The Most Popular Family-Friendly Dogs
While Lassie and Lady and the Tramp are fun to watch, they’re probably not the best way to choose the family dog. Instead, choose the breed by its disposition, temperament, size, and energy level -- all of which should suit your family's lifestyle. Just remember, always meet the dog and ask the breeder or shelter worker lots of questions before making such an important decision. Without further ado, here are 10 kid-friendly dog breeds approved by petMD.
#10 The Bull Dog
The Bull Dog has a sturdy build that is perfect for kids who like to roughhouse. However, it won’t win any awards for "most energetic dog." A docile, friendly, and loyal dog, it gets along well with other pets and dogs, too. The Bull Dog is comfortable living in large houses as well as small apartments.
#9 The Beagle
While your beagle most likely won’t have a bird named Woodstock as his best friend, you can, by all means, name him (or her) Snoopy. Originally kept as hunting dogs, Beagles fit well in homes with active kids, as they are sturdily built and never too tired to play a game. Smart, friendly, and happy, the Beagle usually gets along with other pets, too (except for a bit of chasing here and there). However, they do shed, and require frequent brushing and bathing.
#8 The Bull Terrier
Unfairly branded as an aggressive animal, the Bull Terrier was actually bred to be a companion dog -- friendly and loving towards grown-ups and kids alike. This well-framed dog also has a high threshold for pain, making it perfect for rambunctious children who are learning how to properly treat dogs.
The Bull Terrier can get quite rambunctious and requires plenty of playtime. Therefore, it is a perfect dog for a large family. The Bull Terrier will return your affection by being very protective of your children.
#7 The Collie
This is the dog Lassie made famous. Collies are a very gentle and predictable breed, rarely biting its human family and easily trainable -- which is perfect for families that are unfamiliar with dogs. Collies get along great with children and love to please their owners and protect their family.
While this breed is typically mild-mannered (like Clark Kent!), it was originally bred as a herding dog, so it may try and herd your children. This might be amusing at first, but it’s probably best to discourage the child-herding (no matter how handy you may think it could be). Because of the Collie's long hair, it requires regular grooming to keep its coat in tip-top shape.
#6 The Newfoundland
Nicknamed "Nature’s Babysitter," the Newfoundland dog loves children and is very protective of them. Gentle, kind, and patient, this breed is almost like the Mother Teresa of dogs. Both young and old will quickly fall in love with this wonderfully sweet, large dog.
The Newfoundland best suits a family with large open spaces. And although it is known to drool and shed excessively, it is not considered a proper dog for the yard. This breed wants to be inside with its family. Wouldn’t you? The Newfoundland is also a great swimmer and has been known to save lives in emergency situations.
#5 The Vizsla
This may be a breed you haven’t heard of before, but because of its need of regular exercise, it’s actually one best dog breeds for active and energetic families with older kids. The Vizsla has a lively disposition but a gentle manner; it is loyal and affectionate. Additionally, it is obedient, confident and smart, forming close bonds with its family and able to learn new tricks quickly. Best of all, the Vizsla has very little "doggy" smell about it.
#4 Irish Setter
Known for its red coat, the Irish Setter is playful, energetic, loves being around people, and plays well with children. This doggy needs lots of exercise, and is a good match for energetic kids. A smart and trainable companion, the Irish setter is perfect for people with a yard.
#3 The Poodle
Often given rather curious haircuts by their owners, the Poodle is a very smart and gentle dog. It’s also great for kids with allergies, as it sheds very little; it does, however, require scheduled grooming. This is a proud and elegant dog that is both caring and loyal. Seldom annoyed or bored, the Poodle's good nature, friendly demeanor, and patience make it an excellent playing partner for a child.
#2 Labrador Retriever
This is one of the most popular dog breeds, and for good reason -- the Labrador Retriever is playful, patient, loving, protective, and reliable. In fact, its sweet personality and intelligence is only matched by its beauty. What does this mean for you? A perfect family pet.
#1 The Golden Retriever
Not as big as the Lab, the Golden Retriever is a confident, smart, kind, and loyal dog. Neither aggressive nor timid, the Golden Retriever is extremely patient, which is perfect for kids. While it does need a lot of exercise, its love of play makes this an easy thing to achieve.
So now that you know a thing or two about kid-friendly dogs, choosing one for your home and your family should be a little bit simpler. And remember, highly-strung small dogs are usually not the best choice for children. Also, keep in mind that mutts from the pound are a fantastic option, as they are often more docile and well-tempered. Good luck!
Image: CIA DE FOTO / via Flickr
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