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Getting a dog is a big step for every family. It is important to do your research so that you get the perfect dog for your family’s lifestyle. In order to narrow down the best dog breeds for families, here is a list of the top 10 based on child friendliness and general personality traits.

1. Golden Retriever

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A golden retriever is a great family dog. Based on breed research, this type of dog scores high in areas like child friendliness, adaptability, affection, and more. Their general personality is tame and loving, which makes them a pal with everyone in the family regardless of how big they might look. They live for around 10-12 years, but they will spend those years being playful and gentle, which is perfect for children.

2. Labradoodle

This mix of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle is one of the best family dogs out there. A Labradoodle combines two breeds in order to create one very smart and child-friendly dog. Poodles are notoriously intelligent and trainable, so the Labradoodle mix features these traits along with the active, friendly, and smart qualities of a Labrador Retriever. In order for a Labradoodle to be one of the best dog breeds, though, your family must exercise it properly and train it early on. This way, it will be a loyal addition to your family.

3. Pug

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The pug breed is another great family dog. They are listed on, a reputable dog information website, as trainable, playful, and child-friendly. Their size is fairly small, but they are tamer than some of the small dog breeds out there. A lot of smaller dogs have higher barking tendencies, which can make them less child-friendly on paper. However, the pug is a mellow and cute dog that will fit in well with your family. Whether you have small children or older family members, this is one of the best dog breeds to watch and take care of because it is small, slightly lazy, and adorable.

4. Australian Shepherd

An Australian Shepherd is a beautifully unique looking dog that is super protective, yet child-friendly. This breed was created to make decisions, which can be a great training quality in a household dog. It is important to exercise this dog a lot and make sure they are entertained with tasks or toys. However, once it learns to fit in with your family, it will be loyal and attentive, especially to children. In terms of appearance, it is fluffy and medium-sized, which can be a deciding factor for your family as well.

5. King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

This is another great example of a friendly, child-loving, and playful dog. While this breed has a super long name, it is well known for being sweet and trainable. Even the website, that has all the breed information, says that this dog is “is always happy, trusting and easygoing, a friend to everyone he meets.” What more can you ask for? Not to mention, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel is an example of a small dog that is manageable, yet friendly at the same time.

6. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Generally known simply as Corgis, these dogs are distinct in their look, which features shorter legs and fluffy fur. In addition to their unique cuteness, they are also extremely friendly with children. Families should definitely look into this dog because they are extremely intelligent and trainable. A trainable dog makes everyone’s lives easier, especially when there are children to take care of at the same time. One of the best features of the Corgi breed is its smiling appearance. These dogs always look like they are smiling, which makes for a happy dog and hopefully, a happy family as well.

7. Border Collie

Border Collies are very affectionate and loving towards all family members. A Border Collie is one of the best dog breeds because you can always count on it getting along with others, especially other animals. They require a decent amount of exercise, but once they get it, they will be yours to play and rest with for the evening. Border Collies are extremely trainable because they have great focus. As VetStreet mentions, “Borders form tight bonds with their family and want to be with them every second they can.” They really do make the perfect pal.

8. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is a very popular breed of dogs. They come in yellow, brown, or black colors. According to research, “the ideal Labrador is kindly, outgoing and tractable, eager to please, and tends not to be aggressive toward people or other animals.” This is the perfect description for a household, family dog. However, the unique aspect of “labs” is that each dog takes these traits and makes up their own personality. Some labs might be lazier than others and vice versa. It is important to talk to the breeder or shelter and meet the dog before you get him or her. This can help you pick the right dog for your family environment. That being said, they are one of the best dog breeds because of their trainability.

9. Old English Sheepdog

The English Sheepdog is extremely sweet and loving for its larger size. This breed doesn’t need as much exercise as some dogs on this list, but they do require a decent amount of grooming. Aside from this, their temperament is extremely loving, especially towards people. They will do practically anything with you, and are especially great with small children. While they may not be as common as other dogs, Sheepdogs love to be social and affectionate, which is perfect for a family.

10. Portuguese Water Dog

Last, but certainly not least, is the energetic Portuguese Water Dog. Not only are they a well-behaved larger dog, but they are also hypoallergenic. They are willing to do basically anything because they have a very high energy level, which can be a great help around kids. They love playmates and children, so they live to entertain. Similar to some of the other best dog breeds, they are smart and trainable, especially at a young age. Its name suggests a love for water, which is spot on, so maybe take him or her for a swim every once in a while with the family to see this breed at its best.

Where to get the best dog breeds:

Dog breeds vary in popularity, which can affect the price and availability of each dog. However, there is often a debate about buying a dog from a breeder or rescuing one from a shelter. Both have their own benefit, but rescuing or adopting is always a nice thing to do for a dog without a home. If your family is too worried about past health issues or ownership, though, then certified breeders are available for certain dog breeds. It is always important to do research on breeders, though, because some of them might only be in it for the money, not you or the dog’s best interest.

Generally, it depends on your family and your needs. A dog is a great addition to a family regardless of if it is a rescue or a bred puppy. The thing that matters the most is that you pick from some of the best dog breeds for children. Based on research about breed characteristics, it is easy to see which dogs are most likely to be the best around children and families.

Overall, a dog can make a loyal and fun family member. They encourage exercise and quality family time, which is healthy for everyone involved. When you first get your dog, spend time getting to know and training them so that you can spend your days enjoying each other’s company, regardless of what breed you choose.