Best Breeds for Families

Learn what dog breeds might be the best for you family!


Is the next member of your family going to be a bit... furrier than the rest? There’s nothing that brings a family together quite like a brand new (or new to you!) dog. Once you’ve found your perfect match, your family will be in love at first “ruff,” so choosing carefully is a must.

If you’re looking for the perfect breed to bring home to your brood, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at some of the best kid-friendly breed choices for active families!

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden retrievers are some of the first dogs that come to mind when you think about kid-friendly, loyal breeds. Beyond depictions in popular media (Air Bud, anyone?), golden retrievers are just plain good family pets. The tawny, gorgeous golden retriever was originally bred as a gun dog and trained to retrieve game during a bird hunt. Because of this instinct, the soft grip of their mouths mean they’re rarely nippy. While these gentle dogs are hard workers, they are also outstanding in their loyalty.

    Golden retrievers have an average lifespan of 10-12 years and can stay active into their older years, which means boundless opportunities for family fun ahead.

  2. Irish Setter

    Gorgeous red Irish setters are another breed raised as gun dogs who happen to make fantastic family pets. This medium-sized dog is known for its sweet disposition, and they are always in the mood for a rousing game of fetch. If your family loves the great outdoors, you’ll find that the high-energy Irish setter is the perfect match for your active lifestyle. Daily walks, trips to the woods, and regular play sessions will keep this breed mentally sharp and satisfied.

    Some Irish setters can take a little bit of time to warm up to toddlers and infants. Elementary-school aged kids and older are the ideal playmates for this breed.

  3. Weimaraner

    Weimaraner dogs, nicknamed the “gray ghosts,” stand dignified with a short, gray coat and eyes that take everything in. Bred as game dogs in the Weimar region of Germany, these medium-sized dogs love being part of the family. They’re easy to groom (though trimming their toenails regularly is a must) and incredibly intelligent. If you and your family are interested in training your dog to follow more complicated commands, you won’t find a more willing learner than the Weimaraner.

    When we say that these dogs have a need for daily exercise, we mean it -- active families will delight in keeping a Weimaraner as a pet, but families who aren’t able to meet this dog’s requirements for activity may find themselves with a frustrated companion on their hands. Make sure you’re ready to commit to lots of outdoor movement for the long haul before you bring a Weimaraner home.

  4. Labrador Retriever

    Labs have been the most popular dog breed in America for almost 30 years running. Labradors are famously loyal, extremely friendly, and are able to form a bond with almost anybody. Labs love to exercise with their owners and can safely occupy children in your yard for hours if there’s a ball, stick, or Frisbee handy. Labradors also love a good romp in shallow water and are happy to splash around as they retrieve a toy and burn off some energy.

    Some labradors do have a bit of a taste for sweets, which means that despite how many calories they burn, they can get a bit pudgy. This can impact their long-term longevity, so watch your doggo’s waistline by feeding them a consistently healthy diet and keeping table-scrap feeding to a minimum.

  5. Beagle

    Beagles are known for their curiosity, sense of humor, and playful energy. They’re people-friendly and have short hair, so you don’t have to worry about matted coats or excessive trips to the groomer. This breed is also typically quite affectionate, which makes them a great match for kids who want to cuddle up on the couch with their new animal pal.

    Get ready to add some additional volume to your household if you’re bringing a beagle home. Beagles do get excited often and will howl on occasion. At some point, your children will be yelling and your dog will be barking, too, so prepare yourself to give in to the noise and get excited right along with them.

As your family gets ready to welcome your new addition, the fun part of adding a family member really begins. Choose the perfect name for girl or boy dogs, set up your dog’s crate or dog bed, and prep your lawn for pet parenthood so that you’re all ready to expand your pack!

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