Dogs

Is an Electric Dog Fence Right for You? Great information + a giveaway!

If you have dogs, you know it is hard to keep up with every move, especially with multiple pets. There is always an unexpected circumstance…. a squirrel that is in an unexpected place, a handyman who forgets to close the gate. Personally, a combination of efforts is the best method to ensure that your pet is safe.

Every dog owner’s worst nightmare is losing their beloved pet. Thousands of dogs go missing every year, and too many of them never make it back home. In order to ensure the safety of your dog, you must take preventative measures whenever possible. One of the most important things to do is to make sure your dog can’t leave your property on his own. Because dogs enjoy roaming and running, keeping them on a leash at all times in your yard isn’t the best solution.

Fencing is the preferred method for keeping dogs contained in yards. The next question, however, is what type of fencing? You could choose a traditional fence or an electric dog fence. Many people opt for traditional fences, but electric dog fences can sometimes be the better choice. There are many reasons why you might choose one instead of a wood, chain link, or PVC fence, so let’s examine some of the different factors you should consider.

Maintaining Your Fence

If you have a smaller yard, your dog will have an even bigger desire to see what’s beyond it. With traditional fencing, a big concern is digging underneath. Certain dogs, like terriers and beagles, have a natural desire to dig, and stopping that behavior will be a challenge for even the most experienced home owners. An electronic dog fence like the Petsafe Yardmax can stop your dog from getting to the perimeter of your yard. An alternative is a wireless radial fence such Havahart Radial. With traditional fences, maintaining its look and structure over time can be costly. Dogs squeezing through the fence, jumping over it, and chewing latches, are all concerns. Wired dog fences, on the other hand, are versatile and easy-to-install, and they won’t require nearly as much maintenance to continue working (or looking) their best.

Preserving Your View

Sometimes traditional fences can enhance the look of your property, but other times, they can be detrimental and obstructive. If you have a home on the waterfront or with a gorgeous view of a golf course, for example, you don’t want a large fence blocking the way. When you don’t want to change the look of your property, electronic dog fences are the answer. A better option than invisible fence due to cost, wired dog fences that you install yourself are great choices. Your dog must wear a collar anyway, so wearing an e-collar instead isn’t out of place. A big fence, however, can be unsightly and inconvenient. If it doesn’t match your architecture and landscaping, it can even reduce the value of your home and property. Some homeowners’ associations don’t allow fencing, and an electric dog fence may be the only solution. ’

Enclosing Large Areas

Dog owners with sheep herding dogs, hunting dogs, or other working dogs and other animals often have hunting leases, ranches, farms, and other agricultural settings to enclose. Creating safe zones for your dog doesn’t have to be cumbersome. Rather than install a fence over a large area, you can simply lay the wire for an electric dog fence. First, read the reviews of dog fences for acreage and large properties to see what type will work best for your situation. Whether your enclosing your entire property or a small area within it, large areas can be more easily secured with an electric dog fence than with a traditional fence. If you need to change your boundaries, it’s also easier to do with a wired fence than with a large, above-ground fence.

Cost and Effort

Traditional fences are expensive and can take a long time to install correctly. Electric dog fences, however, can be installed by just about anyone in just a couple days or less. You’ll save hundreds of dollars, because normal dog fences are often as high as $2,000+, and a high-quality wired dog fence will cost less than $600 total. When you install the electronic dog fence on your own, you also gain valuable insight into the capabilities of your dog fence system. You’ll be able to maintain and repair your fence on your own without needing a repair technician to come out.

 

Training

Training your dog to obey the electric dog fence and e-collar is the most important part of installation. Your dog must learn the consequences and rewards to certain behaviors, and he must be properly trained during a short adjustment period. With careful guidance and diligence in handling your dog, you can minimize his stress as he learns to recognize his new boundaries. Providing proper dog fence training will ensure the success of your fence and the safety of your canine companion. All breeds of dogs can be trained with an e-collar and wired dog fence.

 

Before you choose a fencing solution, make sure you carefully explore all your options. While traditional fences can be nice, they’re oftentimes not the most practical solution for your individual situation. An electric fence can be a versatile way to ensure the safety of your dog but it is not the only solution. Many dog owners prefer to offer supervised on-leash outings only or opt for a large dog run on premises.

 

Published in partnership with www.dogfencediy.com We encourage you to share your experiences with a variety of dog containment systems. What has worked for you? What has not worked for you? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!

Big Paw Blog readers who comment on this post and  share the post in social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc) qualify for a drawing of a $50 Amazon gift card! Please let us know at the end of your comment where you shared the article. Note, you must comment with your thoughts on fencing as well as where you are sharing to qualify.  One winner will be chosen at random on 1/10/2015.  Prize provided and fulfilled by dogfencediy.com.

 

 

 

 

The Maltese Terrier


The Maltese Terrier is one of the most recognizable toy breeds in the world, and is thought to be one of the oldest European toy breeds. They are believed to be the result of crossing miniature spaniels with the miniature poodle. More than 2,000 years ago, Phoenician traders were thought to have brought this breed to the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta was a geographic center of early trade and explorers first discovered these little white dogs when they were used as bartering tools for necessities and supplies. They became favored companion dogs by royalty and Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Marie Antoinette were just a few of the proud owners of this pretty and affectionate breed. The Maltese was also depicted in Greek art and could be seen in ceramics, sculptures and paintings.

Appearance
The Maltese Terrier is easily recognizable by its long, white and silky coat, small black nose, big brown eyes and drop ears. These dogs have no undercoat and shed little to no hair, making them perfect for allergy sufferers. The coat is often left long, but some owners prefer to keep it clipped short. The coat requires plenty of regular grooming and, if it is kept long, the hair on the top of the head should be clipped back to keep it out of the dog’s eyes.
MF
They are quite long dogs and weigh in the region of 4 – 7lbs and stand at around 30cms in height. They are generally quite healthy dogs with few inherent problems. They have a good life span of between twelve and fifteen years or longer.

Temperament
Maltese Terriers are very intelligent and loyal little dogs and can be very protective towards their owners. They are, however, inclined to be a bit snappy, particularly with noisy and boisterous children. They are very playful and affectionate and love nothing better than to be cuddled up with their owners’. Maltese require minimal training, as they are very obedient by nature and learn tricks very easily. These dogs make the ideal companion for anyone with limited living space, as they do not require vast amounts of exercise.

Interesting Facts
o The Greeks erected tombs to their Maltese Terriers.
o It is thought that the Egyptians worshiped the breed, as a model of the Maltese was unearthed in Egypt.
o The Maltese was once known as “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta.”
o The American Kennel Club accepted the breed for registration in 1888.

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Owning a happy German Shepherd

german shepherdsWhat can you do to ensure your German Shepherd stays happy and well behaved? Well, here are some easy ways to keep your big dog happy, healthy and well behaved. If you keep German Shepherds properly fed and watered, disciplined and exercised, cleaned and groomed, and shown plenty of affection, they will reward you by being well behaved and giving you their unconditional love and companionship. Here are some great tips that you can use to achieve these things.

Feeding German Shepherds is fairly simple as they are not particularly fussy about their food. They will eat most propriety canned or dried dog food and are best fed a main meal once a day along with small snacks as part of their ongoing obedience training. As with most breeds, it is best not to give the dog tibits or treats right before eating their meal, or they may come to refuse food without first being treated. Of course it is quite all right to treat the dog after it has eaten. Feeding times should be kept fairly regular, either in the morning, midday or evening but always after you and your family are finished eating. This tells the dog that he is lower down in the pack ranking than your family, thereby reinforcing his obedience. Always have a large, constantly topped up bowl of water kept in the same place, so the dog knows where he can get a drink. Thus feeding becomes one of the routines introduced into the dog’­s day, which is something that will be expanded upon below.

Dogs of all breeds need discipline and routine and German Shepherds are no different. They are highly intelligent dogs, so need to be kept occupied throughout the day. Remember, a bored dog is a potentially disruptive and destructive dog and this is especially true of this breed. With this in mind, keeping German Shepherds exercised not only keeps them fit and healthy but also stops them getting bored. A good, long walk twice a day, once in the morning, then again in the evening is the absolute minimum of outdoor exercise that you should aim for. These dogs were bred as sheep herders so they need to run over great distances in order to keep fit. Just a walk on the leash, even over a long distance might not be enough. It is better to take them to a large park or field where they can be safely let off the leash to run around. It goes without saying that the dog must be obedient and faithfully return to you when called.

With all that exercise, your German Shepherd will need to be kept clean and groomed to keep its coat in shiny, healthy condition. German Shepherds come in three main types – long haired, wired haired and short haired varieties. For all varieties, the coat should be brushed with a stiff brush once a day to keep it looking good and to remove loose fur, as they tend to shed fur quite heavily. Frequent bathing is not necessary or desirable, as it strips the coat of natural oils, so only once every few months is acceptable. Grooming strengthens the bond between you and your dog, while also keeping it happily occupied. German Shepherds often treat grooming as a game and, thinking it is a toy to be played with, can try to take the brush from you. This can be great fun if you have a lot of patience, which is something you need with this breed of dog.

Showing your German Shepherd plenty of affection and spending as much time with him as possible is important in building and maintaining your mutual relationship. You will be rewarded by having a more obedient and loving friend who will entertain you for hours. German Shepherds, when properly exercised and kept occupied during the day will generally sleep through the night thereby rarely disturbing your sleep.

These simple tips will benefit both you and your dog. By introducing routine into the German Shepherd’s life, he is less likely to be unruly, destructive or bad tempered when you’­re not expecting it. By giving your dog all the discipline, exercise, attention and affection he needs, will ensure you have a happy, affectionate and loving friend who will enrich your life, provide wonderful companionship and protect you and your home into the bargain. Now that sounds like a great deal!
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Portugese Podengos: The Superstar Dog

At first glance, the Portugese Podengo looks rather like a mutt. But there’s a good reason for that; the Podengo, a Foundation Stock Service dog since 2004, may very well be the ancestor of dozens of dogs all around the globe. Many breeds and mixed-breed dogs share one or more of the Podengo’s traits.

This beautiful dog comes in both smooth and wire coats, and both varieties are slowly earning their place in American homes. Part of this is due to the fact that the Podengo is so visible in the movies. That’s right! The Portugese Podengo shows up frequently in movies, no doubt due to its trainability. A Podengo is an incredibly smart dog, and picks up on commands within moments. Plus, its natural agility makes it perfect for various tricks and stunts; Podengos frequently take first place in coursing and agility events.

As the visibility of this clever and loveable dog grows, so too do the number of people who want to share their homes with one. Portugese Podengo ownership has been steadily growing in America since it was first introduced in 1990.

Plus, the Podengo is considered the healthiest of all breeds. Playful and fun-loving, they have no genetically transmitted or hereditary diseases to worry about, making them a perfect family pet. Plus, the Podengo often lives into its late teens, even among the Grande type dogs.

As of now, the Podengo is not a recognized AKC breed. One hopes that will change as the dog becomes more visible and more stud records are kept. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of outlets for showing your Podengo. The Portugese Podengo Club of America is the best place to learn about these events and to get in touch with other Podengo owners.

Lively, intelligent, and fun: the Portugese Podengo truly is a superstar dog!

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What to Look for When Selecting a Dog From a Shelter

You’ve made the big decision to get a dog. You have everything in order; you know the size dog you can handle given the size of your house/yard/apartment, you’ve purchased bowls for food and water, and, with true civil devotion, you’ve decided to get a shelter dog.

Now the real chore begins: how do you select a dog from the shelter? In some ways, your choices are going to be more limited; you won’t be able to guarantee getting a particular breed, so you don’t have to decide which breed is right for you. But at the same time, if you’re choosing between all the dogs in the shelter, you could have quite a wide variety of options, indeed.

So how do you go about selecting the perfect pup for your needs? First of all, of course, what size are you looking for? If you live in an apartment, you won’t be able to get a great dane sized dog. Know the size you’re looking for, and narrow your choices accordingly.

Second, do you have any “special needs”? For example, do you have children, other pets, or other dogs that the new family member will have to get along with? Ask shelter workers which dogs will best suit the needs of the rest of your family; in most cases, they’ll be able to tell you which dogs get along with other dogs, cats, small children, etc.

Third, don’t be in a rush. Be willing to make more than one trip to the shelter, to spend time with the dogs there and to develop a bond with the one dog you think you can spend the next ten or fifteen years of your life with.

The first couple of trips, you may want to spend time with several dogs; shelter workers are usually glad to make it easy for you to spend time with dogs individually. On the third trip, you may narrow it down to one, perhaps two dogs that you want to get to know better. Don’t take a dog home until you’re certain it’s the right one for you; all too often, pet owners make snap decisions because a dog is cute, and the dog ends up right back at the shelter in a matter of months or even weeks.

Finally, involve your kids, if you have them, in the selection process. Let them come with you and spend time with each dog, as well. Their word should never be final, but do listen to them and get input from them about which dog they think you should take home. After all; a new dog is a member of the whole family–not just a part of it.
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Teach Your Dog to be a Good Canine Citizen

For thousands of years dogs have been our trusted companions, our protectors, our workers and our friends. Dogs have herded our sheep, guarded our livestock, protected our properties and brought love and warmth to our homes. Unfortunately, however, ill mannered dogs have also caused great damage to personal property, to livestock and pets and even to other people. It is essential, therefore, for every dog owner to teach his or her dog to be a good canine citizen.

A big part of this canine citizenship training is learning to accept and play appropriately with other dogs, as well as to get along with cats and other common pets. It is essential for any dog to learn these lessons, but it is especially important for breeds which have been bred to have aggressive tendencies or hunting skills.

For instance, sight hounds have been bred for centuries to have a strong prey drive, and while that prey drive is appropriate in the hunting field it is not so appropriate when the dog is chasing the neighbor’s cat up a tree. And aggressive dogs which have been bred to protect personal property need to be taught to keep those aggressive tendencies in check when dealing with humans who mean them no harm.

Fortunately for pet owners, many communities and organizations offer classes in good canine citizenship and dog training. Those who buy a new puppy, no matter what the breed, should be sure to ask the breeder for a puppy kindergarten recommendation. Those who adopt an older dog from a shelter should be sure to ask the shelter personnel what type of training they recommend. These simple and inexpensive courses can do a great deal to help dog owners enjoy all the fun of dog ownership while avoiding problems.
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How to Keep You and Your Dog Entertained

Your dog provides you with love and attention, and you want to do the same, but what types of activities will your pooch enjoy?

First off, all dogs love some kind of exercise. Dogs need to burn off extra energy, and they enjoy spending time with you. The typical walk is fine, but sometimes your best friend may get tired of that and be looking for something else. After you’re both tired of the morning walk and the typical fetch games, start looking for some other ideas to keep you both occupied.

1. Train your dog to do something. If he doesn’t know the usual commands like sit, stay and speak, then that’s a good place to start. Use a food treat that your dog likes and reward him as he does the behavior. You may have to begin by rewarding behavior that’s close to what you want, and then gradually reward only behavior that’s closer and closer to what you’re looking for. If your dog is ready to learn something more challenging, then try teaching him to catch a ball or roll over. The physical exercise and mental challenge will be good for him and entertaining for you.

2. Freeze a block of water with a treat inside. Most dogs enjoy licking and playing with ice, and he’ll soon learn that there’s something even better inside to work for. This can keep him busy for quite some time, but can be messy.

3. Teach your dog to play hide and seek with a favorite toy. First, spend some time teaching your dog the name of the toy, and reward him when he brings it to you. This may take some time to get right, but be patient. Most dogs can do this if given the time. When your dog reliably brings the toy to you when asked, begin hiding the item and encouraging the dog to look for it. Walk around the house and help your dog search. He’ll enjoy the challenge and excitement of finding where his toy is next.

4. Take your dog out for the day. Whether it’s to the park, a forest, for a swim, etc., getting away from home can be as important for your dog as for you. Be sure to keep him safely on a leash, and supervise him. Even if he knows his commands, the excitement of being in a new area can cause many dogs to ignore their owners, often endangering themselves. If you’re not the outdoors type, then take your dog shopping at a local pet store. To reduce his excitability, walk him a bit first before entering the store to burn off some energy.

5. Play a game of Which hand Put a treat in one hand, but don’t let the dog see you do it. Then, encourage the dog to sniff both hands and reward him when he chooses the right hand. With practice, you can even teach your dog to pat or lick the hand that holds the treat.

With a little creativity, you can spend quality time with your dog and encourage him to exercise both his body and mind. It will make you both happier.
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The Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi, unlike the Pembroke Corgi, possesses a tail, and is the older of the two Corgi breeds. These dogs are thought to be one of the earliest breeds in the British Isles, where they were used to drive livestock by nipping at their heels. This instinct is still quite strong in the Corgi and it can sometimes attempt to herd family members in the same way.

Corgis make highly intelligent companions. They are obedient, protective, loyal and affectionate, but are a little of wary of strangers. These powerful dogs are capable of both speed and endurance and therefore require plenty of regular exercise. Corgis are rather prone to weight gain; so exercise is of paramount importance to keep them in good shape. They also love to bark a lot and make excellent watchdogs.

Appearance
The Corgi is low set with moderately heavy bones and a deep chest. It has sloping shoulders, a powerful and slightly arched neck and a long, brush tail. Both dogs and bitches are around the same height, measuring 10 -13 inches and weigh in the region of 25 -30 lbs. The broad, flat head is fox-like in appearance and tapers towards the eyes, with quite a long muzzle. The ears are large and erect and the eyes harmonize with the colour of the coat. The coat is made of harsh, medium length hair, with a soft, dense undercoat and comes in brindle, blue merle, black, black and tan, black and brindle, sable and red often accompanied by white markings.

Grooming
Their wiry, medium length coat is shed twice a year and is easy to groom. Use a comb and firm bristle brush and groom regularly, only bathing when necessary.

Health problems
Corgis are susceptible to some eye diseases such as, glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). They have a good lifespan of around twelve to fourteen years.
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Dog Breeds: Just What is a Xoloitzcuintli?

More commonly known as the Mexican Hairless, the Xoloitzcuintli (also referred to as Xoloitzcuintle or, simply, Xolo) is one of the world’s oldest and, perhaps, rarest breeds of dogs. Dating back more than 3,000 years, archaeological digs have unearthed clay pottery and various artifacts depicting the Xoloitzcuintli, in the tombs of the ancient Aztec Indians. Believed to have mystical powers, the Mexican Hairless dogs were highly prized for curative abilities, as well as for their loyalty and extreme intelligence. Today, the modern Xolo remains virtually unchanged from his ancient ancestors.

The ancestors of the Xoloitzcuintli were Asian hairless dogs, called Biche (meaning naked), which were first introduced to Mexico by the predecessors of the Aztec Indians. The Aztecs were quick to find numerous uses for the Xolo, beyond that of a loyal companion; the Mexican Hairless dog was also found to be useful as a way to keep the bed toasty warm, a food source, and as a powerful sacrificial offering. The snuggly warm body heat of the Xoloitzcuintli also likened them to ancient versions of a hot-water bottle, good for relieving cramps and other stomach pains, as well as relieving rheumatic joints. Even when one wasn’t feeling sick, the Xolo was welcome to help keep the bed warm; in fact, when it was extremely cold, it wasn’­t uncommon to have a Three Dog Night.

Clay figurines and remains of the Xolo are also commonly found in Aztec burial digs, due to the fact that they were commonly sacrificed in order to help guide to souls of the dearly departed, leading them to a happy afterlife and providing nourishment to the souls until the afterlife was reached. While he is native to Mexico, the Xoloitzcuintli is found across South America as well. Today, his main purpose is that of a companion animal, but they are also used as agility, show, obedience, service and therapy dogs. The Xolo is not only snuggly warm, he’­s also very versatile.

The Xoloitzcuintli comes in 3 different sizes: toy varieties should be no taller than 14 inches at the shoulder and weigh no more than 15 pounds. The miniature variety of Xolo stands no taller than 20 inches at the shoulder and has a maximum weight of 30 pounds and, finally, the standard Xoloitzcuintli stands a maximum of 30 inches tall and has been known to weigh upwards of 60 pounds as a mature adult. They come in two varieties; coated and hairless, with the naked variety being the most popular of the two. The Hairless his virtually naked with short, tufted hair on the head and tail and skin that is soft and smooth to the touch. The Coated Xoloitzcuintli has a full coat of sleek, short fur and they shed very little. They come in a variety of colors, ranging from black to bronze and can be either of solid color or spotted.

The Xolo is an extremely hardy breed of dog and, surprisingly, they have no known health concerns that are directly linked to the breed. The biggest risk for a Xoloitzcuintli is from temperatures; without fur, they are more susceptible to the elements and, like us, can suffer chapped skin, sunburn and acne. Regular bathing and applying a non-perfumed hypo-allergenic lotion once a month will help to protect his skin. Some teenage dogs suffer from acne but it is easy to clean with soap and water and, provided he has good bathing practices, will disappear relatively quickly.

The Xoloitzcuintli has been bred as a companion animal and for protection and, for these reasons, they are very adept at a variety of different life styles. They make poor kennel dogs and love to be included as a part of the family. While they may not be the dog world’­s beauty queens, the Mexican Hairless does earn a special place for having one of the biggest hearts of all canine companions. If looks aren’­t everything, you just might consider one of these beauties for a wonderful new pal.

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Choosing the Best Dog For Your Children

At some point in every parent’s life, a child will ask “Can we have a dog?” Dogs can make wonderful companions for children but care should be taken when choosing a dog for your family. Any dog that is raised from a puppy with children around may become reasonably accustomed to their presence, and some breeds are known to be especially fond of kids, but some dog breeds are not recommended as pets for families with small children.

The best dog for young children is one that was raised around children and is known to be fond of them. A younger dog (less than a year old) will have energy levels more closely matching your child’s; an older dog may not appreciate wild play. Have a supervised visit for the child and dog, and watch to see that the dog is not inattentive to the child or runs from him, and that the dog doesn’t overreact to having its ears and tail pulled, feet stepped on, and fur ruffled up. Of course, children should not be allowed to treat a dog this way, but you know kids, it’s going to happen eventually. Check the dog’s pain threshold by squeezing his paw. A dog with a high pain threshold will not yelp. Don’t take a dog that appears stressed, over-excited, or growls at children.

If you want to add a puppy to your family, choose one that is gentle and mildly submissive. Try to roll the puppy on his back to rub his tummy. If he allows you to do so, he will be a submissive dog. A puppy that won’t allow you to roll him over will have a more dominant personality and may consider your child his inferior. Avoid buying a puppy from a pet store. Many such puppies come from puppy mills and often are not tested for genetic defects, health or temperament problems. Choose a reputable dog breeder if you must have a pedigree dog. Mixed breed dogs often have the most even temperaments and combine the best qualities of their dominant breeds.

Adopting an adult dog without a proven track record with children should only be done by parents who have experience with dogs, who can supervise the dog and spot any signs of potential trouble. Don’t leave your children alone with the dog until you can trust them to get along.

Larger breeds of dogs are almost always more tolerant of children than toy breeds. If you have toddlers in the family, however, you may want to choose a smaller breed because a larger dog may playfully knock down a small child. Large dogs should be trained not to jump up on people. Labrador Retrievers are the most popular family dogs, but can be extremely energetic when they are young, and destructive as puppies. Boxers are very fond of their people, especially children, but are a powerful and energetic breed. Collies are great with people, very smart dogs, and not so wild as some larger breeds. Other larger breeds that are known to be fond of children are the Mastiff, Newfoundland, and Bloodhound. With have proper obedience training, Dalmatians, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Irish Setters, Old English Sheepdogs, and Irish Wolfhound can be good family pets.

Small to medium size dogs are a good choice. Beagles are great with children and make great family dogs but they tend to bark a lot. Basset hounds adore everyone but children should not be allowed to pick them up, as they need their long backs supported to avoid injury. Bichon Fries are small dogs that are able to keep up with rowdy children. Dachshunds, Chihuahua, Chow Chows, Pekinese, and Lhasa Apsos are often not very patient with small children.

Toy breeds are not generally recommended for families with toddlers. Little Bobby might just conk the tiny pooch over the head with his toy truck, possibly harming the dog and causing it to bite out of self-defense. If you prefer a toy breed for your family, choose the Pug, which is the largest of the toy breeds, and a very happy, high-energy dog.

Some breeds who are best with older children are Basenjis, Airedales, Fox Terriers, Yorkies, Whippets, Shih Tzus, Afghans, Standard Schnauzers, Rottweiler, Dobermans, Malamutes, Weimaraner, Shelties, and Manchester Terriers.

Studies have shown that children raised from infancy with pets in their home have less chance of developing allergies and asthma. If your allergic child asks for a pet, the answer doesn’t always have to be no. While no dog breed is truly non-allergenic, there are some breeds that are less likely to cause allergic reactions. Dogs with non-shedding, constantly-growing fur, that require regular grooming, may produce less allergy symptoms (Poodle, Bichon Frise). You can reduce the allergens in your home so your child can enjoy the rewards of pet ownership. Keep the child’s bedroom off limits to the dog, and remove carpets, upholstery, and draperies from the child’s room, replacing them with washable surfaces. Launder the bedclothes regularly and cover the mattress, box springs, and pillow with allergy-resistant coverings. Having an allergen-free environment at night can reduce daytime symptoms. Vacuum the carpets and upholstery in the rest of the home regularly. HEPA filters can remove most of the allergens from the air. Teach the child not to touch his face when playing with the dog, and to wash his hands with soap and water afterward.

Whatever breed you choose, teach your children how to behave around dogs. Many children are harmed by dogs of all breeds by mistreating them or not respecting the dog’s instincts to protect himself, his food, or his toys. Adding a dog member to your family will provide your children with a faithful companion, and give them a measure of love and acceptance not always found in human relationships.
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