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Pawsome—These 25 Best Family Dog Breeds Are Great Around Kids


When it comes time to add a pet to your family, choosing the best dog breeds for kids can be hard. Do you want a small dog breed or a large dog breed? One that is really active or likes to lounge around? Is the dog breed you love good with little kids or better suited for older kids? Those are just a few of the questions you’ll need to ask before settling on which of these best family dogs for kids is best for you.

To help you narrow down your search, we rounded up 25 of the best family dogs for kids. Though, we have to admit, choosing just one of the dog breeds for kids from this adorable list might still be tough. Check out all of the best family dog breeds for kids below to see which one you think will fit in best with your fam.

25 Family Dogs for Kids

1. German Shepherd

Portrait of a German Shepherd Dog.

Portrait of a German Shepherd Dog.

If you’re looking for a loyal companion, German Shepherds are just that. They are great at learning and following commands and are very protective of the people they love when they need to be.

2. Golden Retriever

This beautiful dog is one of the most popular family dogs in the United States and we can see why! Golden Retrievers are kind, gentle, playful, and trustworthy. They easily fit into new environments and love pleasing their owners.

3. Bernese Mountain Dog

These dogs may be large, but they are like big teddy bears when it comes it interacting with children, so you won’t have to worry about them getting rough with your youngsters. Besides a Bernese Mountain Dog’s gentle personality, they also love chilly weather so if you live up north, these dogs are the perfect match for you and your family.

Related: Large Dog Breeds

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This breed is not only super-cute, but it’ll develop its personality based on who it’s around. So if your family is more laidback, your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be, but if you guys are more active and energetic, then it will be, too.

5. Samoyed

Samoyed dog on the lawn with her puppies

Samoyed dog on the lawn with her puppies

If you want a pet that’s always happy, a Samoyed is what you’re looking for. They constantly have a smile on their face and are very kind, gentle, and smart pets. Plus, since they are super-fluffy, you and your littles will love snuggling with them.

6. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are all about being part of a pack – whether that be a human pack or a dog pack. That’s why they’d be a great addition to your family. Once they are part of your crew, they will see you as their leader and do anything to please you.

7. Australian Shepherd

Aussies are herding dogs that are known for their multicolored eyes and beautiful coats. They have lots of energy, so they’re great playmates for children and families that enjoy being active rather than staying indoors.

8. Keeshond

Keeshonds are basically friendly, medium-sized fluffballs. They are very attentive, love learning new tricks, and thrive in social situations where they can play and interact with others.

Related: 25 Adorable Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds That Don't Shed

9. Bichon Frise

This bundle of joy will easily become the center of attention in your family, and it’s easy to see why! The small canine is beyond cute with its curly white coat and cheerful attitude and is the perfect-sized lapdog for adults and kids.

10. Pug

dog breed pug under the pink blanket

A pug under a pink blanket

If you live in an apartment and want a family pet, think about getting a Pug. They don’t need a large yard to run around in, and instead would rather be inside playing and lounging around.

11. Labrador

Labs have sweet personalities and are incredibly social. They pretty much get along with anyone they meet and enjoy being part of a family that spends time outdoors doing things like hiking.

12. Labradoodle

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Chances are you’ve seen a Labradoodle around your neighborhood. They have become super-popular because of their calm demeanor and the fact that they are hypoallergenic, even though they have beautiful curly coats.

Related: 50 Best Small Dog Breeds

13. Shelter Dogs

Don’t let the past of a shelter dog turn you away from having one as a family pet. Most rescue dogs tend to be incredibly kind and grateful when they find their forever homes and can be some of the most gentle and loving pets.

14. Irish Setter

Irish Setters are very active dogs and can get extremely attached to their families. Because of this, sometimes they can get separation anxiety if they are left alone for a long time.

15. Yorkshire Terriers

Cute Yorkshire terrier lying down on the floor and looking at camera.

This is a cute Yorkshire terrier lying down on the floor and looking at the camera.

Don’t let their size fool you . . . Yorkies may be small, but they have big personalities. They are competitive, fun-loving, and protective if they feel that one of their loved ones is in danger. However, they make better pets if you have older children and not small children because of their tiny frames.

16. Bulldog

If your family has more of an easy-going lifestyle, a Bulldog would fit right in. They’re a breed that enjoys things like walks, taking naps and just hanging out, so they aren’t hard to have.

17. Poodle

Loyal? Check. Intelligent? Check. Friendly? Check. It’s no wonder Poodles have such a good reputation for being amazing family dogs. In fact, they have been said to be one of the most obedient breeds of dogs.

Related: 300 Unique Dog Names 

18. Chow Chow

There’s no denying it, Chow Chows are furry and friendly! They do require a good amount of brushing so their coats don’t mat, but besides that, they are pretty independent pets that don’t require a ton of maintenance.

19. Newfoundland Dog

Known as “Newfies,” these large dogs are gentle giants. And even though they can weigh 100 to 150 pounds, they are very patient and caring, especially when it comes to your little ones.

20. Dalmatian

Dalmation with dog ornament

These spotted pooches can keep up with even the most energetic children thanks to their lively natures. They are the ultimate pup playmate. Every kid needs a DalmatianBFF.

21. Sheltie

This dog breed likes keeping busy and being around others, which makes them great pets. You’ll fall in love with a Sheltie the moment you bring them home to join your family.

22. Sheepadoodle

As a cross between an Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle, a Sheepadoodle is tender, smart, good-natured, and cuddly. Talk about great qualities for a family pet.

23. Afghan Hound

It’s no secret that these dogs are dignified with their long coats. However, despite being glamorous, Afghan Hounds make great family pets as long as they have been socialized as puppies.

24. Miniature Schnauzer
These minimal-shedding, pocket-sized pups are perfect for hands-on families. And since they are so small, they can pretty much go with you anywhere.

25. Vizsla

If you have a big family, a Vizsla would be a good fit for you because they aren’t the type of dog that likes spending time alone. They love being active and usually form tight bonds with their owners.

Check out these 50 dog puns that get you howling!

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