What dog breed gets along best with children? Bringing home a new dog is stressful enough, the last thing you want to do is worry about how your new pooch will get along with your kids. Dogs that are too energetic could knock smaller children down and kids that play too roughly could injure smaller, more fragile, dogs. When it comes to choosing a breed to bring home, it’s a good idea to consider which are the best dog breeds for kids. 

Yellow, Labrador, Retriever, Dog, Canine, Sporting

Labrador Retriever

There’s a good reason Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed in the United States. Labs are almost universally friendly, trainable, and patient, even with young children. They play well with others and are active enough to keep up with even the most rambunctious kids. 

Golden Retriever, Dog, Canine, Looking, Resting

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are also one of the great dog breeds for kids. They’re intelligent, friendly, and absolutely devoted to their families. They are a medium-sized dog, very trainable, and also active. Their long hair does require regular brushing, but that’s the kind of easy chore that can help kids learn how to care for their pets.

Child, Boy, Kid, Tablet, Ipad, Dog, Park, Bulldog


You might be surprised to see bulldogs on the list of best dogs for kids, due to “bully breeds” having a poor reputation. The loyal, wrinkly Bulldog is actually a wonderful canine companion for kids. They are incredibly adaptable to various lifestyles and love spending time with their people. Bulldogs are calm, friendly, and courageous. They aren’t very active but they’re happy with short play sessions and lots of cuddling.

Pet, Animal, Puppy, Beagle, Mammals, Dog, Cute, Look


Beagles were originally bred as pack-hunting dogs, but they’re now quite popular with families. They’re small size, about 13 inches tall at the shoulder, makes them very manageable. Beagles are a happy dog with a lot of energy and a curious nature. They’re very trainable, but can be a little noisy too. Read about quiet dog breeds here.

Pugs, Pug, Dogs, Garden, Cute, Waiting, Puppy, Puppies


A pug may be one of the smallest dogs on this list, but he more than makes up for it with plenty of personality. This dog thrives in the company of children, loving to play and rough house with their human siblings. All many pugs want is to be among their people, whether that’s in a small apartment or a rural home with plenty of yard space. Pugs are mild-mannered, agreeable, and not overly vocal.

Dog, Portrait, Irish Setter

Irish Setter

Irish Setters love spending time outdoors with an active family. They are outgoing and sweet, trainable, and high-energy. They do need plenty of space and exercise and can reach up to 70 pounds in size. 

Dog, Canine, Newfoundland, Gray, Portrait, Large


If Newfoundlands are known for one thing, it’s their gentle demeanor. They are intelligent, fiercely loyal, and endlessly patient. A Newfoundland can often be found underneath a pile of children using him as a jungle gym. They grow very large, reaching between 100 and 150 pounds on average, so they do need adequate space to move around for some light exercise.

Bernese Mountain Dog, Dog, Nature, Animals, Mammals

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are another gentle giant breed. They also grow to be over 100 pounds but are sweet and caring. They are well-known for their gentle, patient nature with children and are sometimes referred to as a “babysitter breed.”

Dog, Poodle, The Poodle, The Dog Breed, White, Autumn


Poodles come in 3 different sizes, toy, miniature, and standard, making them a great fit for a variety of families. Their hypoallergenic coat is perfect for families who might be allergic to pet hair or pet dander. Poodles are athletic but perfectly capable of plenty of cuddling. They are also often regarded as the most intelligent breed of dog.

Dog, Cocker Spaniel, Animal World, Animal, Pet, Cocker

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are the smallest breed in the sporting group. They are compact in size, but active enough to keep up with a busy family. Cocker Spaniels are sweet, gentle, and one of the softest cuddle buddies you can find. They play well with kids and other dogs too. 

Dog, Sweet, Animals, Pets, Bichon, Bichon Frise, Race

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises are not your typical small lap dog. While some small dogs are fearful or nippy, Bichons love any and everyone. Like the poodle, they also have a hypoallergenic coat that sheds very little.

Vizsla, Dog, Animal, Brown, Summer, Nature, Cute, Out


The Vizsla is a less common breed, but still an ideal one for families with kids. They are an energetic sporting dog, but also have the gentle nature necessary for children. They are sensitive, affectionate, and form deep bonds with their people. Vizslas ultra-short coat means less shedding, brushing, and cleaning.

Border Collie, Hybrid, Funny, Playing Dogs, Puppy Group


Mutts aren’t a breed, but they are some of the best dogs around. While adopting a purebred dog may give you some indication of temperament, dogs of any breed or combination of breeds can make an excellent family pet. Adopting a dog from a shelter, whether a purebred or a mutt, saves a life and frees up a spot for the shelter to take in another dog too. When considering a new pet, check your local shelter to see if there’s a suitable dog for your family available. If your heart is set on a specific breed, try to find a breed-specific rescue located near you.

Find The Right Dog Breed For Your Kids

When we adopt a new pet, it’s important to make sure they suit our lifestyle and our lifestyle suits them. Bringing a dog home should be a lifelong commitment, so it’s important to make sure it will be a happy and healthy relationship for a decade or more. If you have a family with children or plan to have one in the near future, it’s important to consider what type of dog breed will best suit your activity level, space, and life. What do you think are the best dog breeds for kids?

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