Got kids? Or are you looking for kid friendly dogs? Here are ten breeds that are especially fond of children.
10. English Bulldog
When choosing a dog, you should consider every aspect of your life, not the least of those is whether you have children.
As family dogs, English Bulldogs are loving and sociable, and have an incredible reputation for being great with children.
They are admired for their even-temper which makes them ideal family dogs and wonderful pets for small kids.
It is sometimes said that the English Bulldogs have a “Sixth Sense” that helps them to understand as well as protect children and endure no small amount of child-inflicted abuse.
They thrive in social environments and big families. Being strong-willed, the Bulldog needs a family that can remain consistent when it comes to rule setting. And, Bulldogs are naturally gentle with their pack, contrary to the belief that they’re naturally aggressive.
As puppies they’re very playful and can be unintentionally rough and rowdy players if not carefully watched and taught to be gentle. This is something they tend to grow out of. As they become adults, bulldogs are generally laid back by nature.
9. Beagle Kid Friendly Dogs
Beagles are perhaps one of the most child-like dogs on the planet. They are playful, loving, love to eat, and rather naughty at times. It’s pretty easy to see why the two get along so well.
The Beagle’s small size and calm temperament makes it a great choice for families, and if your kids love the outdoors, this breed will fit right in, since there’s nothing Beagles love more than exploring outside and taking to the trails.
Smart, friendly and happy, Beagles were originally kept as hunting dogs, and their sturdy build means they’re never too tired to play games. A smart parent would be wise to encourage games that wear out both the dog and the child.
8. Bull Terrier
Unfairly branded as an aggressive dog, the Bull Terrier was bred to be a companion dog—friendly and loving towards grown-ups and kids alike.
This strong-framed dog also has a high threshold for pain, making it perfect for rambunctious children who are learning how to properly treat dogs.
Keep in mind that, like your children, your Bull Terrier will often have mischief on its mind. They can become rather naughty if bored.
Avoid problems by keeping your pet mentally and physically active every day. Their short, flat coat is easy to care for, and the breed does best as a house dog with easy access to a yard for play.
What’s that girl, Timmy fell down the well? If you’ve seen Lassie, you’ve seen a depiction of the attachment between child and Collie.
Collies are a gentle and predictable breed, rarely misbehaving and easily trainable—which is perfect for families that are less than familiar with training dogs.
Collies get along great with children and love to please their owners and protect their family.
While this type of breed is typically mild-mannered, they were originally bred as herding dogs, so yours may try to herd your children! This might be amusing for the parents, but it’s best to discourage child-herding, no matter how handy you think it could be.
Because of the Collie’s long hair, the breed requires regular grooming to keep its coat in tip-top shape. A sensitive and intelligent breed, Collies are both gentle and stubborn, so keep obedience training in mind.
This kindly Newfoundland is good-natured with everyone, especially children, though the kids should be as well-behaved as the dog is.
The AKC Standard says, “Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland.”
This is a very sociable dog and needs more companionship than many other breeds. Newfoundlands don’t do well when left alone for long periods. So it may not be the best pet for home where no one is ever at home.
Calm, dignified, and generally quiet, this big breed does best in a spacious home in the suburbs or country, preferably in a non-humid climate, ideally with access to a lake or pond. Like children, Newfoundlands love the water!
5. Irish Setter Kid Friendly Dogs
The Irish Setter can be a great dog for younger children for several reasons. Perhaps one of the most obvious is that the breed is naturally very playful and they love to have lots of attention, something that most toddlers are more than willing to give to the dog of the house.
Irish Setters are very patient with little hands and petting from children. The Irish Setter is also not possessive of their toys or food, once properly trained and socialized, so there is very little concern with the dog snapping, growling or nipping at the child.
Of course Irish Setters that are raised in families with smaller children and then obedience trained and socialized are very tolerant of children. They are gentle and loving, plus they have the energy and patience to keep up with kids of all ages.
The challenge to having an Irish Setter in the house with small children is that sometimes the dog’s natural enthusiasm and playful behavior can be rather rambunctious and may result in the child being bumped or even knocked over in a game or at play. Teaching the dog to play gently with younger children and always supervising the dog and child at play can prevent many of these potential minor issues.
Older children are also a great match for an Irish Setter. The same gentleness and non-aggressive type of traits that make the breed good for younger children also go for the older kids. The older children that enjoy working with the dog can learn about obedience work, and the Irish Setter will typically respond very well to commands from children.
4. Standard Poodle
Many times when I talk about Poodles in videos, I talk about all of them, big to small. But in this case, I’m just going to stick with the larger standard poodle. As the smaller versions don’t quite have the temperament to make it on this list.
But, Standard Poodles are smart and gentle, and are good for children with allergies, as they do not shed and tend to be hypoallergenic. Otherwise, they are good-natured, and make excellent playmates for children.
They are playful and bright, in fact the Poodle is one of the most intelligent and easily trained dogs on the planet.
Standard Poodles do need a lot of daily companionship. They suffer from loneliness and separation anxiety if left alone too much. So, if you have a family that is never home, a Poodle might not be right for you.
Also, be careful to research your dog’s bloodline. Some lines can be a bit hypersensitive to the ruckus that usually accompanies children, especially younger ones.
3. Golden Retriever Kid Friendly Dogs
The Golden Retriever is perhaps the quintessential family dog, consistently ranked as one of the more popular dogs worldwide.
This breed of dog is actually known for its sweet disposition. Not all of them will be as sweet as they are famous for, of course, but if you find a reliable breeder you can have a dog in your family that is willing to please, at all costs!
The Golden was originally bred to work in the water and their calm personalities have come about as a pleasant side effect. They are so nice, in fact, well,don’t expect them to be guard dogs. They love everyone. They are rarely nervous or timid and will follow their kids anywhere.
Goldens are rated fourth in The Intelligence of Dogs, a book which ranks breeds by intelligence by Dr. Stanley Coren. And, they are pretty easy to train since they really seem to want to please their owners, and are usually good in agility competitions or working as rescue dogs and guide dogs. If you can handle a big dog, but not a giant, this is an excellent choice for the family and for the kids.
Your kid friendly dog should be well-trained. We could all use some help training them. Check out Brain Training for Dogs to learn how to use your dog’s natural intelligence to stop bad behavior.
You know what kids don’t really care about? Pedigrees. And, when looking for a dog for the family, neither should you.
Although mutts come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, what they tend to have in common is a more well-balanced disposition than their pedigreed counterparts. Mutts are not bred for extremes like many of their purebred cousins.
The best part is that you can find a mutt almost anywhere. We’ll always suggest that you swing by a local shelter when choosing a dog for the family. Spend time with some of the dogs and see who your family falls in love with.
In my humble opinion, a mutt is always a great choice.
1. Boxer Total Kid Friendly Dogs
One of the Boxer’s most distinctive qualities, according to Boxer fanciers is its love for children. They are a people oriented breed and prefer to have their family pack close by.
The breed’s reputation as an all-around healthy, affectionate, even-tempered, athletic, and loving family member is well-earned, and this is why the Boxer consistently ranks in the Top 10 AKC-registered breeds.
Energetic and affectionate, the Boxer needs to have plenty of exercise and playful interaction, a task that children are well-suited to doing. And, the Boxer is happiest when it is with people—especially children, watching protectively over their play.
Like your children, Boxers can be a bit on the stubborn side, but they are intelligent and relatively easy to train.
The majority of problems between children and dogs involve children under the age of 6 years and large, high energy or guard dog breeds, like the Boxer.
Until you know the dog well, children, especially young children should not be allowed to play with kid friendly dogs of any breed unattended.
The care of a dog should never be left to a child. While children 7 or older are capable of learning responsibility and developing a relationship with a dog, they are not capable of being solely responsible for the care of the dog. And especially when it comes to the training of a dog. Dogs need a firm confident leadership, that children are incapable of providing. But, the training of a dog, can be a fun, family endeavor.
*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you).