Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Families

When picking a pooch for our family unit, most of us think in terms of temperament. Are they likely to nip or growl when provoked (or not) and will they be friendly with new faces? But just as important to consider is how easy your new family member is to train by parents and kids alike; does he get along with other pets; as well as his sturdiness – can he stand up to the rough-and-tumble playtime a kid might deliver? With this criterion in mind, here are our picks for 10 of the best breeds for families. (Photo credit: Wavebreak Media Ltd/Bigstock)

Standard Poodle


These larger-sized versions of the poodle breed are incredibly intelligent dogs that are easy to train, gentle with kids and great for families with allergies as they don’t shed. With a life expectancy of 12-15 years, these big boys love walks, swimming and playtime however are also happy to just hang with their family. They’re typically much calmer than the smaller breeds of Poodle. (Photo credit: DejaVuDesigns/Bigstock)



A solid little dog, this breed loves kids and while he’s not a high-energy pooch, he is a happy participant in playtime activities and can take anything a kid can throw his way. His gentle personality and love of kids make him a great family pet and he’s happy with minimal activity – short walks, a little play and then a nap on the sofa. You can expect this new member of your family to live 8-12 years. (Photo credit: Lilun/Bigstock)

American Water Spaniel


This friendly, intelligent breed is highly active and will need lots of regular, daily exercise to keep him happy and healthy. His loving personality makes him a great fit for any family with kids and his loyal, keen-to-please nature means he is easy to train but in a rewards-based format as he tends to be highly sensitive to scolding or punishment. His lifespan is typically 12-15 years. (Photo credit: CaptureLight/

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier


These playful pooches are known to be affectionate, gentle and friendly – all traits you would want in a family pet. Described as having a puppy personality that stays with them their entire life, they are a good watchdog and a loyal companion. A single-coat means minimal shedding and his exercise needs consist of a good daily walk! You can plan to have this little guy as a family member for 12-15 years. (Photo credit: babenkodenis/

Labrador Retriever


Considered one of the most popular breeds to be trained as a service dog, you just have to know that the gentle, intelligent persona of this classic breed would fit right in to any family dynamic. They are affectionate, loyal and love to play – particularly in the water – with a reliable, even temperament that makes them perfect for kids. Their lifespan is 10-12 years. (Photo credit: CaptureLight/

Bull Terrier


This feisty little breed is a loyal, obedient pooch that thrives on affection and companionship. Because of his rambunctious nature and love of play he’s great with older kids but he might be a bit full-on for younger kids and the terrier in him doesn’t fit well with smaller pets. High energy levels means he needs brisk daily walks to keep him happy and out of trouble. This great pooch will live 10-12 years. (Photo credit: Ryhor/

West Highland White Terrier


Known for being affectionate, friendly and highly intelligent, this breed is easy to train and his ultra-self-assured personality makes him a fun family addition. Westies love companionship and despite their small stature they are solid little dogs who are surprisingly good watch dogs, crave active playtime and regular daily walks. Expect him to be part of your family for 15 plus years. (Photo credit: Ryhor/

Pembroke Welsh Corgi


Believe it or not these vertically challenged pooches were originally bred to herd cattle; so fearless and highly trainable are likely top personality traits. The playful, outgoing and protective little guy is great with kids but is known to instinctively try to round them up by nipping at heels – maybe not a bad thing. He’s active so regular walks and playtime will help him meet his 12-15 year life expectancy.  (Photo credit: averyanova/

Irish Setter


This larger breed dog is known to be affectionate, playful, energetic and great with kids. With absolutely no guarding instinct, he fits well into families with other pets and his friendly personality makes him an easy dog for younger folk to walk. That said, he does need plenty of physical and mental stimulation or he can become high-strung which means destructive. You’ll get to love him for 10-12 years. (Photo credit: rebius/

Golden Retriever


These gentle, well-mannered pooches are highly intelligent so easily trained. Their friendly nature means he doesn’t make a great guard dog, but his keen-to-please temperament make them a joy for you, kids and other pets to live with. Goldens crave human companionship and need their owner to show true pack leadership. Your pooch will be part of your family for 10-12 years. (Photo credit: chendongshan/