Top 10 dog breeds for kids

10 Dogs For Kids

While Lassie and Lady and the Tramp are fun to watch, they're probably not the best way to choose a dog for your kid. So how do you go about picking a pup from among all the different breeds out there? A good rule of thumb is to choose a breed by its disposition, temperament, size, and energy level--all of which should suit your family's lifestyle. We present 10 dogs that are especially suitable for kids.

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Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

This is one of the most popular dog breeds, and for good reason-- it is protective, playful, loving, patient, and reliable. The Lab's beauty is only matched by its sweet personality and intelligence. What does this mean for you? It's your perfect family pet.

Up next: More family-friendly dog breeds >>

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Comments on "Top 10 dog breeds for kids"

Jenny March 16, 2014 | 10:43 AM

I have only ever had collies but sometime in the near future I would like to get a dog I'm just not sure which breed to go for as I do have a wee girl but I'm thinking when she is of school age which is next year any advice? x

Maya March 11, 2014 | 11:14 AM

What about the Nanny Dogs? Pit bulls and staffordshire bull terriers are the most amazing, loyal, clever, affectionate dogs out there when owned by half decent people. I have been bitten 3 times in my life. Twice by GOLDEN RETRIEVERS, once by a BORDER COLLIE. All 3 were friends pets that I had known forever. All 3 were completely unprovoked, and all 3 showed no visible signals (even their owners didn't expect it). These were dogs that I'd been raised with (as the owners were close family friends) and they were brought up with children in the house. I had many stitches with all of the attacks and put it this way, the breeds that are so often victimised aren't the only ones to bite repeatedly, not let go, and do the 'bite and shake'. I have owned 5 staffies in my life, all from young age to death. Not once were they aggressive. One of my staffies was attack by a labrador retriever. Grabbed him by the head and visously started shaking from side to side like a rag doll. The owner didn't care (too posh). My dog was yelping and trying to run away and when the devil dog did, he ran as far away as he could. Eventually I found him passed out by a tree and he nearly died from bloodloss. Just goes to show that any breed can be mean but any breed can be lovely.

Sandy Donald March 07, 2014 | 9:02 AM

What dog should you have in your family? Well, we have had seven Labs, six black and one chocolate. All of them came from pounds or rescues. We have raised two good kids with, at one time, three labs running around. Some days that was chaotic! Most of these guys were a little mixed in their genes, but all, ware loving, fun (sometimes stupid!) animals that we and the kids loved. Our latest, Lucy, was rescued after she escaped from a puppy mill breeder. My emotions towards that nasty group of people, are best left alone, as there is a special place in hell for them. As I write this, Lucy is snoring up a storm on the sofa, waiting on my daughter and sons Labs (black) to arrive. Let the chaos begin again! Lol

Mom of 2 March 07, 2014 | 8:18 AM

...and if this attack by that bloodthirsty creton had occurred today, I would have gone straight to the lawyer to file a lawsuit on every front against those self centered and reckless dog owner neighbors. God help anyone, and I mean ANYONE, whose feral mongloid psychopathic fido injures ANY one of my loved ones. Hell hath no the ends of the Earth to make them PAY for their STUPIDITY!!!!!

Mom of 2 March 06, 2014 | 4:17 PM

I had the sweetest and gentlest Golden Retriever growing up. The only time our sweet and loyal Charlie was aggressive was when he was viciously attacked by the neighbor's Pitbull Thor. My sweet Charlie was on his afternoon walk going past vicious Thor's house and one of the children opened the door and let that vile creature out. He scrambled like some demon across the yard to the other side of the street, and savagely attacked our baby. Our Charlie fought very hard and tore flesh off of that beast's eye lid. A neighbor thankfully came out and grabbed a log from his wood pile, and beat on the back of that maniacal canine. Those idiot neighbors had accidentally let that savage out before, and he had attacked other neighbors' dogs. I recall walking past their fence, and that foul mouthed animal snarled and growled at me like he was possessed! My sweet gentle Charlie kicked his --- though, and was uninjured. Thor had to get numerous stitches on his face.

Cindy Jones March 05, 2014 | 9:40 AM

A good word for the maligned Staffie. It is true that they are the most abused and ill treated. I found a Staffie tied up to a railing and left. Took her to the vet then decided to keep her. she had just whelped and we also found her teeth in shocking condition although only two, the vet said it was from being trained to bite wood etc to make her aggressive. She is far from that, loves children and is very trusting. No wonder she was abandoned. My Labrador retriever is not as friendly as she is.

Glowie February 17, 2014 | 6:01 PM

Alaskan malamutes are great with children. Our daughter is almost 6, and our alaskan malamute adored her. We had to put him down last week, but his wonderful temperament will always be remembered.

James February 15, 2014 | 9:04 AM

This article is plagiarized from another by Cesar Millan. Shame on you.

Heather February 11, 2014 | 4:49 PM

Of all the dogs I've been around// raised. Dobermanns, Rotts, Pitts, German Shepherds, ect. What did i get attacked by? A collie. I have a scar on my upper lip for the rest of my life. So please stop bashing Breeds on here. Any dog can turn. All on how they were raised. END OF STORY.

Leon February 08, 2014 | 5:09 AM

My late son and my grandson thougdht their pitbull wss the greatest dog in the world. He would lunge growling at vistors and had to be restained. They thought it was funny. I warned both of them that I did not have to wait until the dog bit me to defend myself. They would put the dog into another room when I was present. Then one day, the dog slipped his collar and ran across the street and bit a man in the face who was walking his dog. The man had to get surgery on his face and sued my son for a large sum of money. My son had to sell most of his personal property to pay his deductable, and the court ordered the dog put down. It was an ugly and expensive lesson. Pitbulls are just plain bad dogs regardless of what their admirers say.

Mark February 04, 2014 | 4:37 PM

pit bulls are a worthless dog!!!!!!!!!!! I have a great friend who's daughter had a teenage modeling career and a promising future until she visited a friends house and their pit-bull bit her in the face disfiguring her for no reason! Pit-bulls and Chow's will snap for no reason @ all. Myself, I lost an 1" of right index finger from a chow that I knew for years and while I was @ the Hand Center in Indy trying to save my finger I was told from them that this is their #1 dog bite they treat and pit-bulls are second. Both these dogs were raised from puppies and from great homes. They are terrible dogs and please keep them away from your family members as they will snap anytime for no reason!

Laura January 15, 2014 | 11:38 AM

I am saddened to see so many negative comments regarding Pit Bulls. If you did any research, you would find that Pit Bulls were once "America's Dog". They were bred to be nannies to small children and have wonderful temperaments. Example: Petey from the Little Rascals. Over time, yes, ignorant people have taken advantage of their strength and fierce loyalty, and high threshold for pain, but they are still a great breed for children. The media plays a huge role in the negativity surrounding this loving breed. When looking at actual statistics of dog bites, there are MANY breeds far ahead of the Pit Bull. A dog is only as good as the owner. Everyone has their favorite and not so favorite breeds, but I would never speak negative of a certain breed.

Pat January 14, 2014 | 7:39 PM

We have a collie now and I have had two in the past. Wonderful intelligent and gentle. He does get into things though when he doesn't get his walks and play in bad weather. I had a couple thoughts on some of the posts to set a perspective. I would not recommend cocker spaniels, they get nippy and grumpy when older. No on the german shepherd as well. Though good with families themselves, they seem to be protective, not as comfortable with visitors (like the kids friends). No on the rottie. To consistently protective and territorial, no on Jack russels, its intelligent and interested in a single owner, I hung around one regularly that was great but they are not so interested in pleasing or hanging with everyone...or putting up with them. No to Labrador retrievers for no other reason than they struggle with health problems and it can be a big expense and emotional toll for a family, Though I have little experience with pit bulls, I tend to agree with many here, I just don't trust their wiring. Predictable behavior in a family dog is paramount. The wrong circumstance can set them off and families have many more "circumstances" than single owners with friends and family coming and going often who don't necessarily know or trust any animal. I have known a few bulldogs, they seem awesome. I have stories of the one in my neighborhood as a kid. Also boxers I have known are truly sweet and happy family dogs. Ultimately, the family dog is one that fits and thrives in the common circumstances that all families try to manage as best as possible. Swings in attention (school starts) vacations (can you board them, we don't as collies stress and he goes everywhere with us) many inexperienced and possibly fearful visitors, and many different levels of consistent handling in family members. Health and the cost and attention required for health failure. I think the life expectancy should be thought of as well. I know a family that's gone thru 2 st. bernards and their kids are still young. Nice to have a single animal that will last their growing up years, not an old codger the kids cannot play and run with. Just my thoughts, I know many single owners don't always picture a families constraints. It's not just the dog -> kid interaction thats key to a good happy family dog.

jackie January 14, 2014 | 10:27 AM

You guys are all insane. This is an article intended to give people information about a handful of breeds that have proven over time to be reliable children's companions. It does not say 'pit bulls are evil' or 'your dog sucks at child companionship if he's not on the list'. Way too many of you are offended by the omission of breeds that ARE INCLUDED IN THE COUNTDOWN. Way too many of you are offended by the omission of dogs that are perfectly awesome, but may not be the best breeds for young children because they require a different kind of attention. For instance: I had a Blue Heeler that I loved, and my children adored. However, he was not as easy to contend with, child wise, as was our bull terrier. He wanted to a) herd the children, and b) have the direct and undivided attention of the master of the house. In short, he considered himself to be the Rancher's assistant, and the children to be his sheep. It was the nature of his breed. Pit bulls, German Shepherds, etc., are all wonderful animals, but,like my heeler, will most likely require a different kind of attention and set of rules (read: more work for mom) then a breed that has been bred to a different purpose. It is not fair to say that a dog who needs special attention should be forced to divide that attention with children. Before everyone gets their panties in a knot-I am not saying that seemingly difficult breeds cannot be good children's dogs- I have seen many examples in my life of "pit bulls" that are excellent family dogs. I am only saying it is not unreasonable for them not be included on this list. This article was not a personal attack on YOUR favorite dog.

berta January 13, 2014 | 2:02 PM

I can't believe that beagles,cocker s and boxers r not there

John Dough January 13, 2014 | 1:46 PM

a small percentage of pit bulls may be good dogs, however far too many are owned by thugs and criminals. Neither have a place in a quality society where safety and intellect are a priority.

kayla January 12, 2014 | 6:57 PM

I can't believe Boxers aren't on this list. They are very hyper playful dogs but around small childreb they become gentle little babies. Mine is so sweet to my 10 month old. Whoever said jack Russell, wrong. I have one and while she is fine with my daughter jacks do not tolerate any kind of abuse. If the kid hurts the dog like pulling it's ear they will snap at them.

tom January 11, 2014 | 12:21 AM

how about you do more less popular dogs like brittany spaneil

Joshua January 02, 2014 | 9:36 PM

How about Labrador retriever

jeanette December 28, 2013 | 8:33 AM

I have Mini Schnauzer and Cairn terrier , they are very loving with children. Don't malt either. Would highly Recommend both breeds. At the end of the day the owner should always socialize their puppy with other dogs and teach it manners.

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