Top 10 Family Dog Breeds

Apr 28, 2024 | Dogs & Puppies | 1 comment

Written by: Dmytro Kovalenko. Explore our editorial process.

When choosing the perfect dog for your family, many factors must be considered, including the dog’s temperament, size, energy level, and compatibility with children. A good family dog is more than a pet; it’s a companion, protector, and lifelong family member.

Here’s our list of the top 10 best family dogs, each chosen for their exceptional qualities that make them perfect for families.

1. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever breed is known for its friendly and outgoing nature.

📏 Height: 22.5-24.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
⚖️ Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
⏳ Life expectancy: 10-12 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: With supervision
Barking level: Medium

They’re energetic, great with kids, and love to participate in family activities. Labs are intelligent, easy to train, and often used as service dogs, making them perfect family companions. Plus, their short coats mean less grooming (preferably brushing every week) is required.

Labrador Retriever dogs

2. Golden Retriever

Like Labs, the Golden Retriever breed is renowned for its friendly and tolerant attitude. They’re reliable and trustworthy and are great with kids. Goldens are also eager to please and can be trained to perform various tasks.

📏 Height: 23-24 inches (male), 21.5-22.5 inches (female)
⚖️ Weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)
⏳ Life expectancy: 10-12 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: Yes
Barking level: Medium

Their patience and gentleness make them a great choice for families.

golden retriever dog


Golden Retrievers are very active dogs. They love to play fetch and other retrieval games. Weekly brushing is required for a good look and dog health.

3. Beagle

Beagle dogs are friendly and great with kids, making them a popular family choice. Known for their curiosity and pleasant demeanor, these dogs are sturdy and built for play. They require regular exercise and are happiest when they’re part of family activities.

📏 Height: 13-15 inches
⚖️ Weight: 20-30 pounds
⏳ Life expectancy: 10-15 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: Yes
Barking level: high, especially when they pick up a scent.

Beagles can be stubborn but respond well to food-reward training. Additionally, they are known for their stamina and strength. Brush beagles weekly, and this doggy will always look awesome.

Beagle breed

3. Boxer

These dogs excel in families due to their patience and love of play, making them a joy for children. Boxers shed seasonally and maintain a relatively low-maintenance grooming routine, needing only occasional brushing.

📏 Height: 23-25 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
⚖️ Weight: 65-80 pounds (male); females are about 15 pounds less
⏳ Life expectancy: 10-12 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: With supervision (protective nature can lead to aggressive behavior)
Barking level: Low; Boxers are not known to be excessive barkers

Training a Boxer breed is usually a rewarding experience. Thanks to their high intelligence and eagerness to please, boxers respond exceptionally well to positive reinforcement.

boxer dog breed

4. Bulldog

They are known for their low energy levels; a Bulldog is content to spend much of the day lounging around, which suits less active families perfectly.

📏 Height: 14-15 inches
⚖️ Weight: 40-50 pounds
⏳ Life expectancy: 8-10 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: With supervision (to prevent dominance issues or conflicts)
Barking Level: Low

Bulldog breed sheds regularly, requiring a weekly brushing routine to keep its coat clean and minimize hair around the home. These dogs are generally good with children. Due to their stubborn nature, training a bulldog can be challenging, so consistency is crucial. They respond best to patient, consistent training methods focusing on positive reinforcement.

bulldog breed

Bulldogs make a loving and loyal addition to any home. If you’re looking for a smaller breed with a similar temperament, consider our French Bulldog Puppies for sale. These charming companions offer delightful personalities in a more compact size.

5. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland dog breed, affectionately known as “nature’s babysitter,” is renowned for its exceptional gentleness and protective nature, especially around children.

📏 Height: 27-29 inches (male), 25-27 inches (female)
⚖️ Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
⏳ Life expectancy: 9-10 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: Yes
Barking level: Low to medium

Their sweet-natured temperament and patience make them perfect for family environments, and despite their imposing size, they are incredibly gentle with kids.

Newfoundlands possess a moderate energy level; they relish a good play session but are equally content to lounge around the house. This balance makes them well-suited to various household dynamics, from active to more relaxed settings.

Newfoundland dog breed

In terms of care, Newfoundlands require grooming several times a week due to their heavy coats, which shed seasonally. They are eager to please and highly trainable, responding well to commands due to their intelligence.

6. Irish Setter

Irish Setter dog breed is particularly known for their striking red coat and vibrant energy, making it a favored breed for active families who enjoy outdoor activities. Their outgoing and friendly nature ensures they are always eager to be around people, which pairs well with their affinity for children.

📏 Height: 27 inches (male), 25 inches (female)
⚖️ Weight: 70 pounds (male), 60 pounds (female)
⏳ Life expectancy: 12-15 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: Yes
Barking level: Medium (they will make their presence known but are not overly noisy)

Irish Setters’ high energy level requires plenty of space and opportunity to run and play. Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining their health and happiness, making them ideal companions for individuals or families that are similarly energetic and outdoorsy.

Irish Setter dog breed

Grooming involves regular brushing to manage seasonal shedding and keep their coats healthy and shiny. Irish Setters are eager to please, making training enjoyable and rewarding.

7. Poodle

Poodles in three sizes—standard, miniature, and toy—offer versatile options for different family needs, ensuring a perfect Poodle for every household. Known for their impressive intelligence and ease of training, the Poodle toy breed is inherently friendly and excellent with children and other dogs.

📏 Height: Over 15 inches
⚖️ Weight: 60-70 pounds (male), 40-50 pounds (female)
⏳ Life expectancy: 10-18 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: Yes
Barking level: Medium (they will alert you to visitors but are not overly noisy)

Poodles present a notable advantage for families concerned with allergies due to their hypoallergenic coats, which shed minimally.

Poodles exhibit a high energy level and thrive in environments where they can engage in play and continuous learning. They are eager to please and respond exceptionally well to training, making them suitable for various roles, including therapy and assistance dogs.

super cute poodle

Poodles’ grooming needs are more demanding than for many other breeds; professional grooming every 3 to 6 weeks is recommended to maintain their distinctive coats.

8. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels, renowned for their gentle and loving disposition, are ideal family pets, especially in homes with children. Their intelligence and eagerness to facilitate training enhance their ability to participate in family activities seamlessly.

📏 Height: 14.5-15.5 inches (male), 13.5-14.5 inches (female)
⚖️ Weight: 25-30 pounds
⏳ Life expectancy: 10-14 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: Yes
Barking level: Medium to high (they can be vocal, especially when alerting the family to visitors or unusual events)

While the Cocker Spaniel breed does have a medium energy level, it is well-balanced; they enjoy playful activities as much as they cherish relaxing moments. This adaptability makes them suitable for families with varying activity levels.

Cocker Spaniel family dog

Their ong coats require regular maintenance every 6 to 8 weeks to keep their fur in good condition and prevent matting. Seasonal shedding is also something to consider.

9. Vizsla

The Vizsla breed is known for their affectionate nature and boundless energy, making it an excellent choice for active families. These dogs are intelligent and good with kids but thrive when integral to family activities, creating a deep bond with their owners.

📏 Height: 22-24 inches (male), 21-23 inches (female)
⚖️ Weight: 55-60 pounds (male), 44-55 pounds (female)
⏳ Life expectancy: 10-14 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: Yes
Barking level: Low (although they will alert you to anything unusual)

Vizslas have a very high energy level and are happiest when they have plenty of opportunities to exercise. This makes them perfect for households enjoying outdoor activities and looking for a dog to keep up on long walks or runs. Despite their need for regular activity, they require minimal grooming; occasional brushing is sufficient to maintain their coat’s condition.

Vizsla dog breed

Their minimal shedding is a boon for keeping the house clean. Highly trainable and eager to please, Vizslas respond well to commands, making them easy to train and a joy for families looking for an obedient and loyal companion.

10. Collie

Collies are celebrated for their remarkable intelligence and gentle disposition, making them iconic family pets. Known for their starring role as “Lassie,” Collies have a protective instinct and a deep loyalty to their family members, which makes them particularly great with children.

📏 Height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
⚖️ Weight: 60-75 pounds (male), 50-65 pounds (female)
⏳ Life expectancy: 12-14 years
🐾 Good with other dogs: Yes
Barking level: Medium (often barking to alert their family to important or unusual occurrences)

Collie breed has a balanced energy level that accommodates a variety of activities. They eagerly engage in play and exercise but also appreciate quieter moments at home. Their adaptability makes them suitable for active rural homes and sedate suburban settings. Collies are easy to train due to their intelligence and eagerness to please.

border collie dog breed picture

Their long, luxurious coat does require attention to keep it in good condition. Regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting, especially during seasonal shedding periods.

It’s important to remember that every dog is an individual. While certain breeds are known for specific characteristics, a breed can have variations.

Always spend time with a potential pet before bringing them into your home to ensure they’re a good fit for your family.


American paws divider



How can I tell if my family is ready for a dog?

Owning a dog requires a significant time commitment for training, exercise, and care and a financial commitment for food, veterinary care, and other supplies. If your family understands these responsibilities and is ready to meet them, it might be a good time to consider getting a dog.

How can I decide which breed best fits my family?

Consider your family’s lie patient and gentle with children. If you’re active, consider a breed that loves exercise and outdoor activities. A smaller or less active breed may be better if you live in an apartment.

What are the benefits of adopting a dog from a shelter?

Adopting from a shelter gives a dog a second chance at a happy life. Many shelter dogs are mixed breeds, which can mean fewer breed-specific health issues. Shelter staff can also often provide detailed information about a dog’s personality and behavior.

How can I prepare my home for a new dog?

Make sure your home is safe for a dog by storing away toxic foods and plants and securing loose wires or small objects. You’ll also need to buy supplies such as a leash, collar, food and water bowls, a bed, toys, and food.

To ensure your home is ready for your new family member, you’ll need essential supplies like a dog crate, which provides your dog with a safe and personal space.

How can I help my new dog adapt to our home?

Give your new dog time to adjust, providing them a safe, quiet space. Maintain a consistent routine for feeding and exercise, and be patient, consistent, and positive with training.

How can I ensure my children interact safely with our new dog?

Teach your children to respect the dog’s space and not bother them while eating or sleeping. Children should also be taught to handle the dog gently and understand canine body language to back off when the dog is uncomfortable.

In addition to routine care, securing dog insurance can help protect against unexpected veterinary expenses, ensuring your dog receives the best care possible throughout its life. Also, investing in a dog playpen can be a smart choice, especially for puppies or highly active dogs.

With patience, care, and love, any dog can become a cherished part of the family.


1 Comment

  1. DogLover21

    I’ve got a Labrador Retriever, and she’s such a sweetheart. Great with kids and super loyal. Labs are definitely one of the best family dog breeds out there

Submit a Comment