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Beagle sitting in bed with its family in the morning.
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What breeds make the best family dogs? What are the best dog breeds for kids? When adding a new puppy or dog to your family, it can be difficult to decide which is the best fit. We’ve compiled 10 of the best dog breeds for families and kids.

Many breeds make wonderful family dogs, though some are better suited for suburban and farm families than households living in the city. Family dogs such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, and Irish Setters are playful and protective. Pugs, Brussels Griffons and French Bulldogs love their families – particularly their laps.

Best Dog Breeds for Kids & Best Family Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in the United States for a reason. The breed is friendly, patient, and trainable. The breed is extremely versatile, doing everything including hunting, showing, dock diving, tracking, obedience.

  • Personality: Friendly and outgoing, Labs play well with others
  • Energy Level: Very active; Labs are high-spirited and not afraid to show it
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Dogs: With supervision
  • Shedding: Regularly
  • Grooming: Weekly brushing
  • Trainability: Eager to please
  • Height: 22.5-24.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Barking Level: Medium

Find Labrador Retriever puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

2. Bulldog

dogs and kids

The distinct and wrinkly Bulldog makes a wonderful companion to children. These loyal dogs can adapt to most atomospheres — city or country — and are happy to spend time with their families.

  • Personality: Calm, courageous, and friendly; dignified but amusing
  • Energy Level: Not Very Active; Bulldogs won’t beg to be exercised, but they require regular walks and the occasional romp
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with other Dogs: Yes
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Trainability: Responds Well
  • Height: 14-15 inches
  • Weight: 50 pounds (male), 40 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 8-10 years
  • Barking Level: Quiet

Find Bulldog puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers originally came into prominence because of the desire for a medium-sized dog that would do well in wild-fowling, both upland game and waterfowl. Today, the breed’s versatility, intelligence, and agreeable personality suit it for many purposes, and it has become one of the most successful, recognizable, and popular breeds in all areas of competition.

  • Personality: Intelligent, friendly, and devoted.
  • Energy Level: Very Active; This dog is active and energetic, and needs daily exercise.
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with other Dogs: Yes
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Occasional
  • Trainability: Eager To Please
  • Height: 23-24 inches (male), 21.5-22.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

Find Golden Retriever puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

4. Beagle

happy

The actual origin of the Beagle seems to be obscure with no reliable documentation on the earliest days of development. Their compact size, short, easy-to-care-for coat and intelligence make the Beagle an excellent family dog.

  • Personality: Merry, friendly, and curious
  • Energy Level: Very Active; This quick, energetic and compact hound dog needs plenty of exercise
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with other Dogs: Yes
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Trainability: Responds Well
  • Height: 13 inches & under, 13-15 inches
  • Weight: under 20 pounds (13 inches & under), 20-30 pounds (13-15 inches)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
  • Barking Level: Likes To Be Vocal

Find Beagle puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

5. Pug

sweet potatoes

The Pug is well described by the phrase “multum in parvo” which means “a lot of dog in a small space.” He is small but requires no coddling and his roguish face soon wiggles its way into the hearts of men, women and especially children, for whom this dog seems to have a special affinity. His great reason for living is to be near his people and to please them. He is comfortable in a small apartment or country home alike, easily adaptable to all situations.

  • Personality: Even-tempered, charming, mischievous and loving
  • Energy Level: Somewhat active; Pugs are not exactly natural athletes, but they do have strong legs and endless curiosity—exercise both regularly
  • Good with Children: Better with supervision
  • Good with Other Dogs: With supervision
  • Shedding: Regularly
  • Grooming: Weekly brushing
  • Trainability: Agreeable
  • Height: 10-13 inches
  • Weight: 14-18 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
  • Barking Level: Barks when necessary

Find Pug puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

6. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter, recognizable from media such as Big Red, first came into popular notice in the 18th century. The outgoing and trainable dog is great for active families, as the Irish Setter is high-energy and loves spending time outdoors.

  • Personality: Outgoing, sweet-natured, active, and trainable
  • Energy Level: Very Active; High-energy dogs who love to run, Irish Setters need plenty of space and exercise
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with other Dogs: Yes
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Trainability: Responds Well
  • Height: 27 inches (male), 25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 70 pounds (male), 60 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

Find Irish Setter puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

7. Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is a hearty, intelligent and active companion. He thrives on interaction, activity, and mental stimulation. His small size makes him a good apartment dweller as long as you give him a chance to burn off some energy. 

  • Energy Level: Somewhat Active; Griffs are spunky and love to play and to share long, daily walks with their owners
  • Good with Children: Better with Supervision
  • Good with other Dogs: With Supervision
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Trainability: Responds Well
  • Height: 7-10 inches
  • Weight: 8-10 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

Find Brussels Griffon puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

8. Newfoundland

Ermolaev Alexandr Alexandrovich / stock.adobe.com

Above all things, the Newfoundland must have the intelligence, the loyalty, and the sweetness which are his best-known traits. He must be able and willing to help his master perform his necessary tasks at command, and also have the intelligence to act on his own responsibility when rescue work demands it. Because of these traits, Newfoundlands make excellent family dogs.

  • Personality: Sweet, patient, devoted; Newfs are famously good companions
  • Energy Level: Somewhat active; Newfs like using their big, powerful bodies so they need some room to romp
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Dogs: Yes
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Weekly brushing
  • Trainability: Easy training
  • Height: 28 inches (male), 26 inches (female)
  • Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 9-10 years
  • Barking Level: Barks when necessary

Find Newfoundland puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

9. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are one of the world’s most popular small-dog breeds, especially among city dwellers. The easygoing and adaptable breed is great for new families and responds well to training.

  • Personality: Playful, smart, adaptable, and completely irresistible
  • Energy Level: Not Very Active; Frenchies are easygoing, not terribly athletic; brisk walks will keep them trim
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with other Dogs: Yes
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Occasional
  • Trainability: Responds Well
  • Height: 11-13 inches
  • Weight: under 28 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Barking Level: Quiet

Find French Bulldog puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

10. Collie

Collies are legendary for their herding skills. They are strong, loyal, affectionate, responsive and fast. A Collie would be best suited for an active family as they are high-energy and love to move around.

  • Personality: Graceful, devoted, and proud
  • Energy Level: Very active; Collies are active and need daily exercise, but they’re happy to chill at home the rest of the time
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Dogs: With supervision
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Occasional
  • Trainability: Responds well
  • Height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
  • Weight: 60-75 pounds (male), 50-65 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Barking Level: Likes to be vocal

Find Collie puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

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