Top Best Family Dogs


If you’re a parent then you’ve most likely heard those words uttered more than once by your child (or maybe even by your significant other). The reality behind the phrase may even make you cringe at the thought of all the extra work a dog brings into the home.

However, choosing the right breed of dog for your family can be a very rewarding experience and one that will build strong bonds and fundamental learning skills in your children. Here is a list of the best family dogs to consider before you make your final decision; you may be surprised at which ones made the list!

Traits to look for in a family dog

Before we get into the list of best breeds for families, here are some important traits your potential pooch should possess. Keep these in mind when you’re perusing your local shelter or when considering a dog from a reputable breeder.

  • Sturdy. Children can be rough particularly those under the age of five. For this reason, look for a dog that is resilient to being handled. Toy and miniature breeds are cute, but they oftentimes are more nervous and need a delicate touch when being played with and cared for in general.
  • Energetic. You will want a pooch that can keep up with the energy level of your children without becoming exhausted or irritated. Pick a breed that is in line with the activity level of your family.

energetic dog

  • Intelligence. Although, all dogs should be properly obedience trained having a dog that exhibits a higher intelligence level will, first, make him easier to train and, second, will be safer to have around your children.
  • Friendly. Having a friendly dog is paramount to having a good family dog. Avoid breeds or individual canines that appear to be nervous, shy or reluctant to engage with you and your children.

friendly dog


With these traits in mind, here is the list of the best family dogs.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is to a family like a duck is to water; they are made for each other. This is just one of the reasons why the Golden was voted “most popular” dog in the US. This breed is sturdy enough to be played with without worry. It’s gentle, loyal, loving and easily trained.It does need plenty of exercises so it will fit in well with an active family life. In addition, the Golden is considered a “pack” breed, bonding quickly to the members of its household.

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American Water Spaniel

This breed may be the perfect dog for active kids as it also needs to run around all day if you ever want it to settle down for the night.

The American Water Spaniel once needed this extra energy to hunt all day long, but is now content to play fetch or splash around in the lake with its family – it’s coat is water resistant, as well! In addition, this breed makes an excellent watchdog.

Basset Hound

The classic droopy ears, long body, and deep droning bark is only the beginning of the great family dog assets the Basset Hound possesses. Even though this low-to-the-ground canine was bred for the slower-paced hunter, it brings a wonderful mixture of loyalty and “under foot” love to everyone in its family.

Basset Hound

In addition, the Basset’s medium-size (around 50 pounds) makes it more manageable for smaller living spaces. The one drawback of this breed, however, is you will need to be prepared for its stubborn streak that could make it a bit difficult to train.

Another active hound has made the list of best family dogs; the Beagle. This ball of energy is perfect for a family that wants to spend their spare time hiking, jogging or just being active outside.

The Beagle is another breed that loves to be in a pack and will strongly bond with both adults and children alike. But just like most hounds, the Beagle does have a determined stubborn streak, so get ready for a challenge.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

The cheeky little Boston Terrier is a lot of dogs wrapped up in a small package. It is known as the “American Gentleman” because of its tuxedo markings. But this sweetie should also have earned the title for its loving and gentle personality, as well.

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The Boston’s stocky size, ball-of-energy, and can-do nature make it an ideal dog for those busy families that want a constant canine companion.

Bernese Mountain Dog

A big dog with a big heart is what the Bernese is all about. Known as the “gentle giant” this breed is a wonderful family companion for those with a big backyard to support its hefty size (males can grow up to 120 pounds).

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese was originally bred for farm work so it is easy to train, loyal and devoted to its humans. If you want a big goofy dog that will shower your family with wet kisses, then this canine may be the right pooch for you.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This adorable breed loves to cuddle and be showered with affection by its human pack members. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a calm disposition, but still wants to romp and play with anyone that will take the time to do so.

In addition, it is also known for its ease-of-training. Plus, who can resist those big brown eyes and silky soft ears?

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

Another gentle giant to make our list is one of the biggest dog breeds of them all; the Irish Wolfhound. This wiry-coated canine can topple the scales at a whopping 180 pounds, so a large backyard and daily activity is a must for this breed.

The Wolfhound is also extremely adaptable by nature and will follow the lead of its family, whether it be walking around the block or cuddling up on the sofa watching television. Although, with this big fella, you may need to get him his own furniture to lounge on!

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Brittany (Spaniel)

Before 1982, this breed was known as the Brittany Spaniel. Although, its name may have been shortened its list of best family dog qualities has not. The Brittany is known for high energy levels and loves to be involved in fast-paced fun with its family.

The breed is easy to train and very task orientated so teaching it new skills can be a breeze. However, the downside of all that energy is it shouldn’t be left alone for long periods-of-time since it tends to get bored which can lead to destructive behavior.

Curly Coated Retriever

Another Retriever has made the best family dog list, the Curly Coated Retriever. Like it’s “Golden” cousin, this dog is also very family-orientated and loves to run off its extra energy with the kids or simply sit by your side while relaxing in the evening.

In addition, it is also extremely intelligent (so training will be a breeze) and its short curly coat is easy to care for making it ideal for those busier folks.

Choosing the right family dog

Before you bring a dog into your family, be sure to do your research. Let our tips and best family dog list be a guide to finding that perfect furry pal your children or significant other has been “hounding” you over.

When you do finally make a decision, you can look forward to years of enjoyment and canine companionship.

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