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Wonderful Kid-Friendly Dogs for Families
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Wonderful Kid-Friendly Dogs for Families

Ellie, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Sep 1, 2020

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There's no greater addition to any family than man's best friend. But how do you know whether or not your prospective pooch will be a good fit for your family's make up? Young kids can be exploratory and curious, which can lead to ear-pulling or them trying to ride them. For some dogs, this is absolutely fine. For others, not so much. Because of that, for both the kids and the dogs, it's good to be careful in picking kid-friendly dogs. Luckily, however, those breeds are numerous.

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1

Cocker Spaniel

cocker spaniel puppies SensorSpot / Getty Images

If you've seen Disney's "Lady and the Tramp," you'll probably know that Lady is the quintessential cocker spaniel. She's beautiful with a glossy coat and a loving temperament, which isn't far from the breed itself. Although most spaniel breeds can be high-energy, their playful personalities paired with their smaller size are a great match with young kids.

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2

Beagle

Beagle puppy Kostyazar / Getty Images

Charlie Brown is one of the nation's favorite kids, so the fact his dog, Snoopy, is a beagle is worth its weight in kibble. If there's one thing beagles are desperate for, it's attention. Beagles are just children in the shape of a really cute, apartment-sized dog. Beagles need quite a bit of exercise, but with children as playmates a beagle will be sleeping off their energy right next to the kids by bedtime.

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3

Labrador Retriever

Black Labrador debibishop / Getty Images

There's a reason labradors are America's most popular dog breed. Be they golden, brown, or black, their gentle and outgoing nature has been revered for decades. Labs also make wonderful family pets. When young, they have boundless energy to keep up with kids, but mellow out more and more as they age.

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4

Golden Retriever

Golden retriever puppy Bigandt_Photography / Getty Images

Closely related to Labs, retrievers are the gold standard when it comes to family-friendly dogs. Known across the world to be the classic family dog, goldens are wise, intelligent, calm, and obedient. They also simply adore people, especially their families. Goldens are loyal companions, and neither you nor the kids will ever tire of that face.

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5

Mutts

Poodle terrier mix amandafoundation.org / Getty Images

Not one to be discounted, mutts or mixed breeds are often some of the best family dogs out there. While they might take on some of their breed traits, these dogs stand alone and are unique in personality and looks. If you're looking for the best dog to add to your family, you might just find the perfect paw-dner at a local shelter.

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6

Weimaraner

Weimaraner running through forest druvo / Getty Images

Weimaraners are great pets for active older children. Toddlers and younger kids might find them a little bit too much to handle, particularly as they have a natural tendency to bounce around and chase their masters. They love kids of all ages, and if you have older toddlers growing out of the state when they could topple, Weimaraners are one of the best dogs for families with kids.

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7

Border Collie

Border collie lying down echo1 / Getty Images

Border collies might be more popular across the pond, but they're gaining traction in the US for their energetic extroversion. Originally bred to be working dogs, they settled into their roles as a member of the family quickly and easily. Collies are active, lively, and are always on the go, meaning they're ideal matches for excitable and energetic kids. They're also incredibly trainable.

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8

French Bulldog

French bulldog ozgurdonmaz / Getty Images

Frenchies are undoubtedly a designer breed, but that doesn't take away from their amiable natures and downright unique personalities. Like their English cousins, Frenchies love people, and they'd prefer to be by your side all of the time. They have gentle souls, big hearts, and love cuddle time as much as they do playing.

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9

Boxer

Boxer dog portrait walik / Getty Images

Ask any dog expert whether or not boxers are good with children and you might just hear the exact same answer from them all: Yes, they are. They're quite widely regarded by some as being the best breed you can get to join your family. Boxers adore children, and older ones will treat your kids with as much love and care as you do. While most dogs are pack oriented, and it seems that boxers might be even more so. These energetic, friendly, gentle giants have affection built into their very core.

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10

English Bulldog

bulldog rolling over WilleeCole / Getty Images

Both English and American Bulldogs are excellent family pets. Although they need exercise like all dogs and love to play, they're much more low key than higher energy breeds like terriers or spaniels. Their slightly lower energy levels might come in handy when you're the one having to walk them. Being low-key, laidback, dog-shaped people, they could make for the pet of your dreams.

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