It can be tough to know what kind of dog to get when you’ve got a family. Certain breeds take to family life and children specifically more than others, in fact.
This list was compiled to show a bunch of different expert opinions on the top dog breeds to look at when selecting a family pet.
All breeds have their strengths and weaknesses, but there are a lot of great types of pups to choose from here!
The Bull Dog has a sturdy build that is perfect for kids who like to roughhouse. The Bull Dog is comfortable living in large houses, as well as apartments. However, it won’t win any awards for “most energetic dog.” A docile, friendly, and loyal dog, it gets along well with other pets and dogs, too.
Because of their natural love of children, the Newfoundland has been dubbed “Nature’s Nannies.” Large and sweet, it’s hard not to fall in love with them, and they will return the favor. While they can drool and shed a lot, and suit a family with large open spaces, they will also tend to wind up wherever the family is. Basically, they are gigantic, loveable furballs who desire nothing more than to keep watch on their pack members.
Often overlooked as mere lapdogs, papillons are perfect companion dogs and make good pets for city-dwellers. Papillons aren’t just a fashion accessory, so don’t let their prettiness fool you. Unlike other toy breeds, papillons are spirited, highly intelligent, fun-loving and eager to please, making them ideal for the family without a lot of square footage to spare.
Originally kept as hunting dogs, Beagles fit well in homes with active kids, as they are sturdily built and never too tired to play a game. Friendly, clever and cheerful, the Beagle usually gets along with other pets, too (except for a bit of chasing here and there). They do shed, and require frequent brushing and bathing, however.
5. Golden Retrievers:
Goldens are almost everything a Labrador is, except with a much shorter life span then the Irish Setter — twelve years at the most, but ten more likely. Their main asset is extreme patience, useful around children, as well as their high energy. Frequently used as service dogs, they were originally bred as gun dogs and are avid swimmers.
Pugs, along with sloths, seahorses and baby armadillos, fall into the category of animals that are at once bizarre-looking and absolutely adorable. Though their strange faces get them teased for being the dog that chases parked cars, they’re actually well-tempered, friendly and serene animals that are active enough to be fun, but still small enough not to require a 5-mile run every day.
7. Bull Terriers:
The Bull Terrier can get quite rambunctious and requires plenty of playtime. Therefore, it is a perfect dog for a large family. The Bull Terrier will return your affection by being very protective of your children. Often mistaken for the larger Pitt Bull, the Bull Terrier was bred to be a companion dog–friendly and loving towards grown-ups and kids alike. This well-framed dog also has a high threshold for pain, making it perfect for rambunctious children who are learning how to properly treat dogs.
8. Irish Setters:
Known for its red coat, the Irish Setter is playful, energetic, loves being around people, and plays well with children. This doggy needs lots of exercise, and is a good match for energetic kids. A smart and trainable companion, the Irish setter is perfect for people with lots of space.
Originally a middle-European hunting dog, and little known outside of its native Hungary, the Vizsla is gentle, loyal, quiet and affectionate. It does require a lot of exercise — not a problem if you have energetic children. Still, it prefers to spend a lot of time indoors with its family, and is very eager to learn and show off. If you want to teach your children by teaching them to train dogs, then this breed is a good choice.
10. Labrador Retrievers:
Labrador retrievers are dogs in the most classic sense of the word. Friendly, loyal and enthusiastic, Labs work hard, play hard and eat like gangbusters when they get home at the end of the day. They need plenty of space and attention, but they also repay that care with the pure devotion and love that has been humbling humans since we first met our canine companions. Being good with children and highly intelligent, they’re also one of the most popular service dogs in the world. Labs are a match for a family that needs a companion for outdoor activities, maybe has some small children and wants to make sure that their dog will go bananas when a stick or a Frisbee gets thrown.