10 Best Dogs for Kids and Families: The Best Family Dogs

We may receive commissions when you buy through links on our site. Read here.

Thinking about adopting a puppy or a dog soon because your kids are asking for it? Or you simply just want to get them because you love dogs. Whatever the reason may be, getting dogs that suit you can be more difficult than you think. However, we have picked the 10 best dogs that have a good history with kids and families which you may consider.

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers, the most popular breed in America. They are the favorite breed when it comes to assisting disability due to their eagerness to learn, trainability and reliability. Also, they are widely used by official agencies for screening and detection work. Because of these reasons, they have earned themselves a reputation as the great therapy and service dogs.

Now you can imagine how good Labrador Retrievers are and why they are always the favourite. However, there is one job they are terrible at which is guarding. You will often hear how Labs owners talk about them greeting strangers. That said, one thing that is always true is they are the perfect companion and partner. 

2. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. They are medium to large size hunting dogs that were originally bred in Scotland to retrieve upland birds and waterfowl in the 19th century. And today, they featured in many TV shows and movies such as The Art of Racing in the Rain and Homeward Bound thanks to their beauty.

This beautiful dog is extremely intelligent, friendly and confident. You will expect to see them pleasing you all the time with their smiling face. They are so affectionate that you can’t really resist and say no to them when they want cuddles. Golden Retrievers are also gentle, patient and love to play with kids which makes them a great addition to your family.

You May Also Like: How Much Is A Golden Retriever?

3. Bulldog

English Bulldog

There is a reason why this breed is named Bulldog. Their history can be traced back to the 1200s which they were bred in England for the blood sport called Bull-baiting. The bull would be tied to an iron stake to fight against the dogs. It was not until 1835 that the sport was finally outlawed when the Parliament passed the Cruelty to Animals Act.

Despite their ferocious history, today they were known to be docile, kind and calm. This muscular and medium size dog has a pushed-in nose and wrinkled face. They love to approach people and get along with everyone. They are also great for children especially the younger one as they have a lot of energy to handle the curious kids. 

4. Pug


The history suggests that Pugs originated in China in the ancient times and were bred for the ruling families as companions. They were highly valued by the Emperors and were regarded as treasures. Until the 16th century, Pugs were brought to Europe and have become the official dog of the House of Orange after saving the life of the Prince of Orange.

Pugs can be easily distinguished by their short snout, black mask, and wrinkled face. Because of their size and nature, they don’t need a big running field and are comfortable to live in an apartment. They are gentle, love to play and are always ready for games which is great as they can be your kid’s best friend. 

5. Boxer


Their ancestors, Bullenbeisser, were used as hunting dogs in the past to trap big game such as bears, wild boar, and deer until the hunters arrived. They then lose their jobs after the changing political situations. In the late 19th century, Boxer was unofficially developed and this breed was only recognized by American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904. They were employed as war dogs during World War to attack, guard, and send messages, and became popular when they were brought home by the soldiers.

This medium to large size and muscular breed is intelligent, courageous and energetic. They get along with people and have a very playful temperament in spite of their history. If you have kids at home, Boxer can make an excellent companion due to their patience and protective nature. 

6. Beagle


It is believed that the basis for the modern Beagle breed was formed by Reverend Philip Honeywood in the mid 19th century. They were then brought to the U.S. by General Richard Rowett around the same time to refine their look. In 1885, American Kennel Club (AKC) registered the first Beagle and this breed was spread worldwide in the 20th century.

Beagles are known to have a strong sense of smell given that they were originally bred as scent hounds. Unlike how the normal dog barks, they can vocalize in three different ways and may bay when they catch a scent. Because of their nature, they are always curious and require a lot of attention and exercises which makes them ideal for active households. 

7. Poodle


Did you know where the name “Poodle” comes from? It was actually derived from the German word “Puledin” which means splashing in the water. They are one of the oldest breeds developed to hunt waterfowls. They come in three different sizes from small to large, the Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle, and the Standard Poodle.

Poodles have won in many dog shows over the years and are considered as one of most intelligent dog breeds. That also means they are very easy to train. Not to mention they are sociable, energetic, and love physical and mental activities such as agility training and hide and seek. This is why they are so popular in America and are ideal for families with kids. 

8. Collie


The long double coated dog, Collie also known as “Rough Collie” or “Long-Haired Collie” is a medium to large Scottish breed. They were used for herding sheep back in the 1800s and have become popular after the book called Lad published in 1919, featuring the life of Collie. Then, another novel, Lassie and the movies, Lassie Come Home were released in the 1940s which made Collie even more popular.

They have great stamina and with the herding background, it makes them perfect at outdoor adventures. Additionally, they are intelligent, agile and extremely energetic which they can run all day. They also love to play with kids and not to mention their reputation of being the best family dogs. They are ideal for active families that love outdoor activities. 

9. Newfoundland

Pure Bred Newfoundland

Newfoundland dogs also known as “Knewfies” or “Newfs” are the fisherman working partners in history. They are being used heavily for retrieving fish gear, hauling caught fish to the market, and rescuing humans. They love and are devoted to humankind which history suggests a Newfs called Seaman saved lives from a buffalo that charged towards the camp.

Newfs are trustworthy, loyal, and gentle to children. Although they are not guard dogs, they will step up to protect you and your family if they sense danger. They are muscular, heavily coated and have webbed feet which makes them a great swimmer and rescuer. Newfs are more suitable for a spacious home due to their size and will be fantastic if they can get direct access to the lake where they can jump in and swim. 

10. Irish Setter

Irish Setter

As its name implies, this is an Irish breed, created from Old Spanish Pointer in the 1700s. They were originally bred for hunting purposes, especially for setting and pointing upland birds. Today, people still use them as gundogs because of their strong sense of smell, but you will see them more as companions due to their sweet-natured temperament.

Although they are not as popular as other breeds, they are still good family dogs. Reason being they get along with other pets and can be great playmates for children. Keep in mind that they were originally bred for hunting, meaning they love to run and need a lot of exercises which make them more suitable for active families. 

What to Consider When Looking for the Best Dogs for Kids and Families

Yes, puppies are adorable and it can be very exciting when bringing a puppy home that can play with you and your kids. However, there are a few things you should really consider especially if you got kids at home. 

1. Size

Have you ever thought that you can’t get a large dog if you live in a small and compact space? Well, this is not necessarily the case as large dogs are known to be more mild-mannered. However, you should make sure they have enough room to move around and have adequate exercise to keep them healthy. Small dogs are however the opposite, they are more excitable and more likely to bark. 

2. Energy

This will depend on your family and how active you want your dog to be. For instance, if you love outdoor activities, you should consider dogs with high energy levels like Collie. Pick according to your lifestyle, remember a happy dog will create less trouble, meaning your family will be happier.

3. Temperament

This is the personality of the dog. Some dogs are very impatient and some are calm. This is important as you need to ensure they are able to get along with your family especially your children.