Dogs are called humans’ best friends for good reason. They’re loyal, intelligent, and will never judge you — no matter what.

In some ways, dogs bond better with humans than humans bond with each other. This is especially true for kids, whom dogs never tire of playing with, often nurturing them like one of their own.

Dogs are the perfect companions for children. They understand toddlers, and they can be empaths with older children as well. They have a calming effect that can help quiet even the most boisterous child.

All children need a good friend who they can be themselves with and never fear judgement. And even if they don’t understand every word, dogs make good sounding boards for children while they talk about their day, their hopes, and their world.

There are many things that a kid can say to their pet dog (or cat, or turtle, or any pet for that matter) that they won’t dare say to their parents. And while many pets will listen in stoic silence, dogs have a look about them that says that they know just how you feel.

Of course, raising children is primarily the parents’ responsibility — but your dog can chip in, too. They help young ones relate to others and can teach them empathy while boosting their self-esteem.

Below are 12 reasons, shown in an infographic, explaining why dogs are excellent partners to help raise your kids.

12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children