The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Families

Jenna Matisz

The decision to bring a new member into your family is a big one. A family dog requires hard work and consistency but they are well worth the effort! They bring endless amounts of laughter, companionship, and lessons for adults and kids alike.

There are a number of dog breeds that are known to be especially family-friendly. They’re friendly, smart, sturdy, and full of energy – a perfect addition to your children’s lives. Here’s a roundup of our top 10!


bulldogYoung bulldogs are energetic and goofy but tend to chill out in their older years, making them a great breed for families with young kids. The sturdy stature of this breed means that they can take a little rough-housing from children. In fact, it takes an awful lot of teasing to get bulldogs riled up so their sweet nature is perfect for youngsters.

Bulldogs are quite content with a brief walk and tend to enjoy relaxing on the couch – ideal for a busy family. Fully grown, they range between 40-50 pounds and stand about a foot tall.

Just a heads up: Bulldogs tend to be very protective of their food. Avoid feeding around small children.

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Boston Terrier

boston terrier
Although originally bred to be fighting dogs, Boston Terriers are now known for their gentle and affectionate personalities and have even achieved the nickname of “American Gentleman”. They tend to have happy-go-lucky personalities along with a good sense of humor, making them a great companion for kids. As an added bonus, they require only minimal grooming.

Growing to about 1 foot tall and between 10-25 pounds, Boston Terriers typically live to be 13-15 years old.

Just a heads up: Boston Terriers can sometimes have respiratory difficulties due to their little noses.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cavalier king charles spaniel

Natural companions, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels love to sit on laps and getting belly rubs! But don’t think they’re lazy – this dog breed also has a sporty side and enjoys athletics and being outdoors, perfect for an active family. Cavaliers are most definitely people-dogs and will happily greet anyone they meet.

This breed tends to grow to around 1 foot tall, weigh between 13-18 pounds and live approximately 9-15 years. They are known to be friendly with children, especially if they are willing to play with them!

Just a heads up: Get ready for brushing as Cavaliers tend to shed regularly.



Cockapoos tend to have big, playful personalities and will happily follow you around wherever you go! Since they’re a combination of two of the smartest dog breeds (poodle and cocker spaniel), these cuties are intelligent and easy to train.

Known to be people-oriented, this breed is incredibly friendly and affectionate. Cockapoos are especially great for families with children as they tend to get bored easily. Children = endless entertainment!

They tend to live between 12-15 years, grow to 1ft 3’’ and weigh approximately 20-25 pounds. An added bonus? They produce low amounts of dander and hair so your home should be mainly free to allergens and fur.



This medium-sized breed has a reputation of being wonderful family dogs. Energetic by nature, beagles generally love children and will happily play with them for hours on end. They’re sturdy, athletic, and friendly to whoever they meet.

Beagles live for about 10-15 years, weigh between 18-30 pounds and grow to be about 1 foot high. Beagles are hunting dogs so they require lots of exercise and a place to hunt and follow their curious noses. Be sure to have ample space for them to play and stretch their legs outdoors!

Just a heads up: Beagles can be a bit tricky to train so dedication and consistency from the owner is a must!

Golden Retriever

golden retriever

A classic family dog, golden retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the USA. And for good reason! They are the perfect combo of friendly, intelligent, and easy to train. They are “packdogs”, meaning they bond quickly with their family members and love to be around them.

This large breed will grow to be between 55-75 pounds and will live to be approximately 10-12 years old. Keep them active as they love to play catch (hence the ‘retriever’ name), socialize with humans or other dogs, and learn new tricks.

Just a heads up: Golden retrievers shed a ton. Daily brushing and visits to the doggie spa will be your lifesavers!


Border collie

This easy-to-train breed loves nothing more than to make their humans happy. Whether it’s through learning new tricks or protecting their kid-humans, collies are sweet companions who love being a part of the family. On top of this, their natural herding abilities will help with steering your kids along throughout the day!

Collies live to be about 10-14 years old and between 50-70 pounds. Their beautiful coat needs regular maintenance but they make up for this in their unwavering loyalty and gentleness.

Just a heads up: If left alone too long, this breed begins to miss their family and will bark excessively.

Bernese Mountain Dog

bernese mountain dog

Known as the “gentle giants” of the dog world, Bernese Mountain Dogs are calm and easy-going dogs. But don’t mistake their gentleness for being boring – this breed loves being out and about and being active (especially in the winter!).

Bernese Mountain Dogs love to be praised and typically do well with training. Their large, heavy stature combined with their gentle personalities make them great companions for kids.

Just a heads up: Since this breed is large, they’re best suited for homes as opposed to apartment living.


Pugs are known for their dramatic sense of humour and their love of showing off so your kids will find them hilarious! Their well-known wheezing and snorting makes them funny little companions and they love the attention that they get from their owners, so be prepared to have a walking shadow!

Pugs typically grow to be about 1 foot tall, 14-18 pounds, and live approximately 12-15 years.  They aren’t thought to be overly active dogs but are certainly curious so they love exploring!

Just a heads up: Pugs are known to be a bit gassy…but hey, at least your kids will get a kick out of it!

Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever
Labradors Retrievers are another popular dog breed for families due to their kind nature, energy, and intelligence. Natural hunting dogs, this breed is hardworking and will happily bring you whatever you need. Perfect for a family with children, Labrador Retrievers thrive on the commotion that children tend to bring along.

Labs are very active and love to get their exercise in with humans or other dogs. Bonus points if you have a backyard pool – this breed loves to swim!

Just a heads up: Labs LOVE to eat, so be sure to monitor their food portions and weight regularly.

Although different in many ways, each of these dog breeds has a lot to offer your family. We wish you all the best in finding the perfect new family member – enjoy this exciting time!

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