The Best Dog Breeds for Families with Kids

A light golden retriever laying in bed with a woman and two children

Choosing a furry friend to welcome into your family is an exciting journey filled with anticipation and joy. It's a delightful adventure that promises to bring boundless love and happiness to your home. But when you have little ones running around, the quest to find the best dog breeds for families takes on a new dimension. It's not just about finding a pet; it's about finding a new family member who will fit seamlessly into your family dynamics, bringing joy and harmony to all.

In this guide, we delve deep into the world of the best family dogs for kids, helping you find that perfect four-legged companion who will not only become your children's best friend but also a loving and protective member of your family. So, buckle up and join us on this joyous ride as we explore the wonderful world of dogs that are known for their affectionate nature and kid-friendly disposition.

What Should You Look For in a Family Dog?

When it comes to choosing the best dog breeds for families, especially those with kids, there are several factors to consider to ensure a happy and safe relationship between your children and their furry friend. Here are some things to consider when looking for a family-friendly dog:


A dog with a gentle and patient temperament is often a hit with kids. These dogs are tolerant of the noise and energy that children can bring into a home. They are also more likely to form strong bonds with the little ones, becoming their playmates and protectors.

Size and Strength

While size isn't everything, when it comes to kids, it can be a significant factor. You'll want a breed that's sturdy enough to handle playtime without being so large that they might accidentally knock a small child over. 


Intelligent dogs are often easier to train, making them great family companions. These breeds can quickly learn commands, house rules, and even tricks, which can be a fun activity for kids to engage in.


Low-maintenance breeds can be a blessing for busy families. Consider dogs that don't require extensive grooming or have fewer health issues, allowing you more time to enjoy the joys of pet ownership without the added stress of constant upkeep.

Remember, the best family dogs for kids are those that complement your family's lifestyle and can easily become a beloved member of your household!

10 Family-Friendly Dog Breeds

While the best dog breed for your family with kids will depend on your lifestyle and unique needs, there are some breeds that, as a whole, are better suited to the task than others. Keep in mind that while these dog breeds may have characteristics that make them great family pets, you will still need to work on training and socialization to ensure they mesh well with your household. 

Now, without further ado, here’s a list of dogs that tend to make the best dogs for kids and families!

An adult golden retriever running through grass

1. Golden Retrievers 

When it comes to the best dog breeds for families, the Golden Retriever tops the list with its friendly demeanor and unwavering loyalty. Known for their beautiful golden coats and heartwarming smiles, they are a bundle of joy waiting to shower your family with love.

Their personality is characterized by a friendly and tolerant attitude, which makes them excellent companions for kids, especially those who are learning how to interact with dogs. They are incredibly patient, often becoming the favorite playmate and protector for your children. 

Despite their calm disposition, Goldens are also playful, striking the perfect balance in a family setting. They have high exercise needs, thriving with regular playtime and walks, which makes them a great fit for families who enjoy outdoor activities.

A yellow lab jumping in the air to catch a ball

2. Labrador Retrievers 

Labrador Retrievers, commonly called Labs, are another excellent choice for families. These dogs are loved globally for their loving nature and intelligence, often ranking as one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide. 

Labs are known for their outgoing and even-tempered personality, easily getting along with both adults and children, which makes them a delightful addition to any family. Their disposition is gentle, complemented by a keen intelligence that makes them easy to train, allowing for a smooth integration into family homes and routines. 

Being energetic and active, Labs require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They are always thrilled to join family outings, whether it's a trip to the park or a day at the beach, making them great companions for active households. 

A light colored standard poodle sitting in grass looking to the camera

3. Poodles

For a family-friendly dog that doesn’t shed like Labs and Goldens, look to a Poodle! These intelligent and graceful dogs come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy, offering a suitable option for families of all kinds. 

Poodles are known for their sharp minds and trainable nature, which makes them a joy to have in families, especially those with kids eager to take part in the training process. Their disposition is generally friendly and gentle, making them great companions for children. Despite their sometimes posh reputation, they are playful and enjoy engaging in games and outdoor activities. Did you know poodles were originally bred for duck hunting? 

Their exercise needs are moderate, and they enjoy both physical activities and mental stimulation, making puzzle toys a great option for them. Their loving and adaptable nature, combined with their intelligence, makes them one of the best family dogs for kids

A male beagle sitting in a sidewalk

4. Beagles

If you’re a fan of Snoopy, you might love a Beagle! And while they might not ever learn to fly a dog house, their nose can sometimes get them into small amounts of trouble. Despite this, Beagles are a wonderful addition to families, especially those with children.

These small to medium-sized dogs are known for their curious and merry nature. Their friendly disposition makes them get along splendidly with kids, often becoming their playful companions in various family adventures. Beagles are quite energetic, requiring regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They love exploring the outdoors, making them great partners for family hikes or trips to the park. 

Their keen sense of smell often leads them to exciting discoveries, which can be a source of fun and education for the kids. Their loving and gentle nature, combined with their playful spirit, makes them one of the best family dogs for kids, promising to add a touch of joy and a lot of love to your family dynamics.

Closeup of a fawn pug

5. Pugs

Pugs are truly a treasure for families seeking a dog with a big personality packed in a small frame. These adorable dogs are known for their charming and somewhat comical demeanor, often bringing laughter and joy wherever they go. 

Pugs have a loving nature, which makes them get along wonderfully with children. They are also quite adaptable, happy to snuggle on the couch or enjoy a playful romp in the yard. While they do enjoy playtime, their exercise needs are relatively moderate, making them suitable for families with a more relaxed lifestyle. 

Their affectionate nature and ability to form close bonds with family members make them a delightful addition to families with kids, promising to bring a dose of happiness and a lot of cuddles.

Closeup of an adult English bulldog

6. Bulldogs

Bulldogs, with their distinctive appearance and gentle disposition, are a fantastic choice for families, even with young kids. They are particularly known for forming strong bonds with children, often becoming their steadfast protectors. 

Bulldogs have a calm and courageous nature, which makes them excellent companions in homes with a peaceful environment. Despite their somewhat stern appearance, they are quite affectionate and enjoy spending time with their people. 

Their exercise needs are on the lower side compared to other breeds, making them a great choice for families who prefer leisurely walks and relaxed playtime. Bulldogs are known to bring a sense of calm and steadiness to a home, promising to be a loving and loyal family member.

A happy boxer hiking on a trail

7. Boxers

Boxers are a bundle of joy and energy, making a spirited addition to families with an active lifestyle! These dogs are known for their playful and affectionate nature, often forming a close bond with the children in the family. 

They have a protective streak, which means they are always on the lookout for their loved ones, ensuring their safety and well-being. Boxers are also quite energetic and thrive with regular exercise and playtime, enjoying activities like fetch, runs, and hikes. 

Their vibrant personality and loving nature make them a popular choice for families, promising to bring a lively and joyful energy to your home.

A happy Bernese Mountain Dog enjoying the sun outside

8. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are gentle giants, known for their calm demeanor and affectionate nature. These dogs are particularly great with kids, offering a patient and loving presence in the family. 

They are known to be quite intelligent, which makes training them a relatively smooth process. Despite their large size, they have a gentle disposition, often enjoying quiet time with family members and gentle play with children. 

Their exercise needs are moderate, enjoying leisurely walks and playtime in the yard. The Bernese Mountain Dog's calm and loving personality makes them a wonderful addition to families, promising to bring a sense of peace and a lot of love to your household.

An adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in focus

9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a true gem in the canine world, bringing elegance and affection into every household they enter. 

These small dogs are known for their graceful demeanor and loving nature, often forming close bonds with all family members, including children. Their gentle disposition makes them excellent companions for kids, offering a loving and patient presence. They enjoy moderate exercise, appreciating leisurely walks and playtime in the garden. 

Their adaptable nature makes them fit well into various family lifestyles, whether it's a quiet evening at home or a day out in the park. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel promises to add a touch of royalty and a lot of love to your family dynamics.

An Adult Irish Setter laying in the grass

10. Irish Setter

Irish Setters are renowned for their beauty and vibrant personality, making a lively and loving addition to families. These beautiful dogs are particularly great with kids, often becoming their playful and energetic companions. 

Irish Setters have a friendly and outgoing nature, enjoying the company of their family members and often seeking affection and attention. They are quite an active breed and thrive with regular exercise, enjoying activities such as running, hiking, and playtime in the yard. 

Their friendly disposition and love for play make them a popular choice for families with children, promising to bring a vibrant and joyful energy to your home.

Joyride Harness: The Right Choice for Every Breed

Choosing the right dog breed is a big step in the journey of dog ownership. Each breed comes with its unique traits that can bring laughter, love, and a lot of wagging tails into your home. But to truly enjoy this joyous ride, ensuring the safety and comfort of your new family member is key!

This is where Joyride Harness steps in. Our harnesses are designed with your dog's comfort and safety in mind, making outdoor adventures a delightful experience for both you and your pet. Whether you're taking your energetic Boxer for a run or enjoying a leisurely walk with your graceful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a Joyride Harness ensures that your dog is secure, comfortable, and happy, making every walk a joyous ride.

As you welcome your new four-legged family member, equip them with a Joyride Harness, promising not only a joyful ride but a safe and comfortable one. Here's to countless adventures, wagging tails, and the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

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