International Dog Day 2023 - 20 Best Dog Breeds for Kids

Top 20 Dog Breeds for Kids

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Harsha G Ramaiya (Counsellor)
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Dogs and children make the best combination! Not only are they both bundles of joy, but dogs are the perfect example of unconditional love and forgiveness, and have enough energy to keep your children entertained. But finding a dog that can be the perfect best friend to your child and be right for your family will need a little bit of research. Here we will discuss things to keep in mind before adding a furry member to your family and the best dog breed that you can opt for.

Video : 10 Best Dog Breeds for Kids

How to Choose the Best Dog Breed for Children?

Three things to taking into account when you’re planning to get a dog is your family’s lifestyle, budget, and temperament. Your dog needs to be able to fit in well with your family for everyone to have a good relationship with it.

1. Size of the Dog

Some people are not very concerned about the size of a dog as long as it is suitable for their lifestyles. Some big dogs are perfectly suited to life indoors as well as the smaller dogs are.

2. Puppy or Adult Dog

Puppies are babies. They require someone to stay at home and keep a watch over them as they are young and curious about everything. Adult dogs are generally calmer and do not require as much time and effort, but it should be inquired if the dog is used to being around children.

3. Temperament

Like people, dogs have different personalities that make their character. Some dogs are fearful, while some are confident. Nervous or anxious dogs make excellent watchdogs as they are more likely to alert you to an unknown person’s presence, whereas a confident dog will be friendlier.

4. Lifestyle

High energy dogs are more active and require owners who have a more active lifestyle as they will require a lot of exercise. Some dogs have naturally low energy and are happy to take naps or indulge in low energy activities.

5. Dogs for Kids with Allergies

The best types of dog for your child, if they suffer from allergies, are the ones who do not shed as much. Less shedding means less dander, and this will mean less allergic reactions. The American Hairless Terrier, Bichon Frise, Poodles and Spanish Water Dogs are some of the popular hypoallergenic dog breeds.

6. Cost

The price that is paid upfront for the dog is not the cost we are talking about – you can always avoid that by adopting a stray puppy (make sure you get the dog’s shots and medication in order before you invite it into the house though). The money it takes to look after the dog, however, is a cost you can’t avoid. This cost will be different for different breeds too. For example, a larger dog will require more food, whereas a long furred dog will need more grooming, especially if it is living in tropical climates. Purebred dogs are also more prone to genetic problems, so you may end up spending a lot more on their vet bills than you first imagined.

7. Grooming and Care

When it comes to grooming dogs with long fur, it can be quite the chore. So, many people opt to send them to professional groomers. If you do not want to have to keep running to the groomers, consider a dog with short fur.

Best Child-Friendly Dog Breeds That Will Be Loved By Your Kids

Here we have for you a list of the best dog breeds for young children:

1. Beagle


Beagles are sweet, gentle, and loving towards children. They are a joy to be around and are small to medium-sized dogs. ( Verified )

2. Newfoundland


If you have watched Peter Pan, then you will know of the famous Newfoundland character as the Darling family’s pet dog Nana was one. This breed is one of the gentle giants, as it is a dog well known for its sweet personality. They are also excellent swimmers.

3. Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

Unlike most small dog breeds, these dogs are not easily injured by rough play as they are very sturdy. These dogs may look intimidating, but are known to have friendly and fun-loving personalities.

4. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

This little dog is mostly hypoallergenic and is also happy-go-lucky, energetic, and vivacious. These dogs may need to be groomed regularly, but their fur will not give much trouble if you have a child with allergies.

5. Collies


The breed Collie may bring to mind the lovely orange and white, long-snouted dog from the popular TV show, “Lassie,” but that is only one kind. Another common type of collie is the Border Collie, distinguished by its beautiful black and white coat. These dogs are energetic, loving, and highly intelligent, and make great companions for children.

6. Mutt


Also called mixed breeds, mutts are just as loving and intelligent as purebred dogs. However, they have the additional benefit of teaching your child about kindness, as most of them are adopted from the shelter. Giving a home to the dogs found at shelters will give your children something to ponder and knowing they saved a dog often helps strengthen their bond.

7. Vizsla


These medium-sized dogs were bred as hunting dogs, and are highly intelligent. They will require a certain amount of exercise each day, and with kids, their energy is likely to come out through play. This dog will be a loyal companion to your child.

8. Boxers


These beautiful dogs are powerful, alert, and very athletic. They are medium-sized dogs that were bred to be guide dogs. Many Boxers were used as Seeing Eye dogs, and during wars, they were used as courier dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, they have a special love for attention, especially for children.

9. Poodles

If you have watched Oliver and Company, you will be familiar with Georgette, the privileged award-winning poodle. Poodles are an intelligent dog breed, that is easy to train, and friendly with kids.

10. Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers

Yellow, chocolate, and black, these beautiful dogs are one of the most famous dog breeds and are known for being friendly and loving family pets.

11. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

These sweet, playful dogs have become a favourite among families as they are great companions for children and adults alike.

12. Pit Bulls


These dogs have got a bad reputation for being aggressive and attack dogs, but they are not really like that. On the contrary, they make great family pets because of their playful, intelligent, and loving nature.

13. Pugs


One of the best small dog breeds for kids, these little sweethearts seem to live to make you happy. They will provide the family with endless amounts of fun and joy, not to mention, they are the perfect size for a good cuddle, even for your little one.

14. German Shepherds

German Shepherds

These dogs are on every list as they are such an intelligent breed. They are lovely family pets and can be trained to do just about anything.

15. Mastiffs


This is another breed of gentle giants and is one of the oldest breeds in the world. They have a very affectionate nature and become attached to and love their family to bits. They make wonderful companions for children.

16. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs have a fancy pedigree indeed. They are one of the first lapdog breeds and were much loved by French royalty. They are great towards children and love nothing more than to be pet all day long. They are ideal dogs for kids with autism.

17. Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds

Though these dogs were originally bred to be hunters, they are quite lazy by nature and love to take long naps. They love attention from children and will become quite attached to them.

18. Bulldogs


These dogs are sweethearts and are very affectionate. They are great family pets. When they are puppies, they have a lot of energy and are very playful, but as they get older, they begin to calm down.

19. French Bulldog

French Bulldog

Perfect for apartment life, these small dogs are low maintenance and quiet. They are alert and playful with easy-going personalities.

20. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

Ever seen Lady and the Tramp? Those who have will instantly recognize this breed. With regular exercise and play, these dogs are friendly and get along well with children.

How Does Having A Dog Benefit Your Kids?

The simple truth of why every kid should have a dog is that dogs make children very happy. Here are a few benefits of getting dogs for children:

1. Partner in Crime

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a sibling to play with while growing up, but if they have a lovable companion to cuddle and play with, they will never feel lonely. Dogs are often a source of great comfort for children, even during a time when they are going through big and complicated life lessons.

2. Canine Confidence

If you have a toddler, the mere presence of your dog will provide incentive and a friend to your child to chatter away to, thereby giving them a chance to practice their verbal skills. Most dogs are sweet enough to patiently listen to a toddlers babbling, even if they do not understand a thing they are saying, and this will give your child even more confidence to keep talking and learning.

3. Perfect Playmate

Dogs encourage your children to put down their video games and actively run around as they have a goofy way of bringing out the child in anyone. Your children will not be able to refuse those adorable puppy dog eyes.

4. Dr Paws

Children who are raised with a dog are much less likely to have allergies or develop asthma, and will also develop a much stronger immune system.

5. Personal Protection

Does your child fuss about sleeping alone because the boogie man may be hiding under the bed? Well, your dog is sure to put a stop to all that by providing your child with a sense of comfort and security.

6. Res-Paw-nsibility Program

A dog will need to be walked, bathed, trained, and fed, all of which you can get your child to help you with. This will give them little life lessons on what it is like to look after another living being, lessons which will come in handy as they grow up.

7. Little Empaths

Your children are going to be very empathetic and have more respect for life if they grow up with a dog. A dog is very expressive and will show different emotions such as fear, distress, and joy, among others, and your children are bound to feel the need to comfort their friend.

8. Social Support

Dogs provide excellent social support, especially during transitional periods in your child’s life. When a child transitions to adolescence as well as during times when things in the family may change, the family dog will help them go through it. Things like moving to a new place and a new school, or in the case of a family breakdown or illness in the family, a dog can provide comfort to your child.

9. Lift Their Spirits

It does not matter if your child has had a bad day or is unhappy about something. One look at that goofy face and into those loving eyes, and your child is bound to cheer up.

10. Better Sleep

Children who have dogs often experience improved sleep quality. The calming presence of the dog can help ease bedtime fears and anxieties, leading to more restful sleep.

Studies show that mixed breeds are born with lower chances of being born with inherited congenital diseases than purebreds. Though they have this in their favour, with mixed breeds, you cannot always make out how big the dog will be when it grows up as there is no real way of saying which breeds have been mixed into its ancestry line. This is where purebreds have the main advantage. With them, there is no surprise when it comes to how big the dog will be when it gets bigger.

Whether you get a mutt or a purebred dog, having a dog will highly benefit your kids, and the furry family member will make everyday fun and memorable.

Also Read: Treatment for Dog Bites in Children

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