Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Families

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
It’s time to add another member to your ranks! If you’re looking for the best dog breeds for families, check out our top 10 picks. These dogs fit in with fams so well, they’ll feel more like relatives than pets.

So you’ve decided to add a new furbaby to family. Congratulations. You’ve made the right decision. The only question is which dog is the right fit for your fam. After all, while dogs are man’s best friend, not all of them mix well with children. Kids love dogs, but often they love them a little too much and trouble brews. You’ve got to pick a dog that will smoothly enter into your home without any major issues. This requires some research and preparation, but not as much as you’d think.

When picking a pooch for our family unit, most of us assess our potential pups primarily in terms of temperament. You know, are they likely to nip or growl when provoked (or not) and will they be friendly with new faces? These sorts of questions. However, it is just as important to also consider how easy your new family member is to train by parents and kids alike. It’s also important to consider whether or not this pooch can along with other pets. And don’t forget to look into the dog’s sturdiness! Can the animal stand up to the rough-and-tumble playtime that a kid might deliver? There are so many important factors to consider. So, with this expanded criterion in mind, here are our picks for 10 of the best breeds for families. All of these adorable pooches are guaranteed to be fantastic additions to any family. (Photo credit: Wavebreak Media Ltd/Bigstock)

1. Standard Poodle

Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing standard about these remarkable dogs. 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, the active animals are also happy to just hang with their family. They’re typically much calmer than the smaller breeds of Poodle, fitting in better in families that already have plenty of rambunctiousness to deal with. (Photo credit: DejaVuDesigns/Bigstock)

2. Bulldog

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. Bulldogs may not naturally have vast quantities of energy to burn, but they will happily keep up with any kid. His gentle personality and love of children 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). So, he doesn’t require too much of your precious free time. You can expect this new member of your family to live 8-12 years. (Photo credit: Lilun/Bigstock)

3. American Water Spaniel

This friendly and intelligent breed is highly active and will need lots of regular exercise every day to keep him happy and healthy. So, if you have kids with energy to spare, this pup will help them burn it all off. His loving personality makes him a great fit for any family with kids, while his loyal and keen-to-please nature means that he is easy to train (however, training should be exclusively rooted in a rewards-based format because this breed tends to be highly sensitive to scolding or punishment). His lifespan is typically between 12-15 years. (Photo credit: CaptureLight/

4. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

These playful pooches are known to be affectionate, gentle, and extremely friendly. Obviously, these are all traits that anyone would want from a family pet. Described as having a puppy personality that stays with them for their entire life, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are a good watchdogs and a loyal companions. A single-coat means minimal shedding and his exercise needs consist of little more than a good daily walk! You can plan on having this little guy stick around as a family member for 12-15 years. (Photo credit: babenkodenis/

5. Labrador Retriever

Considered one of the most popular breeds to be trained as a service dog, it almost goes without saying that the gentle, intelligent persona of this classic breed would fit right in to any family dynamic. Labrador Retrievers are affectionate, loyal, and love to play (particularly in the water). Labs also have a reliable and even temperament that makes them perfect match with kids. Their lifespan is a strudy 10-12 years. (Photo credit: CaptureLight/

6. Bull Terrier

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

7. West Highland White Terrier

Known for being affectionate, friendl,y 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 and also surprisingly good watch dogs. These pooches crave active playtime and regular daily walks. Expect him to be part of your family for a lengthy 15 years (or longer!). (Photo credit: Ryhor/

8. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Believe it or not these vertically challenged pooches were originally bred to herd cattle. That’s right. These little guys were able to put fear into the hears of big ol’ cows. So it almost goes without saying fearlessness and high trainability are some of the top personality traits of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. This playful, outgoing and protective little guy is great with kids, but is known to instinctively try to round them up by nipping at heels. Depending on how difficult it is to get all of your kids our of the house and into the car, this might not be a bad thing. These former working dogs are still quite active, so regular walks and playtime will help them meet their 12-15 year life expectancy. (Photo credit: averyanova/

9. Irish Setter

This larger breed dog is known to be affectionate, playful, energetic, and great with kids. With absolutely no guarding instinct, Irish Settlers always fit well into families who have other pets. Plus his endearingly friendly personality makes the Irish Settler an easy dog for even younger folk to walk. That said, he does need plenty of physical and mental stimulation. If he doesn’t get enough, this dog can become high-strung (which means destructive). So, it’s important that he never feels neglected by his family and always has someone focusing their attention on him. You’ll get to love this beautiful animal for 10-12 years. (Photo credit: rebius/

10. Golden Retriever

Finally, we come to the most beloved and iconic family dog out there. These gentle and well-mannered pooches are highly intelligent, so that also means that they are easily trained. The Golden Retriever’s naturally friendly nature means that he doesn’t make for a great guard dog, but his keen-to-please temperament make them a joy for you, your kids, and your other pets to live with. Goldens crave human companionship and need their owner to show true pack leadership. This pooch will be part of your family for 10-12 years. (Photo credit: chendongshan/

So, those are our picks for the finest family dogs available. However, there are obviously many more wonderful dog breeds out there who make for wonderful family members. It was not easy to limit ourselves to ten dogs here, which means we know just how many glorious canines didn’t make the cut. It was tough and we don’t want to offend anyone with out choices. So, we’d like to give you the opportunity to expand our list. Do you feel like we made a serious mistake and left some important dog breeds off of this list? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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