13 Great Dog Breeds for Families
If your children keep begging for a new playmate of the canine variety, you may decide it is time for such an addition to your family. Choosing the right dog for you and your kids will probably take a little bit of research. Your choice will depend on several factors such as lifestyle, energy levels, available space, and your children’s age. What’s more, not all dog breeds are inclined to like kids, so picking a friendly pet is essential. Here are thirteen of the most kid-friendly dogs out there. Any of these delightful pooches will make a great family companion.
1. American Bulldog
An intelligent and protective family dog that is easy to groom. American bulldogs are ideal for active, dog-savvy owners as they require a lot of activity: brisk daily walks, games, and some work on the agility course will definitely keep them happy. These affectionate and loyal pets are great for older kids who have some experience with dogs. American bulldogs are large animals, so playtime should always be supervised to avoid any trouble.
Beagles are certainly the epitome of cute. These small, compact, lean dogs with the expressive face have a good-natured and friendly temperament, and they are always happier in company (canine or human). These active dogs enjoy a good run and, of course, lots of fun and games. Infinitely curious, they will follow their nose anywhere, so always walk them on a leash. Beagles are great playmates for kids and get on fine with other dogs. Don’t trust them with small pets, though. They are, after all, hunting hounds.
A loyal, affectionate and intelligent breed that loves human company. Boxers are well-loved for their grace and athletic abilities. They are also known for their patience and protective nature, and they make excellent family guardians. Like with most breeds, early training is highly recommended. This powerful and energetic dog is best suited for strong, athletic owners with older kids who won’t be overwhelmed when playing with a well-meaning, but very excitable canine.
4. Cocker Spaniel
This beloved companion dog is ready for action at all times. Spaniels are playful, alert, and active. Daily activity is important for this breed. Training is also essential and it should include both the dog and the owner as these adorable canines are masters of manipulation. This is a breed neither too fragile nor too big, so it has potential for becoming a fantastic playmate, as long as you teach your children to be respectful of this affectionate, but quite sensitive dog.
This very popular breed was primarily a herding dog in its native Scotland. Collies are friendly, loyal and make watchful guards. They are family-oriented and very protective of kids. They are also quick learners, and they will thrive if they have early socialization and training. Ideally, all collies should attend a basic obedience class with their owner. These gentle, mild-mannered and energetic animals make great companions for children of all ages.
6. French Bulldog
This rather rare dog breed has a long history as a companion dog. Frenchies are smart, loving and make great show dogs. They are highly trainable, as long as you keep your instruction positive and fun, with lots of rewards. They have low energy levels, so they don’t need lots of exercise, however, short daily walks are very good for them. They get on well with children, and their size makes them great companions for younger kids, as well.
7. Golden Retriever
This is one of America’s most popular dog breeds and with good reason. No one can deny that these dark friendly eyes are really hard to resist. Golden retrievers are outgoing, loyal, and easy to train. They are very active dogs and excel in performance sports. On the other hand, if they don’t get enough exercise, they will most likely get into trouble. Goldens make excellent family dogs, and they really enjoy the noise and commotion of a house full of kids.
8. Irish Setter
Bold and boisterous, Irish Setters are very high-energy dogs that require at least one hour of exercise each day: long, brisk walks, bike rides and jogging are activities that suit them best. They are easy to train, but slow to mature, so training should continue well into adulthood. These dogs are best suited for older kids and not toddlers. They are also good with other dogs as well as cats, but will consider birds fair game, so keep your smaller pets out of their way.
9. Labrador Retriever
This strong, medium-sized dog is friendly and outgoing. Labs need lots of vigorous exercise and a job to do. They excel in many activities, such as agility, Flyball, tracking, therapy work, and many more. They make very affectionate and spirited companions, and they will bond with the whole family. Your kids will have some wonderful adventures with this intelligent, devoted and enthusiastic dog.
Newfies are among the world’s largest dogs, but don’t let their size intimidate you. These majestic animals are highly intelligent, loyal, patient and have a sweet temperament. They love children and are very protective of them. On the downside, they shed and drool considerably, so be prepared for that. This breed is easy to train and responds well to gentle guidance. Newfie puppies tend to be big and clumsy, so they must learn to be gentle with young children.
The pug is the largest toy breed and a great companion for people of all ages. Friendly, playful and extroverted, pugs don’t take themselves too seriously. Training a pug should be firm but fun. This sedentary dog needs very little it the way of exercise and will be most pleased when lying on your lap for a whole afternoon. Pugs get on well with other pets, including the family cat. Your kids will have lots of fun with this delightful, comical dog- just don’t expect him to run after any balls!
12. Standard Poodle
Standard poodles were originally water retrievers, so trimming their coats helped them swim more easily. This clever, talented, and affectionate dog has some serious grooming requirements. Apart from brushing the coat every other day, poodle owners may also need the help of a professional groomer once a month. Nonetheless, this is a highly trainable and intelligent breed. Like in most cases, socialization should start early on. As long as they are properly socialized, poodles get on very well with children and other pets.
The so-called “Gray Ghost” is a favorite of hunters and pet owners alike. Weimaraners are friendly, fearless, alert, and they make excellent family members. This breed has high exercise requirements and loves a good run. Training is also essential, so as to avoid bad behaviors. Weimaraners are ideal for active, older kids who know a thing or two about dogs.
Sources”Best Dog Breeds for Children”, akc.org, American Kennel Club, akc.org/dog-breeds/best-dogs-for-kids/. Accessed 9 Sept. 018.
“Incredibly Kid Friendly Dogs”, dogtime.com, TotallyHer Media, dogtime.com/dog-breeds/characteristics/compatible-with-kids. Accessed 9 Sept. 2018.
Palika, Liz. The Howell Book of Dogs: The Definite Reference to 300 Breeds and Varieties. Wiley, 2007.