Terrier breeds are undoubtedly well-loved by kids and adults alike. These little feisty furballs are highly entertaining especially that their expressive faces give away a lot of emotions and those big imploring eyes just convey a lot of messages (they’re probably just contemplating what to eat next though).
Not all dog breeds though can be perfect for your kids especially that there are a lot of factors to consider first! According to Susan Nelson, DMV, a clinical associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, there is a family checklist of three questions one should take note of before fully committing to a new dog for your family.
With these three initial questions, we’ve also formulated a guide for you to determine if a terrier breed is indeed perfect for your kids.
How old is your kid/s and what are their favorite hobbies?
Your kid’s age plays a crucial role in this especially that you have to consider they’re spontaneity if they’re still toddlers. There are terrier breeds that are extremely tolerant to every kid’s shenanigans but there are also ones that simply don’t vibe with the attention-seeking nature of children. This is probably because some of these terrier breeds are highly self-assured making it difficult for them to live with kids that often smother them.
Another thing to consider in this aspect is that your kid might accidentally injure your dog during strenuous activities. Yorkshire terriers for example, while they may be very feisty, should also be handled delicately! This means that you have to keep in mind the physical build of your terrier breed to fit your kid’s activities.
Kids will always gravitate towards dogs after all; and according to a 2017 scientific study by Cambridge researchers led by Matt Castells, most kids find solace in their dogs more than they do with their siblings! So you better choose your terrier breed wisely because your kid will definitely consider them automatically as one of their closest family members.
Does your kid have any serious allergies or respiratory problems?
Each terrier breed has a set of different shedding problems and if your kid has a medical history of serious respiratory problems, breeds like Silky terriers and others might just be harmful to them. Boston terrier shedding, while moderate and low maintenance can also be a source of discomfort for those with severe problems. Keep in mind that dog hair can also aggravate asthma and activate other allergies your kid might have.
What are your current living conditions?
Do you live in a small apartment? Do you live in a two-story bedroom? Where you live is a crucial factor because the amount of space should be proportional to your dog’s needs. For example, Boston terriers are prone to overheating and can cause them serious medical complications, which is why the overall temperature of your house should be well ventilated.
Size matters and you have to consider where your dog should play, eat, rest, etc. etc. The more you assess the elements of your home can you begin to determine the suitability of a terrier breed not just for your kid’s sake but also for your dog’s!
What kind of environment do you want for your kid?
Do you want your kid to be more energetic? Do you want your kid to be less excitable? your kid’s temperament should also coincide with your future terrier’s temperament! In this way, both parties can have a more fulfilling relationship as both they’re needs are met.
How much time can your family dedicate to your dog’s activities?
Lastly, you have to consider how much time you can dedicate to your terrier! Some like the Boston Terrier dog for example needs constant affirmation and affection from their owners because they will only feel dejected if left to their own devices. Other breeds like the Skye Terrier are immensely independent and prefer a more quiet atmosphere.
In conclusion, you have to identify first your home life’s dynamics.
Contrary to most articles online, there’s no such thing as a one size fits all dog companion. A lot of thought should be at first given before deciding on terrier breeds to introduce to your family! Dogs are indeed man’s best friend but in order for your kids to fully enjoy their time with them, you have to assess first if your lifestyle can be beneficial to your dog’s wellbeing the same way that you assess if their innate traits are beneficial for your kid!