There are many great dogs to consider when looking for your next pet. In order to determine the best fit for your family, you must first be realistic about how a dog will affect your children.
It is important to know that many of the dogs considered worst for getting along with kids are often miss-trained or not properly cared for.
A common factor that places dogs in shelters is families who don’t choose the right pet for their lifestyle and don’t know how to manage the pet.
1. Bull Dog
The Bull Dog has a sturdy build that is perfect for kids who like to roughhouse. However, it won’t win any awards for “most energetic dog.” A docile, friendly, and loyal dog, it gets along well with other pets and dogs, too. The Bull Dog is comfortable living in large houses as well as small apartments.
Originally kept as hunting dogs, Beagles fit well in homes with active kids, as they are sturdily built and never too tired to play a game. Friendly, clever and cheerful, the Beagle usually gets along with other pets, too (except for a bit of chasing here and there). They do shed, and require frequent brushing and bathing, however.
While your beagle most likely won’t have a bird named Woodstock as his best friend, you can, by all means, name him (or her) Snoopy.
Unfairly branded as an aggressive animal, the Bull Terrier was actually 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.
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.
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 this breed is typically mild mannered (like Clark Kent!), it was originally bred as a herding dog, so it may try and herd your children. This might be amusing at first, but it’s probably best to discourage the child-herding (no matter how handy you may think it could be). 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.
Nicknamed “Nature’s Babysitter,” the Newfoundland dog loves children and is very protective of them. Gentle, kind, and patient, this breed is almost like the Mother Teresa of dogs. Both young and old will quickly fall in love with this wonderfully sweet, large dog.
The Newfoundland best suits a family with large open spaces. And 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.
This may be a breed you haven’t heard of before, but it’s actually one of the best dog breeds for kids. The Vizsla has a gentle disposition and manner, and is loyal, affectionate, and quiet, perfect for your little ones to play with.
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.
7. Irish Setter
Known for its red coat, the Irish Setter is playful, energetic, loves being around people, and plays well with children. This doggy needs lots of exercise, and is a good match for energetic kids. A smart and trainable companion, the Irish setter is perfect for people with a yard.
Often given rather curious haircuts by their owners, the poodle is a very smart and gentle dog. It’s also great for kids with allergies, as it sheds very little; it does, however, require scheduled grooming.
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.
9. Labrador Retriever
This is one of the most popular dog breeds, and for good reason — the Labrador Retriever is playful, patient, loving, protective, and reliable. In fact, its sweet personality and intelligence is only matched by its beauty. What does this mean for you? A perfect family pet.
10. Golden Retriever
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.
This pint-sized pup has an irresistible face and prominently curved tail that any child will find intriguing. The Pug does especially well in a moderate climate but is just as comfortable hanging out indoors to keep your kiddos entertained.
12. Yorkshire Terrier
Though a tiny canine, the Yorkie has a big adventurous personality that makes it an engaging dog. This affectionate pint-sized pup is an ideal pet if your family loves travel — it will keep your kids affectionately entertained in the back seat while you’re en route.
13. Miniature Schnauzer
The most popular of the three Schnauzer breeds (which include the giant and standard sizes), the Mini Schnauzer is an intelligent and cheerful canine that is as happy hanging out in the house with the family as it is romping outdoors with the kids in the yard or at the park.
This toy-sized silky-coated canine is in high demand as a family pet because of its affectionate temperament, easy trainability and hypoallergenic non-shedding coat. The Havanese is as eager to be a loved-on lap dog as it is to playfully chase the kids around.
15. Shetland Sheepdog
If you’ve got a big yard or live on a farm, the Sheltie will keep your kids well-exercised. One of the best obedience breeds, this long-haired, energetic beauty thrives on physical and mental activity.
22. French Bulldog
The French bulldog has been called a “clown in the cloak of a philosopher,” which, according to the AKC, essentially means that dogs of this breed are smart with a powerful penchant for play. They’re very lively and social, but not overly boisterous or barky. In fact, Weiss says their stellar doggie demeanors stand out among other dogs, large and small.
Bred to be loungers, French bulldogs require very little in the way of exercise or grooming. They’re also heavy-boned and fearless, which makes this breed a good choice for families who want a pet that’s playful, but not too skittish or delicate. However, one important consideration is that French bulldogs do best in a mild climate, which means they need air conditioning when the temperature rises.
23. Shih Tzu
The fact that Shih Tzu means “lion dog” in Chinese is misleading, considering that most members of this breed probably couldn’t hurt a fly, let alone bring down a gazelle. Shih Tzus are ideal small dogs: lively and alert, yet rarely nervous or snappy. And despite their diminutive stature, they’re strong and unafraid, which means they have no trouble holding their own when playing with children and keeping up with an active family.
The Shih Tzu’s long, luxurious coat of hair is certainly beautiful, but it can also be a lot of work to maintain. If you’re considering a Shih Tzu, keep in mind that they do require regular grooming. Most pet parents don’t mind this aspect of caring for their Shih Tzus, though, considering these dogs’ infinitely loving and loyal nature.
The Pomeranian is an adorable dog with a mellow and gentle personality, but they can sometimes get noisy (just like children). As a matter of fact, if you want a Pomeranian, they are great with kids, just as long as they are introduced as puppies. However, because Pomeranians shed profusely, it may not be the best choice for a house with very small children.
Meek though they may look, this small dog can really pack a punch in attitude. They are known for nipping at children (probably not the best choice for a house with kids) or barking incessantly at strange dogs. They can also be loud and demanding. But before you cross this breed off the list, you should know that the Chihuahua is loyal and affectionate, even seen canoodling with cats every one in awhile (after an adjustment period, of course).