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.

list ordered by
Golden Retriever is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Golden Retriever is a large-sized breed of dog bred as gun dogs to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties, and were named 'retriever' ...more
Labrador Retriever is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Labrador Retriever, also known as simply Labrador or Lab, is one of several kinds of retrievers, a type of gun dog. Labradors are athletic, playful, and the most popular breed of dog by ...more
Mixed Breed or Mutt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
Mixed Breed or Mutt
Beagle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Beagle is a breed of small to medium-sized dog. A member of the hound group, it is similar in appearance to the foxhound, but smaller with shorter legs and longer, softer ears. Beagles are ...more
German Shepherd Dog is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The German Shepherd is a breed of large-sized working dog that originated in Germany. The breed's officially recognized name is German Shepherd Dog in the English language, sometimes abbreviated ...more
Collie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The collie is a distinctive type of herding dog, including many related landraces and formal breeds. It originates in Scotland and Northern England. It is a medium-sized, fairly lightly built ...more
Boxer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Boxer is a breed of medium-sized, short-haired dogs developed in Germany. Their coat is smooth and tight-fitting; colors are fawn or brindled, with or without white markings, which may cover ...more
American Pit Bull Terrier is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
analise.dubner added
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, solidly built, short haired dog whose early ancestors came from England and Ireland. It is a member of the molosser breed group. The American ...more
Newfoundland is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Newfoundland is a large working dog. Newfoundlands can be black, brown, white and black or gray. However, in Canada, the country of their origin, the only correct colours are black and white ...more
St. Bernard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
zxray added
The St. Bernard or St Bernard is a breed of very large working dog from Swiss Alps and north Italy, originally bred for rescue. The breed has become famous through tales of alpine rescues, as ...more
Border Collie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
slaft added
The Border Collie is a medium sized dog, with a body that is slightly longer than the height and a fairly wide skull. The ears are usually half-perked. The coat colors come in black and white, ...more
Great Pyrenees is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
SnowyCae added
Australian Shepherd is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
LisaIverson added
The Australian Shepherd, commonly known as the Aussie, is a medium size breed of dog that was developed on ranches in the western United States. Despite its name, the breed was not developed in ...more
Labradoodle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
A Labradoodle is a crossbred dog created by crossing the Labrador Retriever and the Standard, Miniature or Toy Poodle. The term first appeared in 1955, but was not popularized until 1988, when ...more
Pug is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Pug is a breed of dog with a wrinkly, short-muzzled face and curled tail. The breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in a variety of colours, most often fawn or black, and a compact square ...more
Staffordshire Bull Terrier is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, short-coated breed of dog. It is an English dog, the fifth most popular breed, and related to the bull terrier. Descended from bull baiting ...more
Siberian Husky is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Siberian Husky is a medium size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in north-eastern Siberia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly ...more
Bichon Frisé is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
A Bichon Frisé, is a small breed of dog of the Bichon type. The Bichon Frise is a member of the Non-Sporting Group of dog breeds in the US, and a member of the Toy Dog group in the UK.
King Charles Spaniel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The King Charles Spaniel is a small dog breed of the spaniel type. In 1903, the Kennel Club combined four separate toy spaniel breeds under this single title. The other varieties merged into ...more
Bulldog is listed (or ranked) 20 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
Boston Terrier is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Boston Terrier is a breed of dog originating in the United States. This "American Gentleman" was accepted in 1893 by the American Kennel Club as a non-sporting breed. Color and ...more
Basset Hound is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Basset Hound is a short-legged breed of dog of the hound family, as well as one of six recognized Basset breeds in France; furthermore, Bassets are scent hounds that were originally bred for ...more
Great Dane is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Great Dane is a large German breed of domestic dog known for its giant size. The name of the breed in Germany is Deutsche Dogge. They are known for their enormous bodies and great height. ...more
English Springer Spaniel is listed (or ranked) 24 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 an average lifespan of ...more
Poodle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Dogs for Kids
The Poodle comes in three varieties: toy, miniature, and standard. It has a profuse, but well groomed and clipped, wiry curly coat. The head and muzzle are long and the ears are wide and hanging ...more