The 10 Best Dogs for Kids

Thinking about getting a dog for your family? Today our Simi Valley vets share our top 10 picks for dog breeds that are great with kids!

Picking the Best Dog Breed for Your Family

If you are looking for a canine companion for your kids, choosing a breed with qualities that is well suited to your family's needs is important. Try to choose a dog that matches the energy level of your family. Do your kids love running or playing in the park? A higher energy pup might be right for you. Do you live in a smaller house or apartment with no yard? A small dog might be better suited for your family. 

Our team at Park Animal Hospital wants you to find the best family dog for your kids, so here are a few of our favorite kid-friendly dog breeds.

1 - The Mutt

The ideal canine companion for your kids may be patiently waiting for you at the local animal shelter. Mixed-breed mutts can make loving and loyal family dogs! These dogs can be as good with children as purebred dogs, tend to be less susceptible to genetic diseases and health concerns. If you are considering a mutt for your family be sure to take your time to visit local animal shelters and be patient in your search for the right dog to fit in with your family life. Often shelter workers can provide you with a doggie report card that lays out all of the known personality quirks of the pooch you're interested in.

2 - Boston Terrier

Weighing in at about 25 pounds or less, these people-loving bundles of fun come with their own easy to care for "tuxedo" coats. Happy to play with the kids and go for short walks, this charming small dog breed adapts well to apartment living and makes a great companion for children of all ages.

3 - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

At about 10-18 lbs, the compact size of this lively but gentle breed makes it a great dog for smaller homes or apartments. Cavaliers tend to get along well with kids and other dogs. They can be both playful and cuddly making this sweet-natured pooch a great pet for kids of many ages and energy levels.

4 - Labrador Retriever

Labs are still one of the most popular family pets out there - with good reason. Gentle, loyal, and fun, the Labrador retriever can be a great dog for kids! Labs just adore spending time with people - all people - and will become your child's best friend in no time. However, labs are big dogs that need lots of exercise so be sure your family is up to the challenge. These dogs vary somewhat in size but generally weigh in between 55 - 80 lbs.

5 - Beagle

The Beagle is one of the best medium-sized dogs for family life. This mid-sized pooch typically weighs in at between 18-30 lbs and adores spending time with its people, playing games, and going for walks. Beagles are smart and loving dogs that can make terrific family pets provided that they get plenty of family interaction and exercise. Beagles require a lot of attention are not appropriate for families who are out of the house a lot. 

6 - Pug

Your family will love these adorable little characters! Pugs are pretty happy to just eat and sleep. If your kids are small, or have lower energy and would appreciate a dog that will play with them indoors then curl up beside them to watch a movie, a Pug may be just the right breed for your family. Weighing around 15 lbs, this is a breed that doesn't need much space, and only requires a few short walks each day to be content.

7 - Newfoundland

Sweet, loyal, and patient are just some of the words that best describe this fluffy giant. This delightful breed has a real affinity for kids and is often referred to as a 'nanny dog' due to its gentle patience with children. Weighing in between 100 -150 lbs you will need space if you plan to get a Newfoundland for your family. It's also important to note, that as with many giant breeds, Newfs have a relatively short life expectancy of only 8 - 10 whereas many small to medium dogs can live on average from 10 - 13 years of age. 

8 - Golden Retriever

Affectionate, good with children, and playful with other dogs, the faithful golden retriever can make an excellent dog for families with kids of any age. Covered in a  dense, lustrous coat of gold this breed is as lovely to cuddle with as it is to play with. Goldens are typically eager-to-please family dogs and are relatively easy to train. They have a joyous and playful approach to life and keep their youthful spirit well into adulthood. This breed generally weighs in at about 60 - 80 lbs and is a moderate shedder.

9 - The Standard Poodle

Active, proud, and very smart the standard poodle can make a great family pet. While known for their distinctive hairstyles, standard poodles shed little and, with some regular grooming, can look handsome whether they are clipped to breed standard or left natural. Poodles are typically easy to train, lively, and fun-loving family dogs with a silly sense of humor. These dogs weigh around 45 - 60 lbs and live 10 - 14 years on average.

10 - Bernese Mountain Dog

If your family is looking for a big dog, your kids will love this sweet-natured fluffy breed. Bernese Mountain Dogs typically weigh between 70-100lbs, and in spite of their size, have a reputation for being gentle with kids. One word of warning - these big beautiful dogs are major shedders.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Bringing home a new pup? Contact our Simi Valley vets today for more advice or to set up their first routine wellness exam.