The Best Dogs For Young Children

If you want a dog but you have younger kids around, you should choose a dog breed that’s friendly and affectionate towards children (and the whole family as well!).  

Golden Retriever

1. Golden Retriever

No wonder this is America’s #1 dog! It is very bright, highly trainable, friendly (even to complete strangers), even-tempered, and highly tolerant and gentle around kids. No wonder Golden Retrievers are the quintessential family dog!

Labrador Retriever

2. Labrador Retriever

It’s pretty much the same as the Golden Retriever — intelligent, easy to train, calm, friendly and an excellent companion for kids and other members of the family!


3. Poodle

Another smart dog, the poodle is also gentle as well as obedient and playful with kids. The Standard Poodle is friendly around familiar people, while the Miniature Poodle has the tendency to devote themselves to one person only. Nevertheless, both types are energetic and friendly with kids as well as with other pets.

Irish Setter

4. Irish Setter

The red-coated Irish Setter is energetic, playful, which makes them perfect playmates for active kids. It’s also trainable, friendly and loves being around people.

Basset Hound

5. Basset Hound

Primarily a hunting dog, the Basset Hound also makes a great family pet. It’s a loyal, gentle, and loving dog, but a bit stubborn. Its size makes it adaptable to smaller living spaces. This slow-pacing, leisurely dog may not be for more active kids although it can be at times very playful.

New Foundland

6. New Foundland

Another gentle giant, the Newfoundland is intelligent, patient, courageous and a kind dog who is also protective of its human masters, including kids. It is a working dog, a water dog, and a retriever, so it can do many tasks that range from retrieving toys from the pond to even saving children from drowning.


7. Collie

This breed rose to popularity due to the success of the novel Lassie Come-Home, which gave birth to many “Lassie” TV and film adaptations.

Actually, Collies are not limited to the “Lassie” breed (which is actually a Rough Collie type). There are other types of Collies such as the Welsh Sheepdog, Border Collie (which is the most intelligent dog in the world), and Shetland Sheepdog with only subtle differences in temperament. But generally, Collies make great companions for any children. These adorable dogs are smart, trainable, not aggressive, kind and gentle — they exhibit good behavior overall. But as herding dogs, collies have the tendency to herd your kids, so some training is required to tone this behavior down.

Bull Terrier

8. Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers get a bad and undeserved reputation as an aggressive animal. But contrary to popular notion, the Bull Terrier was really bred to be a companion dog. It is actually a gentle, friendly and loving dog, and makes for a good house dog although it can be stubborn and mischievous at times when it comes to encountering smaller dog breeds and other pets. Plus, it loves being with children! Bull terriers are physically tough and tolerant to pain, thus they are perfect for some rough-and-tumble play with kids.


9. Beagle

Their small size, calmness, friendliness, gentle disposition and love for playing and for the outdoors will make them perfect companions for active kids. Since beagles are bred as hunting dogs, they have the tendency to chase, but their sturdiness means they’ll never get tired of playing.


10. Bulldog

The bulldog may look menacing but it is, in fact, a docile, friendly, gentle and loyal pooch. It is comfortable in any housing environment, and gets along well with children, other dogs and other pets, even towards strangers! It means that a bulldog is quite a social animal. However, it is usually a lazy type of breed, so you should encourage it to have daily exercise, like all dogs. The bulldog is more content with just sitting around, so it will also make a perfect couch companion!

11. Pug  

Pugs are small and weigh around 15 pounds so they need less space and low maintenance. They are loved by kids because they love to eat, sleep and play.

12. Brussels Griffon

Known as one of the most loyal and intelligent pet amongst children, Brussels Griffon is small and enjoys gentle playing. By nature they are alert, social and can be trained easily. They are energetic but sensitive, so not fit for roughhousing.

13. Weimaraner

Weimaraner, also known as the Gray Ghost is fond of children and quick learner by nature. They have a friendly, Fearless and Obedient personality, which is why they become part of the family very quickly.

14. Boxer

A breed that was formerly known as fighters, Boxer remains a protective yet friendly pet for young children. They are energetic, fun-loving and watch-out because they love to jump so they would need some training with kids around.

15. Bichon Frise

There are high chances you and your children would have love at first sight after seeing a Bichon Frise. They are small in size but have a sturdy body and a curious and playful nature. Bichon Frise is also known as one of the breeds with the greatest personality, a combination of beauty and brains.


If you have children in the house, it is important to think carefully before buying a pet dog. Child-friendly dogs are not only good companions for companions but also teach children many good habits. Having pets is about taking responsibility and many families don’t keep pets because they require appropriate care and handling which must be learnt by both families and children.