Choosing a puppy is always a big decision, regardless of your circumstances. But it’s an even bigger decision when you have young children. Finding the right breed, that will be both safe and happy with children, is a must.
If a puppy is well-bred, socialized and raised in those first weeks with their breeder, they should never be aggressive to children. But some breeds are definitely better suited than others. A more relaxed, sensitive breed could be timid around children, while a guarding dog may be too alert around them, or a huge breed while soft, may be able to knock them over.
Top Tip – Every puppy is different, and sometimes those listed down below under the worst breeds can be fantastic with kids. And even those listed under best (esp if poorly socialized) can have problems around children depending on their individual character.
When you adopt a puppy it is hard to be certain if they will be good with kids, you will know little of their history or bloodline, and it can take trial and error. But, when buying, if you ensure your puppy is from a good breeder, and you check out the parents and puppy’s character info, then this list is a very reliable run down or what could work for you….
Originating from the glorious glens of Scotland, the Golden Retriever is a legendarily beloved breed, and lives up to its status as a great family dog. They need lots of activity: running, walking, swimming, and playing. But they are also loving, fun, silly, and utterly devoted to their family, both adults and little children, and super, super tolerant of playful children.
The most popular dog breed for decades, and for a reason. Labs love everyone they meet, both human and canine. They are energetic breeds too, that need lots of activity, but some of this can come from playing and fun time with kids, who they are very loving and gentle with.
Collies rank among the very smartest dog breeds, so quick to learn, and so easily socialized with children. A Collie’s loyalty is unrivaled and they simply adore children, and will be the sweetest and gentlest breed around them.
It may be a surprise to see the Hungarian Vizsla here; they are renownedly active dogs, even hunting dogs. It’s a born-and-bred pointer that only thrives with good exercise. But the Vizsla is both loyal and affectionate. They are also utterly loving, completely gentle to children, and hate to be alone, and will love to snuggle with your kids.
For a laidback home, the English Bulldog is unbeatable!
A relaxed, friendly, and loyal dog, the English Bulldog gets along with everyone, including kids and other dogs. They don’t mind lots of children playing around them, but they won’t tend to play too vigorously either because of their laziness, so their strong body isn’t a worry for hurting children. They love nothing better to snuggle with a warm child!
Bernese Mountain Dog
For families that think big really is best, then a gentle giant like the Bernese Mountain Dog is really a great choice. Underneath that big body, is a little softie, that is very relaxed in the home, and oh so good and easy going with rampaging kids.
The Poodle is not the fussy breed often thought. They are very loyal, loving and very happy in a family home. They’re great for kids with allergies, as they are renowned for shedding very little. The breed comes in both miniature and standard sizes, so you can choose the right Poodle size for you.
The Standard breed is very obedient and smart, though they can be shy with strangers, they are classic companions to their family. Miniatures are more playful and fun loving, especially with kids.
And a Few Less Suitable Breeds
Top Tip – As we said before, none of these breeds should be aggressive if well bred and raised, that isn’t the problem with any of them. But all of them have their own particular character traits that makes them hard to adapt to a home with little kids.
Akitas are great companions. But they are also guard dogs and an instinctive protector. An Akita will react to threats, and may be startled by jumpy kids. And they don’t like to be teased too, so are not so fond of having bubbly, in you face, kids around them. If you’re set on getting an Akita, aim to find one from a breeder who has raised the pup around kids, as this can help them adapt better.
Greyhound / Lurcher
Greyhound and Lurchers are calm, quiet, and relaxed dogs in the home. In contrast to being super fast and active outside. While oh so loving, they aren’t always a good match for families with small children. Peace and quiet in the home is their favorite, and they can be startled, upset, and uncomfortable amongst younger kids. And sometimes they become defensive and protective of their space. They are also emotionally sensitive and don’t like change to their schedule, so a hectic household ain’t ideal.
If you have small children, the smallest dog breed might seem natural, but the Chihuahua just isn’t a good fit. A Chihuahua must be trained at an early age with kids, but kids must also learn to be gentle around this littlest of breed. Chihuahuas are small and can injure easily if you handle them badly. Many Chihuahuas just don’t tolerate bouncy children, and can become easily agitated, shy, and fearful.
So there you have it. There are so many breeds that love to live with children, and this is just some of the highlights. Any individual puppy can still adapt to life with a large family, but if you choose any of the best breeds above, you will have a great start to ensuring a smooth relationship between your kids and your canine!