Family Dogs: Ideal Breeds for Families With Children

A four-legged family member represents a real enrichment in everyday family life for many parents and for the children. If a furry friend with a cheerful nature accompanies its own offspring through ups and downs, a wonderful, intimate friendship is created. However, before a dog is accepted as a full family member, there are a few things to consider. Careful research is an absolute must, as not every dog is suitable for families with children.

What Distinguishes Family Dogs?

Family dogs are those dogs that have a friendly, sociable, and also playful character. They are not easily disturbed and are good-natured by nature. Beginner dogs are also often associated with family dogs because they integrate easily into the family and do not develop a strong protective instinct towards a single person.

Family Dog: Mixed Breed or Pedigree?

In pedigree dogs, the behavior towards children is to be assessed well. Nevertheless, everyone has to be aware that dogs are also individuals and that every fur nose develops its own peculiarities in the course of their lives.

What about mixed breed dogs? Of course, they can also make an ideal family dog. Those who prefer to appoint a mixed breed dog, for example from the animal shelter, as a new member of the family can get advice. As a rule, the shelter employees can assess the dog very well and know whether the dog is more suitable for a family or an individual.

Family Dogs: Suitable Dog Breeds for Families

Whether large, small or medium-sized – every family dog must have some character traits in order to ensure a harmonious family life. But other criteria should always be considered before buying a dog. How active the family is and whether life for the fur nose will take place in the country or in the city must definitely be taken into account.

Small Family Dogs

Bolonka Zwetna

In the past, the Bolonka Zwetna was held by nobles in the Russian tsarist houses. Today he is a popular family dog who is very affectionate and always seeks contact with his people. Despite its petite appearance (average size is 26 cm and weight is 3-4 kg), the small dog is active and even suitable for dog sports such as agility. The uncomplicated dog gets along well with children and other animal roommates are also accepted in many cases.

Norwich Terrier

If the family is very active and looking for a small dog, the Norwich Terrier could be the right choice as a family dog. The terrier still has a high urge to move because it was used as a rat catcher in the past. The Norwich Terrier can easily master long, long walks and prefers to be always with them. The little terrier is very robust and patient with children. Romping around in their own garden is a welcome activity for the Norwich Terrier.


The small companion and companion dog belongs to the bichons and is an intelligent, lovable, and playful dog. Löwchen can be kept in the city without any problems and does not need a high physical and mental load every day. But that does not mean that the small dog does not enjoy long walks in nature. Lowchen is a bright beginner dog that can easily be taught a few tricks. As with all dogs, a loving but consistent upbringing is required right from the start in order to have a balanced family dog.

List of other small family dogs:

  • French bulldog
  • Maltese
  • Pug
  • Havanese
  • Bichon Frise

Medium-sized Family Dogs


Adaptable, lovable, and eager to learn – the Kromfohrländer is a family dog with a lot of charm. With an average weight of 10-12 kg and a size of approx. 42 cm, it is an ideal medium-sized family dog. Well educated, he can be taken anywhere and is an uncomplicated companion for the family. He builds a strong bond with his favorite people and feels safe when he is with his family. Accordingly, the Kromfohrländer should not be left alone for too long.

Tibet terrier

Thanks to his friendly, tolerant and affectionate nature, the Tibetan Terrier is an ideal family dog. Despite its name, the long-haired dog has few terriers and is considered to be very adaptable. However, his urge to work should not be underestimated, because the medium-sized dog is by no means a couch potato. Dog sports such as agility or obedience are an excellent workload for the Tibetan Terrier.

English Cocker Spaniel

Despite its hunting instinct, the English Cocker Spaniel can easily be reconciled with family life. He is people-oriented, playful, and loves to frolic. For an active family, the sometimes stubborn and very agile Spaniel is the perfect companion. For the English Cocker Spaniel, retrieving games are a welcome change. Families who live in apartment buildings should, however, bear in mind that the Cocker Spaniel likes to bark. Keeping them in a house with its own garden is, therefore, easier to reconcile with the spaniel.

List of other medium-sized family dogs

  • Bobtail
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bearded Collie

Great Family Dogs

Golden retriever

It is considered a classic among family dogs: the Golden Retriever. With a species-appropriate workload and loving upbringing, he fits into the place assigned to him and turns out to be a loyal friend. By nature, the Golden Retriever is very gentle and extremely peaceful. He really wants to please his people and likes to prove it in dog sports such as agility and retrieving games. The future family should definitely plan his love for the water. There is nothing more exciting for a golden retriever than splashing around in the cool water.

St. Bernard

Fans of very large, muscular dogs can find a great family dog in Saint Bernard. He is characterized by particular gentleness and good-naturedness. When dealing with children, he is therefore loving and not easily disturbed. Nevertheless, there are some special features to consider: The giant can reach a height at the withers of up to 90 cm and should therefore not be kept in an apartment. Active families tend to refrain from Saint Bernard, as it is not suitable as a companion when jogging or cycling due to its body weight.


Large, sporty, and suitable for families: the Dalmatian brings joy to the family and inspires with its harmony-needing nature. The spotted four-legged friend should only be given into hands with dog experience, as they can go overboard with little movement and lack of education. However, if you take into account that it is a dog who likes to run and needs a consistent and loving upbringing, the Dalmatian is the perfect family dog.

Other large family dogs:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • Border collie
  • Belgian shepherds
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Newfoundland
Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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