When you have kids, bringing a new dog home is exciting, but also a little bit stressful. There are many factors to take into consideration, especially when trying to narrow down good dog breeds for kids.
When deciding on breed, you’ll want to ask questions like:
- Does the breed of dog you’re considering tend to be nervous or aggressive?
- Are they rambunctious or high strung?
- Or are they mellow and laid-back?
- Are the dogs large, small, or medium-sized? Will that size dog be ideal for your home and family?
- Does the breed do well in high energy, hectic environments? Or, is it a breed that thrives better in quiet, more solitary environments?
- Is the breed more suited for rural or urban living, or adaptable to both?
- Is the breed more family-oriented or do the dogs tend to attach themselves to just one person?
- Is the breed teachable and trainable? Or, do they tend to veer on the less than bright side, and exhibit stubborn or dominant behaviors?
As you can see, the questions could go on. Temperament, especially when trying to find good dog breeds for children, is a very big factor. This is even more true when you consider that the bulk of dog bite victims tend to be children, and most of those incidences take place either in the home or somewhere else that is familiar to the animal.
The dog you choose should ideally be strong and sturdy enough to withstand the clumsy and sometimes excessive attention they will get from your kids, especially when the attention may not always be very gentle.
On the flip side, dogs that don’t like a lot of attention, or that get excitable when kids start screaming or running all over the house, may not be a wise choice.
With that said, below are eight of the best dog breeds for kids out there:
The American Foxhound is a great choice for a family with kids. They are easy-going dogs with sweet and loyal personalities, and a massive amount of stamina. They love to run as well, which makes them great for athletic families, people that like to jog, and kids with more energy than you know what to do with.
These dogs are part of the hound dog group, typically weigh 40 to 60 pounds fully grown, and usually live between 12 and 13 years.
They are a relatively rare breed, and were originally bred to hunt in packs, so they love when there are other dogs in the family for company, but they are also adaptable to bonding with their human family if they are given plenty of exercise and attention.
One quirky trait of the American Foxhound is their musicality. The sound of baying can be heard from quite a distance, so you might want to reconsider this breed if you live in a tightly packed urban area where excessive howling and the baying could irritate your neighbors.
Plus, these dogs aren’t well-suited for apartment living or small homes, so it is much better if they have space to roam.
This dog also falls under the hound group, and is considered one of the ancient dog breeds. Afghan Hounds have a very unique, quirky appearance, with an exotic face. These dogs typically weigh 50 to 60 pounds fully grown, and live 10 to 12 years.
In another life, they were hunters in Afghanistan, and were prized because they could run for long distances very quickly, and keep dangerous wildlife at bay until their human hunters caught up with them.
These dogs are very independent, and need very little human interference. Though these dogs can be playful and affectionate as puppies, when they grow and mature, they tend to be much more reserved and aloof and may pay their owners very little mind as they go about their day.
Sometimes they don’t even want attention from you, but if and when they do, they will come and get it themselves. They are much like cats in this regard. They can also be quite mischievous and sneaky, offering their owners a wealth of fun and amusement at their quirky antics. This is definitely a unique dog, one that has the potential to be a great family addition.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
This dog was once used to drive cattle, and makes a great pet for younger kids. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are very active dogs who love to play. They are also very affectionate and do not get very big. They are a herding dog, and reach roughly 25 to 38 pounds full grown. They have a pretty long lifespan, approximately 12 to 15 years.
The word Corgi is a Welsh word meaning “dwarf dog” and they rank as one of the oldest in the herding dog category. The only drawback is that these pooches may bark at their own shadow. So, if you’re not a fan of vocal dogs they might not be a good choice.
Another thing to consider is that they can be quite stubborn, though they’re very intelligent. Because of their herding background and instincts, they can get nippy at the feet of your kids when they are playing in order to “herd” them.
German Shepherds are very popular dogs, for numerous reasons. Also a part of the herding group, they are highly intelligent, as well as devoted. With training, these dogs can become pros at just about anything, whether it’s herding, working for the police, guiding the handicapped, or working as search-and-rescue dogs.
German Shepherds are courageous and can get pretty big, weighing in at 75 to 95 pounds fully grown. These dogs live roughly 10 to 14 years, and are whip-smart. However, they do have lots of energy, so they need plenty of exercise and attention. If they don’t get it, they can become frustrated and bored. This will lead to poor behaviors like chewing things and barking, so make sure that you have the time and the ability to give them what they need.
This dog can also be somewhat wary and aloof, which makes for a great family guard dog, but unless he is raised very early and well socialized, guests may not appreciate him quite as much. German Shepherds thrive living indoors with their family, especially when they are given plenty of access to a good size yard to run and play.
A Puggle is what you get when you breed a Beagle and a Pug. This dog is super cute as well as intelligent, and he loves to have fun. However, he can be difficult to train, though he does play well with others. He gets along great with both kids and other four-legged family members.
This dog is part of the hybrid group of canines, and ranges on the smaller side, topping out at 18 to 30 pounds. They live roughly 10 to 15 years, and sometimes are referred to as “designer dogs” because the crossbreeding was intentional.
These dogs are active, and love to race around the table inside the house as well as romp and play outside. Sometimes these dogs can be howlers due to their Beagle bloodline, but otherwise they mostly tend to bark only when someone is at the door.
Because of this, they don’t make ideal guard dogs, unless you want them to greet intruders with cuddles and kisses. Keep in mind that this is a cross-breed dog, so it can display characteristics of both breeds and sometimes those characteristics may not always be the good ones! However, these dogs are energetic and sturdy and make great additional family members when in the right home.
This dog is another smaller pooch that is highly intelligent, energetic, and active. They weigh in at 9 to 15 pounds and live roughly 12 to 15 years. Tibetan Spaniels are bred to be watchdogs and companion dogs, and present sweet personalities when bonded with their families. However, they may not be very warm towards strangers, leaning more toward aloofness.
They like to perch somewhere high, much like a cat, because they like to be able to see what’s going on around them. They are also highly trainable and sensitive to their environment. The breed is somewhat rare, but if you can find one, they make great family pets!
Toy Fox Terrier
These dogs have a colored work history – bred and used for everything from small game hunters and ratters, to competition dogs, and even used as circus dogs. Toy Fox Terriers are loving and loyal as well as playful, and make great companion dogs.
However, keep in mind these are small dogs weighing in at a mere 3 to 7 pounds, so they can be somewhat delicate, especially if your kids are very small and don’t know how to be gentle with animals yet.
Toy Fox Terriers tend to live 13 to 14 years and are extremely intelligent, as well as protective. Despite their size, they have quite the bark on them and make great watchdogs. This dog loves its family, and loves to be right in the center of everything, often making you think you he’s forgotten he’s a dog.
Though great with families, they are another breed that tends to be standoffish with strangers, but if you socialize them early and well, this is a trait that can be overcome to a degree.
Again, this is an ideal family pet if you have older kids that understand how to be gentle with animals, but may not be ideal for families with younger children due to their size and delicate build.
This is another so-called “designer dog,” a cross between the Miniature or Toy Poodle, and a Yorkshire Terrier. These dogs weigh 3 to 14 pounds and live 10 to 15 years. These small little canines are highly intelligent as well is affectionate and make sweet little companions, though they do like to bark.
They are very energetic, and love to play equally as much as they love to sit in your lap and take a nap. Surprisingly these dogs can run fast and jump quite high, keeping owners amused with their antics.
Though this article only encompasses eight, there are many good dog breeds for kids out there for the diligent potential pet owner. Just remember that even if a breed tends to have certain traits or personality quirks, every dog is still unique and individual. Factors like their environment and how they are raised also play a large role in their personality and how they behave around kids and adults alike.
Also keep in mind that if you choose a hybrid dog, the traits are not fixed, so they can be born with traits of both breeds, both good and bad.