10 Best Family Dogs

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10 Best Family Dogs

What breeds make the best family dogs? What are the best dog breeds for kids? When adding a new puppy or dog to your family, it can be difficult to decide which is the best fit. We’ve compiled 10 of the best dog breeds for families and kids.

Many breeds make wonderful family dogs, though some are better suited for suburban and farm families than households living in the city. Family dogs such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, and Irish Setters are playful and protective. Pugs, Brussels Griffons and French Bulldogs love their families – particularly their laps.

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When adding any dog to your family, it’s important that everyone is included in the decision-making process, including the kids. The AKC offers one-time dog breed classes online for kids 5-12.

Read more: 10 amazing facts about dogs

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Best Dog Breeds for Kids & Best Family Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in the United States for a reason. The breed is friendly, patient, and trainable. The breed is extremely versatile, doing everything including hunting, showing, dock diving, tracking, obedience.

Personality: Friendly and outgoing, Labs play well with others

Energy Level: Very active; Labs are high-spirited and not afraid to show it

Good with Children: Yes

Good with Other Dogs: With supervision

Shedding: Regularly

Grooming: Weekly brushing

Trainability: Eager to please

Height: 22.5-24.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)

Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Barking Level: Medium

2. Bulldog

The distinct and wrinkly Bulldog makes a wonderful companion to children. These loyal dogs can adapt to most atomospheres — city or country — and are happy to spend time with their families.

Personality: Calm, courageous, and friendly; dignified but amusing

Energy Level: Not Very Active; Bulldogs won’t beg to be exercised, but they require regular walks and the occasional romp

Good with Children: Yes

Good with other Dogs: Yes

Shedding: Seasonal

Grooming: Weekly

Trainability: Responds Well

Height: 14-15 inches

Weight: 50 pounds (male), 40 pounds (female)

Life Expectancy: 8-10 years

Barking Level: Quiet

3. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers originally came into prominence because of the desire for a medium-sized dog that would do well in wild-fowling, both upland game and waterfowl. Today, the breed’s versatility, intelligence, and agreeable personality suit it for many purposes, and it has become one of the most successful, recognizable, and popular breeds in all areas of competition.

Personality: Intelligent, friendly, and devoted.

Energy Level: Very Active; This dog is active and energetic, and needs daily exercise.

Good with Children: Yes

Good with other Dogs: Yes

Shedding: Seasonal

Grooming: Occasional

Trainability: Eager To Please

Height: 23-24 inches (male), 21.5-22.5 inches (female)

Weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

Read more: social behaviour of dogs

4. Beagle

The actual origin of the Beagle seems to be obscure with no reliable documentation on the earliest days of development. Their compact size, short, easy-to-care-for coat and intelligence make the Beagle an excellent family dog.

Personality: Merry, friendly, and curious

Energy Level: Very Active; This quick, energetic and compact hound dog needs plenty of exercise

Good with Children: Yes

Good with other Dogs: Yes

Shedding: Seasonal

Grooming: Weekly

Trainability: Responds Well

Height: 13 inches & under, 13-15 inches

Weight: under 20 pounds (13 inches & under), 20-30 pounds (13-15 inches)

Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

Barking Level: Likes To Be Vocal

5. Pug

The Pug is well described by the phrase “multum in parvo” which means “a lot of dog in a small space.” He is small but requires no coddling and his roguish face soon wiggles its way into the hearts of men, women and especially children, for whom this dog seems to have a special affinity. His great reason for living is to be near his people and to please them. He is comfortable in a small apartment or country home alike, easily adaptable to all situations.

Personality: Even-tempered, charming, mischievous and loving

Energy Level: Somewhat active; Pugs are not exactly natural athletes, but they do have strong legs and endless curiosity—exercise both regularly

Good with Children: Better with supervision

Good with Other Dogs: With supervision

Shedding: Regularly

Grooming: Weekly brushing

Trainability: Agreeable

Height: 10-13 inches

Weight: 14-18 pounds

Life Expectancy: 13-15 years

Barking Level: Barks when necessary

6. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter, recognizable from media such as Big Red, first came into popular notice in the 18th century. The outgoing and trainable dog is great for active families, as the Irish Setter is high-energy and loves spending time outdoors.

Personality: Outgoing, sweet-natured, active, and trainable

Energy Level: Very Active; High-energy dogs who love to run, Irish Setters need plenty of space and exercise

Good with Children: Yes

Good with other Dogs: Yes

Shedding: Seasonal

Grooming: Weekly

Trainability: Responds Well

Height: 27 inches (male), 25 inches (female)

Weight: 70 pounds (male), 60 pounds (female)

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

7. Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is a hearty, intelligent and active companion. He thrives on interaction, activity, and mental stimulation. His small size makes him a good apartment dweller as long as you give him a chance to burn off some energy.

Energy Level: Somewhat Active; Griffs are spunky and love to play and to share long, daily walks with their owners

Good with Children: Better with Supervision

Good with other Dogs: With Supervision

Shedding: Seasonal

Grooming: Weekly

Trainability: Responds Well

Height: 7-10 inches

Weight: 8-10 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

Read more: Dog health tips

8. Newfoundland

Above all things, the Newfoundland must have the intelligence, the loyalty, and the sweetness which are his best-known traits. He must be able and willing to help his master perform his necessary tasks at command, and also have the intelligence to act on his own responsibility when rescue work demands it. Because of these traits, Newfoundlands make excellent family dogs.

Personality: Sweet, patient, devoted; Newfs are famously good companions

Energy Level: Somewhat active; Newfs like using their big, powerful bodies so they need some room to romp

Good with Children: Yes

Good with Other Dogs: Yes

Shedding: Seasonal

Grooming: Weekly brushing

Trainability: Easy training

Height: 28 inches (male), 26 inches (female)

Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)

Life Expectancy: 9-10 years

Barking Level: Barks when necessary

9. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are one of the world’s most popular small-dog breeds, especially among city dwellers. The easygoing and adaptable breed is great for new families and responds well to training.

Personality: Playful, smart, adaptable, and completely irresistible

Energy Level: Not Very Active; Frenchies are easygoing, not terribly athletic; brisk walks will keep them trim

Good with Children: Yes

Good with other Dogs: Yes

Shedding: Seasonal

Grooming: Occasional

Trainability: Responds Well

Height: 11-13 inches

Weight: under 28 pounds

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Barking Level: Quiet

10. Collie

Collies are legendary for their herding skills. They are strong, loyal, affectionate, responsive and fast. A Collie would be best suited for an active family as they are high-energy and love to move around.

Personality: Graceful, devoted, and proud

Energy Level: Very active; Collies are active and need daily exercise, but they’re happy to chill at home the rest of the time

Good with Children: Yes

Good with Other Dogs: With supervision

Shedding: Seasonal

Grooming: Occasional

Trainability: Responds well

Height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)

Weight: 60-75 pounds (male), 50-65 pounds (female)

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Barking Level: Likes to be vocal

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