Dogs aren’t called man’s best friend for no reason. They stick with you through thick and thin. They’re loyal. And they’re willing to love you unconditionally until their very last breath. No one does it like them. This is probably why most parents decide to have a family dog that their kids can grow up with.
According to the 2019–2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 67 percent of US households, or around 85 million families, own a pet. Growing with pets has been proven to have benefits for kids. They can teach them empathy, they can give them love, they teach them how to be responsible, and they are generally therapeutic for children, especially for those with autism.
But choosing a family pet is not that easy. There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a dog breed to live with the rest of the kin. General temperament of the dog is one. The size matters too, and so does the cost (you’ll have to feed them, remember?). This means there are breeds that make great choices, and some that don’t. Here’s a list of the best dog breeds for kids and the rest of the family:
5 Best Dog Breeds for Kids and the Family
1. Alaskan Malamute
Described by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as affectionate, loyal, and playful, the Alaskan malamutes are pack animals, but they need to be led, and the leader must be you. They were bred sled dogs and are hardworking animals. But at the end of the day, after a long work day, just like a kid, they need cuddles and snuggles. They are playful yet responsible, making them one of the best dog breeds for kids.
2. Bernese Mountain Dog
Although they’re big, standing 27 inches tall and can weigh as much as 100 pounds, the Bernese mountain dog breed hides a lot of fluff in their thick fur. They may be built for work, hence the statuesque pose, but they can be one of the most affectionate breeds there is, which is why they’re one of the most popular dog breeds for kids.
3. Labrador Retriever
Probably the most popular dog breed on the list, Labs are famous for being very friendly. They get along well with kids, with adults, and most especially, with neighboring dogs or with anyone and anything in general. They make good companions and are very easygoing. Their energy level isn’t one to be overlooked either. Labrador retrievers need much exercise daily to remain mentally and physically fit. A game of fetch for a few hours every day is something they will certainly love.
4. Golden Retriever
Known for their golden coat that requires much brushing, which you’ll have to take care of weekly, golden retrievers are not as athletic as the Labs but will enjoy a game of frisbee, for sure. They too are famous for being a good companion and for being comfortable around kids. Golden retrievers are friendly, intelligent, and very devoted, making them a good furry buddy for your little one.
5. Boston Terrier
Small and lightweight, Boston terriers wrap up our list of best dog breeds for kids, taking up the last spot. These tiny balls of fluff are very friendly and can be very gentle, especially around children. They make an excellent urban pet that find joy in quick walks in the park with their owner whom they can always please with their big, round eyes that always shine with kindness.