Whether you’re looking for a loyal and affectionate companion or a rescue dog that will become a loving member of your family, getting a dog is a big step for every family.
It is important to do your research so that you get the perfect dog for your lifestyle and family temperament. In order to narrow down the best dog breeds for kids and families, here is a list of 25 breeds with great personalities perfect for any busy home.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you’re looking for one of the best child-friendly dog breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel should top your list. They’re super-friendly and always playful.
While this breed has a super long name, it is well-known for being sweet and trainable. Even the website, VetStreet.com which has all the breed information, says that this dog is “always happy, trusting and easygoing, a friend to everyone he meets.” What more can you ask for?
Not to mention, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an example of a small dog that is manageable, yet friendly at the same time.
The purebred Border Terrier is a good-natured dog that absolutely adores people of all ages – and is especially good with kids. They have boundless energy levels, and a drive to dig and rummage. So be warned, this breed needs plenty of outdoor exercises.
If you can take a Border Terrier outside to play regularly, they will make a great companion and an affectionate family member.
The pug is one of the best small dog breeds for kids and a great family dog. They are listed on VetStreet.com, a reputable dog information website, as trainable, playful, and child-friendly. Their size is fairly small, but they are tamer than some of the small dog breeds out there. A lot of smaller dogs have higher barking tendencies, which can make them less child-friendly.
However, the pug is a mellow and cute dog that will fit in well with your family. Whether you have small children or older family members, this is one of the best dog breeds to watch and take care of because it is small, slightly lazy, and adorable.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Generally known simply as Corgis, these dogs are distinct in their look, which features shorter legs and fluffy fur. In addition to their unique cuteness, they are also extremely friendly with children.
Families should definitely look into this dog because they are extremely intelligent and trainable. A trainable dog makes everyone’s lives easier, especially when there are children to take care of at the same time.
One of the best features of the Corgi breed is its smiling appearance. These dogs always look like they are smiling, which makes for a happy dog and hopefully, a happy family as well.
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These tiny dogs are perfect for families and kids who want low-maintenance, indoors-mostly breeds, that look good in a jumper. Seriously, Boston Terriers look good in anything.
A golden retriever is a great family dog. Based on breed research, this type of dog scores high in areas like child-friendliness, adaptability, affection, and more.
Their general personality is tame and loving, which makes them a pal to everyone in the family regardless of how big they might look.
They live for around 10-12 years, but they will spend those years being playful and gentle, which puts them top of most people’s list of child-friendly dog breeds.
This mix of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle is one of the best family dog breeds out there.
A Labradoodle combines two breeds in order to create one very smart and child-friendly dog. Poodles are notoriously intelligent and trainable, so the Labradoodle mix features these traits along with the active, friendly, and smart qualities of a Labrador Retriever.
In order for a Labradoodle to be one of the best dog breeds, though, your family must exercise it properly and train it early on. This way, it will be a loyal addition to your family.
An Australian Shepherd is a beautifully unique-looking dog that is super protective, yet child-friendly. This breed was created to make decisions, which can be a great training quality for a household dog. It is important to exercise this dog a lot and make sure they are entertained with tasks or toys.
However, once it learns to fit in with your family, it will be loyal and attentive, especially to children. In terms of appearance, it is fluffy and medium-sized, which can be a deciding factor for your family as well.
Border Collies are very affectionate and loving towards all family members. A Border Collie is one of the best dog breeds because you can always count on it getting along with others, especially other animals.
They require a decent amount of exercise, but once they get it, they will be yours to play and rest with for the evening. Border Collies are extremely trainable because they have great focus. As VetStreet mentions, “Borders form tight bonds with their family and want to be with them every second they can.” They really do make the perfect pal.
The Labrador Retriever is a very popular breed of dog. They come in yellow, brown, or black colors. According to research, “the ideal Labrador is kindly, outgoing and tractable, eager to please, and tends not to be aggressive toward people or other animals.” This is the perfect description for a household or family dog.
However, the unique aspect of “labs” is that each dog takes these traits and makes up its own personality. Some labs might be lazier than others and vice versa. It is important to talk to the breeder or shelter and meet the dog before you get him or her. This can help you pick the right dog for your family environment. That being said, they are one of the best dog breeds because of their trainability.
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Old English Sheepdog
The English Sheepdog is extremely sweet and loving for its larger size. This breed doesn’t need as much exercise as some dogs on this list, but they do require a decent amount of grooming. Aside from this, their temperament is extremely loving, especially towards people. They will do practically anything with you, and are especially great with small children. While they may not be as common as other dogs, Sheepdogs love to be social and affectionate, which is perfect for a family.
Portuguese Water Dog
Last, but certainly not least, is the energetic Portuguese Water Dog. Not only are they well-behaved larger dogs, but they are also hypoallergenic. They are willing to do basically anything because they have a very high energy level, which can be a great help around kids. They love playmates and children, so they live to entertain. Similar to some of the other best dog breeds, they are smart and trainable, especially at a young age. Its name suggests a love for the water, which is spot on, so maybe take him or her for a swim every once in a while with the family to see this breed at its best.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Don’t let the pup-pic fool you. Bernese Mountain dogs get big, topping 100-pounds. Yet, don’t let the size put you off, these dogs are sweet, warm-hearted, and incredibly gentle when it comes to kids. They might not top best dog breeds for kids lists due to their size, but they’re normally just outside the top 10 because they’re so loveable.
One of the dog breeds that tops the most-popular lists the world over is the Alaskan Malamute. These powerful dogs need more commitment and command than most and have an exercise regime that’ll put a personal trainer out of action. Yet, there is no better dog for a family, and kids absolutely love them.
If living with an old grumpy pensioner in dog breed form is your thing, then the Bulldog is for you. Perfect for the laidback lifestyle, these family dogs have more character than most people, and they love to sleep.
If you own a bulldog it is vital you keep them active with regular exercise. Be warned, if you live in a warm region, Bulldogs can overheat.
One of the best dog breeds for kids is the Beagle. They’re incredibly friendly, active, and definitely cute. They make wonderful family members but be warned, their eyes can turn even the most serious dog trainer into whimpering jelly.
One of the most beautiful dog breeds ever, Irish Setters turn heads amongst other dog owners. These very athletic dogs need an active lifestyle and are the perfect partner for your kids to play fetch with at your local park.
Another popular dog breed amongst families is the French Bulldog. It’s definitely one of the best dog breeds if you’re a family without a backyard. These dogs are very playful and chilled, like a mini-but-more-active Bulldog.
These super-small dog breeds cannot take rough play, so if your kids are heavy-handed the Brussels Griffon isn’t the right fit. However, if you’re family is after a new member that’s small and full of curiosity, then this is one of the best dog breeds you’ll find. Plus, when it grows up, it gets a brilliant mustache and beard.
One word, big. The Newfoundland dog can reach 150-pounds and are possibly the calmest (but still alert) breed on this list. They really are gentle giants and very watchful of their surroundings, making them a great watchdog too. If you have space, this is one of the best dog breeds for families and kids.
Smart, loyal, and they just adore kids. No, it’s not grandparents, it is the Collie dog breed. These dogs can require quite a lot of grooming, so if you’re not into pampering, look for a smooth Collie. That’s right, they come in two variations, one of which is for those who don’t want to groom.
If you want the ultimate in friendly dogs, the Bichon Frise is the outright winner. Everyone is its friend and it’s always ready to play. Plus, don’t worry about its fluff getting all over your furniture, this fluffy breed is low-shedding.
The biggest softest ears going, and an expressive face that your whole family will fall in love with. They’re the perfect family newcomer, suitable for homes with other dogs and young children who want to play 24/7.
Floppy ears and big, often sad eyes, make Basset Hounds character-full family members. They’re rarely given the credit they deserve and belong to the top of best dog breeds lists because of their loyalty and endurance. They won’t win any races but they have all the attributes to become your little ones’ new best friend.
The ultimate dog for kids with little legs. The Dachshund is a miniature guard dog that thinks it is much bigger, and your whole family will fall in love with it because of it. Full of personality and ambition, it’s perfect for families with less space.
The most adorable dog breed going. They’re tiny fluffballs full of character. They’re like toys which have come to life, perfect for families who want to groom and be super-affectionate towards.
Where to get the best dog breeds?
Dog breeds vary in popularity, which can affect the price and availability of each dog.
However, there is often a debate about buying a dog from a breeder or rescuing one from a shelter. Both have their own benefit, but rescuing or adopting is always a nice thing to do for a dog without a home.
If your family is too worried about past health issues or ownership, though, then certified breeders are available for certain dog breeds. It is always important to do research on breeders, though, because some of them might only be in it for the money, not your or the dog’s best interest.
Generally, it depends on your family and your needs. A dog is a great addition to a family regardless of if it is a rescue or a bred puppy. The thing that matters the most is that you pick from some of the best dog breeds for children. Based on research about breed characteristics, it is easy to see which dogs are most likely to be the best around children and families.
Overall, a dog can make a loyal and fun family member. They encourage exercise and quality family time, which is healthy for everyone involved. When you first get your dog, spend time getting to know and training them so that you can spend your days enjoying each other’s company, regardless of what breed you choose.