Best Dogs For Kids

Choosing a dog breed that best suits your family and small children can be a rather difficult task with so many different breeds out there to pick from. Although Lady and the Tramp or Lassie may be your children's favorite movies to watch, they are probably not the best inspiration for choosing the best dogs for kids. As a general rule of thumb, it is important for families to choose a dog breed by its temperament, size, energy level, disposition, and grooming requirements to find the dog that is right for your lifestyle and budget.

Image Breed Breed Group Size Color Overview
Shih Tzu Shih Tzu Toy Dog Breeds Small Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Brown Dog Breeds

Long recognized as a cherished breed in China, the Shih Tzu has been the dog of choice for everyone from royalty to everyday people. Long flowing coats, along with a sweet and playful arrogance, make the Shih Tzu truly one-of-a-kind.


Cocker Spaniel Cocker Spaniel Hunting Dog Breeds Medium Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds

Belonging to two breeds of the spaniel dog, the English Cocker Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel are known for being merry well-balanced dogs with considerable speed and great endurance. As an active Sporting Group breed with a sturdy compact bo

Labrador Retriever Labrador Retriever Hunting Dog Breeds Large Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds

Affectionately referred to simply as “Labs” by their loyal owners, Labrador Retrievers are excellent family dogs with a gentle, intelligent, and loving disposition. Largely considered the most popular breed in the world taking the top&

Rhodesian Ridgeback Rhodesian Ridgeback Hound Dog Breeds Large Dog Breeds Brown Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds

Developed as a hunter and family protector, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large breed native to South Africa that is well-known for its athletic, hard-working, and good-natured demeanor. Successfully making the leap from African hunter to American&

Lhasa Apso Lhasa Apso Non-Sporting Breeds Small Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds

Easily recognized for its gorgeous cloak of hair that parts down the middle of the back from head to tail, the Lhasa Apso is a joyful, mischievous, and independent small breed. Popular around the world both in and out of the show ring, the Lhasa A

Yorkshire Terrier Yorkshire Terrier Toy Dog Breeds Small Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Brown Dog Breeds

Affectionately referred to as “Yorkies” by their loyal owners, Yorkshire Terriers are members of the Toy Group that offer big personalities in a small package. As a portable pooch prized for its compact size and luxurious long-haired c

Maltese Maltese Toy Dog Breeds Small Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds

As a toy dog easy to recognize for its prized mantle of long, silky white hair from head to toe, the Maltese is a gentle-mannered and affectionate breed noted as great family companions. With their refinement, convenient portability, and cleanline

Weimaraner Weimaraner Hunting Dog Breeds Large Dog Breeds Gray Dog Breeds

Often referred to as the “grey ghost” for the distinctive coloring of its sleek coat, the Weimaraner is a graceful dog noted for its aristocratic characteristics. Highly regarded for its ability to work effectively with tremendous spee

Miniature Schnauzer Miniature Schnauzer Terrier Dog Breeds Small Dog Breeds

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed of dog that packs a big punch. They are full of personality and spunk which can often lead to them being mislabeled as a mischievous breed. In reality, they are highly intelligent and can be easily trained

Siberian Husky Siberian Husky Toy Dog Breeds Medium Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds

Bred in Northeast Asia as a sled dog, Siberian Huskies are known for their exceptional endurance and willingness to work hard in cold climates. As the 16th most popular dog breed in the United States according to the American Kennel Club, the Sibe

One of the most important factors in selecting good dogs for kids is based on your family's living situation. For families that own their own homes, have a large fenced-in yard for exercise, and are located within a close distance to dog-friendly parks, larger breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Collies may be the perfect choice. However, families that live in apartments or high-rise urban neighborhoods should consider small dog breeds like Welsh Corgis and Beagles because they are more tolerant of being inside. In addition, climate is crucial to the decision because some dog breeds, such as Pugs, tend to have respiratory issues when exposed to hot weather.

Although all dogs love physical activity and most enjoy the thrill of being outdoors, some breeds are slightly needier when it comes to receiving stimulation from physical and mental exercise. In fact, some of the most active breeds will require a minimum of an hour of daily exercise and long brisk walks to satisfy their natural instincts for moving. While children who are actively engaged in sports or other outdoor activities will be the perfect fit for these active dogs, those that prefer to stay inside should find a dog with a more calm temperament. Outgoing children will do much better with dogs that are more friendly and approachable, but shy children tend to thrive with an animal that has a similar meek and calm disposition. 

Overall, it is important for parents searching for good dogs for kids to realize that all dog breeds can make for wonderful companions if properly socialized with children since puppyhood. However, the highly trainable dogs within the sporting and herding groups are particularly great with children because they are usually more family-oriented and eager to please their humans. Once narrowing down your search to a few “kid-friendly” breeds, it is recommended that you consult with a veterinarian or dog trainer to find the perfect match. Given that everyone’s lifestyle and living situation is different, there is not just one suitable breed for every family and determination will be necessary to find the right dog for growing up with your children.