Pets

The Best Dogs for Small Children

Here is a list of the best dogs for small children, as ranked by dog lovers and breed experts alike. There’s nothing quite like the joy of seeing a young child hug their puppy for the first time. Dog ownership for young children has tons of benefits. First, small children learn a lot about responsibility through washing, walking, feeding, and cleaning up after a dog. It’s better than a part-time job and with a dog, you don’t have to worry about those pesky child labor laws. Having a dog will also be a comfort for young kids, who will always feel like they have companionship and a true friend that will grow with them. Children with dogs are also a lot more likely to be physically active through daily dog walks, playing in the park, and day-to-day excitement of having a dog in the house.

This list answers the question, “What are the best dogs for small children?” with options of the dog breeds that are the most gentle and patient with small kids. The dogs on this list are filled with energy and happiness, and are friendly to all ages. The personalities of these dogs are perfect for any young child.

Whether you're looking for the best small dog for kids or if you're into gentle giants, like a Golden Retriever, this list is sure to have the right dog for you and your young family.

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list ordered by
  • 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
  • The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small spaniel classed as a toy dog by The Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club, that originated in the United Kingdom. Since 2000, it has grown in ...more
  • 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
  • Beagle
    4
    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
  • Collie
    5
    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
  • The Bernese Mountain Dog (German: Berner Sennenhund) is a large-sized breed of dog, one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. Bred from crosses of Mastiffs and guard-type ...more
  • 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
  • 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
  • Boxer
    9
    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 American Eskimo Dog is a breed of companion dog, originating in Germany. The American Eskimo is a member of the Spitz family. The breed's progenitors were German Spitz, but due to anti-German ...more
  • Pug
    11
    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
  • 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 Boston Terrier is a breed of dog originating in the United States of America. This "American Gentleman" was accepted in 1893 by the American Kennel Club as a non-sporting breed. Color and ...more
  • Bulldog
    14
    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
  • Shih Tzu
    15
    Most loving, cutest and loyal dog I ever had.  Takes lots of work, grooming, ears, eyes, but it is well worth it!  She will love you so much, and you her/him!
  • The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed of terrier type, developed during the 19th century in Yorkshire, England. Ideally its maximum size is 7 pounds (3.2 kg). A popular companion dog, the ...more
  • 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 Bearded Collie, or Beardie, is a herding breed of dog once used primarily by Scottish shepherds, but now mostly a popular family companion. Bearded Collies have an average weight of 18–27 ...more
  • The Field Spaniel is a medium-sized dog breed of spaniel type. They were originally developed to be all-black show dogs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and were unpopular for work as a ...more
  • Poodle
    20
    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The American Foxhound is a breed of dog that is a cousin of the English Foxhound. They are scent hounds, bred to hunt foxes by scent.
  • Brittany
    24
    The Brittany is a breed of gun dog bred primarily for bird hunting. Although it is often referred to as a spaniel, the breed's working characteristics are more akin to those of a pointer or setter. ...more
  • Foxhound
    25
    A foxhound is a type of large hunting hound bred for strong hunting instincts, great energy, and, like all scent hounds, a keen sense of smell. In fox hunting, the foxhound's namesake, packs of ...more