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9 Best Dog Breeds For Families With Kids

9 Best Dog Breeds For Families With Kids

What is the best dog breed for families with kids? The answer depends on what you're looking for in a family pet. Are you looking for a large dog breed who can play fetch with the kids and accompany you on hikes or runs? A Labrador Retriever may be a great choice for you. If you're looking for a gentle and tolerant pet who can withstand energetic toddlers, you may consider a Golden Retriever. Or maybe you want a snuggly companion to cuddle up with during family movie nights—a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel would be a great choice!

The right dog can be a loyal friend, a playful companion, and a loving protector for your children. Here are nine dog breeds that are known for their friendly and playful nature, making them great family pets.

How to Find the Best Dog Breeds for Kids

When you're searching for a dog for your family, you should consider several factors in order to make sure you find a good match for the whole family. Look at the breed characteristics, size, temperament, and energy level of the dog to determine if they align with your family's lifestyle. Some breeds are known for their patience and gentleness with children, while others may require more active engagement and exercise.

You should also consider the age and activity level of your children. Younger kids might benefit from a more patient and tolerant breed like a Golden Retriever, whereas older, more active children might enjoy a dog that loves to play and participate in family activities, such as a Beagle.

Which Dogs Make the Best Family Dogs?

The best companion dogs for families are friendly, tolerant, and affectionate. The best dog breeds for kids should be able to handle the often unpredictable nature of children and enjoy being part of a bustling household.

Here are nine breeds that make great family dogs.

1. Labrador Retriever: The Ultimate Family Dog

Labrador Retrievers are often considered the ultimate family dogs because of their friendly and outgoing nature. They are large dogs—typically weighing between 55 and 80 pounds—and are known to be incredibly intelligent and easy to train. Labradors are typically patient and gentle with children, making them one of the best family dogs.

Labs are also highly energetic and love to play, so they're perfect companions for active families. Whether they're playing fetch in the backyard or joining in on a family hike, Labradors are always up for an adventure.

2. Golden Retriever: Friendly and Loyal Companions

A Golden Retriever is another top choice for a family pet. They're known for their friendly and loyal nature and make great companions for children of all ages. Golden Retrievers are medium to large-sized dogs, weighing between 55 and 75 pounds. They have beautiful golden coats and a gentle demeanor.

Golden Retrievers are patient and tolerant, making them perfect for households with young children. They are also very intelligent and easy to train, which can be a big plus for first-time dog owners. Like Labradors, Golden Retrievers are active dogs that enjoy outdoor activities and playing fetch, so you can be sure they can keep up with the energy of an active family.

3. Beagle: Energetic and Kid-Friendly

If you're looking for a small to medium sized dog, a Beagle is a great choice. They are known for their energetic and kid-friendly nature. They typically weigh between 20 and 30 pounds, making them the perfect size for families living in smaller homes or apartments.

Beagles have a lot of energy and love to play, making them a good match for active families. They are also known for their curious and adventurous nature, so they enjoy exploring and going on family outings. Beagles are affectionate and loyal, and are known to form strong bonds with their family members.

4. Bulldog: Gentle and Affectionate

Bulldogs may not be the most energetic dog breed, but their gentle and affectionate nature makes them a great family dog. These medium-sized dogs, weighing between 40 and 50 pounds, are known for their cute wrinkled faces and sturdy build. Bulldogs are known to be very patient and tolerant, making them excellent companions for young children.

Despite their sometimes intimidating appearance, Bulldogs are very friendly and loving. They are relatively low-energy dogs, preferring short walks and plenty of cuddle time. This makes them an ideal choice for families looking for a more laid-back pet that can provide lots of affection and companionship.

5. Poodle: Intelligent and Adaptable

Poodles come in three sizes—standard, miniature, and toy—and they all rank among the best family dogs. Known for their intelligence and adaptability, Poodles are highly trainable and can be great companions for children. They can range anywhere in size from 4 to 70 pounds, depending on the type, so you have different options depending on your living situation.

Poodles are also hypoallergenic, making them one of the best dog breeds for families with allergies. They get along well with children, and their high level of intelligence means they can learn and adapt to family routines quickly. Poodles enjoy a mix of playtime and training sessions to keep them engaged and happy.

6. Collie: Gentle and Protective

Collies are herding dogs known for their gentle and protective nature, making them a wonderful addition to families with children. These medium to large-sized dogs, weighing between 50 and 75 pounds, are famous for their beautiful coats and loyal personalities. Collies are incredibly patient and often form strong bonds with children.

One of the standout qualities of Collies is their protective instinct. They are known to be vigilant and caring guard dogs, often watching over children and keeping them safe. Collies are also very intelligent and easy to train, making them a good choice for families looking for a dog that can learn commands and follow household rules.

7. Boxer: Energetic and Fun-Loving

Boxers are energetic and fun-loving dogs that thrive with active families. Weighing between 50 and 70 pounds, Boxers are medium to large-sized dogs that are known for being playful and affectionate. They are great companions for older children who can match their high energy levels.

Boxers are very loyal and protective and are also considered good guard dogs who form strong bonds with their family members. They love to play and engage in physical activities, making them a great fit for families that enjoy outdoor adventures. Despite their sometimes boisterous nature, Boxers are gentle and loving, making them a good family dog.

8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Loving and Playful

If a large dog isn't what you're looking for, consider a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are small dogs, weighing between 13 and 18 pounds, known for their loving and playful nature. These dogs are great companions for children and good for families living in smaller homes or apartments.

Cavaliers are very adaptable and can be both active and relaxed, depending on the family's lifestyle, and they enjoy both playtime and cuddles. Their gentle and patient nature makes them a good dog breed for families with young children or first-time dog owners.

9. Irish Setter: Energetic and Friendly

Irish Setters are known for being energetic and friendly, making them a great family pet for outdoor lovers. These large dogs, weighing between 60 and 70 pounds, are famous for their beautiful red coats. Irish Setters are very friendly and get along well with children and other pets. Irish Setters are very affectionate and loyal, forming strong bonds with their family members.

Bonus: Mixed Breeds

When searching for the best dog breeds for kids, don't discount mixed breeds and rescue pups. Mixed breed dogs can make wonderful family pets. They often combine the best traits of multiple breeds, resulting in a unique and well-rounded companion. Mixed breeds are available in all sizes and temperaments, so it's possible to find one that fits perfectly with your family's lifestyle.

Adopting a mixed breed dog from a shelter can be a rewarding experience, giving a loving home to a dog in need. Many mixed breed dogs are friendly, loyal, and great with children, making them excellent family pets. Be sure to discuss their temperament with the rescue staff, as some rescue dogs have trauma backgrounds and don't do well with children or other pets.

Find the Right Dog Breed For Your Family

Whether you opt for a purebred or a mixed breed, the key to finding the best dog breed for kids is choosing one that fits well with your family's dynamics and can provide years of love and companionship.

It's always a good idea to spend time with a dog before making a decision, if possible. This can help you get a sense of the dog's personality and how they interact with your family. Consulting with breeders, veterinarians, or animal shelter staff can also provide insights and help you make the best choice.

Once you've found the perfect companion, you can start setting up a safe and cozy space in your home for your new pet. Make sure they have a safe space like a crate or dog bed, plenty of toys to keep them occupied, a great leash for walks, and some yummy treats!

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