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5 friendliest dog breeds perfect for families with young children

These loveable pups make thrive in a family environment

best dogs for families
Georgia Brown
Georgia BrownLifestyle Writer
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Introducing a pet into your home when you have children should never be taken lightly, especially when it comes to choosing the right breed for your lifestyle.

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With the correct training, any dog can be welcomed safely into a home with young children, but it goes without saying that some breeds have a temperament and build that makes them more suited for a family environment.

What makes a dog breed suitable for a family environment?

If you're looking to share your home with both pup and child, it may make it easier to choose a dog breed with a calm and even temperament. Your four-legged friend should be calm and patient enough to be able to cope with the excitement of young kids and eventually grow into a loyal companion for your little ones.

Choosing an appropriately sized breed is important when it comes to a family environment. Miniature breeds are extremely fragile and could get hurt around excitable children, whilst larger breeds tend to be far more docile, they can also be rougher with their playtime and risk hurting a younger child due to their size.

READ: 5 naughtiest dog breeds most likely to wreak havoc at home

SEE: 5 most affectionate dog breeds for emotional support

Be sure to consider whether your family could handle a high-energy dog that requires a lot of exercise before choosing your breed. Also, it's worth noting that extremely docile dog breeds might get scared or overwhelmed in a hectic family environment.

Most importantly - teaching your children to be kind to dogs will go a long way in ensuring you have a harmonious household.

Best dog breeds for families

Golden Retriever

golden retriever

Despite their large size, Goldies are neither aggressive, not timid. This loveable breed is also extremely patient, which makes them a perfect match for kids. Golden Retrievers are a docile breed and don't typically need a lot of exercise, but they are highly playful and obedient! Your children will love teaching this affectionate gentle giant tricks.



A mix between two very docile breeds, the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle, Cockapoos make a perfect match for a family environment. Their friendly nature and medium size makes them excellent dogs for families, and they will happily thrive in a home environment with children, plenty of attention, socialisation and training.

Basset Hound

basset hound

If those classic puppy dog eyes don't win you over, then a Basset Hound's big, floppy ears definitely will. These docile pups are extremely loyal, low-maintenance dogs that are comfortable not being the centre of attention – unlike other breeds which could get jealous of babies or young children stealing all the attention in the family.

Border Collie

border collie children

Collies are famed for their companionship, making them an extremely loveable breed. These athletic hounds do require a lot of exercise, so would be best suited to an active family willing to get the kids out for dog walks.

Jack Russell

jack russel children

Jack Russell Terriers make excellent family pets due to their loving nature. These four-legged friends have the ability to grow close bonds with all family members and love to cuddle up to young children for warmth. They strive to please their owners and make loyal and protective pets.

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