The Benefits of Growing up With a Dog

by | Jun 5, 2023

Have you grown up with a dog or dogs in your household, or was a dog not high on the “to-do list” of your parents?  I’m thinking of those children who have a special affinity with dogs and whereby the benefits of growing up with a dog has left a lasting and positive impression upon these children.

I can happily confirm that I repeatably asked my mum if it was at all possible, I would love a dog for company.  This did not eventuate until I was about 10 years old.

I was, however, prior to this age, able to share our neighbour’s dog, as this family had a son similar in age to myself and when we had fun together, his dog was also able to come into our yard to join in the fun.

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Betsy was her name and she was a Pomeranian cross, who had the most beautiful white flowing coat and I was even able to bath and groom her much to my delight.

Around the age of 10, my mum relented and I was able to bring home a cocker spaniel puppy.  He was a delight and very docile, however, he was on alert if he thought I was being hurt by another person which was surprising being such a gentle soul.

Doing your research as to what breeds are most suitable for growing up with babies, toddlers and children is the way to go initially.

One of my Australian Kelpies has recently had a litter of puppies, two girls, and one boy.  One of the girls now in her new home shares lots of time with her owner’s grandchildren.  Particularly her youngest grandchild who is a toddler. 

I’m constantly sent photos of this toddler with this growing puppy and I can nearly cry with amazement and delight when I see this young puppy spending time with this young child.  This puppy has not used those razor sharp teeth that puppies initially have when playing with this toddler, she has just been gentle.  Isn’t it amazing how they know? …  and yet this puppy happily plays rough with her owner! 

This puppy has even snuck downstairs to the guest bedroom once the toddler has gone home after staying a weekend, and jumped up onto the bed where she slept…how is that for love?  In this case this shows the benefits of growing up with a dog, even if it is only when there are sleepovers!

In our case, we had a Labrador dog which was an adult when our firstborn entered this world, our son crawled all over this Labrador who just loved him and showed the utmost patience.  When our second son was born, we had a Boxer dog who used to love running around the yard with the boys as toddlers as they rode their scooters and tricycles around about him. 

Both our sons, now fathers themselves, have raised dogs with their own families, which speaks volumes, doesn’t it?  Growing up and forming a bond with the animals we included as our family members was obviously a very positive experience for them.

Would we raise our children with dogs again?  Yes, very definitely, as these particular dogs loved our family unconditionally, as we did them.

When you commence your research to select the best breed of dogs recommended for babies, children, and teenagers, my first contact would be to contact one of the larger national dog organisations for your particular country.

Keep in mind, the size of your back yard, how active you and your family are, would this dog be on his or her own for long periods, would this be a house dog, an outside dog, or inside when you are home, how much exercise and stimulation can you offer this furry addition to your household?  These are very important considerations and not forgetting the size of your companion, what would be best for you? … a small, medium, or large breed? 

Another thought to consider is how much upkeep this dog needs in order to be comfortable.  Does it have a long coat that needs to be brushed every day, every week, or minimal upkeep?

Even booking a consultation with your local veterinarian to discuss the best breed for your household would be an excellent line to pursue.

Do your homework, research also various breeders and their feedback received, prepare in advance for the introduction of your new puppy or older dog and remain consistent and calm and keep to a daily routine, which has worthwhile benefits for you and your family.  Enjoy!

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Until next time…

With Love, Success and Inspiration,

Robin Oliver

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With Love, Success and Inspiration,

Robin Oliver

Robin Oliver Pet Dog Training
Professional Dog Trainer

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