Best Dog Breeds For Kids And Their Safety
Making the decision to get a pup for your family is fun and exciting, but can also be somewhat stressful when it comes down to which dog is right for your family and your family’s needs. Different dogs have different attributes, much like people do. It’s important to choose the dog who will respond the best to the environment you’re bringing him or her into and vice versa with your family. Things to consider are how big your family is, how active each member of your family is, if you travel often, and how much space you have.
Some dog breeds are better for younger kids while others do better around older kids who are less likely to be as affectionate and playful with them. The same goes for how active your family is as a whole since certain dogs with absolutely love to run for hours while others are more the quiet and cuddly type.
If you’re struggling to make a decision on the best pup for your family, we’ve taken all the work out of second-guessing. The list below consists of some of the most popular dog breeds and dogs that make for a great family pet, particularly with younger kids. Continue reading for our detailed list of each dog breed and what they need, as well as what they can bring to your family life.
The Best Dog Breeds for Kids
Here are the top dog breeds that you and your family, especially your children, will surely love.
It has one of the calmest temperaments of any dog breed. The Beagle is also very playful and is full of energy. They love to please their masters and as such are very easy to train. Their small bodies make them the ideal choice for families who may live in apartments or smaller dwellings. But don’t be misguided by their small size as these dogs are very sturdy. They will never tire of playing games with your kids. Their energy is infectious and can provide tons of joy to young children. It is therefore important to provide them with plenty of exercise and lots of playtime to help use up their energies.
Benefits – Beagles make for great family pets simply because of their temperament, they’re more than often very calm and do well around children of all ages as well as in hyper environments. The breed is also known for hunting, which constantly keeps them alert and aware of their surroundings and in turn, alert and aware of your children. Activity is great for these adorable pups so if your family is high-energy, Beagles are a great option.
What We Like About It – This breed is good with kids and they are a low maintenance breed. Their small size and bright minds mean they are easy to discipline and clean up after. Their high energy is also a boon for children with somewhere to be active. Beagles are also a blast can to have at dog parks where they play well with the other animals and children.
- Highly trainable
- No-fuss dogs
- Small size makes them perfect for traveling
- They don’t make big messes
- Good temperament with other dogs
- Their howling can be loud at times
Despite its rather unusual appearance, the Bulldog is one of the best dog breeds for children. They are very sturdy and devoted that they actually don’t mind getting roughed up by their little masters. The bulldog is very docile yet very friendly dog breed. And despite what you may have read about them in the media, they get along pretty well with other breeds of dogs as well as other types of pets. Bulldogs don’t require much exercise simply because they prefer lazing around. But if you do require a dog that will be affectionately loyal to your kids, then the Bulldog is your best bet.
Benefits – Bulldogs are no longer the cage fighters they were once bred to be. They are docile couch loungers that would much rather have their belly rubbed than get into a fight. They love children and the internet is full of videos of these protective pups calming upset children and scolding adults for getting them upset. Kids are safe with a bulldog because they are so docile and their wrinkly skin ensures that they can deal with the pinching and ear pulling from children if they can’t get away.
What We Like About It – Bulldogs are great lounge buddies that are glad to be out of the fighting pits. The perfect companion for children that spend a lot of time indoors. They are gentle and excitable at the same time. But their pedigree means that they can handle the discomfort that comes from living with small children.
- Very protective dogs
- Small size
- They get along with other dogs well
- They’re not runners and less likely to get lost
- Heart, skin, and hip issues are common
- Not highly-active dogs
With its characteristic golden brown coat and that enigmatic smile, the Golden Retriever is one that any family with kids should have. This is particularly true if you live near bodies of water as they make excellent water dogs. The Goldie is very patient that no other dog breed can match its forbearance. This makes it ideal to have around children. Even if your kids will be playing rough with the Goldie, it will never snap. That is just the nature of this dog breed. Moreover, they are very easy to train particularly because of their eagerness to please their masters.
Benefits – Golden Retrievers are known as family dogs and are one of the smarter breeds. They want to be friends with everybody and love to play, especially with children. Their intelligence and desire to please make them ideal service dogs or companions for kids who just need a friend. And their limitless energy means they will keep bringing the ball long after you tire of throwing it.
What We Like About It – Golden Retrievers are just smart enough to get themselves out of the trouble they inevitably land in. With the proper training, they can be life-saving companions. Their adorable and friendly demeanor make them insatiably sweet and dopey. Their boundless energy means they will always be down to join their buddy on the next adventure.
- Highly intelligent
- Super friendly
- Kid-friendly dog and full of energy
- They need plenty of chew toys to keep from destroying things
A cousin of the Golden Retriever, the Labrador is also one of the world’s most popular breeds of dogs highly valued for its playfulness, reliability, patience, love, and protective nature. Labradors are highly intelligent making them easy to train. This also helps make sure that they will never snap at children who may be roughhousing them. While their coat is not as thick and long as the Goldie, they do enjoy water play and as such are fun to have during the summer when everybody is out and having a great time in the beach or even by the lake.
Benefits – Labradors are incredibly gentle and smart. Another breed that is commonly used as both service animal and hunting companion, these lovable pups were born to be helpers. Docile and naturally energetic, parents can rest easy knowing with a Lab with their kid. They’ll never bite, in fact they’ll watch over their owners as if they were their own puppy.
What We Like About It – Labradors are naturally loving and good-natured dogs. The ability to learn many tricks is great for people looking for an active companion. And their high energy is a perfect match for energetic kids.
- Labradors are not known to have serious ailments.
- They have the energy to keep up with kids.
- They’re so smart, they can learn dog tricks easily.
- They love water, they are natural swimmers.
- Labradors have high amounts of energy. They need to be constantly exercised to avoid excessive whining. After they are 2-years-old they start to calm down and don’t require as much exercise. If your family is not that energetic, it is recommended that you purchase or adopt an older Labrador.
Contrary to what media portrays, the Boxer is one of the best dog breeds to have around children. In fact, if there is one very distinct quality of Boxers that would be their unparalleled love for children. Like the other dog breeds in this list, Boxers are people oriented and are very social animals. They prefer to be close to their pack and as such will be often seen snuggling up to their masters, both large and small. However, they are full of energy and as such will require plenty of exercise and physical activities.
Benefits – Boxers make great companions for active children. They play well with kids and will never want to leave their side. They are intelligent and love learning new tricks or visiting new places. These goobers will keep kids entertained while promoting exercise and teaching them about being a good leader.
What We Like About It – Boxers are just the right mix of energy and intelligence in a compact candy coating. They encourage physical activity with their high energy levels and are absolutely loyal. Their smaller size means they can travel well but they have enough mass to feel like a real dog.
- Very loyal breed
- Notorious for being loving
- Somewhat small sized dog
- They enjoy being around people
- Can be slightly aggressive if bored and not exercised enough
- Drooling can be excessive
Old English Sheepdog
While the natural instinct of the Old English Sheepdog is to herd its family, it is nevertheless one of the best dog breeds to have around kids. These working dogs are very affectionate and loyal companions of families. Their natural herding tendencies can come in handy if your child is already late for school and he or she is still tucked in his or her bed. You can expect the Old English Sheepdog to be the alarm clock of your kid. It will never leave your kid’s bed until he or she has already stood up. The American Kennel Club describes the Old English Sheepdog as fiercely loyal, very athletic, but with a clownish energy.
Benefits – The Old English Sheepdog was designed to protect the flock. The perfect dog for any budding stylist, this snuggle buddy loves regular grooming. This breed has plenty of energy to handle anything an exuberant kid has to offer. The herding genetics that made them so useful in the rolling hills of the old country mean that small children might be the one taking orders. So we recommend this breed as a companion for older children since Sheepdogs can get worked up by screaming excitement.
What We Like About It – This breed is loyal, smart, playful and cuddly. Their drive for order means they are the first ones on the field and the last ones off. But don’t let their normally commanding nature fool you into thinking they are jerks. They can be active or dopy snuggle-bugs if they don’t have anything to chase or put into place.
- They love being brushed
- They’ll gladly accept treats
- Well-trained with other dogs
- Serious cuddlers
- Separation anxiety can be problematic
- They need constant brushing
Known as highly people-oriented, the Dalmatian is a lovely addition to any family. It is naturally gifted for fun and play making it ideal for families with children. When duly trained, their energy levels can only be matched by the playfulness of young children. They can run around the playground or the park all day long. At night, they can snuggle up to their little masters. If you have horses in your house, then Dalmatians will be more than welcome addition as they do have a symbiotic relationship with members of the equine family.
Benefits – There are way more than 101 reasons why Dalmatians are great. These smart and energetic pets are easy to please under most circumstances. They do better with older well-behaved kids because of their energy, which can become too much for a little child to handle. Kids who are lucky enough to grow up with a Dalmatian will exercise more often because they need regular walks. And Dalmatians are smart enough to learn many tricks with the proper training.
What We Like About It – Dalmatians are loyal watch dogs who are easy to groom. They encourage physical activity and get along well with older kids. And their intelligence is one of the reasons they are so common in firehouses and dog shows.
- Quick learners
- Friendly and low maintenance
- They do fairly well around strangers with proper training
- Not too many health issues
- They love horses
- Deafness is a problem for many Dalmatians
- They shed easily
There are quite a number of breeds of the Collie family. Perhaps you can recall the most famous Collie of them all, Lassie. These dogs are very intelligent making them highly trainable. They are also a very predictable breed and are gentle around kids. There is nothing they would love more than to please their families and as such would make really good companions for young children. For families with children, the Collie is always an excellent choice.
Benefits – Collies are cuddly teddy bears that want nothing more than to please their family. They are gentile friends to children even though they have a mind of their own.
What We Like About It – Collies are smart, loyal, playful and they love to snuggle.
- Eager to love
- Loyal and cuddly
- They’re pretty dogs
- Highly intelligent
- Eager to please makes them obedient
- They shed like crazy
Known as Mother Nature’s babysitter, the gentle giant Newfoundland is one of the world’s most intelligent dog breeds. More than that, they are natural around children. They are very protective of children especially the younger ones. You can actually leave your baby behind under the watchful eye of the Newfoundland and you can always return fully confident that your baby is safe and sound. Newfoundlands are kind, patient, and very gentle. There is nothing that the Newfoundland loves more than being with its family.
Benefits – These snuggle buddies are great for families and kids with lower energies. The tall size of these gentle giants makes strangers not want to approach your family while on a walk. But their calm demeanor makes them excellent companions. It is almost impossible to be depressed around these beauties. They love to make people feel better, especially kids who are sad.
What We Like About It – Newfoundlands are huge dogs that don’t push their weight around. They are not shy but at the same time enjoy relaxing and lounging around with the family.
- Protective and intelligent breed
- Very affectionate
- Non-aggressive with great personalities
- Very easy-going
- Lifespan might be shorter due to size
- They require constant grooming
Who doesn’t know the Poodle? If you are going to get a Poodle for your family, it is important to choose the standard size Poodle and not the miniature size. This dog breed is very gentle and because they don’t shed that much dander, they are considered relatively safe for kids who may have asthma or pulmonary allergies. Standard Poodles are smart and highly obedient. They are also adventurous and very playful making them the ideal companion for kids.
Benefits –Poodles are hypoallergenic which makes them an amazing choice for families who’s allergies run high. They’re also highly trainable, which means they not only listen very well but take commands instantly and that makes for a disciplined and predictable dog.
What We Like About It – Standard Poodles are great family dogs. They are incredibly smart and love being active. But the best part is that they won’t trigger allergies.
- No shedding makes them hypoallergenic
- Good temperments when trained well
- Great with kids
- Very loving and playful
- Can be protective
- House training is important because they are a stubborn breed
- Regular ear-cleaning is necessary
Criteria Used in Evaluation of The Best Dog Breeds
Our list of best dog breeds for kids was chosen by a dedicated staff who adores animals. The dogs on this list are good natured, loyal and playful. Some breeds of dogs excel at some qualities more than others. But that’s ok because not all families are alike. Some families like to go on hikes while others prefer hanging back at home watching Netflix. There is a special dog for every type of household.
Dogs like the Labradors and Golden Retrievers are naturally sweet to children and their families. Parents who don’t know much about dogs can adopt these types because they don’t require training in order for them to be sweet pets.
Other dogs like the Dalmatian and old English sheepdog require training in order for them to learn how to behave properly around children and family. These dogs can become wonderful additions to any family, but training them to become valued members is important.
Some families want dogs but they are allergic to the dandruff and can’t stand all of the shedding they produce. Poodles are great because they don’t shed. Their hair grows but never falls off. They require special grooming to keep their hair from tangling and balling up. Other dogs like the Newfoundland shed like crazy. They have lots of hair and not all families can handle that much combing.
Things to Look for in a Family-Friendly Dog
If you are living alone then choosing a dog will take more on a personal preference. However, if you have a young child in the family, their safety is the absolute concern. As such, in choosing the right kind of dog to bring home to your family, you need to take a look at the following.
The Dog’s Temperament
For the most part a dog’s temperament should be the primary consideration when choosing a dog for your family, especially if you have young children. This simply means looking at the dog’s personality whether it is calm and composed around kids or is very anxious whenever someone will be tugging at its tail or ears.
Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof way to know whether a certain dog has the correct temperament or not. Nevertheless, some breeds of dogs are naturally more docile in the company of children. For example, despite their fearsome reputation, German Shepherds are known to be very friendly to children. The point is that even before you purchase or adopt your next dog for your family, you need to brush up on your knowledge of breed standards particularly their temperament.
The Size of the Dog
Unfortunately, size does matter when you are talking about a 1 year old baby. However, when looking at the size of the dog it is very important to consider it within the context of the dog’s temperament as well as energy level. You know that there are very large breeds of dogs like the Saint Bernard and the Newfoundland yet are very gentle when in the company of kids. There are also very small dogs but their energy levels, temperament, and playfulness may be too much for a young child. So, while size does matter in the choice of dogs, it is equally important to look at it together with temperament and energy level.
The Dog’s Energy Level
Aside from the dog’s temperament and size, you will also need to look at its energy levels. Highly energetic dog breeds require lots of playtime and physical exercise. This means that you will have to walk them every day; lest, they vent their energies on playing with your kids. If they cannot dispense of this energy, they grow frustrated and can snap at any time. This can be a frightening scenario especially if you have young children at home.
Ensuring Child Safety in the Company of Dogs
It’s not often enough to choose a kid-friendly dog. It is also crucial to train your dog as early as possible as well as teach your kids to respect dogs in pretty much the same way as you would want other people to respect you.
Here are some tips you can observe to help make sure that your child is safe while he or she is in the company of your beloved and trusted dog.
- Pamper you dog with love and affection. The point is for it to feel that it is a cherished member of your family. This means that you will have to give it nutritious food, plenty of physical exercise, ample play time, and training.
- Make sure to train your dog early on especially around kids. This is important so they know how to behave properly. To help train your dog you need to brush up on your use of positive reinforcement to teach your dog to focus on things that bring it pleasure.
- Teach your kid not to play very aggressive games even with a puppy. Teaching your kids not to play rough with puppies will help discourage the use of aggressive behavior even during play time.
- Teach your kids not to put their faces right up close to the face of his or her puppy unless it was the dog that initiated the close contact. Just like humans, dogs do require some form of personal space which they would like respected at all times. If they initiate the close contact, then it is perfectly okay.
- Teach your kids not to coerce or force your dog to play. You need to teach your kids to call your dog over to play and to respect your dog if it clearly is not in the mood to play. Sometimes, dogs can be feeling sick that they don’t necessarily feel like playing. You need to teach your kids how to recognize these subtle signs to prevent any untoward incidents.
- Dogs have the innate tendency to chew and bite on things. If you don’t have a chew bone for them, make sure to teach your kids to keep his or her things tidy otherwise your dog will be chomping on your kid’s toys and other belongings.
- Teach your older kids, preferably those who are already at least 10 years old, to take care of your dog outside your house. You can teach the how to walk your dog as well as how to train with your dog.
- Teach your kids to always ask for permission from the dog’s owner if they can pet it. This is crucial as it conveys understanding and respect for the person’s relationship with his or her dog.
Dogs can be very invaluable members of any family. And if you have children at home, it is crucial to choose the right dog breed for the whole family.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are dogs good for kids?
A: Yes, dogs are good for kids because it helps kids learn responsibility and encourages them to exercise by walking and playing with their dog. Dogs also teach children patience, compassion and socialization.
Dogs can be frustrating because they chew, drool and scratch our personal belongings. Children learn to restrain themselves by not hitting or yelling at their dog. Children also learn compassion because they start to understand that their dogs have feelings too. And when their dog is sad kids start to try to help their dog cheer up by giving them a treat or playing with them. Dogs love to socialize, but they need to learn how. When kids take their dog on a walk and greet passersby’s, dogs learn how to behave in public. And kids start to socialize as well because they are trying to be good examples for their pets.
Q: What are the benefits for kids growing up with dogs?
A: Dogs always provide companionship. As kids grow up they experience many ups and downs, and dogs tend to cheer them up just by being there. Petting and snuggling their pet relieves stress and helps people to relax. Dogs also promote active lifestyles. Just 11 minutes a day is enough for a healthy lifestyle for both kids and dogs.
Q: Any other benefits that kids gain with dogs?
A: Children raised with dogs get sick less often. Studies suggest that minimal exposure to dander and microbes that pets carry helps improve baby’s immune systems. Studies also show that kids who grow up with dogs have a higher tolerance of allergies.
Q: Why should families get a dog?
A: Dogs force families to exercise and they help keep floors clean from food. Dogs are supposed to be walked regularly, and families that walk their dogs gain exercise and a breath of fresh air. Dogs also like to eat food that falls to the floor during all meal times. Dogs also teach families, especially children about responsibility. Dogs need to be kept clean, and they need to be cleaned up after them. For example, dog poo from the back yard should be picked up. They also keep kids warm as they snuggle up together for nap times.
Q: Will dogs naturally guard children?
A: Dogs know who their family is. When a person becomes a member of its pack, it will defend that person no matter what. The instinct to protect can become too strong in a dog that unwanted aggression against strangers is too much. Proper training can help a dog learn how to behave around strangers while they are near their family. Certain breeds are naturally better at protecting their family. Newfoundlands are great about protecting their family members. Strangers don’t usually go up to a child when they are around their Newfoundland dog. Chiwawas, if not trained properly, will always bark up a storm and even bite at stranger’s ankles until they go away.
Q: Why get a puppy?
A: Puppies are good for people’s heart by reducing cardiovascular disease. Pet therapy (animal-assisted therapy) is found to reduce anxiety, pain and depression. They can sniff out cancer because of their extra sensitive sense of smell. They keep people active by walking and playing with them. They help lower people blood pressure, stress, they ease social isolation and help boost the immune system. Dogs are natural healers.
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