Thinking about adding a dog to your family and need to know the best family dogs? Dogs are amazing and make a great family pet. There are several things you have to keep in mind when adding a dog to the family. Certain dogs are prone to certain behaviors. Some are sociable and loving. Others are excitable and playful. Still, others are sheepish or very friendly.
A dog’s temperament is a serious factor parents should consider before selecting a dog for their families. Other factors that should be considered include the dog’s size, athleticism, and even its socializing needs. Nearly every dog, if properly trained and cared for, can serve as a family pet and friend to children. Some breeds are just naturally better at it. Here are some of the best family dogs that you should know about before making such a huge decision.
Best Dogs for Kids and Families
The Minature Schnauzer
Ok, so y’all know I’m biased because Simba is a Mini Schnauzer and I think he is BEYOND amazing! He’s so great with my kids and any other kids he comes in contact with. Schnauzers are smart, easy to train, and loving. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Miniature Schnauzers’ temperament is friendly, smart, and obedient.
They come in giant (23-27.5 inches), standard (17-19.5 inches), and miniature (12-14) sizes. All Schnauzers are amazing, but the Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular out of the giant and standard versions according to the AKC. Schnauzers are known for having a pretty long life and being all about family. They also get along great with other dogs too. Miniature Schnauzers do require grooming, but they don’t shed much and are hypoallergenic.
Overall Family Pet Rating: A++++++
The Labrador Retriever
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Labs are the most popular dogs in America. This is most likely due to their temperament and family-oriented nature. These dogs love to play and are perfect for children who love the same. They are cheerful, affectionate, goofy, and sociable with everyone and everything! Their coats require minimal maintenance, usually soiled only by outside play.
However, Labs require lots of exercise and a fair amount of training. So they may require more attention than other breeds. They are easily excited and can be very bouncy. I had a black lab when I was around 7 or 8 years old and he was the best dog ever besides Simba of course! He was definitely an amazing family dog.
Overall Family Pet Rating: B+
Though perhaps not the toughest dog, Poodles are one of the most lovable and playful breeds. They are great with adults, children, and even other pets. They love their families and respond to affection with affection. Their coats are curly and dense, requiring regular grooming. However, poodles generally do not develop dander; so, they may make great pets for children who may otherwise be allergic to dogs.
Additionally, Poodles are very smart. Potty training and basic tricks are a breeze for them. They come in standard (over 15 inches at the shoulder), miniature (10-15 inches), and toy (under 10 inches) sizes. Standard Poodles are active and sturdy, neither too big nor too small for most children. They do require attention and playtime, however, and will get into some mischief if left to their own devices for too long. Also, they may bark…too much, which is not good for sleeping infants.
Overall Family Pet Rating: A-
The Great Dane
A “gentle giant” amongst canines, the Great Dane is truly a peaceful dog. They are intelligent, loyal, loving, protective, and kind-hearted. It’s almost as if this dog will do everything in its power to please both pet parents and children alike. It will treat small children as though they were its own, seemingly realizing the need for additional tenderness and carefulness. If bred and raised properly, Great Danes are never timid or aggressive. Their short coats require very little grooming. Despite their size, Danes require no more exercise than the average dog.
Great Danes will greet their pet parents at the door when they return home and settle next to them. They do not like being alone and, like poodles and other smart dogs, may get into trouble if left alone too long. As puppies, they can be jumpy, creating the danger of knocking over toddlers. The weight of the Great Dane, when combined with its affectionate nature, can also be troublesome. They often lean against you or jump on your lap. A 150 lb. dog with a 30 lb. a child can be a harmful mismatch, even if the harm is entirely unintended. Never leave your child unattended with a dog.
Overall Family Pet Rating: B
Beagles are outgoing and non-threatening dogs. They are sweet, playful, energetic, and stable, great for both a game of fetch or relaxing with on the carpet.
Beagles can be stubborn, which can make them difficult to train. They also have a strong sense of smell that, when combined with their curiosity, tends to lead them to far off lands following a particular scent. In short, you will need a fence. Also, their coats are not too long, but they may shed heavily.
Overall Family Pet Rating: A-
Bloodhounds are known for their ability to track scents. As with Beagles, you will need a fence. But Bloodhounds are canine pacifists. They will allow children to sit or crawl along with them and won’t mind one bit. This is good for children, but as always never leave your child and dog unattended. Another good thing about the bloodhound is that their short coats are easy to maintain.
Bloodhounds love and exhibit devotion toward their families, though they may be timid around strangers. They can be independent and difficult to train. Bloodhounds are also known to drool or howl.
Overall Family Pet Rating: B
There’s a reason why Lassie was always saving young Timmy. Collies are extremely smart, protective, and caring. They generally like people and other animals and are easy to train. They have all the attributes necessary for good family pets.
Being herding dogs, Collies will sometimes nip at the heels of exiting people. They can be very sensitive, easily hurt by mistreatment. Their long hair requires attention, and you will be vacuuming regularly.
Overall Family Pet Rating: A
The above list is not all-inclusive. Other great family dogs include Golden Retrievers, Border Terriers, Whippets, American Eskimos, Samoyeds, and with proper training, German Shepherds, American Bulldogs, and Pugs just to name a few more.
I cant’ stress enough to never leave your child alone with a dog. No matter how amazing you think your dog is with your child, you should always be mindful of them being together. Train your dog on how to interact with your child and definitely teach your child how to treat a dog. No tail pulling or roughness should be explained before the dog even steps foot in the house and reminded often.