Top Dogs for Families

Best Breeds for Families

Selecting a dog that will blend smoothly into a houseful of children may not be the easiest task in the world. With so many dog breeds for families available now, there are many options to choose from. Where children are concerned it is particularly important to choose wisely. A dog will need to be an excellent family dog and will need to suit your lifestyle as well.

Children should be taught to respect dogs and to be kind to them. If purchasing a young dog, particularly a puppy, be sure the children allow the dog to have rest and relaxation times on its own. Puppies in particular need plenty of rest and it is not fair on the dog to allow it to be continually played with all day.

Toy dog breeds do not necessarily suit small children however cute they look together. Being small, toy breeds are sometimes fragile and may feel the need to protect themselves from what to them is rough handling. They tend to be highly strung and can become anxious and confused if surrounded by too much activity and noise. Those breeds with instinctively hunt prey can be too easily excited by squeals and sudden movements. Some herding breeds will attempt to muster children and may nip in an effort to keep a group together. While most of the sporting breeds can be considered, some are quite large, perhaps too big for very small children while others are very energetic which again may not suit a family with very young children.

Individuals of almost any breed can be great with kids and many a 'bitzer' is a devoted family dog. Generally, there are some breeds which can be expected to be good dogs to bring into a family situation.

The Basset Hound is quite large (although not height-wise) but makes up for his bulk by being laid back and easy-going. He is well able to cope with rough, boisterous play but not so big and clumsy that he will knock his small charges over.

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Golden Retrievers have wonderful temperaments and are so gentle that their size is of no consequence. They are very tolerant, eager to please and seem programmed to take on a nurturing role with anything young, be it human or animal. They have plenty of energy for a run in the park or a game with a ball.

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The Jack Russell Terrier is very sturdy and will wear out the most active of children. They are small and energetic. They love having fun and being in the thick of whatever is going on and are a great match for children.

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The Beagle is another great breed for a family. They have a happy nature, love being part of the action and are a good size. They are sturdy enough to keep up with older children but not so big that they will overwhelm a smaller child.


Miniature and standard poodles are playful and smart. The toy poodle is too delicate and highly-strung for a family with small children but the larger types are great clowns and very intelligent. They delight in learning tricks and are always on the lookout to raise a laugh. They are also non-shedding and a good choice if a child has a tendency to allergies.


If you're in the market for a family dog, you might like to check out the rescue centres. Research the background of your potential choice carefully however, to ensure you're not taking on a dog with 'baggage'. A good family dog will remain in your children's hearts and memories for ever.