Top 15 Child-Friendly Dog Breeds

May 13, 2019


Dogs that grow up in a house full of children are bound to be social, tolerant and reliable. Most dog breeds like to please their owners and their family members, and like to play with children, especially if they are youngsters themselves or are slow to mature.

Children who grow up with dogs are taught responsibility, at the same time having a great companion to play with any time they like. As not all dog breeds are created equal, let’s take a closer look at which breeds are particularly suited for the little ones.

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog for years now, in part because it can be your child’s best friend.

Labrador Retrievers are happy-go-lucky dogs that will love you and your family unconditionally, much like children.

Their zest for life, eagerness to please and ability to “read” human emotions makes Labs the perfect family dog.

They are not the bravest guard dogs out there, but Labs are devoted, friendly and smart, always ready to help and extremely easy to train.

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Their ability to learn quickly makes Labs the perfect dogs to be working with individuals with special needs and small children that other more aggressive breeds may not see as gentle pack members that need to be taken care of and played with like Labs see them.

2. German Shepherd


German Shepherds may not be as “childish” as Labrador Retrievers, which practically never mature, but these dogs on the other hand bring something else to the table – they are extremely loyal and amazing guard dogs.

You can trust you German Shepherd to watch over your child and alert you in case there is any danger approaching.

A German Shepherd can make an older child feel safe as they walk their pooch around the park, especially if the two were “puppies” together.

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Dogs that grow up around children usually have a wonderful disposition and would rather run and hide than stand up to a child.

3. Beagle


Beagles may have entered the mainstream recently, compared to some of the other dogs on this list, but they are nevertheless amazing dogs to have around children.

Beagles that are kept as family pets, as opposed to hunting dogs, love to have fun with other members of their pack, i.e., your family.

Beagles are extremely friendly and social, which is basically why they make great children’s companions.

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Beagles think everyone is their best friend, and because they are relatively small and good-natured, they can be kept in small spaces as long as they have their humans around them to love.

4. Golden Retriever


Although Golden Retrievers are large, much like some of the other dogs we will see here, they are extremely patient and tolerant towards smaller creatures, such as other pets in the house or small children.

Your Golden Retriever loves you so much that even when you bring a baby into the house that grows up rather quickly and before you know it starts “riding” the dog, bouncing toys off his sturdy body, your pooch won’t mind and will accept them as family, too.

A Golden Retriever will be your child’s best friend, guardian and a buddy to play and grow up with.

5. Bulldog


Bulldogs are often mistaken for mean and aggressive dogs, but anyone who’s ever owned a Bulldog knows these dogs, in fact, are as gentle and loving as they get.

Bulldogs are calm, some would even say lazy, and don’t get rattled easily, which makes them great family pets.

Bulldogs are extremely patient and don’t mind if their ears and tails are pulled, their heads hit with toys or even their backs ridden.

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All humor aside, children should be taught how to properly play with any dog, and in return they can get a best friend and partner in crime in a Bulldog.

6. Newfoundland


Newfoundland is essentially a big, loving ball of fur ready to play with children and be a “nature’s nanny”, as they are popularly called.

Although Newfoundland is a large breed and requires plenty of open space, they tend to go where the family is, following their every step, showing loyalty and devotion to their humans.

They do shed quite a bit, which may cause allergies to children, but if that’s not an issue, they are just a loving pet that will keep a close watch on their pack members, especially if the pack members are small children that need a companion.

7. Poodle


Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are extremely easy to train and will follow command, making them suitable to be in the presence of small children.

Poodles are loyal, good-natured dogs that don’t shed as much as other breeds and can be furry friends to children who are prone to allergies.

It should be noted that the standard Poodle is a good family dog, while the miniature and toy Poodles may not be the best choice due to their restless and tense nature.

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Standard Poodles live for 12 to 15 years, which means they can be in your child’s life for a long time.

8. Collie


Although children of today may not be as familiar with “Lassie” as their parents, Collie still makes a great family pet because of its protective nature coupled with a playful personality that will keep children safe and entertained.

Collies are obedient, intelligent and easily trained, and are happy to oblige, so even small children can instruct them.

Collies are always alert, ready to face danger if need be, and can be a great protector to the child.

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Collies love children by nature and don’t necessarily have to be raised in a house full of kids to make great companions for the little ones at any age.

9. Pug


Pugs are extremely social dogs, and like Beagles, believe everyone is their best friend.

Just as Pugs don’t discriminate against small and large dogs, and will try and play with a toy dog just as it would with a Great Dane, Pugs love all humans, large or small.

Pugs are extremely loyal and will go wherever their owners go and do whatever their owners do, including their children.

Pugs are playful, energetic and will entertain your child and provide a great friend of similar size.

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It’s important that children are taught not to treat Pugs as toys and to be careful not to injure the dog, and they’ll have a great friend for a long time.

10. St. Bernard’s


Another furry bundle of endless joy and fun, St. Bernard’s make a great family pet and companion for children as they love to play, get dirty, get wet and just be active.

St. Bernard’s absolutely require plenty of space due to the fact that they are humongous and do require training.

St.Bernard’s aren’t lazy and love to be the center of attention, and will thus keep children entertained if children want to play in the first place.

One thing should be noted, and that is that St. Bernard’s aren’t really aware of their size so they might not be the best dog for really small children, but school-age children will definitely find this breed irresistible.

11. Doberman


Some readers may be surprised to see Doberman on this list, but anyone who’s ever owned this dog knows they will do absolutely anything for their human family.

Dobermans are patient and will put up with a lot of ear pulling, back riding, and other things children consider fun to be doing to a dog.

Where Dobermans shine is in being guard dogs, in protecting your family and all its members regardless of age.

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Dobermans make their owners, including children, feel safe, and not because they look fierce, but because they will protect you and your child no matter what.

12. Bernese Mountain Dog


Bernese Mountain Dog is a wonderfully intelligent pet that makes a great companion to all members of the family, particularly children.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are slow to mature so your child can have a cheerful buddy for years, and with this breed’s gentle disposition to be friendly to everyone, your child’s friends will love this dog too.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are easy to train and will simply follow command because that’s how much they love you and wish to please you.

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They are affectionate, sweet and large, and definitely require plenty of space to run around and entertain your child.

13. Basset Hound


Basset Hound may look like another intruder on this list, but these dogs are great with children thanks to their gentle nature.

Basset Hounds are never aggressive and will not try to dominate their pack. In other words, whatever you want to do, your Basset Hound is good with it.

This dog breed is very devoted to their humans, especially to children with whom they grow up and spend lots of time with.

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Basset Hounds are tolerant but children need to be taught not to try and poke the dog’s eyes or pull on those ears too hard as the dog is not a toy.

14. Cocker Spaniel


Cocker Spaniels are sweet and patient dogs.

This dog breed can be trusted around children as it’s not too big to accidentally hurt them and it is smart enough to know to be gentle with smaller members of its pack, or in this case, household.

Cocker Spaniels are friendly and mild-natured, and are overall easy dogs to own.

These pooches are ready to play for hours if they have someone to play with, which makes them a great friend for your child to grow up with.

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Cocker Spaniels are nice to everyone who is nice to them and are seldom stubborn.

15. Bichon Frise


These little dogs are very social and love human companionship in all shapes and sizes.

The Bichon Frise has plenty of energy to keep up with a child and they don’t really shed, which is something that the parents will definitely appreciate.

These dogs are nice and tolerant towards people they live with and will also welcome their friends and accept them as their own, so your child can have lots of play dates thanks to this little pooch.

The Bichon Frise wants to please you and make you happy and will often act like a goofball to entertain you and your children.

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