Are you considering adding a dog to your growing family, but want to ensure they will be kid-friendly? Adopting a puppy or even an older dog can be a big commitment and it is natural to wonder if they will be a good fit. Luckily, there are so many wonderful dog breeds out there that will love and protect your kids as if they were their own. Plus, bringing home a furry four-legged companion is one of the best decisions you can make. If you want to learn about the 10 best family dogs out there, and the best dog breeds for kids, keep reading!
1. Golden Retriever
The golden retriever is a tried and true classic for any dog lover. They are loyal, loving, and make for a great addition to your family photo. Known for their pleasant disposition, luscious golden coat, and friendly eyes, golden retrievers are extremely popular family dogs. They are also naturally intelligent and only bark when necessary. Since they were bred to retrieve shot game birds undamaged, their mouths are naturally soft, which is great if you have young kids and are worried about safety. Golden retrievers are also easily trainable because they are so eager to please. These dogs live to be about 10-12 years old and do have seasonal shedding. They are an active dog breed and because of their high energy levels, they require daily exercise and would fit in well with a family that loves the outdoors.
2. Labrador Retriever
According to The American Kennel Society, Labrador retrievers are currently the most popular dog breed in the United States. This is likely due to the fact that they play well with others and have a friendly and outgoing personality. While Labrador retrievers are great family dogs and good with kids, it’s a good idea to supervise them when they are with other dogs. They are an extremely versatile breed that is patient and trainable. Labrador retrievers shed regularly and do require brushings on a weekly basis. Despite barking an average amount, these dogs are quite obedient and have a ton of energy. If you have an active family or wouldn’t mind giving this dog daily exercise, they might just be perfect for you!
Beagles are somewhat of a mystery, with little information on the breed’s actual origins. However, beagles are naturally curious hound dogs with a friendly and joyful personality. Their short coats are easy to care for and despite their small size, they have a lot of energy. While they are naturally very intelligent and respond well to training, they love the sound of their own voice and will likely bark a lot. Beagles have a 10-15 year life expectancy and are great with children and other dogs. When you adopt a beagle, your family will be getting 20 pounds of pure fun!
If you are looking for love and affection, a collie might be the perfect dog for you. Collies are known for their herding skills and fast speed, but they are also responsive and trainable. They are great with children and very loyal family dogs. Since they were originally bred to herd sheep, they are active dogs that require daily exercise. However, their lifestyle is great for balance and they make wonderful couch companions after they get their workouts in. Collies have a charming coat that only sheds seasonally, but they aren’t all looks. They are very intelligent and protective dogs. Their gentle demeanor makes them a safe medium-sized dog for kids of all ages, but they do like to bark a lot. So, if you have a napping baby at home, it is definitely something to keep in mind.
5. Irish Setter
The Irish setter is an elegant beauty with a rich red coat. They make for wonderful family dogs due to their outgoing and sweet nature. They are another very active breed that would be best suited for families that love the outdoors and can provide a lot of space for these dogs to run and exercise. Despite their long glossy fur, they only shed seasonally but do require weekly grooming. Irish setters are great with children and other dogs. They respond well to training and only bark when necessary. This breed is independent and lively but can also be very affectionate, making them amazing companions and an all-around great family dog!
Pugs are adorably distinguishable with their wrinkly skin and short face. They have a lot going on in their small, compact bodies. Their easy-going nature and adaptability make them great for families that have a large or small amount of space. Pugs are not overly active dogs but they do have strong legs and well-developed muscles that do well with regular exercise. They are a curious breed that has a charming and mysterious side. While pugs are good with children and other dogs, it is better for them to be supervised. Pugs are calm and attentive dogs, only barking when necessary, while also having a mischievous and stubborn temperament on occasion. At the same time, pugs love being around their family and are eager to please. Your home might be just right for this breed.
7. Bernese Mountain Dog
This giant dog breed is known for its large size, friendly demeanor, and tricolored coat. They have a calm, good-natured strength about them, which makes for a great family dog if you’re looking for a large breed. Since they were traditionally working dogs who would pull carts through the mountains, they are naturally sturdy, balanced, and agile. Bernese mountain dogs are also very intelligent and would make for the perfect family guard dog. They do well with strangers and other dogs but are also extremely faithful and loyal pets. Their affectionate personality makes them great with kids, but their lifespan is about 6-8 years, which is unfortunately on the shorter side.
These fluff balls are a beautiful medium-sized dog with a double-layered thick white coat. They were originally bred as a herding dog and can be a bit stubborn. However, their smiling faces and playful personality make them amazing family dogs. Despite the massive amounts of fur you may see on these dogs, they shed very little, making them hypoallergenic. While their beauty and grace define them, their coat is weather-resistant and needs to be well-groomed in order to keep its good quality. Samoyeds are alert and sociable, but also gentle and adaptable. This dog breed needs about an hour of exercise each day in order to stay stimulated. Their gentle and loyal nature also makes them great with children. Samoyeds really thrive on feeling apart of your daily activities and would do well with an engaging family that really embraces them!
9. Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels may be known for their floppy ears and gorgeous coat, but they also make for sweet and loving companions. Their kind disposition and warm nature make them a great dog breed to consider if you have young children. Cocker Spaniels are friendly and affectionate dogs that love to be playful, but they also have a faithful and quiet temperament that makes them easily trainable. They come in a variety of colors and their beautiful coats do require some extra grooming care. These dogs are considered the smallest members of the Sporting Group. Their compact body frame is balanced and sturdy, making them the ideal size for many families. This energetic breed loves playtime and does well with a fast walk each day. The overall balanced demeanor of Cocker Spaniels makes them amazing family dogs that all parents and kids alike are sure to love!
The best way to describe Newfoundlands is gentle giants. They are a big and powerful dog but also loving and protective. Their loyalty and sweet nature define them. This dog breed is patient and devoted, making them easily trainable and exceptionally good companion dogs. They only bark when necessary, and take direction well. This breed is extremely intelligent and performs necessary tasks when commanded. Newfoundlands are even known to do rescue work responsibly when a situation arises. They have a somewhat active energy level and because of their large bodies, they do need a decent amount of room to move around. They only shed seasonally but do require weekly brushings. Newfoundlands are also amazing with children and other dogs, making them an overall great choice for a growing family. If you have been on the hunt for a gentle-natured large dog to bring into your home, the Newfoundland breed may just be perfect for you!
You’ll Know Your Dog When You See It
It’s always good to begin your search for a family dog with information about the different breeds out there. Depending on what climate you live in and what kind of lifestyle you have, it will be easier to narrow down which dog is right for you and your family. Whether you want your dog to hit the hiking trails with you, or cuddle up next to your family on the couch, you are sure to find a dog that meets all of your needs. Plus, if you trust the process, there is a good chance you will know which dog is yours when you see it. It will be like love at first bark!