Choosing a Breed

Best of the best dog breeds for children

Let’s take a look into many different breeds of dogs, weigh their plus’s and minus’s concerning how well they adapt to children, and see what we come up with as the five best dog breeds for children. This is open to a person’s experience with certain breeds and by no means is meant to belittle any particular breed, but is a simple look at historically what may well be the top five breeds of dog to consider if you want a dog and have children.

Best dog breeds for children

Our list of the best dog breeds for children include the Beagle, Boxer, Boston Terrier, Bloodhound, Foxhound, Bulldog, Brittany Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Mastiff, English Setter, Coonhound, Irish Setter, Pugs, Newfoundland, Vizsla, Siberian Husky, Standard Poodles, and Keeshond.

On the contrary, some of the breeds to avoid or to be very careful about bringing into a home with children include Dobermans who are very dominant and may look at a child as inferior. The same can be said for the Malamutes, Rottweiler, Rhodesian Ridgeback, and Pit Bull who is either very lovable with children and adults or can be quite nasty depending on their linage and how well they have been socialized and trained. The Mini Pinschers, Pekinese, Dachshunds, and Chihuahuas are intolerant by nature, and can be very hostile towards infants and kids under the age of six years old. Dalmatians are easily excitable dogs and can easily jump on kids knocking them down. Chow Chows can be unfriendly with children due to the fact this breed normally accepts only one person for bonding with, usually an adult in the family.

Our last list contains those breeds that can make the best dog breeds for children with a few caveats. First they absolutely must come from a breeder who has socialized the parents of the puppies, the puppies need to have been exposed to children and socialization begun, and strict obedience training is require for these breeds so they know what is acceptable behavior and what is not. The Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Collie, Akita, German Shepard, Saint Bernard, and Old English Sheepdog.

Understand all the above breeds can make great dogs but some just have a natural instinct that dictates they be very well trained in you have children in your home. Also be very aware that ANY dog can kill, so proper socialization and training of both child and dog, and close supervision on your part is a necessity.

So in our opinion, the best dog breeds for children are the Labrador Retriever, Beagle, Basset Hound, Golden Retriever, and Bulldog. Often the best choice is going to be dictated by how old your kids are, how large your home is, and is the dog going to be kept inside or in a pen.

How do you feel about this list? Comments are welcome as always in the space below.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Katie

    Dec 11, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Researching before next dog purchase, hopefully soon! Question: are there breeds of smaller dogs that are good with kids? Or midsize to small dogs that remain that way as the child grows? Do not currently have room to take care of a larger sized dog and would like to purchase one soon for a toddler to grow up with. I grew up with owning a dog, and would like my little nephew to have the same wonderful experience. Any tips are welcomed…thanks!

  2. Lee

    Feb 25, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I think adopting a mixed breed is always a good idea but, either way, you have to evaluate the individual dog. Certain breeds do have traits but each dog also has it’s own personality. Before you take a dog home, make sure you observe it’s behavior around kids, no matter what the breed is.

  3. Joanne Gruskin

    Feb 19, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Your attitude toward Dobermans is out of the dark ages. First: We had 3 children in 4 years and shared our home with 3 Dobermans. Not once did one of our dogs even knock one of our children down. Our Dobermans were bred for temperament. That said, if you want a dog that’s absolutely good with children, don’t adopt/buy one until it’s an adult. Then expose the dog to some children and watch.

    Never is a dog absolutely trustworthy around a small child. We never allow any of our dogs to meet a strange child without having total control of the dog’s head. We now have an adorable Tibetan Spaniel who just doesn’t love strangers, especially children. He’s little, fuzzy, and looks like a stuffed animal, but we’re really careful.

    Infants are especially vulnerable. When our children were tiny, I had a friend who solved the baby/cat/dog problem. She put a screen door on the nursery.

  4. Maryam

    Feb 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

    In my reply to John, i said i had a lab and a bassett hound who were excellent with my children when they were small. One the other hand, over the years i had a terrier who did bit a neighbor’s child and a schitzu who growled and snapped at my children, so breed does count, since they were all raised and trained the same way.

  5. ana

    Feb 19, 2013 at 6:14 am

    You dont mention the Shnauzer! Such a popular breed, and excellent with children. Otherwise helpful article. Even though i agee that people should be conscious and set an example to their children, by adopting. There is always a great need for adoption.

  6. Marjie

    Feb 18, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I have a rescued Lab who is the sweetest dog with children! PI don’t have children but she has befriended children in our neighborhood and even looks at their house if they are not out to play!

  7. Emma Dutton Hindley

    Feb 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    You did not mention the Samoyed , my daughter was raised with one who was a real gem. Mandy was her name and she lived for twelve years. We buried her at Francisville pet cemetery.she was loved by all.After her we had another Samoyed name Krystle and she lived for eleven and half years and she is buried at Francisville also. We now have a Samoyed namer Casey who we rescued from the PSPCA and he is almost 13 years old. A Great Breed for children!!!

  8. John Dirr

    Feb 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I think this is a very responsible article. Just because you had luck with your dog with your children, does not make it right for everyone. The breeds that they listed are KNOWN to be good with children. There always will be exceptions, but overall these breeds are best with children.
    So relax if your situation is different and quit condemming them. They have given what research has proven over the years.

    • Maryam

      Feb 19, 2013 at 7:53 am

      John: I agree. I found the article to be very informative and balanced. It always seems that pit bull owners are on the defensive abt their choice of dog. I had a labrador and a bassett hound and they were both the best dogs with children ever. Why choose a pitbull anyway, when there are so many wonderful breeds out there w/o that bad reputation. Why take a chance with your most precious family members: your chldren, just so you can prove your point abt the breed? I don’t get it.

      • Kim Johanson

        Feb 19, 2013 at 7:28 pm

        And i dont get your ingnorance Maryam. I will tell you why you should choose a pitbull, they will always reign supreme when it comes to love, loyalty and devotion. The only authorities on pitbulls are the people who share their lives with them. Obviously you have been brainwashed by media hype and are afraid of them. No one shares their home with these lovely animals to prove a point. If you had a breed of dog that always has negativity attached to it in a sentence, you would want to stand up for that breed and let people know what they are really like. But then again, after reading your posts, i dont think you are capable.

  9. Virginia B

    Feb 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    For the firt time I’m disapointed in the doggington post; first pitbull are excellent with children in the right hands meaning with the right owner regaudless of bloodlines, I think you should read a bit more about pitbull and bloodlines before making such a statement that depending on bloodline a pitbull could be snappy.. it’s not the bloodline it’s the breeder/owner/handler. Second not mentioning that adopting rather than buying is a perfectly good way to find a suitable pet for family, in a world where to many shelter animals die is just defeating the purpose of keeping unscrupleous breeders from over breeding and promotes puppy mills which is a whole other story. I’m appalled by this story really, as a pitbull rescuer/owner, whose 2 pitbulls and rottador are excellent with children,and who in years of working with shelter dogs as a rescuer can honestly say I have never ever been bitten by a pitbull, a spaniel, chihuahuas and even a Lab but never a pitbull and thats with over 17 yrs of working with dogs.

    • Shawn

      Feb 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      Well said!

      • Diane Meier

        Feb 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm

        This article is wrong and offensive on so many levels that I hardly know where to begin. I am done with doggington post.

        • Kim Johanson

          Feb 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm

          Me too Diane!

  10. Kim Johanson

    Feb 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I am disappointed that you dont understand that all breeds are capable of not being suitable for children. I have three pitbulls that have been raised with my grandchildren. They adore them and are protective and loving towards them. Animals live what they learn. There can be personality issues with any dog. I have never believed that there is one type of dog that is better than another. But I also have to say I never like seeing the pitbull get a bad rap either. All dogs need proper training.

    • Erika Gesue

      Feb 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Spot on, Kim J!

    • Maryam

      Feb 19, 2013 at 7:48 am

      That is exactly what the article stated. Read it again. it says: pit bulls can be loving with children, depending on their breeding and how they are raised.

      • Kim Johanson

        Feb 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm

        Maryam, YOU READ IT AGAIN, it says, OR CAN BE QUITE NASTY, which is not a statement that was necessary in that article. Any dog can be QUITE NASTY. And its been my experience they dont need a whole lot of training to love children, it just seems to come natural to them.

  11. Edie Cleveland

    Feb 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I am very disappointed that your article seems to encourage buying from breeders and does not encourage adoption. It also does not mention the fact that crossbreeds or mutts of some type actually make the best pets for ANYONE, since it is the long term and frequently incestuous breeding of dogs that has led to so many of their undesirable personality traits, as well as their many health issues.

    • Erika Gesue

      Feb 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      I completely AGREE!!! It’s shameful as it’s very well-recognized that breeders breed unhealthy dogs and contribute to over population.

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