Top Kid-Friendly Dog Breeds for Families

Navigating the process of choosing a dog for your family, especially when young children are involved, can feel overwhelming amidst the multitude of breeds available. Each one seems irresistibly adorable, but conflicting information online can make the decision daunting.

Is there a right or wrong choice when selecting a dog breed that will mesh well with your kids? With some careful research, you’ll soon welcome puppy kisses and a wagging tail into your home. We consulted experts to help you find the perfect kid-friendly dog for your family.

The First Big Decision: Is a Dog Right for Your Family?

Selecting a puppy involves numerous considerations, from the size of your home to the desired activity level of the pooch and grooming requirements. According to Lindsey Wendt, DVM CVA CVT CCRT, chief veterinary officer for Antelope, delving deeper into these factors is crucial.

“Factors such as your environment and climate play a significant role. Do you reside in a bustling city or on a farm? Are you in a hot climate like Florida?” she asks.

Moreover, understanding the breed’s original purpose is essential. Caroline Wilkinson, Certified Canine Behaviorist at Barket Place, emphasizes the importance of research.

“While appearance often draws attention, it’s crucial to explore the breed’s intended function and whether you can provide an appropriate outlet for their instincts,” she affirms.

Considerations such as allergens also come into play. Ali Smith, CEO and founder of Rebarkable and dog behavior consultant, highlights that there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog.

“Although all dogs carry allergens, poodles/doodles can be lower-allergy options,” she notes.

Surprisingly, a recent study suggests that having pets in the house may reduce a child’s risk of developing allergies and asthma. However, consulting a pediatrician or healthcare provider is advisable if your child already has allergies.

Ready to Meet the Pups? Here’s a List of Expert-Approved Dogs for Families:

Golden Retriever

Renowned for their suitability in active households, golden retrievers thrive in environments with ample space and regular exercise. Their affectionate nature and love for water make them ideal companions for families with access to outdoor water bodies.

Labrador Retriever

Labradors, similar to golden retrievers, are active and playful. Originally bred for hunting, they excel in outdoor activities and are particularly fond of swimming. Labradors come in various colors and boast a friendly disposition.

Irish Setter

With a moderate shedding coat and a sociable temperament, Irish setters are perfect for families seeking an energetic and amiable companion. Regular exercise is essential to meet their activity needs.

Standard Poodle

Known for their intelligence and non-shedding coats, standard poodles are suitable for active families willing to invest in regular grooming. Their varied color options and lively personalities make them a popular choice.

American Staffordshire Terrier or Pitbull Terrier

Despite their past reputation, these breeds are affectionate and make excellent family pets. With shorter coats and a willingness to please, they adapt well to indoor living and light play sessions.


Pomeranians are pint-sized bundles of energy, ideal for smaller homes. Their playful demeanor and fluffy coats make them popular choices for families seeking a compact yet lively companion.

A Note on Mixed Breeds

While purebred dogs have their appeal, adopting a mixed breed from a shelter presents an equally rewarding option. Mixed breeds often boast robust genetics and may exhibit fewer inherited diseases found in purebreds. The diversity in their genetic makeup can contribute to better health and behavior.

The Bottom Line

Adding a dog to your family is a significant decision, but the rewards are immeasurable. Growing up with a furry friend instills valuable life lessons in children, fostering compassion, responsibility, and respect. As Aleksandar Mishkov, dog trainer and owner of The Daily Tail, aptly puts it, the benefits of canine companionship are invaluable for our children’s development.

By Rishi

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