Best Family Dogs

by Nancy Boland

Any dog can become a loving, sociable member of the family with appropriate and consistent socialisation. However, there are definitely some breeds that are more suited to children and thrive on that family lifestyle better than others. Here are just a select few of the best family dogs:


Bulldogs are a hardy breed able to take anything rough and tumble kids have to throw at them. Couple this with not being the most energetic dog breed and you’ve got a very patient dog great for the whole family.

Bull Terrier

Bull terriers are intelligent, energetic and friendly dogs that can take a lot of of rough behaviour. Great with large families and quick to adapt, they can take some manhandling from children. A very protective breed, they’re energy levels requires a lot of play time which means you get to wear both your dog and kids out!


Does the name Lassie mean anything to you? Collies love nothing more than to make you happy, and are loyal to the bone. Well known for being highly intelligent, they are somewhat high maintenance both in coat grooming and the large amount of mental stimulation needed. This aside, they make incredibly loyal pets and love kids.


Dubbed “Nature’s Nannies” by many, the  Newfoundland  generally love children. Gentle giants with sweet temperaments, you would be hard forced not to fall in love with them, hence why they are so popular for all the family. Despite the drool and mass shedding, they love to be around people and are generally oversized, loveable dogs who love your company.



Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular breeds all around, there’s no greater choice for a family. Labradors love to please their humans, being playful, protective, and loving. Known for their ridiculously soft temperaments and gentle natures, labs get along with all members of the family and live to please.

Golden Retriever

Retrievers, like Labradors make for excellent family pets. Their main asset is extreme patience, useful around children, as well as their high energy and eagerness to please which makes them a joy to train. Bred as gun dogs, and keen swimmers, they’re up for anything so make a great addition to an active family.


Dogs don’t have to be pedigree to make great family pets. If you choose to adopt you’re making a great choice, and also setting a great example for your children.  Look for a dog that matches the energy level of your family, and bear in mind the age of your children. If you’re kids are older, you can get away with a smaller dog especially if they are responsible. For younger kids prone to manhandling a dog, a sturdier breed will definitely be beneficial.  In general, if you’re not afraid of injuring it by stepping on it, then it’s probably durable enough for children.

Regardless of which dog breed you decide to introduce into the family, remember that a well socialised dog that knows its place in the family is a happy dog and the entire family will have an enjoyable experience.

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