The 5 Best Dog Breeds for Small Children

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The 5 Best Dog Breeds for Small Children

When I was a small child, I wasn’t particularly gentle with my dog, Beaux. I dragged him around by his collar, wrangled t-shirts and dresses over his head and threw myself bodily across his sleeping form.  He endured this abuse good-naturedly, never so much as growling at me. I was eleven when Beaux died, and to this day I remember his mellow demeanor and how much I loved him.

When my daughter was born, I wasn’t remotely concerned for her safety when it came to our pup, Smokey. Our sweet little Beagle exhibited all the positive traits her breed is known for and I knew the two of them would get along with wonderfully.

If you’re looking to bring home a canine companion that will mesh well with your family, look no further than these five breeds:

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are, hands down, one of the most popular dog breeds. It’s not hard to see why when they’re known for being protective, playful, loving, patient, and loyal. Labs are good-natured and happiest when spending time with their humans.

 Lab Retriever

They are incredibly intelligent and easily trained which is why they are widely used as service dogs. They do fabulously with small children and other pets. For a family, there’s no better choice.


The Standard Poodle is far gentler than its miniature cousin. They have a friendly demeanor and are incredibly patient, making them excellent companions for children. Due to their very high intelligence, training a poodle requires patience, kindness, and strong-mindedness on the part of the owner. Poodles enjoy being surrounded by family and dislike being alone. They are perfect for families with allergies as they shed very little. They do, however, require regularly scheduled grooming.


Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are affectionate, playful and easily trained. They have excellent character and are reliable with children and very friendly to strangers. Boston Terriers are great for families with cats as they are known to get along well with non-canine pets. They are relatively inactive indoors and do well without a yard, making them great for apartment living.

 Boston Terrier


If your kids are rambunctious and like to roughhouse, a Bulldog may be perfect for your family. This hard-wearing dog is docile, friendly, and loyal. They are comfortable in large houses as well as small apartments and can be so committed to their family that they won’t venture out of the yard without a human. They are fairly inactive and are more likely to cuddle up close than chase a ball around the yard.


Another dog ideal for homes with active kids, the Beagle is sturdily built and never too tired to play a game. They are friendly, clever and cheerful, and get along great with other pets. Beagles tend to shed, so they require frequent brushing and bathing. They also need regular exercise to ward off weight gain, so walk them often and teach your children to play fetch with them.


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Of course these breeds are by no means the only suitable ones out there. Consider this top ten list of family friendly canines if you still can’t decide after going over these five. Even breeds with bad reputations, such as the Pit Bull, can make amazing family pets. Realistically ask yourself the level of commitment you and your family can make. Be sure to consider all aspects of dog ownership as well as breed size, activity level and maintenance in order to make the right choice for your family.

Cindy Romero loves writing for PetPremium when she’s not busy trying to keep her dog from catching squirrels in the back yard. 

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