The Best Family Dogs - Good Dogs for Kids

Last Updated: 01/04/2016 Print Back to Articles

For dog lovers, a home isn't complete without a family dog. Knowing about the breed of the dog can aid in picking the right dog for the family.

Kids and dogs go hand in hand. Not only can dogs be protective, they make wonderful companions for children. In choosing a family dog, there are many things to consider such as temperament, the amount of exercise needed, the size of the home, and how social the breed normally is. Here are some of the most popular family dogs.

Labrador Retrievers One of the Favorite Family Dogs

Originally from Newfoundland, this sporting dog loves to play catch and swim. The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dogs in the United States because of its good temperament and its eagerness to please. Labs are obedient, great with kids, and get along well with other animals. It's also a very popular service dog.

Child Friendly Collies

Immortalized by Lassie, collies hail from Scotland where they were originally used as sheepherders. Sweet and gentle, collies are good with small children. They are active, strong dogs who get along well with other pets and make for good watchdogs. These intelligent dogs do have a tendency to be a bit stubborn from time to time.

Boxer a Family Oriented Dog

Originating in the 1800s in Germany, Boxers were known for bullbaiting and being guardians. Today, they make wonderful watchdogs. These medium-size dogs are playful, outgoing, and very devoted. Boxers do not do well in hot weather and should be kept as indoor dogs. For those who like a dog to sleep in the bedroom at night, it should be noted that some Boxers snore.

Golden Retriever One of the Most Friendly Dogs

Bred for retrieving in England, the Golden Retriever is a strong, athletic dog. Although they are not the best of watchdogs, Golden Retrievers are extremely friendly and affectionate. They are easy to train and eager to please. A particular favorite among hunters, Golden Retrievers enjoy play that involves retrieving and carrying items in their mouths.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Kids

Although its roots were in rat killing and dog fighting, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, (which originated in England,) is now considered to be an excellent indoor dog who is fun-loving, playful, and very affectionate. They are very gentle with children and love human companionship. They tend to do best when they are the only dog in the family.

Beagle a Great Small Dog For Families

Dating back to the 1300s, Beagles were recognized for trailing rabbits. These small dogs love to explore, are extremely social, and are excellent with children. Beagles require little grooming maintenance. They are very tolerant, affectionate, and good with other dogs or pets. They are one of America's all-time favorite breeds. Be careful of “design dogs” like puggles and other mixed beagles. Also watch for scent dogs, they tend to run.

German Shepherd a Favorite American Dog

A particular favorite among police officers, the courageous German Shepherd is a working-class dog, known for herding, whose origins are in Germany. German Shepherds are very intelligent dogs who are quite protective of their family and home. These loyal dogs can be very tolerant with children and love to play fetch.

Why pick a LABRADOR?

The number one most registered dog breed in the United States according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) is the Labrador retriever. We have a breed profile on the lab but the breed profile can only tell you so much. So...we really wanted to give possible lab owners a better understanding of the lab such as: are they good for families with kids? Are they aggressive? Do they shed a lot? Do they bark a lot? What are their good and bad traits. We wrote a survey asking lab owners just these questions. Read the real answers from over 450 Lab owners. We don't want to discourage anyone from getting a dog. But we want the right match. Read the responses of hundreds of lab owners and find out if a lab is right for you!

1. What type of pet or pets do you own?

In our survey, 62% have dogs, 1.6% had cats, 30.5% had both dogs and cats and approximately 6% had a dog but recently lost him or her. As you can see 30.5 % of lab owners have cats!

2. Do you have a Labrador retriever at home?

Over 98% answered yes and the remaining answered that they had a lab until recently.

3. How old is your lab?

In our survey, 23% were less than 1 year old, 35% were 1 to 3 years old, 18% were 4 to 6 years old, 9% were 7 to 9 years old and approximately 6% were over 9 years old.

4. How much does your lab weigh (Approximately)?

The majority of labs weighed 51 to 70 pounds followed by 71 to 90 pounds. More than 72% were between 51 and 90 pounds. Approximately 13% were over 90 pounds and 14% were less than 50 pounds. We believe those less than 50 pounds were growing puppies.

5. What is the gender of your lab?

In the labs owners surveyed, 39% were neutered males, 37% were spayed females, 13% were intact males and approximately 11% were intact females.

6. Do you think your lab is weight proportional?

More than 85% of responders believe that their lab is just right, 13% believe their lab is overweight and 1.6% thought their lab was underweight (too thin).

7. Do you think a lab is a good "first pet"? (I mean the first dog for someone that has never had a dog before).

Approximately 84% say, yes, the lab would make a great first pet. Approximately 16% said no, the lab would not make a good first pet. Out of the lab owners that expressed concern about a lab being a first pet, their concern stemmed around the fact that labs can be demanding requiring both substantial time and energy. Basically all puppies NEED TIME! Any first time dog owner needs to realize and plan for the time and exercise that a lab requires to have a good dog-owner match.

8. Do you think Labrador retrievers are good pets for senior citizens?

Approximately 41% say, yes, the lab would make a good pet for senior citizens and 49 % said no, that the lab would not make a good pet for seniors. Many lab owners thought labs would be good companions and would benefit seniors by encouraging them to walk and exercise their dog. However, many lab owners had concern that a high-energy lab may be too much for some seniors and that they dog may not get the exercise they need. In general, the opinion of lab owners is that if a senior is active and willing to give them the attention and exercise they need, they would be GREAT dogs for seniors. This is all in genetics and there are labs that are laid back and do not buy a field trained lab.

9. In general, do you think a Labrador retriever is a good dog for families with children?

Approximately 99% answered an enthusiastic YES! Only 1% said no. Relative to other breeds we surveyed, the lab is the winner for being good with for families.

10. Do you think a Labrador retriever is good with other dogs or prefers to be alone?

Approximately 93% believe that labs are good with other dogs and 7% thought they preferred to be alone.