10 of the Best Dog Breeds for Children

Dogs, like people, have their own unique personalities and temperaments. The decision to bring a dog into your home if you have small children is something that can’t be taken lightly.

You need to consider the space you have and how active the dog you choose will be. Dogs and kids can co-exist peacefully and lovingly if the chemistry between them is good and the relationship is cultivated with training and practice.

Boys-running-with-Golden-RetreiverLearning about the most kid-friendly breeds is a good starting point when thinking about bringing a new dog into your home. Here are 10 of the best dog breeds for families with small children.

Golden Retrievers are naturally laid-back and receptive to training, making them one of the most popular family dogs. Their self-confidence and native intelligence makes them generally well-balanced emotionally, and their friendly disposition shows through in both their sense of loyalty and their playfulness.

Bichon Frises are small but sturdy dogs. Some small breeds can run the risk of being accidentally hurt by children, but these dogs typically hold their own. They tend to be very friendly, unaggressive, happy and playful. Their keen intelligence also makes them easy to train.

Beagles, another popular breed, are sometimes feisty, but they usually know where to draw the line. Bred to live in packs, they’re less happy alone and relish having an active role in family life. Be aware, however, that they can cause mischief from time to time, and they need regular exercise as an outlet for their energy.

Boy-with-German-ShepherdCollies, the breed that Lassie made famous, are easy to train and quite gentle by nature. Their behavior is usually steady and predictable, allowing parents to breathe easy when they’re around the kids.

German Shepherds are intelligent dogs whose self-confidence lends itself to an even temperament. They do best around children if their socialization and obedience training is periodically reinforced.

Bull Terriers are bred to be gentle and loving companions. They have a high tolerance for pain, which means they’re able to endure a few accidents at the hands of children without being phased. Know that they tend to be protective of their families, however.

Pugs are loyal, intelligent and responsive. Most are loving and eager to please their owners. Because of their small size, they may require supervision when playful children are around so they won’t be hurt accidentally.

Boy-hugging-Labrador-RetreiverEnglish Bulldogs may look tough, but they’re actually very docile by nature. They’re known for being affectionate, and when well-trained they display a lot of tolerance and patience towards children.

Labrador Retrievers, initially bred to be hard working dogs, are as loyal and loving as Golden Retrievers. They’re known for their sociability and native kindness.

Poodles are naturally gentle, patient and good-natured dogs. They are known for their empathy and their loyalty.


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  1. Since having children, we have always strayed towards German Shepherds and Labradors. Our last Lab was 17 years old and was a very loving dog who always watched over the kids while outside, especially at the lake or during camping trips. She always had to be in the middle playing.

    As for our Shepherd (whom we lost at 6 years), was a very protective dog who was such a love bug to everyone. But if they entered our yard or house without us knowing he had the fiercest growl and bark that I have ever heard. He was a dog who stood apart from the kids and would not let anyone to close while they were playing.

    Both dogs had a few different traits, but were very easy to train. They had never snapped or bit anyone which was great for all we had to say was "its okay" and they were loving all over you.

    Great loving dogs if you like the bigger breeds!

  2. I own a golden retriever and a bichon frise. They are both excellent dogs and in my home, rule to roost. :) I agree that both breeds are easy to train. I would recommend formal training for all dogs!

  3. Excellent information. I have been reading about dogs a lot, as we are considering a puppy soon, and this is very helpful!