Are you and your family ready to add a new member to your pack? Look no further! We’ve got the top 15 best family dog breeds that will have your kids begging to take them for walks and your partner thanking you for the cuddles.
Keep reading to learn all about these family-friendly breeds and some tips on how to choose the perfect pup for your lifestyle.
5 Things to Consider when Choosing a Family Dog
Bringing a dog into your home is a big decision, and it’s important to make sure you choose the right breed for your family. In this section, we’ll be discussing the top five things to consider when choosing a family dog. From the initial meet and greet to long-term health expenses, we’ll make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
1. Meet and Greet: Is there a fit with the dog?
This is the most important aspect of choosing a dog. Adopting an animal bears a lot of responsibility and must be taken seriously. It’s crucial to ensure that there is a fit between the dog and the family right off the bat.
2. The Personality of the Dogs Breed is Important
The personality of the dog breed is an important factor to consider when choosing a family dog. Some dog breeds are more capricious than others, while others are more relaxed. It’s important to identify the fit of personality that works best with your family’s lifestyle.
3. Dog Breed’s Compatibility with Kids
Another very important element to consider is the dog breed’s compatibility with kids. It’s crucial to ensure that the choice of dog is compatible with small kids to ensure a happy and safe environment for everyone.
4. Maintaining Your Dog’s Health & Added Expenses
Different dog breeds have different medical requirements long term. It’s important to note that pet insurance may be an opportunity to off-set future expenses. Families need to factor this into the overall family budget when choosing a dog breed.
5. Is Your Choice of Dog Breed Active or Lazy?
The activity level of different dog breeds is also an important factor to consider before selecting one. Some dogs are more active and require more exercise, while others are more laid back and require less. It’s important to choose a dog breed that matches your family’s lifestyle and activity level.
Best Five Small Dogs for Kids
Small dogs are the perfect fit for young families, they are easy to take care of, they don’t take up too much space and they are perfect for small apartments. In this section, we’ll be introducing you to the top five small dog breeds that are the best fit for kids.
1. Miniature Poodle
The miniature poodle is a small breed that is known for its intelligence, trainability and affection towards their families. Miniature poodles are bred to be much smaller than their full-size poodle counterparts (7kg vs 32kg). Poodles have a hypoallergenic coat, making them a great choice for families with allergies.
2. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is known for its friendly and affectionate nature. They are great with children and make great companions. They do require regular grooming, but their small size makes them easy to take care of.
3. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is another small dog breed that is friendly and super playful. Bichons are lap dogs, they want to snuggle all the time, which makes them great with children and make good family pets. They also have a hypoallergenic coat, which makes them a great choice for families with allergies.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is well-suited to households with small children. They are good with kids and make loyal family pets. They do require a moderate amount of exercise, but they are also easy to train.
The Pug is fan favorite with young families. They are great with kids and make excellent family pets. Pugs require about an hour of exercise per day. Multiple short walks are better in summer months to prevent overheating. They learn quickly, and are genial, low-maintenance companions.
Best Five Medium Sized Dogs for Kids
Medium-sized dogs are the perfect balance for young families. They are big enough to play with the kids but small enough to be manageable. In this section, we’ll look at the top five medium-sized dog breeds that are the best fit for families with small children.
1. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is known for its friendly and eager-to-please nature. They are great with children and make very loyal family pets. As retrievers, they require regular exercise. They LOVE to play fetch (hence retrievers) and they love the water. They’re are very intelligent, and they pick up on new things quickly.
2. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a medium-sized breed that is known for its friendly and affectionate nature and luxurious soft coat. They tend to be very gentle, are great with children and are almost never aggressive. They do need lots of exercise, but that’s all part of the fun when you have a dog.
3. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is widely regarded as one of the best family dog breeds because of its intelligence and trainability. They are great with children, and they’re very obedient. Shepherds are working dogs, bred to herd animals, so they have very high energy. They do require more exercise than many other medium-sized breeds, so they are great fit with active families.
4. English Bulldog
The Bulldog is known for its friendly and relaxed nature. They are almost always passive and gentle around kids, making them a great choice for your next family pet. But they are known for being stubborn, and have a mind of their own, so they benefit from being trained early in life as puppies. Training dogs can be a great exercise for the whole family, and teach young ones the importance of consistency. Bulldogs don’t live as long as many other breeds, six to eight years is normal with these loving companions.
5. Border Collie
The Border Collie is renowned for its intelligence and trainability, and they are great with children. Because Border Collies are incredible athletes – fast and agile – and learn new things much faster than most other breeds. As a result, you’ll frequently see them in dog agility or dog training competitions. Border Collies have high energy, so they do need regular exercise.
Best Five Large Dogs for Kids
Large dogs may seem intimidating at first, but they can actually make great family pets. They are protective and can be great playmates for kids. In this section, we’ll go over the top five large dog breeds that are the best fit for kids.
1. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a large breed known for its high intelligence and ease of trainability. They are excellent with children and make protectors and loyal family friends. German Shepherd’s, like most big dogs, require plenty of exercise and a large, healthy diet. One watch out – German Shepherds are often over-bred so they achieve a particular shape: tall shoulders and low hips. This can cause them to have hip dysplasia later in life, so pay attention to the build of the sire and dam (mom & dad), and ask the breeder about family health history.
The Boxer is another large breed with a friendly and energetic nature. Their large chests, muscular shoulders and adorable underbite can make them look imposing, but they are playful and gentle around children. They require regular exercise, and lots of walks, but they are easy to train and make great family pets.
3. Great Dane
The Great Dane is one of the largest breeds in the world. But they have a very friendly and affectionate nature. Despite their size, most Great Danes are big softies. Their size may be intimidating, but most of them will hide from a saucy cat. They are amazing with children and make loving family pets, frequently seen sprawled on the couch. Because Great Danes are so large, they require more food than most other dogs.
4. Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is known for its calm, curious, and affectionate nature. They are a good choice for families that have small children due to their playful but gentle demeanor. They require lots of exercise, but compared with many other large breeds, their agreeable nature makes them easy to train and handle.
5. Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard is a classic for families with toddlers or school-age children. True gentle giants, they are among the sweetest, least-aggressive large breeds in the world. Saint Bernards do great in cold Canadian climates, since they were originally bred as mountain rescue dogs by the hospice of the Great St Bernard Pass on the Italian-Swiss border. You’ll need to set aside some time each day as Saint Bernards do need lots of attention, affection, and exercise, but it’s time well spent; they are very loyal family pets. Full disclosure – there will be drool!
Adopting a Rescue Dog vs. Buying a Dog from a Breeder
Adopting a rescue dog can be a rewarding experience for a young family. Not only are you giving a dog a second chance at a loving home, but you are also helping to reduce the number of dogs in shelters. This can literally be a matter of life and death for some animals. But you need to balance your desire to do good with a firm understanding of the dog you’ll be bringing into your home. Pay close attention to how the dog behaves with your family – curious and submissive, or standoffish and agitated? Go back to visit a couple of times before you make your decision so the dog has a chance to get used to you. You’ll never know exactly what rescue dog’s life was like before, but paying close attention to body language and eye contact will give you a sense of what kind of animal it is.
Buying a dog from a breeder can also be a good option for a family, but it’s important to research and choose a reputable breeder. Not all breeders are equal. Ask lots of questions! Ask them about their history breeding dogs – some breeders started 20 years ago and focus on 1 breed, others started 6 months ago. Knowledge gained through many years of breeding 1 particular kind of dog will show up in detailed answers about health histories, predisposition to particular ailments, training, feeding and care. Knowledge and track record can also come at significant cost – you can plan to spend several thousand dollars on a purebred puppy.
It’s also important to remember that every dog, whether from a breeder or a rescue, deserves love and care.
Choosing a family dog is a big decision, but with the right research and consideration, you and your family can find the perfect furry companion. Whether you’re looking for a small, medium, or large breed, there’s a dog out there that’s the perfect fit for your family.
And remember, adopting a rescue dog not only gives a dog a new chance at life, but it also gives your family the opportunity to give a dog a loving home. So, whether you’re looking for a loyal companion, a playful pal, or just someone to cuddle with on the couch, please consider adopting your next family dog.