Having a family pet is an incredibly rewarding experience. Dogs are loving, loyal, and provide their families with an immense amount of joy.

In fact, research has even shown a number of health and mental benefits for those who have dogs.

  • Dogs promote physical activity
  • They can help children develop empathy and compassion
  • A dog can provide its owners with emotional support
  • Children who grow up with a pet are less likely to develop allergies

Choosing the right type of dog for your family is incredibly important. Some dog breeds are calmer and more tolerant than others. There are several traits that make a dog great for family life with young kids:

  • Gentle disposition – they’ll be less reactive to unpredictable stimuli
  • Adaptive intelligence – they’ll be able to understand that children’s play behaviors are not threatening
  • Easy to groom – they won’t be a lot of trips to the groomer in your already busy life
dogs with small children

Not only do you need to consider a temperament that’s safe and suitable for life with small children, but you also need to think about how much time you’ll have to train and care for the dog. Size may be another factor for you to consider.

As you look for the perfect dog to join your family, consider one of the following breeds that are well suited for life with young children.

1. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is a large breed of dog that’s known for its gentle and loving nature. They are massive in size, yet still well suited for families due to their relaxed and easygoing temperament.

This breed is very tolerant and loves to snuggle with families and children alike. While they do need a certain level of physical activity, the Irish Wolfhound makes for an excellent jogging companion.

2. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is another good choice for families with small children. They are one of the most trainable and obedient breeds, so the kids can easily help them learn and follow commands.

These dogs were originally bred as hunting dogs, but now make great family pets because they love water and enjoy engaging in other activities like retrieving objects or playing Frisbee.

3. Poodle

Poodles are another good breed for families because they are intelligent and incredibly easy to train. They have a unique appearance and dignified manner.

They don’t shed, so they are considered hypoallergenic. Their coats do require regular maintenance, which is something to consider.

There are different types of poodles of various sizes. Toy poodles may be too small and fragile to handle young kids’ sometimes rough play. Miniature Poodles and Standard Poodles are probably a better choice.

4. Golden Retriever

There’s a reason why the golden retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds; because it’s an all-around family-friendly dog that will be gentle and kind to small children while also providing them with enough energy to play outside or go on hikes together.

boy kissing golden retriever

They’re intelligent, obedient, and eager to please their owners, making them easy for children to teach and train.

5. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is another large breed of dog that’s incredibly gentle and friendly. They have a beautiful coat of long, red fur. They are intelligent dogs with a lot of energy, so they need daily physical activity to stay healthy. With proper exercise, the Irish Setter makes for an excellent jogging companion or hiking buddy for families.

6. Bulldog

Bulldogs are well known for their gentle disposition. This non-aggressive nature makes them an ideal choice for families with small children who are still learning proper behavior around dogs.

French and English Bulldogs also require less exercise than other dog breeds, making them a good choice for families who enjoy a lot of time at home. Going on walks together is sufficient, without worrying about the demands of maintaining an active lifestyle.

7. Boston Terrier

These dogs love children of all ages and share a special bond with kids above all other pets, making them great companions during playtime even when outside. They’re small, but not at all fragile and will keep up with kids who love to play.

Their short, easy-to-maintain coat is great for families who don’t have the time or money to spend on grooming sessions and their small size makes it easier for children to manage them without hurting themselves.

8. Dachshund

Dachshunds are small dogs with lots of personality. Their unique elongated appearance is beloved by children and adults alike. As long as children can learn to hold them carefully so as not to injure their back, they will get along very well.

They don’t need a large amount of exercise, but they are very social and shouldn’t be left alone for more than 4 hours.

9. Beagle

The Beagle is a popular breed of dog because it’s gentle, easy to train, and good with kids. They’re friendly and highly loyal. They are also known for their high levels of energy, so they need plenty of exercise to stay healthy.

beagle puppy and child

They have an enthusiastic personality and love to play games and run around outdoors. This makes them a great choice for families with older children who like to engage in outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

10. Viszla

The Viszla was originally bred as a Hungarian hunting dog. They’re moderate-to-large dogs, weighing in at about 50 pounds on average, making them a good choice for families who want a dog that will be able to keep up with the kids when they run around outside playing together.

They’re energetic and playful, but also gentle and affectionate in disposition. They are a great choice for active families that love to spend time outside.

The 10 dog breeds mentioned in this article are perfect for families with small children. These are just a few of many great choices to consider when deciding on the right dog for your family.

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