How to Mix a Large Dog with Children

Dogs are man’s best friend and great family pets, however, dogs come in many different sizes. Regular readers of my blog might already know that I have two dogs, and an old cat, and they’ve grown up alongside my children.

Having a large dog around children is understandably a little concerning for parents. I love my dogs but even I was a little worried at first about how things would go. Now dogs are just like people, they all have their own character; some are big gentle giants while some are much more grouchy and unpredictable.

Even if you think your dog would never hurt anyone you have to be careful and always keep an eye on them around your children. Remember it’s not just about teaching your dog to be around your children you’ve got to make sure your children are respectful of your dog as well.

Dogs and children can get along great but you need to be patient and put the work into training them both. Living with dogs can teach children a lot about responsibility and take it from me seeing your children love and care for an animal is an amazing feeling.

I’ve seen my children grow up alongside my dogs so have plenty of tips to help you mix your dog with your children. With my advice, your children and dogs will always be safe and happy around each other.

What to Teach Children

Teaching children how to behave around your dog is very important, large dogs may make young children very excitable so it’s important to be firm about how they need to act. You want them to enjoy spending time with your dog but you also need to be sure that they’ll both be safe. So let’s look at some of the things you should teach your children.

Teach your children not to play aggressively with your dog, young children can get excitable but it’s important that you teach them to stay calm when around animals

  • Teach your children what signs to watch out for if your dog is getting aggressive, like growling or barking
  • To avoid stroking the dogs face, especially covering its eyes
  • Make sure they know to never pull the dogs tail or ears
  • Not to wake up your dog if it is sleeping, this could startle it
  • avoid playing or fidgeting with the dog’s tags, collar or toys as this could cause it to act aggressively
  • Young children especially should only approach your dog if you are around to supervise, until they are old enough

Other General Tips

Teaching your children how to act and behave around your dog is important but that’s not the only thing you should do. You should also train your dog as well, some dogs may get along great with children while others will be warier, so be patient and be responsible. I’ve outlined some other tips below that I picked up in my many years as a mum and a dog owner.

  • Introduce your dog and children together in supervised sessions, and make sure you watch your dogs body language closely
  • Talk to your dog and let them know who your children are and be kind but firm so your dog knows its boundaries
  • Pay attention to your dog, they can grow jealous easily
  • Never leave your child and dog alone together until they are old enough
  • Don’t force your dog to be with your children, remember it may take some time for them to get used to new faces
  • Be ready to intervene if things do not look like they are going well

Having any dog, especially larger breeds, with children can be challenging at first but the benefits are worth it! Dogs teach children so much and I’ am always proud to see my children playing and looking after my dogs, they’re all part of my family and while it might take some hard work and time it’s all worth it in the end.



  1. 30th May 2017 / 7:53 pm

    These are great tips. I want a dog myself but worry about them being around little ones when I have them. At the same time I worry about bringing a dog in after I have kids, introducing them is really important to do correctly!

    • admin
      30th May 2017 / 8:28 pm

      We had dogs when my Daughter was born, and they seemed to sense she was special, and they used to guard her and lay next to her when she was in her moses basket or cot. As she grew they seemed to put up with a toddler around. We always kept an eye and told her no and remove her at times, but it can be a great mix. If done correctly it is a wonderful thing and they seem to have their own bond x

  2. 4th June 2017 / 3:56 pm

    My partner and I would love to get a dog. But we also haven’t got children yet. We think children may come along in a year or two. We are stuck on whether to get a dog first or wait until we have a baby and let them grow up a bit first before getting a puppy. Any advice you can give on our situation would greatly be appreciated!

    • admin
      4th June 2017 / 4:59 pm

      Personally, I do not think there is a right way round to do it, our dog was grown up when we had our Daughter, but he was used to my husbands boys staying with us. Dogs seem to understand that it is a baby and you have to be careful, our dog and my parents dog used to guard her, even when she was in her cot they would lay next to her and were so good when she started crawling and toddling x

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