Generally the mid to large size dogs are best with children – they can handle toddlers inadvertently hanging on their ears, biting their tails as toddlers will do and sleeping curled up next to them. Smaller breeds of dogs tend to be feistier and will soon let a child know if they have been hurt.
Although we try to teach children to be kind to their pets and not put their faces in the dog’s food bowl while it is eating sometimes these things happen and you need to be fairly sure the dog is not going to snap at your child.
The list below is in no particular order and there are many breeds that are not on the list which make superb companions for children. My children were brought up with Dobermans. We could not have had more gentle dogs with the children who were also fierce defenders – they would let no stranger come near the kids.
Dobermans, because of their reputation as police and security dogs however usually get a bad rap as children’s pets as we have been conditioned by movies showing slavering Doberman’s ready to kill on command.
Labradors are one of the top choices for a family pet – so if any biting is going to be done they will show up higher on the stats, not because they are aggressive but because people usually get a puppy – forgetting the puppy is a baby too and is going to go through a teething, biting and rough play stage. It doesn’t realize its needle sharp teeth are hurting the children, or thinks they are able to take it like other puppies would. This is true for any young dog – be it a Boxer, Bulldog or mutt. I have had various Labradors over many years and none has ever bitten a child out of aggression. So during the puppy stage monitor your kids and the pet carefully, and don’t allow play to get too rough as no matter how large the dog they do not like to be ridden, leapt on unexpectedly or teased. Once they are out of the puppy stage you will have kids and a dog that have bonded and are inseparable.