Although there are numerous options when it comes to the best dogs for a family, you should look for breeds that are loyal, loving, and gentle.

Many breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, and Poodles, make excellent family dogs. They are protective, loyal, playful, and great with children. Bernards, Irish Setters, Newfoundlands, and Great Danes adore being in the presence of their owners.

When it comes to adding a dog to your family, it's critical that everyone, including the kids, participates in the decision-making process. Of course, all dogs and puppies are adorable, but personality, activity needs, size, and grooming requirements are significant aspects to consider when selecting a breed.

As experienced dog breeders, we know all there is to know about the temperament of the various dog breeds. As such, we also know which breeds are the best for families. Therefore, we're more than qualified to write this list and let you know what you need to consider when choosing a furbaby for your family.  

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Things to Consider

Families are what make a house feel like a home. However, having a canine buddy by your side might make it feel complete. Bringing a dog into your home is like welcoming a new family member. The new furry buddy can bring joy to you and your children and make everyone happy (including itself!) The first thing to remember when looking for a family dog is that you'll need to train your children as well.

They can instill in your children the values of respect, responsibility, and cooperation. They can also serve as an excellent excuse to go for daily walks. Dogs can give us a whole new perspective on life and a reason to keep smiling.

Dogs, much like humans, can have individual personalities. And if you and your furry friend have different expectations, those personalities may clash. Dogs can be trained to be well-behaved by their owners. However, the dog's innate impulses and what they were designed to perform can still significantly impact how it behaves. Although no dog is born mean or aggressive, some may exhibit assertiveness at times. Some breeds require large spaces to run around and a lot of physical activity, while others enjoy living a more sedentary lifestyle. Hence, you might want to make sure that your dog is compatible with your living habits. Keep in mind, though, that dogs, like children, require proper care and pampering.

If you have children, the type of dog you choose may be influenced by their age. If they're in their teens or early adolescence, a more lively and energetic puppy might be a better choice. If you have young infants or toddlers, you may choose a dog that is calmer and friendlier.

First Things First

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs, regardless of their breed, have personalities and quirks. Children's demands, activity levels, and personalities differ as well.

When looking for a family pet dog, parents frequently consult friends or relatives or rely on personal experiences. Ideally, individuals should choose a breed based on the dog's expected lifestyle, keeping in mind the personality and age of the child as well as the breed's characteristics. Consider whether you want a peaceful dog, a low-maintenance dog, or a dog that can live in an apartment — though huge dogs can also make excellent family pets. Furthermore, nothing can replace attentive monitoring of the youngster with the pet and proper training. Make sure you have everything on your checklist before bringing a dog home.

Characteristics of a Family Dog

According to Canine Journal, you should examine the size of a dog, as well as your family's lifestyle and level of energy. These three qualities can help you choose an excellent family dog, regardless of whether it's a purebred or a mutt:

Temperament - The personality of the dog. You should look for someone with a pleasant demeanor. A calmer dog, for example, can build strong ties with your children and be a wonderful companion.

Size - A dog's size does not indicate whether or not it is good with children. Both temperament and energy level should be considered while determining size. Larger dogs are more docile, but smaller dogs are more energetic. If you have a family with young children, for example, a huge, boisterous dog may accidentally knock them down.

Energy level - This is a personal choice for you and your family. Be honest with yourself about the lifestyle you can provide for a dog who requires more exercise than the usual dog. If you can't meet a dog's demands, his extra energy can lead to behavior issues. If you are an ardent runner searching for a canine friend that likes to sit around may not be the greatest match.

Best Dogs for Families

Labrador Retriever

There's a lot to admire about Labrador retrievers, from their charming, caring dispositions to their never-ending excitement. Year after year, they are voted the most popular breed in the United States. Labrador retrievers are well-known for their intellect and pleasant demeanor. They are terrific friends and easier to train than other breeds, which is why they are used as search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs for the disabled and blind.

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds, and for good reason: it is playful, patient, affectionate, protective, and dependable. Another advantage is that labs are quite intelligent and respond well to training. They require a lot of physical activity (they love swimming!), so make sure your family is up to the task. All types of Labradors have the same stamina, strength, and loyalty that has made them so popular.

These friendly dogs get along with other animals and almost everyone they encounter, and their short coats mean they only need to be combed once a week to stay clean and healthy. However, because Labradors shed, you should be prepared to clean up their fur on a frequent basis. When it comes to choosing a family dog, this breed is highly devoted and affectionate, making them an excellent choice for a busy household.

Golden Retrievers

From the 1990s comedy "Full House" to the "Air Bud" movie franchise, golden retrievers have been portrayed as the ultimate family dogs in films and television. Golden Retrievers are noted for their charming, loving nature, as well as their patience and intellect. Plus, they are a popular breed for search and rescue, rehabilitation, military, and comfortable work. The Golden Retriever is a self-assured, intelligent, loving, and loyal dog. They are neither aggressive nor timid and are exceedingly patient, making them an ideal companion for children.

While the Golden Retriever requires a lot of exercise, they also like playing (retrieving activities are their favorite—for example, your dog may enjoy playing with frisbees. Golden Retrievers are also affectionate and obedient, ensuring that your children will fall in love with them right away. You will, however, have to brush their lush, golden hair twice a week for proper care.

Bernese Mountain Dogs

Whatever you call them, Berners, Bernies, or Bernese Mountain dogs, this Swiss breed would risk their lives to save anyone who needs help. When it comes to people, it's extremely protective—but not violent. Despite their size, they're gentle (particularly with younger children) and enjoy participating in family activities.


Despite their tough-guy reputation, boxers are actually quite lovely and affectionate dogs. If you have very small children or if your boxer likes to jump around over people, you can easily train them to be gentler with kids. Boxers respond exceptionally well to positive attention but can be a bit exuberant. They are known to get along well with children and have a strong desire to protect their families.

Alaskan Malamutes

Although Alaskan Malamutes were raised to hunt large prey such as bears and seals, they are now fully domesticated, gentle giants who would make a fantastic addition to any busy household. Because of their inherently amiable temperament, most visitors are greeted as friends rather than as opponents; as a result, they do not make good guard dogs.

Golden Doodles

Consider taking home a goldendoodle if you or a family member suffers from allergies and your household needs a dog. While no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, golden doodles, thanks to their poodle ancestors, come close. This breed is clever, athletic, and affectionate and gets along well with youngsters and other dogs.

Basset Hounds

At first look, a basset hound does not appear to be a giant breed, but their average weight puts them in the same league as Siberian huskies, golden retrievers, and goldendoodles, to mention a few. Despite their stubbornness, basset hounds are noted for their dedication and unwavering commitment to their family members. With youngsters and even other pets, they are friendly and patient (as long as the dog has been appropriately socialized). Just be aware that these hounds have a mind of their own and will require some training.

The Great Dane

The Great Dane is the gentle giant of the canine world, calm, loyal, and weighing in at 200 pounds when fully mature. But don't let their gigantic stature fool you—once they've matured, these king-sized dogs are placid and just require a few daily walks. Great Danes are like children, despite the fact that simply bumping into one might cause them to fall over.


Although rottweilers look fierce and aggressive, there is a lively and friendly element to this breed. Rottweilers have a nasty reputation, but they make great family pets if you have older children—not so much for small children. Like many other breeds, Rotties were created to herd cattle, with their robust and thick bodies bumping livestock in the appropriate way. However, they have a tendency to herd children by giving them a nudge, which could knock a little child over. A Rottweiler may be very protective of its family's children and may intercede when they are roughhousing with other children. The dog's natural prey drive may kick in, causing it to chase after running children.


If your family is only interested in purebred dogs, don't rule out mixed breeds. Mixed breeds frequently combine the greatest qualities of two (or more!) excellent breeds into a single dog. When you adopt a mixed-breed dog, you are saving the lives of two dogs: the one you adopt and the one at the rescue center for whom you have now created room.

You can also learn more about the dog's behavior by adopting. The shelter or rescue organization personnel spend their days caring for these dogs, so they can tell you all about their behavior and habits.


Aside from their distinctive hairstyles, Poodles are very intelligent and friendly dogs. This dog breed is proud and graceful, kind and devoted, and rarely annoyed or bored. They come in both miniature and normal sizes, allowing you to select the size that best suits your living situation. In addition, they're wonderful for youngsters with allergies because they don't shed much.

Each breed has its own set of advantages. For example, the standard poodle breed is adventurous, playful, intelligent, and obedient. They get along well with everyone they know, despite being shy around strangers.

Miniature Poodles, on the other hand, have a tendency to devote themselves to a single person, but they get along well with other pets and children. They are amusing, obedient, responsive, and intelligent. However, regardless of the Poodle breed, grooming is required on a regular basis.

The Irish Setter

The Irish Setter, known for its red coat, is a cheerful and energetic dog who enjoys being around people and gets along well with youngsters. In fact, this breed enjoys being with their family so much that they despise being alone; thus, they're at their best when they're with their loved ones. This dog requires a lot of exercise and is an excellent match for active children.

The Irish setter is a smart and trainable friend who is ideal for folks with a big yard, and they're also fantastic at greeting new visitors who come into your home. However, since these dogs have a longer coat, they will need to be groomed and brushed on a regular basis to avoid hair mats.


While this breed isn't precisely well-known, it's one of the greatest dog breeds for active and energetic families with older children, owing to their desire for frequent activity. The Vizsla is a loyal and friendly dog with a lot of energy yet a gentle demeanor.

The breed is also intelligent, self-assured, and docile. Vizslas build strong ties with their family members and are quick to pick up new skills. Plus, they are low-maintenance because of their short coat.


The Newfoundland, sometimes known as "Nature's Babysitter," is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, and these canines also happen to love and defend children. This breed is nearly like the Mother Teresa of dogs, patient, compassionate, and gentle. This huge, incredibly lovely dog will soon win over both younger and older family members.

They are known to drool and shed excessively and are best suited to a family with big, open spaces. Their long coats will need to be groomed and maintained on a regular basis.

The Newfoundland is also an excellent swimmer who has been known to save lives in the event of an emergency. They are easily trained and task-oriented, so don't hesitate to provide stimulation that demands more effort from them.

Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier was developed to be a companion dog, friendly and kind to adults and children alike, despite its unfair reputation as an aggressive animal. Keep in mind that your Bull Terrier may be prone to mischief, especially when it comes to other small animals and dogs. Therefore, you should train them well and keep them mentally and physically busy every day to avoid complications.

The short, flat coat of a Bull Terrier is easy to maintain, and the breed thrives when it has easy access to a yard to play in.


The Beagle is a fantastic breed for families because of its small size (they may easily be carried!) and quiet disposition. Beagles were bred to be hunting dogs, and because of their strong frame, they are never too tired to play games. If your children enjoy being outside, this breed will fit right in because there is nothing they enjoy more than getting outside and exploring the trails.

The Beagle is a smart, cheerful, and happy dog that normally gets along with other animals (except for a bit of chasing here and there). They do shed, therefore brushing and bathing are required on a regular basis.


If you want a dedicated, patient dog who will act affectionately toward children, you should get a bulldog. A Bulldog is built to last and is ideal for young children. He won't, however, be recognized as the "most energetic dog."

The Bulldog is a gentle, sociable, and loyal dog who gets along well with other pets and canines. Bulldogs are adaptable and will feel at ease in both large and small apartments. Most are also friendly to outside visitors and get along with other dogs, making them ideal for busy, social homes.

If you're thinking of getting a Bulldog, bear in mind that their constricted jaw requires extra attention when it comes to dental cleaning. In addition, drooling, snoring, and wheezing are all part of the package. To avoid dirt buildup, the folds around their tail and face wrinkles will need to be cleaned. Their coat, on the other hand, requires very little attention.

Picking a new dog for your home should be a little bit easier now that you know a little bit about the best dogs for families.


Russell Wright

Russell Wright

I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.

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