Studies show that pet dogs can help autistic children improve and develop their communication skills, as well as give them companionship. As it can be hard for kids with the condition to make friends, having someone to hang out with can make their lives more satisfying and full. Another new study finds that Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, and Miniature Schnauzers are good therapy dogs for autistic kids. These dogs offer safe companionship, reduce anxiety, and help promote positive behavior changes.
If you are interested in giving your child a friend to spend their time with, research different breeds and find the one you think is best. Here are some ideas:
Latest Forms of Treatment
As the parent of an autistic child, it is your responsibility to stay on top of the latest treatments for autism. You can do this by reading Autism magazine and subscribing to official medical journals. Keeping in touch with everything that’s going on in the world of autism will make you more sensitive to your child’s condition and also help you to learn about ways of making their life easier. These magazines tend not to cost very much and are a valuable investment.
#1. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are quintessential family dogs, known for their gentle natures and friendly dispositions. As they are very popular, costs can be high. Picking up a Golden Retriever puppy could set you back thousands. In terms of maintenance and general upkeep, Goldies are also very expensive. Vet bills, food, and accessories are not cheap. Fortunately, Golden Retrievers do not have many illnesses to which they are genetically prone, so they have to go to the vet a lot less than other breeds of dogs. If you plan to buy one, you must ensure you pick yours up from a verified, licensed breeder.
Buying a dog for your child means selecting one with a good attitude. As Golden Retrievers were originally a hunting dog breed, you can sometimes find puppies with bad attitudes. For the most part, though, they are a social and friendly breed, meaning you do not have to worry about aggression. Explain to the breeder that you are purchasing from that your child has autism and you would like the gentlest of the litter. As the breeder has reared the puppy you are buying, they should be able to identify exactly which one has the kindest nature and gentlest temperament.
Like Golden Retrievers, Labradors are very popular family dogs, more so in Europe than in North America. If you are interested in picking up a Labrador, you have a few colors to choose from, including yellow, brown, and black. Chocolate Labradors, or brown Labradors, are the most popular as they tend more often than not to have more even temperaments than other types. On the whole, Labradors do not generally have behavioral issues of any kind, making them the perfect family dog. As with Goldies and every other breed here, only buy from licensed and registered dog breeders.
Due to your child’s condition, training is essential. Before giving your child unsupervised access to their new puppy, you must take the puppy to a proper trainer and get any behavioral issues worked out. Training your puppy will make it a lot easier for your child to manage it. An untrained dog can be hard for even adults to control. Teach your child the commands your puppy has been taught so that they can socialize with them. Giving their dogs commands is a good way of socializing and conditioning autistic children to communicate. Ensure they are taught to be clear and concise in their commands.
Dalmatians might be the riskiest choice on this list because some of them have very different personalities. Compared to the other breeds listed here, Dalmatians are much more boisterous and require high-energy owners. If your child is soon to be a teenager or likes running around a lot and you have a large backyard, then a Dalmatian will be a great investment, as long as you find a friendly one. Please spend some time researching online so that you can find a reliable breeder to buy from, then reach out, explain your child’s condition, and ask them to sell you the calmest puppy they have.
Untrained individuals can easily irritate puppies. For this reason, you need to teach your child how to behave around animals. Many parents give children dogs and never take the time to train them how to behave. Behaving badly around a new dog could lead to it lashing out, which for obvious reasons, is dangerous. To save the trouble of returning the puppy to its breeder because you do not teach your child properly, spend a few weeks training your child how to behave around animals.
The last breed of dog worth mentioning is the Beagle, a family-friendly breed popular worldwide. It needs to be noted that Beagles were originally bred for hunting, and they sometimes have aggressive dispositions. As advised throughout this post, find a breeder and then explain your child’s condition to them so they can give you the gentlest puppy they have. Beagles are not cheap, mainly because of how desirable they are. Some of them are unsafe to keep around small animals, like cats. Beagles are notorious for chasing and killing small animals.
As puppies are not cheap, it is important to get yours the best food you can. The better your dog’s food is, the less likely they will develop health problems. Many of the health issues that dogs face today are related to the food they eat, as many pet owners purchase extremely unhealthy tinned foods. If you can do so, pick up organic dry food. As your dog ages, you can switch them to wet food that is still organic. Dry food can cause digestive issues and constipation in older dogs.
Owning a dog can be rewarding for children and adults, with or without autism. If your child has trouble communicating and socializing, then picking up a furry friend for them could improve their life satisfaction and general well-being.