Endenburg and Lith (2010) in their exploratory publication suggested that children who grow up with dogs show better social competence and grow up into more socially competent adults. In addition, they also pointed out that there is a potential positive effect of companion animal ownership on children’s verbal skills.
According to a 9-month study on the influence of having companion animals in a classroom, made by Bergensen (1989), companion animals increase self-esteem of children.
Another study made by Hegrovich et al.(2002) on effect of the presence of dog in the classroom of immigrant first grade children, suggests that children in the class with the dog exhibited higher social integration and according to teachers, there were fewer aggressive children then in the class without the dog.
Exposure to companion animals during the first year of life may reduce the risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis in children (Endenburg and Lith 2010).
Of course, when we adopt a dog out, safety and family responsibility for the animal have to be the main concern but we hope that these optimistic studies will have a positive influence on adoption of safe animals to families with children.
References: Bergesen, F.J., 1989. The effects of pet facilitated therapy on the self-esteem and socialization of primary school children. Presented at the 5th International Conference on the Relationship between Humans and Animals. Monaco, 1989.
Endenburg, N., Lith, H., 2010. The influence of animals on the development of children. The Veterinary Journal 18.
Hergovich, A., Monshi, B., Semmler, G., Zieglmayer, V., 2002. The effects of the presenceof a dog in the classroom. Anthrozoös 15, 37–50
- Anastasia Shabelansky, Research Analyst at the Center for Shelter Dogs