18 best dogs for kids and families
Dog owners should make themselves aware of symptoms of chocolate poisoning (Photo: Adobe Stock)
helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on March 25, 2019

While dogs can be great fun for families, children can also learn valuable life lessons about responsibility.

Before we get started, helloBARK! must stress that you should never leave young children unsupervised with a dog, even a trusted family pet.

It’s important to recognise that every dog can have a different personality and temperament, irrespective of their breed and associated stereotypes.

As dog owners, it is important to teach basic manners and obedience from a young age to achieve a well-balanced dog. Training should continue throughout their lives.

Some breeds have a reputation for being extremely patient, which is understandably an important trait for a family pet to have.

Others have plenty of energy to play with their young companions in the garden or the yard.

But there are dog breeds that require delicate handling and wouldn’t be suited to the rough and tumble of a home with young children.

helloBARK!’s content doesn’t constitute expert advice, so if you’re looking to speak to someone with experience and knowledge, contact your local vet.

18) Australian Terrier

The Australian Terrier may be a small dog, standing at around 10 inches, but they’re robust pups. They’re curious but sturdy and can withstand family life. However, the American Kennel Club advises that the breed don’t always do well in a multi-dog home.

17) Basset Fauve de Bretagne

The chances are that you’ve never heard of Basset Fauve de Bretagne. An old French hound, they make great companion dogs and are very intelligent. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne are very adaptable to different environments. Weighing up to 35 pounds, they’ve got a robust physique but a cheerful demeanor.

16) Beagle

Dylan the Crazy Beagle
Dylan the Beagle (Photo: Dylan the Crazy Beagle / Instagram)

Snoopy has been adored by kids around the world since the 1950s. The cartoon Beagle has been brightening up family homes with his adventures. Beagles are small dogs that have an athletic physique to withstand the rigours of hunting. They’re patient and loving dogs, making them a hit with families. There is no limit to their energy, so they’ll relish being part of an active family.

15) Beauceron

On first impressions, you may have your doubts about Beauceron as a family dog. With a black and tan coat, these dogs can grow as tall as 27 inches and weigh up to 100 pounds. Beauceron as highly intelligent, even drawing comparisons to the world’s smartest dog, the Bordie Collie. AKC’s website writes that they’re loved by women for their “sensitive nature”.

14) Boxer

Boxer (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Boxer (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Ranked 10th out of 193 breeds in terms of popularity, Boxers can make great family pets. They’re loyal and protective of their family. While they’ve athletic and muscular, they’re ultimately caring and loving dogs. With a goofy personality, they’ll provide plenty of laughs in the home.

13) Bulldog

When you think of a sturdy dog breed, the Bulldog is one that quickly springs to mind. These quintessential British dogs are compact so they’re able to withstand the demands of a family home with over zealous children. They usually get along with other pets and visitors to the family home.

12) Bracco Italiano

Known for being one of the oldest members of the Pointer group, the Bracco Italian is a docile dog that is eager to please. They’re intelligent so relatively easy to train. Their laid-back nature means they’re patient around kids. However, they’re built to take part in hunts so have a strong build.

11) Bull Terrier

Achieving greater fame thanks to the Target dog, the Bull Terrier was bred to be a companion pup despite stereotypes about the breed. The AKC’s website describes these dogs as “playful and endearing”, with a deep affection for their owners and families. They’ve got sufficient energy levels to keep up with young children.

10) Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Golden Retriever is the quintessential family dog. They’re intelligent dogs so should be straightforward to train. Golden Retrievers are loving animals and very patient. They may not require as much exercise as you think, but they love to play a game of fetch in the garden or yard.

9) Irish Setter

The regal looking Irish Setter is another breed that enjoy being part of a family setting. Such is their reputation, the AKC describe the breed as ” famously good family dogs”. They’re cheerful dogs that love to play a game of fetch with adults and children. However, Irish Setters do have a reputation for suffering from separation anxiety.

8) Labrador Retriever

Dog labrador retriever playing outside smile in green park (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Dog labrador retriever playing outside smile in green park (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Like the Golden Retriever and Irish Setter, the Labrador Retriever is another breed that have a glowing reputation for their ability to slot effortlessly into family life. They’re very patient but playful, too. Labrador Retrievers are sociable dogs that do well in the company of other family members – human or animal.

7) Newfoundland

Newfoundlands have earned a name for their love and protection of children. While these dogs can grow to 28 inches and weigh up to 150 pounds, they’ve got a very kind nature. Newfoundlands are often described as “nanny dogs” due to their protective nature around young kids.

6) Poodle

Poodle (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Poodle (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Second only to the Border Collie in terms of intelligence, the Poodle are easy to train. They don’t shed a lot so Poodles make a potential option for families with children who are allergic to dogs. While they may be smart, Poodles are gentle and come in variety of different sizes to give you flexibility (toy, mini and standard).

5) Rough Collie

Having a reputation for being protective of children, thanks in part to the heroics of Lassie on our TV screens, the Rough Collie can make great family pets. Like the Border Collie, the Rough Collie is a smart dog and easy to train. They’re loyal to their family and patient with children.

4) Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Like the Poodle, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier doesn’t shed a lot so make a good choice for any families looking for a hypoallergenic dog. Aside from their coat, these Irish dogs are devoted to their families and are friendly when they meet new people. Robustly built, they can withstand daily life with boisterous young children.

3) Spanish Mastiff

These giant dogs have a reputation for being great family dogs. The Spanish Mastiff was used to protect livestock so is very protect of his family unit. The AKC website writes that these dogs are aware of their own strength and have an awareness of their enormous power.

2) Weimaraner

With boundless energy, these dogs will never tire of playing with young children. The Weimaraner has a reputation for being friendly dogs who love the companionship of humans. Not only that, but the “German Ghost” is an obedient dog.

1) Viszla

Not as well known as some other breeds on this list, the Viszla is a good option for families with older children. They’ve got a lot of energy to burn, so will love long hikes and walks. The Viszla become attached to their own and love to show affection to their fellow family members.