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Published: Mar 08, 2024 3 min read

When one imagines the perfect family pet, dogs are usually near the top of the list. But not all of our furry friends necessarily fit the requirements.Family dogs need to be adaptable, trainable and sweet-natured, traits that are especially important when new dog owners have small children around or family members with special needs. Let’s explore our picks for the best family dog breeds.

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Our top picks for the best family dogs


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The beagle’s trainability, low seasonal shedding and high energy make it a perfect low-maintenance option for active families. This small dog breed was bred to hunt and requires a lot of exercise and playmates, so be mindful of that if you and your family have a less than active lifestyle.

Border collie

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Bred for herding, border collies are one of the smartest dog breeds around and have a lot of energy. This medium-sized dog does need a lot of space to expend that energy, so make sure you have a big outdoor space in your house if you want to choose it as your pet.

Golden retriever

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Golden retrievers have become the standard for a large dog breed that is smart, versatile and works well with young as well as older children. This friendly dog’s soft demeanor have made it one of the most recognizable breeds for families looking for gentle giants.

Labrador retriever

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The labrador is the most popular dog breed in the United States and is very friendly and adaptable, making it a great companion for young children. A fairly big dog, labrador retrievers are very high-energy and trainable, which means they fit perfectly into a family with an active lifestyle.

French bulldog

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Frenchies are one of the best dog breeds for families living in big cities. They are quiet, small and adaptable to many situations. The breed also plays well with children and other dogs, a must for a family planning to live in a smaller than traditional space. French bulldogs are perfect for a family looking for a lazy dog breed that will work in practically any living situation.


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The pug’s compact figure and fun-loving and curious demeanor make it a great pet to have around the house. Pugs are independent, laid-back creatures who at the same time are outgoing and social. If you’re looking for a new pet who loves to cuddle as much as they love playtime, pugs can be a safe bet.

Other popular family dog breeds

  • Irish setter
  • Standard poodle
  • Newfoundland
  • English bulldog
  • Bernese mountain dog
  • Cavalier king charles spaniel
  • Brussels griffon
  • Bull terrier
  • Cocker spaniel

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Best family dogs FAQs

What makes a good family dog?

A good family dog has to be adaptable to high-energy and low-energy situations and have a friendly demeanor towards children as well as other dogs. They should also be moderately trainable and be able to live in multiple kinds of environments.

Are some dog breeds more family-friendly than others?

Temperament is a big deciding factor when it comes to choosing your family dog. Some breeds are just more sweet-natured and friendly than others, making them a better choice for families.

What are the best family dogs that don’t shed?

If you’re worried about the maintenance revolving around a shedding dog or you want a dog that is hypoallergenic, you may want to opt for hairless breeds or low-shedding breeds such as the poodle, the yorkshire terrier and the maltese.

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