Choosing the best dog breed, especially for a family with children, can be a bit tasking. While you want to please your kids by getting them a new pet dog, you're also bothered about their safety.
In this guide, we've hand-picked the top 10 best dog breeds for children. Each dog breed has been carefully analyzed based on:
- Family Need
- Household size
10 Perfect Dog Breed For Family
Aside from being fun and cuddly creatures, the benefits of getting pet dogs for your kids go beyond recreational activities.
According to a pediatric study in 2020, children with pet dogs are 40% less likely to experience problems socializing with their peers.
Another study by JAMA pediatrics involving over half a million children discovered that children who were exposed early on to dogs in their homes were 13% less likely to develop asthma and also stood lesser chances of developing other allergies due to a boosted immune system.
So you see, having a dog makes a great addition to the family.
If you've finally decided to get a furry friend for your kids, here's a list of the best dog breeds for children.
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- French Bulldog
- Irish Setter
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
1. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is arguably the most popular dog breed in the United States and it's well deserved with its friendly and outgoing personality. This breed is patient, trainable, and very versatile. They can do anything from tracking and hunting to showing and dock diving. Labrador Retrievers have high energy levels; hence they're very active and would do well in a home with much space or a front yard where they can run around.
Labradors are medium-sized dogs with heights reaching about 22.5 - 24.5 inches for males and 21.5 - 23.5 inches for females. They weigh about 65-80 pounds for males and 55-70 pounds for females. Despite their size, they are great with kids and also do well with other dogs under supervision. They don't bark much and shed a fair amount. Just brush their fur weekly and they'll be just fine. Labradors have a life expectancy of 10-12 years, so rest assured they'll be your children's best friends for a long while.
2. Golden Retriever
Coming second on our list is the Golden Retriever. Similar to the Labrador Retriever, this dog breed is equally versatile and was initially bred for wildfowling and upland games. Today, it has become one of the most popular and successful breeds in all areas of competition.
Goldies are known for their intelligence, and friendly personalities. Most importantly, they're also devoted dogs which makes them a great fit with children. Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs with heights of about 23-24 inches for males and 21.5-22.5 inches for females. They weigh around 65-75 pounds for males and 55-65 pounds for females. They're good with kids and other dogs too.
Another important thing to note is that they shed seasonally which is a plus, so you don't have to worry about having dog hair all over your furniture. Golden Retrievers are very energetic and active dogs and as such, they require daily exercise and would make great jogging buddies. They don't bark much, are easy to train, and have a life expectancy of 10-12 years.
If you're looking for a small but cute furry pet, the beagle is a great choice. This breed is naturally friendly, curious, and intelligent. They do well with kids and other dogs, which makes them great family pets. Beagles are small-sized dogs with heights of about 13-15 inches and weigh around 20-30 pounds, making them the perfect cuddle buddy for your kids they'll stick around for 10-15 years if well cared for.
Beagles are very energetic and as such, they need lots of exercise. They bark a lot and tend to be very vocal which may get you in trouble with your neighbors if you live in a quiet neighborhood. Aside from that, they're lovable creatures, easy to train and care for since they shed seasonally, and their short coat can be maintained with simple weekly grooming.
The Newfoundland is best known for its sweetness, intelligence, and loyalty earning it a spot on our list of best dog breeds for children because obviously, they're great with kids and yes, other dogs too. Newfs are big dogs and typically stand at a height of 28 inches for males and 26 inches for females. They weigh around 130-150 pounds for males and 100-120 pounds for females.
They're fairly active dogs, they don't require regular exercise but still, you'd want to provide enough room for them to move around with their big bodies. They're also easy to train, bark only when necessary, and shed seasonally. You only need to brush their fur weekly to avoid matting and keep their coat shiny. Newfs life expectancy is 9-10 years which is pretty decent.
5. French Bulldog
If you live in a small apartment in the city or have a busy schedule but still want your kids to feel the love of a furry friend, then the French bulldog is a great choice. They're smart, playful and adaptable, and completely adorable.
Frenchies are not very active but may still need to be walked occasionally. They respond well to training, are good with kids, and relate well with other dogs too. They're very quiet dogs and they shed seasonally, making them suitable for people living in cities. You don't need to bother about Frenchies taking up space in your apartment because they're small dogs with a height of about 11-13 inches and they weigh under 28 pounds. Their life expectancy is 10-12 years.
6. Irish Setter
The Irish Setter popularly known as the Big Red in media is an outgoing and sweet-natured dog. This breed is trainable, great with kids, and relates well with other dogs too. They are highly energetic and love to run outdoors, making them the perfect match for active families.
The Irish Setter is a big dog, standing at a height of 27 inches for males and 25 inches for females. They weigh around 70 pounds for males and 60 pounds for females. They bark only when necessary, shed seasonally, and have a life expectancy of 12-15 years.
The Pug shares similar attributes with the French bulldog in terms of its small stature and adaptability. This breed is known for its curiosity and charming personality. They're usually about 10-13 inches tall and weigh between 14-18 pounds. Pugs love being close to their owners and are always willing to snuggle. If you have a small apartment, pugs are a great choice, they don't take up much space, and can adapt easily to all situations.
Pugs are great with kids and relate well with other dogs under supervision. They can be a bit harder to train and will only bark when necessary. Although they're not really active dogs, regular exercise is important to keep them in shape. They shed seasonally and have a life expectancy of 13-15 years.
Poodles are well-behaved and even-tempered dogs. Their energetic and playful nature makes them well-suited for active families. And yes, they love to socialize with people and other dogs as well. Poodles are smart dogs which makes training them easy. They are eager to please and very protective of their humans, so you can trust them to keep watch over the kids in the playground.
Standard poodles are medium-sized dogs standing over 22 inches tall and weighing around 50-70 pounds. They don't bark much, shed moderately, and have a lifespan of 12-14 years.
Collies are best known for their herding skills. They're loyal, strong, agile, and lovable. Being highly energetic animals, Collies require daily exercise and are best suited for active families.
Collies are medium-sized dogs and typically have a height of 24-26 inches for males and 22-24 inches for females. They weigh around 60-75 pounds for males and 50-65 pounds for females. This dog breed doesn't bark much but they do make a lot of vocal sounds, they love playing with kids and do respond well to training. Their average life expectancy is 12-14 years.
10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Last on our list of best dog breeds for children is the adorable and cheerful Cavalier king Charles spaniel. This breed tends to be small with a height of 12-13 inches and a weight of 13-18 pounds. But what they lack in height they make up for in energy. They make great companion dogs and get along well with kids and other dogs. Their average lifespan is 9-15 years.
Things To Look For When Choosing A Dog For A Family With Children
Before you buy or adopt that dog, here are some things you should look out for:
1: Age and activity level of the children: Some parents have a fantasy of seeing their kids and their dogs grow up together, but as cute as that sounds, it may not always be the best. If you have children below the age of 5 who still need constant supervision, then getting a puppy may not be the best decision as puppies are fragile and need a lot of care. Plus smaller kids are very curious and playful. They they may injure the puppy while trying to hold or pick them up by the ears or tail. Go for adult dogs instead, they are much more tolerant of younger children and need less taking care of.
2: Size, temperament, and energy levels: Small breed dogs like spaniels, pugs, and French bulldogs are best for families with older children above the age of 5. While bigger dogs like the Irish Setter and Newfoundland are great with small kids. Also, bigger dogs tend to have a much better temperament and can tolerate the children's noise and activities. You might also want to consider the breed's energy level. Some breeds like the Labrador and Golden Retrievers were bred for outdoor games and as such have a high level of energy to burn. If you're not up for daily exercises you might want to consider a less active breed like the poodle.
3: Living situation: The size of your home and the type of neighborhood you live in are things you should consider before getting a dog. Larger breeds like Labradors do well in country homes or houses with a yard or front lawn, while smaller dogs like beagles are more tolerant of being indoors and fit perfectly into the city apartment lifestyle.
4: Grooming and care: All dogs need to be well groomed and cared for, but some need more. If you haven't got much spare time for weekly grooming or booking trips to the salon, you might consider getting a dog breed with short coats that shed seasonally like the beagle. Plus, it'll save you the stress of having to clean dog fur from every corner of your house.
Like ketchup on fries, most dogs and children get along really well. But it's up to you as a parent to decide which dog you feel is best for your family and with the information we just provided, we trust you're going to make the right choice.
I'll leave you with this last piece of advice. While getting a dog for your children teaches them how to be responsible for someone other than themselves, you do not expect them to take sole responsibility for the dog.
These furry creatures need to be fed, sheltered, groomed, played with, exercised, and trained regularly and that dear mum and dad is your duty.
Your kids will have to learn from you how to properly care for their pets and if you're not ready to take on the added responsibility it's okay to wait until you are.