The Best Dogs for Kids  

Pet Project
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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.

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Old English Sheepdog is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Old English Sheepdog is a large, squarely proportioned, agile dog with a profuse, shaggy coat. The body is stocky, well-balanced and muscular. Topline slopes upward from the withers to the ...more
Dachshund is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied dog breed belonging to the hound family. The standard size dachshund was bred to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling ...more
Irish Setter is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Irish Setter, is a setter, a breed of gundog and family dog. The term Irish Setter is commonly used to encompass the show-bred dog recognised by the American Kennel Club as well as the ...more
Rottweiler is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
marcelo1ar added
The Rottweiler is a medium/large size breed of domestic dog. The dogs were known as "Rottweil butchers' dogs" because they were used to herd livestock and pull carts laden with ...more
Shih Tzu is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
A shih tzu is a toy dog breed weighing 5–7.25 kilograms with long silky hair. The exact origins of the breed are unknown, but it is thought to have originated in Tibet and then been developed in ...more
Miniature Schnauzer is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of small dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. Miniature Schnauzers developed from crosses between the Standard ...more
Spanish Water Dog is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Spanish Water Dog breed dates back several hundred years and has its origins most likely in Turkey from where it was imported into Spain as a general purpose sheepdog and guard. It is also ...more
American Cocker Spaniel is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
dwayne.blankenship added
The American Cocker Spaniel is a breed of sporting dog. It is a spaniel type dog that is closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel; the two breeds diverged during the 20th century due to ...more
West Highland White Terrier is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The West Highland White Terrier, commonly known as the Westie or Westy, is a Scottish breed of dog with a distinctive white coat. The modern breed is descended from a number of breeding programs ...more
Yorkshire Terrier is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed of terrier type, developed in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire, England, to catch rats in clothing mills, also used for rat-baiting. The ...more
Weimaraner is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Weimaraner is a large dog that was originally bred for hunting in the early 19th century. Early Weimaraners were used by royalty for hunting large game such as boar, bear, and deer. As the ...more
Bloodhound is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Bloodhound is a large scent hound originally bred for hunting deer and wild boar, but also used from the Middle Ages onwards for tracking human beings, and now most often bred specifically ...more
Shiba Inu is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
Paperboy added
The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the six original and distinct spitz breeds of dog from Japan. A small, agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu was originally bred ...more
Boykin Spaniel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
zxray added
The Boykin Spaniel is a medium-sized breed of dog, a Spaniel bred for hunting wild turkeys and ducks in the Wateree River Swamp of South Carolina, in the United States. It is the state dog of ...more
Dalmatian is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Dalmatian is a large breed of dog noted for its unique black or liver spotted coat and was mainly used as a carriage dog in its early days. Its roots trace back to Croatia and its historical ...more
Cairn Terrier is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest of the terrier breeds, originating in the Scottish Highlands and recognized as one of Scotland's earliest working dogs. The breed was given the name cairn, ...more
English Setter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The English Setter is a medium size breed of dog. It is part of the Setter family, which includes the red Irish Setters, Irish Red and White Setters, and black-and-tan Gordon Setters. The mainly ...more
Bull Terrier is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Bull Terrier is a breed of dog in the terrier family. There is also a miniature version of this breed which is officially known as the Miniature Bull Terrier.
Akita is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
zxray added
Akita is the capital city of Akita Prefecture, Japan, and has been designated a core city since April 1, 1997. As of September 2013, the city has an estimated population of 320,232 and a ...more
Havanese is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Havanese, a breed of Bichon type, is the national dog of Cuba, developed from the now extinct Blanquito de la Habana. The Blanquito descended from the also now extinct Bichon Tenerife. It is ...more
Papillon is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Papillon, also called the Continental Toy Spaniel, is a breed of dog of the Spaniel type. One of the oldest of the toy spaniels, it derives its name from its characteristic butterfly like ...more
Rhodesian Ridgeback is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Rhodesian ridgeback is a dog breed developed in Southern Africa. Its European forebears can be traced to the early pioneers of the Cape Colony of southern Africa, who crossed their dogs with ...more
Catahoula Leopard Dog is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
zxray added
The Catahoula Cur is an American dog breed named after Catahoula Parish, in the state of Louisiana, in the United States. After becoming the state dog of Louisiana in 1979, its name was ...more
Whippet is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
MarshaSmith added
The Whippet is a breed of medium-sized dog. They are a sighthound breed that originated in England, where they descended from greyhounds. Whippets today still strongly resemble a smaller ...more
Apple Head Chihuahua is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
TylerLogsdon added Apple Head Chihuahua