- Family Dog -
Families With Children

A flying Old English Sheepdog
He's in a big hurry to get somewhere!


Deciding to add a family dog is a big one and when dogs for kids are involved, the decision is even bigger. Dogs for the children are not always easy to pick out. Kid friendly dogs come in degrees of friendlessness. Too, dogs don't always mix well with kids, especially younger kids. You might want to visit our article on dogs and kids for a few moments because it is based on actual occurrences as well as well established documentation.

When picking the dogs for kids, we looked at breeds that generally are the most tolerant of the boisterous noise, roughhousing and overall silliness that young children engage in. Many dogs have no tolerance for that at all; others can tolerate some and still others will put up with a higher degree.

I think the understanding is that the parent will use good sense and closely supervise children CLOSELY AT ALL TIMES when ANY dog is present and will also teach their children how to act around the dog.

It should be understood that dogs are different, even within a given breed. Just because we pick, for example, a Collie doesn't mean ALL Collies are going to act the same way around children.

Also understand any child can provoke any dog, large or small, into bad behavior by aggravating the dog to the breaking point, the same as the child can aggravate the parents to the breaking point, except in the case of the dog, it will ultimately BITE the child where the parent won't..

With that said, here are a few suggestions for your family dog:

Basset Hound puppy
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Basset Hound
This sad looking pooch is a laid-back, slow moving love of a family dog. Basset Hounds weigh 40 to 55 pounds and are 13 to 14” tall at the shoulders with a life of 8 to 12 years. This is one of the most good natured, easy going and friendly breeds around. She is a hunter, so tends to chase after rabbits and squirrels. The Basset loves children and joins in the fun. Adult supervision is needed for small children.

Bichon Frise
This little dog comes in white only and weighs 11 to 15 pounds. She stands 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder with a life of 12 to 15 years. The Bichon is a lively, playful, curious, friendly, gentle family dog. She is full of fun, excitement, is quite cuddly and loves to be with people. She is subject to separation anxiety if left alone for too long. She’s a very affectionate lapdog and gets along well with children over 6 years old. Exercise needs are moderate; a short walk twice a day and maybe toss the ball for her a little in the living room. She’s a good watchdog. Almost no shedding and needs brushing every day.

The Beagle is as happy, friendly and energetic dog that loves people. She weighs in at 18 to 30 pounds and is 13 to 16” tall at the shoulders with a life of 12 to 15 years. This dog loves to play fetch with balls and sticks. She is basically a quiet dog with a LOT of affection for her family and other household pets. She sheds a little but needs no special grooming. This is an active dog for an active family and always wants to be part of whatever is going on. She will want several good walks a day and some play time. A great family dog.

Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is a cute little 15 to 25 pound American dog that stands 15 to 17 inches high at the shoulders with a life of 10 to 14 years. This is a very affectionate, loyal family dog that loves to play and take walks on leash, chase balls or just hang out in the house. His exercise needs are minimal, he is an excellent watchdog, sheds some and needs regular brushing to remove dead hair from his coat. The Boston Terrier is a loving dog that is a great couch potato and fun-loving buddy for the whole family.

A Boxer with gloves.
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The boxer is a fun-loving clown. She weighs in at 65 to 80 pounds with a height of 21 to 25 inches and a life of 9 to 11 years. The Boxer is playful, fun loving, attentive, devoted and outgoing. She is the perfect companion and family dog. Due to her size, obedience training is necessary. (The same as we offer on this website) This is a laid-back dog. Boxer’s are not aggressive. They are very friendly, playful and affectionate and fiercely loyal to their family. The Boxer tolerates kids quite well but they should be supervised with smaller children. The dog needs one or two walks daily and perhaps chase a ball in the yard or park. She’s not a watchdog by nature. She does shed and needs brushing twice weekly.

Labrador Retriever
This breed has been #1 in America since 1991. Families love his fun-loving, friend-to-everyone attitude. The Labrador Retriever weighs 55 to 75 pounds (male or female) and is 21 to 25 inches high at the shoulders with a life of 10 to 12 years. This playful, energetic bundle of energy will keep you busy. He LOVES anything to do with water, so if you live near the ocean, or a lake, this is your dog! The lab will fetch anything you throw and do it for hours, He’ll protect his family, as he’s a loyal, loving watchdog and guardian. As long as the Lab gets his daily exercise, he can live almost anywhere. He’s not particularly aggressive. The Lab has been the number one family dog in America for over a decade.

A Collie gets groomed
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The Collie weighs 60 to 75 pounds and stands 24 to 26” at the shoulders with a life of 11 to 12 years. This is a loyal and gentle breed that is always ready to join whatever the family is doing. Very intelligent and easy to train. Most folks associate the Collie with “Lassie” from the movies. The Collie comes from the “herding” group and as such, tends to nip at your heels during play and bark quite a lot too. They love to go for walks and retrieve balls and go jogging with you. The Collie is a VERY good watchdog and guards the family with a fierce set of teeth! They shed some and need frequent grooming. Tire this dog out and she’ll curl up by the fireplace like a family dog should.

Old English Sheepdog
This is one big 60 to 90 pound pile of long-haired, kid friendly dogs with fuzz. They were born to be a family dog and to join the "dogs for kids" club. She's an affectionate, gentle, mild mannered pooch who can be very playful, kind of goofy, silly at times and craves family attention. She loves jogging, walks and naps at your feet. The breed sheds plenty but her long fur can be sheared back in the spring.

West Highland Terrier
The Westie weighs 15 to 21 pounds, stands 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulders and lives 12 to 14 years on average. This is a spunky little family dog that craves attention from her family. She gets along pretty well with other dogs and strangers but not with very young kids. The Westie is basically a quiet lap dog. This is an affectionate, “loving little package” as some call them. She has a lot of energy but some play time with a ball in the yard and several walks will take care of that. The dog should not be alone too much so it’s an ideal family dog with older kids coming and going. She’s a good watchdog. Sheds a little and needs brushing weekly. She is all white and cute as they come.

Cairn Terrier
The Cairn weighs 12 to 14 pounds and is 9 to 10 inches tall at the shoulders with a life of 12 to 14 years. Here's another great little family dog. My dad had one until he died at age 83. The Cairn Terrier is playful, loves to clown around and play fetch and do tricks like “beg” and “roll over.” After a play session, this affectionate dog will curl up on the sofa next to you or on your lap for a nap. He is extremely loyal to his master. He’s good with kids, especially 6 and up and is a sturdy little fellow that will follow around with the kids. As long as he gets his play time and a two walks in, he’s good to go.. This dog should not be left alone for long periods. Kids with dogs like this make a pretty good combo. Excellent watchdog and buddy. Does not shed but needs grooming.

Golden Retriever puppy begging
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Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is ” everybody's friend.” They weigh 65 to 75 pounds, are 23 to 24 inches tall at the shoulders and live 10 to 13 years. This is a devoted, good natured, obedient dog. She’s friendly toward other dogs, strangers and even other household pets. This is an affectionate, loving dog that is good around children Goldie's are playful and love having fun. They are gentle kids at heart. They love to play fetch. This is not really a guard dog. Almost no shedding but brushing several times a week is needed. The Goldie is an extremely loyal breed that loves to have fun and needs family around her!

Miniature Poodle
This dog weighs 16 to 20 pounds and is 10 to 15 inches tall at the shoulders with a life of 15 to 18 years. The Mini Poodle is an energetic family dog with a lot of love to give. He loves to please, is perky, always wants to learn new things and is very trainable. The Poodle needs a LOT of interaction with people, making him ideal for families with older children who are home a lot of the time. These little dogs will follow you everywhere you go and are a lot of fun to have around. I’ve trained a few. In a word, “FUN.”

Shih Tzu
These little gems weigh in at 12 to 16 pounds and stand about 8 to 11 inches tall at the shoulders with a life of 14 to 16 years. This is a popular family dog in America. The Shih Tzu is a spunky, sweet, gentle little lap dog that loves to play and romp around the house. He's affectionate with family and older kids. This is a dog that needs lots of human companionship and attention. Exercise needs are minimal. A walk or some play time in the house will do it. Not a great watchdog. Does not shed but needs a groomer every 6 to 8 weeks and needs combing and brushing daily. This is a genuine little companion dog and the kids will love him.

English Bulldog
This mean-looking critter weighs 40 to 50 pounds and stands 12 to 14 inches at the shoulders with a life of 8 to 10 years. The Bulldog is an amiable, clownish character that loves family and home. This is a laid-back, people friendly dog. He’s friendly with other animals and strangers but not overly playful. They sleep a lot and chew on rawhide. The Bulldog is devoted to family and will snuggle next to you on the couch. English Bulldog’s love affection and have a lot to give. They make a great family dog and fill the dogs for kids search, as they are quite tolerant with children! This is a low energy dog with low exercise needs so a casual walk a day is fine. This dog want lots of love, affection, attention and petting. He’s a pretty good watch dog and a terrific family dog.

Friendly English Bulldog with
a tennis ball and the urge to play!


The Keeshond comes from The Netherlands and is almost the perfect family dog off-the-rack. She goes well with children, is lively and full of energy, needs only moderate exercise, is very affectionate, learns well and loves to be with family..

How about a little larger dog? The Whippet weighs 25 to 40 pounds and stands 18 to 22 inches with a life of 12 to 15 years. The Whippet is a loving, affectionate, loyal companion similar to the Greyhound who loves to take several long walks a day and then curl up on the couch or bed and nap. This is a quiet house dog and devoted companion and is calm indoors and loves to play outdoors. The Whippet is affectionate and will kiss you until you run for a towel. These are real “people” dogs. She is very gentle with children, especially over 6 years of age. Good watch dog. Sheds some, needs frequent brushing. The Whippet is a sweet family dog that will keep the kids busy. This dog needs two good long walks daily so needs someone who is into walking or jogging for their health.

The Brittany (Spaniel) is a medium size dog at 30 to 40 pound and stands 17 to 21 inches at the shoulders with a life of 12 to 13 years average. This breed loves to run, hunt and play. They make great household family pets. Their tolerance for kids is pretty good, especially older children. This is an active dog that will happily go jogging with anyone in the family. The Brittany needs LOTS of exercise every day. This is a very affectionate, playful, loving dog that loves family, people and life. He's a good family dog and would make a fine partner for the kids. He needs a house with a fenced yard if possible but can endure an apartment as long as he gets his exercise. This was originally a hunting dog so exercise can’t be ignored. No shedding to mention but brushing every few days is needed.

Miniature Schnauzer
This is a really good choice, weighing in at 12 to 16 pounds and 12 to 14 inches tall with a life of 12 to 15 years. The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most playful, inquisitive, alert, spunky and companionable breeds of all. They love to play and act silly. It is a well-mannered house dog, loving, gentle and kind, very obedient and enjoys being in the middle of family activities; a real “best friend” buddy. The Mini Schnauzer loves people and other dogs as a rule, although she is a good watchdog. Add this to your dogs for kids search. This is a lap dog that craves lots of personal hands-on attention from family members and is quite tolerant with kids.

German Shepherd Dog
The powerful, majestic German Shepperd Dog weighs 75 to 95 pounds and stands 22 to 26 inches high at the shoulders with a life of 12 to 14 years. This incredible dog ranks #3 in American households. He is very intelligent and trainable and has serves in police, military, rescue, hospice and nursing home work. He can be kind, gentle and tolerant or a terror to an intruder, as the situation calls for. This is a great family dog that tolerates kids well and is loyal to and protects his family. He is not overly playful but rather a trusted companion. The German Shepherd has a moderate energy level and enjoys long walks and games of fetch in the park, after which he’ll curl up beside your easy chair for a nap. This is one of the best dogs I’ve worked with.

This little guy weighs 7 to 13 pounds and is 8 to 12 inches tall with a life of 12 to 14 years. The Havanese loves water and loves to swim, so if you have a pool or lake, great! He’s an active and curious dog who loves to play and clown around. He’s very affectionate with his family, as well as other dogs, strangers and pets… just about everyone. This dog needs constant human companionship and should not be left alone for long periods. He’s loyal, playful;, likes to show off and act silly as long as he gets lots of attention. The Havanese is good with older children. A walk or two a day and some play in the yard or house will take care of his exercise. He is a good watchdog. He does not shed but needs comb and brushing 3 to 4 times a week.

Young girl and her 150 pound Newfoundland dog,
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The Newfoundland is a great big Teddy Bear who loves people and cool climates. This gal weighs in at 100 to 150 pounds and is 26 to 28 inches high at the shoulders with a life of 8 to 10 years. She is an all-purpose water dog that can pull a drowning man from a raging ocean and enjoy doing it. She’s intelligent and easy to train. The Newfoundland loves kids and family in general, but you must be careful with small children because 150 pounds around a “carpet crawler” is dangerous! This dog is known for it’s wonderfully sweet temperament and it’s VERY affectionate, calm, patient, and mild manner. Of the big breeds, this is one of the most loving you'll find. This is a real family dog and certainly fills the "dogs for kids" list! She’s an easy-going giant, but if her family is threatened, she’ll rise up and protect it. She sheds some and needs lots of brushing. Kids love to be around a dog like this.

These dog’s weigh 14 to 20 pounds and stand 9 to 11 inches high at the shoulders. The Pug is a bit of a playful clown with low energy and low exercise requirements, although they are enthusiastic and like to show off. They make a good family dog, are affectionate and love to be included in whatever the family is doing. They are outgoing and friendly but not always with strangers. The Pug is a total lap dog! This is a wonderful little bundle of joy for your kids to play with and pet. They are so good natured and such show-off’s.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The wonderful little Wheaten Terrier is a playful, fun-loving companion who weighs 30 to 40 pounds and is 17 to 19 inches at the shoulders with a life of 12 to 14 years. He is quite at home as a family dog and loves to romp and run with older children, around six and up. This breed is very affectionate and loves to meet new people. This is a happy, loyal and devoted little companion dog that can delight any family with older children. The Wheaten needs a good walk or two daily and some play time with a ball. He sheds none to some and needs a lot of time for grooming with a brush. Add this to your dogs for kids list!

Alaskan Malamute
This is a beautiful, large, cold weather dog who weighs in at 75 to 85 pounds and stands 23 to 25 inches tall at the shoulders with a life of 10 to 12 years. The Alaskan Malamute is basically a sled pulling dog that needs lots of vigorous exercise every day, which could nicely include jogging with you. This is a great family dog that gets along well with children, especially older kids and will protect the family if necessary. He’s a bit independent and strong-willed and would possibly prefer to be the only pet in the house. This guy is friendly and sociable toward people and is VERY affectionate and somewhat playful. He loves to run, take walks and play fetch with the kids. This breed sheds some and needs brushing regularly.

Irish Setter
The affectionate Irish Setter weighs 60 top 70 pounds and stands about 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder with a life of 12 to 15 years. This is a very active family dog that needs to be part of everything going on. She needs lots of exercise everyday. As with most breeds, she is good with older, well-mannered kids and loves to run and romp with them for exercise. She’s lively, energetic and very playful. This is a great jogging partner for the teenager in the family. She needs a house with a back yard but will want to be indoors with the family where she can display affection and mingle with people. She doesn’t do well when left alone for long periods.

We plan to add more selections as time permits. Please bookmark this site and come back.

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