Obedience and knows his place? Full of affection and love? An energetic exercise partner?
While any of these qualities may suit your lifestyle, how do they complement a new addition to the family? Here we list the most popular dog breeds for a young family and tips on choosing the right dog for you.
Genetics play a part in the behavioural characteristics of any dog. There are those that have been bred for predatory activities, herding, or fighting, of which high levels of dominance or predatory behaviour are characteristics usually manifested as aggression, which can prove problematic when it comes to children.
However genetic predisposition does not always determine their nature, a dog known by breed for its aggressive behaviour, can be the most gentle, loyal companion for a child. Factors that lead to the development of a dogs nature, is the amount of time, training and attention they receive as young pups. If a dog feels secure within its place in the family it is not likely to get defensive if a new member comes along.
If you are starting a family, getting a dog from the pound might not be the best idea if the dog’s past is not known, irrespective of the breed. Mismanagement or an unfortunate experience for the dog when it was young can lead to unpredictable aggression, which could pose a threat to any child.
You know yourself how much time you have spare with a new baby or toddler, well the same amount of time is needed for young puppies aside from the night feeds. So unless you can give them the attention they need, puppies and babies do not go together. Not to mention their playful 'ruff' behaviour with those needle sharp teeth.
The smaller the dog, the less chance it has of knocking your baby or toddler down. Although as they are of the same height, watch that the dog does not think he is higher in rank than the baby.
The Old English sheep dog, Great Dane, St Bernard, Newfoundland are all renowned for their gentle natures and tolerance. But time it right as they make very boisterous puppies able to knock an adult down too. As these giants have a particularly lengthy puppy period, either adopt an adult dog or put off extending the family for a few years.
Originally used to retrieve game from hunting expeditions (as they are such good swimmers). Spaniels are affectionate and fun-loving dogs who love to please their human friends, making them a great obedient dog to have around a baby.
The Beagle is lively, intelligent, and good natured. Not too big and not too small, he can be happily kept as either a house or a kennel dog. For the time poor, he requires very little grooming as he tends to keep himself clean. The Beagle is a devoted friend and companion for adult and child alike, although they have the tendency to roam, so require a well fenced yard.
Although France tends to claim these dogs as their own, they seemed to have originated from Germany. Known for their high level of intelligence and happy natures, poodles make good family pets, especially as their coats shed minimal hair and it is far less likely to cause allergies in children.
These dogs are very responsive to training, and adapt well to any new family additions. Visually appealing, affectionate and fun loving, these dogs seem to have it all when it comes to the family pet. Although you could knit a jumper for the entire family with the long hair that falls from the retriever.
This UK breed (Bulldog and Terrier) was developed for dog fighting, although ironically they are one of the friendliest, gentle and good natured dogs to humans (although can still be aggressive to other dogs). Extremely tolerant and affectionate with babies and young children, they make the most trustworthy companions. And they are oh so cute too.