The Top 5 Best Dog Breeds For Kids

Let’s be real. Most, if not all dogs, can be great for children so long as you put in the time and effort to train them right (dogs and children ;P). A naughty dog isn’t born that way, it’s made. Despite that, there are some dog breeds that naturally have the right temperament and build to get along great with your kids.

When choosing your future pet, it’s important to take in your family circumstances and lifestyle. Do your kids enjoy the outdoors? Do you live in the country or the city? Do you have a backyard? All of these are important considerations before choosing the right dog. So, with that out of the way, what are the best dog breeds for kids?

Labrador Retriever

Labs make wonderful family dogs. They’re sweet, friendly, trainable, energetic, and patient. They’re the kind of dog that will play fetch long after your arm goes numb. They will wear out your kids with their playful antics.

Labradors do have lots of energy (they’re natural bird dogs, bred to work long hours in the field) and need to have exercise in order to have their needs met. They also love to be with their family at all hours of the day, so don’t leave them alone for too long. But if you give them lots of love and exercise they’ll make a great pet for your kids.

Golden Retriever

Goldens love to play and have fun. Similar to Labs, they have lots of energy that needs to be worked off. You’ll find your Golden Retriever still frolicking with its toys while your kids are bushed. These gentle medium sized dogs are very affectionate and patient towards children. They make excellent family dogs and are always eager to please. They love to swim and play fetch all day long then hang with the family in the evening.

On the downside, they do have a double coat and at certain times of the year they need to be brushed daily in order to save your furniture from fur attacks. However, their personality may well make up for it. Golden Retrievers will keep their joyful puppy view of life well into adulthood. They make great therapy dogs, as well as, search and rescue canines. Being a happy-go-lucky playmate for your children, there’s a reason these dogs are one of the most popular breeds on the market.


These small hound dogs are great family pets. They love to be active and hang with their packs. Because of this, it’s important that beagles get lots of exercise and not be left alone for too long or they can become destructive. Beagles are affectionate, playful, and curious. They relish following a scent so it’s important that when you take them on walks, to keep them on a leash.

This compact breed can handle children’s roughhousing. They get along well with other dogs and strangers. Training can be a bit difficult because of their independence and stubbornness. But with some creativity and patience, you can train them well. Overall, they make wonderful family pets.

Standard Poodle

When it comes to Poodles, you have a few options to choose from. However, when it comes to kids, choosing a standard poodle will be in your best interests. Toy poodles tend to be more high-strung and sensitive than their larger counterparts and not the best companions for large families. Standard poodles are great for kids with allergies and make awesome playmates.

These dogs are smart. They need their brains stimulated or else they will find more destructive means to entertain themselves. Make sure to give your poodle lots of love and attention. They also have higher grooming requirements, so keep that in mind if you’re interested in getting yourself one.

A Mutt/Shelter Dog

Although you’re always taking a chance by choosing a mutt from a rescue, you may find an amazing and loving companion for your kids. What’s great about mutts is they tend to be healthier than their purebred counterparts and can have the best of both worlds in breed characteristics. But make sure to do your research. You don’t always know the full history of a mutt and they may have developed bad habits from previous owners. Look for a facility that has done their homework on the animal and knows where it came from.

Honorable Mentions

  • ~ Collie
  • ~ Newfoundland
  • ~ Boxer
  • ~ Bulldog

More Tips for Choosing a Dog for Your Kids

When choosing your pet, try to aim for a medium to larger dog. They’re more able to handle roughhousing and a lot of these breeds make great companions for your children. Also, do your homework on the breed you’re considering. Certain dogs are bred for certain jobs and will have innate natural tendencies that you may not appreciate down the road.

Another thing, having to raise a child and a puppy at the same time can be a challenge, so maybe consider buying an older, calmer dog with more experience under its belt. Doing a background check on the dog in question is also important because you won’t know what personality quirks or bad habits they may have developed over the years.

If you decide to purchase a purebred dog, make sure to research and buy your dog from a reputable breeder. Puppies who are not properly socialized are far more likely to develop behavioral problems that could lead to serious issues down the road. Ask to meet the breeder in person and see where the dogs are being housed.

A high quality breeder will welcome you to their establishment and be thrilled to show you their animals. Also, be aware that many purebreds have genetic disorders. For your dog’s long term health and happiness, it’s important that you get your canine from a well informed breeder that works hard to keep your pup happy, healthy, and socialized.

Here are a few more resources in case you’d like to learn more about pure bred dogs.

Your Pure Bred Puppy

American Kennel Club

Pet Finder