10 child-friendly dog breeds | Dogs for kids

Let us get you the best child / kids friendly dog breeds with their brief details.

For centuries dogs have been domesticated and chosen as man’s best friend. They were kept for guarding, hunting, and companionship.

Today these furry animals are the pet of choice for numerous households. Their outgoing and friendly nature has earned them an eternal place in our hearts.

When it comes to family, there some exceptional dog types that will bond with you even faster. Indeed, there are many dog breeds that are known to have an extra soft spot for children.

Many dogs are known to show affection for their human family and will even protect and help their owners in times of need. 

What are the qualities of a suitable pet dog?

Adopting a dog or any pet for that matter is a serious responsibility that asks for cooperation from everyone in the house. Before adopting a dog, you must consider the below 4 factors:

  1. Size: The size of the animal should correspond with the size of the area in which it will be kept. Small dogs for smaller areas, large dogs for larger areas. Some dogs with high energy levels need to have a garden or yard to run around and dig.
  2. Lifespan: As you will make a strong connection with them, a dog that has a long-life expectancy would be ideal for a family. Getting them at the age of a puppy is advisable so that they adapt better and grow with your children.
  3. Requirements: Dogs are living creatures and so they have certain needs that should be provided without fail. This includes food, water, regular cleaning to maintain health. Exercise-based on food intake is a priority for all animals as this regulates their metabolism. In addition to this, they require affection from the family especially since the bond between the pet and child must be strong.
  4. Temperament: Temperament describes the nature and behavior of a dog. How friendly is the breed? Are my children at risk with this dog breed? Based on the age of your children, is the specific dog breed appropriate? All these questions are vital and should be answered before adopting a furry friend and making your home their forever home.

Here are ten child-friendly dog breeds


child-friendly dog breeds

You have probably seen them in movies. Poodles are famous for their unique beauty. They are a prominent feature on any top 10 most friendly dog lists.

Poodles have long curls of hair that are hypoallergenic and can be styled into appealing well-groomed cuts (but we advise visiting a professional pet salon).

Poodles come in different sizes – Small, medium, and Large. Choose according to your environment, more space means you can get the larger size poodle.

Some characteristics that they are well known for include: lively behavior, loyalty, and lovable nature making them the perfect choice for young children. You will thoroughly enjoy 15 years from this superior dog breed.

  • Build: Small/Medium/Large
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Requirements: Regular grooming for hair and nail clippings
  • Temperament: Calm, obedient


Known for being loving pets, Labradors are one of the most popular pets for people around the world. It is also the most-friendly dog breed in the USA and ranks number one in popularity list of dogs by AKC.

They have a kind and adaptable nature which makes them eligible as one of the most friendly dog breeds. These large dogs are known to live for as long as 14 years! 

Unfortunately, this breed is at high risk of suffering from obesity and therefore needs constant and regular exercise. But this should not be a problem since they have high energy levels, and are child-friendly.

They are also considered cat-friendly. You can find them in Brown, black, and white colors.

  • Build: Large
  • Lifespan: 11-14 years
  • Requirements: Exercise and a balanced diet. Vet check-ups since Labradors are prone to cancer, obesity, and some joint ailments.
  • Temperament: Playful, outgoing

Golden Retriever

Another smart and social breed to complete your dwelling is the golden retriever. Named for their bright yellow or brown fur coats, these intelligent athletes love all kinds of physical activity, be it playing fetch or swimming, they are up for the challenge. 

Their long hair will require regular brushing out to keep them groomed and neat. Fear not, you can trust them with your children and even toddlers as they are not known for vicious behavior with humans.

Popular throughout Northern America, these are truly life-long companions!  They are indeed one of the child-friendly dog breeds.

  • Build: Large
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years (longer if good health is maintained)
  • Requirements: Long periods of assorted exercise.
  • Temperament: Loyal, loving, active all day long


Have a small house or flat and need an appropriate pet? Look no further than a pug. The pug is undoubtedly a cute breed that thinks highly of its owner. They say dynamite comes in small packages; this is true in the case of pugs. 

They are best suited to small areas due to small size and low to average energy levels. But beware regular exercise is needed since they love to eat all types of food you eat and sleep on the couch!

  • Build: Small/Medium
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years (may experience health issues)
  • Requirements: Forced regular exercise as the weight can become an issue with increased food intake. Avoid it in direct sunlight.
  • Temperament: Quiet, observant, social, playful


child-friendly dog breeds

When people say “puppy dog eyes”, they are probably referencing a beagle. Their droopy ears and large eyes are a sight for sore eyes and believe me when I say no one can say no to these medium build pooches.

They love being around humans, especially older children. Energy levels vary depending on the ecosystem of their owners. 

They possess all the tricks and expressions to get your attention but we assure you there will be lots of laughs with them in the house. They are generally a budget-friendly pet with few care requirements.

If cared for the right way, these lovable pets can have a life-extending past 15 years.

  • Build: Small/Medium
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Requirements: Short walks, not so regular grooming.
  • Temperament: Energetic, playful, curious

Fox Terrier

This low-maintenance breed does not have any exotic requirements that will keep you on your toes.

Easily they adapt to every environment they are given, as long as they are given the basics: food, water, exercise, and affection.

Weighing 15 – 19 pounds, these dogs are easy to control and you can take them along if you are going to town or visiting a friend. They love playtime with kids including playing fetch or just getting some good old belly rubs. 

  • Build: Small
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years (Some have even reached 19 years!)
  • Requirements: Grooming not as often due to short hair coats. 
  • Temperament: Intelligent, loud, alert, they make good guard dogs


The bulldog might look like a not so child friendly breed. With its muscular body, turned up snout, and folds of skin on the face, it appears to be a dominant beast.

Luckily, looks can be deceiving as they are the opposite of this assumption. They are soft and adorable dogs that will enjoy basking in the company of your children and accept all the cuddles it can get.

You can even have two or three bulldogs; they form a great pack and take care of each other. 

  • Build: Medium
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Requirements: must be kept cool in hot weather, skin folds on face and neck need regular cleaning. Heavy drooling and panting are observed in all bulldogs. 
  • Temperament: Laidback nature, calm, devoted, friendly

Cocker Spaniel

Both American and English Cocker Spaniels are children sociable dog breeds that have a caring nature. They love being in a busy family setting and do not have high tolerance to being left home alone.

Their long hair coats have a natural wave in them making them a beautiful hound with mandatory daily brushes. An hour of walking is enough to keep them healthy and content. 

  • Build: Medium to large
  • Lifespan: 9-12 years (12 years in rare cases)
  • Requirements: Scheduled vet visits as they suffer from ear infection and eyesight issues. Does not do well when left alone and may suffer from separation anxiety.
  • Temperament:  Smart, sociable, energetic


Pomeranians are long haired dogs but you will forgo this drawback as they are the best pets for large families.

Known for their cute appearance, these “toy poms” as they are called are intelligent and obedient dogs who will even listen to the kids. Overall, this is a great pet, especially for first time dog owners.

  • Build: Small
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Requirements: Brushing the hair regularly will tackle shedding, a lot of attention, moderate exercise. 
  • Temperament: Playful, active, obedient, bossy (can challenge larger dogs)


If you want a small dog breed that is easy to manage, Dachshund should be your pick. These empathetic hounds are able to sense your emotions and act accordingly.

That said they are just the companion needed for young and playful kids. Measuring just 8-9 inches in height, managing these dogs will be an ease if you have a busy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, they are prone to back and spinal issues due to their elongated torso. 

  • Build: Small
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Requirements: Exercise such as walking, not stairs. Larger space is needed as they love to dig.
  • Temperament: Playful, loyal, loud

We hope that by now you would have probably selected the child-friendly dog breed that you intend on getting for your family.