Research Shows Children Who Grow Up With Dogs Are Better Behaved

kids who grow up with dogs are better behaved

Dogs are truly man’s best friend and have been scientifically proven to help us feel better. Whether we’re upset or just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, dogs help us feel 100% again simply by being there for us. Well, new research has shown that children who grow up with dogs are better behaved.

The study was conducted by the University of Western Australia and the Telethon Kids Institute. The study focused on children ages 2 to 5. Research shows that participants who had dogs at home “had a reduced likelihood of conduct and peer problems, as well as increased pro-social behaviors such as sharing and cooperating.”


Children are better behaved with a dog around

The study went even further than that to examine how often children play with their dogs. “We’re increasingly learning that pet ownership within families can have fantastic benefits for children’s physical and social development,” says researcher Hayley Christian.


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Hayley continues, “Our previous research showed that pets can be particularly helpful for school-aged children, but this latest research shows the benefits begin even sooner — right from early childhood.”

Other positive behaviors to take note of

Research Shows Children Who Grow Up With Dogs Are Better Behaved
Portrait of happy girl embracing shih-tzu dog and looking at camera / StoryBlocks

Hayley goes on to say that even just having dogs around helps children in interesting ways. “While we expected that dog ownership would provide some benefits for young children’s wellbeing, we were surprised that the mere presence of a family dog was associated with many positive behaviors and emotions.”

The study additionally finds that households that contained a dog guaranteed a 30% to 40% decrease in childhood issues with peers. Moreover, preschoolers’ prosocial behavior increased by 74% by walking or playing with dogs a few times a week.

Not just mental, but physical improvement

Lastly, not only does having a dog around help with mental health, but also physical health. “Given how important physical activity is to a child’s health and social and emotional development, we really need to make the most of any opportunity to get kids moving. Our research suggests family [dog] ownership could be a valuable strategy in achieving this.”

So, if you’ve been thinking about getting a dog, here’s your sign right now! Adopt a furry friend today!

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