Having a dog and a kid in the house can feel like a lot of work. We know how crucial it is to make sure your puppy and child can coexist safely and happily. There is nothing more special than the bond between a child and their first dog, which is why it is so important to pick the right breed for your family.
Every dog is an individual with its own personality. That being said, knowing a dog’s breed can help you predict and understand their behavior.
Here at Spot Pet Insurance, we understand the difficulty of making this decision and want to help you as best as possible to make the right choice for you and your family. Therefore, we have compiled a list of dog breeds that are known to be well-suited for families in order to help you make your decision.
What makes a good family dog?
There are a lot of factors that go into picking the right dog breed for your family. For example, a high-energy family with a big yard would be more compatible with a dog that requires a lot of exercise and a family living in a small apartment without much time for walking would be more suited for a well-mannered, relaxed pup that doesn’t need too much activity to keep him or herself entertained.
Three factors are very important for determining which dog is best for your unique family. These are:
Size on its own doesn’t determine if a dog will work well with kids and should be considered along with other factors, such as the ones listed below. Some smaller dogs tend to be very energetic while some larger ones are much more docile.
You also don’t want a large, lively dog accidentally knocking your kids over in the process of trying to play with them. Make sure to think about not only the size of the dog you may be getting, but also their energy level and temperament.
Dogs can be playful and energetic. Not all families can handle this. On top of kids, it may be too much for you. When choosing a dog, be conscious of your family’s lifestyle and how much you can exercise your new pup. If a dog isn’t receiving enough exercise, his surplus of energy can cause behavioral problems that can be tough for families to handle.
A dog’s temperament is essentially a dog’s personality. The dogs that typically work best with children are agreeable, calm and well-mannered. Calmer dogs are more likely to be able to be a great companion for your kids.
Besides these factors, it is also important to think about the ongoing care a particular breed will require, their agreeability with other pets, and the dog’s age. Some dog breeds may need regular grooming, some are more predisposed to health issues and require frequent visits to the vet. Some may shed all over your nice furniture. Puppies need a lot of training but will adjust easily to your family’s lifestyle. Adult dogs may be trained and have a calmer temperament; however, they will need time to get used to the routine of your home.
Based on this criterion, there are a few breeds that stick out as being particularly good choices for families with children.
The best dog breeds for children
Although there are many options that may work for your family, we’ve made a list of some breeds that are known to be good choices. Remember that while they have characteristics that make them great family dogs, they will still need lots of training and socialization to help them become the best friend to your children that they can be!
Mutts can be a great choice for families as mixed breeds often provide the best traits of two or more great breeds in a dog! By adopting a mutt, you can get more of a behavioral background on the dog as shelter and rescue workers have been caring for him or her for some time. Mixed breeds are also a great choice because they can be less expensive than purebreds and you’re getting a unique dog that you won’t find elsewhere. No two mutts are the same!
- Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are well known for their versatility, intelligence and agreeable personality. They have become one of the most popular breeds for families because of these qualities. Although active and energetic, goldens are very friendly and socialize well with other children and other dogs.
They are eager to please, which makes them an easier breed to train. In addition, they only require occasional grooming (weekly brushing), they aren’t known to bark too much; their shedding is seasonal. If you decide to get a golden, keep in mind that they need daily exercise.
- Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever, or Lab for short, is the most popular dog breed in the United States for good reason. This breed is very trainable. Without training, their high-spirited personality may be too rambunctious for families. These medium-to-large sized dogs are friendly and outgoing; they love children.
Labs get along well with other animals and just about everyone they meet. Their short coats only need a weekly combing to keep them clean, but they do shed so be prepared for regularly finding their hair all over the house! You may find that they bark a bit more and require more grooming than their Golden friends, but they will still make an excellent companion for your family.
Vizslas are incredibly intelligent and loveable. They have a lively disposition and are very active, so make sure these pups are getting enough exercise. Vizslas are gentle and affectionate; they form close bonds with their family members.
They also have a low maintenance grooming routine thanks to their short coats. Lastly, their intelligence makes them easy to train. They are able to learn new tricks quickly and are very obedient pets.
Newfoundland dogs are gentle giants. Best known for their big, sweet personalities and unbreakable loyalty, these dogs are an amazing choice for a family. They are somewhat active and require weekly brushing, as they shed excessively. They are good with children and other dogs as they are sweet, patient, and devoted. They train easily but are large dogs (can reach up to 150 lbs!), so it is important to train them well.
Beagles are intelligent and curious, which can sometimes get them into trouble. However, their small stature, easy-to-care-for coat, and friendly personality make them a great option for families with kids. Beagles are very active and need plenty of exercise.
Beagles love to be vocal, but good training can help with this as they are very trainable dogs. They are great with children and other dogs. They do require weekly grooming.
Bulldogs are a great choice for many families because they are extremely loyal, can adapt to most atmospheres and love spending time with their human companions. They are not very active but still require regular walks. Bulldogs are calm and friendly, making them very compatible with children. They are good with other dogs as well.
Bulldogs don’t bark much, respond well to training, and require weekly grooming. If you’re interested in these wrinkly pups, keep in mind that the nature of their jaw means they need extra care with teeth cleaning. Expect wheezing, snoring and a little drooling from time to time.
Who doesn’t love a pug? The bug-eyed cuties love to please their human family and are extremely adaptable in all situations meaning they are just as comfortable in a small apartment or a large country home. Pugs are curious, loving and well-tempered.
Pugs are not natural athletes, but they still require some exercise. They do better with children and other dogs with supervision. After they adapt, they will be loving companions.
- Border Collies
Border Collies are natural herding dogs, which makes them very responsive and active. These dogs require daily exercise. After they have run around, they are happy to lie in your lap for the rest of the day.
Border Collies are affectionate, devoted and loyal dogs that are best suited for active families. They respond well to training and are very intelligent. They love children and behave well with other dogs (under supervision). They also only require occasional grooming.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a wonderful family pet due to their gentle, calm nature. These spaniels do not love roughhousing. Instead, they are happy to sit on your lap and be brushed. Their adorable floppy ears make them a hit with almost everyone they meet; they aren’t afraid to socialize with other dogs, even if they’re much bigger! This breed is highly affectionate, patient and eager to please. They thrive on human contact; it is best not to leave them alone for too long.
There are so many breeds that are great family dogs, though some are better for different living situations. Labs, goldens, beagles, and border collies are playful and protective. Pugs, bulldogs, and King Charles Spaniels love cuddling up and sitting in your lap.
Keep your dog happy and healthy
Here at Spot Pet Insurance, we know that picking a dog means gaining a new family member. We understand how much you will support their health and well-being and want to be with you every step of the way.
For advice on all things pet-related, check out Spot Pet Insurance’s webpage! We provide you with a multitude of educational materials that will help you give your pet the best care possible. We also offer personalized pet insurance plans to support you.
There is nothing stronger than the bond between your child and his or her dog! We are excited for you to make this decision and know you will make the choice that is best for you.