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BigPawShop's Dog Blog

Top 10 Dog Breeds for Families - BigPawShop's 2023 Edition

19 Sep 2023 0 Comments
Are you searching for the perfect furry companion to join your family? Whether you have young children or live in a bustling household, these popular dog breeds are known for their friendly and adaptable nature.

Imagine coming home to a loyal and loving four-legged friend who brings joy and laughter to your everyday life. With our carefully curated list of family-friendly dog breeds, you can discover the ideal match that suits your unique needs and preferences.

From playful Golden Retrievers to gentle Bulldogs, each breed on our list has its own special qualities that make them great companions for families. Let's dive into the world of family-friendly dogs and find the perfect addition to your household!

Table of Contents:


  • Expert Insights: Best Family Dog Breeds
  • Factors to Consider When Choosing a Family Dog
  • Labrador Retriever: Ideal Family Companion
  • Golden Retriever: A Loving and Patient Breed
  • Beagle: Energetic and Friendly Family Pet
  • Bulldog: Gentle and Protective Family Guardian
  • Boxer: Playful and Loyal Family Companion
  • Poodle: Intelligent and Versatile Family Dog
  • German Shepherd: Smart and Protective Family Member
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Affectionate and Gentle Breed
  • Border Collie: Active and Trainable Family Dog
  • Bichon Frise: Cheerful and Hypoallergenic Family Pet
  • Finding the Perfect Family Dog

    Best Family Dog Breeds

    Experts in the field of dog breeding have shared their insights on the best dog breeds for families.Professional advice can be invaluable. Let's dive into what these experts have to say about which dog breeds are most suitable for families.

    One important factor to consider when selecting a family dog is their temperament. Experts agree that breeds known for being friendly, patient, and good with children tend to make excellent choices. These breeds often possess a natural affinity for human companionship and are more likely to get along well with kids of all ages.

    According to experts, here are the top 10 dog breeds that consistently rank high as family-friendly:

    1. Labrador Retriever: Known for their friendly nature and love for children, Labradors make fantastic family pets. They're so loyal, intelligent, and easy to train, you'd think they have a lifetime membership to the "Family Dog Hall of Fame!"
    2. Golden Retriever: Similar to Labradors, Golden Retrievers are gentle giants who adore spending time with their families. With their patient demeanor and affinity for kids, they've got the "Oprah Effect" — universally loved and constantly in the spotlight of any "Best Family Dogs" list!
    3. Beagle: Beagles are small-sized dogs known for their playful and sociable nature. They thrive in active households where they can engage in regular exercise and playtime with children.
    4. Bulldog: Despite their tough exterior, Bulldogs have a sweet disposition towards children. They are affectionate, protective, and require minimal exercise.
    5. Boxer: Boxers are energetic dogs that bond well with families due to their playful nature and strong loyalty towards their owners.
    6. Poodle: Poodles come in all sizes but share a common trait—intelligence. Known for their hypoallergenic coats and keen problem-solving abilities, they're great companions for kids with allergies and a natural fit for family trivia night!
    7. German Shepherd: A classic choice for families seeking a protective but loving companion, German Shepherds are highly intelligent and easy to train. They form deep bonds with their family members, making them ideal playmates and guardians for children.
    8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: These small-sized spaniels are incredibly affectionate and do well in homes with children of all ages. Their gentle temperament and loving nature make them perfect cuddle buddies for kids and adults alike.
    9. Border Collie: Collies are highly intelligent dogs that excel at forming strong bonds with children within the family unit. Their energetic disposition and quick learning capabilities make them great for active families who enjoy outdoor activities.
    10. Bichon Frise: Don't be fooled by their small stature and fluffy appearance; Bichon Frises are little bundles of joy with a whole lot of heart! Known for their cheerful disposition, they easily become the highlight of any family gathering and are particularly great with children, offering endless playtime and cuddles.

    Factors to Consider When Choosing a Family Dog

    Choosing the right dog breed for your family is an important decision that requires careful consideration. With so many options available, it's crucial to understand the factors that can influence your choice. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when selecting a family dog.

    Understanding Your Family's Needs

    The first step in choosing a family dog is understanding the unique needs and dynamics of your household. Consider the following factors:

    1. Lifestyle: Assess your family's activity level and lifestyle. Are you an active family who enjoys outdoor adventures, or do you prefer quiet evenings at home? Some breeds thrive in active environments, while others prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.
    2. Space: Evaluate the space available in your home and yard. Larger breeds may require more room to roam, while smaller breeds can adapt well to apartment living.
    3. Allergies: Determine if anyone in your family has allergies or sensitivities to pet dander. Certain hypoallergenic breeds produce fewer allergens and may be a better fit for allergy sufferers.

    Temperament and Energy Level


    When it comes to choosing a furry family member, temperament is more than just a buzzword—it's a lifestyle! Do you envision a tail-wagging socialite who greets everyone at the door, or a more reserved guardian who's selective with their affections? Some breeds, like Labradors and Golden Retrievers, are famous for being excellent child minders and social butterflies. On the other hand, breeds like the Rottweiler or the Akita tend to be more cautious and protective, making them better suited for families without young children or those looking for a guard dog.

    Energy Level:

    The energy level of your future pooch is like the speed setting on a treadmill—it's crucial to match it with your own lifestyle! High-energy breeds like Border Collies or Boxers aren't just satisfied with a leisurely stroll; they crave action-packed days filled with fetch, hikes, and mental stimulation. On the flip side, more low-key breeds such as Bulldogs or Basset Hounds would be perfectly content with shorter, less frequent walks, and perhaps a cozy spot on the couch.

    Size and Maintenance Requirements


    Size matters, but not just in the way you might think! A larger breed may require more space to move around, not to mention a bigger budget for food and other essentials. On the other hand, don't be fooled by the petite size of smaller breeds—they can have gigantic personalities and often require just as much attention and exercise. So, whether you're living the city life in a compact apartment or sprawling out in the countryside, the size of your future pet is a factor that trickles down into various aspects of your daily routine.

    Maintenance Requirements:

    From brushing and bathing to nail trimming and ear cleaning, maintenance is the "hidden cost" of dog ownership that often goes overlooked. Some breeds are virtually "wash-and-wear," requiring minimal grooming, while others may require regular trips to the doggy salon. Make sure to factor in not just the time but also the costs associated with keeping your pup looking and feeling their best.

    Labrador Retriever: Ideal Family Companion

    an image of a chocolate lab

    Labrador Retrievers, often referred to as Labs, are renowned for their friendly and gentle nature.Labradors are consistently at the top of the list. With their lovable personalities and innate ability to get along with everyone, it's no wonder they make such wonderful family pets.

    One of the standout qualities of Labrador Retrievers is their exceptional compatibility with children. Labs have a natural affinity for kids and possess an endless well of patience. Their kind-hearted temperament ensures that even in high-energy situations, they remain calm and composed.

    Labradors are known for being highly sociable dogs that thrive on human companionship. They love nothing more than being part of a close-knit family unit and will eagerly join in on all the activities and adventures. Whether it's going for long walks, playing fetch in the park, or simply cuddling up on the couch while watching a movie, Labradors are always up for some quality family time.

    One reason why Labradors are considered one of the most popular choices for families is their versatility. These intelligent dogs excel in various roles including search and rescue work, therapy assistance, and guide dog services. This adaptability makes them an ideal fit for families who lead active lifestyles or require additional support due to specific needs.

    In addition to their affable nature and adaptability, Labradors also boast impressive trainability. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. This makes them an excellent choice for families who want a dog that can easily pick up commands and behaviors while maintaining good manners around children.

    When considering a Labrador Retriever as a family pet, it's important to note that they do require regular exercise to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated.

    Golden Retriever: A Loving and Patient Breed


    Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds for families, and it's easy to see why. With their loving and patient temperament, they make fantastic companions for both adults and children alike. Whether you're looking for a large breed to join your family or simply want a loyal and affectionate furry friend, the Golden Retriever is an excellent choice.

    These dogs have a reputation for being incredibly adaptable. They can thrive in various living situations, whether you reside in a spacious suburban home or a cozy city apartment. Their medium to large size allows them to comfortably fit into different environments without feeling cramped or restricted.

    Golden Retrievers excel at building strong bonds with humans of all ages. They have an innate love for people and enjoy being part of the family unit. This breed is known for its patience, making them ideal companions for households with young children. Golden Retrievers tend to be gentle and tolerant, even when faced with the playful antics of little ones.

    As social animals, these dogs crave human interaction and form deep attachments with their owners. They are eager to please and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. Whether you're teaching them basic commands or more advanced tricks, their intelligence shines through as they quickly grasp new concepts.

    Golden Retrievers have an abundance of love to give, making them wonderful additions to any family dynamic. Their affectionate nature extends not only towards their immediate family but also towards strangers they encounter on walks or visits to the park. This friendly disposition often makes them poor guard dogs but exceptional therapy animals due to their calming presence.

    If you're considering adding a Golden Retriever to your family, finding a reputable breeder is crucial. Look for breeders who prioritize health testing and responsible breeding practices that aim to improve the overall quality of the breed.

    Beagle: Energetic and Friendly Family Pet

    an image of a puppy beagle

    Beagles are a popular choice for families looking for an energetic and friendly pet. With their playful nature and boundless energy, these adorable dogs can bring joy and excitement to any household. Here's why Beagles are considered one of the top 10 dog breeds for families:

    Energetic Personality

    Beagles are known for their high energy levels, making them a perfect fit for active families. These lively pups love to run, jump, and play, so if you're an active family who enjoys outdoor activities, a Beagle will be your ideal companion. Whether it's going on long hikes or playing fetch in the park, this breed will keep up with your energetic lifestyle.

    Their energy level also means that they require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Daily walks or runs are essential to help burn off their excess energy and prevent them from becoming bored or destructive. If you have a backyard where they can roam around freely, even better!

    Friendly Nature

    One of the most endearing qualities of Beagles is their friendly nature. They are incredibly sociable dogs who love being part of a pack—especially if that pack includes children! Their gentle disposition makes them great companions for kids of all ages.

    Beagles are generally good with other pets too, including cats. However, it's important to introduce them gradually and supervise their interactions until everyone gets used to each other. With proper socialization and training, Beagles can coexist harmoniously with feline friends.

    Great Family Pets

    Beagles tick all the boxes. Their small-to-medium size makes them suitable for both apartments and houses with yards. They adapt well to various living situations as long as they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation.

    Bulldog: Gentle and Protective Family Guardian

    an image of a bulldog with a golden coat

    Bulldogs may look tough, but they have a gentle disposition towards children. Their sturdy build and docile nature make them an excellent choice for families with small children. Despite their intimidating appearance, Bulldogs are known for being patient and tolerant, making them ideal companions for kids.

    Bulldogs are among the best. They possess natural protective instincts that make them fiercely loyal to their loved ones. With their strong body language and alertness, Bulldogs can quickly sense any potential threats to the family and act as a reliable guardian.

    One of the remarkable qualities of Bulldogs is their ability to be both gentle and protective at the same time. They have a unique understanding of when to be playful with children and when to assume a more vigilant stance. This adaptability allows them to create a safe environment within the home while still engaging in fun activities with the family.

    In order to fully appreciate how Bulldogs fulfill their role as gentle yet protective family guardians, it is important to understand their temperament. These dogs are inherently affectionate towards children and often form strong bonds with them. Their calm demeanor helps create a soothing atmosphere that brings comfort to both kids and adults alike.

    Bulldogs thrive in a loving environment where they receive ample attention from their human companions. Regular exercise is essential for keeping these dogs happy and healthy, so providing them with a backyard or open space for playtime is highly recommended. This not only ensures they get enough physical activity but also helps stimulate their minds.

    As guard dogs, Bulldogs excel at reading body language cues from both strangers and familiar faces. They can detect subtle changes in behavior or expressions that might indicate potential danger or unease. This heightened awareness allows them to act promptly if any threatening situations arise within the household.

    It's worth noting that introducing a Bulldog into your family requires proper training and socialization from an early age.

    Boxer: Playful and Loyal Family Companion

    a little of boxer puppies photographed by Matt Breton for

    Boxers are known for their playful and energetic nature, making them a great choice for active families. If you're looking for a friendly dog that can keep up with your family's energy levels, then the Boxer might be the perfect fit.

    One of the key traits that sets Boxers apart is their loyalty and affection towards their family. They truly become an integral part of the household, forming strong bonds with each family member. Whether it's playing in the backyard or cuddling on the couch, Boxers are always eager to be by your side.

    Boxers tick all the boxes. They adore children and have a natural affinity for them. Their playful nature makes them excellent companions for kids who love to run around and play games. With proper training and socialization from an early age, Boxers can grow up to be gentle and patient with even the youngest members of your family.

    Boxer puppies are undeniably cute, capturing hearts with their wrinkled faces and wagging tails. Watching them grow into loyal family members is a rewarding experience that many families cherish. However, it's important to note that puppies require time and effort in terms of training and socializing to ensure they develop into well-behaved adult dogs.

    For families who enjoy spending time outdoors, having a Boxer means endless adventures at the dog park or going on long walks together. These friendly dogs thrive on exercise and mental stimulation, so they'll eagerly join you on any outdoor activity you have planned.

    While Boxers make great companions, it's essential to understand their personality traits before bringing one into your home. Regular grooming is necessary due to their short coat shedding moderately throughout the year. Some individuals may experience behavior problems if not given enough attention or mental stimulation.

    Poodle: Intelligent and Versatile Family Dog

    photo of a black poodle wearing a Dog Collar

    Poodles are highly intelligent and easily trainable, making them an ideal choice for families looking for a smart and obedient companion. Their intelligence allows them to quickly learn commands and tricks, making training sessions both enjoyable and effective. Whether you have young children or elderly family members, the poodle's adaptability ensures they can fit seamlessly into various living arrangements.

    One of the remarkable aspects of poodles is their versatility in size. They come in three different sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. This means that regardless of your living space or lifestyle, there is a poodle size that will suit your family perfectly. Standard poodles are larger dogs weighing between 45 to 70 pounds, while miniature poodles range from 15 to 17 pounds, and toy poodles weigh just 6 to 9 pounds. The variety in sizes allows families with different preferences or limitations to find the perfect fit.

    Poodles are known for being friendly, gentle, and great with children. They have a natural affinity for human companionship and thrive on being part of a loving family environment. Poodles tend to be patient with kids and can handle their sometimes-rough play without getting overly agitated.

    Another advantage of having a poodle as a family pet is their minimal shedding. Poodles have hair instead of fur which makes them hypoallergenic, making them an excellent choice for families with allergies or sensitivities. Regular grooming is necessary to keep their coat healthy and free from mats.

    Poodles are also highly active dogs that require regular exercise to keep them mentally stimulated and physically fit. Engaging in activities such as daily walks or playtime at the park will help prevent boredom-related behaviors like excessive barking or destructive chewing.

    German Shepherd: Smart and Protective Family Member

    stock_photo_of_a_GSD_posing_in_front_of a lake

    German Shepherds are a popular choice for families seeking both intelligence and protection.These remarkable dogs are known for their trainability, making them an excellent addition to any family dynamic. With their natural protective instinct, German Shepherds serve as loyal guardians, ensuring the safety of their loved ones.

    Intelligent and Trainable

    One of the key characteristics that sets German Shepherds apart is their exceptional intelligence. They consistently rank among the smartest dog breeds, showcasing their ability to quickly learn and understand commands. This intelligence makes training a German Shepherd a rewarding experience for both the dog and its owner.

    Their high level of trainability allows German Shepherds to excel in various roles, including search and rescue, police work, and service dogs for individuals with disabilities. Their keen intellect enables them to comprehend complex tasks and execute them with precision.

    Natural Protective Instinct

    Another defining trait of German Shepherds is their innate protective nature. These dogs have a strong sense of loyalty towards their families and will go to great lengths to keep them safe from harm. Whether it's monitoring the perimeter or alerting you to potential threats, German Shepherds take their role as protectors seriously.

    Their protective instincts make them ideal companions for families with children. They form deep bonds with youngsters and act as reliable guardians, ensuring the little ones are always looked after. Having a German Shepherd by your side can provide an extra layer of security that brings peace of mind.

    Versatility in Family Life

    German Shepherds thrive in family environments where they can actively participate in daily activities. They enjoy being part of the action rather than being left alone for long periods. Taking your German Shepherd on walks or engaging in playtime helps fulfill their need for mental stimulation and physical exercise.

    Moreover, these versatile dogs adapt well to different living situations.

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Affectionate and Gentle Breed

    a cavalier king charles posing outside

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are beloved for their affectionate nature and gentle temperament, making them an ideal choice for families. These adorable dogs have a special knack for forming strong bonds with their owners, especially children. Let's explore why the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the top 10 dog breeds for families.

    Loving and Affectionate Nature

    One of the defining characteristics of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is their loving disposition. They thrive on human companionship and are always ready to shower their family members with affection. Whether it's snuggling up on the couch or eagerly wagging their tails when you walk through the door, these dogs never miss an opportunity to express their love.

    Gentle Temperament

    Cavaliers are known for their gentle temperament, which makes them excellent companions for children. They have a patient and tolerant nature that allows them to handle even the most energetic little ones with ease. Unlike some other breeds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels rarely show aggression towards kids, making them a reliable choice for families.

    Playful Companions

    In addition to being affectionate and gentle, Cavaliers are also playful companions. They enjoy engaging in fun activities with their family members, whether it's playing fetch in the backyard or going on long walks together. Their energy levels strike a perfect balance between being active enough to keep up with kids and calm enough to relax indoors.

    Size and Adaptability

    With their medium size, Cavaliers fit well into various living spaces, including apartments and houses with small yards. Their adaptability makes them suitable for both city dwellers and suburban families alike. While they appreciate daily exercise like any other dog breed, they can also adapt to different activity levels within a household.

    Border Collie: Active and Trainable Family Dog

    a photograph of a border collie standing on a bridge - photographed by Matt Breton for

    Border Collies are highly active dogs that thrive in active households. With their boundless energy and intelligence, they make excellent companions for families seeking an active and trainable dog breed.

    Highly Active Dogs Thriving in Active Households

    If you're looking for a dog breed that can keep up with your active lifestyle, the Border Collie is an ideal choice. These dogs have a natural inclination towards physical activities and love to be on the move. Whether it's playing fetch, going for long hikes, or participating in agility courses, the Border Collie will eagerly join in on the fun.

    Their high activity levels mean that they require plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy. Regular walks or runs won't suffice for this energetic breed; they need more vigorous activities to burn off their excess energy. Engaging them in mentally stimulating games such as puzzle toys or obedience training sessions will help channel their energy constructively.

    Excel in Training Due to High Intelligence Levels

    One of the reasons why Border Collies are popular among dog trainers is their exceptional intelligence. They are widely regarded as one of the smartest dog breeds, ranking high on canine IQ tests. This intelligence makes them quick learners who excel in various training endeavors.

    Consistent training is crucial. Their sharp minds crave mental stimulation, and without proper training and guidance, they may become bored or engage in destructive behaviors out of frustration. By providing consistent training sessions that challenge their intellect, you can harness their potential and ensure a well-behaved family companion.

    The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes the Border Collie as an intelligent breed suitable for various activities such as obedience trials, herding trials, flyball competitions, and more.

    Bichon Frise: Cheerful and Hypoallergenic Family Pet


    Bichon Frises are known for their cheerful personality, which brings joy to any family lucky enough to have one. These small-sized dogs have a playful nature that makes them great companions for both children and adults. If you're searching for a hypoallergenic breed that won't trigger allergies or sensitivities, the Bichon Frise is an excellent choice.

    One of the key advantages of owning a Bichon Frise is their hypoallergenic qualities. Many people suffer from allergies or sensitivities to pet dander, but these adorable dogs produce minimal amounts of it. This means that even if someone in your family has allergies, they can still enjoy the company of a furry friend without constant sneezing or itching.

    Another reason why Bichon Frises make wonderful additions to allergy-conscious households is their grooming requirements. These dogs have a unique coat that grows continuously and doesn't shed much. Regular grooming sessions help keep their fur clean and tangle-free while reducing the amount of loose hair in your home. This makes them ideal for families who prefer a cleaner living environment.

    The small size of Bichon Frises also makes them suitable for families living in apartments or smaller homes. Their compact stature allows them to adapt well to limited spaces without feeling constrained or uncomfortable. Whether you reside in a cozy apartment or have limited outdoor areas, these little dogs will be perfectly content as long as they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation.

    Bichon Frises excel at being gentle playmates. They are patient and tolerant, making them an ideal choice for families with young kids who may not always understand how to interact with pets correctly. These friendly dogs thrive on human companionship and love spending time with their family members.

    Finding the Perfect Family Dog

    Congratulations! You've now learned about some of the best dog breeds for families. With their unique qualities and characteristics, these breeds can bring joy, love, and companionship to your household. Now that you have a better understanding of what each breed has to offer, it's time to make a decision.

    Consider your family's lifestyle, activity level, and preferences when choosing the perfect family dog. Think about factors such as size, energy level, temperament, and grooming needs. Remember, finding the right fit is crucial for creating a harmonious bond between your family and your new furry friend.

    So go ahead and take the next step! Visit local shelters or reputable breeders to meet different breeds in person. Ask questions, interact with the dogs, and trust your instincts. Before you know it, you'll find that one special pup who will become an integral part of your family.


    Can I adopt a family dog from a shelter?

    Absolutely! Shelters are great places to find loving family dogs. Many shelters have various breeds available for adoption. By adopting from a shelter, not only are you providing a forever home for a deserving dog but also saving a life.

    How much exercise do these family dogs need?

    The exercise needs vary depending on the breed; however, most family dogs require regular physical activity to stay happy and healthy. Daily walks or playtime in the backyard are usually sufficient for many breeds. However, high-energy breeds like Border Collies may require more intense exercise sessions or activities such as agility training.

    Are these family dogs good with children?

    Yes! The breeds mentioned in this blog post are known for their compatibility with children. They are generally patient, gentle, and tolerant of kids' playful nature. However, it's essential to supervise interactions between young children and any dog to ensure safety for both parties.

    Do these breeds shed excessively?

    Some of the breeds mentioned, like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, have a moderate to heavy shedding coat. Others, such as Poodles and Bichon Frises, have hypoallergenic coats that shed less. Regular grooming and brushing can help manage shedding in most cases.

    How long do these family dogs typically live?

    The lifespan of a dog can vary depending on various factors such as breed, genetics, and overall health. On average, many of the breeds mentioned in this blog post have a lifespan ranging from 10 to 15 years. However, it's important to note that individual dogs may live shorter or longer lives based on their specific circumstances

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