Best Family Dogs

Having a dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience for a family. Dogs provide love and affection, teach responsibility, and encourage activity and playtime. Choosing the right breed is key to ensuring a good fit with your family’s lifestyle. Some breeds are better suited for families than others based on factors like energy level, trainability, shedding amount, and more. This article explores the best dog breeds for families in depth so you can find your perfect canine companion.

What Makes a Good Family Dog?

Before getting into specifics on breeds, it is helpful to understand the qualities that make a dog well-suited for family life. Important factors to consider include:

Temperament – Look for breeds described as friendly, patient, gentle, eager to please, and sociable. These personality traits indicate the dog will interact well with both adults and children.

Energy Level – Consider your family’s activity level. High energy dogs require lots of exercise while low energy dogs make better couch cuddlers.

Size – Larger dogs tend to be better with children but small breeds work well in smaller homes or apartments.

Trainability – Dogs who aim to please their owners are easier to train both formally and informally. This helps children learn to respect and properly care for the pet.

Grooming Needs – While every dog needs basic care, some require much more frequent brushing and bathing which can get expensive. Low maintenance dogs are most manageable for busy households.

The Top 10 Best Family Dog Breeds

Types of Collies: From Bearded to Border

After comparing numerous breeds against the qualities that make a good family companion, 10 stand out from the rest. These dogs are friendly, loyal, intelligent and respond well to training. Most importantly, they have an innate patience and gentleness that allows them to thrive among children and adults alike.

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Bulldog
3. Golden Retriever
4. Beagle
5. Pug
6. Irish Setter
7. Brussels Griffon
8. Newfoundland
9. French Bulldog
10. Collie

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Information

Personality Traits
The Labrador Retriever has an outgoing, affectionate and playful personality. They are highly social animals that form strong bonds with their human families. Labs are often described as even-tempered, kind, and trustworthy. Their intelligence also gives them an intuitiveness regarding moods of people around them.

Energy Level
Labs have an enthusiastic zest for life and high levels of stamina. They require lots of physical and mental stimulation. Labs enjoy activities like running, swimming, playing fetch and learning new tricks. Without adequate exercise, these high-energy dogs are prone to naughty behavior like chewing, digging and barking.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Labrador Retrievers are patient, gentle and reliable with children. They seem to have an affinity for little ones. Proper socialization and training can ensure successful coexistence with other household pets too.

Trainability
The Lab’s aim to please and high intelligence means this breed is very responsive to training. Positive reinforcement methods working best with these sensitive dogs. Harsher training tactics can suppress their fun-loving spirit.

Grooming & General Care
The Lab’s short, dense coat requires minimal grooming but does shed moderately year-round. Labs should receive daily exercise as well as both mental and physical stimulation through training, toys, and quality time with family. Their dietary needs can also be demanding due to their high activity level.

2. Bulldog

Bulldog

Personality Traits
The Bulldog has an easygoing nature and thrives on love and attention from their family. They form strong bonds with all members of the household. The breed tends to be gentle, calm, friendly yet courageous and dignified. They also have an amusing playful streak and sometimes mischievous personality.

Energy Level
Bulldogs are lower energy and do not require much intense exercise. They enjoy short walks and some active playtime but are also content to curl up on the couch. Avoid overexertion and heat due to their pushed in faces.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Bulldogs are especially fond of children making them an ideal family dog. Their patience and protective personality produces trustworthy canine companion. With proper introductions, they generally coexist well with other pets too.

Trainability
The Bulldog aims to please their owners yet can have a stubborn streak at times. Utilizing positive reinforcement training methods works best with this sensitive and emotionally intuitive breed. Harsh correction should be avoided.

Grooming & General Care
The folded skin on the Bulldog’s face requires regular cleaning since moisture and debris can gather in wrinkles. These hot and cold sensitive dogs may also need special housing arrangements. Their activity needs are minimal but providing enrichment through toys and quality time is important.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Personality Traits
Intelligent, friendly, trustworthy and devoted best describes the Golden Retriever personality. Goldens FORM exceptionally strong bonds with all family members including children. They seem to have endless patience and enjoy participating in tasks and activities with their human pack.

Energy Level
Goldens have high energy reserves and require plenty of exercise and playtime. Long walks, playing fetch and access to a safe open space to run are ideal for meeting this breed’s activity needs. Mental stimulation through training or interactive toys is also beneficial.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Goldens are naturally gentle with kids and seem to understand their unpredictable behaviors. With training and supervision, they generally coexist well alongside other household pets too. Their friendly nature allows for successful integration.

Trainability
Eager to please and highly intelligent, Golden Retrievers are obedient and responsive to training. Positive reinforcement yields the best results. Harsher methods can suppress their good natured spirits. Consistency is key when housebreaking.

Grooming & General Care
Goldens have a water-repellent double coat that requires weekly brushing and sheds moderately year round. Daily exercise plus mental stimulation and quality time with family provides a happy, well-rounded life.

4. Beagle

Beagle

Personality Traits
The Beagle has an upbeat, amusing and curious personality. They rarely meet a stranger and make friends easily both human and canine alike. Beagles are highly pack motivated and form close attachments to their family while welcoming newcomers easily.

Energy Level
Beagles have lively dispositions and ample energy reserves requiring plenty of daily activity. Long walks, play sessions, or scent tracking activities provide both physical and mental enrichment. Without enough stimulation, Beagles are prone to mischief.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Patient, gentle and playful, the Beagle gets along wonderfully with kids. With training and supervision, they can learn to coexist alongside other household pets as well. Early socialization is imperative to prevent “small animal” chasing tendencies.

Trainability
Smart, energetic and eager to follow their nose, Beagles respond best to positive reinforcement training methods requiring patience and creativity. Consistency is key when housebreaking these determined scenthounds.

Grooming & General Care
Beagles have a smooth, short-haired coat needing only weekly brushing. Their long droopy ears require regular inspection and cleaning. A 6 foot fence or daily leashed walks provide this active breed adequate exercise. Interactive playtime is also essential.

5. Pug

Pug Dog

Personality Traits
Pugs have enthusiastic, charming and mischievous personalities. They form very close attachments to their families including children. Pugs crave companionship and lots of quality time with their beloved people. They aim to please and amuse their owners.

Energy Level
Pugs have moderate energy levels and require daily walks plus regular active play sessions. Avoid overexertion during heat due to their short noses. Pugs mostly enjoy snuggling on the couch or snoozing by their owner’s feet while they work.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Pugs tend to be gentle and patient with well-behaved children but small kids should be supervised to avoid accidental injury due to size disparity. They generally coexist fine alongside other pets when properly socialized.

Trainability
Pugs are eager to please although can be occasionally strong-willed. Positive reinforcement training methods work best with this sensitive and emotionally intuitive breed. Harsh correction should be avoided.

Grooming & General Care
Pugs shed moderately year-round requiring weekly brushing. Their facial wrinkles need regular cleaning to prevent skin fold dermatitis. Pugs should not be over exercised but enjoy daily walks, playtime and interacting with their family.

6. Irish Setter

Irish Setter dog

Personality Traits
Irish Setters have lively, outgoing and affectionate dispositions. They form strong, personal bonds with all family members and match the energy level of their environment. Irish Setters thrive when included in household activities.

Energy Level
Very high energy both mentally and physically. Irish Setters require plenty of vigorous activity via long daily walks, hiking, running or competitive canine sports. Without adequate exercise, they can become destructive.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Irish Setters are friendly and gentle with well-behaved children but their exuberant nature warrants supervision around toddlers. They generally coexist fine with other household pets if properly socialized and introduced.

Trainability
Eager to please with high intelligence, Irish Setters are responsive to positive reinforcement training methods. Their high energy requires patience especially when housebreaking. Consistency is key.

Grooming & General Care
Irish Setters have a long silky coat requiring thorough brushing twice weekly. Their high activity needs demand plenty of daily exercise and interactive playtime. Secure fencing is a must to prevent this breed from roaming.

7. Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

Personality Traits
Brussels Griffons have lively, comical and devoted dispositions. They thrive on being with their family whom they form strong bonds with. The breed aims to please and enjoys participating in activities with their owners. Griffons tend to intensely bond with one primary person.

Energy Level
Moderately active inside the home but requiring daily outdoor walks and active play sessions too. Griffons enjoy brisk walks, learning tricks and playing interactive games with kids and adults alike. Avoid overheating.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Brussels Griffons are gentle and trusting with respectful kids but supervision is warranted due to size disparities. When properly socialized, they generally coexist fine alongside other household pets as well.

Trainability
Brussels Griffons aim to please making them fairly responsive to positive reinforcement training approaches. Some can be strong willed at times requiring extra patience especially during housebreaking.

Grooming & General Care
Two types of coat textures exist among Griffons each needing weekly brushing and ear cleaning. Minimal shedding occurs. Daily indoor play and outdoor walks provides adequate exercise for this moderately active companion breed.

8. Newfoundland

Newfoundland

Personality Traits
The Newfoundland breed has a gentle giant temperament known for courage, loyalty and patience – especially with children. They form close bonds and seem to intuitively understand human emotions. Sweet, calm and trustworthy best describes this breed.

Energy Level
Moderate energy reserves with spurts of high activity. Newfoundlands require daily walks plus access to a safe open space for running and playing. They enjoy activities like pulling carts or learning water rescue skills. Less intense exercise prevents overheating.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Highly trustworthy and protective of kids combined with a watchful, patient demeanor makes Newfoundlands wonderful family dogs. They generally get along fine with other animals too when properly introduced.

Trainability
Responsive to training due to aim to please owners along with high intelligence. Positive reinforcement works best with this sensitive breed. Some independence requires consistently applied techniques especially during housebreaking phase.

Grooming & General Care
The Newfie’s double coat requires thorough brushing one to two times per week. Their facial wrinkles and skin folds need regular cleaning as well to prevent infection. Secure fencing is a must for these occasional roamers and strong swimmers with high prey drive.

9. French Bulldog

French Bulldog

Personality Traits
French Bulldogs have playful, smart, amusing personalities and form very close bonds with all family members. They aim to please owners and intuitively understand human emotions. Frenchies match their environment’s energy level making them highly adaptable.

Energy Level
Moderately active, French Bulldogs enjoy brisk daily walks and active play sessions but also relaxation. Avoid over exertion and heat due to pushed in faces. Monitoring is required to prevent obesity from overeating.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Friendly, gentle and trusting describes the Frenchie temperament with kids although play should be monitored due to small size disparity. Proper socialization allows for successful integration with other household pets too.

Trainability
Eager to please with moderately high intelligence makes training fairly easy although some stubbornness occasionally occurs requiring extra patience during housebreaking process. Positive reinforcement works best.

Grooming & General Care
Minimal shedding but frequent face wrinkle cleaning required. Avoid overheating. Frenchies thrive on quality time with their families in addition to daily walks and play sessions. Mentally stimulating toys also enrich their lives.

10. Collie

Collie

Personality Traits
Collies form intensely strong bonds with family members who they live to please. They seem to have an intuitive sense of human emotions. Collies are both gentle and protective with children. Intelligent, responsive and eager to participate in family activities and tasks.

Energy Level
Very high energy requiring plenty of daily vigorous exercise and playtime. Collies enjoy activities like jogging, hiking, competitive sports and interactive games. Without adequate activity they can become nuisance barkers or destructive chewers.

Interaction with Children & Other Pets
Trustworthy, gentle and protective best describes the Collie personality with kids. With training they generally coexist fine with other household pets too. Early socialization helps prevent chasing small furry animals.

Trainability
Extremely responsive to positive reinforcement training methods owing to intelligence, eagerness to please owners along with strong work ethic. Consistency is imperative especially during the housebreaking process.

Grooming & General Care
Long silky coat requires thorough brushing two to three times weekly. Shed heavily twice annually. Secure outdoor fencing prevents wandering tendencies. Daily mental and physical exercise is essential for a well-balanced life.

Comparison of Breeds

While the best breeds for families share common traits like friendliness, trainability and patience, each has slight nuances. Considering individual breed characteristics and family circumstances helps determine the optimal match. Use the comparison chart below when deciding among the top breeds.

Trait Energy Level Shedding Amount Grooming Needs Trainability Kid Friendly Other Pet Friendly Apartment Living
Senior Friendly
Labrador Retriever Very high Moderate Low Medium Eager Extremely With training No–needs space Yes
Bulldog Lower Light Moderate wrinkles Moderately eager Extremely With training Yes Yes
Golden Retriever Very high Moderate Low Very eager Extremely With training No–needs space Yes
Beagle Very high Moderate Low Needs patience Very/needs supervision Needs Training Can do with exercise Yes
Pug Moderate Seasonal Heavy wrinkles Moderately eager With supervision With training Yes Yes
Irish Setter Very High Minimal Seasonal Medium Very trainable Very With supervision With training No Yes
Brussels Griffon Moderate Heavy Minimal Medium Moderately trainable Extremely With training Yes Yes
Newfoundland Moderate Moderate Medium Eager but independent Yes Yes with training No Yes
French Bulldog Moderately Active Light Moderate High – wrinkles Moderately eager Very With supervision Yes with training Yes Yes
Collie Very high Seasonal Heavy Medium Very trainable Very/needs supervision Yes with training No Yes

 

Adding a Dog to Your Family

Preparing properly before bringing home a new canine companion can set the stage for a long, positive relationship. Below are some tips:

• Gather opinions from all family members to ensure everyone is onboard, especially children
• Puppy proof your home removing anything valuable or dangerous
• Dog proof outdoor areas checking for hazards and fencing needs
• Research specific breed needs like grooming, exercise requirements, common health issues
• Have designated areas set up for sleeping, eating, playing
• Buy all necessary supplies like food bowls, collar, leash, bed ahead of time
• Find a trusted veterinarian and schedule first appointment right away
• Sign up for obedience training classes to establish good manners
• Make sure everyone understands the responsibility and time commitment involved

Following the guidance above combined with choosing among the top 10 family friendly breeds highlighted will enable you to add the perfect furry companion to your household.

Adding a dog to your family introduces years of devoted companionship, unconditional love and lively activity. Performing research ahead of time helps match a breed’s characteristics and personality to your household’s unique needs and lifestyle for maximum compatibility. This article explored the best 10 breeds for families along with comparison traits allowing prospective owners to make informed decisions. Preparing properly for a new dog’s arrival and adequately meeting the canine’s needs from the start allows the human-animal bond to strengthen over time, benefiting every family member. The result produces happy kids, content dogs and busy, active lives for all.