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The Best Dogs for Kids 

Pet Project
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Updated May 22, 2019 21.1k votes 2.7k voters 49.3k views 53 items

List Rules Vote up the top breeds that are safe and patient for a household with children

The best dogs for kids are not just some of the best family dogs but some of the best and most popular dog breeds out there. These dogs have incredible patience, are gentle with the little ones, and can help teach children about responsibility. Additionally, many claim that raising children with dogs can help improve the self esteem of the child and help them with cooperation and social skills.

While many might think that small dog breeds would be better with small children, the opposite is often true. Breeds like the golden retriever, labrador retriever, Irish setter, and boxer are among the top dog breeds for children. These large dogs are gentle giants and great about tolerating the tormenting of children without backlash.

Of course many smaller dogs are also great for kids. The poodle is a popular choice for family dogs as is the beagle, shih tzu, Havanese and pug. For a family living in an apartment or one that simply does not want a larger dog, these breeds are solid choices and among the best apartment dogs. On the other hand, chihuahuas or yorkies are smaller breeds that are not especially recommended for children.

When selecting a great family dog, it's important to consider a variety of factors. That's where a mixed breed or mutt can often be a great choice of the combination of dog characteristics a family might be seeking in their ideal dog. Also, as mixed breed dogs are often the first to land in a shelter, giving a rescued mutt a forever home can change your life and the life of the dog as well. Whichever breed of dog you select, it's crucial to think the decision over thoroughly before making a commitment to any dog, but this list of the best dog breeds for families will help you start the decision making process. And if you're looking for dogs that are specifically good around infants, be sure to check out our list on the best dogs for babies.

list ordered by
1
Golden Retriever is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Golden Retriever is a large-sized gun dog that retrieve shot waterfowl, such as ducks and upland game birds, during hunting and shooting parties. They were named 'retriever' because of their ...more
2
Labrador Retriever is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Labrador Retriever, or just Labrador, is a large type of retriever-gun dog. The Labrador is one of the most popular breeds of dog in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.A ...more
3
Mixed Breed or Mutt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
Mixed Breed or Mutt
4
Beagle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The beagle is a breed of small hound that is similar in appearance to the much larger foxhound. The beagle is a scent hound, developed primarily for hunting hare (beagling). With a great sense ...more
5
Collie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
Collies form a distinctive type of herding dogs, including many related landraces and standardised breeds. The type originated in Scotland and Northern England. Collies are medium-sized, fairly ...more
6
Boxer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Boxer is a medium-sized, short-haired breed of dog, developed in Germany. The coat is smooth and tight-fitting; colors are fawn brindled or white, with or without white markings. Boxers are ...more
7
German Shepherd Dog is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The German Shepherd (German: Deutscher Schäferhund, German pronunciation: [ˈʃɛːfɐˌhʊnt]) is a breed of medium to big-sized working dog that originated in Germany. In the English language, ...more
8
Newfoundland is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Newfoundland dog is a large working dog. They can be either black, brown, or white-and-black (called Landseer). However, in the Dominion of Newfoundland, before it became part of the ...more
9
St. Bernard is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
zxray added
The St. Bernard or St Bernard (UK: , US: ) is a breed of very large working dog from the western Alps in Italy and Switzerland. They were originally bred for rescue by the hospice of the Great ...more
10
Great Pyrenees is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
SnowyCae added
11
Border Collie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
slaft added
The Border Collie is a working and herding dog breed developed in the Scottish borders for herding livestock, especially sheep. It was specifically bred for intelligence and obedience. ...more
12
Siberian Husky is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Siberian Husky (Russian: Сибирский хаски, tr. Sibirskiy khaski) is a medium size working dog breed. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly furred ...more
13
Labradoodle is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
A Labradoodle () is a planned mating crossbreed dog created by crossing the Labrador retriever and the Standard, Medium, or Miniature poodle. The term first appeared in 1955, but was not ...more
14
American Pit Bull Terrie... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
analise.dubner added
The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is a purebred dog breed recognized by the United Kennel Club and American Dog Breeders Association, but not the American Kennel Club (AKC). It is a ...more
15
Staffordshire Bull Terri... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, also known as a "Stafford" or "Staffie", is a breed of short-haired, small- to medium-sized dog that was developed in Staffordshire, England ...more
16
Bichon Frisé is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
A Bichon Frise ( or ; from French: bichon à poil frisé, French pronunciation: ​[biʃɔ̃ fʁize], meaning 'curly lap dog') is a small breed of dog of the bichon type. The Bichon Frise ...more
17
King Charles Spaniel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The King Charles Spaniel (also known as the English Toy Spaniel) is a small dog breed of the spaniel type. In 1903, the Kennel Club combined four separate toy spaniel breeds under this single ...more
18
Australian Shepherd is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
LisaIverson added
The Australian Shepherd, often known simply as the "Aussie", is a medium-sized breed of dog that was, despite its name, developed on ranches in the United States during the 19th ...more
19
Pug is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The pug is a breed of dog with physically distinctive features of a wrinkly, short-muzzled face, and curled tail. The breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in a variety of colours, most often ...more
20
Great Dane is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Great Dane is a German breed of domestic dog known for its giant size.The record holder for the tallest dog ever is a Great Dane called Zeus (died September 2014; aged 5), that measured ...more
21
English Springer Spaniel... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The English Springer Spaniel is a breed of gun dog in the Spaniel family traditionally used for flushing and retrieving game. It is an affectionate, excitable breed with a typical lifespan of ...more
22
Poodle is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
Poodles are a group of formal dog breeds, the Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle. The origin of the breed is still discussed, with a prominent dispute over whether the poodle ...more
23
Irish Setter is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Irish Setter (Irish: sotar rua, literally "red setter") is a setter, a breed of gundog, and family dog. The term Irish Setter is commonly used to encompass the show-bred dog ...more
24
Bulldog is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Bulldog is a medium-sized breed of dog commonly referred to as the English Bulldog or British Bulldog. Other Bulldog breeds include the American Bulldog, Old English Bulldog, Olde English ...more
25
Shih Tzu is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
A Shih Tzu (UK: , US: ; Chinese: 西施犬; pinyin: Xī Shī quǎn, literally "Xi Shi dog"), is a toy dog breed, weighing from 4 to 7.25 kilograms (9–16 lbs) when fully grown. The breed ...more