Bringing a dog into a household with children can be a rewarding and educational lifestyle change, but how do you know which breed is best for your family? There are many things to consider when deciding which breed to get, from the price to what you can expect in terms of temperment, health issues, and eagerness to play. You also want to take into consideration the size of the home you will bring the dog into, as you wouldn’t want a large dog if you live in a one bedroom apartment, no matter how well they are known to get along with people, children, or other animals.
This list brings you the 10 best dogs for families, however it is important to keep in mind all of the circumstances before making a final decision.
10. Standard Schnauzer
The Standard Schnauzer is very well suited to families with young children, as this breed will make a reliable companion. They are known for being smart, sociable, and charming, and they love all of the attention that they will get from a family as opposed to just one person. The Standard Schnauzer ranges in weight from 30-50 pounds, making them a medium sized dog. An overall healthy breed, some health issues they are prone to include hip dysplasia and minor eye problems.
9. Bull Terrier
Bull Terriers are most suitable for families without very small children, as their excitment level could knock over the little ones! Making a friendly companion, they are best suited to active families who have owned dogs in the past. Even though the Bull Terrier can range in size from 40-80 pounds, they do well in apartments, as long as they get adequate exercise. Because of their activity level, they are prone to dislocation of the kneecaps, minor heart defects, and zinc deficiency.
The dog that comes to mind when you picture a Collie is Lassie, the everloving, loyal, and protective best friend of the family. Although there are three distinct varieties of this breed, the smooth coated variety is best suited for families. The Collie will do best in environments where there is a yard to play in, along with lots of love and attention. Ranging in weight from 50-75 pounds, this breed is relatively free of serious health problems. Eye defect and hip problems are the most common in collies.
7. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise dog breed is described as sweet natured, loving, and is generally happy, suitable to families with children who are old enough to know not to poke, yank hair, or play roughly. Because this breed is of the small variety, only 10-18 pounds, it has been known to be mistaken for a stuffed animal! The Bichon Frise requires daily brushing, as well as proper trimming of the fur in order to prevent skin issues, the most common health issue.
6. Bernese Mountain Dog
This very intelligent breed loves children, and is great with them because they are happy and gentle dogs. Bernese Mountain dogs also make great alarm systems, as they will loyally alert families to intruders. Another feature of this breed is the ability to be easily trained, as well as being sensitive to their owners. Ranging in size from 80-110 pounds, this breed requires a large outdoor area to run around in. Unfortunately, the Bernese Mountain dog is prone to cancer, as well as hip and elbow dysplasia.
5. Standard Poodle
The Standard Poodle is known to be great for households with families because they are extremely intelligent, love people, are one of the most trainable breeds, and are an overall happy and cheerful breed. They range in weight from 45-70 pounds, and are subject to a variety of genetic diseases including eye problems, skin conditions, and hip dysplasia.
One of the larger breeds best suited to families, this gentle giant is known to be very protective of children, as well as courageous, intelligent, and calm. They rarely bark, which is a huge selling point for most people, however their drool has been known to fly up to 20 feet away from them! The Newfoundland will get along well with other dogs, aiming to please everyone around it. This breed is best suited to larger homes, as they can range in size from 100-150 pounds! Common health issues are hip dysplasia and a heart condition called subaortic stenosis.
3. Irish Setter
The Irish Setter breed is best suited to active families and they absolutely love children! They are playful and energetic, but require lots of exercise and attention. It is best to have a fenced in area for this breed to play, as they are also known to be a one of the best hunting dogs and could go astray if they pick up a scent. The Irish Setter is highly trainable and love to chase after tennis balls! This breed ranges in size from 55-75 pounds, making them suitable for smaller homes or apartments. Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, and Hip Dysplasia are fairly common health issues among Irish Setters.
2. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever dog breed is a perfect match for families, mainly due to their loyal, loving, affectionate, and patient nature. They are easily trained, and will protect children at all costs. Their high intelligence level ranks them in the category of smartest dog breeds, and are very eager to please. Labrador Retrievers require daily exercise, but with that exercise will come a calm and collected dog at bedtime. Ranging from 50-75 pounds, this breed will do well in apartments as long as it is given adequate time to exercise. Labs do have health risks and are prone to hip and/or elbow dysplasia, and certain eye disorders.
1. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is the number one dog best suited for families! They are excellent with even the smallest of children due to their patience and loving nature, and are people lovers to the fullest extent. A devoted and charming family dog, this breed is easily trained and eager to please. Although a larger dog when full grown at 55-80 pounds, the Golden Retriever would be well suited to any size living space, as long as he gets the proper amount of exercise. Common health issues include cancer, hip dysplasia, heart problems, and eye problems.