It’s a pretty common fact that everyone wants to own a dog at some point in their life. This is because dogs make the best companions regardless of your age, gender, or geographical location.
Yet it’s important to remember that owning a dog is not just a privilege, it’s a very important responsibility! These beautiful creatures depend on us for, at a minimum, shelter, water, and food. Yet they deserve so much more!
When you bring a dog into your home you are making a huge life-long commitment to care for them until you can no longer do so. This means it’s so important to understand the overall commitment that owning a dog entails.
Firstly, you must make a note of your household’s overall energy and activity levels, and your current living situation. You want to find a dog that matches your energy as a family unit to ensure they (and you) get the most out of your relationship with one another.
You can’t go wrong by choosing a dog with a friendly attitude, a gentle disposition, an easily trainable nature, and an overall ability to keep up with the rest of your family.
That being said, there are many dogs out there that offer these qualities – to the point where making a decision can become a pretty overwhelming process!
Fortunately, we’re here to help you out! Here are 15 of the best dog breeds for families.
1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you combine a portable dog breed, adorable floppy ears, and boundless energy – you will get one of these adorable companions.
This breed was once bred purely as a companion dog. Nowadays, not much has changed, and the breed tends to thrive under the companionship of its family.
Overall, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has become a hugely popular family dog due to their love of people, their small size, and their heart-melting cuteness.
In terms of their temperament, you can’t get a more family-orientated dog breed! These delightful dogs are extremely affectionate, gentle, calm, and always eager to please.
For example, you can brush through their fur and they will be happy to simply sit and allow you to do so.
Though they were bred as lapdogs, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is descended from sporting dogs and thoroughly enjoys moderate exercise and participation in outdoor activities. This is especially true when they are in the company of their owners!
Simply put, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a sociable animal that is happy to spend time going for walks or playing some games outside such as tug of war or ‘fetch.’ Yet they are also just as content with being curled up on the sofa alongside their family.
However, you must be careful when letting these dogs get their much-needed exercise in. What we mean is that they should not be allowed off-leash if you were to go on a public hike.
This is because they retain hunting and scenting instincts and may not be great with leash recall if they find an interesting trail to follow!
2. Bernese Mountain Dog
Famed for being good-natured and highly affectionate ‘gentle giants’, Bernese Mountain Dogs are believed to be one of the least aggressive dog breeds. This makes them brilliant potential dogs for families!
This breed is generally characterized by their willingness to play, their devotion to their owners, and their calm spirit. Plus, they will thrive if they are located in the right type of household.
Bernese Mountain Dogs need to get lots of exercise each day and also love a good challenge that allows them to actively engage their mind.
Like all other dog breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs adore company and prefer having someone with them at all times.
Bernese Mountain Dogs can be pretty tolerant yet they can also become quite destructive if they become bored and may knock things (or people) over.
This means it’s important to keep them engaged in an activity that stimulates them mentally and physically at all times.
A novice dog parent may be attracted to the friendly disposition, trainability, and intelligence of this breed. Not only are they large and strong dogs but they may want to also chase smaller animals and play roughly, even if they are trained properly.
However, despite being both friendly and patient, we would not recommend the Bernese Mountain Dog for households with very young children as they tend to be a bit rough when they play.
3. Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamutes are pretty popular due to their loving personalities and Husky-like appearance. Yet they are so much more than just these simple qualities. They are serious working dogs with a tremendous amount of strength.
An Alaskan Malamute will do just about anything to please their pack, whether canine or human. So you don’t need to worry too much about whether or not they will gel well with the whole family.
But it is still important to take a close look at their temperament. To start with, they love to spend time with other people which comes from their working history as sled dogs and the requirement to work with humans.
As a result of this, the Alaskan Malamute is happy to spend the majority of their day around their owners and will become attached to who they perceive as the ‘alpha’ of the family pack. This breed will often insist on being included in all family activities!
However, their friendliness isn’t limited to their owners and this breed can be particularly outgoing when meeting strangers or close family friends for the first time.
If you have a large family or regularly have guests over, you’ll have no issues with the Alaskan Malamute as a pet!
As amazing as this breed will be within your home, they require lots of specific training. They are intelligent dogs but get bored very easily and may resort to negative behavior like chewing up furniture or howling loudly.
Fortunately, this is preventable! Ideally, you will begin training them as soon as they enter your home for the first time.
4. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are sturdy and solid dogs that are easily recognized by their expressive eyes, drop ears, and large broad heads.
Not only that, but they are also intelligent, devoted, and highly enthusiastic companions that must be included in all family activities.
A Labrador Retriever may look like it is large and in charge but the Labs are renowned for being extremely child-friendly.
Specifically, they’re good-natured, very kind, and also tend to take most things in stride. This level of adaptability makes them one of the greatest family dogs of all time.
Yet just saying that they are great for families isn’t enough.
Labrador Retrievers are very protective of their families and their home but are also equally as happy to greet new non-threatening company.
But, unlike Golden Retrievers, the Labrador Retriever will be a little bit more conservative with their affection towards others.
They could also make terrific family dogs if they are given the right amount of vigorous daily activity such as fetching or retrieving games, swimming, or even tracking.
What we mean is that you cannot leave the Labrador Retriever to simply run around the backyard, or satisfy them with one measly 10-minute walk a day. Due to being an energetic breed, they need a considerable amount of exercise each day!
If these stubborn dogs are confined in smaller spaces without adequate space to burn off their pent-up energy, you might find that they become destructive and rambunctious.
5. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever breed is the quintessential family dog breed thanks to its caring and gentle nature and easy adaptability to its environment.
Golden Retrievers are also loyal dogs that bond well with just about anyone. As long as you show them the care and affection that they deserve, and take some time to play with them, you will have no issues developing a beautiful bond with them!
Like other dogs on this list, the Golden Retriever has innately high energy levels.
Yet they are also calm when the moment calls for it and are highly intelligent, meaning that training them will be an absolute breeze (provided you understand what you are taking on with a larger breed).
They will be active enough to give you and your family some exercise but are gentle enough not to cause any major injuries during their playtime.
Golden Retrievers are more than happy to be included in outdoor family activities (think going for a walk or playing fetch) or even to curl up on the sofa alongside you and the rest of your family. This sort of versatility is what makes them excellent family dogs!
Sure, a golden retriever may appear to be the best dog breed for families due to its caring and reliable nature. But it is your sole responsibility to form a close bond with your pet and become its best friend.
6. British Bulldog
If it’s a sweet and gentle disposition you’re looking for in a family dog, look no further than the British Bulldog!
Both predictable and dependable, the Bulldog is a delightful family pet with a whole host of unique qualities. Notably, they are extremely people-oriented and affectionate and tend to thrive under direct human attention – especially that of their family.
In addition, a British Bulldog will generally get along well with other dog breeds and animals both in and out of the home.
This breed also has an abundance of patience and a much slower way of life which means you don’t need to worry about them becoming too energetic or jumping up at you at any point.
Besides going for regular walks around the block, these pups love a good snooze!
This means that this loyal dog breed will likely prove to be a much better addition to families who prefer a more laid-back lifestyle compared to one where long hikes are a common occurrence.
While their cute wrinkled faces might be enough to win you over, you must be careful if you live in a warmer climate. This is because they have short snouts which makes them very prone to overheating!
British Bulldogs can also become quite territorial about things or people that it regards as their own. So if you do choose to bring this dog breed into your family life, make sure that you start training immediately to prevent these negative behaviors from developing.
Affectionate, great with younger children, and confident around other dogs. What’s not to love about the beloved Beagle?
Beagles are small hound dogs that are popular both as a pet and as a hunter. They resemble a small foxhound and are characterized by their hanging ears, short coat, and tan, black, and white coloring.
In terms of temperament, the Beagle is very amiable and seldom squabbles with other pets or dog breeds. They are cheerful, playful, outgoing, and extremely gentle – all of which make them incredibly entertaining companions for people of all ages.
As far as small dogs go, the Beagle is pretty solid for its size. Despite this, they are highly affectionate dogs with so much love and loyalty to give to their family.
The Beagle is also a pretty low-maintenance breed. Provided you show them lots of care and affection and control their food intake to reduce the risk of obesity, you’ll be on your way to becoming a certified Beagle owner in no time!
However, they still require a long leash walk every day, vigorous game time, and a fenced yard to properly be able to release any of their pent-up energy and live a healthier lifestyle.
You must also be careful not to leave a Beagle alone for long periods as they can become destructive. This sort of damage is amplified if they are not properly trained or are often left to fend for themselves.
8. Irish Setter
In essence, an Irish Setter is a very friendly and highly affectionate dog that tends to get along well with other pets and children of all ages. This makes them a brilliant choice as a new addition to your family!
Like all breeds, socialization and training are essential for this breed. Taking the proper precautions to ensure that they have all the necessary training will allow them to grow into sociable, confident, and generally happy dogs within a family environment.
The Irish Setter has been described as a happy-go-lucky, clownish, demonstrative, and impulsive dog. While these descriptions may seem at odds with one another, they perfectly summarize this dog breed.
Irish Setters can be pretty destructive and overwhelming during the first two or three years of their life. Yet if they are given the proper guidance and training to instill good behaviors, this dog breed will often become very dignified as they grow into adulthood.
Though the Irish Setter has a willful streak and can be easily distracted by smells and sights in the surrounding environment, they are often the most willing to please of the Setter breeds.
They also require a great deal of companionship and won’t reach their full potential if they are left alone for long periods. The main takeaway is that you must have patience with this breed if you want them to become the perfect family dog!
9. Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffon started as hunting dogs in Belgium but have recently become more popular as house pets. Now, these dogs make highly affectionate, curious, cheerful, and overall delightful companions.
These toy dogs are friendly and super smart with delightful personalities. This makes them the perfect addition to families or households of any size – even those with other pets such as cats or dogs!
This breed is extremely affectionate with its owners and tends to bond most with a single member of their family. They can be especially affectionate with their favorite person! Not only that, but their generally calm and loving demeanor makes the breed very kid-friendly.
A high-intelligence breed, Brussels Griffon is also relatively simple to train which means this breed excels in canine events like tracking, agility, and obedience.
Griffons require about 30 minutes of daily exercise to stay happy and healthy which doesn’t take up too much time during your day. They are at their happiest when they are doing activities with their loved ones. Even something as simple as ‘chase the ball’ would do wonders for their health!
However, they can’t handle a lot of roughhousing like other sturdier breeds on this list. Yet if you and your family are up for more gentle playtime with your pet, you’ll be rewarded with a loyal, intelligent dog with oodles of personality!
The Newfoundland dog breed might be a little more unfamiliar to you, yet we’re here to shine a spotlight on just how great they are for the whole family.
Above all, Newfoundland is loyal and highly intelligent. They are also willing to learn new commands or help their owner to complete specific tasks, as long as they have received the correct training.
This is an especially important quality to have if you have young children living within your home as you can train the Newfoundland to respect their boundaries to prevent accidents from occurring.
Newfoundland dogs also have a sweet disposition and are devoted to those who show them care. With a gentle and calm temperament, the Newfoundland breed is also known as a ‘nanny dog’ for younger children.
This enables them to easily live in harmony with a single person or a large family.
Due to all of these factors, the Newfoundland breed makes for an amazing family dog.
However, the large size of the dog is an important factor that must be considered. The breed doesn’t need a huge amount of exercise to stay healthy which means they will fit in well with busy family life.
Yet they can become lazy if you do not take care of their exercise needs.
Provided you train them from a young age, help them to get adequate exercise, and also devote time and energy to taking care of their every need, you will have a loyal and highly affectionate companion in a Newfoundland dog!
Everybody loves a Boxer. With boundless energy, an adorable face, and an easy-to-maintain coat, they’re a brilliant companion for just about any activity or family situation!
Overall, if you are planning to make this breed a part of your family, you are gearing yourself up for a lifetime of protection courtesy of your furry watchdog.
This breed is fiercely protective and easily forms loyal bonds with those who show them love and care. Boxers tend to take their role as a protector very seriously and are never afraid to pounce on an opposing force if the situation calls for it.
Boxers typically have a muscular and tough look but a heart of gold. Simply put, they are energetic and love to play with their family yet have a lot of patience, which makes them a brilliant companion for high-energy children.
They are often so great with children that some of these dogs might even start to think of the kids in their family as their own!
These extremely loving dogs can adjust to any living situation as long as there is adequate exercising space available. They have lots of energy and love to play, meaning you must make daily exercise a priority with these dogs!
However, Boxers are just as content to sit inside with their family, unlike other large dog breeds. Really, by bringing this breed into your family, you get the best of everything: love, loyalty, protection, and lots of fun!
12. Cocker Spaniel
Another one of the most amazing dog breeds for families is the Cocker Spaniel. With soft ears, a compact body, and an adorably cheerful disposition, they are not only easy to look at but are also pretty low maintenance, too!
There’s a huge possibility that these dogs think that they are human. They are smart, loving, gentle, love spending time with children, and are always wanting to be at the heart of all action.
Cocker Spaniels are apartment-friendly, sweet-natured, and pretty relaxed dogs. As a result, they don’t need lots of space to get rid of their energy and are more than happy to have some low-key playtime with young kids.
All you need to do is take these dogs out for regular walks and schedule daily playtime and you’ll have a loyal lifelong companion on your hands!
Although they are never as pleased as when they are pleasing you. For example, they’re more than comfortable with snuggling on the couch as they are playing outside or going for a walk.
This breed is also easy to train, outgoing, and super adaptable to its surroundings and other people. A lack of aggression with other pets will make your family life so much easier!
However, this does mean that they aren’t the greatest watchdogs. But that’s a small price to pay.
13. Bichon Frise
If you’re looking for a dog that is as adorable as it is family-friendly, the small but sturdy Bichon Frise might be exactly what you need!
These delightful and highly active pups may look like harmless fluffy cotton balls, but they should never be underestimated! Overall, this breed is a star performer that is amusing, confident, and always eager to please.
Bichon Frises are highly adaptable and make brilliant companions due to their curious yet alert nature and their capability to love big and love hard.
With a tendency to be both playful and gentle, they are considered to be a great dog breed all-around and get on well with just about anyone or anything. The Bichon Frise is also pretty easy to train as long as you are dedicated and consistent with the training regime.
Bichon Frises are intelligent and extremely cheerful while relishing being the center of attention. They love to be a part of the action and thrive in busier households where there are lots of people to bond with and endless love to receive.
Although the breed is very amiable, they’re a little more high maintenance than other dogs on this list. Bichon Frises require consistent grooming and may frighten easily. Our advice would be to tread with caution when introducing new people or dogs into their life.
Collies are athletic, graceful animals who adore being the apple of your eye.
This timeless dog breed was initially popularized due to the beloved television character Lassie. Yet many other attractive factors make the Collie breed a popular dog choice among families.
Collies are extremely loyal and intelligent and love humans of all shapes, sizes, and ages. With a friendly, sweet, and gentle personality, the well-bred Collie will fit in with just about any family situation, in any location.
A Collie is generally a highly sociable and extremely sensitive dog that appears to possess a complex understanding of its owner’s emotions.
So, not only will a Collie play well with children within a family unit, but will look after them too, making sure no harm comes to the children while they are under their care.
As sociable animals, Collies need to be surrounded by their family to properly thrive in a home environment. As a result, they are best suited to a more active family due to their love of moving freely around and their never-ending energy supply.
They do bark quite a lot (and loudly, too) but this makes them brilliant watchdogs. However, too much barking might indicate that they are feeling bored and aren’t being stimulated enough.
It’s your job to ensure they are getting enough care, attention, and one-on-one playtime!
And finally, we come to the Poodle. These are the ultimate custom dog breed that comes in various colors and sizes.
Hidden underneath a fluffy hypoallergenic coat stands a bonafide genius of a dog, bred solely for an active lifestyle surrounded by a just-as-loving family. While no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, the Poodle comes pretty close as they produce fewer allergens.
These adorable yet goofy dogs are easy to train, smart, and can adapt well to new situations. This means there should be no issues with bringing one of these dogs into your family. They get along very well with people of all ages and will settle in immediately!
Never let the upper-class haircut fool you! These dogs can do anything from lazing around with family members to running or swimming.
Attention is a huge thing with this dog breed. If you want to live a problem-free life with this breed and prevent them from nuisance barking.
Make sure that you set aside time every day to play with them one-on-one to keep their body and mind engaged with the world around them.
Overall, Poodles have the potential to be amazing family pets as long as they are properly cared for and are introduced to others from a young age.
Socialization of this breed must start early and always include other people and pets to prevent aggression later on in their life.
Hopefully, after looking at these 15 dog breeds, you have found a breed that will best fit in with your family situation. All of these dogs offer unique qualities that make them brilliant companions for the entire family.
From being easily trainable to extremely affectionate with younger children, these dogs offer amazing qualities that mean they are entirely adaptable to your unique household situation.
However, you must be mindful when introducing a new furry friend into your established family dynamics. This is because these little creatures can shake the foundations of your home due to their need for focused care and attention.
If you cannot dedicate the time to take care of your preferred breed every day – including feeding, watering, walking, and playing with them – then a dog might not be the best addition to your family and general lifestyle.
Now that you know more about these family-friendly dog breeds, choosing a new dog to bring into your family fold should be a little bit easier for you!