If your family is ready to welcome home a new canine companion, we couldn’t be happier for you! Nothing completes a family quite like a dog, but there are some breeds who get along with kids better than others.
We’ve rounded up 14 of the most kid-friendly dog breeds out there. Your family’s future pup may appear on this list, so take a look! You can also give Rover’s handy breed selector a whirl to discover your family’s perfect canine match.
Unfairly portrayed as stuffy and refined in movies, poodles are actually very playful and social dogs. No matter your size preference (standard, miniature, or toy), this highly intelligent breed makes an ideal playmate for children. With an upbeat personality and energy to spare, a poodle will make himself right at home with a loving family.
2. Basset Hound
For those who prefer to go through life at a more leisurely pace, the sleepy-eyed basset hound will happily oblige. These dogs have a mellow, unhurried temperament—they definitely know how to stop and smell the roses. This dog’s signature floppy ears are sure to delight your kiddos, and his friendly disposition makes him a perfect family dog. That is, as long as you don’t mind a little—OK a lot—of drool.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
With their soulful eyes and long, caramel-colored coat, it’s not hard to fall in love with the Cavalier. This breed’s desire to be with people 24/7 makes it an ideal candidate for families with a stay-at-home parent. These easygoing lap dogs make friends easily, and their cheerful exuberance makes them a hit with kids.
Have a more active family? Then it’s worth taking a look at the playfully upbeat beagle. This breed’s manageable size makes them great companions during family road trips, and they’re well suited for families who enjoy outdoor activities. Just make sure your kids know not to leave food out—beagles are very food-driven, and they’ll be quick to snatch up any goodies left out in plain sight.
Clownish and carefree, boxers love a good romp in the great outdoors. And while they’re certainly playful pups, a boxer will be gentle and patient around children. They attach closely to their human family, and their loyal, alert nature makes them excellent watchdogs.
Maybe your family’s current lifestyle can’t accommodate the exercise needs of a more active dog. Enter the pug. He’s charming, he’s fun-sized, and he won’t be running a marathon anytime soon. While his exercise needs are minimal, he’s still a lively firecracker who loves to play and goof around. These dogs are super affectionate, and they have a habit of following their humans wherever they go.
The people-oriented Havanese loves to be around children. He bonds closely with his family, and he’s easy to please—just don’t leave him alone too long (they hate that!) If you’re up for the task of maintaining his luscious locks, this could be the breed for you. Or better yet—recruit the help of your older kids to take on the daily brushing he’ll require.
8. Shih Tzu
Bred to be companion dogs, Shih Tzus have a meltingly sweet disposition that makes them a great choice for families with kids. Plus, they’re undeniably cute! Others pros of the breed include its compact size, minimal exercise needs, and adaptability to apartment living.
This handsome breed is a great match for families with older kids who can help him get all the exercise he needs. Vizslas have an energetic zest for life that your kids will surely appreciate. Aptly nicknamed the “Velcro vizsla,” these dogs thrive on human companionship.
10. Boston Terrier
This little tuxedo-clad gentleman is hugely popular among families with kids, and it’s not hard to see why—these guys are smart, cuddly, and have zero trouble making new friends. The Boston terrier is playful without crossing into the territory of obnoxious. These dogs are lovers—as long as you (and your kids) give him the attention he needs, he’ll be a loyal companion for life.
These gentle giants of the dog world are famously well-mannered around children. A Newfoundland’s positive qualities are many: they’re gentle, sweet, loyal, and loving dogs. They also have a protective side, making them good watchdogs. If you’re unbothered by his enormous size and a little extra drool, a Newfie could be right at home with your family.
12. English Bulldog
Personality-wise, the iconic English bulldog hits all the right notes. He’s affectionate, even-tempered, and loves to be around children. Never in a hurry, this breed is a good choice for families with an equally relaxed lifestyle.
13. Border Collie
If you have kids who can help channel his energy and keep him from becoming bored, a border collie could make a great family dog. This breed excels at a number of canine activities such as herding, agility, fly ball, and frisbee.
If you grew up with a family dog, then you know firsthand the immeasurable joy our furry four-legged friends bring to the table. Plus, there’s so much your kid can learn from being raised alongside a dog: obedience, loyalty, and most importantly: unconditional love.