Lifestyle

The Best Dogs for Kids

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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  • 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 favourite ...more
  • 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
  • Beagle
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    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 of ...more
  • Mixed Breed or Mutt
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    Mixed Breed or Mutt

  • 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, the breed's ...more
  • 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. Considered ...more
  • Collie
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    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
  • Boxer
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    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
  • 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 title. ...more
  • Newfoundland
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    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
  • St. Bernard
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    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 St ...more
  • 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 initially ...more
  • 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 twelve ...more
  • 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 century. There is ...more
  • 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 double ...more
  • 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 and northern parts of ...more
  • Great Dane
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    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 111.8 cm ...more
  • The Old English Sheepdog (OES) is a large breed of dog that emerged in England from early types of herding dog. Obsolete names for the breed include Shepherd's Dog and bob-tailed sheep-dog. The ...more
  • 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 medium-sized, ...more
  • 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 is a member of the ...more
  • Pug
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    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 fawn ...more
  • Poodle
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    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 descends ...more
  • Irish Setter
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    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 recognised by the ...more
  • The Spanish Water Dog (perro de agua español) breed is used in Spain as a general purpose sheepdog and guard. It is also used sometimes as a gundog, and is skilled at retrieval from water. The SWD ...more