11 Family-Friendly Dog Breeds

Oct 31, 2014

Many different kinds of dogs have been bred over the centuries. Some breeds were developed for the hunt, others for work of one kind or another. Besides these useful functions, one of the dog’s main purposes has been to provide companionship for families. Here are 11 great dog breeds that are excellent with kids.

1 Great Danes

Great Danes are so immense because they were bred to chase large prey and protect homes from large predators. Despite their great size and fierce demeanors, though, they are famously tender and loving with their families. They are very playful and full of energy. While active older children will enjoy the boundless energy of this breed, this energy can easily make its great size too much for smaller children to handle. Great Danes are easy to house-train since they have an immense desire to please their owner. They are friendly with all family members, friends and even strangers unless they think that something threatens you. Great Danes thrive on socialization, that’s why they need new experiences, sights, plenty of different people and activities.

2 Border Collies

Border Collies are incredibly clever. They are also very eager to make their owners happy. On the one hand, this makes them very good at learning tricks and commands. On the other hand, this need to please can make them a little neurotic. Border collies were bred to herd sheep, and also to protect them from predators. They need a lot of daily personal attention, and get anxious if they don’t receive it. Collies require a bare minimum of an hour of active play time every day, and they are happiest when they have challenges to overcome.

Border Collies can be friendly with other pets in the house, but also tend to run after them in the hope of getting them to play. They love being involved in various canine activities and sports like obedience trainings, tracking games, agility or competitions. This breed is definitely for families who enjoy active lifestyle.

3 Labrador Retrievers

This is one of the most popular breeds in the world, especially in the USA. Labs are definitely my favorite breed. We had a labrador long time ago, when I was a child, and he was always my best friend and best company ever! Temperate and good-natured, labs are very good with kids. They display a great deal of patience even with bratty children. Labradors usually get along well with other animals too, even though cats may dislike their playfulness. These dogs are full of energy. They have to have daily workouts, or they will act up.

Labradors are big dogs and they grow up rapidly, but they continue behaving like small puppies. That’s why they need regular trainings to develop obedience and good behavior. Fortunately, labradors are exceedingly intelligent and trainable dogs; they learn quickly and they will do everything to gain your approval. Labradors make loyal, sweet-natured pets.

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4 Golden Retrievers

This kind is perhaps the friendliest in the world. Golden retrievers were first bred in Scotland like hunting and working dogs. But thanks to their intelligence and good temper, this breed became very popular with families. Golden retrievers are also bundles of hyperactivity. They like nothing better than playing, jumping, and running. If they are not exercised each day then they can become overactive and start misbehaving. Golden retrievers can have a problem paying attention. However, they eagerly yield to obedience trainings and they love mental and physical exercises. Golden retrievers suffer when left alone. It’s better to keep them indoors with all the family members.

5 Black Russian Terriers

These military-bred dogs are extremely protective of their loved ones. They have very strong guarding instincts and they will be always suspicious about any visitor or friend in your house. Highly intelligent creatures, they are also mulish and difficult to train. They are very good with children and they can get along with other animals. However, they are quite aggressive toward bigger dogs, and should never be brought into any home that has one. To avoid aggressiveness and stubbornness these dogs should live along with people but not in a kennel. Regular trainings and human companionship promote their good behavior and obedience. Black Russian terriers make devoted, fearless, and lifelong friends.

6 Saint Bernards

Saint Bernards are well-suited for family life. These gentle giants are patient with kids and always stay calm and quiet. They can be a little slow-witted, and many are stubborn about getting their own way. They usually aren’t very interested in playing or exercising. Even though they strive for attention, Saint Bernards aren’t that high-maintenance and demanding dogs. It takes them several years to mature mentally; therefore you will have to live with a giant puppy for quite a long time. Despite their giant size and excessive shedding, Saint Bernards should live indoors with the family. They require obedience trainings from the early years. You don’t want a stubborn giant who doesn’t understand the word ‘No’, do you?

7 Beagles

Beagles love nothing better than playing, particularly outside, particularly with their families. Beagles are very friendly, devoted, and eager to please. They tend to form deep personal attachments. They are rather loud pets, however. They howl when they are happy and also when they are upset. Nevertheless, Beagles are excellent family pets; they are neither too small nor too large, they are neither timorous nor willful. Despite their small size, beagles are super energetic dogs that require hard trainings each day.

Beagles feel great with other dogs and plenty of people around. They are extremely amiable and social, but they are likely to act up when left alone for a long time. Beagles are also smart and they would appreciate all kinds of mental exercises like tracking games or other canine activities.

8 Newfoundlands

Newfoundlands are loving, loyal pets with friendly, even temperaments. Newfies, as they are popularly known, are remarkably well suited to be family dogs. No wonder Newfoundlands were originally used as working dogs due to their immense size and strength. However, they proved to be wonderful family pets thanks to their sweet temper, intelligence and desire to please their owner. Like any family pet, Newfoundlands feel better when they are with people.

Newfies are rather indifferent to physical exercises. Indeed, they won’t go jogging or cycling with you. However, early socialization is vital if you want an obedient and healthy pet. Newfoundlands get along well with other dogs, especially ones of their size. That’s the reason why many people have two and more Newfoundlands at their homes.

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9 Miniature Schnauzers

Miniature Schnauzers are well-mannered pets. They enjoy taking part in different family activities, but if they’re left out they can become anxious. They like hanging out with their owners, being involved in outdoor games and socializing. These dogs display totally extroverted temperament: they are energetic, enthusiastic, friendly and pleasing. Like many small dogs, Miniature Schnauzers are very hardy and feisty, but they are also intelligent and easy to train. However, sometimes these dogs are rather willful. They won’t stand disrespectful behavior from children.

From personal experience I can say that this is highly affectionate and devoted breed. Miniature Schnauzers will sleep with you, share your everyday activities and try to spend every second beside you. Don’t be upset by occasional small trophies like mice, toys, and knickknacks at your bedside; Miniature Schnauzers are perfect hunting dogs and watchers.

10 Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese mountain dogs have been originally bred as working dogs. They had to herd cattle, watch, and guard. Bernese mountain dogs can sometimes be hyperactive as puppies. They are very calm and quiet as mature dogs, though. They are excellent with kids and also with other pets.

Bernese mountain dogs have rather mild disposition and keen intelligence. Despite their impressive size, they are rarely aggressive. When it comes to strangers, however, Bernese mountain dogs become protective and suspicious. Puppies are often too shy, but they strive for human and pet company. Early socialization and trainings will avert irritating behavior problems like chewing, barking or digging. If you decide to get this breed, be ready to spend a lot of time with him.

11 Bichon Frises

Bichon Frises are incredibly frisky dogs. If you want someone to be the center of attention, Bichon Frises are definitely for you! They are very cheerful and active. This dog will follow you whenever you go, help you with household chores and sleep with you or your kids as well. Friendly to everybody and everything they run into, they even get along with strange dogs. They are great with children, but are also very noisy. Be ready that your fluffy friend will bark at everything from other domestic pets to strangers outside.

Moreover, Bichon Frises will make a lot of noise if they’re bored or left unattended. Like any other social breed, Bichon Frises start misbehaving when they are left for hours. They don’t require great physical activities except for short frequent walks. However, Bichon Frises are sometimes stubborn, willful and slow to train. That’s why they require patience and persistence from their owner.

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Any of the dogs from this list would make a good addition to your family. There are also some breeds that are not good around children and should not be brought into family homes, such as Akitas, Dalmatians, and Dobermans. However, the most important factor in selecting a family companion is the personal bond that it forms with your family. Bring your kids with you when you go out pet hunting. They’ll have a good idea of which dog would make a good family pet. What’s the best family-friendly dog breed? What do you think?