If you're considering a dog for your child with ADHD, you are in the right place. While the breeds that make for the best pets can be highly subjective, some traits might be more or less desirable for certain families.
So, what's the best breed of dog for a child with ADHD? In this article, we'll talk about why dogs can be beneficial for kids with ADHD and what to look for when it comes to the best dog breeds for a hyperactive child. Then, we'll discuss virtual pets as an addition or alternative to pet ownership.
Is A Dog Good For A Child With ADHD?
Having a dog can be highly beneficial for a child with ADHD. People can even qualify for emotional support animals with an ADHD diagnosis. Dogs can help children with ADHD:
- Stick to a schedule.
- Develop their sense of responsibility.
- Get in physical activity.
- Cope with emotional triggers.
- Boost their self-esteem.
Pet ownership can also support enjoyment and overall quality of life. Now, let’s go over some of the factors you might want to consider, as well as some of the top dog breeds for a child with ADHD.
The Best Breed Of Dog For A Hyperactive Child
As you know, getting a dog is a commitment, so you are making the right move by doing your research beforehand. When it comes to choosing an ideal dog for a hyperactive child, the breed may matter. After all, you want the dog to be a good fit both in terms of physical energy and personality. Beyond what you find online, it's smart to consider traits such as:
- If you want a dog with a calm temperament.
- If you prefer larger or smaller, more delicate dogs.
- The amount of physical activity the dog will require.
- The size of dog your home has the space for.
All of these things can help you seal the deal and make the right decision. With all of that said, what dog breeds are best for kids with ADHD? Consider these dog breeds for a hyperactive child. We'll start with the pet we know best--our own.
Try Joon - An Alternative Virtual Pet
Joon is a new kind of video game that motivates children with ADHD to complete their daily routines and tasks. How does this relate to pet ownership? The game is centered around caring for a virtual pet called a Doter. In order to care for the Doter, kids must complete "quests," which are really household chores and related activities, like eating breakfast, making the bed, doing schoolwork, or getting dressed. This supports executive function, independence, and task completion. Even if you do have a pet in the home, your child can use and benefit from Joon. See for yourself why Joon is the top toy for ADHD children.
Benefits of A Virtual Pet
Not all families are able to be dog owners, whether that's due to space, cost, or for another reason. With a Joon, your child gets to reap the advantages of having a pet, such as building responsibility, time management skills, and engaging in helpful routines without the commitment and risks of pet ownership. A virtual pet won't make a mess, and even kids who aren't ready to take care of a real-life pet can use an app like Joon. It's a lot cheaper, too. With a virtual pet, after all, there aren't any vet bills. Joon is safe and affordable, and many parents find that it improves their parent-child relationship in addition to other benefits.
Golden retrievers are known for being playful yet gentle and affectionate. They're also highly intelligent and intuitive. This combination makes them both fantastic family dogs and great pets for kids with ADHD. As far as size goes, golden retrievers are most often around 55-75 pounds.
Similar to golden retrievers, labrador retrievers have a reputation for being intelligent, friendly, and affectionate. However, they're somewhere from 55 to 80 pounds in size.
Beagles are affectionate and loyal. They are eager and often require a lot of physical activity. If you're looking for a smaller dog that shares the friendliness of a labrador retriever or golden retriever, this could be an excellent fit, as they are less than half the size.
Jack Russells are energetic dogs, making them a strong match for a hyperactive child with ADHD. They have lively personalities and are highly intelligent, as well as easy to train. Another great choice if you’re interested in smaller dogs, Jack Russells love running and chasing after toys, and they’re usually around 13-18 pounds.
Corgis are known for being friendly, loyal, intelligent, loving, and obedient. These traits make corgis easy to train. They're usually around 30 pounds but could be as low as 16 pounds, or as high as 40 pounds.
Cocker spaniels are both lively and gentle. They're affectionate and friendly, and while they aren't ideal as a watchdog, they make for a wonderful companion. They're usually in the 25-32 pound range.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is smaller than a cocker spaniel at around 13-18 pounds. However, they are just as affectionate and gentle. This makes a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel an excellent option for a family in search of a smaller dog.
Collies are intuitive, loyal, and loving. They’re also highly intelligent and quick to learn new things. Medium in size, these dogs have fantastic personalities and are easy for dog trainers to work with.
Bernese Mountain Dog
These dogs are considered large at around 79-110 pounds, but there's no need to be intimidated. Bernese Mountain Dogs have fantastic personalities and can be a splendid dog breed for the right family. They're affectionate, friendly, intelligent, and eager to please. With these features in mind, professional dog trainers tend to love them and have an easy time with training.
Around 49-88 pounds in size, these dogs are confident, gentle, courageous, and intensely loyal. A German Shepard may take a little more time to make friends, but they will stick by your side, making them a great dog for a child who needs a friend and emotional support.
It's not to say that other breeds can't make fabulous pets for kids with ADHD, but hopefully, this list gives your family a solid place to start.
Which Dog Should I Choose?
When it comes the time to pick a dog, you want to think of what's realistic for your family and the specific traits that stand out to you. In this sense, the best dog for your child or family is highly individual. If you have a small home or apartment and the personality aligns with the needs of your family, a Yorkshire terrier, for example, could be the pet for you. When you’re on your search, spend some time with various dogs first. See who your child and family are drawn to most. As for cost, it’ll vary depending on where you get your pet. Consider getting a rescue animal; it’s a win-win because you’ll save money and will potentially save a life, too. Often, you'll be able to find a place to rescue a pet in your area if you search the web for "rescue animals near me" or "rescue dogs near me."
You can also try an alternative virtual pet if you’re not quite ready for a dog.
While pet ownership doesn’t replace ADHD treatment, a dog can make an excellent addition to the family and can help a child with ADHD in various ways. Dogs can enhance the life and functioning of a child with ADHD by acting as a companion, providing emotional comfort, aiding in the creation and maintenance of routines, and more.
The best dog breed can vary from family to family, but there are some dog breeds that are more likely than others to be a good match for kids with ADHD. Labrador and golden retrievers, beagles, and cocker spaniels are all examples of ideal pets for children who veer on the side of hyperactivity.
Consider factors such as energy level and the size of the dog before you get a dog for your family. Virtual pets make a viable alternative for families who can't take on a pet, and apps like Joon come with a wide range of benefits regardless of if your family has a pet in the home or not.