The Best Dog Breeds For Children: How To Find A Fab Family Pet

best dog breeds for children
Andy Seliverstoff

What qualities are needed to make a great family dog? Learn how to find the perfect pooch for your kids - no matter what age they are

best dog breeds for childrenA child’s relationship with their dog is one of those magical things that will never be forgotten. Warm memories of idyllic summer days playing and having fun linger long and fondly into adulthood.

It is always a wonderful thing to see, your child and their best pal playing, exploring and being together. Ever loyal, ever patient and always enthusiastic for the next adventure.

This is the ideal scenario, dogs can indeed be wonderful for children but great care must be taken to ensure you find the right ‘child friendly’ breed.

The best dog breeds for children tend to be intelligent, tolerant, friendly and with a calm disposition

10 Of the Best Dog Breeds For Children

best dog breeds for children

Third most popular breed in America and a fantastic dog for children. They are playful and smart, very patient and sweet natured.There are good reasons why Golden Retrievers are the classic family companions and an ideal first dog for any novice owners.

 ‘Goldies’ are famous for their affectionate easy going natures and great patience with kids. They are eager to please their owners which makes them a cinch to train.

One caveat: That famously beautiful coat does need some attentive grooming, however grooming is not too difficult, with regular brushing and combing you should should do just fine.

>> Golden Retriever<<


best dog breeds for childrenA fitting testament to just how brilliant Labrador Retrievers are is the fact that for the last 20 years Labs have been the undisputed most popular dog breed in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. If this is your first dog you cannot go far wrong with a Labrador. These dogs write the rule book when it comes to best first dogs.

Labradors are a large breed and do require a fair amount of exercise, so just make sure you have the lifestyle to match their energy requirements and enthusiasm.

>>Labrador Retriever<<

best dog breeds for childrenSturdily built and very active, this fun loving all adventure Hound will never grow tired of playing games. They are smart, friendly and happy to boot.


best dog breeds for childrenSweet natured and affectionate. Border Terriers ooze charm. They are playful,active and also gentle. One of the few reliably child friendly small terrier breeds.

>>Border Terrier<<

best dog breeds for childrenBorder Collies are very active and very smart. They make great companions for lively children and excel at games – They will play fetch the ball all day long if allowed.

>> Border Collie<<

The ultimate nanny dog, just ask “Peter Pan”! Newfies are gentle, sweet natured, patient and protective. they adore children but their enormous size means they are just are too big for some.

>> Newfoundland<<


Sturdily built and perfect for boisterous kids. This docile dog is gentle,sweet and very amiable but don’t expect him to run around too much after them .


Playful, happy and mischievous, the “Beardy “ is always wagging his tail. A natural comedian, these dogs are just the perfect side kick for your own cheeky little monkeys!

>>Bearded Collie<<

With a wonderfully gentle temperament and boundless energy, this breed is just the right size for kids to handle. Cockers are happy, friendly and enthusiastic.

>>American Cocker Spaniel<<

Special mention for mutts! Don’t forget these guys. Mutts may not be as grand as purebreds, but crossbreeds and mixes from any of the above or other breeds can make amazing pets for children.

>> Mutts!<<

You need to find out whether the breed of dog you want is compatible with children, because most children can be counted on to be unpredictable and rambunctious, as well as effusive with their affection or frustration. For some dogs the loudness and quickness of children makes no difference at all, while for other breeds, small children push all the wrong buttons

Many breeds are too jumpy and sensitive to be comfortable around the noise and unpredictability of children. Kids move quickly and in unexpected ways-their voices tend to be high and shrill, they can yell or scream in pleasure or in pain, their explosive crying and often surprisingly rapid motions can be alarming to some dogs

Children love to roll around and tumble with their dogs, smaller tots or toddlers are inclined to ear and tail pulling and can be rough handlers.

What to look for and what breeds to  avoid if you are looking for a family dog for your kids. 

best dog breeds for childrenSo who’s to say, really, what kind of dog will or will not work with children? no two dogs are exactly the same. Like people, dogs have their own individual personalities although for recognized breeds, these are usually within broadly defined breed traits.

All dog breeds need proper socialization and supervision to grow up to be friendly toward children.

If you raise a dog around children and carefully teach the children to respect the dog (also showing the children the appropriate body language to use with dogs) you can generally be assured of a good outcome.

Most dog breeds, if socialized at an early age with children and other pets can result in the most loving, tender and gentle companions. Dogs, aside from being fun and companionable are very useful in teaching your child about responsibility, empathy and what it’s like to care for another living being.

The Happy Dog Guide’s Best Dog Breeds For Kids!

This is our list of the best dog breeds for children over the age of seven which have proved themselves  to be particularly compatible with kids over many generations. These breeds all have great temperaments, high levels of tolerance and a sturdiness that can withstand the most rambunctious play of young kids.


It is generally sensible to avoid really big dogs and really little dogs

  • Toy breeds are not normally considered to be sensible dogs for children, especially very young children as the little dogs are too small and delicate and can be easily injured by a child’s actions, small dogs can also be nippy.

  • Larger more boisterous breeds that become over excited can easily jump up and knock small children over when games get too rowdy.

While almost any dog can make a great pet (and every dog can be a potential biter), a few breeds have tendencies you should be aware of. Some dogs have stronger predatory instincts than others. These include the terriers and the northern breeds.

  • Although rare, some dogs can misinterpret the crying of a baby as wounded prey and respond accordingly.

  • Herding dog breeds can make wonderful family pets, but their herding instinct is very strong. They will herd livestock, other family pets and your children. This can be frightening if they are bred to use their mouth to heel (nip at the heels of) livestock. Their teeth can cause unintended bruises and set up an unhappy dynamic between child and dog.

  • Other potentially sharp dogs are the Terriers who can be mouthy and nippy. Quick hands and running feet can stimulate them to snap, so they need to be socialized to children early.

  • Akitas, Dobermans, mastiffs, Bull-type Terriers, and other powerful dogs can be devoted protectors of children, but their great strength can be dangerous if they’re not properly socialized. Although smaller dogs are statistically the most common biters, typically they do less damage because they lack strength and size. A large guardian dog who feels possessive over a toy or food can be dangerous.


Are You Looking For A Child Friendly Dog?  Do You Have Kids and/Or A Dog Not Featured Here? Tell us why they are so good with children and share your experiences, Do you need more ideas about choosing the right dog for your own lifestyle? Do You Have A Related Question? Just ask and we will be happy to help .

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.