Though most dogs can be trained to be obedient, experts say some breeds are safer around children than others. As a parent, whether you are thinking about adopting a dog, or if your relatives, friends and neighbors own dogs, you should know which breeds are best around children, and which tend to be the most likely to bite when a child is near.
Good — and bad — dog breeds for children
Here are ten of the best breeds to own for parents of young children, according to the American Kennel Club:
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- Irish Setter
- Brussels Griffon
- French Bulldog
These breeds share several traits that make them good with children: friendliness, intelligence, high activity levels, and trainability. These traits make them a good bet as a family pet, or if you are bringing the kids over to the home of someone who owns one of these dogs.
On the other hand, several breeds can be too aggressive and powerful to have around your children safely. These include:
- Doberman Pinscher
- Chow Chow
- Pit Bull
Most of these breeds are larger animals that can be aggressive or territorial around children. Including chihuahuas on the list may surprise you, but they can be very nervous and can snap at a child if they startle or roughly handle it.
No matter what type of dog you own, you make sure to teach your children how to play and interact with the pet. You also should train the dog so that it responds to your commands. While you can control the relationship between your dog and your children, you cannot do the same for dogs owned by others.
Dog owners’ legal duty to kids
In Ohio, dog owners owe the public a duty of due care. They must take reasonable steps to protect other people from being bitten, such as by training their dogs, maintaining a fence that the dog cannot jump over or dig under, and using a leash when walking the dog in most situations. When a child is attacked and bitten by a strange dog, often the incident is due to the dog’s owner being negligent.
For children, a dog bite can be very painful and cause disfiguring scars. In the worst cases, the child dies as a result. As the parent of a child who has suffered dog bite injuries, you could have the right to seek compensation from the dog’s owner. Consult with a personal injury attorney who regularly handles dog bite cases for more information.