Choosing A Family Dog – Choose The Best Dog Breeds For Kids

Family dog with children

If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve thought about adding a dog to your family.

Dogs are loyal and loving companions, especially for small children (and even more so if they’re not large).

However, before bringing a new dog into your home, it’s important to consider how the dog will fit in with your family and what type of breed would be most compatible with your lifestyle.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help you with selecting the right dog 🙂

PS If you’re not sure if you even want a dog, you should check out our post ‘should I get a dog’.

Read on for some tips on choosing the right breed for you and your family!

Our top family friendly dog pick! The Labrador Retriever. Loyal, gentle with kids – we think a lab is a great choice 🙂 Read more about them below

Choose a breed with a non-aggressive temperament and a history of being gentle with children.

The perfect family dog? Image of angelic dog

This may seem obvious, but many people don’t know that not all dogs are great around kids.

While some breeds have a reputation for being good family dogs and adore children, others have been known to attack children or other dogs – and you absolutely don’t want that .

Before you bring a new dog into your home, do your research on its breed history and temperament to make sure that it will be safe around your kids.

Start your dog-search by researching suitable breeds.

Start your dog-search by researching suitable breeds. There are many different types of dogs out there, but each one has its own temperament and personality.

When researching breeds, you need to find a breed that is gentle, friendly and playful, because you want your pet to be good with children. You also want your dog to get along with other pets in the house, as well as strangers that come over.

If you are not sure if a certain breed of dog is right for your family, talk to an expert at the local animal shelter. They will be able to point you in the right direction.

We’ve got a few suggestions of our own to help you choose and select a breed – so read on 🙂

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is a gentle, loyal and great dog breed for families. In fact they’re our top pick!

Labrador Retriever - our top pick for a family friendly dog

They are gentle, loving and great with kids – making them the perfect choice for families who are looking for a family friendly dog.

They are well known for being loyal and great companions, which is why they’re often used as assistance dogs.

Labradors are also one of the most popular breeds in America – so you’ll be sure to find one that fits your family perfectly!

Golden Retriever

These dogs share many of the same characteristics as Labradors, but they also have a gentle nature that makes them well-suited for families with young children.

Golden Retriever - a great family dog

Compared to the Labrador, they’re a bit more independent – but they’re still very loyal and make great companions.

Golden Retrievers only need a moderate amount of exercise, so they’re perfect if you want an obedient dog but don’t want to spend hours walking them every day.

They’re are also intelligent and can be easy to train for obedience and other tricks. Because they have such a calm disposition, they make great pets for families with small children.

They are well known for forming strong bonds with their family members which is why they make such excellent companions.

If you’re looking for a gentle dog that is perfect for your family, look no further than the Golden Retriever!


Are you looking for a dog breed that is friendly and easy to get along with? Then check out the Beagle. These dogs were bred to be hunting dogs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be great family pets.

Beagle - not just a hunting dog

In fact, many people consider them to be one of the best family dog breeds because they are so friendly and easy-going.

They also have a lot of energy, so they will keep your kids entertained for hours on end.

Another great thing about Beagles is that they are relatively small dogs. This means that they won’t be too overwhelming for a family with small children.

But be warned, they also require a lot of exercise – if your family isn’t active, then a it may not be the best choice for you.

Another thing worth knowing, these dogs are known for being ‘relatively vocal’ (er, quite noisy!!) and therefore may not be ideal in an apartment or condo setting where noise levels are important.

Regardless of your lifestyle preferences, though, a Beagle is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a friendly and fun dog breed!


Bulldogs also make great family pets.

They are patient and loyal, making them perfect for families with children.

Bulldog - snores loudly but loves large

They are also one of the most low- maintenance breeds, meaning they don’t require a lot of exercise or care.

In fact, they are one of the few dogs that don’t need a lot of grooming.

Famous for their wrinkled faces and short, stubby legs, which give them a characteristic look that many people love – but have been known to snore rather loudly!

They’re relatively low-energy dogs that are content to lounge around all day – perfect for those who want a doggy friend that won’t require much exercise.

Bulldogs also make great pets because they’re relatively easy to train and are very food motivated (which is perfect for families who like their dog to have plenty of snacks).

So why not add one of these gentle giants to your family?


The Boxer is a popular dog breed that is well-loved by families.

They are patient and good natured, making them great with children.

Boxer - another family friendly dog

They are also loyal, protective, and loving – making them an ideal family pet.

Boxers are high energy dogs and need plenty of exercise – so they are perfect for people who have a lot of time to spend outdoors.

But, they are also known for being headstrong and more than a little stubborn. So training and early socialization are important aspects of their development and if you’ve never trained a dog before you might want to consider another breed.


Collies are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, and for good reason.

Collie - made famous by Lassie!

They are great with children and easy to train. Collies are gentle dogs that get along well with other pets and family members.

Collies make excellent family dogs because they are easy to care for and provide lots of love and companionship.

Collies are a medium to large size breed and require a lot of exercise. This means that they need plenty of walks or runs every day if they want to stay healthy.

If you can’t find enough time to give your Collie the exercise he or she needs, consider looking into a dog park or another area where your Collie can run around freely.

And as Lassie proves, Collie’s are a great breed to have around if you happen to fall down a well…

Visit a dog shelter to search for the perfect family dog.

When you’re looking for a family dog, it can be tempting to go with a purebred puppy from a breeder.

After all, purchasing from a reputable breeder is the best way to ensure that your dog comes from good stock and has been bred responsibly.

But when you have young children in the house, getting a new puppy may not be the right move for your family.

For one thing: puppies are work! They need constant care and attention (and training), which can be difficult if you have small kids in the house too. And while they’re cute as they are, they’ll grow up into big dogs soon enough—and possibly before your little ones are ready for responsibility by themselves.

If you’re still considering going this route despite these concerns, remember that breeders aren’t giving away their puppies out of pity; they want healthy animals that will increase their business over time (and make money).

If this doesn’t sound like something that’s right for your household or budget at this time in life, consider looking into adoption instead!

It’s likely that there are plenty of dogs available at shelters near you who would love nothing more than an owner willing to spend some quality time with them on occasion without expecting anything else in return except maybe some affectionate belly rubs every once in awhile—which brings us back around full circle!

Adopt an older dog, so you can see how he interacts with kids.

Older dogs are likely to be more mellow and patient, as well as better trained and having a better sense of boundaries, which makes them ideal for homes with children.

Older dogs have already been through the puppy phase, so they’re less likely to chew things up or eat your shoes!

Arrange for members of your family to spend quality time with potential dogs before adopting them.

Before you bring a new dog home, make sure that your whole family is on board with the idea. If you have children, involve them in the process by letting them play with and get to know potential dogs.

Give your child time to talk with the dog before deciding whether or not it’s right for him or her.

Some children may feel more comfortable interacting with a particular breed than others; this can help prevent anyone from feeling left out later on down the road when everyone’s favorite canine pal comes into their lives!

You can find the perfect dog for your family at a shelter or from a rescue group.

Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group is the best way to find a well-behaved, already trained dog.

You can get a dog that’s already housebroken and doesn’t chew on furniture or jump on people because it’s been trained that way in its previous home.

If you adopt your pet from an animal shelter, it may have been temperament tested by the staff there. Dogs who are likely to be aggressive often don’t make it through this process and are euthanized instead.

Family Dog FAQ

What is the best age to get a dog with kids?

Before getting a dog, it is usually recommended that children be at least 6 years old, as younger children may lack the required abilities to care for a pet.

However, every child is unique, and some younger children may be able to handle pet care with supervision.

How do you tell if a dog will be good with kids?

No easy easy answer I’m afraid, but here is a checklist of things to think about:

Temperament: Look for a dog with a calm, patient temperament that is not easily agitated or prone to aggression.

Training and socialization: Dogs that have received proper training and socialization are generally more comfortable around people, including kids, and are more likely to be well-behaved.

Breed characteristics: Some breeds are known to be good with kids due to their friendly, outgoing personalities. However, every dog is different and it’s important to evaluate an individual dog’s temperament, rather than relying solely on breed traits.

Previous experience: If a dog has previously lived with kids or has had positive interactions with kids, it’s a good sign that they will be comfortable and well-behaved around children.

Should you get a dog or child first?

Every family’s situation is different. But here are a few things to think about:

Your lifestyle and availability: Having a child or a dog is a significant commitment that requires time, energy, and resources. Make sure you are ready to take on the responsibilities of caring for a child or a dog before making a decision.

Financial considerations: Both children and dogs require ongoing expenses, such as food, medical care, and supplies. Make sure you have the financial resources to provide for a child or a dog.

Your goals and priorities: Consider what is most important to you and your family. If you are more focused on building your career or pursuing other personal goals, it may be easier to do so with a dog rather than a child.

On the other hand, if you are ready to start a family, getting a child may be a more fulfilling and rewarding experience.

At the end of the day, the decision to get a dog or a child should be based on what is best for your individual circumstances and what will bring the most joy and fulfilment to your family.

Is it OK to get small dogs if you have small children?

If your children are mature enough to interact safely and responsibly with a small dog, you can get one.

Small dogs may be more delicate and require gentle treatment, so teach children to be considerate.

Choose a breed that’s good with youngsters and analyse the dog’s temperament before bringing it home. Always supervise youngsters and the dog for their safety. Small dogs can be terrific family pets with adequate care and supervision.

What Makes a Good Family Dog?

Look for a dog with a calm, patient, and friendly personality that doesn’t get angry easily or tend to be aggressive.

Size and breed: Larger breeds may need more space and exercise and may not be good for families with small children or limited space.

Training and socialisation: Dogs that have been properly trained and socialised are usually more comfortable around people, even kids, and are more likely to be well-behaved.

Energy level: Choose a dog with the same amount of energy and lifestyle as your family. For example, a breed with a lot of energy might not be a good fit for a family that doesn’t do much.

Health and lifespan: Think about the dog’s health and how long it will live, since some breeds are more likely to get sick or live less long.


We hope these tips have helped you get started in your search for the perfect family dog.

If you already have children, then you know how important it is to find the right dog who will fit into your family.

We hope that by following these steps, you’ll be able to find a happy life together with your new furry friend!

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