What are the best dog breeds for families with kids?

Finding the perfect family dog is a personal journey. Your perfect match will depend on your family’s lifestyle, living situation, and the ages of your children. You may be looking for a dog breed that’s great with children, a breed that loves being active and fits into a bustling family life, or a breed that’s simply easy to care for. In this article, we will divulge the best dog breeds for families with kids according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). We will provide images and descriptions of each breed to help you find the perfect furry friend for your family.

The Labrador Retriever: The AKC’s Top Family Dog

The Labrador Retriever has been the AKC’s most popular dog breed for 30 consecutive years. Known for their friendly and tolerant attitudes, these dogs are great with kids. They are also very intelligent and easy to train. Weighing in at 55-80 pounds, these dogs are sturdy enough for rough play, yet they’re also gentle and patient.

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Labrador Retriever

Labradors are high-energy dogs that love to play and stay active. They would be a great match for a sports-loving family or for a family with a large backyard where the dog can run and play.

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The Golden Retriever: A Loyal and Patient Breed

Next on the list, the Golden Retriever. This breed is famous for its friendly and tolerant attitude. Weighing between 55 and 75 pounds, Golden Retrievers are sturdy, reliable, and eager to please; they are great with kids too.

Golden Retriever

Furthermore, Golden Retrievers are very intelligent and easy to train. These dogs are high-energy and love to play, making them a great match for active families. Good-natured and loyal, these dogs love to be part of the family’s daily activities and will quickly become an integral part of your family.

The Beagle: Perfect for Young Kids

The Beagle, a member of the hound group, is well known for its friendly demeanor and its robust and compact build. The small size makes them a great choice for families with young kids. A fully grown beagle weighs between 20 and 30 pounds, making it a manageable size for kids to play with and take care of.


The Beagle’s sturdy physique means they love long, meandering walks, as well as plenty of playtime. They also love to be surrounded by their family, making them a great choice for families that can give them plenty of attention.

The Bulldog: Low Maintenance and Loving

Despite their somewhat fierce appearance, Bulldogs are known to be gentle, affectionate pets. They are quite protective of their families and make excellent guard dogs. Bulldogs are very low-energy and enjoy the slower pace of life—they would rather be on the couch watching TV with the kids than going for a run.


Weighing in at 40-50 pounds, Bulldogs are sturdy enough for kids to roughhouse with without the risk of them getting hurt. They are certainly a breed that enjoys indulging in food, and their love for lying around the house makes them a low-maintenance choice for busy families.

The Boxer: Energetic and Fun-loving

Boxers are a popular choice for families with children. Their strong, muscular build combined with their love for children makes them a great companion for older kids who love to play. Boxers are energetic and love to be involved in family activities. They are protective of their family, and their alertness makes them excellent watchdogs.


Boxers require daily exercise and mental stimulation. They are not a breed for the sedentary family but will fit in wonderfully with a family that leads an active lifestyle. Their playful and patient nature, combined with their love for children, makes them one of the best dog breeds for families with kids.

Choosing a new breed of dog for your family is a big decision. Each breed has its unique characteristics and needs. Consider your family’s lifestyle, housing situation, and your children’s ages and activity levels when making your decision. Remember to consider adopting from a shelter or rescue organization where many great family dogs are waiting for a loving home.

The Newfoundland: Gentle Giants

Newfoundland dogs, or "Newfies," as they are affectionately known, are large dogs that are surprisingly gentle. Known for their calm and sweet nature, these dogs are often referred to as "gentle giants." Newfies are particularly great with kids, often showing protective instincts towards them.


A full-grown Newfoundland can weigh between 100 and 150 pounds and stand 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder. Don’t let their size intimidate you. These dogs are known for their sweet and nurturing temperament. They are patient, intelligent, and easily trainable, making them an excellent breed for families with children.

Despite their large size, Newfoundlands are quite laid back and enjoy relaxing with their families. They are not a high-energy breed but they do enjoy a good walk or a swim. As a bonus, these dogs are excellent swimmers and have been known to save lives in emergency situations.

Remember, a dog’s size does not always correlate with its energy level or temperament, and Newfoundlands are the perfect example of this.

The Bichon Frise: A Small but Sturdy Option

If you’re looking for a smaller dog breed that’s still great with children, you might want to consider the Bichon Frise. This breed weighs in at 12-18 pounds and stands about 9.5 to 11.5 inches, making them a manageable size for families living in smaller spaces or for young children.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is known for its friendly and playful demeanor. They are great companions and can easily adapt to a variety of living situations. Bichon Frises are intelligent and trainable, and they love to be the center of attention, making them an excellent addition to a family with children who will shower them with love.

Despite their small size, Bichon Frises are sturdy and can handle playtime with children. Like any breed, it’s important to teach children appropriate play and interaction to ensure both the child and the dog are safe and happy.

Conclusion: Your Family’s Perfect Companion

Choosing the right breed of dog for your family depends on many factors, and it’s essential to consider your lifestyle, living situation, and the energy level of your children. Every dog breed has its unique characteristics and requirements, and finding the right match can ensure a happy and harmonious relationship between your family and your new furry friend.

Whether you choose an energetic Labrador Retriever, a protective Bulldog, an affectionate Golden Retriever, a sturdy Beagle, a playful Boxer, a gentle Newfoundland, or a charming Bichon Frise, remember that the best family dogs are those that are loved, cared for, and are considered part of the family.

And don’t forget – there are countless wonderful dogs in shelters and rescue organizations all over the country. Mixed breed dogs can make just as great family pets as purebred dogs. So, when you are ready to welcome a new four-legged member into your family, consider adopting and save a life.

Happy dog hunting!

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