You will be the newest of 17 million U.S. dog owners, most—but not all—of them happy in their choice of pets. You need not take a chance. The following information will help you select a dog that fits your specific needs.
Dogs and kids
This is an explosive question. No one agrees, and there can be no hard and fast rule that certain breeds are good with children and others bad—it depends upon the individual dogs and the treatment they receive. In every breed there are dogs that react snappishly to misdirected poundings by the youngsters. Others remain affectionate despite severe mauling. Most experts will tell you that puppies are born without fear and become hostile to children only if they have had repeated painful experiences at the hands of a youngster.
A few of these experts have risked partisan wrath to offer the prospective owner a "good and not-so-good" list. The most authoritative, probably, appears in The Dog Owner's Handbook by H. J. Deutsch and J. J. McCoy (T. M. Crowell; $2.95). Their conclusions:
Dogs generally considered good with children:
TOY: Toy poodle.
SMALL: Welsh terrier, Irish terrier, smooth-haired fox terrier, basset hound, dachshund, beagle, bull terrier, miniature poodle.
MEDIUM: Airedale, foxhound, Irish wafer spaniel, springer spaniel, Dalmatian, standard poodle.
LARGE: German shepherd dog, collie, boxer, Old English sheep dog, setter, Saint Bernard, retriever, coonhound, pointer.
Deutsch and McCoy list these dogs as unsuitable for children: