Owning dogs when you have kids is one thing parents ponder on. It is recognized that children are curious beings and dogs have varying behaviors. There are benefits gained from letting a kid grow up around dogs because they learn how to treat animals at a young age. However, there are also several downsides because dogs tend to possess unpredictable behavior and kids don’t understand that their pet also has boundaries
There are also numerous suggestions on which four-legged friends are the best pick to keep around young children. Those suggestions raised our question: Does a dog’s breed matter when it comes to how they interact with young kids?
What is the normal interaction between young children and dogs?
On social media, we’ll be able to see a great number of adorable viral videos of dogs and children interacting. In turn, viewers get the impression that keeping dogs around kids is no easy task and can be managed by households. The truth is, it isn’t easy. Dogs and kids have needs that they can’t address all by themselves and would need attention in order to be properly cared for. On top of that, both children and dogs have varying attitudes and behaviors.
Normal interactions should begin with a dog’s willingness to interact with a child. Their willingness can be seen through tail-wagging and when a dog gets excited or is having fun, body language is a clear giveaway. The interaction is not a one-way road, kids should also be taught how to be kind to their dogs, which can be gained from how grown people in the household treat their furry pets. As are prone to imitating actions from adults, parents should be able to show them how to properly treat canine pets.
The key to normal interaction between the two groups is to teach them to be polite. Both young children and dogs are highly teachable and any sign of bad behavior can be changed when addressed promptly and properly.
Does a dog’s breed affect how it socializes with kids?
In a study led by comparative psychologist Evan MacLean wherein 50,000 dog-owners participated and behavioral data from about 14,000 dogs of different breeds were studied to see if they can find a hallmark personality trait for dog breeds. MacLean’s study managed to explain 15% of a dog breed’s personality. Based on the study, three traits are highly inheritable: trainability, chasing, and the tendency to be aggressive toward unfamiliar humans.
Now, does a dog’s breed affect how it socializes with kids? As of writing, science is unable to provide evidence on the breed factoring into how canines interact with kids, or with humans in general. Similar to human behavior, dog behavior is a complex subject and will take years of continuous study to be able to come up with reliable data. Difficulties include the fact that dogs cannot participate in examinations for studies without human intervention, which makes result alternation probable.
All in all, a dog’s breed shouldn’t matter when you’re considering keeping one or more in your household with kids. What you should look into is how a dog behaves and if it’s showing signs of aggression. It is highly advisable for pet-owners and parents to not adopt a pet immediately without considering if they can provide the dog’s physical and emotional needs and if their kids are proven to have the ability to be around pets. As mentioned, both are highly trainable. Dogs can go through various training such as obedience training and behavioral training, among others. Young children, on the other hand, can be trained at home by their parents or other adults in the house.
The relationship between dogs and children can turn into a meaningful one if both participants are willing to engage and connect. This makes analyzing the behavior of both towards each other a necessity. If your offspring does not seem to be very friendly towards dogs or other animals, you should consider holding off on getting a furry pet. For dogs, if you already have one in the house and you’re planning to raise children, consider training them at home or call a professional.
The interplay can turn dangerous, too. If a dog lacks proper training or is just aggressive, accidents can happen. This is why training is necessary when it comes to keeping canines well-behaved. You can’t rely on just being nice to them, feeding them, and playing fetch with them. Their breed might not matter when it comes to socializing, but how they were trained does.