The best dogs for kids are patient, loving, and tolerant. Kids don’t always have perfect behavior around dogs, so tolerance is a BIG MUST!
The energy level of a dog also plays a role, and should be matched to your child, and family.
The dog you choose should have enough energy to keep up with your child, but not be too rowdy!
It’s best to choose a breed that has a history of being good with children.
Of course, every dog is an individual, and may not live up to the expectations for that particular breed.
Best dogs for kids at a glance
|Golden Retriever||Labrador Retriever||English Bulldog|
|Bassett Hound||Bloodhound||St. Bernard|
|Beagle||Standard Poodle||Flatcoated Retriever|
Number one on our list of the Best dogs for Kids is the Golden Retriever
The golden retriever is an amazing dog and tops our best dogs for kids list!
The golden enjoys spending time with its family, so they are best suited to an active household that wants to include their dog in activities.
This sweet-natured dog loves affection, and is more than happy to play with children.
The downside? Goldens shed…. a lot!
High (Field-bred Goldens are among those with the highest energy levels.)
Moderate (daily brushing to avoid matted fur and tangles is necessary.)
Male: 22-24 inches at the withers / 65 to 75 pounds
Female: 21-23 inches at the withers / 55 to 65 pounds
10 to 12 years
Breed Club : Golden Retriever Club of America
Related post: Checklist for new puppy | Must Haves
Number two on our list of the best dogs for kids is the Labrador retriever
There is a reason that the Lab has been the most popular dog in America for the past 29 years. (AKC.org).
This breed loves children, and is typically very patient with them.
Labs are bubbly, easy to train, and all around great family dogs.
The Labrador’s gentle and playful nature makes it one of the best breeds for kids.
Low (Occasional brushing and bathe when needed)
Male: 22 1/2″ to 24 1/2″ at the withers / 65 to 80 pounds
Female: 21 1/2″ to 23 1/2″ at the withers / 55 to 70 pounds
Breed Club: The Labrador Retriever Club
The Bulldog has a stable temperament, and they are patient and loving with kids.
This breed makes a calm and devoted companion, and isn’t overly exuberant with children.
This dog is great for laid back families that don’t mind a dog with a stubborn streak.
High (The English Bulldog has many creases that need to be kept clean and dry.)
Male: 14″ to 15″ at the withers / 50 pounds
Female: 14″ to 15″ at the withers / 40 pounds
8 to 10 years
Breed Club: Bulldog Club of America
Number four on our list of the best dogs for kids is the Bassett Hound
This breed has a laid back personality, so they will generally have a calm, stable temperament.
Basset Hounds are gentle dogs that love kids.
Don’t let the Basset’s clown like personality fool you, they are very smart, although they can be stubborn.
Low (Ears must be cleaned weekly)
Male: 45 to 70 pounds
Female: 45 to 70 pounds
8 to 12 years
Breed Club: Basset Hound Club of America
The Bloodhound is calm and tolerant around children.
This scent hound has a steady temperament, therefore they get along well with children and other dogs.
This dog has a sensitive nature and must not be trained or corrected harshly.
Medium- high (This breed needs daily eye and ear care. They also have skin folds that need attention.)
Male: 26″ at the withers / 90 pounds
Female: 24″ at the withers / 80 pounds
10 to 12 years
Breed Club: American Bloodhound Club
This gentle giant is known to be great with children, so this breed is sometimes referred to as the “nanny dog”.
This breed is normally exceptionally fond of children, making them a watchful companion.
The St. Bernard is also easy to train.
Low- Medium (Weekly brushing and bathe as needed)
Male: 27 1/2″ at the withers / 140 to 180 pounds
Female: 25 1/2″ at the withers / 120 to 140 pounds
8 to 10 years
Breed Club: Saint Bernard Club of America
Number seven on our list of the best dogs for kids is the Newfoundland
The sweet and docile Newfie is a wonderful companion for kids and families.
This dog is loving, social and patient.
This wonderfully calm dog is a lover of people and children.
This is another breed deemed a “nanny dog”.
Medium (Brush 3-4 times per week to prevent matting. Bathe as needed.)
Male: 28 inches at the withers / 130 to 150 pounds
Female: 26 inches at the withers / 100 to 120 pounds
9 to 10 years
Breed Club: Newfoundland Club of America
This happy little companion dog is gentle and steady around children.
Due to the Pug’s friendly and affectionate personality, they are an excellent choice for families and kids.
The Pug is a great option for households seeking a smaller breed.
This is a little dog with a BIG personality.
Low – Medium
Medium (Daily attention is needed for this dogs facial wrinkles. Occasional brushing, bathe as needed.)
Male: 13″ at the withers / 14 to 18 pounds
Female: 10″ at the withers / 14 to 18 pounds
13 to 15 years
Breed Club: Pug Dog Club of America
This striking dog is an energetic beauty!
This dog loves children, but its rambunctious nature may be best suited for homes with older kids.
This breed is naturally playful and makes a great pet for active children and families.
This dog will happily romp and play fetch for hours.
The Setter also gets along with other pets in the house.
Medium ( Brush 3 to 4 times per week to avoid tangles and matting. Bathe as needed.)
Male: 27″ at the withers / 70 pounds
Female: 25″ at the withers / 60 pounds
12 to 15 years
Breed Club: Irish Setter Club
This cheerful hunting dog is friendly, so they are very playful with children.
Beagles love attention, and thrive as members of the family.
One downside to this breed is that they are noisy.
Howling and baying is common to the breed.
They are not the best choice for apartments.
Low (occasional brushing, bathe as needed)
12 to 16″ at the withers / 20 to 30 pounds
10 to 15 years
Breed Club: National Beagle Club
Poodles are highly intelligent dogs that are lovely additions to most families, also they get along well with children, and have playful, clownish personalities.
They are highly trainable, therefore usually pick up on house training easily.
22″ to 27″ at the withers / 50 to 70 pounds
12 to 15 years
Breed Club: Poodle Club of America
Number twelve on our list of the best dogs for kids is the Flatcoated Retriever
Flatcoated retrievers are a happy, outgoing breed.
They are very good with children, this could be partially due to their extended puppyhood.
They enjoy being part of the family, and make loyal, loving companions.
Male: 23″ to 24″ at the withers / 60 to 80 pounds
Female: 22″ to 23″ at the withers / 60 to 70 pounds
10 to 13 years
Breed Club: Flatcoated Retriever Society of America
Related post: Questions to ask a Breeder
The traits listed in this post are generalizations, and may not be accurate for individual dogs.
** Never leave a child unsupervised with any dog, no matter how well trained they seem to be**
What are some important factors to consider when choosing a dog?
- What is the energy level of your family?
- How much, or little grooming do you want to be responsible for?
- What size dog will best suit your lifestyle?
What is the safest family dog?
The Labrador retriever and the Golden Retriever would top our list for the safest family dog.
They are excellent with children, and get along great with other pets.
Their even temperament make them a great choice for a family dog.
What is the best starter dog for kids?
The pug would be our choice for the best starter dog for kids.
They are happy dogs, with a consistently friendly temperament.
Any of the breeds on this list can be great with kids, but remember puppies don’t come fully trained.
Puppies jump, nip, and usually exhibit excitable behavior.
Time and training will turn your puppy into a lovable family pet.
While training can do amazing things, it’s very important to purchase from a reputable breeder.
Communicate what you are looking for and let them tell you if their dogs fit the bill.
We hope you enjoyed our best dogs for kids list.