13 Best Dogs For Scared Child
[the complete guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Dogs are amazing creatures; they are loyal, adorable, friendly, and wholesome. They are known as man’s best friends for a reason, and it is because of their ability to form strong bonds with us. A dog’s company is therapeutic to many, and fearing dogs is usually not a pleasant experience. If your child is scared of dogs, it is about time that you familiarize them with these lovely beings.

To make your life easier, we compiled a list of dog breeds that will make great pets for kids afraid of dogs. Pick the one that suits you the best, and your child will never fear any dog ever! None of these dogs are aggressive, attacking, or scary in any way.

Best Dogs For Scared Child

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are one of the most famous dogs, and you actively get to see them in movies or tv shows. These dogs are amiable and can vibe with anyone. They are also not on the scary-looking side; instead, they have cute and smiling faces. You can trust a golden retriever with your child, given your dog is well trained.


Beagles have distinctive features, and most people love them for their long ears and compact sizes. If you gaze into a beagle’s eyes, you will instantly melt because of how innocent they look. One of the main reasons for these dogs to make it on this list is their playful behavior. They are also easy to train, so you can teach them to guard and protect your children.


Labradors are loved all around the world, and how can one not love this breed? Children, teenagers, adults, and old folks, no one is resistant to their charm. These dogs are active and intelligent, you can see them working for the armed forces, but they are still ideal for children. Labradors are known for being affectionate and loyal. These are one of the best dogs for a scared child and even first-time owners. If you introduce this dog to your children at a young age, they will have a long-lasting companionship with fond memories to cherish for life.

English Springer Spaniel

English springer spaniel is the cutest dog breed and one of the best dog breeds for scared children. This dog is perfect for children ages six to seven years because it belongs to the medium-sized category. English springer spaniels have tempting eyes and dangling ears, which adds to their attractiveness. They are easily one of the most intelligent dogs, which is always a bonus if your kid loves to play games. It is pretty rare for them to be inactive and lazy because these dogs simply cannot stop jumping around the house.

Newfoundland Dog

Quick fun fact about Newfoundland dogs: Once a Newfoundland saved Napoleon Bonaparte from drowning. Now, these dogs are known to be gentle giants; they are huge but harmless at most times. A lot of people consider the bond between these dogs and children to be endearing. Do not mistake their gentleness for weakness because they can be quite protective of your children when the time arrives. Your kid is bound to fall in love with a Newfoundland dog if you introduce one in their life.


People usually get a Maltese for aesthetics; they do not add much to your life in terms of companionship like other dogs. However, they are still great for children and ideal for people who live in apartments. The small stature of Maltese is quite advantageous to most people because they can be easily carried around, and children love these dogs for the same reason. Not to mention that this breed has terrific and silky smooth fur, so it is hard to keep your hands away from them.

English Setter

English setters have a calm and composed look on their face as if they are an old wizard turned into a dog who keeps a mysterious secret. However, these dogs are eager to become a part of your family and would love to play with your kids. This breed of dog is known to be gentle and caring with children. English setters get bonus points from us because they can get along with almost all other house pets that you have. Just take care of their diet and daily activity because they love to be active at all times.

Field Spaniel

Field spaniel dogs will make this list because we love them, and for a good reason. Apart from their attractive and charming looks, this breed is an excellent family dog. You will have no problem training them because they pick up things so fast that you can’t help but admire their intelligence.

Sealyham Terrier

Sealyham Terrier dogs are irresistible because they look so adorable. They are perhaps the best dog breed of all time for kids. Their body is muscular and sturdy, which makes them athletic as well as a great playmate. These dogs are calm in most situations but also hyperactive when it is playtime. These dogs are friendly with everyone and also protective of their family members, so you get the best of both worlds.

Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie is an excellent dog for not just scared children but also adults. Their stance is rigid, and they have a robust body which makes them a superb play buddy. Bearded Collie’s are strong and can play with your kid in almost all weather conditions. These dogs have beautiful eyes, and they are generally friendly to everyone. Their thick fur is like a dream because it is so soft. Bearded Collies have a great character, and they are always loyal to their family members.

Border Collie

Border Collies are common family dogs; they have all the qualities that one looks for in an ideal dog. Their bodies are gentle, yet they are somehow powerful and can accompany you in all games you wish to play with them. Their posture is amusing, and just the sight of it can give your kid a confident boost. Not to mention their fluffy coat, which makes you feel extremely comfy. Border Collies are also easy to train and work with, so you can have them even if you are not experienced with dogs.


Poodles are elegant and flexible dogs, and they make great family pets as well. Their distinctive features set them apart from other dogs, plus their coat is entirely hypoallergenic. So if your child cannot go near a dog due to allergies, they have no such restrictions with poodles.

Icelandic Sheepdog

These dogs come from Iceland and belong to the Spitz breed family; they fall in the medium-size category. They have large almond-shaped eyes and thick fur, which keeps them warm in a cold place like Iceland. Their appearance makes them attractive to kids, and they love having these dogs around. If you ever pet an Icelandic Sheepdog, you will notice that their fur has a similar texture to wool; it is water-resistant as well. If you live in a cold region, these dogs are perfectly adapted for such a climate and will make great family dogs.

Training Your Dog To Play With Children

If your child is fearful of dogs, maybe they had a past incident where a dog attacked them or scared them. In such a case, it is expected for your child to be scared. However, you should take every opportunity you can to get rid of this fear. It can be done in a controlled environment where you supervise the whole thing. Only do this with a trained dog, and as your child starts to notice how well behaved the dog is, their fear is bound to subside.

Do Not Force

If your child’s fear is more appearance-based, and if they fear big and scary-looking dogs, maybe you can start with having a cute dog for starters. As they grow up, they will realize that their fear is irrelevant in most cases, and it will go away. Do not force them into a situation where they are crying and yelling; this makes the child feel unsafe and will probably develop trust issues in the future.

Forming Rules

Our dog experts also recommend setting a few rules that your dog and child must abide by. A good example is not allowing your dog near your kid while eating. Another example is keeping their toys separate. Similar to these, you can form rules of your own and stick to them.

Using Positive Reinforcement

When it comes to training dogs or anyone, positive reinforcement training works the best. So give treats and praise to your dog when they behave appropriately and act according to your requirements. Avoid punishing and yelling at your dog if they portray undesirable behavior, do not react in any way. Using this method will reinforce good behavior in your dog, and they will act right around your kids; soon enough, this will become a habit, and you won’t have to reward them every time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which breed is recommended for a first-time owner?

Most of the dogs mentioned above are suitable for a first-time owner; however, labradors and golden retrievers are always suggested by experts.

What if my child is too afraid of the dog?

You can use something called systematic desensitization, where you slowly increase their exposure level. Now you can simply start with petting a dog or even start by showing a picture.

How do I train my dog?

If you are experienced with dogs, you can train them at home, but we would ask you to opt for a professional trainer to be on the safe side.


Children should have exposure to dogs because the experience of receiving such unconditional love lasts with a person for their entire life. If your children are scared, desensitize them to dogs by bringing home a breed mentioned above.

Train your child to be around dogs with positive reinforcement and also take care of their safety. Kids usually do not understand how to interact with adults, let alone dogs. Teach them how to treat a dog, the correct way to pet one, and things they should avoid doing.

You can start with approaching the dog yourself and setting an example to show your kid that the dog is harmless.