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what breed of dog is best for child with autism?

we would like to get a small puppy for our grandson who is autistic, one that stays fairly small.

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:26 PM on Dec. 16, 2009 in Pets

Answers (14)
  • pit bull

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:27 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • do some research on which dogs are least likely to bit. Small dogs actually have fairly high rates of biting and there is even more that go unreported simply because small dogs can't kill a human.
    I would get a medium sized dog. a beagle pit bull or something such as that.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 6:32 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • The problem with getting a puppy is that you don't KNOW what their personality will be like when they get bigger. Plus, a lot of "purebred" dogs have been inbred to the point of having behavioral issues. I think a better option would be to get a slightly older dog from your local SPCA. All those dogs have been put through temperament tests, so they can tell you EXACTLY which one would be best for your child... Plus, you'd be rescuing a homeless animal. Believe me, mutts are oftentimes the ones with the best temperament, and the least amount of health issues.

    I'm sure the PP thought she was funny suggesting a pit bull, but actually, contrary to popular belief, pitbulls are usually incredibly gentle with people, especially kids. They were bred to fight other dogs, but they were also bred to be extremely people friendly....

    Regardless, you should never leave a dog, ANY dog alone with a child.

    Answer by Anouck at 6:35 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • I was referring to the first poster, not the second one... But I should also add that the second poster has a point. In general, small dogs are much more likely to bite than the bigger breeds. You should also keep in mind what your lifestyle is. A beagle, for example, requires an enormous amount of exercise, otherwise they tend to go nuts... So try to think about how much time you can devote to a dog's exercise, and also keep in mind that puppies require a LOT of time and attention in the beginning.

    Answer by Anouck at 6:38 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • at first i was gonna say a lab, because they are verry gentle with people..but then you said small dog....a lot of smaller dogs are very tempermental, and will yap and nip for no apparent reason..i have 2 maltipoo x shihtzu's, theyre brothers, they just turned 1 year old and have complete opposite personalities...1 of them barks and growls at everyone and everything, if you pick him up the wrong way he growls and yaps, if you get mad at him for doing something wrong he holds a grudge for a looooong time, he doesnt always come when called, he hates strangers.... and then the other one is completely loveable,loves everyone and everything, licks ya like crazy!! comes running as soon as you call, hes soooo frickin snuggly, always wants to be near ya, if ya get mad at him, hes back loving ya 20 seconds later...i also have a 2yr old male golden retriever, and he is awesome with my 5yr old, always has been, wouldnt hurt a fly.however

    Answer by alexis_06 at 7:02 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • if a stranger comes walking up to him he gets verrrrrry protective over us. he is a beautiful dog, and people always wanna come up and pet him, and yaaaaa, he barks and jumps and stuff..(sooo not what a golden ret, is supposed to be like) but hes perfect with alexis, she rides him around like a horse, pushes him around, drags him he looves it!! so ya cvant really say what breed is best,..its whatever the bond is like between the dog and the child...whenever you do decide to go dog hunting, make sure you bring your child with you so that you can see how the dog and child are together..i personally have never rescued from a shelter, but many friends have and they said it was great because they can ell you what the dogs will be like with your family, and what they need/want, good with kids, other pets of luck to ya finding the perfect dog!! :)

    Answer by alexis_06 at 7:07 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • Beagles are generally very sweet without much of a bite instinct. They're also pretty small. There are a lot of beagle rescues that have dogs that have been living with foster families. You can probably find one that has lived with kids and that is more gentle. Since an autistic child might have more unpredictable behavior than his same-age peers, look for a dog that has experience either with children that have autism, or with younger kids such as toddlers that are more likely to be unpredictable or grabby.

    Have you trained a dog before? If you have experience with training a dog and have the ability to care for a puppy, a puppy can be an excellent choice since the puppy would grow up with your child and would know more of what to expect with the child. But like someone said, you can't know what the dog's temperament will be as an adult.

    Answer by Gruntlings at 7:37 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • Bull terrier or Staffordshire bull terrier. Both are known for being good with children, they are hardy healthy breeds, they are known for being very in tune with human emotions, and they have a very high pain threshold which makes them less likely to bite a child that is ruffing around with them. Both breeds are small/medium sized breeds (I wouldn't recommend going to small when there are children around) with females being smaller then males.


    Answer by Blueliner at 12:14 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Labs are very tolerant and good with kids. My kids lay all over ours all the time. Terriers are good dogs too. They are very hyper & all heart. Smaller dogs tend to be more aggressive. They have to compensate for their size.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 9:17 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Pit Bulls are used as therapy dogs across the board. However because of the stigma attached to the breed, a lot of people are afraid of them. Bully's are known for their gentle disposition with children, and like a PP mentioned, they are very in tune with human emotions. We have an American Pit Bull Terrier (male), and a Pit Bull/Boxer mix (female). If I, or one of the children is upset, our Male is even more loving and caring than he usually is. The bull terrier breeds were tested by the American Temperament Test Society and scored incredibly high...they were up there with Golden Retrievers and Labs.

    Size wise, as long as you're not getting one that's been bred to be incredibly bulky, you will end up with a medium sized dog. Our male is about 50 lbs. They have very few health issues to speak of, and I believe a rescued bully would make a wonderful pet for your grandson. go to for more info :)

    Answer by milfalicious08 at 11:21 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

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