Adding a dog to your family can be a wonderful experience, especially if you have young children. The best family dogs are loving, loyal companions who can help teach your kids important lessons, such as responsibility and how to cooperate.
There are many different breeds, of course, and these breeds have different personalities. Some are extremely patient, while others are playful and full of energy. So, which breeds make the best dogs for kids? Thankfully, you’ll have a lot of great options.
Important Considerations When Choosing the Best Dogs for Kids
The best dogs for kids are not only gentle, but also trainable. But before you choose a new pet, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind.
For example, you’ll want to think about the size of the dog you’ll be bringing into your home. A smaller dog could be more easily injured if your kids are too rough. A larger dog might be up for whatever kind of play your kids want, but they will need a bigger yard in which to run around. Some breeds are bundles of energy, while others are more content cuddling on the couch.
You should also factor in the temperament of your family when looking for the best dog breeds for your home.
Is your family active? Do you tend to leave home regularly?
Or is your family made up of homebodies? You’ll need to think about these kinds of things to make sure your family’s personality is a good match for your new pet.
It’s also important to establish some ground rules before you bring a dog into your home. Who will be responsible for grooming the dog, or taking them out for walks? Whose job will it be to feed the dog and make sure they have plenty of water? Determining who is doing what with regards to your new dog will make the transition much smoother.
Best Family Dogs
Again, there are hundreds of fantastic, gentle breeds that will be great for your kids. Here are some of the best dog breeds to consider bringing into your home:
Dachshunds are playful and extremely active. Originally bred to weed out vermin, they need exercise on a regular basis. If you have other small pets in your home, however, dachshunds might not get along with them well.1
This breed is very stout and also playful. They don’t require a lot of exercise or grooming, but, you’ll still want to make sure you regularly clean the folds of their facial skin.2 You’ll also need to be careful with this breed if you live in a warm, humid climate. Their short snouts may make them more susceptible to breathing problems, and those problems can worsen when the weather is hot.3
This is one of the best family dogs if you have a small home. This is a very affectionate breed, and perfect if you love to cuddle. The Havanese has a coat that needs to be brushed several times a week.4
The Papillon is another small breed that is energetic yet gentle with children. You may want to look for another type of dog if you have small children, because the Papillon is rather delicate. Small children may be too rough for this breed.5
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you want a friendly breed, this is it. King Charles spaniels are among the best family dogs because they love to please. They’re also great with other pets, and they love to greet everyone who comes into your home. While they don’t need intensive exercise, they do love larger yards so they can explore.6
Beagles are also among the best dogs for kids because of their gentle disposition. They love to be part of a pack – whether that means other dogs, or a group of humans. They do need a good bit of exercise and can also be a bit stubborn. If they want to go a particular way on a walk, for example, beagles may make it difficult for you to go in another direction.7
This breed gets a bad rap as being overly aggressive, but don’t let that scare you off. The bull terrier is extremely friendly, and it is actually one of the best family dogs because of its loyalty. Bull terriers are extremely stout, meaning they are well suited for children who like to play a little rough sometimes. This breed needs to stay not only physically active, but mentally active as well. Make sure you have plenty of toys and a good-sized yard if you’re thinking of bringing this breed home.8
Collies are not only beautiful, they’re also easily trained and very gentle. This is yet another of the best family dogs because they rarely get into to trouble. They want to please their companions, and they typically get along very well with children.
An interesting fact about collies is that they were born to herd. Collies are among the best dogs for kids, but they might actually try to herd them. Again, though, they are very trainable, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to discourage that type of behavior. Collies have long coats, so they need to be groomed regularly. Their fur tends to attract leaves and other debris in the yard, so keep a grooming brush handy.9
One Last Thing
As you can see, there are a lot of breeds that are great with kids. The best family dogs are playful yet gentle, and these breeds definitely fit the bill. But you should also consider mixed breeds, as well as a dog rescue. If you go the rescue route, you’ll be saving a life and have a devoted, appreciative companion for several years.