It’s heartbreaking to see your child scared of dogs, especially when you’re a dog lover. As an adult, you know all dogs are different, but children don’t. How can you break this fear? What are the best dog breeds for scared children?
Even if you have a child that is scared of dogs, it’s possible to eventually have a dog of your own. By choosing a breed that is well known to be good with kids, you have a better chance of success. Breeds like Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Great Danes, and Labs make excellent choices.
There’s usually a reason behind a fear of dogs, such as being scared or hurt by a dog or seeing a dog hurting someone. However, it could sometimes be because they’re big, they bark, or some other misunderstanding.
Whatever the reason behind a kid’s fear of dogs, this is a fear you might want to break sooner, rather than later. Keep reading how to conquer your child’s fear of dogs and the best breeds to do it with!
How To Break Your Child’s Fear of Dogs:
Is your child scared of big dogs? Could it be the territorial aggression of little dogs like Chihuahuas? Think of how many stories there are about wolves eating people. Children have imaginative minds and can easily come to think of dogs as monsters.
Figure out exactly why your child is scared of dogs. Then, you’ll have a better idea of how to solve these issues. If your child is afraid of big dogs, then you should consider a smaller or medium-sized dog.
Don’t Force A Dog On A Scared Child:
It doesn’t matter what kind of breed you choose for a scared child if you try to force them into a situation they aren’t ready for.
Remember that the most important thing about introducing a scared child to a dog is not to force things. Let your child grow used to the idea of dogs by having interactions with a dog that you can trust to be gentle and patient. This could be your parent’s dog, your best friend’s dog, etc.
Puppy Or Adult Dog?
How do you decide whether to get an adult dog or a puppy when you’re trying to calm your child’s fear of dogs? Hint – there’s no one right answer. It depends on the particular dog, your child’s behavior, your living situation, etc.
Here are a few things to consider with adult dogs vs puppies:
- You don’t know this dog’s history. Even if the shelter tells you where the dog came from, you will never know the full details. Your child may accidentally do something that triggers the dog, causing him to attack out of fear.
- For an adult dog, he/she may have predisposed behaviors toward children already. With a puppy, you are in complete control of its training.
- Generally, puppies are much less intimidating to a child than an adult dog.
- Again – this is just a generalization. It could be that you foster an older dog and see if it’s a good fit for you and your child before committing. Or a puppy may be too rambunctious for your child.
Best Dog Breeds For Scared Children
There are dog breeds from all over the world, some nicer than others. While it’s true that every dog is different, looking at a certain breed’s behavioral history is a great way to determine whether or not it’s a good fit. Breeds known for aggression, like the Irish Wolf Hound and the Dalmatian are also known for impatience with children.
Now, of course, these are generalizations. There are always exceptions and it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a loving breed of any kind in your home.
There are many other breeds you may want to avoid, but today we’re going to go over breeds known for gentility and friendliness, especially towards children. Here are the 10 best breeds to help conquer your fear child’s fear of dogs!
1. English Springer Spaniel
Active enough to keep up with hyper children, and patient enough to put up with them too. These pups live to please and they adore children. The Springer’s friendly eyes and long ears are a real help to getting your child more comfortable around dogs.
2. Golden Retriever:
The Golden Retriever is a famed family dog. Their deep brown eyes and gentle nature make them one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Plus, these dogs are highly obedient and incredibly loyal. They will take care of children like their own pups.
Beagles are smart and highly active dogs. While their original purpose was for hunting, they’ve become a favorite family dog. The one thing about beagles that you do have to keep in mind is that if they catch the scent of something, they’ll take off after it. Fences and leashes are a MUST.
You must remember Lassie! Well, her devoted and gentle nature is similar throughout the whole Collie breed. Being a herding dog, you can always count on a Collie to keep an eye on your children, while making sure the area is free of any danger.
The Newfoundland dog is a gentle giant, covered in fluffy black fur. They may look like a bear at first, but they’re sweet and very child friendly. Plus, their fluffy coat makes a great place for your kid to take a quick nap after playtime with their new best friend.
6. Labrador Retriever:
Another highly popular dog, the Labrador Retriever is highly trainable and extremely loyal to children. They’re highly active, intelligent, and very affectionate, which makes for a great new friend for a hyper child. But they also have a wonderfully gentle side, which is also good for shy kids.
7. Old English Sheep Dog:
They may be large, but the Old English Sheepdog is a clownlike personality that really loves to romp around with kids. They’re social and affectionate, and their antics are bound to make your kids laugh— a huge icebreaker in breaking the fear of dogs, especially large and giant breeds.
8. Great Dane:
While their tall size may be intimidating at first, the Great Dane is a gentle soul that is well-known for patience with children. Their passive behavior and affection for their families, especially the younger members, make them great dogs for your kids to grow up with.
9. Basset Hounds:
For kids afraid of dogs that jump around and run too much, Basset Hounds are ideal. Their goofy looks and calm manner are exactly what a child needs to break out of that shell! They don’t really do much, but they’re loving and love to cuddle.
10. Irish Setter:
Another working breed known for its high energy and obedience level is the Border Collie. These dogs love to play with children, herding them like sheep, but are gentle in their play. They can also help to keep your kids active through hours of frisbee or even soccer.
A child’s fear of dogs doesn’t have to last throughout their life. First, you need to remember that they’re scared for a reason. Finding that reason is your first step to breaking this fear. Then, in baby steps and with a calm dog you trust, you can start breaking down your child’s walls against dogs.
It’s important that you don’t try to force the friendship and that you properly do your research way before choosing a dog for your own family.
Hopefully our list of 10 dog breeds for scared children will help you with your search for the perfect family pet. With patience and time, you can help your child ease their fear of dogs.