Top 5 Dog Breeds for Families with Children

If you want a dog that gets along with children, there are a lot of breeds that are good choices. Almost any dog can get along well with kids, in principle. Age, size, breed, and obedience training are just a few of the variables that might impact your chances of choosing an excellent family dog. Consider your children’s ages and levels of exercise. A clumsy, gangly puppy that is unaware of its size can topple toddlers. Larger kids run the risk of crushing a little dog if they are not constantly careful.

What characteristics make a good family dog?

Above all, it is usually more important to consider your dog’s unique personality than its breed. If your goal is to have a dog and a child live together in your house, your dog should have the following qualities:

  • A steady and even temperament is essential for your new dog to be able to handle the excitement of children and become a wonderful buddy in the process.
  • An acceptable size where little dog breeds tend to be more delicate and energetic; as a parent, you are aware that children are not always the softest. On the other hand, large dog types are often more kind, but when they play, they might unintentionally topple little toddlers.
  • Dog’s energy levels. How active your family is will determine this in significant part. You must ensure that you have the time to take your high-energy dog on frequent walks and playdates. Additionally, you should not get a low-energy dog for your small children if they spend a lot of time running about since they can get annoyed by all the activity.

Selecting the ideal dog breed for kids is important, but so is educating your kids to treat dogs with kindness; doing so will help to ensure that your home is peaceful.

Breed-Specific Characteristics

There is a widespread belief that some dog breeds get along well with kids. A clever, trainable dog with a calm disposition and moderate activity levels is suitable for a family with children. It is also crucial to have a dog with a soft mouth or bite inhibition. Due to their training as retrieving dogs, canines such as golden retrievers and labradors have a “soft mouth” embedded in their DNA. They were taught not to bite down on their prey once they were retrieved. The best dogs for kids should not be violent, be able to tolerate being grabbed by the hair sometimes, and give lots of hugs.

Here are 5 types of dogs that have a history of good behavior around children.

Close-up photography black labrador retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labs make devoted family pets. They are among the last canines to become hostile due to their even temperament. They are gregarious, kind, compassionate, and extremely intelligent dogs. They get along nicely with other family pets and children. When a youngster hugs, pats, or prods them, they accept it. Their laid-back attitude is quite beneficial for households with little children. Given that they require a lot of daily activity, they like large spaces, ideally with a backyard.

Breed Overview

  • Group: Sporting (AKC)
  • Height: 21 to 24 inches
  • Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
  • Coat and color: Yellow, chocolate, or black short, thick double coat
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

adult golden retriever on a grass field

Golden Retriever

A labrador retriever with longer hair and more fur is similar to a golden retriever. They have rather similar temperaments: they are kind, easygoing, understanding, and non-aggressive. If this breed does not have a positive outlet for all of its abundant energy, it may become hyperactive and even a little uncontrollable. Playful and intelligent, this breed may be an excellent friend for kids at school, engaging in yard activities like fetch.

Breed Overview

  • Group: Sporting (AKC)
  • Height: 21 to 24 inches
  • Weight: 55 to 75 pounds
  • Coat and Color: Medium-length, brilliant double coat in light to dark gold
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

poodle standing on a pink background


Poodles have a wonderful disposition and are quite intelligent. The intense activity of a poodle is sometimes equal to that of a youngster. Poodles are tolerant, kind, affectionate, and cuddly. Additionally, you may choose between toy, tiny, or normal sizes. Families with kids would probably do better with the bigger, standard poodle since it is the toughest and can take a lot more abuse than the smaller breeds.

Breed Overview

  • Group: Non-sporting (AKC)
  • Height: Standard: more than 15 inches; Miniature: between 10 to 15 inches; Toy: less than 10 inches 
  • Weight: 45 to 70 pounds is standard; 15 to 18 pounds is miniature; and 5 to 9 pounds is toy.
  • Coat and color: Curly, dense single coat; may be one of many solid colors, including but not limited to white, black, gray, brown, and apricot
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 18 years

close-up photography of beagle  


Kids may enjoy the pleasant, intelligent, and manageable size of beagles, due to their association with “Snoopy.” They often react rather well to training, even though some might be a little hypersensitive. They are a gregarious breed that takes pleasure in being with people, especially kids. They rapidly form a relationship with a youngster and are faithful. It may even be the ideal security dog for your child, alerting you to intruders with its characteristic baying howl. Being a talkative breed, it might not be the ideal canine companion for small children who wake up easily from noises like barking.

Breed Overview

  • Group: Hound (AKC)
  • Height: 13 to 15 inches
  • Weight: 20 to 25 pounds
  • Coat and color: Short coats in all hound colors, including but not limited to tri-color (tan, black, and white), red and white, and lemon and white
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 15 years

shetland sheepdogShetland Sheepdog

Collies, or “Lassie” dogs, are similar to shelties. They are kind, patient, and quiet breeds that frequently get along well with kids of all shapes and sizes. Shelties like being around people. Although the breed gets along well with kids and is lively, it requires considerable training to overcome its innate tendency to bite or herd. Make sure the dog and children get along by keeping a close check on their interactions as too energetic kids might overwhelm the dog.

Breed Overview

  • Group: AKC Herding
  • Height: 13 to 16 inches
  • Weight: 15 to 25 pounds 
  • Coat and color: Black, sable, and blue merle with white markings; double-coated with a long, rough outer coat and a short, thick undercoat.
  • Average life: 12 to 14 years

Breeds to Avoid

Certain dogs do not adjust well to homes with little children. The youngsters might not respect limits; some could move fast, gaze, or prefer to shout or screech in a high-pitched voice. Spitz breeds such as Akitas, Chows, Huskies, or Malamutes are often more intellectual than other breeds and may not be the friendliest to a youngster in the home. Additionally, certain smaller attention-hogging breeds with large personalities—like Chihuahuas, Pekingese, or Shih Tzus—might not be the ideal choices.


In conclusion, the top five dog breeds are distinguished by their mild disposition, versatility, and loving temperament when it comes to being the best options for families with kids. In addition to being excellent companions, these breeds help create a happy and peaceful home atmosphere by strengthening the relationships that youngsters have with their animal companions.