7 Most Popular Dog Breeds for Families with Children

Which dog breeds are best around kids? Choosing a fur baby for your family can be difficult when considering how many breeds there are.

Oct 27, 2023By Daniel Matheny
most popular dog breeds for families with children

It is a long-term commitment and will affect your children's lives in a meaningful way, therefore it is very important to choose wisely. Here is a list of popular breeds and the traits you might be looking for.

7. Cocker Spaniel


This gentle breed is one of the sweetest dogs on the list. They love children, are loyal to their owners, get along great with other dogs, and make great companions. They are playful, love to cuddle, and are eager to please their families. Cocker Spaniels were originally used for hunting birds but are currently known for making great family pets.

Their soft long fur coats come in a wide range of colors to match any taste or decor. Big pleasing eyes and thick-coated long ears complement their plush furry paws, making them awesome for snuggling on the couch while watching television. However, they do need regular grooming, or their fur can easily become matted and unmanageable, so it is best to make sure they get very frequent brushing.

Their smaller size allows them to be adaptable for most households and can do well in apartments or with a large backyard. They need a moderate amount of activity, so make sure they get frequent walks and playtime with the kids.

6. Collie


Some people might remember ‘Lassie’ the canine television star from the black and white film era. In that show, she was the faithful companion of a young child and would frequently rescue them from dangerous situations by running and getting help. Collies are possibly the smartest dog of all, known for being highly trainable and obedient. Excellent companions to children, they are loyal, protective, calm, and gentle.

Collies are one of the most recognizable dog breeds, with beautiful flowing fur coats, elongated snouts, and unique wedge-shaped heads. Regular brushing and bathing will help control shedding and keep this companion looking its best.

They are a larger breed and best suited for larger properties where they can run and play. Getting regular exercise is very important for collies. Their long coats make them well- adapted to cooler climates. It is not recommended to have collies in a hot climate if there will be a lot of time spent outside.

5. French Bulldog

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Commonly called Frenchie, French Bulldogs have become very popular in uptown America. These spunky adorable pups are known for being affectionate, playful, and alert. They are great with children and other dogs, which makes them very adaptable to most settings.

Being a small breed, they are great for apartment living and city neighborhoods. They come in many different colors and shades giving each one a unique character. Their short shiny coats are easy to maintain and keep clean.

Having muscular little bodies, don’t underestimate their strength. However, they do not actually require a ton of activity and are relatively calm most of the time. Owners of French Bulldogs will testify to the companionship they get from these lovable dogs.

4. Beagle


The Beagle is iconic and maybe best known for having a lead role in the “The Fox and the Hound”, the classic animated children's film. Conditioned for fox hunting, which is no longer such a popular sport, Beagles have easily transitioned into the role of the family pet. Happy, high energy, vocal, and funny, they are playful companions for children of all ages.

Beagles are notoriously cute with long floppy ears, short and easy-to-maintain multicolored coats, and big brown or hazel eyes. Shedding is moderate, but semi-regular bathing and vacuuming can cut down on any problems with excess fur.

Well suited for most homes, they are relatively small dogs yet strong for their size. They do require frequent exercise to be healthy and happy. Regular jogs or trips to the dog park can go a long way to keeping Beagles content and calm.

3. Labrador Retriever


This household favorite is top-rated in families with small children. Energetic, protective, attentive, lovable, caring, playful, and happy - Labrador Retrievers are all-around great dogs. They are great around other dogs and love car rides to the park. As hunting dogs, they are athletic and very trainable, which translates well into being part of an active family.

Their thick coat comes in yellow, black, and chocolate, all of which have the same personality traits. Regular brushings and bathing will help reduce shedding on rugs or furniture.

Depending on gender and size, Labs can vary in weight between 55 and 80 pounds, so a wide-open space for running and playing on or near the property is optimal. They love to retrieve balls with their humans and will play for hours if their owners can keep up.

2. Poodle


Poodles are great with kids and very energetic. They like to play, are very smart, and are relatively easy to train. Poodles can also serve as a status symbol and pair well with a posh neighborhood or luxury sedan. Generally happy dogs and devoted to their owners, this breed is sure to make a great addition to any family.

Poodles are much more popular than most people realize. The ‘Continental’ clip that is seen in dog shows is not the norm for the average poodle owner, although they do need regular grooming. The curly, low-allergenic coat does not shed, which makes them ideal for having a clean allergen-free home.

They come in 3 general sizes, from 10 inches to almost 2 feet tall. This makes them an easy fit for any living condition or property size. If you decide on a Standard Poodle, the largest of the three, understand that they will need frequent long walks or runs in the park.

1. Golden Retriever

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The Golden Retriever is a family favorite with a long history of gentle servitude. They are extremely tolerant, active, trainable, devoted, and loving. Great for hunting, they love exercise and outdoor activity. They are one of the best breeds for children of all ages because of their calm, submissive, and obedient temperament. Friendly with other dogs, they always look like they’re smiling, which compliments their likable demeanor.

They are also easy to look at, with soft, shiny fur coats. One of the few downsides of golden retrievers is that they shed more than some other breeds and need frequent brushing. On the upside, being responsible for weekly brushings is a great chore for building character in children.

Being a medium-large breed, a home with a backyard, wide-open space, or park nearby is preferable. Like most dogs, and people for that matter, exercise is important for their physical and mental well-being.

Daniel Matheny
By Daniel Matheny

Daniel is an aminal lover and runs a pet care service in Florida specializing in dog care. He has worked with and owned many types of animals and pets since he was a small boy. As a writer, he loves to share his knowledge, experience, and research.