10 Best Family-Friendly Dog Breeds


At some point, almost every family asks themselves an important question: “are we ready for a dog?”

Pets can really make a house feel like a home, and a good dog can bring a family together like never before. Unfortunately, not every dog is a “good dog” when you have children around the house.

That’s why we did the research and put together this list of the best family-friendly dog breeds. These dogs will be good for you and your children alike. Just be warned: it won’t be too long until you think of the new dog as one of your children!


As far as dogs go, beagles have a lot going for themselves. They are small, smart, and easy to care for, and that’s a real trifecta of great qualities for families looking for a dog.

Because this breed can be very energetic, these dogs are particularly good if you have young children who can regularly play with the animal. They also like really long walks, and in case you run into any fellow dog lovers, beagles are great with other breeds as well.

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Labrador retriever

While it’s not necessarily a popularity contest, you should know that Labrador retrievers are usually the most popular breed of dog whenever there is a poll. This is likely because these dogs hit that “sweet spot” of having a very gentle disposition as well as a high level of energy.

This breed is especially good with children, though you may need to supervise them when these animals are around other dogs. If you’re hoping to train your dog, you’re in luck: Labrador retrievers make for some of the most trainable animals on the planet!

Bernese mountain dog

When you have children, it’s usually tempting to get a smaller dog. But if you’re a “go big or go home” kind of family, then we recommend getting a Bernese mountain dog.

These dogs can easily hit 100 pounds, but they have a very sweet disposition that belies their big size. These mountain pooches are good with everybody and especially friendly towards children, and they make for great “gentle giants” for your kids to play with.

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Dogs with high energy levels are great if you, your partner, or your kids can frequently play with them and walk with them. But if you’re looking for a dog that’s a lot more laid-back, we recommend you look into getting a bulldog.

Bulldogs are amazingly adaptable to life in a congested city, life out on the farm, and everything in between. They are also adaptable enough to get along great with children and other dogs, which is good news if you were hoping to eventually grow your furry family.

Boston terrier

If you want a dog that will make you smile when you see them, the Boston Terrier is a great choice. At under 25 pounds, these dogs are very small, but their fur often makes it look like they are wearing a tiny little tuxedo.

While this breed enjoys a good walk or a brief bout of playing with children, Boston terriers prefer city life in places like apartments and townhomes. As the breed name implies, they would be right at home if you live in a place like Boston!

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Pugs are a great choice if you are looking for a dog that is mostly self-sustaining. That is because while these curious dogs enjoy occasional exercise, they are mostly content to just plop down somewhere near where their family is hanging out.

While there may be a learning curve at first, a supervised pug usually has wonderful behavior around other dogs and especially around children. And this mischievous breed is likely to make you laugh every day, which is one of their best qualities!

Golden retriever

Want a dog whose energy level is only matched by his loyalty? In that case, the golden retriever is the breed you have been looking for!

These dogs need regular exercise, and they are intelligent enough that they always enjoy meeting new people and visiting new places. And this breed is usually great with other dogs as well, so your dog is sure to make new friends whenever you visit the local dog park.

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Irish setter

Do you and your family like to spend a lot of time outdoors? The Irish setter thrives in outdoor environments and loves to get exercise by walking and playing outside.

Setters are also perfect family dogs who are sure to get along with your children. They are easy to train as well, which can make for a fun bonding activity to bring your family closer together.

Brussels Griffon

Visually speaking, the Brussels griffon looks more like a gremlin than a conventional dog. But this mischievous-looking breed loves to play, and it is likely to thrive if you live in an apartment.

After some initial supervision, Brussels griffons make a perfect friend for your children. They love to play, walk, and chill out. If you want a dog that will become your tiny little copilot in life’s adventures, a Brussels griffon is the right choice.

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Thanks to Lassie, collies became a very famous breed of dogs. And the show wasn’t lying to you: these dogs are fiercely loyal to and protective of children, making them a great family-friendly breed.

Collies prefer to get a little exercise each day, but they are otherwise content to lounge around with you and the kids. And should your children fall into a well, these dogs may just come and warn you about it. Good luck figuring out what your own little “Lassie” is saying, though!