The Best Dog Breeds for Kids

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Best Dog Breeds for Kids

Although owning a dog is a big responsibility with more than a decade of commitment, raising your children with a canine companion can have many benefits.

It’s said that growing up with a dog helps kids with overall health and development. Caring for a dog teaches kids how to care for another living being, as well as how to respect animals.

Children can even help with pet chores such as feeding them or helping with bath time. But what are the best dog breeds for kids if you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family? 

Let’s explore the best dog breed for kids’ options! 

Best Dog Breeds for Kids

What are the best dog breeds for kids?

There are several lovable dog breeds that are great for kids, but what exactly determines how good a specific breed will be with children?

The best family dogs are larger breeds that can’t easily be hurt by a child’s fast, energetic movements. They will also be patient, easily trainable and eager to spend time with their families. 

Dogs can teach children responsibility and compassion. Your child will benefit from learning how to treat and respect animals, which will help them become loving adults.

Dogs make wonderful playmates for kids when taught to interact properly, and they can bring so much life and personality to your home.

Let’s dive into our list of best dog breeds for kids!

Golden Retriever

Best Dog Breeds for Kids

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular family dogs. They are incredibly affectionate and have agreeable personalities. This breed will love playing with children and being active with your family. Goldens aren’t couch potatoes, so they will thrive in a home where they can participate in family outings and exercise. 

Golden Retrievers are very intelligent and typically love to swim, camp and hike. They are well-suited for an active family environment, and they would love to bond with kids who give them attention and love. Goldens have a lifespan of 10-12 years old, and they require a standard amount of grooming.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular family dog in the US. This breed is extremely friendly and trainable. Labs are fairly active and will love a home with lots of outdoor family activity. Labrador Retrievers are known to be wonderful protectors of children, and they will bond closely when given the opportunity. 

Labradors are outgoing and eager to please. These versatile dogs would love to go swimming with your kids or play a game of fetch in the backyard. Labs live to be about 12 years old, and they require weekly brushing. Labradors are sure to get along with other pets in your family.


Bulldogs are amazing dogs for a less active family environment. This calm, collected breed absolutely loves children, and they are more than happy to relax on the couch with a good movie. Bulldogs are adaptable and can live happily in a house or apartment. Kids will love how delightfully amusing Bulldogs are. Plus, their wrinkles are just too cute!

Bulldogs require daily walks, but they are not active overall. They respond well to training and a lazier daily lifestyle. Bulldogs are a quiet breed that loves to be around 10 years old. While they don’t require a ton of grooming maintenance, it’s important to keep their faces clean due to their skin folds. 


Best Dog Breeds for Kids

If you’re interested in a smaller dog, a Pug may be a great breed to consider for the best dog breeds for kids!

This even-tempered breed is good with children, as they want to be near their family at all times. Pugs can be active, but they are not natural athletes. It’s important that they aren’t over-exercised in hot weather because it can negatively affect their respiratory system. Pugs are another dog breed that can easily adapt to any type of living situation.

Pugs are charming people-pleasers. They’d love to play with your kids in the house or yard and snuggle with them when it’s time to turn down for the night. Pugs have a lifespan of 13-15 years, and they don’t require much grooming. 

French Bulldog

Best Dog Breeds for Kids

French Bulldogs have become increasingly popular due to their playful personalities and have the ability to live in a variety of environments.

These easygoing dogs love to be around children, and will gladly partake in fun activities. Frenchies aren’t terribly athletic, but they’d love to join the family on daily walks around the neighborhood. 

French Bulldogs are fantastic with kids because they are smart, trainable and affectionate. They are mostly quiet, so you don’t have to worry about incessant barking.

Frenchies are a pretty small breed, remaining under 25lbs at adulthood.

If you want a family dog who doesn’t need a ton of exercise but will bring excitement to your home, the French Bulldog is worth looking into! 


Best Dog Breeds for Kids

If you have an active family who enjoys being outdoors, the Beagle could be an excellent addition to your home.

This lovable breed is good with kids because of their jovial demeanor and curious personality. Beagles will enjoy jumping in your car for a day at the lake with your family or going for a run every day. This active breed needs lots of exercises to be happy.

Beagles are very trainable, but they are also vocal.

These hound dogs are intelligent and eager to be a part of the fun in your household. This compact breed will thrive in an active environment where they can constantly be included. Beagles can live upwards of 15 years old. 


Best Dog Breeds for Kids

Poodles are available in three sizes; standard, miniature and toy.

This iconic breed was bred for activity, so they will need to be in a home with active children.

If you have kids will allergies, Poodles make excellent family companions because they don’t shed. Poodles love an athletic lifestyle where they can run, work or swim. After all, they were originally bred to hunt!

Poodles would love to play fetch in your backyard with the kids, or swim in your family pool.

They absolutely need regular, brisk exercise to remain happy and non-destructive. Poodles are intelligent and highly trainable.

These fun, sassy dogs are versatile and live anywhere from 10-18 years, depending on which size Poodle you adopted.

Irish Setter

Best Dog Breeds for Kids

Not only are Irish Setters absolutely stunning, but they are also wonderful with kids. This high-energy dog loves spending time outdoors, and they prefer an active daily routine.

Irish Setters are outgoing and easy to train, making them a good choice for families with children. Their agreeable demeanor and sweet-natured personalities make them a popular breed for kids.

Irish Setters are extremely active, so they won’t be happy in a home with limited activity. They prefer to spend lots of time romping outdoors.

Irish Setters do require weekly grooming to keep their gorgeous coats healthy.

These large dogs live to be about 12-15 years old, and they are sure to be happy with active kids who want to play and run.


Is a giant breed more your style? Newfoundlands are famously large companions with sweet, devoted personalities to match.

This breed is big but so are their hearts. Newfoundlands (aka Newfies) are great with families because they use their intelligence to assist their owners with tasks, and they can take on responsibility as working dogs. 

Newfoundlands are incredibly loyal and they will make excellent guardians for your children, but you must be prepared to deal with lots of drool!

Newfies are somewhat active and will need a big yard to romp and plenty of exercises.

These lovable dogs can weigh up to 150 lbs, so it’s crucial to recognize that you’ll need ample space for your Newfie to thrive. 


Best Dog Breeds for Kids

Collies are best known for their impeccable herding skills but they also make tremendous family dogs. Collies would be well-suited for a family with a massive yard, or even a ranch or farm.

This breed has incredibly high energy, and they need a large amount of exercise to remain happy. Collies are loyal and affectionate, making them a good fit for homes with kids.

Collies respond extremely well to training, and they’d love to be a part of your family’s outdoor adventures.

Their life expectancy is up to 14 years, and they can grow up to 75lbs at adulthood.

Keep in mind that Collies are generally pretty vocal, so it’s best to adopt one if you aren’t in close proximity with neighbors. 

Tips for Raising Kids With Dogs

  1. Teach your children boundaries: Make sure that you teach your kids that it’s not okay to pull on a dog’s ears or tail at any time. Irritating a dog can lead to an avoidable bite situation. 
  2. Learn your dog’s body language: Dogs show us they are agitated, scared and upset through body language. When your kids are playing with your dog, pay close attention to your pup’s body language. They will let you know when they are ready for space and quiet time. 
  3. Teach respect and kindness: Kids who respect animals are likely to be kind-hearted adults. By teaching your child that it’s never okay to hit or hurt a dog, they are learning valuable life skills. 
  4. Create a safe space for your dog: Even if your pup is great with kids, they still need a safe place where they can go to relax and calm down. This could be a crate or playpen, as well as a cozy spot in a quiet room. 

When deciding on a dog breed, remember to consider the temperament, activity level, and overall lifestyle needs.

It’s best to adopt a dog that fits into your lifestyle. For example, if you spend a majority of time indoors with your kids, choose a dog that will thrive in that environment. 

Choosing the best dog breeds for kids

Whether a dog is good with kids or not also depends on their training and upbringing. Just because a dog is one of the breeds on our list doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to be a great family dog.

Dogs deserve to be treated with the utmost kindness and respect by every family member. If you love your pup as a family, they will love you and your kids unconditionally.

What is your favorite dog breed for kids? Share in the comments! 

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