6 Reasons Dogs Are Great for Kids

Follow me, pup!Follow me, pup!I am a dog person, no doubt about it. I was raised with dogs - we were never without at least one dog in the family throughout my growing up years - and I've always had at least one dog in our family since becoming an adult myself.

Dogs are good folks, and I think my kids are better off for having our canine family members in their lives.

And while I totally respect that dog ownership isn't right for every family, for those families who ARE able to take on the care of a canine, I can think of a great many reasons why having dogs around is good for growing kids.

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Woof!Woof!Dogs are good listeners
J is 16 now, and like all teenagers, she sometimes feels like her human family members don't really listen as well as we could. But Leo always listens, anytime one of the kids needs to talk.

Woof!Woof!Dogs just know when kids need a little extra attention
This is J at age 11 after a long, tiring day at a horseshow. Curled up at her head is Fiat, our insane Jack Russell mix. J was really sad that evening because the horseshow hadn't gone well for her; she hadn't done too well, and she was disappointed and feeling blue. Fiat immediately sensed that she was down, and he didn't leave her side all night, and stuck close even after she fell asleep. As obnoxious as Fiat can be, he knows when one of the kids needs some extra love.

Related: Potty Training - 5 reasons why a pet is easier than a kid

Woof!Woof!Dogs never make fun of you
This photo is of E at age 6, trying to teach himself to knit while Mabel, our now elderly pug mix sat next to him and gnawed on his ball of yarn, keping him good company. If E had told his little boy friends he wanted to learn to knit, some of them undoubtedly would have teased him about that being a "girl" thing. But a dog-friend never judges or teases. Instead, she just hangs out next to you and drools on your knitting needles.

Woof!Woof!Dogs never get tired of hugs
This is four year old C with Leo, and no matter how much she hangs all over him or wants to pet and love on him, he never complains.

Related: 10 ways my dog has prepared me for parenthood

Woof!Woof!Dogs don't mind standing in for toys
Here's J playing with the doll stroller she got for her 10th birthday, and if you look closely, you can see that the "doll" she's strolling up and down our street is actually Cookie, a very agreeable miniature dachshund.

Woof!Woof!Dogs make excellent lounging pillows
G with Leo, watching Sesame Street. 'Nuff said.

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