The Best Dog Breeds for Families Looking for a New Pal

Updated 12/21/18
Best Dog Breeds for Families
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Everyone loves dogs, including cat people. The key is to understand the behavior of your furry friend, and that will depend on their breed. Adopting a pup from the shelter is always a great idea as there are so many waiting to be taken to a good home, like yours. You can usually tell what their personalities are when you bring them home, but even still, there can be a lot of ambiguity.

For that reason, it's helpful to have a little background knowledge on which breeds are better for your living situation, especially with kids at home. So we did some of the homework for you and compiled a list of the best breeds for family homes, as defined by the American Kennel Club. You will be sure to find the right pooch for you, or at least an idea of what to look for at the adoption center.

No matter what, you are sure to have many kisses in your near future. 

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Labrador Retriever

Of course America’s favorite dog is number one on the list. Labs are severely loyal to the whole family. They are also friendly and love walks, runs, swims, or any other exercise. 

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Beagle

Charlie Brown will attest to the companionship of the beagle. They are curious friends who are very loving and loyal. Their precious puppy eyes are the biggest threat.

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Biewer Terrier

If you are looking for a constantly gleeful toy breed, you may be seeking a Biewer Terrier. They are surprisingly energetic for their stature and don’t bark incessantly, unlike small dog stereotypes.

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Boxer

Standing a bit taller than other family-friendly dogs, boxers are still wonderful pets. They are very playful and also fearlessly loyal, making them perfect for homes with kids. 

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Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon have handsome lion manes, which are ironic given their tiny frame. Still, they are loving and friendly dogs who develop fierce loyalty.

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Bulldog

These plump canines are beloved. Bulldogs are calm but will protect the house when they are needed. They are not as lazy as their easygoing nature may let on, so be sure to still go on regular walks.

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Collie

Collies are particularly fond of children and will protect them and the rest of the family. They are friendly and athletic so will require regular walks and games; training a collie is easy.

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Drever

Not to be confused with the corgi, Drevers are short and content pooches. They are athletic, friendly, and brave, so would be a great dog for the family.

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Broholmer

Also known as the Danish Mastiff, the Broholmer is a watchful pup meant to be a home protector. They are also very friendly, so expect snuggles in bed or on the couch.

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French Bulldog

Unlike the plain bulldog, the French iteration of the breed is small and even-tempered. Their huge ears are their signature feature, making them all the more charming when you meet them.

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Icelandic Sheepdog

This handsome dog has a gorgeous coat and all the charms you would expect from a smile that wide. Sheepdogs are fiercely loyal and playful, perfect for families with children. 

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Newfoundland

While Newfoundlands are known for being enormous, they are both literally and figuratively softies. They are gentle, earning them the nickname “nanny dogs” for their excellent temperament around children. 

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Pug

The reputation of a pug precedes it. They are lovable and affectionate, which may be why they are one of the most popular pets today. They are also mischievous, so if you need an accomplice, adopt yourself a pug.

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Rhodesian Ridgeback

This athletic hunting breed is a great addition to families. They are brave and strong and also affectionate and loyal—what more could you need?

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Irish Setter

Irish setters love playing games and are sweet toward people, especially young kids. They work hard but are so outgoing they usually make a new friend while they are on the job.

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