Choosing a family dog can be a serious job. Not only are you choosing a friend for life, but also someone who will be a new member to your family. We’ve compiled a list of 50+ best family dogs that you can check out!

Whether you prefer a dog that loves going on adventurous hikes, loves playing with kids, or even loves lounging on the couch with you—there’s a dog breed out there for everyone!

How to Choose The Perfect Family Dog?

When you’re looking to add a new member to your family, there are certain factors that you need to consider before taking that step. Knowing that these choices affect not only your life, but also other family members is the foremost step towards choosing a dog breed. 

So what exactly should you be looking at? Here’s all you need to know:

  • Temperament: Finding a dog with an even temperament is often recommended for families, especially those with kids. 
  • Exercise level: Depending on your family’s level of fitness, you can opt for a dog. If you prefer adventures and training, an athletic dog will be the best. And if not, then you can look for dogs that require less exercising. 
  • Hypoallergenic: If anyone in your family has allergies to dog hair or coat, it’s best to look for hypoallergenic breeds that do not aggravate those allergies further. 
  • Kid-friendly: While many dogs can make great family pets, not many can be great with kids, especially small children. Hence, you need to look for a dog that can be the ideal playmate if you have children. 
  • Socialization: Often families can have more than one pet, so the dog you choose needs to be comfortable socializing with other dogs, pets, and even people. But don’t worry, early socialization can come to your rescue. 
  • Indoor/Outdoor Breed: Living in an apartment is quite contrary to living in the countryside. Hence, not many dogs can be dog out for both options. You can research indoor breeds if you live in a city apartment, or choose a large dog if you have a large garden. 

Once you’ve done your research on these 6 factors, choosing a family dog will be easier. In fact, if you’re sure about them, you can focus on the personality traits that each dog has and whether that’s a great fit for your family. Family dog breeds can be of three sizes—small, medium and large, depending on your requirements. 

Small Family Dog Breeds

1. Australian Terrier

Small and spirited, the Australian Terrier is a feisty companion and makes a great addition to any family. Since they’re low maintenance and love to socialize, this dog truly is the perfect dog to paint the town red. And what’s more? They’re great for novice pet parents!

an Australian Terrier outdoors

2. Bichon Frisé

Often mistaken to be a little cloud, the Bichon Frisé is just the dog you need to pick you up after a tiring day. Bubbly and fun, this breed gets along pretty well with family and kids love them! They are gentle pets and great playmates.

a Bichon Frisé outdoors

3. Border Terrier

Affectionate, intelligent, and energetic, the Border Terrier loves to learn new tricks. Their size makes them adaptable to different lifestyles and you’ll never be bored with one in your house. However, you do need to ensure that you keep them entertained as well. 

a Border Terrier in the city

4. Boston Terrier

If you’re not looking for an extremely athletic dog, then the Boston Terrier has you covered. Small, intelligent, and loving, this breed makes great family pets. They love human interaction and are super social with other pets as well. A typical social butterfly!

a Boston Terrier with a tennis ball in front of him

5. Brussels Griffon

While Brussels Griffon make excellent family pets, they are also considered to be more hypoallergenic than other pets. So keep that in mind. These dogs do well at home with older children and small pets as they can be quite sensitive dogs. 

a Brussels Griffon outdoors and with his tongue out in a cheeky manner

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is considered to be beauty and brains, all in one. Known to be quite the show dog, they are incredibly loving and patient with families. They love being pampered, making them the perfect lap dog. However, they can be quite noisy at times.

a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in the woods

7. Chihuahua

As a dog breed, the Chihuahua has definitely gotten quite a bit of press. These dogs hate being underestimated due to their small size and can snap at those who disrespect them. Besides that, they make great family pets and are quite the active breed.

a Chihuahua outdoors

8. Coton de Tulear

Bright and affectionate, the Coton de Tulear seems like they’re definitely related to the Bichon Frisé. They are both bubbling with energy and make excellent family pets. On the plus side, the Coton de Tulear is hypoallergenic, so they’re perfect for people with allergies. 

a Coton de Tulear on a walk

9. Dachshund

Dachshunds are small and even-tempered dogs that make amazing companions for children. With their long body and short legs, they definitely have a unique appearance. However, they can get snappy if the play gets too rough, so this breed is more suitable for older children.  

a Dachshund in the garden

10. Havanese

Known to be a devoted dog, the Havanese makes a great addition to any family. They love being brushed, love playing, and enjoy cuddling. However, they resent being alone and love to tag along everywhere with their owners. This breed gets pretty upset if you don’t include them in activities. 

a Havanese dog on a run

11. Lhasa Apso

One of the most affectionate dogs, the Lhasa Apso is a wonderful family dog. They’re great with kids and novice pet parents as well. These dogs are known to be fiercely independent and know where to draw the boundary with everyone. Besides, they’re addicted to the hunt so they love chasing around. 

a Lhasa Apso on a walk

12. Maltese

Lively, playful, and adorable, your house will never lack entertainment with a Maltese. And the best part? They get along splendidly with other pets since they love to socialize. Since they’re alert dogs, they may start barking at the slightest noise. 

a Maltese dog lounging under the sun

13. Miniature Bull Terrier

Miniature Bull Terriers are known to be goofy, comical, and playful. With a unique appearance and personality, kids love them. Besides this, this breed is super patient and tolerant if socialized early and properly. 

a Miniature Bull Terrier in the garden

14. Pekingese

The Pekingese has a long history of being favored by Chinese royals, so these little lion dogs display stubbornness sometimes. But apart from that, they are loving family pets. They are great with kids but are not tolerant of roughhousing. 

a Pekingese in the garden and looking on

15. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

You can definitely call the Pembroke Welsh Corgi the entire package. Athletic, strong, and lively, these dogs can light up any home they’re in. They are very friendly and make excellent family pets. However, they do prefer older kids in comparison to younger ones. 

a Pembroke Welsh Corgi on a walk

16. Pomeranian

This breed is a fluffy ball of energy. Alert, playful, and lively, Pomeranians are one of the most popular family pets. While these happy-go-lucky dogs are quite vocal, they are not known to be aggressive, and are in fact, quite affectionate with their owners. 

a Pomeranian in the garden

17. Pug

With a smooshed face, you can’t help but cuddle these adorable dogs. Their unique face actually makes it difficult to deliver powerful bites, so they are not aggressive. In fact, with a goofy personality, they are great with kids and families, making them the most kid-safe breed out there. 

a Pug with his tongue out and sitting outdoors

18. Shetland Sheepdog

Shelties are a reserved breed and won’t try running circles around you aimlessly. They’re intelligent, affectionate, and sensitive family dogs that stay devoted to their owners. Their alert personality makes them great watchdogs, where they can put their herding instincts to use. 

a Shetland Sheepdog sitting on wilted autumn leaves

19. Shih Tzu

An affectionate family pet, Shih Tzus are great with kids. In fact, they love playing chase, and cuddling with children. Due to their small stature and amiable personality, parents often choose them to be family dogs. Any house is lively with a Shih Tzu in it!

a Shih Tzu walking on a road

20. West Highland White Terrier

Independent by nature, Westies are friendly and sociable dogs, who are always down for a good time. Not only do they make wonderful family pets, but also great watchdogs. They can be entertained for hours with a good toy. 

a West Highland White Terrier in the city

21. Yorkshire Terrier

Affectionate and fabulous, the Yorkshire Terrier is definitely a showstopper. With its beautiful locks and petite size, is it a surprise that they can be stubborn? They do learn to cooperate if socialized properly. However, they make suitable family pets for old people or those with teenage children. 

a Yorkshire Terrier on a walk in the woods

Medium Family Dog Breeds

1. Airedale Terrier

Loyal, friendly, and protective, the Airedale Terrier makes a devoted pet for families. With a strong sense of responsibility and territory, they make great guard dogs, and get along really well with children once socialized. 

an Airedale Terrier in the garden

2. American Cocker Spaniel

A typical gundog with an even temperament, the American Cocker Spaniel loves to chase and retrieve. They get along splendidly with children since they love playing for hours. These dogs are also quite outgoing, so they can adjust well with other people and pets. 

an American Cocker Spaniel hanging out in the garden

3. American Eskimo Dog

These are family dogs. Eskies, as they’re lovingly called, aren’t mischievous like most pets. In fact, their friendly and well-behaved disposition make them a favorite for many families. They do require mental stimulation and regular exercising, so they don’t get bored.  

an American Eskimo dog in the garden

4. American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniels are not just gorgeous dogs, but they’re kind and loving, with a good head on those shoulders. They are patient with children, especially young ones, as their caring nature makes them protective and gentle towards them. These dogs make great family pets for children to grow up with.

an American Water Spaniel in the garden

5. Australian Shepherd

Since they were originally bred to be herding dogs, the Australian Shepherd has loads of energy to be bouncing around with. Easy-going and even-tempered, this active breed is an excellent family pet. Just ensure that you can keep up with them!

an Australian Shepherd outside in the garden

6. Basset Hound

Generally considered to be placid dogs, Basset Hounds make sweet companions for any loving family. Once trained and socialized properly, they get well with people, other dogs, or even other pets. However, since they’re pack hounds, you should consider getting another pet along as Basset Hounds resent being lonely. 

a Basset Hound in the garden

7. Beagle

Simply described as ‘merry’, Beagles make great pets for families with children. Their lovable and calm nature makes them one of the most popular hounds among pet owners. They are independent dogs who can hold their own, and hence, may not be great for first time owners. 

a Beagle looks up at a tree in the garden

8. Bearded Collie

Friendly and intelligent, the Bearded Collie is a perfect blend of beautiful and protective. Bred to be a herding dog, they have high exercise needs and are super energetic. They make amazing companions to active families. 

a Bearded Collie outdoors

9. Belgian Tervuren

The Belgian Tervuren is a powerful and protective dog, often used as a police or military dog. So you know they are quite territorial and devoted to their owners. They make great family pets and require older children who are respectful towards them. 

a Belgian Tervuren outside in the garden

10. Bluetick Coonhound

As a gundog, the minds of hounds are never far from the hunt. With an energetic, and intelligent personality, the Bluetick Coonhound was made for the relentless chase. With proper training and socialization, they can make excellent family pets. However, they are recommended for older children. 

a Bluetick Coonhound in the garden

11. Border Collie

Arguably one of the most popular family dogs, Border Collies are herders by birth, and hence, have immense energy. They are suitable for active families as they make great companions on hikes and treks. If you can’t provide them with physical and mental stimulation, they get bored and can become destructive. 

a Border Collie in the garden on a sunny day

12. Boxer

Goofy and upbeat, Boxers are the perfect companions for kids since they love playing and people. Since they’re social dogs, they love meeting new people and pets. In fact, they get along really well with additional pets in the house as they’re good playmates. 

a Boxer sitting in the garden

13. Brittany Spaniel

While the Brittany is often praised for its looks, they are amazing family dogs. As they’re quite energetic and desire adventures, they are more suited for active families. If you’re looking for an all-purpose dog and a sporting mate for life, this dog is the one for you. 

a Brittany Spaniel in the garden

14. Chinook

Chinooks are so friendly that you’ll often find them jumping up and down, on pets, people, just about everyone they meet! They have to be trained to behave themselves, but their outgoing and interesting personality makes them great pets.

a Chinook on a leash outdoor

15. Collie

Known for their love of children, Collies are loyal and intelligent, with an affinity for training. These smart dogs love learning new tricks and can even perform. Besides that, they are tolerant and patient with children, even during roughhousing, making them great playmates. 

a Collie hanging out in the garden

16. Dalmatian

Fun-loving and playful, Dalmatians are wonderful companions for active families with older children. While they’re generally affectionate, they can be quite boisterous with young children, and hence is not recommended for them. They get along well with other house pets, but may be aggressive to other unfamiliar dogs. 

a Dalmatian in the garden on a sunny day

17. English Bulldog

Often known to be lazy and stubborn, English Bulldogs are actually quite the hoot! Sociable, friendly, and gentle, they are great with kids and other pets. Families prefer them since they have a laid-back attitude and can chill with you on a couch no matter the day. However, you do need to exercise them to avoid weight gain. 

an English Bulldog on a walk

18. English Pointer

While Pointers are often bred to hunt, these intelligent dogs can make great family pets. They have an energetic and happy-go-lucky personality that can match with children. Hence, not only are they great playmates, but definitely friends for life. 

an English Pointer in the garden

19. Flat-Coated Retriever

Most Retrievers are known to be even-tempered, which makes them suitable for any household. And Flat-Coated Retrievers are no different. Warm and playful, they are devoted to their owners and love spending time with children. They thrive on affection and attention. 

a Flat-Coated Retriever in the garden

20. Golden Retriever

Probably one of the most popular family dogs in the world, the Golden Retriever enjoys immense personality due to their sunny and happy-go-lucky personality. They are one of the breeds that carry their puppy qualities into adulthood, so they always love to play. Children, old people, and families—no one can get enough of this breed. 

a happy Golden Retriever

21. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is an obedient dog that is used to following commands. And since they compete in sporting events, they are extremely athletic and agile. What’s more is their friendly nature makes them one of the least aggressive dog breeds, and definitely perfect for families.  

an English Setter on a walk in the woods

22. Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniels are known to be good with children, as they are affectionate and energetic. They make devoted family dogs who love being surrounded by their loved ones and adore human companionship. However, for them to get used to other household pets, they need to grow up with them. 

an Irish Water Spaniel outdoors

23. Keeshond

Friendly by nature, the Keeshond loves to be included in things—be it games or activities. Like the Basset Hound, they don’t like being lonely and are suitable for families who are home often. While they have the potential to be good watchdogs due to their loud barks, they can often bark incessantly, making them a nuisance. 

a Keeshond with a serious stare

24. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is another popular dog breed for families. Known to be one of the least aggressive breeds, they are friendly with everyone—family, kids, and even strangers! With a playful and loving demeanor, these dogs remain energetic throughout their life. 

a Labrador Retriever in the garden on a sunny day

25. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are both busy and reserved, usually keeping to themselves. They are well suited to families with children since they love playing. However, they may remain aloof with other dogs and strangers. With a high prey drive, they love chasing small animals and hence, need to be socialized at an early age. 

a pair of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers on a lawn

26. Poodle

Besides being an elegant dog and an ardent truffle hunter, Poodles are friendly, fun, and playful. In fact, these intelligent dogs are one of the smartest ones you’ll come across, and they can easily master new tricks. They come in three fun sizes—Standard, Toy, and Miniature, with all of them being great family pets. 

a Poodle in the garden

27. Portuguese Water Dog

While the Portuguese Water Dog is on the high maintenance list, they make excellent family dogs. They have a gentle and loving attitude towards loved ones, children, and other pets, as long as they’re trained and socialized properly. Training helps avoid behavioral problems that may occur. 

a Portuguese Water Dog standing over shallow water

28. Puli

Originally bred to be herding dogs, the Puli has a close relationship with humans, and hence, is a loving family dog. Brave, protective, and loyal, they will jump in front of danger to protect you, without any hesitation. Since they are guardian dogs, your family will always be in safe paws. 

a scruffy looking Puli in the garden

29. Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is meant for the hunt, and is a strong, powerful dog. They are protective of their family and loved ones, making them great guard dogs as well. However, without proper training and socialization, they can become aggressive and fearful. 

a Rhodesian Ridgeback relaxing in the garden

30. Samoyed

Samoyeds are friendly dogs who thrive in any family environment. With happy and patient personalities, they love being involved in everything. With early socialization, they become great with kids, given that the children are taught to respect the dog and vice versa. 

a Samoyed resting in the garden

31. Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inus friendly and loyal nature makes it easy for them to form strong bonds with their humans. However, they can be anxious dogs who get easily provoked. Hence, an adult needs to supervise them when small children are present. This breed loves attention, so you would need to devote a lot of time to them. 

a Shiba Inu in the garden

32. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

A family-oriented dog, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a delightful companion that children will love. With its long legs and furry cuddly body, it totally resembles a ‘teddy bear’. These dogs take a keen interest in playful activities and thrive in the company of children. 

a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier in the garden

33. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

With a powerful build, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is often mistaken for an aggressive dog, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, they can be the ultimate clowns or goofballs that complete a family. Happy-go-lucky and loving perfectly describe this dog who loves children, making them the perfect ‘nanny dogs’.

a Staffordshire Bull Terrier relaxing in the gaden

34. Standard Schanuzer

Schnauzers are loyal, devoted, and loving dogs that can be a great addition to any family. While they are fun-loving, they can often be reserved and take time to open up, but once they do, they tend to make activities more fun. Plus, they are great with kids!

a Standard Schanuzer in the garden

35. Tibetan Terrier

A small, personable dog, the Tibetan Terrier is an active breed that loves being involved in dog sports and activities. While it can be a bit high-maintenance, especially if you take grooming into account, they are worth the effort. Although, since they can get rowdy at playtime, they are more suited to older children. 

a happy Tibetan Terrier in the garden

36. Vizsla

With its long legs and athletic build, the Vizsla is super energetic and loves to train. If you’re looking for a dog that can keep up with training and outdoor activities, then this is the dog for you. Early socialization can make them great family pets, but you do need to have ample space for them to run around in. 

a Vizsla relaxing in the garden

37. Whippet

Calm and gentle, the Whippet is considered to be a great family pet and an amazing companion to children. These dogs are at peace when they have the space to run around as they do have high exercise needs. Additionally, due to their sensitive nature, they are recommended for older children who can respect their space. 

a Whippet in the garden

Large Family Dog Breeds

1. Bernese Mountain Dog

Known to be quite the good-natured breed, the Bernese Mountain Dog does not shy away from showing affection to its owners. They are like a fresh breath of air, and love to play, making them great playmates for families with children. These dogs also possess a protective nature towards their families, and make great watchdogs. 

a Bernese Mountain Dog wading through a forest stream

2. Clumber Spaniel

A gentle giant, the Clumber Spaniel is known for their popular body-wags and excitement when around family. Despite their size, their friendly nature makes them great companions to children. Unlike most pets, the Clumber Spaniel is a happy dog, who’s content being both an indoor and outdoor dog. 

a Clumber Spaniel in the garden

3. Great Dane

Another popular giant, the Great Dane breed has found popularity in movies, often portrayed to be the clumsy family dog. These dogs are known to be one of the least aggressive breeds, making them the perfect family pet. Despite their size, they still think of themselves as lap dogs and love to cuddle!

a Great Dane in the woods

4. Leonberger

Leonbergers are submissive and self-assured dogs, who are friendly with children. Families prefer them as they are calm and affectionate, and keep their cool in all situations. However, as the breed is prone to health issues, it’s best to be careful and sensitive with their needs.

a Leonberger on a sunny day

5. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is a powerful dog breed bred to be a hardworking dog. And they take their roles very seriously. They are also gentle giants and are great family pets due to their loyal and loving nature, making them amazing nanny dogs. These dogs do well with active families as they love adventure. 

a Newfoundland in the garden

6. Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs have easy going personalities, which have quickly made them one of the most popular family dogs. Easy to train and active, they can play with children for hours as they are quite patient with them. While they are not easily provoked, pulling on their ears or fur is a bad idea. 

an Old English Sheepdog in the garden

7. Saint Bernard

Often referred to as the nanny dog, the Saint Bernard is a large and powerful dog, bred to work in the harshest winters. Due to their heavy coat and build, they are popular search and rescue dogs. But their gentle and loving nature makes them great with families, especially kids. 

a Saint Bernard in the garden

Conclusion

Choosing a dog is definitely not an easy task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. Before you start looking for one, there are factors such as size, activity levels, whether or not they’re hypoallergenic, and if they can be great companions for kids. At the end of the day, every dog can be a great companion, given that you respect and love them unconditionally. 

And once you’ve figured out the kind of dog that completes your family, you can easily choose them. Just ensure that you meet their training and nutritional requirements. And voilà, you have yourself an exciting new family member!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the number one best family dog?

Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Great Danes, and Pugs, are some of the most popular family dogs. These breeds are known for their friendly nature and happy personalities. They are also great companions for children as they love engaging in endless hours of playtime. 

What is the best all around family dog?

Golden Retrievers and Labradors are often known to be the best all around family dogs. With their happy-go-lucky personalities, they get along well with everyone—kids, old people, teenagers, just about anyone! Plus they are quite active breeds and can play for hours. On other days, they love to cuddle as well.

Which is the best dog breeds for a family?

Labradors, Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Pugs, Bulldogs, Irish Setters, etc. are some of the most well known dog breeds for families. With loving and sweet personalities, these breeds love to spend time with families and make amazing companions to children.

What is the best family dog in the world?

Irish Setters, Pugs, Bulldogs, Retrievers, Collies, Boxers, are known to be some of the best family dog breeds in the world. Not only are they friendly, but their enthusiastic and goofy nature makes them quite popular with families with kids. 

What type of dog is best for a family?

Retrievers, Labradors, Irish Setters, Great Danes, Pugs, Beagles, etc. are some of the popular dog breeds for families. While choosing a dog, the best idea is to do your research, understand the breed’s needs and requirements, and see if they match your current lifestyle and family’s needs. Only then should you move forward with getting a dog. 

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