Dogs and children can go well together! Dogs encourage children to exercise and appreciate themselves outdoors while helping to develop both dog and child’s social skills. When parents think about adding a four-legged friend to the household, they often worry about something special Dog breeds as there are some who are a little less inclined to tolerate children’s attention.
To make sure you find the best match for your family, we’ve created this guide to the best dog breeds for families. Read on for helpful advice and to learn which breeds are more likely to love family life.
What are the characteristics of a good family dog?
First and foremost, it is generally less about the breed of your dog and more about its individual personality. If you plan to share your home with puppies and children, your chosen dog should have the following characteristics:
- A Calm and Even Temperament: Your new dog should be calm and patient enough to deal with the excitement of the kids and eventually become a great friend to them
- A Reasonable Size: On average, very small dog breeds are more exciting and also more fragile – as parents, you know that children aren’t always the gentlest ones. Large breeds of dogs, on the other hand, tend to be more docile but run the risk of accidentally knocking over small children while playing
- Energy level: This largely depends on how active your family is. When choosing a high-energy dog, you need to make sure that you have the time to take him with you for regular walks and play. If you have young children who run around a lot, don’t choose a low-energy dog that can get frustrated by the constant excitement
It’s not just about choosing the best breed of dog for kids, it’s also about teaching your kids to be friendly to dogs. This goes a long way towards ensuring that you have a harmonious household.
Best dog breeds for families
Now that you know the characteristics of a good family pet, it is time to look at dog breeds that exhibit these characteristics in general. It is important to note that every dog is an individual just because many owners have good experiences with these dog breeds and typically behave well with children. Therefore, there is always the risk that this will not be the case with every single dog.
Labradors are consistently named one of the best dog breeds for families, known for their love of children and socializing with other pets in the household. The Labrador is a playful, friendly, and loving dog who loves nothing more than spending time with his pack. They are full of energy and incredibly smart, so they do well for people with an active lifestyle. One thing to keep in mind about the breed is that young labs tend to be pretty exuberant, jumping around and around. So, if you have very young children, consider taking in an older dog who is at this stage.
Many often discount the poodle due to its fashionable, posh pooch stereotype, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Originally bred as working dogs, poodles are super smart, have lots of energy to play with kids, and are also generally friendly and good-natured when properly entertained. They are also great for families with allergies as they are considered such hypoallergenic dogs as they shed very little.
3. Bernese Mountain Dog
Often known as “gentle giants”, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a lovable, fun personality. When well socialized they make one of the best dog breeds for kids as they are usually very patient and friendly. They’re especially good for active households with older children who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and exploring nature. However, this family dog breed is not suitable for very young children as they can easily knock them over while playing and accidentally injure them.
Not only Beagles Considered one of the best dog breeds for families, but also one of the friendliest in general. With energetic and cheeky personalities, they love their backpack and enjoy nothing more than wreaking havoc with their smaller companions. And, despite their excitability, they are also generally very tolerant and calm towards children.
5. Golden Retriever
He’s like a Labrador Golden retriever is also incredibly popular with families, so it is portrayed as a “family dog” in many TV shows and films. With their kind temperaments and friendly attitudes, you’ll soon see why this is the case. They have loads of energy and love to play with kids and have even been known to follow them, patiently waiting for the next opportunity to play (or cuddle)!
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are loving and affectionate dogs who are generally great with both children and other pets. This small breed of dog loves attention and is always ready for a good play session with their family members. They are also quite loose relaxed dogs who are very forgiving with children. Also, it is believed that it is very rare for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to display any type of aggression.
7. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
This one may surprise you, but Staffordshire Bull Terrier is considered one of the best dog breeds for children and has even earned the name “Nanny Dog”. When well socialized, they are sweet-natured and love life, people, and playing with their family. Unfortunately, due to the negative stereotype, the breed has The Blue Cross alone accepts over 400 Staffordshire Bull Terriers annually. So if you are looking for one of these wonderful dogs, we recommend looking around rescue centers.
The last word
The breeds mentioned above are just the ones that generally have the recommended traits for dealing with family life, but you have their part to play too. First, always buy a dog from a reputable breeder (or Adopt a dog from a rescue center) then socialization and training go a long way towards ensuring that you have a wonderful family dog.
If you are wondering how to make sure your dog is well socialized, The Kennel Club recommends The puppy plan, a step-by-step guide created to reduce behavioral problems and prevent the myriad dogs from being brought to rescue centers every year.
It’s also important to note that it’s not just your dog that needs training, but your children too. They need to be taught how to be kind, respectful, and knowledgeable Dog behavior Signs to let your kids know when your puppy needs her place.