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23 Best Dog Breeds for Families and Kids

Here’s a list of the 23 best dog breeds for your family.

After researching for hours and from personal experience, I have listed down 23 dog breeds that are great for a family. 

To make it easier for you to choose a dog that will be best for your family, I have rated each dog out of five. 

Our ratings are based on the following factors: 

  • How friendly the breed is with family members and people close to the dog.
  • The breed’s tolerance level, patience with children, and general family-friendly nature.
  • Friendliness of the breed towards other dogs.
  • Trainability level. 

Keep reading if you’re interested in learning about Best Dog Breeds for Families and kids.

#1: Alaskan Malamute

Best Dog Breeds for Families

Alaskan Malamutes are gentle giants who love to spend time with people. These dogs were bred to be sociable. Hence, they typically spend most of their time with their owners and become attached to them. 

And some Alaskan Malamutes might even develop separation anxiety and become clingy.
(Pro Tip: A dog bed can help with separation anxiety)

Alaskan Malamutes are very friendly towards strangers, and they show affection towards people of all ages. 

Although it is not recommended to bring an adult Alaskan Malamute into your home if you already have other small pets, Alaskan Malamutes have a high prey drive if not explicitly trained while young. 

#2: Beagle

Best Dog Breeds for Families

Beagles are one of the sweetest family dogs because they are good with children and are very playful. 

These dogs are not only lovely and obedient, but they also got the traits of watchdogs. They will watch over your family and your house and alert you if they suspect any threat. 

Beagles will protect your children too because they see children as their fellow pack-mates. 

Beagles are also easy to groom, as brushing out your dog once a week is more than enough. Although in the summertime, Beagles shed, so you can expect to brush your dog up to 3 times a week. 

#3: Bernese Mountain Dog

Best Dog Breeds for Families

Bernese Mountain Dog is one of those breeds that are extremely intelligent and easy to train. These dogs have an even-temper and calm disposition. Due to their patient nature, they can tolerate energetic kids that may want to climb all over their big, furry bodies. 

Although Bernese Mountain Dogs are not aggressive, they’re protective. They’ll protect your kids and those who are close to the dog. 

These dogs are 23 – 28 inches in height and weigh around 70 – 115 pounds. And they have a long outer coat and thick undercoat. So you can expect quite a shedding from these dogs. 

#4: Bichon Frise

Best Dog Breeds for Families

Bichon Frise is one of the best dog breeds for familes due to its exceptional qualities. They’re affectionate, loving, and always eager to please their owner.  

These sweet-natured pooches get along more with older and calm children than younger boisterous children. 

Bichons are adorable dogs, but they do require regular grooming and lots of fuss and attention. However, this is a small price to pay if you want the companionship of Bichons. 

But, as long as you can provide time, love, and affection to your Bichon, you will get plenty of back in return. 

#5: Blue Heelers

Best Dog Breeds for Families

Blue Heelers, also known as the Australian Cattle Dogs, are pleasant, intelligent, loyal dogs. They’re friendly dogs with calm nature which can be an excellent fit for families with children.

These faithful friends are very active and have high energy, making them excellent play buddies. 

Blue Heelers also don’t bark too much, which is a plus point if you don’t like noises or you have young children sensitive to loud noises. 

#6: Border Collie

Best Dog Breeds for Families

Border Collies have incredible personalities and are one of the bravest breeds of canines. They have an abundance of energy and love to go on outings such as hiking. 

These dogs are fiercely loyal to their owners, but early socialization is necessary for the breed.

Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with long hair and aesthetic build. And due to their long hair, you can expect to brush them several times a week to prevent tangling or matting. 

#7: Boston Terrier

Best Dog Breeds for Families

The Boston Terriers are the perfect fit for apartments and kids. These dogs love to spend time with their human family and lack aggressiveness, making them excellent family dogs. 

Their affection and gentle behavior have earned them the title “American Gentleman.”

These dogs come in three different color combinations: brown and white, brindle and white, and black and white. 

Bostons are also not known to be yappy but will bark to alert you when they see a potential threat. 

#8: Boxer

Best Dog Breeds for Families

Boxers are the eighth most popular dog breed globally because they’re joyful, clever, fiercely loyal, fun, and adorable. 

These dogs have high energy and muscular build and are full of enthusiasm. 

A Boxer will love to play with your children and entertain them because they’re complete clowns for family enjoyment. 

These dogs have patient nature, which makes them tolerate children very well.

#9: Brittany


The Britany is a family-oriented dog that is very playful, athletic, energetic, and a great running partner. 

These dogs get along with other pets well and are affectionate towards children. 

The Britany is also an intelligent dog who likes to please its owner, making them easy to train. 

They have a short coat with slight feathering on the belly and legs, so they’re easy to groom. 

#10: Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon is an excellent family dog if socialized early. The breed has a non-aggressive nature and likes intense one-on-one time with its human owners. 

These dogs are perfect for people with less time or seniors because Brussels Griffon doesn’t require much exercise. 

Brussels Griffons are also called “Velcro dogs” due to their clingy behavior as they love to be right next to you.

#11: Cairn Terriers

Cairn Terriers

Cairn Terriers were originally bred as hunting dogs but are good-tempered, loving dogs that make good family pets. 

They’re highly energetic and tolerant towards young children. 

These small dogs are easy to groom and train. However, these dogs do need a sizeable walk every day.

#12: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are noble dogs that have served royal figures such as Charles I, Charles II, Queen Victoria, Princess Margaret, etc.

These dogs love the companionship of their owners and love to enjoy time with them. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small dogs, requiring less exercise but regular grooming to maintain their coat’s beautiful appearance. And they’re an excellent fit for small apartments. 

These docile animals have an affectionate temperament. Hence they’re good around children of all ages. 

#13: Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are known to be one of America’s favorite dog breeds. They’re happy family companions that are gentle, affectionate, and friendly. 

Cocker Spaniels are not only popular family dogs but also are used for various services and therapy roles.

However, Cocker Spaniels need active owners because these dogs need at least an hour of exercise daily to stay healthy. 

#14: Corgi


Corgis are considered great household dogs because they’re loyal, intelligent, and not very aggressive. Corgis can live together with other pets in the home and are good with older children. 

The dogs were originally bred to herd cattle, sheep, and horses. They’re active dogs eager to learn; hence they’re very easy to train. 

Corgis come in four different coat colors and markings, but red and white are the most common color variety. 

Some Corgis are known to bark excessively, but it depends from dog to dog.

#15: Dachshund


Dachshunds are loyal companions and excellent watchdogs. They were originally bred for hunting badgers, rabbits, and foxes. 

But, today, they make excellent family companions, show dogs, and small-game hunters. 

These dogs have average intelligence, they rank number 92 out of 138 on the canine intelligence list, but they can be beautiful companions if trained well. 

#16: English Bulldog

English Bulldog

Don’t get fooled by the wrinkled face of the English Bulldogs. These are one of the most wonderful and loving family dogs. They’re people-oriented dogs and love children the most. These dogs crave the attention of their human family. 

English Bulldogs are a great fit for first-time owners because they’re unbelievably low-key and require minimal exercise. These dogs are couch potatoes who love to lie around with their owners. 

#17: French Bulldog

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are small dogs that do well in small homes or apartments. The breed is loyal, intelligent, and gets along well with children and other pets. 

The Frenchie is a joyful and friendly companion who will always be by your side. These dogs were bred to be human companions. They crave the love and security of their owners. 

These dogs also love to cuddle, so if you love to cuddle with your 4-legged buddy, then Frenchie is for you.

#18: German Shepherd

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are one of my favorite dog breeds due to their calm nature and caring temperament. Although they’re not aggressive, they do have a protective nature. They will guard you and your home against intruders or potential threats. 

German Shepherds are not only the most intelligent but also very trainable. And they’re very playful. Every command to them is like a play. You will be amazed by their obedience. 

These dogs have evolved to become better at understanding humans and their intentions. They’re very good at interpreting words. 

German Shepherds are for everyone, whether you’re first-time owners or have prior experience. 

#19: Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers have all the best qualities for being family dogs. They’re easy to train, don’t bark incessantly, and get along with children and other pets. 

In addition to having a high IQ, they’re very obedient and have superb instincts to fetch or retrieve. 

The Golden Retrievers are easy to groom and don’t have high maintenance. Bathing occasionally will usually do the trick, and brushing a few times a week. 

#20: Havanese

Havanese Best Dog Breeds for Families

Havanese are playful dogs with good-natured temperaments and intelligence. The breed is popular for learning cool tricks, performing in dog sports, and showing in competitions. 

However, these dogs require high maintenance and daily grooming if kept in a full coat. Their coat can grow up to eight inches in length. You will need to brush and bathe the dog daily if you want to keep its full coat of the dog.

Besides high maintenance, these dogs are fabulous for families who want to have a small dog. 

#21: Irish Setter

Irish Setter Best Dog Breeds for Families

The Irish Setters are counted among the most popular family pets, and for good reasons. They’re a sweet, affectionate, and energetic breed that makes excellent playmates for children. In addition, they love their human family unconditionally.

These dogs shed a little, and scheduled six-month health checks are essential to ensure your dog is healthy and happy throughout all life stages. 

The Irish Setters need active owners because these energetic dogs require at least two hours of exercise per day. 

#22: Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Best Dog Breeds for Families

The Labs are great family dogs because they love to be with people. Labs are protective of their families but are usually happy to greet strangers. 

Labrador Retrievers don’t bark too much. Instead, they’re remarkably gentle and easily socialized dogs. Labs were used as gun dogs in the past, but now they’re family-oriented dogs. 

Luckily these dogs are relatively low-maintenance but require 80 minutes of high-quality exercise to keep them healthy. 

#23: Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky Best Dog Breeds for Families

Last but not least on our list of the best family dogs is the Siberian Husky. These gentle giants are loving, playful, and great with children and other pets. The breed is known for its loyalty and will be by your side at any moment. 

Huskies are energetic dogs that require around one to two hours of exercise daily.  

These dogs have a very calm and docile nature. However, Siberian Huskies are a bit hard to train due to their stubborn, strong-willed, and independent nature. 

My Two Cents 

No matter how good a dog is towards children, never leave the kids under three alone with your dog. Young kids need to be constantly watched if they are interacting with the family dog. 

It’s bad to assume a dog will tolerate all sorts of behavior from kids, and the dog can’t or won’t hurt the kids. 

Always keep an eye on things, and train both the dog and the kids on how to interact. 

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