What is a good breed of dog for a 12 yr old suffering from acute depression?
We have a pointer. Full of energy, good family dogs, nice temprements, always ready to play & will get child out on long, long walks in fresh air.
A golden retriever is a wonderful happy companion. A lab is a good choice too. They are high energy and such clowns. I'm so sorry about this depressed child, a dog might be a wonderful thing for the child.
The dog the kid picks out for himself or herself would be a start.
Please keep in mind, though, that the bigger the dog the more looking after it will need. It is a responsibility. If getting a puppy check out the paws. They will indicate how large the animal is likely to grow. Then also take into account where you live. Sheep dogs such as blue heelers need big backyards. They are very energetic and need to burn up a lot of energy. If they don't burn up a lot of energy the right way they will surely do it in ways you won't like. If you live in a small apartment think small dog. A dog is a pet for life.
I agree with Duffsmom, a lab or golden retriever would be a great choice for a 12 year old who is suffering from depression. Both breeds are used to help people with special needs. I use both breeds during play-therapy classes for young children who suffer from PTS. They are smart, gentle and easy to train.
If you don't necessarily want a large dog, bichon frishe (i believe that is the spelling) are quite loving and playful. Mine is 11 and still acts like a puppy. They are also hypoallergenic which is a plus.
I have had Old English Sheepdogs for years. They are wonderful, protective companions. It is in their nature to "herd their flock" so they tend to keep a very keen out for "predators." Ours have slept in our son's room with him since he was very little. They make him feel safe even now. I think a dog would be a great help for your 12 year old. Hope it helps.
I have had two golden retrievers who were my companions until the end of their lives . . . truly affectionate dogs. The most loving and faithful dog I have ever seen.
I'd say any sweet, loving dog of sound temperament is a good choice. How about not going with a "breed," but instead going to a shelter and saving a life? I'd recommend an adult dog that has some training under its belt though. You don't need the stress of an untrained pup causing more problems. A solid adult dog of any mix from a shelter would be good. Depending on the child's age and your living situation, a medium size to larger dog may be best. Small dogs need very gentle hands. Shelter dogs know they have been saved and reward their owners with tons of unconditional love, which sounds like the ticket for your situation. Discuss this with your child's therapist first though.
I hadn't even considered a shelter dog as an option, but I might take a visit and check it out
Thank you for reminding me of this option perhaps they can help each other out
I agree. Many excellent dogs can be found at shelters. I also agree with going for a well mannered adult dog. So much easier.
I could not agree more with agilitymach's comment. My fiance and i have 3 rescue dogs and I swear they know they were rescued and are so grateful for it. Your son is old enough to understand that he literally saved a dog's life by adopting it, and I would imagine that he will feel a great sense of accomplishment in knowing that. I would recommend looking online at first and not dragging him into a county shelter as that can be very traumatic. There are also many local rescue organizations that specialize in different breeds. Our youngest dog is a hound (we thought a greyhound mix but now believe he is a Plott hound) and we got him from a rescue that focuses on greyhounds. My half boxer is from a boxer rescue - also a great family dog but very active so be prepared to play! Any mid-size dog in the 40-60 pound range is big enough to where you don't have to worry about stepping on him but still manageable for most people.
A good option would be to visit a pet shelter where most shelters are happy for people to exercise their dogs. After a while you would both get a feel for the kind of dog that would suit you both.
Another vote for Golden Retriever here. We've had one since 2005 and they are great "family" dogs, great with kids and people in general.
I would not go so much after a particular breed. Instead I would rather first get together with your child, and see which breeds it is attracted to, then look up some information about those breeds and their needs! Some dogs need more exercise than others, keep also in mind the grooming needs and who will be responsible for that? Then go over all that information with your child and choose together and I also would go and look at shelter dogs. Here I would also go and choose by the gained knowledge of dog breeds and if a dog is mixed with a breed that would not work for you for whatever reason - avoid that dog, because you never know how far this breed will become dominant in that dog, unless you choose an adult dog. Overall I would choose a puppy or young dog because you can raise it according to your needs and your child will grow with the dog and also the duty of house breaking etc. It will not miss the hard part of owning a dog and that it takes raising and training it, which is also where the bond starts.
You will learn from choosing with your child, if it prefers a big or small dog, a furry or smooth coat friend etc....
I have to go along with the suggestion that you take the 12 yr old to a shelter and meet a lot of dogs at one time. Twelve is old enough to pick and choose, and believe me, it usually works out well, Looking at all those dogs and finding just the right one seems to happen a lot. It may be a golden, it may be a lab, it may be the ugliest mutt in the place, but the child will find it's best friend among the crowd.
Hi nighthag. It's not necessarily the breed of dog but the dog and child that are introduced to each other. I am very much an advocate of animal use as therapy for children and adults. These four footed friends work miracles!!! It also depends on if the adult wants to take care of the dog as well: walking, feeding, brushing, bathing. Maybe try to borrow a friends dog to see how it works with the child before getting one. Also, if you do get him/her a dog, take the child to the shelter and rescue one. These dogs, in my opinion, make the best of a best friend anyone could have. This child will more than likely fall in love with his or her special forever friend. Keep in touch with me as I am writing a childrens book on how animal therapy helps in healing. God Bless you and your little friend.
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