Consider the best dog breeds for families before choosing a dog for your family.

{Guest Post by Samantha Randall}

When you’re choosing your future furry companion, it’s prudent to pick one of the best dog breeds for families that would best fit your home, your lifestyle and your family. There is no one perfect dog for every one of those conditions, and the choice should be made on a case by case basis.

All situations differ – maybe you don’t have kids, or you have one child, or two, or possibly there are elderly family members living with you. All these variables must be accounted for and sometimes you may even need to consult with a professional to make the best choice.

Best Dog Breeds

Some basic factors that need to be considered when choosing the best dog breeds for families:

Energy Level

• Look for dogs with the appropriate energy level.

One of the key elements in choosing a dog is how energetic the dog is and how well those energy levels fit within your family situation.

Do you have several hyperactive kids? Then you need a dog that can match their energy level and won’t get tired too quickly.

Will the dog be mostly cared for by seniors? Then you need a low-energy breed that will fit well in the calmer environment.


• Social and people-friendly dogs.

If you’re bringing a dog in a home with 2 or more people, particularly if there are children or elderly around, stubborn or difficult to train or somewhat unsocial canines may not be the best choice.

Contrary to widespread belief, there are less social dog breeds like the Dalmatian and the Great Dane that prefer to fixate on a single owner and not on a whole family of people.


• Intelligent and non-scared dogs.

With or without kids, living together with a large family means a fair bit of chaos, a lot of things happening at the same time, which is a constant array of new things and experiences for the dog. As a result, choosing breeds that are statistically more likely to suffer from fear aggression, resource guarding and other similar behavioral issues might be bad for the family and the dog.

With the above and other factors taken into consideration, here are several breeds that generally do well in large families on all aspects.

The Best Dog Breeds for Families

1. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds for a reason – they are highly intelligent, friendly and loyal. They tend to gravitate towards the alpha in the family, but they are more than social and gentle enough to get along with the rest of the household without a problem.

2. Labrador Retriever

Like the Goldies, the Labrador Retriever is a highly social breed. In fact, most of the behavioral problems of these dogs come precisely from their constant desire to be around people and to socialize with everyone. Labradors are the most popular dog breed in the U.S. precisely because they are an amazing family breed.

3. Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Despite being hounds, the PBGVs are very social and friendly dogs that love to interact with the whole family, as well as guests and friends (as long as they are socialized properly, of course).

An additional plus is that the Griffon is more medium-size and short-legged, making it a great breed even for smaller or more overcrowded homes where space can be an issue.

4. Poodle

Poodles are also known to gravitate towards one particular owner, but like the Retrievers they are more than social and friendly enough to get along with everyone else as well. Very intelligent and energetic, Poodles can provide the entire family with a ton of fun and positive emotions.

5. Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed in particular are the smallest herding dog breed out there, but as herding dogs they are highly intelligent and very social. They love to be around people, as well as to play with other pets.

One possible downside to keep in mind is that their abundant personality can make them a little challenging for the novice dog owner.

6. Pug

When we think of Pugs we immediately remember of their funny looks and small size. There’s definitely more to this breed, however – the Pugs have an amazing personality, they are very social and tend to get along with everyone at home unless they are mistreated by someone. Family members, friends, other pets – a Pug will enjoy playing and living with anyone as long as he receives some love and affection from those around him.

7. Samoyed

For a slightly bigger breed, the Samoyed is another dog that’s very suitable for families of any size and type. Samoyeds over the years have been used and bred for a lot of things, from sledding, through carting, to herding. As a result, they are a very friendly and social breed.

One possible downside is that they tend to bark to strangers – mostly out of excitement of seeing a potential new friend – and can be problematic in apartments, but their bigger size is also not suitable for apartments anyway. As long as you have enough space for a Samoyed, this dog will be a great addition to your family.

8. Beagle

Another small hound breed, the Beagle is also very social and friendly. They are a highly energetic and intelligent breed that can get along with any and all family members, including small children.

One thing to note is that Beagles are not really recommended for homes with other small pets, as they are hounds and love to give chase to things.

9. Irish Setter

Back to a bigger breed, the Irish Setter is a big gundog and has a very endearing temperament. This breed loves to interact both with people and with other pets, making it a great choice for families of all types and sizes. The Setter is so friendly and enthusiastic towards people that trusting this breed to guard your home is as effective as leaving your front door open.

10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This royal breed is another one that can have a tendency to gravitate towards a single owner, but is still friendly enough to get along with other family members as well. The King Charles Spaniel is a very gentle and calm lap dog, making it perfect for a more low-energy environment, either with adults or with grown up children that will be mindful with the dog.

Still, being calm and laid back doesn’t mean the King Charles Spaniel is anti-social – when socialized properly these dogs love to interact with guests and friends of the family as well.

Consider the best dog breeds for families before choosing a dog for your family.

Samantha is the Editor-in-Chief at Top Dog Tips. She has been writing about all things pet-related for the past 10 years. Through her work at TDT, she has had the opportunity to learn from many experts in the pet industry and stay updated with the most recent research on animals. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys spending time with her family in the Maine outdoors. Some of her favorite activities include hiking, skiing and exploring with her husband, her three children and her dogs.