Best dog breeds that are also kid-friendly

Dogs are an excellent way to teach your child patience, compassion, and responsibility. Plus, growing up with one simply makes for a lifetime of unforgettable memories. 

However, not every dog breed is accustomed to tail tugging, occasional wailing, and horseplay. Ultimately, the best dog breed for your family should suit your lifestyle, activity levels, and the number of people in your household. Below are a few kid-friendly dog breeds that may inspire your final choice. 

What Makes a Good Family Dog?

It takes time to get to know your dog. However, a family-forward canine will typically boast the following personality traits: 

  • Good Temperament: Calm, agreeable dogs are very forgiving of rambunctious, younger children and capable of forming strong, unbreakable bonds with them. If you have younger children, senior dogs make an excellent choice. 
  • Ideal Size: While it will ultimately be up to a dog’s unique personality, larger dogs tend to be more docile around children. On the other hand, smaller dogs are excitable and far more temperamental. 
  • Moderate Activity Levels: Some dogs make excellent couch potatoes but won’t keep up with an energetic child. Others have excess energy levels that can potentially lead to behavioral problems. A dog with moderate energy levels can match your child’s desire for play while enjoying a laid-back afternoon with the family.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

Now that you know what makes an ideal dog for children, below are a few breeds that might make your shortlist. 

RELATED STORY: Outdoor activities to enjoy with your dog

Golden Retriever

Confident, intelligent, and unwaveringly loyal, the Golden Retriever has long been considered the ultimate family dog. As patient as they are playful, Golden Retrievers are affectionate and timid, with an impressive ability to attune themselves to your mood. 


Originally bred as hunting dogs, Beagles never tire of adventures and time spent outdoors. They are patient, obedient, and easy to train. 

However, keep in mind that Beagles tend to shed frequently and require regular grooming, which may not be suitable for children with allergies. 

Labrador Retriever

Like their Golden counterparts, Labrador Retrievers are endlessly loyal and are known as “man’s best friend” for a reason. This popular breed famously gets along with anyone and makes reliable companions for children. 

They require ample exercise and will enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and swimming. 


Known for their distinctive haircuts and undeniable elegance, Poodles also make ideal family pets. They are available in multiple sizes that can best suit your space and shed very little—perfect for children with allergies!

Poodles are also impressively trainable and highly adventurous. You’ll be surprised to learn that they love to swim and can retrieve toys as well as more athletic dogs.   


Devoted, patient, and affectionate, there is a lot for families to love about the English Bulldog. Though not as energetic as your typical Golden Retriever, these dogs make ideal companions for city-dwelling families who love to spend afternoons watching movies in the living room. 

Many are agreeable when it comes to visitors, strangers, and will even socialize well with other pets. 

Mixed Breed

With a mutt, you can get the best of multiple breeds in one! These dogs are more physically resilient than purebreds and often have highly agreeable personalities. Not to mention, they have unique appearances!

The Bottom Line

If your child has been begging for a four-legged family member, the breeds listed above will make an excellent addition to your household. On the whole, your child will learn the value of responsibility, discipline, kindness, and the overall joy of growing up with a canine companion. 

About the Author

Mike Powell is the founder of Dog Embassy and an expert in canine nutrition, care, and training. He is passionate about providing new and veteran pet owners with the advice they need to raise a healthy, happy dog. 

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