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December 4, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Top 5: Best Dog Breeds For Kids

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

I could have easily made 15 selections, but I wanted to focus on five. I selected these five breeds for their particular long-standing, positive traits with children. Let's take a look at each breed and the qualities that make them an all-around great breed for kids!

#5. Poodle

The Standard Poodle gets along very well with children. Their energetic spirit can easily keep up with young active children. The Poodle is a very intelligent dog, and can quickly be taught how to be mindful around children. Children that love to swim, play interactively with their dog, or go exploring, will enjoy the Poodle as a partner in these activities. The Poodle LOVES water, is happy to play fetch, and will be ready to go at a moments notice on any adventure with their family.

#4. Newfoundland

Also known as the Newfie, this gentle giant is excellent with children. They are very fond of the water, and have been known to attempt rescuing a child swimming with them. For safety reasons, a Newfie should be supervised with children in water. But, don't let this sway you in thinking they aren't fit for children. They are, after all, #4 on the list! Their activity level is moderate, so they don't require an overly active family to keep them entertained. The Newfie is a very kind, gentle, and patience breed around young children.

#3. Pitbull

Pitbull's were often referenced as the "Nanny" dog for many years in the 1800's to the 1900's. This breed LOVES kids! They are a very tolerant, and patient breed around rambunctious and overzealous children. They enjoy the interaction, and need to be around kids. Any adventure the kids want to go on, they can count on their best friend, the Pitbull, to be by their side. Although this breed is high energy, they can also be very content snuggling up on the couch with the kids, sharing movie time and a bowl of popcorn. Think Petey, the dog from The Little Rascals! Need I say more?

#2. Beagle

Snoopy is truly "boy's" best friend! The Beagle is a perfect size for small children. Their energy level is right along with busy-body children. Beagles have a jolly, and good-natured disposition, which makes it easy to fall in love with them. They are most content when they are with children. Children can teach them fun tricks, take them for walks (their size makes this very manageable), and play fetch. The Beagle is an all-around perfect dog for children of all ages!

#1. Golden Retriever


#1.Labrador Retriever

Yes, I know, I have two listed in the Number 1 slot. But, can you blame me? The Golden and Lab are two of the most popular breeds! They both harbor many of the same qualities that make them a wonderful choice for families. They are smart, loyal, very social, and extremely friendly! What isn't kid friendly about these breeds? In fact, according to the AKC breed standards for Golden's, says no Golden should ever display aggressive traits or characteristics. It is actually considered a flaw within the breed standards. Both breeds LOVE water, playing fetch, and going for long walks. They have the energy level to keep up with busy children, and are content to curl up in front of a fireplace just chilling with their family. The Golden and Lab truly are regarded as man's best friend!

Although each of these breeds were selected to be the best for kids, please research carefully the breed you wish to have for your family to make sure they are truly the perfect fit in all areas of your lifestyle.

More from Health Coach Victoria Swanson Others Are Reading


  • I like to wrestle with dags (snatch reference). Which dog would be best for that and great around kids? Pitbull?

  • Garchow, a bigger breed and yes, a Pit would love to play (and wrestle) and is great around kids. I would like to offer a tip/suggestion, as a trainer, I often see "men" rough-house/wrestle with puppies at a very early age (9 months and younger). Sadly, this teaches a puppy that hands are a toy. Puppy's can not differentiate between your hands that are ok to playbite, and lets say Grandma coming over to pet your dog and guess what, yep, puppy is going to playbite with Grandma's hands too. Can you imagine a pitbull puppy playbiting with children's hands too. YIKES! I highly recommend to never rough-house, wrestle or play with just bare hands with a dog until they are over the puppy and teenage stage, which is usually around 2 years old. I know, kill-joy, but this will teach your puppy to have very good mannerisms around everyone and that their teeth are not a tool to use to play with.

  • All this talk about kids and dogs reminds me when I was a little kid, my first memory of a dog was from my neighbors, they had a Great Dane. It knocked me over more than once because it was so big compared to me, all the other kids would run to get away from him, but I was too little and slow and I must say it scared me to death!

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