8 of the Best Dog Breeds Suited to Families

Having a pet in the home, especially a dog, can teach children a lot of things. It can help to teach them about responsibility, being more compassionate, as well as cooperation. But the bonus is that they get to learn all of this, while they have fun with one of the best playmates ever. These things are going to be important for them to learn, but it is likely that they won’t even feel like they are learning anything. 

However, before you think about getting a puppy or adopting a dog, it is always best to look into the kind of dog breed that is going to suit your family, your children, and your lifestyle. Some dogs will love to play all day long, and that can be great for a large family with plenty of rambunctious children. But there will be other dogs that do prefer to chill out a little, which can be better for families with babies, or for families with older children who are likely to be out of the house more. You have to consider the temperament of the dogs that you choose as well, as these can vary from breed to breed, but also from dog to dog (which is why adopting can be a great thing, as you’ll know a little more about them). 

What dog to choose? How you will choose can also depend on where you live, and the kind of space that you have. A small apartment is always going to be better suited to a smaller dog, and if you don’t have much park space around you for walks, then again, smaller breeds could be better, as they won’t need as much exercise. You should also consider your budget, as breeds can vary in prices, as well as your lifestyle and schedule. If you’re not home very much during the day, then some breeds can find this much harder than others, especially ones that bark a lot. If you’re home more often than not, then your options open up a little. So be realistic when you think about the breed of dog that you choose. With plenty of love, your family won’t be able to remember what life was like before you had a pet dog. So with that in mind, here are some dog breeds to consider.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

If you are looking for a dog on the smaller side, perhaps because you won’t be able to go on long walks all of the time, or because you have a small home, then a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be just that. They are adorable, small, and are a really sweet companion to have at home, though they can be a little lively. Cavaliers tend to get along with pretty much everybody that they come across, which of course, includes children of all ages, and other dogs. They have soft and silky fur, so they can be great for cuddles and grooming too.

Bernese Mountain Dog

If you have older children, or have plenty of space, and like to think big when it comes to dogs, then a Bernese Mountain Dog could be the dog for you. A bit of a gentle giant, they can get over one-hundred pounds, so they are an investment when it comes to food, as well as play and exercise. Underneath the large exterior, they are a very friendly breed, and are known for being good with children or a variety of ages. 


For an absolutely adorable and playful dog breed, you won’t have to look any further than a Dachshund, or sausage dog as they can sometimes be called. They are very lovable, and they are also pretty responsive to being trained, so they can be a great starter dog, or a dog for a family that have never had a dog before. These dogs like to have an occasional adventure, because at the end of the day, they are hunting dogs, and they do like to be able to sniff out a scent. A little known fact about them is that they were originally bred to chase vermin. So as mentioned, they like to sniff out scents, and they also need plenty of exercise and some play sessions (though those small legs won’t get them going too far each time). They usually don’t do very well with other pets, so that is definitely something to consider.

French Bulldog

Sticking to the smaller dog breed, French Bulldogs are another great option for families. They are small, sturdy, and can actually be quite silly. French Bulldogs are known for having quite a playful personality, and making you laugh with their funny antics, so they can be a really good option for families. Exercise needs for a French Bulldog, as well as grooming needs are pretty minimal which is great for an active and busy household. They do have quite a short snout, though, so you need to take extra care of them when the weather is warm, as they can find it harder to exercise and breathe when it is extra hot. 

Labrador Retriever

There is a reason why so many Labrador Retrievers are featured in movies, as they are such a wonderful option. They could also make an incredible service dog or therapy dog, as they are loyal and very loving. Labrador Retrievers are gentle but they are also very smart and enthusiastic. They will have a playful side to them, which is great for families, no matter the age of the children. Retrievers are also strong and athletic dogs, with a really active nature. So although you can read more now about them, they will need plenty of walks, space to play and run. So that is something to bear in mind, if you live somewhere small or somewhere without a garden.  


Collie dogs are very gentle dogs, despite reaching quite a larger size when they are fully grown. They are also very mild-mannered, making them a great choice for those families with children. They are full of energy and like to play, but are very loyal to the family that they are with. One point to note is that you shouldn’t confuse a Collie with a Border Collie, as the latter have a strong drive to herding and be in control almost, and for little children, that can be a bit too much.


Poodles are really smart dogs that are known for being very intelligent. They are adaptable, and learn quickly, which is great for a new home, or when adopting. They are great at learning, so tricks can be a good option with a Poodle. They are obedient, and have a pretty dignified and intelligent demeanor. One side note is that no dog is going to be completely free of allergens, however, Poodles are a great option if there are allergies. They are one of the most tolerated dog breeds for those people that do have allergies, and they will love to spend time in the water splashing around too, so just something to think about.


Beagles are a very sweet dog with a great nature, and they are often at the top of the list for family pets. They like to be with others, as they would normally be in a pack. So they will get along with other dogs, as well as children; the more the better. Beagles do have some strong instincts to follow scents and follow their noses, which is something to watch. They also need to have quite a bit more exercise too. Beagles can also be a little stubborn, and it can be hard to distract them if they catch a scent.

Are there any here that would take your fancy? It would be great to hear what you think.