Best Dogs for Kids and Families | Most Recommended By Experts

Dogs can teach kids how to be responsible, kind, and patient. Plus, they are the best playmates anyone could ask for. Before you adopt a puppy, though, you should always do study to find the best breed for your home and way of life. Some dogs love to play rough with rowdy older kids, while others are more gentle and good with little kids who might be scared off by more active animals. If you have little kids at home, you might want to adopt an older dog instead of a puppy. Older dogs tend to be calmer and more patient than younger ones, which is important for kids who might pull on their tails or ears. Each animal has a different personality, but the American Kennel Club says that these 20 family-friendly breeds are a good place to start if you want to adopt a pet.

How you choose your new fur-ever friend can depend on where you live, how busy you are, how active you are, and how much money you have. If you’re getting a pet from a shelter or rescue group, the people who work there can help you find a good match. When you get a new pet, you should also plan to train your dog in a regular way that focuses on the good. Plus, your child will benefit from learning how to treat animals in a safe and kind way. Don’t forget to make a family plan for walking, playing, feeding, and grooming so that everyone can join in on the fun. Your crew won’t be able to imagine life without their dog if they have one of these sweet, loving breeds.

Our Pickup: Labrador Retriever

They have been the most famous kind of dog for a long time. Labs like almost everyone, including kids, adults, and other pets. Their sweet personalities make them fast friends with everyone they meet, but don’t be fooled by how much energy they have. This breed is very active and can get up to 80 pounds. They need a lot of exercise every day.

Our Pickup: Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are another all-American choice. They live up to their reputation as the ideal family dog. They pick up new things quickly and need a lot of physical exercise. They love to run, swim, play fetch, and play. In return, they’ll be a lot of fun to hang out with and do a lot of silly things.

Our Pickup: Bulldog

A loyal bulldog might be a better choice for people who like to take it easy. Aside from going for walks, these well-mannered dogs love to take naps. Even if you like their aged faces, be careful if you live in a warm climate: Because of their small noses, they tend to get too hot.

Our Pickup: Pug

Pugs like to eat and sleep just like people do. You have to feed them a regular diet (no table scraps!) and make sure they get a lot of exercise, but if you want someone to cuddle up with on the couch and watch movies with, look no further. This breed weighs about 15 pounds, so it doesn’t need a big yard, but it does enjoy playing with kids.

King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

When you mix the small size of a toy breed with the energy of a working breed, you get these cute and active pets. These sweet friends with smooth fur get along with almost everyone, including kids and other dogs. The long hair and smile that melts your heart are just extras.

Bernese Mountain Dog

If your family likes to think big, you might want to think about getting a Bernese Mountain Dog. They can weigh up to 100 pounds, but under all that fur is a sweet, kind-hearted pet that is known for being good with kids.

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes will do anything to make their pack happy, whether it’s made up of people or other dogs. These strong dogs were made to pull sleds, so they need a boss to set a regular training and exercise schedule. (Now is the time to start skijoring.) You’ll be repaid with a friendly face and a tail that wags like a feather duster.

Boston Terrier

These friendly dogs weigh less than 25 pounds and have low-maintenance “tuxedo” hair. Boston Terriers, as their name suggests, do well in apartments, but they will enjoy walks around the block and lively games of fetch with the kids.


Cute? Check. Friendly? Check? Loved by everyone? Double check. Beagles need other people to be happy; they can’t spend long days by themselves. These beseeching looks can hide another possible problem: When they smell something interesting, the pocket-sized dogs can become brave escape artists.

The Irish Setter

Just think about how nice it would be to walk one of these around the neighborhood. Irish Setters are very beautiful dogs, but they are also talented sports in their own right. You must live an active life and have a never-ending stock of tennis balls. This workout buddy will get everyone in the family up and moving.

French Bulldog

Even if they don’t have a yard, people who live in cities love these quiet and low-maintenance dogs. Their “bat ears” and smaller size make them look different from their bigger bulldog relatives. The normal Frenchie is alert and playful, and he or she can easily adjust to new situations.

Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is one of the AKC’s smallest dog breeds, so it can’t handle as much roughhousing as some of the other breeds on this list. But if your kids are willing to play gently, they will get a pet that is loyal, smart, and has a lot of personality for its size.


On the other end of the size range, the Newfoundland can weigh an amazing 100-150 pounds. These soft giants are great swimmers, but they are also known as “nanny dogs” because they are so calm and watchful. If you have room, their sweet personalities will definitely win you over.


Collies are one of the smartest dog breeds. If you’ve ever seen Lassie, you’ll understand why. A collie’s dedication is second to none, and they love kids so much. Are you concerned about all that fur? Collies come in both “rough” and “smooth” types for people who don’t like to clean their dogs.

Wheaten Terrier with a Soft Coat

If it really bothers you that your dog sheds, try one of these cute dogs. Even though no dog makes no allergens, these silky-haired terriers have what is called a hypoallergenic coat, which may be good for people with light fur allergies. More importantly, Wheatens are happy, loving pets that love to be busy and chase anything that moves.


Poodles are the most fashionable dog there is. They come in three sizes and three colors: normal, small, and toy, and black, white, and apricot. Some people have the wrong idea that they are haughty dogs, but underneath that fluffy hypoallergenic coat is a real brainiac who was bred to be active. The showy hairstyle, which comes from their original job as hunting dogs, is also not necessary. Most owners choose the simple “sporting clip” because it needs much less care.

Bichon Frise

Before you group them with other small white dog breeds, you should know that Bichons “operate under the assumption that there are no strangers, just friends they haven’t met yet,” according to the AKC. In addition to being friendly, they have a coat that doesn’t shed much, which makes this playful fluffball even better for a home where people like to have fun.


If you like hunting dogs but want something different than a Lab or Golden Retriever, the Vizla might be for you. It is a purebred pointer that does best when it gets a lot of exercise but is gentle and loving when it’s not “working.” This is a dog that will form a close bond with you; “alone time” is not something a Vizla says.

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest dog in the sports group. It has some of the softest ears and cutest faces. Cockers are small but very busy. They do best when they get regular walks and lots of time to play, whether it’s with kids or another dog.

A Mutt

Yes, mutts aren’t really a breed, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t friendly or cute! Talk to an animal shelter in your area to get help finding a cute mixed-breed dog that would be a good fit for your family and way of life. When you adopt a dog, you not only give it a home for life, but you also make room in a rescue for another dog who needs it.


Q: Which is the most family-friendly dog?

A: Several dog breeds are known for their family-friendly nature, including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, and Boxers. However, the most suitable family-friendly dog depends on various factors such as lifestyle, living situation, and individual preferences.

Q: What is the best and easiest family dog?

A: The best and easiest family dog varies from family to family, as different breeds have different temperaments and needs. However, some dog breeds that are often considered good choices for families due to their friendly and easygoing nature include Labrador Retrievers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Bichon Frises.

Q: What is a good cheap family dog?

A: The cost of acquiring and caring for a dog can vary, but several breeds are known for being relatively affordable in terms of upfront costs and maintenance. Some affordable options for family dogs may include mixed-breed dogs from shelters or rescues, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, or Border Collies.

Q: What dog can be left home?

A: Many dogs can be left alone for reasonable periods, but the duration depends on the individual dog’s needs and temperament. Some dog breeds that are generally more independent and can tolerate being alone for longer periods include Basset Hounds, Bullmastiffs, and Greyhounds. However, it is important to note that all dogs require social interaction, exercise, and mental stimulation, so leaving a dog alone for extended periods should be done with consideration and appropriate care arrangements.