10 Most Popular Family Dogs for Families With Kids

When it comes to finding the perfect canine companion, families with kids often have unique considerations. The best family dogs should be patient, gentle, and loving – all while being able to keep up with the energy and enthusiasm that children bring. With so many breeds to choose from, finding the right match can be a bit overwhelming. Fear not, because we’ve got you covered! In this list, you will find top 10 most popular family dogs that are known for their exceptional qualities in providing joy and companionship to families with kids.

From affectionate and playful to protective and loyal, these breeds boast a wide range of characteristics that make them ideal for families of all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking for a small lap dog or a large, active breed to join in on your outdoor adventures, there’s a perfect pup waiting to become a cherished member of your family. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of the best family dogs. And find your family’s new best friend.
Here’s ten of the best family dogs out there:

10 – Beagle

Beagle - Popular Family Dogs
Beagle – By No machine-readable author provided. [[:User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] assumed (based on copyright claims). (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Even-tempered and determined, the Beagle is the first breed on our list. With a gentle, loving nature, it makes the ideal family pet especially if you have younger children. Fairly small in size, it will not jump up or be too much for them to handle as some other breeds may be. Highly-intelligent, they look very cute also which is another plus point.
Beagle’s are actually hounds, much like foxhounds, and so very good for picking up scents. This makes them very popular as a working dog around the world in places such as airports. They enjoy company so make the ideal choice to have around the house for the whole family to interact with.

09 – Bulldog

Bulldog – By Mlbailey2 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Although many may not have this breed on their list of family dogs, they actually make superb pets. Don’t be fooled by the rather fearsome name, they are really cuddly and affectionate. They have a gregarious personality and are docile also which together makes them great to have around the home. Bulldogs love children and will happily play with them all-day long.
They are very popular within the UK where it is something of a national symbol. Associated with determination and pluck, the British public hold this breed in high regard. This combined with their passive, friendly nature makes them a great choice for family pets.

08 – Border Collie

Border Collie
Border Collie – Via pixabay

Known also as ‘Sheepdogs’, this breed is coveted for many superb qualities. As a working dog, it was used mainly for rounding sheep up in fields as it is very intelligent and obedient. As a family pet, these traits are also most welcome. The intelligence and obedience make them easy to train and therefore easy to know they will be safe around your children.
The nature of this dog makes it a wise choice also. It is energetic, loyal and good-natured in the extreme, especially with kids. They do need a lot of exercise though so be prepared to have to walk them several times a day if you do get one. Like many working-breeds, they can often set off to chase any moving thing such as a car so be careful of this also!

07 – Border Terrier

Border Terrier
Border Terrier – By Chadwest [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Less snappy and grumpy than other terriers are the Border Terrier. Because of this, they make a great family pet and one that kids will love. Hailing from the Scottish Borders in the UK, they have a rough coat that is short-haired and easy to look after. Comical, lively and full of fun, these dogs will give years of entertainment and loyal service.
Be warned though. Although they are great with people and children, they tend not to like sharing a house with other animals. So, if you already have a dog or another pet, they might not be the best one for you. If not however, they make a great choice to have around the home.

06 – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - Popular Family Dogs
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – By Andreweatock (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
The first Spaniel on our list is this particular breed. Like all Spaniel’s, it has many fine qualities to make it as a family pet. Loyal to a fault, they will always look after you and your children from intruders or danger. The fun and bouncy personality makes them a charming dog to have around the house and for children to play with. The kind disposition it shows when playing with families is a real joy to behold.
These Spaniels are distinctive in appearance due to their long, floppy ears. Named after the English King whose hairstyle the ears resemble, they have a unique personality of their own due to this. If you are looking for a kind, friendly family dog then this is a great choice.

05 – Pug

Pug – By Beckilee (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
This dog breed has become a firm favourite with many people in recent years and it’s seen in a lot of homes now. Somewhat of a comedian, it’s squished appearance makes it stand-out and look very cute. It’s not only the looks that the Pug brings to the table though. It is a highly intelligent dog so great for kids who want to train it to perform tricks.
Like the others on this list, it has the ideal temperament for a family dog due to its low-aggression levels and good-nature. As it is a smaller dog, it is also ide for very young children who might find a bigger dog too much to handle. One thing is for sure – you won’t miss this dog with its distinctive looks.

04 – Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel - Popular Family Dogs
Cocker Spaniel – By Pleple2000, corected by Robek (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
An interesting fact about the Cocker Spaniel is that it is the dog breed most likely to win Crufts! It is very popular as a working dog still for its tracking and finding abilities. For our list though, it’s the qualities it brings as a pet we will look at. Luckily, it has these in abundance! Famed for its outgoing nature and fun personality, it is a dog that loves to play.
It also enjoys going on walks due to its energy levels so be prepared to go out a few times a day if you do have one yourself. With its cute appearance and love of playing games, this is a great choice for children who want a dog to run around the garden with.

03 – CockerPoo

CockerPoo – By ALMM (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
One of the more recent breeds to have become popular is this mix of a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. Very cute, they will be ones that all children will fall in love with due to their fluffy coat and smallish size. They are very good-natured also which is one of the things you must have for a family dog. As a smaller dog, they will also live quite long which is another plus point. The average is around 15 years so they will give lots of service to the family as everyone grows up.
Most people love these dogs for the way they have the best qualities from each breed. The Spaniel in them makes them outgoing and fun while the Poodle means they are low-shedding and easy to look after. Very popular with many families now, they do have to be kept a close eye on to make sure they stay in good health.

02 – Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever - Popular Family Dogs
Golden Retriever – via pixabay

Following close on the heels of the Labrador, is this breed. In truth, this has all the qualities that makes the Labrador so perfect for the family too. Very loving, extremely adorable and loyal, it will be a dog the whole family will love. They have big, mournful eyes that are really hard to say no too when they want a treat also!
Golden Retriever’s are used a lot in roles such as search & rescue as they love water and are very intelligent. Their gentle nature also means that they are great dogs to work with people in this type of situation. Although they need a lot of exercise, they will be a dog that makes the house a real home especially for children.

01 – Labrador

Labrador – By Manokaran M (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
If there is one dog that tops the list for a great family dog, it is this one. Originally bred as a gun-dog, they have evolved since then to be the perfect pet. Very loving and loyal, they adore getting lots of fuss and are extremely good-natured. This makes them ideal for children as they will put up with the noise and activity this naturally brings into the house.
Another great feature of Labradors (and golden retrievers in fact) is their help with the housework. They are natural hoovers so any food that gets dropped by the kids doesn’t stay there for long and will save you vacuuming up lots! Do be careful though as they will over-eat if you let them. Easy to train also, they are pretty much the full package when it comes to the best family dog.


In conclusion, finding the right dog for your family is a personal journey that depends on various factors, such as your lifestyle, living situation, and individual preferences. The breeds mentioned in our top 10 most popular family dogs list offer a fantastic starting point for anyone seeking a loving and loyal companion that will fit seamlessly into their family life.

While we’ve highlighted some of the best family dogs, it’s essential to remember that every dog is unique, regardless of its breed. When adopting a new furry friend, make sure to spend time getting to know them and ensure they’re the right match for your family dynamics. After all, a happy, well-adjusted dog will bring endless joy, laughter, and unforgettable memories to your family.

No matter which breed you ultimately choose, the key to a successful relationship with your new canine companion lies in proper training, socialization, and consistent love and care. So go ahead, welcome a new four-legged family member, and experience the unparalleled bond that only a dog can provide.