Congratulations you are thinking about getting a dog! Some breeds are AMAZING with kids. And others have a much harder time. What are the best dogs with children? Whether you are looking for a large or a small dog, check out the ten most common breeds I recommend if you have kids in the house!
I consider the amount of exercise required, the adaptability, and the noisiness of the breed when looking at the best dogs with children. Some of my choices might surprise you! When you are working with a breeder ensure they do temperament testing and allow them to place the right dog with your family.
Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, or Another Doodle
I could break these out into their own categories but ultimately, they are all “doodles.” I suggest getting a Doodle to anyone who likes the Portuguese Water Dog but have never had a dog or have children at home. Doodles don’t shed, IF they are multi-generation doodle. Understanding their heritage is important for health and particularly if you are looking for non-shedding.
Since they aren’t AKC sanctioned it is more difficult to independently confirm the parents unless they are participating in non-conformation events. Doodles will range in size from under 30 pounds to over 100 pounds. It depends on the parents and the mix. The require a bit more in the grooming department but have fewer health issues in general. Depending on the mix you may have one that is content sitting on the couch or they may need a lot of exercise. Doodles are my number 1 of the best dogs with children.
If you are looking for a larger dog, the Newfoundland is one of my favorites! They have fantastic personalities, are generally very quiet dogs, who require little more than a good walk once they are full grown. Unfortunately, their life span is shorter due to their size, living only nine to 10-years. But they are the gentle giants, with males weighing between 130 and 150 pounds, and females 100 to 120 pounds. They have average grooming requirements and pretty typical health issues. The also make great apartment dogs, check out what other breeds I recommend for apartment living.
With their droopy eyes and long ears Basset Hounds are some of the most chill dogs. While they are shorter dogs, at under 15 inches tall, they weigh between 40 and 65 pounds. They do have a tendency to become overweight. It’s important to closely manage their food intake which may be difficult in homes with small children. They can be quite chatty but their affectionate nature allows them to get away with it. Basset Hounds don’t require a lot of exercise or grooming, but their ears and wrinkly skin do need attention to prevent infections.
I love the white fluffy Samoyed, or Sammy as they are affectionately known. I am always shocked at how white they stay, Miss Millie and Mr Magoo have white hair and they are constantly dirty. They are smaller dogs than you think with males weighing between 45 and 65 pounds and females 35 to 50 pounds. Samoyeds do not do well being left in a yard by themselves, they will be destructive. They want to be with their humans and they are a bit stubborn to train. If you don’t have the time to train them they will run all over you. When they are trained they are a delight to live with and will be your companion for 12 to 14 years.
Beagles are super funny and very loving to be around. There are two different sizes, under 13 inches tall and 13-15 inches tall. Beagles live for 10 to 15 years making them a great family companion. They are a chattier breed so if barking is a concern this may not be the best option for you. The Beagle is low maintenance on grooming and have below average health issues, generally. Plus, they have relatively minimal exercise needs, nothing too much beyond a daily good walk.
The third most popular dog in the US according to AKC registrations makes for one of the best family dogs. The Golden Retriever is known for their friendly and family focused personalities. The are a good size dog without being too large, males are between 65 and 75 pounds and females are 55 to 65 pounds. These guys are super adaptable to any surrounding making them the best child friendly dog, very rarely with something rattle a Golden Retriever. If you have a good breeder then they tend to be quite healthy, but genetics testing should be performed to ensure the breeding parents are a good match. You can expect most Golden Retrievers to live between 10 and 12 years.
Like the Golden Retriever the Irish Setter is a fantastic family dog. They are a little easier on the grooming needs than the Golden Retriever but they are similar sized with males averaging 70 pounds and females 60 pounds. Irish Setters live on average 12 to 15 years which is quite long for a larger dog. The Setter is very affectionate and will play ball with the kids for hours on end. They need lots of daily exercise so if your children are younger or you aren’t as active this may not be the breed for your family.
The Shih Tzu has been around for a thousand years and has always been a companion dog. They are very affectionate and even more so with children. A Shih Tzu is happy to sit on your lap all day and are content in an apartment or home with a small yard. They require extensive grooming which may not be convenient in a home with children, particularly small kids. Weighing under 20 pounds they won’t be knocking your children over but you may trip over them from time to time. The Shih Tzu is a relatively healthy breed and will live on average 10 to 18 years.
For a long time, I wasn’t seeing or hearing of Collies however they seem to resurfacing in popularity. Likely because they make great family pets and the increased popularity of the Smooth-Coated Collie. You probably remember Lassie the Rough-Coated Collie, that variety requires more extensive grooming than the Smooth-Coated Collie. Both the Rough and the Smooth have similar sizes with Males weighing between 60 and 75 pounds and females between 50 and 65 pounds. They have less than average health issues giving them a life span of 12 to 14 years.
These guys have grown on me over the last few years. At first, I wasn’t too sure about the hairless variety but then I met a Powderpuff Chinese Crested and holy cow they are cute! These guys will be in your life for 13 to 18 years and weigh under 15 pounds. They are great companions who are super affectionate! They will curl up on you at any time. The hairless variety requires skin maintenance like sunscreen and the powderpuff variety needs grooming, but they are relatively low maintenance in the grooming department. The Chinese Crested will do better in homes with older children as they need more activity than other small breeds.
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