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Best Family Dog Breeds For Kids

Choosing the right dog breed for your family, especially if you have young children, can be challenging. What characteristics should you consider? Should we get a big dog or a small dog? In this post, our veterinarians in Kennesaw will share some of the best dog breeds suitable for families with children and explain why they are a good match.

How do you choose a dog for kids?

When selecting a dog for your family, it's crucial to consider more than just their appearance. Choosing a dog for children involves multiple factors to consider.

  • Temperament - Look for breeds known for their friendliness, gentleness, and patience, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, or Beagles.
  • Size and energy - When choosing a dog for your family, it's important to consider the dog's size in relation to the ages and sizes of your children. For young children, it's best to opt for smaller or medium-sized dogs to minimize the risk of accident injuries. 
  • Energy - It's important to choose a dog with an energy level that matches your family's lifestyle. High-energy dogs like Border Collies or Boston Terriers may be a good fit for active families with the time and energy to keep up with their needs.
  • Trainability - Select is a breed of dog known for being easy to train and eager to please, making it ideal for families with children or in a household environment. 
  • Age of the dog - Puppies are cute but require time, patience, and training. Consider adopting a trained adult dog with a known temperament.
  • Allergies - If anyone in the household has allergies, consider hypoallergenic dog breeds such as poodles, Bichon Frises, or Portuguese Water Dogs.
  • Lifestyle - Assess if the dog fits your lifestyle, considering space, exercise, grooming, and pet compatibility.
  • Socialization - Ensure your dog is properly socialized with children and other animals. This socialization will help your dog adapt positively to interactions with kids.
  • Rescue or breeder - If you're considering getting a dog, it's worth considering adoption from a shelter or rescue organization. Many wonderful family dogs are waiting for their forever homes in shelters. However, if you decide to go through a breeder, research reputable breeders who prioritize the health and temperament of their dogs.
  • Supervision and education - Teaching your children how to interact safely and respectfully with dogs is important. Always supervise any interaction between children and dogs to prevent accidents and ensure that the child and the dog feel secure and comfortable.

By considering these factors and taking the time to find the right dog for your family, you can ensure a joyful and fulfilling relationship between your kids and their new friends. 

What are some of the dog breeds that are particularly good with kids?

To help you choose the best dog breed for kids, our veterinarian at North Cobb Animal Hospital in Kennesaw recommends a few favorites. Take your time to find a dog that's the right fit for your home and family.


If you are looking for a dog to keep you company in a spacious house, the Newfoundland breed might be an excellent choice for you and your family. These dogs are known as 'Nature's babysitter' because of their sweet-natured and intelligent personalities. They enjoy spending time with children and are quite friendly and fond of water. Newfoundlands are ideal family pets due to their gentle nature and protective instincts. They will closely guard young children and are very forgiving, even if rough play occurs accidentally.

Irish Setter

Weighing around 65 lbs, Irish Setters are more than just strikingly beautiful! They are lively, intelligent, and have a great sense of mischief. These dogs love to chase balls and go for long runs, but they also enjoy playing in the backyard with kids. They make an ideal dog breed for families as they are sweet-tempered and enjoy companionship. Spending time with high-energy kids is something Irish Setters love, making them pleasant to have around for every family member.

Golden Retriever

If you have children who would enjoy playing with a dog and throwing a ball around, or if you are willing to take the time to teach a dog new tricks, then the Golden Retriever breed may be a good fit for you. Golden Retrievers typically weigh between 55-75 lbs and are known for being confident, friendly, intelligent, kind, and loyal, all of which make them ideal for family life.

Golden Retrievers exhibit one of their most notable traits: a strong desire to please, especially their family. This characteristic, coupled with their ease of training, enhances their appeal as a family dog. Children, in particular, appreciate their trainability because it allows them to teach the dog to play fetch and perform other fun tricks.

English Bulldog

This less energetic breed weighs around 50-55 lbs, which makes it ideal for smaller homes and apartments. They love social interactions with their humans and enjoy cuddling up with the family to watch a movie and relax. English Bulldogs make sweet, gentle, and dependable family pets, and our veterinarians at Kennesaw adore them. Although they are not the most active breed of dog, their calm nature makes them excellent companions to snuggle up with and relax, especially for kids.


At between 18-30 lbs, this medium-sized breed craves spending time with its people, playing games, and going for walks. These smart dogs can make very loving family pets with plenty of family interaction and exercise. However, they are not the best breed for families who are often out of the house. 

Beagles, much like Golden Retrievers, aim to please their owners and love to show affection. Beagles are high-energy dog breeds that will enjoy playing with your children for hours on end, especially if running is involved.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are a people-loving breed that weighs just under 25 pounds and has easy-to-care-for "tuxedo" coats. They are content with short walks and are adaptable to apartment living, making them a great companion for children. This charming dog breed is full of personality and loves playing with kids, especially anything that involves running and playing fetch.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

At between 10-18 lbs, the portable size of this lively but gentle breed makes it ideal for smaller homes or apartments. Cavaliers get along well with kids and other dogs, loving to play and snuggle in equal measure. These sweet-natured dogs can be great pets for kids of many energy levels and ages.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very gentle, which makes them excellent family dogs, especially if you have young children. These dogs are very loyal and will love to spend time snuggled up with your little ones.


These adorable little characters love to eat and sleep. If your kids are small or low-energy and would appreciate a dog that will play indoors, then curl up with them and watch TV. A pug may be the right breed for your family. At around 15 lbs, this breed doesn't need much space, just a couple of short walks each day.

Pugs love playing around, which is a great fit for a home with kids. Because of their small size, they can be an ideal match if you have smaller children in the house.

The Mutt

Mutts are mixed-breed dogs that can be fantastic family dogs! They often come equipped with the best traits of many kid-friendly breeds, such as a gentle, loving nature and loyalty. Mutts can be as good with children as purebred dogs and tend to be less susceptible to genetic diseases and less expensive.

If you are wondering, "What would be the best small dog breeds for kids?"  our vets from North Cobb Animal Hospital  would suggest a Pug, Bichon Frise, Cocker Spaniel, or Cavalier King Charles spaniel. 

Decision Time

Several factors come into play when considering the best family dog breeds for kids. Temperament, size, energy level, trainability, and compatibility with your family's lifestyle are all essential considerations.

However, it's crucial to remember that each dog is an individual, so it's vital to spend time with potential pets before making a decision.

By carefully considering these factors and selecting a dog that aligns with your family's needs and lifestyle, you can find the perfect furry companion to bring joy, love, and companionship to your home for years to come.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you have any questions about which dog breed might suit your family or need information on local reputable breeders, please get in touch with the vets at our Kennesaw vet hospital today.

New Patients Welcome

North Cobb Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Kennesaw companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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