Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I wanted to run down a few of the best small dog breeds for kids, then have a look at some of the not so good breeds.
Beagles are excellent animals to have around children, and other dogs, as a general rule. They often have issues with other smaller animals, however, since they do like to hunt. So if opening your door to find next doors rabbit lying on your step doesn’t fill you with glee then you might want to invest in some decent fencing. That aside, beagles have their problems, most notably with obesity. Its important that a beagle is fed properly, so no scraps from the table. Also, regular walks are needed as well as challenging games to keep the dog's mind active. Failure to do this can lead to a grouchy animal that barks all the time and can be quite disruptive.
The reputation of the poodle is quite inaccurate. Many would have you believe the poodle is the airhead type of dog that lives only to be groomed. This has been proven not to be the case, though, as they have been officially registered as the second most intelligent of all the popular breeds of dog, second only to the Collie. Poodles are exceptionally smart and able to take instruction well. In lots of countries they are used by the police as work dogs and to aid those with visual impairments. So no air heads here. They are also very good with children.Plus their life span commonly stretches beyond a decade, so your children will (all other things being equal) grow up with their pet beside them.
Like the Beagle, poodles can be prone to weight gain, so the usual tips of no food from the table, portion control and lots of exercises all apply here. The coat on a poodle is hypoallergenic, which means those with dog allergies can own poodles, but left to grow even a little and a poodle will need daily grooming. So unless you are happy with such a heavy grooming regime, I suggest that you keep your poodle's hair short.
While its true that all small dog breeds can suffer from small dog syndrome, I have tried not to consider this as a factor here. With a stable and decent upbringing, a dog should really be well rounded without a chip on its shoulder about its size. So, not counting for the attitude problems that a poorly brought up small dog may have, I want to consider those dogs now that would not be suitable for families with kids, particularly small kids. For the record, what I am about to say next breaks my heart.
Dachshunds are funny creatures, and I do not mean just to look at. They have an odd mixture of temperament, more than likely caused by their being bred as a hunting animal. They are exceptionally loyal animals, and highly protective, which would only stand to work in their favor if you were asked if they would be a good fit for a young family. But there is this other side to them, an instinctive side that causes them to chase anything that runs away from them. Just like in the old days where they would be hunting badgers or squirrels. That's not good to have when you have small children that almost always like to run around for no reason. Many Dachshunds also have a reputation for being snappy. Which is never good around kids.
The other issue is that your young family may not be a good fit for a dachshund. Dachshunds are prone to suffer from spinal conditions, so being handled incorrectly, or having a toddler stumble and fall on them could do serious damage to a dachshunds spine. It would not be the first time that a dachshund was paralyzed because a small child tripped over it.
So as much as it breaks my heart because I love dachshunds, I cannot recommend dachshunds to families with small kids. Older and more responsible kids? Sure, that could work great. But small kids? I just do not think its a great idea.
But the problem is not just the Tzu, but the child too. Children are unpredictable – and noises and sudden movements could freak a Shih Tzu ou, causing it to lash out, owing to fear for its safety. Children and Shih Tzu puppies really ought not to be left alone unsupervised. Because of this fact, I could never recommend Shih Tzus to a family with young children. When the dog matures, or when the kids mature, then its a different story, and the Shih Tzu becomes an amazing family pet. But a Shih Tzu puppy being brought into a family with young children? I would not recommend that.