Have Kids and Want a Family Dog? Here's How to Find the Best Breed for You

Looking for the quintessential family dog? You know, the kind of dog your kids will tell their kids about because he was just so much fun? We're here to help. After all, you don't want a pup who is too delicate to be handled by children or too boisterous for small kids. And you certainly don't want to tell your family that their dog isn't working out and  has to go back to the breeder or rescue.

Of course, every dog is unique, and genetics, socialization and training all help shape the dog he eventually becomes. It is also important to teach your children how to safely interact with dogs

Check out our photo gallery below to find out which dogs are likely to be best for families and which breed characteristics might be well suited for your lifestyle.

What to Look for in a Family Dog

Pug

Paul Cotney, Animal Photography

Consider Breeds That Tend to Be People-Pleasers

Whether you have teenagers or toddlers, you'll want a friendly dog who generally gets along with everyone he meets. Outgoing breeds like Beagles, Collies and Pugs are more likely to get along with other people, kids and pets than some of the more reserved breeds. Just remember: Some dogs can be so excited to see humans that they jump when greeting, which can knock over small children. Curbing his jumping behavior should be a high priority. So if you want a dog who tends to be happy-go-lucky and always excited to see you (and your kids), meet these 10 breeds with people-pleasing personalities. (For each breed mentioned in the gallery, be sure to click through to its detailed profile and check out the breed's child-friendliness rating.)

Labrador Retriever

Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography

If You Prefer Large Dogs, Here Are Some to Consider

Big dogs can be great for families who want a pooch who tends to be sturdy, protective and active. You probably won't be surprised to hear that Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers can often be excellent family dogs, but have you ever considered less common large dog breeds like Briards and Spinone Italianos? Check out this photo gallery to find out which breeds made our list of big dogs who can be good for families. (For each breed mentioned in the gallery, be sure to click through to its detailed profile and check out the breed's child-friendliness rating.)

Shetland Sheepdog in a field

Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography

If You Prefer Small Dogs, Here Are Some to Consider

If you have young children who could be knocked over by a big dog or can't handle a larger dog, then you may want a smaller dog. But that doesn't mean you have to go for a tiny lap dog. In fact, some dogs are just too delicate for roughhousing kids. Still, if you have a family on the go, consider looking for a small breed that tends to be as active and spirited as a big dog. Possible options include Beagles, Shelties and some of these other small dogs for large dog lovers. (For each breed mentioned in the gallery, be sure to click through to its detailed profile and check out the breed's child-friendliness rating.)

Portuguese Water Dog on steps

Robin Burkett, Animal Photography

Want a Playful Dog? Consider These Breeds

Do you dream of spending afternoons outside with the kids and dog playing fetch? Well, then you may want a playful dog who can be just as active and energetic as you and your kids are. From the water-loving Portuguese Water Dog to the spirited Brittany, meet 15 dog breeds that tend to be fun loving. (For each breed mentioned in the gallery, be sure to click through to its detailed profile and check out the breed's child-friendliness rating.)

Boston Terrier

Leesia Teh, Animal Photography

Would You Like a Cuddly Dog Breed? Here Are Some to Consider

When your family's winding down after a fun-filled day, sometimes you need a furry friend to snuggle with. Typically, affectionate breeds like Boston Terriers and Newfoundlands can be fantastic cuddle buddies. Just be sure to supervise any cuddle sessions between your dog and kids, so the interaction goes smoothly. As you search for the perfect family dog, consider one of these cuddly dog breeds. (For each breed mentioned in the gallery, be sure to click through to its detailed profile and check out the breed's child-friendliness rating.)

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