10 Best Dog Breeds for Families with Children

While choosing a specific breed of dog is never 100 percent guaranteed to be the right fit for your family, choosing a dog breed that is well established for being kid friendly is a good place to start.  Here’s a list of the 10 best dog breeds for families with children.

golden retrieverGolden Retriever

This is a dog who will tolerate all the ear and tail pulling!  Golden Retrievers are very hands-on dogs.  They’re up for wrestling on the living room floor, rolling around in the back yard. They don’t bark too much, they are one of the least destructive dogs breeds, and most certainly one of the most playful.

 labrador retrieverLabrador Retriever

This is an extremely popular breed in America.  Labs are easy to train and easy to housebreak.  They learn rules quickly, and they love to play.  They do have a pretty high demand for affection, but little kids are the surest way to provide that…they’ll play with the kids all day long!



This breed is large – they run about 140 pounds.  But they are pretty easy-going dogs.  They generally are not aggressive with kids or people or other dogs.  They don’t learn as fast as Golden or Labrador Retrievers, but they do catch on, especially to housebreaking training.  This breed is quite affectionate– so be ready for some sloppy kisses!


 basset houndBasset Hound

This breed is nice if you don’t have a particularly active family.  Basset hounds don’t get excited easily, and tend to be less playful.  They generally aren’t a high-activity dog.  They do bark a bit, and they tend to take a little longer to catch on to housebreaking training.  But if you are a patient person, a Basset Hound can become a great pet for your family.



I saw something recently about a new breed of collie that has short hair.  You might check into that if you like the personality of a Collie but don’t want the long coat to contend with.  On the plus side, a Collie is a breed that will protect your children.  They really are like Lassie, “Timmy fell into the well!”  LOL.  A Collie will play with the kids, but its bigger priority is to protect them.  Collies are not as affectionate as other breeds – they are quite independent.  But they’re smart and easily trained, and easy to housebreak as well.


chesapeake bay retrieverChesapeake Bay Retriever

This breed is similar to other retrievers in that they are easy to train and housebreak.  They are devoted dogs and love their owners…they’ll demand affection.  They are good playmates for your children, as well as protectors.  The down side to this breed is they tend to be more destructive – eating a couch pillow, for example.  LOL!


Most people have never heard of this breed.  This breed is in the bird-dog family.  They make a great family pet in that they are not aggressive.  They generally do not make a good watchdog – but they are playful and won’t destroy stuff.  They’re a great pet!


australian shepherdAustralian Shepherd

This breed is easy to train and housebreak, is very active, and super playful.  These active dogs will demand almost constant affection.  They love attention and they’ll be very loving toward you.  They are a protective breed, so they may show some aggression when it comes to your home and family.  And they are a great alarm!

english springer spanielEnglish Springer Spaniel

This breed loves to play and truly enjoys affection.  They are easily trainable, but a downside is that they tend to be easily excited.  They bark a bit more than other breeds, and can also be destructive (due to their excitability).  But if you’re willing to spend time and attention on this breed, they’ll make a terrific pet.


norwegian elkhoundNorwegian Elkhound  

These dogs are intelligent, alert, playful and always up for fun!  They don’t make the best watchdogs, and are a bit difficult to train, but once trained they are beyond loyal and a ton of fun!


running dogFor More Information About Dogs, Check Out These Articles


5 thoughts on “10 Best Dog Breeds for Families with Children”

  1. Hi Debra,
    Nice list of dog breeds, and I’ve definitely seen many of these breeds play gently with children. I’m thinking of getting a dog at some point in the next couple of years and have three young children. A retriever sounds like a good choice.
    Are any of these breeds also hypoallergenic?

    1. That’s a good question. I’m not sure. Seems as far as allergies goes, less fur would mean less of a problem. But you should definitely check into that more thoroughly before you choose a dog if that’s a problem. I do know there are certain dog shampoos that help cut down on allergies.

    2. We have a Maltipoo (part maltese, part mini-poodle). She’s considered a “designer dog” because she’s a hybrid. Her name is Lola,and we resued her from tight outside my husband’s office.
      She was so dirty we didn’t even realize she was totally white until after her 3rd bath!
      She was already house-trained, she’s quiet, VERY affectionate, playful when the kids want to play, not temperamental at all, clean, and hypoallergenic and doesnt shed!
      I would suggest this breed any day fir the family who prefers a smaller, indoor dog and who has smaller children ages 4-12 who are “hands on” with their pet. Lola has never once showed sign that she minds being picked up, or brushed, or played with and my daughter is constantly messing with her in some way.
      In fact, every night, before she comes to sleep at the end if our bed, she first goes into my 12 year old sons room and lays at the foot of his bed until she is sure he’s safe and asleep. She then goes straight to my 7 year old daughters room and does the same with her.
      Once she’s satisfied they’re good for the night, she sojourns at the foot of our bed and sleeps for the night.
      We LOVE Lola and she is a very special and important part of our family. I think she thinks she’s human some days.
      Not to mention, they are a PRECIOUS, beautiful bReed of dog.

      1. Wow, I actually got choked up a little reading your comment because it’s so obvious how LUCKY Lola is that your family adopted her! And it sounds to me like she shows how grateful she is every single day by showing such profound love toward your family. Thank you so much – you just made my day. Please give sweet Lola a kiss from me! And feel free to use the “Contact Me” page to email me a picture of Lola – I’ll put her picture on this website in one of my articles!

  2. I have 4 sons all under the age of 12 and they have been asking me for weeks now if they could have a dog.
    With the bad press dogs have given lately I wasn’t sure if I wanted to trust one around my children.
    I think they would love a Newfoundland but I’m sure it’s a bit big for the house I have.lol
    Thanks for changing my mind with this post.

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