Puppies and Children
My basic advice is, "the younger the child, the larger the pup needs to be." If a toddler picks up a puppy by a limb like they do their teddies, they are likely to snap a joint. If they kick a puppy like they might the tower they just built, they could do internal damage. The natural jumping and flightiness of a child is an accident waiting to happen with a very tiny puppy or breed. If the puppy feels tormented by rough play, even if the child doesn’t intend harm, he/she will become timid and scared or could become mean and aggressive. We don’t want either.
One mistake parents often make is assuming that their children will/can take responsibility for caring for the new puppy. Remember that the adult is ALWAYS responsible. The most responsible children are just that – children. Adults need to take ultimate responsibility. Children can feed, take out, walk, love on, and exercise a puppy with adult supervision and follow-up. However, the nature of children and puppies is not conducive of proper training of a puppy.
I try to encourage parents to trust their children with a puppy to the extent that they would trust a child with an infant. The adjustment and development of the puppy will depend on age, maturity, personality and obedience of the child, as well as watchfulness and discipline of the parent. Children and puppies can work, but the decision must be made with a lot of consideration to choose a breed that is a good match for your family.
Smaller breeds, like Yorkiepoos, Shih Poos, and Pekapoos might be better suited for older children or childless couples, particularly if you feel like you cannot supervise all the time. Some of the best breeds for children are Schnoodles, Cockapoos, Puggles, Labradoodles, and Goldendoodles. The right puppy can become a wonderful family member.