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17 Best Family Dogs That Are Great With Kids

Choosing a family dog is a big decision that requires careful consideration. You want a dog that is gentle, patient and good with kids of all ages. The right dog will become a beloved member of your family and bring joy and companionship for years to come. In this article, we will discuss the characteristics of a good family dog, the types of dogs that are best for kids of all ages, how to choose the right dog for your family, the 17 best dogs for families and kids, tips for training a puppy to make it a great family dog and the pros & cons of buying a puppy versus adopting.

Characteristics of a Good Family Dog:

A good family dog should have the following characteristics:

  1. Gentle and Patient Temperament: A good family dog should be patient & gentle, even in chaotic situations. They should be tolerant of children’s playful behavior, including roughhousing, pulling on tails and ears and climbing on them.
  2. Good with Children of All Ages: The ideal family dog should be good with children of all ages, from infants to teenagers. They should be calm and gentle around babies and toddlers and playful and energetic around older children.
  3. High Tolerance for Noise and Chaos: A good family dog should be able to handle noise and chaos without getting stressed out. They should be able to tolerate loud noises, such as children’s screams and cries and remain calm in chaotic situations.
  4. Playful and Active, But Not Overly Hyper: The right family dog should be playful and active, but not overly hyper. They should enjoy playing with children, but not be so hyperactive that they become difficult to control.
  5. Protective, But Not Aggressive: A good family dog should be protective of their family, but not aggressive. They should be able to recognize the difference between a friendly visitor and an intruder and act accordingly.

What Types of Dogs are Best for Kids? (Of All Ages):

The best type of dog for your family depends on your lifestyle, the size of your house and the age and number of your children. Here are some of the best types of dogs for families with kids:

  1. Small Breeds: Small breeds, such as the Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu & Boston Terrier, are great for families with young children because they are easy to handle and less likely to knock over a small child.
  2. Medium Breeds: Medium breeds, such as the Beagle, Boxer & Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, are good for families with older children who can handle a slightly larger dog.
  3. Large Breeds: Large breeds, such as the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever & Bernese Mountain Dog, are good for families with older children who can handle a larger and more active dog.
  4. Hypoallergenic Breeds: Hypoallergenic breeds, such as the Poodle, are great for families with children who have allergies.
  5. Mixed Breeds: Mixed breeds, such as the Labradoodle, are a great choice for families because they combine the best traits of two different breeds.

How To Choose the Right Dog for YOUR Family:

Choosing the right dog for your family requires careful consideration. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  1. Lifestyle: Consider your lifestyle when choosing a dog. If you have an active lifestyle, you may want a dog that can keep up with you. If you have a more sedentary lifestyle, you may want a dog that is content to lounge around the house.
  2. Number and Age of Children: Consider the number and age of your children when choosing a dog. If you have young children, you may want a smaller dog that is less likely to knock them over. If you have older children, you may want a larger and more active dog that can keep up with them.
  3. Existing Pets: If you already have pets, it’s important to choose a dog that will get along with them. Some breeds are better suited for homes with other pets, while others may be more territorial.
  4. House, Space and Fencing: Consider the size of your house and yard when choosing a dog. If you have a small house or apartment, a smaller breed may be a better choice. If you have a large yard, a larger breed may be a better fit. Make sure your fencing is secure to prevent your dog from escaping.
  5. Breed Research: Research different breeds to find one that fits your criteria. Look for a breed that has the characteristics you are looking for and is known to be good with children.

17 Best Dogs For Families & Kids:

When it comes to finding the best dog for families and kids, there are many breeds to choose from. Here are 17 of the best dogs for families and kids, along with detailed information about each breed and why they made the list.

  1. Labrador Retriever:

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular family dogs in the world and for good reason. They are friendly, outgoing and love to play. They are also highly intelligent and easy to train, making them great for families with children of all ages. They are also known for their loyalty and gentle temperament, which makes them great with other pets.

  1. Golden Retriever:

Golden Retrievers are another popular family dog. They are gentle, friendly and patient with children. They are also loyal and easy to train, making them great for families with children of all ages. Golden Retrievers are also known for their intelligence and love for play, which makes them great companions for active families.

  1. Poodle:

Poodles are a hypoallergenic breed that is great for families with allergies. They are intelligent, trainable and good with children. They also come in different sizes, so you can choose the size that fits your family best. Poodles are also known for their elegant and dignified nature, which makes them great family pets.

  1. Boxer:

Boxers are a playful and energetic breed that is great for families with older children. They are intelligent, loyal and protective of their family, which makes them great guard dogs. They are also known for their playful and curious nature, which makes them great for active families.

  1. Beagle:

Beagles are a smaller breed that is great for families with young children. They are friendly, playful and good with children. They are also easy to train and have a great sense of smell, which makes them great for families that love to hike and explore.

  1. Bulldog:

Bulldogs are a gentle and loving breed that is great for families with children of all ages. They are loyal and protective of their family, but also have a laid-back personality. Bulldogs are also known for their affectionate nature, which makes them great lap dogs.

  1. Bernese Mountain Dog:

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a larger breed that is great for families with older children. They are gentle and affectionate, but also have a protective instinct, which makes them great guard dogs. They are also known for their intelligence and love for play, which makes them great companions for active families.

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a smaller breed that is great for families with children of all ages. They are friendly, outgoing and easy to train. They are also known for their affectionate nature, which makes them great lap dogs.

  1. Collie:

Collies are a loyal and intelligent breed that is great for families with older children. They are good with children, but also have a strong herding instinct, which makes them great for families with other pets. They are also known for their protective nature, which makes them great guard dogs.

  1. Newfoundland:

Newfoundlands are a larger breed that is great for families with older children. They are gentle and patient with children and also have a protective instinct, which makes them great guard dogs. They are also known for their intelligence and love for play, which makes them great companions for active families.

  1. Old English Sheepdog:

Old English Sheepdogs are a larger breed that is great for families with older children. They are playful, loyal and protective of their family, which makes them great guard dogs. They are also known for their gentle nature and love for play, which makes them great companions for active families.

  1. Samoyed:

Samoyeds are a playful and friendly breed that is great for families with children of all ages. They are also highly intelligent and easy to train, which makes them great for families who are looking for an obedient pet. They are also known for their fluffy, white coat and cheerful personality, which makes them a popular breed for families.

  1. Vizsla:

Vizslas are an active and athletic breed that is great for families with older children. They are loyal and affectionate and also have a strong hunting instinct, which makes them great for families who love to hunt or hike. They are also known for their playful and energetic nature, which makes them great companions for active families.

  1. Whippet:

Whippets are a smaller breed that is great for families with older children. They are playful and energetic, but also have a calm and gentle temperament, which makes them great for families who want a dog that can keep up with their active lifestyle. They are also known for their affectionate nature, which makes them great lap dogs.

  1. Bichon Frise:

Bichon Frises are a smaller breed that is great for families with young children. They are affectionate, playful and hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for families with allergies. They are also easy to train and have a great personality, which makes them great family pets.

  1. Shih Tzu:

Shih Tzus are a smaller breed that is great for families with young children. They are affectionate, playful and good with children, which makes them great family pets. They are also known for their fluffy coat and cute appearance, which makes them a popular breed for families.

  1. Boston Terrier:

Boston Terriers are a smaller breed that is great for families with children of all ages. They are friendly, outgoing and easy to train, which makes them great for families who want a dog that can keep up with their active lifestyle. They are also known for their affectionate nature and love for play, which makes them great family pets.

What if a Dog Didn’t Make This List – Does That Mean its a Bad Family dog?

No, not at all. There are many breeds of dogs that can make great family pets and just because a certain breed is not on this list does not mean that it is a bad choice for a family dog. Additionally, there are many mixed-breed dogs that make wonderful family pets. The key is to research the temperament and needs of any breed you are considering, as well as the individual dog’s personality and history if adopting from a shelter. Ultimately, the best dog for your family will depend on your lifestyle, the age and number of children in your family, existing pets and your living arrangements. It’s important to take the time to carefully consider these factors before making a decision on a new family pet.

Tips and Advice for Training a Puppy to Make it a Great Family Dog

Training your puppy is crucial in making them a great family dog. Here are some tips for training your puppy:

  1. Start training early: Start training your puppy as soon as possible. Puppies are most receptive to learning between the ages of 8-16 weeks.
  2. Use positive reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to reward good behaviour. Avoid using punishment or negative reinforcement, which can damage your puppy’s trust and confidence.
  3. Socialize your puppy: Socialize your puppy with people and other dogs. Take them to puppy classes, dog parks and other places where they can interact with other dogs and people.
  4. Be consistent with rules and boundaries: Establish rules and boundaries early on and be consistent with them. This will help your puppy understand what is expected of them.
  5. Provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation: Provide your puppy with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. Take them for walks, play games with them and give them toys and puzzles to play with.

Buying a Puppy vs Adopting:

When choosing a family dog, you have the option of buying a puppy or adopting from a shelter. Here are the pros & cons of each option:

Buying a Puppy:

ProsCons
You can choose a specific breed and get a puppy that fits your criteria.Puppies from breeders can be expensive.
You can often meet the puppy’s parents and see their temperament.Puppies from breeders may have health issues due to inbreeding.
You can start training your puppy from a young age.Buying a puppy may contribute to the overpopulation of dogs in shelters.

Adopting From a Shelter:

ProsCons
You can save a dog’s life by adopting from a shelter.You may not know the dog’s background or temperament.
Shelters have a variety of dogs of different breeds and ages to choose from.Adopted dogs may require more training and socialization than a puppy from a breeder.
Adopting a dog from a shelter is often less expensive than buying a puppy from a breeder.Adopted dogs may have health issues due to neglect or abuse.

Choosing the right family dog requires careful consideration. Consider your lifestyle, the number and age of your children, your existing pets and the size of your house and yard when choosing a dog. Look for a dog with a gentle and patient temperament, who is good with children of all ages and has a high tolerance for noise and chaos. Whether you choose to buy a puppy or adopt from a shelter, remember to start training your puppy early, use positive reinforcement and provide plenty of exercise & mental stimulation. With the right care and training, your new family dog will become a beloved member of your family for years to come.

Family Suitability by Breed

Are you trying to find out how suitable a particular breed would be for your situation? See below for detailed information on all of the most popular breeds.

17 Best Family Dogs That Are Great With Kids