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Best Dog Breeds for Scared Kids: 2024 Guide

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Searching for the perfect pup for your scared child can be a daunting task. But with our 2023 Guide to the Best Dog Breeds for Scared Kids, you’ll quickly and easily find one that will make an excellent companion.

From Poodles to Bull Terriers, we have laid out all of the information you need about these breeds so that you can choose which one is best suited for your family.

We also cover why some children are afraid of dogs in general and provide insight into why certain breeds may not like kids or vice versa.

Key Takeaways

best dog for scared child

  • Poodles, Irish Setters, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Bull Terriers are suggested dog breeds for scared children.
  • Size and temperament should be considered when choosing a breed for a scared child.
  • Socialization from an early age is important for dogs and children to build trust and prevent anxiety.
  • Desensitization and counter-conditioning can help dogs feel more comfortable around children and reduce fear.

Best Dogs for Scared Children

Best Dogs for Scared Children
Choosing the right dog breed for a scared child can be a daunting task. Many factors such as size, temperament, and exercise requirements should be taken into consideration when selecting the best fit.

Popular breeds suggested include Poodle, Irish Setter, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, German Shepherd, and Bull Terrier; all of which have unique characteristics that could make them suitable for children with fear issues.


You could consider a Poodle if you’re looking for an energetic and gentle companion to help your child overcome their fear of dogs. This low-maintenance breed is easy to train, socialize, and groom. Its teddy bear nature makes it perfect for children who need extra comfort or assurance.

Here are some tips:

  • Train children on how to interact safely with dogs.
  • Socialize both kids and puppies early on.
  • Choose the right breed based on size & temperament.
  • Get veterinary care when needed.

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter’s luscious red coat and friendly personality make it an ideal family member for those looking to help their child overcome their fear of dogs. With its energetic nature, exercise requirements, and socializing capabilities, this breed can become a kid’s best friend quickly.

Its gentle demeanor is perfect for small children who need extra comfort or assurance that they won’t be invaded by space.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

With its good-natured personality and high intelligence, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an excellent companion for children who are afraid of dogs. The tolling retriever’s gentle giant qualities make it a great fit as it can provide security without feeling too overwhelming.

Its big eyes also give off a trusting vibe that helps kids feel comfortable around them.

Parents should still be mindful of providing enough socialization techniques and avoiding space invasions when possible in order to manage any anxiety their child may have with animals.

All in all, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever makes for an incredible companion due to its temperament and need for human contact – making it one of the best breeds suited for scared children!

  • Gentle Giant Qualities
  • Big Eyes Give Off Trusting Vibe
  • Socialization Techniques & Space Invasions Management

German Shepherd

Known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature, the German Shepherd can be an excellent companion for those seeking a reliable friend. Its temperament makes it great with children if socialization is done properly. However, traumatic experiences or space invasion could lead to anxious behavior.

When choosing this breed as a family pet, parents should take into consideration that bully breeds may not always have the best way of interacting with kids. Veterinary attention must be sought immediately in case of any signs of illness.

German Shepherds are renowned for being great family pets when raised correctly.

Bull Terrier

You’ll love the Bull Terrier’s loyal and playful nature; it’s a great companion for children, although its size requires extra caution. For first-time pet owners, this breed can be an excellent choice as they come in different sizes and are easy to train.

Socialization from an early age will help ensure your pup grows into a good fit for scared children.

With proper training, the Bull Terrier makes an ideal family pet that offers safety and understanding to all those who live with it!

Why is Your Child Scared of Dogs?

Why is Your Child Scared of Dogs?
Understanding why your little one is afraid of dogs can be a challenge. Fear in children could stem from traumatic experiences, parental fears, lack of interaction, and more. To pick the right breed for them, it’s important to consider size and temperament.

Big dogs like Great Danes may look intimidating, but their gentle nature makes them great family pets. Socialization also plays an important role. If puppies are exposed to people at an early age, they will usually be less fearful when interacting with humans later on in life.

Additionally, some breeds don’t appreciate having their space invaded by kids either. According to Vet Street, this includes Cane Corsos as well as Rottweilers due to their protective instincts. It’s essential that parents teach children appropriate behavior around animals while managing underlying anxiety through desensitization or counter-conditioning techniques before calling upon a vet for help.

The Calmest Dog Won’t Solve a Child’s Problem

The Calmest Dog Won’t Solve a Child’s Problem
Even if you find the most pleasant pup, it won’t necessarily address your child’s fear. Teaching etiquette around dogs and building trust are essential processes that need to be implemented before addressing any underlying anxiety.

Behavioral patterns can differ depending on a dog’s socialization process and negative experiences they may have had in their lifetime. This is especially true for relatively large breeds like Rottweilers and Cane Corsos, who don’t appreciate having their space invaded by kids.

While blog posts often recommend these two breeds when it comes to children with fears of dogs, this common phrase should not always be trusted. Any breed has the potential to become great with kids, but individual behavior depends on each animal’s temperament and how they were raised or treated previously.

If signs of illness appear, then calling upon a vet is advised! Ensuring safety for both dog and child must come first.

Why Does My Dog Not Like Kids?

Why Does My Dog Not Like Kids?
It’s understandable to be concerned if your pup doesn’t get along with kids. Many factors can contribute to a dog not liking children, including socialization, temperament, and past experiences. If your pooch has had little interaction with youngsters before or was mistreated in the past, they may become startled by them or react aggressively when their space is invaded.

French Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are often seen as lap dogs; however, even these breeds can have reactions that surprise owners if they’re not used to being around small ones! These two pups could still make great pets for scared children – just remember that desensitizing and counter-conditioning will likely need to be employed so everyone feels safe when together again.

If you want an animal best known for its cuddly nature, then look no further than curly-furred breeds such as Poodles, Irish Setters, or Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, which tend to form strong bonds with family members of all ages! Ultimately, any pet comes down to its individual personality – but following these tips should help ensure a happy home environment for both humans and animals alike!

Choosing the Right Breed

Choosing the Right Breed
Choosing the right breed of dog for a scared child is incredibly important, as it can make all the difference in their relationship with your pup. Parental fears, traumatic experiences, and lack of interaction should be taken into consideration when selecting a breed.

Size, temperament, and exercise requirements are key elements to consider. Poodle, Irish Setter, or Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever could be great options if you’re looking for an animal that forms strong bonds.

German Shepherd or Bull Terrier may suit energetic kids better. Bernese Mountain Dog or Newfoundland are excellent choices if space isn’t an issue. Great Dane or Cane Corso might fit more active households while Rottweiler could meet those families who prefer protective breeds.

Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning

Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning
Desensitizing and counter-conditioning your pup can help them learn how to interact with children – even if they’ve had negative experiences in the past! To do this, you’ll need to identify their fear triggers and start a socialization process.

This includes carefully selecting the right breed for your scared child; one that has a gentle temperament, requires only moderate exercise, and doesn’t have curly hair or drool too much. It also involves getting veterinary care if necessary, as well as engaging in proper dog training sessions with an experienced professional.

These activities will go a long way towards helping children overcome their fear of dogs while teaching them how to behave around animals safely at home or elsewhere.

With patience and understanding from both sides involved, you’ll be able to create strong bonds between fearful children and friendly pups, regardless of what happened previously with the neighbor’s dog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the signs that my child is scared of dogs?

Your child may show signs of fear when they come across a dog, such as screaming and crying, clinging to you, or becoming stiff. They might also try to hide behind you or run away from the animal. If this happens, it is important to remain calm and reassure your child that they are safe around dogs.

How can I get my dog to be comfortable around kids?

Teaching your dog to be comfortable around children requires patience and consistency. Start by introducing them slowly, give positive reinforcement for good behaviors, and create a safe space so they can feel secure.

Is it possible to train a dog to be friendly with children?

Yes, it is possible to train a dog to be friendly with children. Desensitization and counter-conditioning are effective methods that can help them learn how to interact safely. Socialization and temperament play an important role in this process – larger breeds may not be suitable for young kids.

What are the most important considerations when choosing a dog breed for scared children?

When choosing a breed for a scared child, remember the old adage: Choose wisely. Look at size, temperament, and exercise needs to ensure your pup is best suited to your family.

How can I tell if my dog is ill or injured?

If your dog is showing signs of illness or injury, it’s best to contact a vet. Look for obvious physical symptoms such as limping, lack of appetite, and changes in behavior like lethargy or aggression.

You may also notice an increase in vocalization that can indicate pain or discomfort.


If you’re looking for a dog for a scared child, it’s important to consider the individual animal’s size, temperament, and exercise requirements. It’s also important to teach kids how to interact with dogs and to use desensitization and counter-conditioning when needed.

While it’s possible to find the perfect breed for a scared child, it’s also true that any dog can be great with kids, but individual dogs may not be. The bottom line is that you’re never guaranteed a perfect match, but by doing your research and considering all of the factors, you can increase your chances of finding a pup that’s a great fit for your family.

So don’t let fear stop you from welcoming a four-legged family member; instead, let’s embrace the endless possibilities of finding the perfect pet for your scared child.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.