Your list of breeds is still pretty long. I think you probably need a person (or group) to help you through the selection process. If I were you, I'd contact the nearest golden retriever rescue, and describe your situation. Since temperment is crucial to you, it might be better to adopt an adult (where the personality is better known) than to get a puppy.
Small and toy breeds should come off the list first. Second much depend on the severity of the DS and their level of understanding when comes to proper treatment of a dog. Any dog, great temperament or not can snap at or turn antisocial to children if they are mishandled.
In your situation, I'm not sure if a dog is the right thing. A puppy would be less likely to be the best idea. I would go with the rescue suggestion, and consider an older dog that has been temperament tested, introduced to your family, the rescue can help you make the right choice for your situation. Rescues will take the dog back if once you get it, the situation does not work out.
I think your best bet is either a Labrador or Golden Retriever. These breeds have the best temperaments - but they too will require training. Would it be possible for you to adopt a trained service dog for people with special needs? If that option is available to you, I would explore it (I'm not sure what the cost may be).
Definatly take any toy breeds off your list. Also the Schn. and cocker can have temperment problems. Most terriers can be a bit agressive just becuase they were breed to hunt. Most of the time, not towards people, but things can change.
Depending on how severe your childern are, any dog can become a problem if not handled properly. It is really not as much a breed issue as it is your childern. Do they understand well enough and are gentle enough for a dog. Once that question has been anwsered, do you have the time to train the dog? Working with one disabled child is a full time job, and I can imagine working with 3. Any breed you decide will need lots of training, no matter which breed you choose.
I would personally search for a place that may already have trained disablity dogs. I know there is the Seeing eye foundation for the blind, maybe there is something for DS childern/adults also. It wont be easy, and there may be a long waiting list. I personally can come up with several breed that I think would do well with your kids, Labs, std poodles, Goldens, and even an Aussie(yes I am partial, but have sold to disabled). The biggest problem I forsee, is not the breed, or even the dog itself, it is the time required to train any hyper young dog or puppy. Rescue is a great idea if you can get back ground on the dog in question. Being a part of rescue, that is not always easy, nor truthful.
I agree with the other posters - I was just watching a show called Dog 101, and they indicated that the chihuaha is not a good choice for kids, since they have fragile bones, and if dropped by a child will most certainly have broken bones.
The lab and golden seem to be the best choice as they are wonderful with children, although larger dogs, they are very gentle and loyal dogs.
But I don't think breed will be the issue here so much as breeding. You want a dog that has the genetics of a saint and the parents to back it up! Really get to know your breeder and make sure its a good fit.
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons -James Thurber
Description Boxer They are very good with children and very trainable. Though they have a reputation for being strong willed, this is usually a result of owners who were too indulgent when they were puppies.
Labs and goldens are great dogs I love them! I just remembered my four boys playing with our Boxer Hooch on the floor. He adored our children and never got tired of them. That said ,children must learn to be considerate and to respect the dog. I think that going the rescue route and having the expertise of a dog behaviorist would be a great asset to your search to find the right dog. Good Luck !
From my experience with children having Down's Syndrome, I think a dog is a great idea. The children I have met with DS are so affectionate, kind hearted, and friendly. The only behaviour you might have to watch out for is too much affection towards the dog! I would also not recommend a Chihuahua, Yorkie, Cocker Spaniel or the Pomeranian. I think all the other choices would work, plus a few more. The most gentle dog I have ever owned was an English Springer Spaniel. Another very calm and friendly dog is the Greyhound.I would say whatever dog you choose, to check out the breeder thoroughly, and do your research on the specific breed you choose; so you know what health problems may arise. I would really not recommend the English Bulldog, although I love the breed, simply because of the skin and eye issues that are so common with them.Good luck with finding the perfect puppy, or dog for your family !
I think a Golden would be your best choice as well. But still would not rule out all the terrier breeds as someone else posted. Yes my dogs do hunt, but also have worked in nursing homes and with kids. I actually have placed a pup with a family who has a DS child and it was a wonderful match. My stud dog is certified as a service dog as well. You just need to work with a breeder or rescue group who knows their dogs and their temperments to get a good match for your family.
He's your friend,your partner,your defender your dog.You are his life,his love,his leader. He will be yours faithful and true to the last beat of his heart.You owe it to him to worthy of such devotion
I would definitely recommend the Shih Tzu. They are the most loyal dog you will ever find. My 13 year old sister has a Shih Tzu and he has a great temperament, lovable and completely attached to her hip. He seems to never be moody and likes nothing more than to be with her. They are great animals for children, but also adults.. they bond very well with their families.
I like the idea of the Golden or Lab. They have such great big hearts. But I would not cross the Pug Dog off your list. Granted, they are a toy breed, but they are so sweet and gentle--bred to be companions and lap warmers. They are described as having the heart of a lab in a small package. I have had four Pugs and they love nothing more than being close to their humans. They are sturdy and can tolerate walks and runs (as long as it isn't too hot!) They are smart and easily trained. I have never ever had one of mine snap at a child, growl or show any sign of aggression. And they are funny little clowns that will bring lots of joy and laughter to your home.
God bless you and yours and good luck with any doggie you choose.
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read!! Groucho Marx
I agree with crossing yorkies, chihuahua's, ect. off the list. I adore my Golden, and my cavalier is spectacular too. Now that my golden is a grown up, they are also remarkably similar in temperment, just not in size.
I agree that a dog would be great therapy for your children. I would highly recommend a shichon. This is a mix of a shih tzu and a Bichon Frise. ( I know I will get lots of hate replies, because many are against mixes.) But these have the greatest temperaments. Never snippy. They are not fragile. They love to be cuddled and to play. They don't need a lot of yard space for exercise. The perfect pet in my opinion.
I am new to this forum, and I am a bit biased, but I have seen several shows about dogs and special needs children. It might suprise you to know that one breed that has shown great promise with special needs kids is the bull terrier. It is a hardy dog that will not hurt easilie, and is a great family pet that bonds well with children. They can be a bit rough when they play, but if your kids are like mine, they will tire each other out. My bully loves to chase my son around. Good luck!
I have placed Bullmastiffs with families that included special needs children and have trained them as therapy dogs myself so I know this is a breed that is especially calm and gentle with children. Bullmastiffs I owned and bred were used by a local psychologist in his counseling sessions with autistic and other kids with emotional problems. He said he had never seen such trustworthyness in another breed. He eventually bought one of my pups for his own family.No matter what breed is chosen it is vital to have temperament testing done by a professional trainer prior to purchase.
I would suggest a toy breed, something they can holdand enjoy but not feel intemidated by. To make your life easier I suggest a Shi Tzu because they do not shed and they wonderful with children. pamperedprincess
Sophie Anne 8year old Shih Tzu and definately my pride & joy Birthday Sept.1 pamperedprincess
Hi, I am biased and think labs are best:) (just joking) But seriously PLEASE visit or do your research and some things you need to consider are grooming requirements, as Goldens are AWESOME also but are you up for their long coats and if not then knock all the long hair breeds off your list. MANY dog breeds make exceptional therapy dogs the most important thing for you to consider is temperment and you need to find a breeder that does concentrate on this, also a breeder that socializes with KIDS would be great, and puppies that ARE HANDLED everyday not born in a barn, also may be consider an OLDER pup that has had some training. Unless you spend countless hours with a rescue dog and can be assurred 100% of it's temperment can be trusted with your children, it may not be the right choice unless you have someone you trust who can help you with this choice. Even labs and goldens and other bigger breeds can be gentle but still knock kids over in excitment. I would consider an older retired therapy dog from a breeder too, as they usually are already trained which would be easier for you and tolerable. Look into agencies that train dogs for therapy as they have dogs that are already trained but did not pass for silly reasons sometimes. GOOD LUCK and GOD BLESS YOU!!!