15 Kid-Friendly Dogs That Make Great Family Pets

That are NOT your standard Lab, Golden, or Doodle.

15 Kid friendly dogs for your family. So your family has decided they are ready to add a new 4-legged family member to the pack. Narrowing down what is the best kid-friendly dog for your family can be quite overwhelming.  A good place to start is this article on “6 Questions to Find the Perfect Family Dog”. Once you have a better idea of the age, size, activity level, and other requirements of the dog that would best suit your family, then it is time to start considering what type of dog best fills those requirements.

We have compiled a list of 15 great kid-friendly dogs for you to consider. While, the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever and their “doodle” counterparts, are fantastic family pets, we figured you probably already knew that, so our list is not including them.

It is important to note that while some of the dogs on this list are purebred many are not, but they all have the traits that will make them an excellent kid-friendly dog option. If you are looking for a puppy, make sure that you get one for a Responsible Breeder, but you can also find both puppies and adults that are either purebred or mixed by looking into breed-specific rescues as well.

Just remember, any dog is going to require proper socialization and training to become a well-integrated member of your family. In addition, you should teach your kids the foundations of pet safety and responsible pet ownership, as their actions will play a large role in the ability to have a harmonious relationship between the dog and your family.

15 kid friendly dogs

List of 15 Kid-Friendly Dogs For The Family

cavador and kids

Cavador

The Cavador is a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Labrador Retriever, both of which are breeds, that by themselves, are very kid-friendly. By mixing the two you are getting a compact, intelligent, and loving dog.  The combination of the relaxed, even-keeled temperament of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with the outgoing athleticism and trainability of the Labrador Retriever makes for the perfect combination.

Their warm and playful disposition makes them great family dogs.  They come in a variety of colors including yellow, brown, black, red, and golden. Their cots can come either short and lab-like or feathered, but they will shed. They are energetic little guys so they will need plenty of exercise and stimulation.  

cavalier king charles spaniel kid friendly

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Tiny, majestic, and extremely gentle, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are even-tempered, gentle, yet a sporty breed of dog. They are considered a toy breed by the AKC. They are as comfortable in your lap as they are chasing a squirrel through a field. Their big round eyes are a hallmark of the breed.

The breed is friendly with children, which makes them a great family dog, however, due to their overwhelming popularity, it has been reported that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have been found to have a larger number of genetic conditions than other breeds of similar size.

best family dog comfort retriever

Comfort Retrievers

Comfort Retrievers are also known as Miniature Golden Retrievers. They wrap the beauty and loyalty of a golden retriever into a smaller package, often weighing between 20-45lbs compared to your pure breed Golden Retriever who weighs closer to 65-75lbs.

They are actually a mix between the golden retriever and either a poodle or cocker spaniel. While they may only be part golden, they tend to have 100% of their personality traits. You can expect a calm, loving, and loyal pet, perfect for families with kids. They tend to trust strangers easily, making them a great dog for a social family, but lacking as a guard dog.

Boston Terrier and kids

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a purebred dog recognized by his “tuxedo” jacket, which can be white and either black, brindle, or seal (dark brown), they have earned themselves the nickname “American Gentleman”.

Boston Terriers have an athletic little body and are known for their big round eyes. They have short smooth coats which combined with their smaller size means less shedding.  It is hard not to smile when you see a Boston. They are very people-oriented, and great family dogs.  They are very social dogs and training these little guys is easy as they are willing to please.

corgi family friendly dog

Corgi

There are actually two types of corgis, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, both of which are great kid-friendly options when you are looking for a family pet. Who could not fall in love with their tiny little legs and big ears? They pack all the cutest features into one dog.

The Corgi is a highly intelligent dog and they are known for their loyalty. Bred for herding these dogs do have a high energy level and thrive with both mental stimulation as well as physical activity. If you are looking for a great personality and lots of fun packed into an adorable package, look no further.

Great Dane kid friendly dog

Great Dane

While the Great Dane may be a powerful giant they are also considered a “Nanny Dog” for their great temperament with kids. They are gentle, easygoing, and patient.  They come in a variety of colors with short coats.  However, their pure size and strength cannot be forgotten as they can knock over children with just the wag of their tails.

They are happy going out with you on a walk or binge-watching your favorite shows. Originally bred as guard dogs, the Dane can be wary around strangers, and strangers may be wary of them. You must keep in mind when considering a Great Dane that not only are they more expensive to take care of than smaller dogs but they also have a lower life expectancy. If those are things you can get past, then they can make an excellent family dog.

schipperke kid friendly dog

Schipperke

These little black dogs from Belgium are also known as “Little Captain”. They have a fox-like face with an extra thick coat around their neck. They are among the more energetic of the smaller dogs and require plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to keep them out of trouble.

They can be highly affectionate and tolerant with children. They are a bit more independent and stubborn than other dogs and require owners to invest in training as they have a high prey drive and love chasing small animals. These dogs are not recommended for novice pet parents.

basset hound and kids

Basset Hound

Are you looking for a more laid-back dog? The Basset Hound is a great option for someone looking for a low-key, silly dog. Known for their little legs, floppy ears, and hound nose, these adorable little guys can also be a bit stubborn.

Basset Hounds have a tendency to love kids and kids have a tendency to love them! While they may be a bit of a couch potato, it is important that owners make sure they get regular exercise so they do not become overweight.

soft coated wheaten terrier family dog

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a fun-loving, friendly dog that loves just about everyone they meet. They require less exercise than many of their terrier relatives. They tend to be good dogs for first-time dog owners and do well in apartments or in a yard.

They do require more grooming than your average dog however their due to their soft, silky coat which can get matted if not brushed on a regular basis, plus side is that they shed little.

French Bulldog great kid friendly dog

French Bulldog

Did you know the French Bulldog actually originated in England? It got its name because accompanied English lacemakers to France. This purebred is a miniature version of a bulldog with big bat-like ears.

Frenchies, as they are often called, have the big dog mentality in a little body and are full of personality.  Goofy, yet intelligent, French bulldogs are sweet and companionable and love to please. Due to their small yet more quiet nature, they have become very popular as city dogs.

goldador kid friendly dog

Goldador

So we said we would exclude Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers from the list because they are so well known for being great kid-friendly dogs but we never said we wouldn’t include a Goldador!

A Goldador is just that, a cross between the two. It is a fairly common crossbreed, both of whom are friendly, loving dogs, who want nothing more than to please their owners. Their absolute love of food can make them easy to train. They are high energy and need a good amount of exercise to prevent them out of trouble.

havanese great with kids

Havanese

Havanese are a toy breed and the only breed that is native to Cuba. They are happy, sociable, and kid-friendly dogs. They are nicknamed the “Velcro dog” as they never want to leave their owner’s side. They have long silky hair and love to cuddle. They can be surprisingly energetic and great at performing tricks but they don’t require much room to roam.

Havanese are often crossed with other breeds such as the Bichon Frise (Havachon), the Llasa Apso (Hava-Alpso), and the poodle (Havapoo), to name a few. The Havanese is a great addition to a family with kids and other pets.  

English mastiff family dog

English Mastiff

The English Mastiff, while gigantic, is the epitome of “The Gentle Giant”, weighing anywhere from 120lbs to 230lbs. Their disposition tends to be very docile and they make a great kid-friendly pet. You just need to make sure they are supervised as they could easily step on a small child.

Mastiffs train easily for their size and tend to be very responsive to the tone in your voice. Mastiffs tend to move very slowly and while they need some exercise to maintain their health, they are generally couch potatoes. For that reason, they can actually do very well in small homes or apartments. Beware! They do drool, EVERYWHERE.

Yaikutian Laika and kids

Yaikutian Laiki

The Yuikutian Laiki gets its name from its place of origin, Yakutia in Northern Russia. They are also known as the Sledge Dog and belong to the spitz breed. . They are affectionate dogs and grow especially strong bonds with children they are raised with, and love to act as their nanny.

They can become protective of their family so they can make excellent watchdogs.  Bred to be sled dogs, the Yuikutian Laika has tons of energy, drive, and stamina. They work best in a family that is very active.

cocker spaniel family dog

Cocker Spaniel

Made famous as the star Lady, in Disney’s Lady and The Tramp, the Cocker Spaniel has long been known as a great kid-friendly family dog. They are also one of the most loved dog breeds in the US.  They are easily trained and are gentle and loving their tiny human playmates.

They do great in either apartments or homes with a yard. Their long, beautiful coats will require regular grooming to keep them from getting mats. They are also prone to separation anxiety, so they do best in a home where they are not left alone for long periods of time.

Additional Factors For A Kid-Friendly Dog For The Family

Other notable great kid-friendly dogs to consider as your next family pet include; The Swiss Mountain Dog, The Pit Bull Type Dogs, the Springer Spaniel, the Newfoundland, the Bulldog, and there are many more.

Remember the key to having a great family pet resides in you providing the proper training to both your new four-legged family member as well as to your children. Teaching your kids proper pet safety and responsible pet ownership can help ensure a positive experience for all. For more information on Child Pet Safety & Responsible Pet Ownership Education visit www.WaggingRight.com.

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