10 Best Dog Breeds for Families with Kids

 Friday Jan 27,2023
By  Lancaster Puppies

Adding a dog to your family is a big choice with many options. To simplify your search and find a breed that meshes well with your family, make a list ahead of time to distinguish which breed traits are most important to you. Do you want a dog with high energy who can join you on family walks and hikes? Or a breed with low energy that prefers being a lap dog? Will a highly active dog have too much energy for your young children? Do your kids want a dog they can play games with and teach new tricks? Answering these questions will help you find a dog that’s a perfect match for your unique family.

It’s important to teach your children how to act around dogs, no matter how gentle or patient a dog may be. This can be a great way to teach your child about mutual respect and boundaries. Thankfully, these breeds make that process easier with their easygoing personalities and sweet natures. Keep reading to see our list of the best dog breeds for families with kids.

Small Breeds

PugTan and black Pug puppy

Pugs are outgoing and social dogs that love spending time with people and other animals. These dogs have a low energy level but are still playful, fun-loving, and enjoy taking walks. Kids shouldn’t have any trouble walking a Pug because of its calm and lowkey temperament. In fact, Pugs are perfectly content to cuddle up on a family member’s lap while they watch TV.

These little dogs stand around 10 to 12 inches tall and weigh between 14 to 18 pounds. This breed's laid-back personality and small size make it a great companion for kids and apartment living. Despite their small size, these dogs are still quite dense and hardy. Pugs generally live around 10 to 15 years and are little clowns that love to make their families laugh. However, Pugs tend to be susceptible to many health conditions so families wanting to take home a Pug should choose reputable breeders that screen their dogs for health problems. If you’re looking for a low-energy dog that’s still upbeat, the Pug may be the breed for you.

CavachonBrownish-red Cavachon puppy

The Cavachon is a designer dog that’s a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Bichon Frise. These dogs have also gone by the names Bichalier and Cavashon. This small breed stands around 9 to 18 inches tall, is usually between 12 to 25 pounds, and has a long lifespan of around 13 to 18 years.

Cavachons are social butterflies that want to be friends with every person and animal they meet. This trait makes the Cavachon ideal for families that have other pets. Friendly, gentle, and affectionate, the Cavachon is a great companion and gets along well with children. These dogs are intelligent and easy to train, whether they’re learning new tricks from kids or basic commands from novice dog owners.

Cavachons are adaptable to many living situations, including apartment living. They have a moderate energy level that doesn’t require an excess of exercise. Daily walks and play are generally all that’s needed to help this breed burn off energy. Best of all, these are cuddly dogs that enjoy relaxing alongside their families.

CockapooLight brown and white Cockapoo puppy

Also called the Cockadoodle, Cockerdoodle, and Spoodle, the Cockapoo is a designer breed that’s a mix between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. This popular breed has a long lifespan of around 13 to 16 years. The Cockapoo is widely adored for its loving, sweet, and outgoing personality. These dogs are also great with other animals and will blend well with families that already have pets.  A small but playful breed, the Cockapoo stands around 10 to 15 inches tall and weighs between 10 to 30 pounds.

Cockapoos are intelligent people pleasers which makes them obedient and easy to train. This breed will have a blast spending time with kids whether they’re being taught new tricks or playing outside. Cockapoos will love having a fenced-in area to run around but are also fine with daily walks and lots of play. These dogs are affectionate companions who want to be with their families as much as possible.

Breeds with Multiple Sizes

GoldendoodleBrownish-red Goldendoodle puppy

The Goldendoodle, also known as the Groodle, Curly Golden, and Goldenpoo, is a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. Goldendoodles generally live around 10 to 15 years and can come in different sizes. Miniature Goldendoodles are usually around 13 to 20 inches tall and between 15 to 40 pounds. The larger Standard Goldendoodle tends to be around 20 to 24 inches tall and weighs between 50 to 90 pounds.

The Goldendoodle gets the best from both parent breeds: the Poodle’s intelligence and the Golden Retriever’s happy-go-lucky personality. Goldendoodles are gentle and very affectionate, while also being social dogs that want to befriend every person and animal they meet. This breed prefers to spend time with other people and dogs over being left alone, making a wonderful addition to families that have other pets.

Kids who want a dog that can be taught tricks will love the Goldendoodle’s desire to learn new things. This breed’s intelligence, people-pleasing personality, and love for treats make the Goldendoodle easy to train. These dogs have high energy levels and will need plenty of exercise, enjoying fun activities like swimming, running, playing fetch, taking walks, and hiking. The Golden Retriever is an ideal breed for families who are active and enjoy spending time outdoors.

BernedoodleBlack, brown, and white Standard Bernedoodle puppy

The Bernedoodle is a designer breed that’s a mix between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. These dogs have also been called the Bernepoo, Bernesepoo, and Bernesedoodle. Like other designer breeds, Bernedoodles come in different sizes. The Miniature Bernedoodle tends to fall between 25 to 50 pounds and stands around 15 to 22 inches tall. The Standard Berndoodle is large, weighing between 50 to 90 pounds and standing around 22 to 29 inches tall.

Bernedoodles have all the wonderful, sweet personality traits of the Bernese Mountain Dog with the Poodle's additional intelligence and longer lifespan of 12 to 18 years. This breed is definitely a companion dog that makes the perfect family pet as they’re very loyal and extra-loving with their owners. Not only are these dogs great with kids and other dogs, but they also have no problem living with smaller pets like cats and birds. Bernedoodles are great for families looking for active dogs that enjoy playing outdoors but are also laid back. While it still needs daily walks, play, and exercise, the Bernedoodle will be content to snuggle up next to you on the couch after burning off its energy.

LabradoodleYellow Labradoodle puppy

The Labradoodle, a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle, has also been called the Labrapoo, Labrapoodle, and Labradorpoo. Labradoodles are most commonly miniature or standard-sized. Miniature Labradoodles tend to weigh between 10 to 30 pounds and stand around 14 to 20 inches tall. Standard Labradoodles are larger at around 20 to 24 inches tall and between 45 to 60 pounds. When healthy, this breed can live around 11 to 14 years.

Labradoodles do well with kids of all ages and other dogs. Training a Labradoodle isn’t too hard of a task since this breed is intelligent and loves to please people. This makes this breed ideal for kids who want a dog that can be taught tricks. This breed is highly playful and loves spending time with its family. Labradoodles can burn energy through playing, going for walks, running around in fenced-in areas, and hiking. The Labradoodle is perfect for a family who wants a dog they can run and play with but also snuggle up with at the end of the day.

Large Breeds

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever puppy

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular family dogs. These cheerful, sunny dogs brighten every room they enter and want to be friends with everyone. Golden Retrievers are large dogs that tend to fall between 55 to 75 pounds and stand around 20 to 25 inches tall. This breed usually lives to be around 12 to 13 years old.

Golden Retrievers are athletic dogs that have gentle temperaments. You can expect your Golden Retriever to need no less than 1 hour of exercise each day. Some great forms of exercising your Golden Retriever include walks, playing fetch, teaching new tricks, swimming, jogging, biking, and hiking.

Golden Retrievers are also great for novice owners and families who’ve never owned a dog before. These dogs are social and easy to train as they aim to make their families happy. They make perfect family dogs with their gentle and wholesome nature. They love playing with kids and get along well with other family pets. Families with cats or other dogs may find the Golden Retriever to be the perfect addition.

Labrador RetrieverYellow Labrador Retriever puppy

For over 3 decades, the Labrador Retriever has been at the top of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) list of most popular dog breeds. The Labrador Retriever is one of the most beloved family dogs and continues to prove just how perfect this breed is for families of all life stages with a typical lifespan of 10 to 14 years. Labradors are large dogs that weigh between 55 to 90 pounds and stand around 21 to 23 inches tall. This breed needs around 1 hour of exercise daily and generally enjoys walking, jogging, hiking, swimming, and playing fetch.

Labrador Retrievers are generally used as service dogs because they have fantastic temperaments. These dogs are gentle, easygoing, and very loving while also being very social, taking every opportunity to befriend new people and dogs. Families who’ve never owned a dog before should consider the Labrador Retriever as it’s easy to train and a good fit for novice owners.

Irish Setter

Irish Setter puppy sitting outside on a pink and white blanket with a basket of multicolored flowers.Irish Setters, also called Irish Red Setters and Red Setters, are wonderful family dogs that are both energetic and calm. Active families will enjoy that this breed is very athletic and intelligent while still being gentle and easygoing. Furthermore, these dogs are devoted and loving family companions. They’re also quite outgoing and thrive on attention from others. These large dogs generally stand around 24 to 27 inches tall and weigh between 50 to 70 pounds. Families will be happy to know that healthy Irish Setters generally live around 11 to 15 years.

Irish Setters are usually best suited for families with older children. This is because this dog’s large size and high energy level could lead to it accidentally knocking over young children when playing. Additionally, Irish Setters get along well with other dogs and can live with smaller pets like rabbits and cats if they’ve been raised with them and socialized early on. However, because this is a hunting dog, families with smaller pets may find another breed to be a better fit. Active families that already have dogs but are looking to add another will love Irish Setters.

NewfoundlandBrown and white Newfoundland puppy

The Newfoundland’s addition to this list may be surprising to some because of its large size. Also called Newfies and Newfs, Newfoundlands are gentle giants that are great with kids and other pets, including cats! The largest dog included on this list, the Newfoundland generally weighs between 110 to 155 pounds and stands around 25 to 28 inches tall. Unfortunately, like other large breeds, the Newfoundland has a rather short lifespan of 9 to 11 years.

Newfoundlands are very friendly and sweet. While they mesh well with people and animals, this breed can be protective when it needs to be. Newfoundlands love spending time with their families and need a home that can give them plenty of attention and involvement in activities. As one would expect, Newfoundlands need lots of space to run, play, and roam. Plus, these dogs have a love for swimming in their DNA! Families with fenced-in outdoor areas are better fits for Newfies than families that live in apartments.


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