The Bull Terrier can get quite rambunctious and requires plenty of playtime. Therefore, it is a perfect dog for a large family. The Bull Terrier will return your affection by being very protective of your children.
Often mistaken for the larger Pitt Bull, the Bull Terrier was bred to be a companion dog–friendly and loving towards grown-ups and kids alike. This well-framed dog also has a high threshold for pain, making it perfect for rambunctious children who are learning how to properly treat dogs.
Particularly suited to large families, they don’t complain too much when manhandled by children, and can actually help teach kids how to properly relate to dogs. Plus they’re just very cute and adorable. While they are energetic and require lots of play time, they will also help wear your kids out — the more the merrier — and will return the favor by being very protective of them.
This is the dog Lassie made famous. Collies are a very gentle and predictable breed, rarely biting its human family and easily trainable, perfect for families that are unfamiliar with dogs.
While its long coat is high maintenance, its tendency to herd your children may be useful, at least in their early years. Beyond that, collies love nothing more than to make their humans happy, and it’s really not a stretch to imagine that you could train yours to alert you to a fire in the barn, or to remind you that you’ve left your cell phone on the dining room table before rushing off to work with a well-timed bark and whine. Sadly, though, no one has yet been able to train this breed to cook.
The Collie’s long hair means it requires regular grooming to keep its coat in tip-top shape. Collies get along great with children and love to please their owners and protect their family.
Because of their natural love of children, the Newfoundland
has been dubbed “Nature’s Nannies.” Large and sweet, it’s hard not to fall in love with them, and they will return the favor. While they can drool and shed a lot, and suit a family with large open spaces, they will also tend to wind up wherever the family is. Basically, they are gigantic, loveable furballs who desire nothing more than to keep watch on their pack members.
Although it is known to drool and shed excessively, it is not considered a proper dog for the yard. This breed wants to be inside with its family. Wouldn’t you? The Newfoundland is also a great swimmer and has been known to save lives in emergency situations. Both young and old will quickly fall in love with this wonderfully sweet, large dog.
Originally a middle-European hunting dog, and little known outside of its native Hungary, the Vizsla is gentle, loyal, quiet and affectionate. It does require a lot of exercise — not a problem if you have energetic children. Still, it prefers to spend a lot of time indoors with its family, and is very eager to learn and show off. If you want to teach your children by teaching them to train dogs, then this breed is a good choice.
Additionally, it is obedient, confident and smart, forming close bonds with its family and able to learn new tricks quickly. Best of all, the Vizsla has very little “doggy” smell about it.
A better choice for families with yards because of their energy, Irish Setters are wonderful with children, because they are playful and energetic. One word of warning, though — their life spans are among the shorter ones for larger breeds, so you should only choose an Irish Setter if you want to teach those inevitable life lessons while your children are in middle school. Twelve years is considered old age for the breed, and few make it to fifteen.
A smart and trainable companion, the Irish setter is perfect for people with lots of space.
Please note, only the standard poodle is a good family dog. Miniature poodles tend to be very high strung and not suitable for families with children. Standard poodles are smart and gentle, and are good for children with allergies, as they do not shed as much as other breeds. Otherwise, they are good-natured, and make excellent playmates for children.
This is a proud and elegant dog that is both caring and loyal. Seldom annoyed or bored, the Poodle’s friendly demeanor, good nature, and patience make it an excellent playing partner for any child.
One of the most popular breeds all around, we have documented Labradors elsewhere as the best dog to have if you’re looking for a date, the only breed accepted for training as arson dogs, and one of the more popular breeds for service dogs. For a family, there’s hardly a better choice. Labradors love to please their humans, being playful, protective, loving, and reliable. There’s nothing that a Lab loves more than to show off by learning a new trick, even if they manage to learn that new trick before you’ve taught it to them. They are canine Einsteins.
Not as big as the Lab, the Golden Retriever is a kind, smart, confident, and loyal dog. Neither aggressive nor timid, the Golden Retriever is extremely patient, which is perfect for kids. While it does need a lot of exercise, its love of play makes this an easy thing to achieve.
Their main asset is extreme patience, useful around children, as well as their high energy. Frequently used as service dogs, they were originally bred as gun dogs and are avid swimmers.
Bonus choice: go to your local shelter, and consider rescuing a mixed breed dog. In fact, consider a mixed breed in any case. Look for a dog that matches the energy level of your family, keeping one thing in mind — mid size and larger dogs are great for families, while small breeds are not. If you have children, avoid Chihuahuas or Yorkies or anything you could pick up with one hand; look at terriers, retrievers, or other bigger dogs. In general, if you’re not afraid of injuring it by stepping on it, then it’s probably durable enough for children. Once again, though here’s the most important thing to remember: Whatever dog you bring in to the family, all of the people need to be the pack leaders, whether adults or children. Follow this rule from day one, and no matter what dog you adopt, you’ll have an enjoyable experience.