10 Best Dog Breeds for Households with Small Kids

A newfoundland dog in front of a fence.

Finding the right dog breed for your family can be fun. It is essential to consider the traits that specific breeds have so you can match your personality with the dog. There are dog breeds better suited to living in a house with small kids than others. If your child is a toddler, you will want to find a dog that is playful and active as well as friendly and mild-mannered to ensure safety for both.

Find A Dog That Will Match Your Family and Lifestyle

Not all dog breeds are good with kids or tiny children. If you have a baby or toddler, there are certain breeds that you should avoid. Some dogs are too large and clumsy for families with small kids, and other breeds may have rambunctious tendencies that may pose a problem with toddler’s, others may be too delicate for younger kids.

When choosing the best dog breed for your family, it is essential to consider the size of your home and yard, as well as your lifestyle, and energy levels. A dog that fits into your family's lifestyle will be happy and less likely to cause problems or disappoint once you get them home.

Some dog breeds are naturally more excitable than others, and some are more protective than others. One should be mindful of how to correctly approach any unfamiliar dog. All these traits are important when selecting the perfect breed for your family. Here is a review of the ten best dog breeds for households with small kids.

1.      Bulldogs

Bulldogs are known for their sweet dispositions and patient personalities making them an excellent choice for households with small kids. These pups are also laid-back and do not require much exercise — so you can spend most of your time inside with the kiddos playing or just relaxing on the couch! They also love being around their people and want to follow children around the home as they play and explore.

Something to keep in mind is their short and stocky size. It makes them great pets for smaller yards or apartments but be aware with their short legs, they may not do well jumping on/off surfaces. Also, those adorable smushy faces may lead to loud snoring and leave some extra drool around the place.

Even though Bulldogs do not require extensive exercise, they are quite athletic and agile. Exercise will release pent up energy curbing their desire to chew on items in the home and/or barking excessively. Physical activity, simply put, is extremely healthy for the dog.

2.      Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are one of the friendliest dog breeds. They are known for their gentle, pleasant personalities and intelligence. In addition, these dogs are known for sport hunting and retrieving fowl, which means they would be great for playing ball/fetch with the kids.

These friendly dogs can range between medium to large. They do not tend to bite or get aggressive during play and have the patience to deal with rowdier kids. In addition, they can tolerate noise and commotion well.

In general, Golden’s are very loyal to their owners and protective when needed. The best part is that they will love you unconditionally no matter what! The only downside is that they shed quite frequently, so you might need extra cleaning time around your home if you decide on this type of dog breed as your family pet.

3.      Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are very gentle and tolerant. They are eager to please, intelligent, and highly trainable, making them easy to live with and easy to love. These dogs love human attention, so if you work long hours, a Labrador may not suit your family as well as a breed that is better adapted to be alone for extended periods of time.

This breed is medium to large and one of the most popular breeds for families with children. Labs make excellent companions because they love to be indoors and will be happy to curl up on the sofa or join you in bed at night. Their affectionate demeanor and attachment to their favorite people, will surely bring heart felt love to your home and family.

The responsibilities of caring for a Lab, certainly will provide a teaching avenue for the kids. Learning how to feed, bathe, exercise and play with the Lab, shows children how to be responsible and teaches them about loving and caring for another. That is why the Labrador Retriever’s are a great dog breed for households with small children.

4.      Beagle

Beagles are great family pets, especially for kids during the toddler years. They will listen to your small children and get excited when they see them walk through the door. This breed loves to show affection by giving kisses and licking your face. You can go for walks together with your beagle and kids and these dogs will stay near you and keep an eye on your children making sure all are safe.

They are mid-size dogs with calm demeanors and are not prone to barking. With small kids around, it is desirable to have a dog that will not bark at the drop of a hat. A beagle will sit by your feet while you are cooking, eating dinner, or simply relaxing and watching TV.

Beagles are tracking hounds. They follow a scent very well. What fun! The kids can create games of hide and seek. Outdoor play will enable them to keep fit and engaging in seek and find games will keep them happy and healthy.

5.      Irish Setter

Irish Setters are known for their high energy levels and love of being around people. They are friendly, loyal, and affectionate, perfect for any potential dog owner with children.

Setter’s love playing with kids, especially those who are active and want to run around outside all day long. If you have a child who loves being outdoors, an Irish Setter will be more than happy to follow your child everywhere they go!

These fun-loving red heads are highly intelligent dogs who can learn quickly and easily. They respond well to training, so if you have a child who wants to train the dog using Health Extension dog treats, this breed will pick them up in no time at all.

6.      Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon are known for their attachments to their humans. They cling to you like Velcro, so you will not want to leave them alone for any lengthy periods of time. This small dog is eager to please yet domineering. Their thick coat sheds little hair which can be desirable for with those who live in smaller homes or have allergies.

These little guys can be stubborn but are very obedient once trained. You might not know this, but the Brussels are mischievous and entertaining. They love to perform tricks for you as well and they learn quickly. The cute Griffon’s will also have good relationships with other dogs and cats in the house.

Griff’s need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. They get most of their activity through play indoors and that is good news for folks that live in smaller homes or apartments. They are an excellent choice for families with small kids!

7.      Newfoundland

Newfoundlands are known for their massive size and strength, but they are also known for their extreme gentleness. These dogs often work as therapy dogs due to their kind nature. They also love water and assisted lifeguards on the England coast in past years.

This breed is quite literally a "gentle giant". These large, sweet giants are not only patient with children; they are enthusiastic about playing with them and even actively seek out kids' attention. Kids love the giant size of these dogs and will love playing and cuddling during naptime with them as well.

When you are in the market for a dog that can play with your kids, protect them from danger, and be there to love on them when they need it most, a Newfoundlands are one of the best choices you can make.

8.      Dalmatian

The dalmatian is also a great dog breed for households with small kids. They are very playful and friendly, making them a great companion to children of all ages. Although they are energetic, they also have a calmer side, making them the perfect pet to sit down and read with or play outside in the yard with. There is no doubt that the dalmatian is one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world. They have unique appearance and personality traits that make them stand out from other dogs.

Dalmatians are very playful animals that love running around. They can also be quite stubborn at times which makes it difficult for you to train them if you do not have enough patience or experience with training dogs in general (although this is not always true).

Because of their stamina and stamina-building abilities, Dalmatians make excellent runners for long distances or hikes with the family. They can, however, be prone to overheating which means you will want to keep them inside during hot days and provide an ample supply of fresh drinking water.

9.      Pug

Pugs are one of the most popular dog breeds globally and are particularly suited to households with small children.

These cute little guys can be an excellent option for households with small children. Pugs are not only lovable and cuddly but also have a calm demeanor that makes them great playmates for kids. Pugs are suitable for different lifestyles and living environments.

In addition to being adaptable to different lifestyles, they are also easy to train and extremely friendly. It brings them much joy to please their owners and they love the attention they receive from their family members.

This breed has been around for over two hundred years as companion animals. They make excellent house pets due to their docile nature, intelligence, affectionate natures with kids, and their loyalty to their family. A genuinely great pick for families with small kids.

10.    Collie

Collies are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and energy. Everyone loved Lassie! They are a universally recognized breed with their long beautiful, smooth, and colorful coats. But keep in mind these beauties will require regular grooming to maintain their locks. As such, they do, frequently, shed so regular house cleaning may be necessary. People with allergies may not do well with this breed.

This breed is medium to large and were commonly used on farms for herding flocks. They are known to be highly intelligent, loyal, and devoted to their owners. They love having a job or task to keep them busy. Collies train easily, love to learn new tricks and are responsive to voice and hand commands.

The Collie is very affectionate with the family, including other pets in the home. They are emotionally tuned in to you and are very attentive with the kids. These traits make them excellent family companions who will follow your children around the house and yard while keeping them safe from harm.


If you are considering a dog as a companion for your small children, it is important that you consider a breed that will fit into your lifestyle and living environment. Not only will this make everyone happy, but it will also ensure that your new furry friend is comfortable in his or her forever home.

We hope that you enjoyed this list and have learned a little bit about these breeds and what to look for when making your selection for the perfect companion for your family. Do you have a favorite breed of dog? Let us know in the comments below!

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