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The Best Dog Breeds For Families With Children

The Best Dog Breeds For Families With Children

So, you’re thinking about adding a new puppy or dog to your family. Congrats — as dog lovers, we’re personally very happy for you. 

Getting a new dog is super exciting — but if you have kids, it can be tough to decide which breed will best suit your family. There are lots of things to consider, including your lifestyle and where you live (for example, some breeds are better suited for suburban or rural homes than city life). 

When choosing a dog for your family, it’s important to include everyone in the decision-making process, including your kids. We’ve compiled this list of the best dog breeds for families to help you and yours find the perfect pup for your household.

Choosing the Perfect Dog

With so many breeds to choose from, deciding on the best family dog for your household can be difficult. Some dogs are better suited for kids than others, so there are certain things you’ll have to take into account when picking out your new pup.

What Temperament Should the Dog Have?

The best dogs for kids are generally friendly, energetic, and playful — but patient and easy to train, too. Taking time to research the best dog breeds for families will not not only help you feel confident in choosing the right dog for your household, but also help ensure that your new puppy or dog will feel at home with you, too. Before long, they’ll become a much-loved part of the family.

Which Dog Fits Your Family’s Lifestyle?

When choosing the perfect dog for your family, here are a few things you should take into consideration:

  • The age of your children
  • The size of your home/how much space you have for a dog
  • Your lifestyle — is your family active? Outdoorsy? Homebodies? A mix of these things?
  • How much free time you have to devote to the dog 

Think of this not only in terms of what your family wants in a dog, but also what you can offer your furry friend in return. For example, if you don’t have time to take your dog out on several walks a day, then it’s probably safe to say that a highly energetic breed isn’t the best fit for you.

Consider the traits typically associated with the different family-friendly dogs on this list, and see if there’s one that meshes well with your family’s lifestyle.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dogs in the United States for a reason. They’re friendly, outgoing, play well with others, and are eager to please. They also tend to be affectionate, patient, and highly trainable — in short, they’re good family dogs. If you’re looking for a medium-to-large sized dog that will bond with your entire household, look no further than the Lab.

One thing to know about Labs is that they require a lot of exercise, so they’re happiest in active families who have enough time and energy to keep up with them. From tracking and obedience to dock diving — Labs are always ready to learn a new skill or join you on an adventure.

Young Labs tend to be very energetic and jump around a lot, so if you have very small children, you may want to consider adopting an older Lab as opposed to a puppy.


These wrinkly, smooshed-faced pups are just as good with kids as they are cute. They’re loyal, friendly, and generally possess calm, chill demeanors. Bulldogs are typically very patient, trainable, and form strong bonds with their people, which is precisely why they’re highly recommended family dogs

Bulldogs can adapt to most environments — making them an excellent option for wide open spaces and city living alike. They aren’t very active and won’t demand a lot of exercise, but do require regular walks and playtime to keep them happy, healthy, and out of mischief.


While the actual origin of the Beagle breed is a bit of a mystery, one thing is for sure: they make excellent companions. Beagles’ compact size, short and easy-to-care-for coat, and intelligence all make them excellent family dogs. As far as personality goes, they’re known to be loyal, playful, and happy-go-lucky — a great fit for families with kids. While energetic and curious, Beagles are also generally very tolerant and calm around children.

These hound dogs need lots of exercise, so they’re ideal for families who can give them plenty of playtime, walks, and dog park hangs. 

Beagles feel happiest when they have company — so they shouldn’t be left alone inside or outside for long periods of time. Like all hounds, beagles tend to be very vocal — if bored or lonely, they may bark or howl (this also can make them challenging as apartment dogs).

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter first came onto the scene in the 18th century, with their silky red coat and loyal temperament. They’re an outgoing, energetic breed, but also eager-to-please and very trainable. Irish Setters are known to be total sweethearts who are great with children and get along well with other dogs — no wonder they’re considered to be one of the best dog breeds for families.

Irish setters are high-energy and love spending time outdoors, making them a good fit for active families with enough space for a medium-to-large breed dog. If you’re looking for an adventure buddy, then the Irish Setter is for you.

Golden Retriever

Originally bred as bird dogs to assist in the hunting of water fowl, Golden Retrievers have since become the iconic “family dog” and are one of the most popular breeds in TV shows, movies, and in real life.

But what exactly makes Goldens so beloved? Is it their intelligence? Their gentle nature? Their adorable faces? Yes, yes, and definitely. This trainable, medium-to-large sized breed is great with kids and makes an excellent family dog. 

A couple of things to note: Goldens are very energetic and need daily exercise — they make perfect companions on long runs or bike rides. They also tend to shed a lot, so you’ll have to be okay with regular brushing/grooming (and make sure you have a good vacuum and lint rollers on hand).

If your family wants a versatile dog that’s just as easy going as it is adventurous, the Golden Retriever just might be your match.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffons thrive on social interaction, activity, and mental stimulation. They’re spunky, intelligent, and playful — but also small and compact, making them one of the best dog breeds for families who live in apartments.

Griffs love to play and need daily walks with their owners to burn off excess energy. While great with children, their small size and rambunctiousness generally make them a better fit for families with older kids as opposed to small children and toddlers.


Intelligent, loyal, sweet — these gentle giants have it all. Newfoundlands are patient, devoted, and famously good companions. They’re excellent with children, and  — added bonus — your kids will love having a pet that looks like a bear.

Newfs are easy to train, but they’ll definitely need a lot of room to romp. They’re somewhat active and require moderate exercise to stay healthy and happy (they make great sidekicks on long walks or hikes).

In short, this breed makes a good family dog if you have the space to add a huge lovebug to your household.

Creating a Harmonious Family and Pet Relationship

The breeds on this list typically have the recommended traits for being the best family dogs, but creating a harmonious pup-family dynamic at home will require some effort on your end, too. 

First of all, make sure you get your dog from a reputable breeder or rescue center. Many of the family-friendly dogs on this list can be found at rescues — there are even rescue centers that focus on specific popular breeds, like Beagles or Labs. You may also consider adopting a mutt that is mixed with some of the breeds in this guide — there are lots of amazing dogs out there waiting for a family to call their own. 

Your dog will require proper socialization and training, but your kids will require some training too — especially if they are very young. Be sure to teach your kids how to be kind and respectful to dogs, and recognize dog behavior signs so they’ll know when your pup needs a little space.

Whichever dog breed your family chooses, your new best friend will require cuddles, playtime, and the proper nutrition to keep them healthy, happy, and thriving. At Jinx, we're here to upgrade the way you care for your dog by providing holistic nutrition made with thoughtful formulation, real ingredients, and a whole lot of love.


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