The best dog breeds for families with young children

Updated November 21, 2016

Having a dog is like having another member of the family. Dogs offer companionship to all ages. However, not every dog is perfect for every family. Families with young children need to take precaution to ensure children are safe around the dog. Knowing the best breeds of dog if you have young children in the house helps ensure a safe environment for everyone.

Bichon Frise

If you are looking for a smaller family dog, the bichon frise is a good choice. These puffy, white dogs measure between 24 cm (9.5 inches) and 29 cm (11.5 inches) tall. The breed is happy and playful. They love to give and receive affection.


These dogs range in size from 33 cm (13 inches) to 38 cm (15 inches) tall and are available in an array of colours. One of the more common colouring markings for a beagle is black, white and tan, known as the tricolour, but they can also come in two tones or the tan maybe replaced with red or lemon colouring. Another happy breed of dog, they love human companionship.


A larger child-friendly dog breed, the boxer stands up to 64 cm (25 inches) tall. These muscular, short-haired dogs come in many different colours including brindle, two-toned and solid colours. They are highly intelligent and good family protectors while still maintaining patience with children.


The English bulldog is known for its squat stature, smooshed-in face and many wrinkles. They range in weight from 18 to 23 kg, depending on gender and health. Colourings vary between brindle, solid-coloured or two-toned. Like the boxer, these dogs are protective and form strong bonds with the children around them.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized dogs ranging from 34 cm (13.5 inches) to 39 cm (15.5 inches) tall. Their long silky coats come in different colours including black, shades of red, black and tan or multicoloured. These highly intelligent dogs are gentle and love the active lifestyle of families.

Golden Retriever

Easily recognisable with its golden-coloured coat and loving facial expressions, the golden retriever is one of the most popular choices for a family pet. These dogs range in size from 25 to 34 kg (55 to 75 pounds). They are loyal dogs that want to please their masters. Their temperament is mild and friendly.

Irish Setter

Known for its long, silky red coat and long neck, the Irish Setter can stand as tall as 69 cm (27 inches). These outgoing dogs are full of energy. Their temperament is stable, meaning they are consistent with younger children and adults.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever, also known as the Lab, is another top choice for family dogs. Weighing up to 34 kg (75 pounds), these dogs are three main colours: yellow, black and chocolate. They prefer active families. The Lab's temper remains steady with children. They are also easily trainable, making them good family companions.

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