8 Great Reasons Why Dogs Are Good for Kids

Great Pyrenees

My 16 year old daughter J hanging out in her room with Leo, our Great Pyrenees dog

I am a dog person, no doubt about it. I was raised with dogs – we were never without at least one dog in the family throughout my growing up years – and I’ve always had at least one dog in our family since becoming an adult myself.

Dogs are good folks, and I think my kids are better off for having our canine family members in their lives.

And while I totally respect that dog ownership isn’t right for every family,  for those families who ARE able to take on the care of a canine, I can think of a great many reasons why having dogs around is good for growing kids.

Here are just a few of them….

 

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  • Dogs are good listeners 1 of 8
    Dogs are good listeners
    J is 16 now, and like all teenagers, she sometimes feels like her human family members don't really listen as well as we could. But Leo always listens, anytime one of the kids needs to talk.
  • Dogs just know when kids need a little extra attention 2 of 8
    Dogs just know when kids need a little extra attention
    This is J at age 11 after a long, tiring day at a horseshow. Curled up at her head is Fiat, our insane Jack Russell mix. J was really sad that evening because the horseshow hadn't gone well for her; she hadn't done too well, and she was disappointed and feeling blue. Fiat immediately sensed that she was down, and he didn't leave her side all night, and stuck close even after she fell asleep. As obnoxious as Fiat can be, he knows when one of the kids needs some extra love.
  • Dogs never make fun of you 3 of 8
    Dogs never make fun of you
    This photo is of E at age 6, trying to teach himself to knit while Mabel, our now elderly pug mix sat next to him and gnawed on his ball of yarn, keping him good company. If E had told his little boy friends he wanted to learn to knit, some of them undoubtedly would have teased him about that being a "girl" thing. But a dog-friend never judges or teases. Instead, she just hangs out next to you and drools on your knitting needles.
  • Dogs never get tired of hugs 4 of 8
    Dogs never get tired of hugs
    This is four year old C with Leo, and no matter how much she hangs all over him or wants to pet and love on him, he never complains.
  • Dogs don’t mind standing in for toys 5 of 8
    Dogs don't mind standing in for toys
    Here's J playing with the doll stroller she got for her 10th birthday, and if you look closely, you can see that the "doll" she's strolling up and down our street is actually Cookie, a very agreeable miniature dachshund.
  • Dogs make excellent lounging pillows 6 of 8
    Dogs make excellent lounging pillows
    G with Leo, watching Sesame Street. 'Nuff said.
  • Dogs let little people pretend to be big 7 of 8
    Dogs let little people pretend to be big
    Here's one year old G leading a patient Leo around the yard, allowing her to feel like she's in charge. Everybody needs to feel like they are in charge sometimes.
  • Dogs let bigger kids be little again 8 of 8
    Dogs let bigger kids be little again
    This is Henry with Leo on the first day we brought him home as a puppy. Even the coolest teenager can't help but get excited and, yes, a little puppy-like himself when an adorable new baby canine joins the family.

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