A golden retriever is a good first dog for a child of any age because this breed is known for its calm and patient nature.
Poodles and Irish Setters are also known for being good around children.
When choosing the first dog for a child, you should consider these factors:
- Temperament: as kids can need a bit of time to learn how to behave with their new dog, look for a breed that’s valued for its easy-going personality. Big dogs can actually be more placid than smaller ones, which can get stressed when handled roughly.
- Size: While small dogs are not necessarily the best choice, large dogs may be more likely to accidentally knock over small children when playing. Some large breeds, such as Irish Setters love playing with children, whereas certain small breeds such as Chihuahuas like their personal space and will use their teeth to defend it.
- Energy level: If your family has an energetic lifestyle, breeds such as vislas and standard poodles are perfect for families with older kids, as they’ve got endless stamina and will keep up with you on any excursion. However, if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere then perhaps a lazier, ‘couch potato’ breed such as a Saint Bernard (aka a Nanny dog) or a French Bulldog will demand less exercise.