The best dog breeds for children and families

Best breeds for children Hungarian Vizsla

‘A dog is a man’s best friend’ isn’t just a saying; in my opinion, it is the truth. I’d even say that a dog is a child’s best friend. I am sure that anyone who has both a child and dog will agree with me.

Having a dog as a companion in childhood is one of the best memories we can have. Experiencing the unconditional love and playful joy that a dog gives can even influence our personality.

Dogs can teach about unconditional love, forgiveness, acceptance and so much more. They impact on our child’s life and personality in so many ways:

– Responsibility: A dog teaches your child responsibility. Bigger children can be given the responsibility of feeding or even walking the dog, while little ones can learn a bit of responsibility, like putting away their favourite toys. Because they might get chewed if left in the middle of the room 🙂

– Empathy: Children learn how to behave with dogs, and it will nurture a love and respect for animals and nature.

– Importance of family: become closer to family members, brothers and sisters by sharing a common friend.

– Having fun: Child-friendly dogs love playing with children; they can become best buddies, so as parents we can have some nice minutes while they are playing.

– Allergies, health: Studies have shown that babies with dogs are actually healthier that those without dogs, meaning less coughs, runny noses or ear infections. A dog can boost a child’s immune system, so they become stronger and healthier.

But what breed should you choose for your family? The main factor is, of course, how child friendly, gentle and patient the chosen dog breed is.

But you should consider your family’s energy level and lifestyle, so size, temper and disposition are other important issues.

There are also tasks with a dog, so we need to think through whether we can manage these or not.

So we’ve decided to get a new loving and lovable family member!

Let’s see what the best dog breeds for children are in our opinion (in alphabetical order):

  1. Beagle:

Beagle best dog breeds for families

Charlie Brown’s best friend is an ideal dog for families with children. The beagle is friendly, smart and never tires of playing with children. This breed gets along well with other dogs or pets and is sweet, loving and gentle with children.

But keep them on a leash or in a well-fenced yard as they really do follow their nose…

  1. Bernese mountain dog:

Bernese mountain dog best breeds for children

This is a real giant of a dog, but it is extremely gentle with children and interacts well with them. The Bernese is an easy-going, calm and patient family dog, and it is also loyal, sensitive and devoted.

A Bernese should have access to a fenced yard, but when his family is home, it should be with them.

If the giant size is not a problem, then Bernese makes a fantastic family dog.

  1. Collie:

Collie best dog breeds for families

This is the dog breed that Lassie made famous. A Collie is a very predictable and kind breed. It is easy to train and perfect for families that are not used to dogs. Collies get along well with children, and they are eager to please their owners and protect the family. Their stable personality makes them ideal for small children.

Collies are a great watchdog; they are not aggressive, but they will bark a warning and protect if attacked.

But their long hair requires regular grooming to keep their coat beautiful!

  1. Golden Retriever:

Golden Retriever best family dogs

This is one of the most popular dog breeds, which is not just a coincidence as the Golden Retriever is a smart, kind, confident and loyal dog. This breed is extremely patient with children and not aggressive or timid, which makes it a perfect family dog. It is a large breed and needs a lot of exercises, but it can help also to wear out your child too.

  1. Labrador Retriever:

Labrador best dog breeds for children

Labrador Retriever is also one of the most popular dog breeds along with the Golden Retriever, and for good reason of course: it is playful, protective, lovingly patient and reliable. It is a beautiful dog breed in nice colour variants (black, yellow and chocolate) with a sweet personality and of high intelligence.

It is a rather big dog, so it is not recommended for very small apartments or houses. It needs a lot of exercise but can adapt to apartment life.

The Labrador’s friendly nature and eagerness to please makes it one of the best choice of dog breeds for children.

  1. Newfoundland:

Newfoundland best dog breeds for kids

Newfoundland is really a giant dog, but don’t let the size intimidate you, as these kind giants are one of the best family dogs.

It is nicknamed ‘nature’s babysitter’ for good reason, as it loves children and is very protective of them.

Because of its giant stature, it fits a family with a large, open space home. But it is not considered a dog for the yard; this breed really wants to be inside with its family.

  1.  Old English Sheepdog:

Old English Sheepdog best dog breeds for families

The bobtail is one of the more affectionate and loving dog breeds. It is a large sized dog with an unmistakable shaggy coat. It has an easy-going, nice, kind temper, and is a perfect buddy for children. But don’t forget his fur needs to be taken care of regularly.

  1. Poodle:

Poodle best dog breeds for families

Because often given rather interesting haircuts, they can have the ‘beauty without brains’ image, but the Poodle is actually one of the smartest dogs of all.

Of course, Poodles can have a variety of cuts that are more suitable and maintainable for families. They are also great for children with allergies as they shed little fur, but they require regular grooming.

Poodles are caring, loyal and cheerful dogs, have a good nature and a lot of patience, which make them an excellent playing buddy for children.

Generally, the larger breeds are the best for children, but if you want a smaller dog then a medium, miniature or toy-sized Poodle can be a good choice.

  1. Spinone Italiano:

Spinone Italiano best dog breeds for children

Spinone Italiano or Italian Griffon is relatively unknown outside Italy; however, it is one of the most used ancient hunting dogs in the country. Besides hunting, it is widely used as a therapy dog, as it is extremely patient, loving and caring with children. In fact, it is so lovely and incredibly patient with children that I’d say this breed is the best family pet of them all!

The Spinone Italiano is affectionate, gentle, devoted and has a real sense of humour. And you will smile just when looking at it as – mostly the orange variants – it bears a striking resemblance to Wookie from Star Wars.

  1. Vizsla:

Hungarian Vizsla best dog breeds for families

This might be a breed that you haven’t heard before, but it is actually one of the best breeds for children. Vizsla has a gentle, kind and extremely loyal character and manner, and it is a perfect pet for the family. In addition, it is obedient, smart confident and learns quickly. And on top of that the Vizsla has very little ‘doggy’ smell.

Vizsla is an energetic breed, it can adapt to indoor life, but it needs a lot of exercise.

It is very patient and playful with children, which makes it a perfect buddy. I’d especially recommend the wire-haired variant, as it is a bit calmer than the short-haired.

And last but not least, Vizsla is one of the most elegant and beautiful dogs in my opinion.

 

9 Tips on How to Entertain a Child on an Airplane

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Travelling with young children can be daunting, but travelling by plane with a toddler can be an absolute nightmare, as we can all imagine.

Children can get bored easily, and you can’t ask them to sit still for hours to avoid disturbing the other passengers.

And when trapped in a plane with a screaming child, there are the sympathising and understanding looks from others, but we also know the other types of looks!

But not to worry! We have some great tips for you on how to survive the trip and keep your child entertained.

1. Bag of tricks:

As we suggested for a restaurant visit, prepare a little bag with items such as small toys, little puzzles, memory card games, etc., which he/she enjoys playing with.

2. Little presents:

Small toys, like little dolls or cars can keep them busy for longer periods.

3. Arts and Crafts:

Bring crayons, papers and a colouring book with you or print out drawings of some favourite character from the web. All children love to colour, and mostly they enjoy colouring with Mam or Dad.

4. Stickers:

This is one of my secret weapons. My daughter enjoys stickers, so before trips I buy her sticker books with tons of stickers.

5. Finger puppets:

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You can make a show with your little one. In particular, 2-4 year old children love it.

6. Books:

It doesn’t sound like the most entertaining thing, but getting a book about an airplane, airport or the destination city you are going to, can be big fun for the children.

7. Get a ride-on suitcase for your child

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It is not the cheapest thing, but if you travel a lot by plan it is worth buying one. Brands like Trunki, Molto and others make them.

Your child can also sit on it while waiting in long queues. And with the strap you can pull your child if there is a long way to go to the departure gate.

8. Bubble wrap

Sounds silly but who doesn’t like it? So if there is a little peace of bubble wrap, it can keep your little one busy for a while…J

9. Emergency tantrum kit:

This is the last reserve solution, if the situation turns very bad. Pack your child’s favourite sweets or treats, lollipops, chocolates or whatever helps to keep them busy and avoid a full tantrum. Of course, the goal is to keep this bag untouched.

I wouldn’t suggest rewarding bad behaviour and I don’t like giving sweets to children, but the desire to avoid possible public humiliation can be stronger in certain situations.

And here are some extra tips and pieces of advice:

– Comfort:

Beside the comfortable cloth and the extra spare clothes, grab some extra pacifier and favourite blankets, just in case one gets dirty or lost.

– Take a pillow:

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Small children can sit on it, so they can see out of the window better, and sleeping is more comfortable with a pillow.

– Sugary treats are the enemy

This statement contradicts the ‘Emergency tantrum kit’ tip. But that tip is only recommended in case of emergency, and emergency only. Normally try to avoid giving sugary snacks to your little one to avoid a sugar-rush, as this produces a more energetic child.

So, try to pack fruit, crackers or other things that don’t contain sugar.

– Drink helps ears during take off and landing:

Taking off and landing can be hard on adults too, as our ears can pop and hurt too, but it is even harder for children. To avoid such an inconvenience, give them something to drink or eat during take off and landing. The sucking motion stops their ears from popping and they will feel much better soon.

– Bring a big amount of hand sanitiser:

You will feel better for having it with you, if nothing else. But you will probably end up using it too.

So if you use some of the tips above, we are sure your child will enjoy the flight much better, and you will feel much better too.

But don’t be too relaxed until your child turns 6-8 years; you still don’t need to buy any magazines yet J.

TripTripHurray is featured in Estonian Air’s in-flight magazine!

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Autumn handcraft with kids

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Don’t feel down because summer is over and the days are shorter! For kids autumn can be the best season, with its changing leaves, lovely weather, pumpkins and lot of family fun, like making autumn handicrafts.

You don’t need to spend lots of money in special shops, as you can get all you need from nature. While taking an autumn walk with your kids, you can find colourful leaves, acorns, chestnuts and more.

Let’s go back to being kids ourselves and enjoy this fun. Our kids will definitely enjoy it: no question!

Just let your and your kids’ fantasy go wild; here are some tips.

– Leaf drawing:

autumn handcraft with kids hedgehog

This is the most obvious autumn craft, and one of the best. We draw the basic line, like the head of a hedgehog, the contour of an owl or a clown, the leg of a chicken and so on. The rest you can create with your leaves and with your imagination.

– Painting leaves:

autumn handcraft with kids leaf

Autumn leaves have wonderful colours and we can make beautiful composition with them. But we can also have some fun making rainbow-coloured leaves or convert our leaf into a sweet little insect.

We need only some leaves, some tempera paint and our fantasy.

– Chestnut animals:

autumn handcraft with children

I think this is one of the favourite autumn crafts for all ages. For the easiest ones, we need only chestnuts, matches or toothpicks; for the more complicated ones, we should use a knife and other materials like, glue, fur, wool, etc.

We can make the traditional ones, like a chestnut man, dog or horse, but we can also make almost anything with a little bit of imagination and creativity.

– Cork printed autumn composition:

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This is a very easy and quick autumn handicraft with children, and thanks to Dad we always have cork at home.J

We simply need to paint the tree or bush on our paper, then dip the cork into the nice autumn colours paints and start printing all over until your tree and bush is full of colours.

– Pumpkin Jack-o’-lantern:

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Carving pumpkins is getting more and more popular in Europe among families with kids. Children enjoy the process of making it and it can be lovely family fun.

For cutting and carving, we may need the help of Dad, but kids can draw where to make the pumpkin’s eyes and mouth.

This is a very good step-by-step guide to it; you simply need to follow the instructions and enjoy the result on dark autumn evenings:

http://www.wikihow.com/Light-a-Pumpkin-for-Halloween