What breed should I buy for a child living with anxiety? | TeamDogs
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What breed should I buy for a child living with anxiety?

Behaviourist shares her advice to a family looking for a new puppy

Danielle Elton

Posted 4 months ago

Whether a rescue or a puppy, meeting our dogs for the very first time is like love at first sight. 

But there’s a lot more to getting a new dog than simply choosing the cutest - there’s so much to consider.

Part of that process, especially when opting for a puppy, is deciding on what breed you might like. And there are hundreds.

But not every breed is right for every family, they all have different qualities, characteristics and needs.

If you’ve already got pets, that’s another thing to consider. You’ll need to find a dog that can slot into the family and get along with everyone, including any other four-legged members.

While there is lots of advice out there to help make choosing your dog a whole lot easier, sometimes it’s best to ask the professionals. That’s where we can help.

Getty - Sasiistock

One member of TeamDogs got in touch to ask which breed of puppy they should consider buying to help their seven-year-old daughter who is living with severe anxiety.

The hope is that the new addition will give her something to love and be responsible for in order to improve her confidence.

The family already has two dogs, an eight-year-old female Chihuahua called Ethel and a six-year-old male Chihuahua crossed with a Poodle and a Italian Greyhound called Reggie.

And they have the benefit of someone being at home pretty much most of the time, another thing to consider when choosing a breed as some don’t like being alone.

While at TeamDogs we’re huge animal lovers, and between us we have a lot of different breeds, we’re not experts. So instead, we asked someone who is.

Anna Webb, broadcaster, author, nutrition and behaviour expert, who had some advice for this family.

Getty - fotyma

She said: “Choosing the right breed to fit into a multi-dog household needs consideration on a number of levels. Integrating any newcomer causes a shift in the ‘pack’ structure.

“I suggest opting for a complementary breed like a Cavalier, Shih Tzu or Maltese and choose a boy so that the older female Chihuahua’s matriarchal status can remain.”

She also added: “Whilst the puppy is going to be the daughter’s dog, in all likelihood, the puppy will bond with the person at home the most.

“But integrating a new dog is about the holistic picture, it could take time and patience along with defining house rules and boundaries with training all the dogs.

“The positive is that everyone can benefit from a new dynamic, centred on a positive and consistent routine.”

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