Dogs are a man’s best friend and the Best Dog Breeds for Kids are often mentally flexible, easy to train and robust enough to handle some rough play. They also make wonderful companions for kids, providing endless joy and companionship and even guarding and protecting them.
When it comes to selecting a dog breed for your family, it is important to find one that is not only affectionate but also good with children.
In this guide, we will enlist the 10 best dog breeds for kids, highlighting the unique traits that make them great choices for families.
Table of Contents – Best Dog Breeds for Kids
1. Labrador Retriever
Height 54-58 cm or 21-23 inches
Weight 35-40 kg or 60-80 pounds
The Labrador Retriever, or Lab for short, is a lovable family dog. It is extremely tolerant of children and well-known for its loyal, affectionate, and friendly personality.
A Lab is always happy to be a part of all family activities. Their smart, playful nature makes them excellent family pets. They also love to run and swim. Throw a stick or a ball, and your Lab will bring it back to you! It is one of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids worldwide along with it’s popular poodle cross, the Labradoodle. The Labradoodle is one of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids who require a low to non-shedding family pet.
2. Golden Retriever
Height 51-61 cm or 20-24 inches
Weight 27-36 kg or 60-80 pounds
Golden Retrievers are considered one of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids. They are smart, outgoing, playful, and trainable. These dogs have a golden personality!
Goldens, as they are known fondly, are full of energy. They love being with their humans – big or small. Your Golden will gladly go swimming or hiking with you. They also appear to “smile”. Their owners seem to think they are the best dogs, and it’s not hard to see why!
Height 33-40 cm or 13-16 inches
Weight 9-11 kg or 20-25 pounds
Beagles are known for their friendly and sociable nature, making them an ideal breed for families with children.
They are loyal and faithful companions. Their loving nature and fun-loving personality endear them to the whole family, but especially to children making them one of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids
Full of energy and excitement, Beagles are ready to have fun every day! This fun-loving spirit makes Beagles excellent pets for families with little ones. Their highly enthusiastic spirit and intelligence are not only deserving of the title “man’s best friend” but also “best family friend”.
Height 25-28 cm or 10-11 inches
Weight 6-8 kg or 14-18 pounds
Pugs may be small in size, but they possess a big heart full of affection for their human family members. They are known for their playful and charming personalities.
Pugs are good-natured companion dogs- friendly and easy-going. They are natural clowns and make it their job to entertain humans!
In addition to being funny, Pugs are also loyal and loving. However, their small sizes make them unsuitable around boisterous kids who play rough. Suitable for children of all ages, pugs make some of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids.
Height 30-40 cm or 12-16 inches
Weight 18-23 kg or 40-50 pounds
“Bulldogs are lovers, not fighters”. They are friendly and eager to get along, especially with children. This curious breed also has a playful nature. This makes them excellent pets for families with kids.
One of the main reasons why Bulldogs make the Best Dog Breeds for Kids is their tolerant and patient nature. They are happy to play with little ones and can keep going for a long time. They do need socialisation and training, but with time and patience, all your fur babies and kids will get along well.
6. Bichon Frise
Height 23-30 cm or 9-12 inches
Weight 3-5 kg or 7-12 pounds
Bichon Frises are both family-friendly and kid-friendly dogs. However, they need socialisation from a young age.
Even-tempered Bichon Frises make excellent companions for children. However, they are not a great choice for high-energy kids, as their small size means they can get seriously injured if accidentally stepped on.
In general, the breed is known for its adaptability and ability to get along well with other pets. This makes them a perfect addition to any family with kids. They are one of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids that are past the toddler phase, particularly children that like to cuddle, read and play sensibly.
They have the added benefit of being hypoallergenic and non-shedding. However, they do require twice-weekly brushing and combing to keep their coat from knotting and matting. Grooming time can be a fun and satisfying chore for a child to be responsible for.
7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Height 30-33 cm or 12-13 inches
Weight 5.5-8.5 kg or 12-18 pounds
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for their affectionate and gentle nature. They are excellent family pets and are particularly good with children.
Cavaliers are highly social and thrive on human companionship. They make loving and patient playmates for kids. Their small size and adaptable temperament make them a suitable choice for families living in apartments or small homes.
Possibly one of the most popular and Best Dog Breeds for Kids is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross Poodle, known as the ‘Cavoodle‘. These low to non-shedding, small designer dogs are easy to train and love to have fun, playing fetch and having their tummies rubbed. Like any dog breed, there are some common Cavoodle behaviour problems that require training to prevent separation anxiety.
8. Boston Terrier
Height 23-38 cm or 9-15 inches
Weight 6-11 kg or 13-24 pounds
Boston Terriers are small-sized dogs with big personalities. They seem to form an instinctual bond with kids!
Boston Terriers are intelligent, fairly easy to train, and have a playful demeanour. However, you must socialise this dog with children from a young age so it can learn exactly what you expect from it at all times. With early puppy training and buying your Boston Terrier from a reputable breeder, these little clowns can be one of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids.
9. Newfoundland Dog
Height 66-71 cm or 26-28 inches
Weight 50-68 kg or 110-150 pounds
Newfoundland Dogs are gentle giants with a calm and patient demeanour. Despite their large size, they are excellent with children and are often referred to as “nanny dogs.” Nana, the beloved guardian dog in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, was also a Newfoundland.
Newfoundland Dogs are known for their protective nature. They are also eager to please their families. They are highly affectionate and form strong bonds with kids. This makes Newfoundland dogs a perfect choice for families with young children.
Height 38-58 cm or 15-23 inches
Weight 20-32 kg or 45-70 pounds
Poodles are highly intelligent and versatile dogs. They also come in three sizes, so there is a Poodle for everyone! Naturally, you must consider the Poodle’s size before adopting one. The diminutive Toy Poodle is much more delicate than the Standard and Mini Poodles and may not be able to withstand the antics of very young children.
Poodles are known for their playful nature and their ability to adapt to different environments and lifestyles.
Their hypoallergenic coat also makes them an ideal choice for kids with allergies.
Well-bred and properly socialised Poodles make trustworthy playmates for kids. They also have a sense of humour, which makes them one of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids.
Poodle mix breeds such as the Groodle, Labradoodle, Cavoodle, Spoodle, Bordoodle, Bernedoodle etc are among some of the best dogs for families with kids. Reputable breeders will often use fully health-tested, top-quality poodle studs to cross with other loving breeds such as spaniels, retrievers, collies etc.
FAQs – Best Dog Breeds for Kids
The AKC recommends the Labrador Retriever as one of the most child-friendly breeds. They also recommend Golden Retrievers, Poodles, and Beagles because of their protective and playful natures. However, poodle mix breeds such as the Groodle, Labradoodle, Bordoodle and Cavoodle offer some of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids with the added benefit of being low to non-shedding.
Puppies are best for slightly older and more responsible kids. On the other hand, dogs aged between 1 and 7 years can be a good choice for kids of all ages as long as they are socialised with kids from a young age. Children should also be taught to respect the dog and give it space.
Older rescue dogs sometimes don’t make the Best Dog Breeds for Kids as they might have experienced trauma in their life and without training and behaviour modification, they can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
Many people believe that female dogs are better with younger children due to their maternal and protective instincts. However, with proper training and socialisation, even male dogs can be every bit as loyal and protective of kids as females and can make excellent companions and playmates for them.
Conclusion – Best Dog Breeds for Kids
The Best Dog Breeds for Kids are those that suit the life stage and temperament of the children they are being selected for. If you have a rambunctious toddler, don’t choose a teacup Toy Poodle, similarly, a Great Dane is also unlikely to be suitable. When selecting a dog for your family, you must consider its temperament, size, and compatibility with children.
The 10 dog breeds mentioned above have all the qualities that make them excellent companions or playmates for children. Some of them even make great watchdogs or guard dogs. They are known for their friendly, patient, trainable, and adaptable natures.
However, it’s important to remember that each dog is an individual. Therefore, proper socialisation and training are a must to ensure a harmonious relationship between your dog and your child.