The Top 10 Breeds for Family Pets

Posted by Jackie Ly on

family happily playing with their dog outside

When deciding to adopt a dog as a new member of the family, you also want them to adapt well to your home and lifestyle. 

Contrary to the opinion that judging a dog by its breed is discriminatory, choosing the right breed that suits your lifestyle rather makes it easier for both of you to treat each other well. Some dogs have gentle, patient spirits better suited for kids who might get startled by more energetic animals and vice versa, while others love to wrestle with playful older children, or can keep up with your active lifestyle.

Many breeds make excellent family dogs and it can be difficult to decide which is the best fit– so here we give you the list of the top 10 breeds. 

But before that, take note first of the qualities of a good family dog and how to choose what’s suitable for you and your family. Researching the ideal dog breed for your home and lifestyle is always a good idea.

What makes a good family dog?


Look for a dog with an agreeable personality. The best family dog breeds, according to experts, are friendly, lively, and easy to train. In fact, when dogs and children live in the same household, simple commands like “come,” “sit,” and “stay” come naturally. With kids' adorable, high-energy antics, dogs with friendly, laid-back personalities are perfect.


A dog's size alone does not indicate whether it will get along well with children. The connection between size and energy level and personality should be considered. While some smaller dogs might be hyperactive, other larger canines have a tendency to be calm.

Energy level

You and your family decide on this based on your preferences. Be honest with yourself about the lifestyle you can offer a dog that needs more training and attention than the average dog. If you aren't able to meet a dog's needs, his excess energy may later cause behavioural issues.

Your dedication to training 

Once you have chosen the right dog breed, it’s time to make an effort to train them. Even if you choose the most calm dog out there, if they’re spoiled and untrained, they can be aggressive and disobedient– you don’t want them to be a nuisance in the long run.

A good relationship with your newly adopted pet starts with setting some house rules. Earning the title of “family dog” doesn’t only rely on the dog– the family they’re living with shares the responsibility to make it happen.

How to choose your family dog

Meet and greet

Before you decide, be sure to have a meet and greet several times to get familiar with the personality and energy level of your potential new pet. 

Watch their body language: 

  • Do they come up to you and your family with a wagging tail or body or do they back away and keep a distance? 
  • How willing are they to play or interact with your family members? Some dogs become possessive when they believe they own something. Small kids pick up everything, even the dog's toys or food dish, so possessiveness is problematic.

Ask questions from the breeder or shelter/rescue worker

Besides the meet-and-greet, you should ask the breeder, shelter, or rescue workers questions to learn a little bit more about the dog— their likes and dislikes. Below are some examples of questions to ask about potential family dogs:

  • Is the dog safe for all members of the family? While some dogs prefer only adults or one gender, others are perfectly happy to interact with the entire family.
  • What ongoing care will the dog require? Is it a high-maintenance breed? Either for grooming or health checks? 
  • What energy level does the dog have? Will it need a lot of walks or play? When you’re busy with work, the kids, and chores, a high-energy dog might not get the walks they need.
  • Will this dog get along with other pets? If you currently have other pets in your house, you should pick a dog that has a history of getting along well with others, or at least shows receptiveness. You also need to make sure that your current pets accept the new dog.

Top 10 Breeds for Family Pets 

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a courageous, intelligent, generous, and loyal dog. They’re an excellent choice for children because they are neither timid nor aggressive.

They need a lot of activities like playing, especially fetching activities. Golden Retrievers are often viewed as friendly and obedient so your kids will like them right away.

Their gorgeous golden coats need to be brushed twice a week in order to maintain proper upkeep.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever is one of the most well-liked dog breeds, and for good reason—it is playful, tolerant, affectionate, protective, and trustworthy. Another benefit is that labs are quite clever and adapt easily to teaching.

They enjoy swimming therefore they need a lot of exercise, so be sure your family is ready for the challenge. Make sure kids have lots of space to play and run about.

Black Labs, Chocolate Labs, and Yellow Labs all possess the same qualities of endurance, strength, and obedience that have made them such a well-liked breed.

Since they have short coats and get along well with most people and other animals, these friendly dogs only need weekly combing to stay clean and healthy. However, Labradors shed, so be ready to regularly wipe off their fur.


The Bulldog is the breed to choose if you want a dedicated, patient dog that will react kindly among children. Their strong build makes them ideal for children. They  won't, however, take home any prizes for "most spirited dog."

Bulldogs are calm, amiable, and loyal pets who get along well with both dogs and other animals. They're at home in both big houses and little homes.

If you are considering getting a Bulldog, keep in mind that due to their constricted jaw, they will require a little additional attention while having their teeth cleaned, and that wheezing, snoring, and even drooling are normal behaviours.


Aside from their usually unique hairstyles, Poodles are also incredibly intelligent and friendly dogs.This dog breed is confident and elegant, loving and loyal, and rarely gets bored or frustrated.

Poodles come in both miniature and regular sizes, so you may select the one that most closely fits your living situation. As they shed very little, they are excellent for children with allergies.

The standard poodle is very intelligent, playful, and brave. Despite the fact that they are often shy among strangers, they get along well with people they know and with little children.

On the other hand, miniature poodles are fine with other animals and children but have a tendency to devote themselves to one specific person. They are smart, sensitive, obedient, and playful.

Just keep in mind that Poodles of all breeds do require regular grooming for their coats.

Irish Setter

Irish Setters are cheerful and active dogs who enjoy being around people and playing with kids.They love being with their family so much that they actually hate being alone, therefore when they're around their loved ones, they're on their best behaviour.

This dog is an excellent match for energetic kids and requires a lot of activity. Irish Setters are intelligent and trainable dogs that make an excellent companion for anybody with a yard.They are also excellent at welcoming guests into your house.

Irish Setters have a red and longer coat, and they will need to be brushed and groomed frequently to avoid getting hair mats.


Newfoundland, sometimes known as "Nature's Babysitter," is regarded as one of the world's smartest breeds. These dogs also tend to adore children and be incredibly protective of them.

They are gentle, compassionate, and patient. This big, adorably cute dog will win the hearts of both the younger and elder family members. 

Although they are known to drool and shed excessively, Newfoundlands are best suited for families with vast, open areas and shouldn't be restricted in in the yard because of their shedding. Their lengthy coats need routine maintenance and grooming. Their size also means they’re not suitable for apartment living. 


Vizslas are loyal and loving, with a cheerful mood and a mild attitude. They’re also intelligent, confident, and obedient. They have strong relationships with their family members and pick up new skills quickly.

Although Vizslas aren’t exactly a well-known breed for a family dog—mostly because they require a lot of exercise—they're really one of the greatest dog breeds for enthusiastic and active households with older children.


Beagle is a wonderful breed for families because of they're tiny size and calm disposition.

Due to their strong build and history as hunting dogs, they are always up for playing. Beagles will fit in well if your children love the outdoors because nothing makes them happier than going outside and hiking the trails.

Beagles are intelligent, kind, and usually get along well with other pets.  When they shed, they need to be brushed and bathed regularly.


Collies are generally known for being intelligent, playful, and affectionate. They’re a breed that lives best with plenty of exercise, including long walks, playtime in the woods, and any chance to serve as a herding or guard dog.

Collies are wonderful family pets because they like keeping kids in line, something even young children find amusing. Collie is the only herding dog in this list because of their gentle personalities; the others could be a little too strict about keeping kids in line.

When trained properly in a positive and respectful manner, Collies are a pleasure to be with, but if you are harsh with them, they will shut down. They should be trained early to avoid any possible shyness.


Pugs are big enough to be "all dog," yet small enough to go everywhere, which is why they have been loved by so many people for so long. They have calm dispositions and they’re friendly, loyal, and cheerful.

The Pug gets along well with other animals as well, especially when socialised from a young age, and they're friendly to all sorts and ages of people. 

Pugs snore and snort because they have trouble breathing because of their small faces. Keeping their face clean is one concern. The areas around their eyes and the wrinkles must be kept clean and dry. Although  they shed regularly, their coat only needs occasional brushing.

BONUS: Mutts

Don’t disregard mixed breeds! The best characteristics of two (or more) breeds are usually found in a mixed-breed dog.

When you adopt a mixed-breed dog, you actually save two dogs' lives: the one you adopt and the one who gets to live in the space you just freed at the shelter.

You can learn more about the dog's behaviour by adopting. Because the personnel at the shelter or rescue spend their days taking care of the dogs, they are familiar with their personalities and routines.

If the dog is a mutt and not yet completely grown, you may only be able to determine their size as an adult.

Now that you are familiar with the best dog breeds to adopt, make sure you assess your lifestyle to determine which breed best suits your home and family. And remember that adopting a family dog doesn't stop with picking the right breed, it is followed by proper training.

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