You know how they say that dogs have their unique personalities, right? Some breeds are super friendly and great with kids while others are just plain genius. But don't we all wish for a dog who can brighten your darkest days, teach your kids new tricks, and make you snort with laughter? Don't shy away as that’s not asking too much. Some popular dog breeds have it all going on for them.
But where do you find them? Well, here’s the good news. We’ve compiled a list of the 18 most popular breeds that not only have a good charm but are smart learners and straight-up kiddo friendly.
Sounds promising, right? Well, don't stop reading until the end. By the end of these information-packed 8 minutes, we promise that you will have your heart set on a true find that is perfect for your family.
18 Most Popular Dog Breeds That Are Adored For Their Friendly Nature & Kid-Safe Personalities
You, I, and even that pesky neighbor Jimmy want a dog that can keep up with the bustling household, even on the craziest of days. Well here’s the big chance. Read and bring home the perfect four-legged addition to your already crazy clan.
1. Labrador Retriever
Labrador retrievers are the social butterflies of the canine world. They are practically famous for being friendly and outgoing. Labs just can't resist making new friends, especially with kids. Plus, they're smart which means they're easy to train and will happily learn all the tricks to keep your family entertained.
According to the American Kennel Club, the labrador retriever is the most popular dog breed in the US. They are highly versatile and can take on any role, including being family pets, therapy dogs, service dogs, and even search and rescue dogs.
These superstars of the dog world are always up for some fun activities. Whether it's a game of fetch or a trip to the beach, they're the perfect partners for active families. Labradors are total attention junkies that love their belly rubs and cuddles.
2. Golden Retriever
These heart-melting, golden-furred charmers are known for their warm and affectionate nature. They could give out "free hugs" all day long if they could. Golden retrievers are incredibly loyal to their families and that includes the little humans in the house. They'll watch over the kids like their own fluffy guardians.
Golden retrievers are pretty smart too. You won't have a hard time teaching them manners and tricks. These purebred dogs are quick learners and eager to please which makes training a breeze. They're so gentle and patient that they can tolerate even the silliest antics of your kids.
Poodles – the divas and dudes of the dog world. This popular dog breed comes in different sizes, like toy, miniature, and standard, and they are all equally popular. Poodles are the national dog of France, known for their intelligence and they're not shy to show it off. These brainy canines were originally hunting dogs which makes them quick learners and can easily pick up new tricks and commands.
But here's the best part - poodles are total people dogs. They're super affectionate and love being part of family activities. The poodle's gentle and kind nature makes them kid-safe. They're patient and understanding and they can handle the playful and sometimes rowdy behavior of children. They'll play dress-up, have tea parties, and do whatever the kids want with a smile on their faces.
4. German Shepherd
German shepherds have long been popular for their versatility and incredible work ethic. These magnificent dogs are fiercely loyal to their families and known for their strong bond with their human pack.
German shepherds are known to be gentle and patient with kids. They will do anything to protect them and this instinct to protect is in their DNA. The protective nature often turns into a loving and caring attitude for the little ones. Besides being protective, German shepherds are intelligent and highly trainable – the A-students of the doggy class.
Beagles are small in size but big in personality. One of the reasons they're so popular is their super cute looks with those soulful eyes and floppy ears. This playful breed is known for its friendly and sociable nature. Beagles have an exceptional sense of smell which makes them fantastic scent hounds. They'll follow their nose wherever it leads so you might need a little extra patience during walks.
Beagle is an affectionate breed that forms strong bonds with their families. They're great with kids because they love to be part of the family pack. They'll snuggle up on the couch, give you loving gazes, and enjoy all the attention they can get.
Bulldogs might have a tough appearance but they have hearts of gold. They have a calm and friendly demeanor which makes them excellent companions for families. They love attention and affection and they'll show their love right back to you and your kids.
Bulldog’s laid-back attitude is great if you are looking for a more relaxed pet. They won't be bouncing off the walls all day but they'll be up for some playtime and snuggles when you are. Bulldogs are the perfect mix of playful and chill, making them an ideal match for kids of all ages.
7. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus have these cute little pushed-in noses and flowing, silky hair that makes them look like little royalty. Their appearance alone is enough to make anyone fall in love with them. But it's not just their looks that make them popular; it's their friendly and lovable personalities too.
These dogs are gentle and calm which makes them great for families with kids. They are understanding even when the little ones get a bit too excited and boisterous. Shih Tzus will happily sit through tea parties, dress-up games, and endless cuddle sessions with the kids.
Their size is another reason why they're so kid-safe. Shih Tzus are playful too so they'll enjoy joining in on all the family fun. These little cuties can thrive in different living situations whether you have a spacious house or a cozy apartment.
8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These pups are the epitome of royalty, just like their name suggests. These are genuinely charming and they know how to win the hearts of dog owners. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are friendly and affectionate and they’ll soak up all the cuddles and attention they can get.
Cavaliers are incredibly tolerant and can handle the excitement and energy that often comes with having kids around. They won't mind being involved in all sorts of adventures and games with the little ones. Since they are generally good-natured, they get along well with other pets in the household.
9. French Bulldog
French bulldogs are incredibly popular because they're the perfect combination of fun-loving and laid-back. They are playful and energetic when it's playtime but they can also switch to full-on cuddle mode in a heartbeat. This adaptability makes them great companions for various lifestyles whether you're an active dog owner or more of a couch potato.
French bulldogs are generally good with children and their patient and gentle temperament makes them great playmates for kids. They are clever dogs. Though they might not always show it off like some highly trained breeds, they have a good grasp of commands and can learn quickly when motivated.
10. German Shorthaired Pointer
German shorthaired pointers, often called GSP, are always bursting with energy and enthusiasm. They are always up for an adventure whether it's a long hike or a run in the park. This natural athleticism and their beautiful coat make them stand out in the crowd.
German shorthaired pointers are highly intelligent dogs and they excel in various dog sports and activities that challenge their minds and bodies, like agility, obedience, and scent work.
Being friendly and kid-safe is in the GSP's nature. Their strong hunting instincts might mean they get excited when they see smaller animals but with proper training and socialization, they can coexist peacefully with other pets in the household.
11. Border Collie
These incredible pups captured the hearts of dog owners, especially those who admire a dog with brains and beauty. Border collies are incredibly smart, ranking high in canine intelligence. They can understand and respond to commands – almost like they can read our minds. Their intelligence makes them superb working dogs.
But don't let their workaholic nature fool you because border collies are incredibly friendly too.
However, with all that intelligence and energy comes responsibility – mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and well-behaved. So if you're thinking of bringing a border collie into your family, be prepared for an active and engaging buddy who'll keep you on your toes.
12. Bichon Frise
Bichon frises are friendly little balls of joy that are popular for their endearing looks and their equally charming personalities. Their happy-go-lucky nature makes them a favorite among people. Bichons are excellent family dogs and get along well with kids.
The bichon's friendly nature extends to other animals too so they can coexist peacefully with other pets in the household. While they may not be as renowned for their intelligence as the border collies, bichon frises are still smart little dogs.
Newfoundlands are gentle giants of the dog world. They are often called "nanny dogs" because they're so good with children. They're not easily rattled which is great when they're around energetic little humans who might accidentally step on their toes or pull their ears.
Newfoundlands love playing fetch, going for walks, or even taking a dip in the water. Yes, they're excellent swimmers too. Let's not forget their intelligence. These dogs are pretty smart cookies. You can teach them all sorts of tricks and commands and they'll pick them up super easily. Their intelligence also plays a role in their friendliness as they can quickly understand human emotions and respond with affection and support.
These little sausages are also known as wiener dogs and have a massive fan base. Kids can't resist their charm, and honestly, neither can adults. They're known for their spunky and playful nature. They adore the company of kids and often act like little clowns.
Being small dogs, they're less likely to accidentally knock over a toddler or cause any harm during playtime. Their manageable size also makes them perfect lap dogs so they'll happily snuggle up with your little ones for hours of cuddles.
Dachshunds are intelligent too, though their stubborn streak can sometimes show up during training. But don't let that fool you; they're quick learners and can excel in obedience training with patience.
15. Australian Shepherd
Australian shepherds are known to be very loving towards their human family. They'll happily follow the kids around, play fetch for hours, and even snuggle up with them during movie time. But what makes them really kid-safe is their herding instincts.
Yes, Aussies were originally bred as herding dogs and that instinct is still strong within them. So, you might notice your Aussie gently nudging the kids back toward the yard during playtime or keeping a watchful eye on them in the park.
Their intelligence level is off the charts. It's no wonder they are good at dog sports and obedience competitions. Now all that intelligence and energy means they need regular mental and physical exercise. So if you have active kids who love outdoor play, the Australian shepherd will fit right in.
The first thing you'll notice about boxers is their bouncy and enthusiastic nature. They're like perpetual motion machines and that energy translates into playfulness with kids. Boxers are incredibly gentle and patient with kids. They have a strong nurturing instinct so they'll take great care of the kids and always be gentle during playtime.
Boxers are also very protective of their family and they'll make sure to keep an eye out for any potential danger. Intelligence-wise, they're pretty smart. They're eager to please which makes training sessions more enjoyable for everyone.
17. Irish Setter
These beautiful dogs are known for their striking red coats and friendly nature. Irish setters’ friendliness comes from their history as hunting dogs and family pets in Ireland. Over time, they developed a gentle and affectionate personality. People adore them for several reasons and one of the main ones is their amazing temperament.
Irish setters are genuinely kid-safe and they're not easily provoked or agitated. If your kids love outdoor activities like hiking, jogging, or just spending time in nature, the Irish setter will be their perfect partner in crime. As for intelligence, they are no slouches either.
18. Siberian Husky
This wolf-like beauty is so popular because they have a striking look and an endearing personality to match. Huskies are incredibly friendly, not just with their families but also with strangers. They're known for their "everyone is my friend" attitude which makes them a bit lousy watch dogs. But it also means they get along famously with kids, making them a sought-after family pet.
Huskies are smart, there's no doubt about it. However, their intelligence can sometimes come with a side of independence and stubbornness. One thing to consider is their strong prey drive so they might not be the best fit for families with small pets like cats or rabbits.
Discover Your Ideal Dog Breed With Suburban K9
Dogs make incredible companions and finding the perfect breed that matches your lifestyle and personality is essential. Fortunately, we at Suburban K9 will help you find your ideal match.
Suburban K9 is not your average dog matchmaker; we're experts in dog training and behavior. So not only will we help you find the perfect breed but we'll also assist you in making sure your pup becomes a well-mannered member through our in-home puppy training and board and train programs.
We'll kick off the breed selection process with a 45-minutes consultation with you to go over all the details. Are you a couch potato who enjoys binge-watching your favorite shows or are you an adventure seeker always out and about? Do you live in a small apartment, or do you have a spacious backyard? Do you have a busy job or travel frequently? Which size do you prefer?
We also consider other factors like your experience level as a dog owner, any previous interactions with dogs, and your ability to handle certain temperaments. After having a clearer picture of what you're looking for, we will take your preferences and lifestyle into account and recommend 10 breeds that fit the bill.
Suburban K9 is all about making sure you're 100% satisfied with your future pet. So if you don't see that adorable beagle or the majestic cavalier you had in mind, don't worry. We’ll be more than happy to discuss how we came up with this list. Maybe the breed you initially had your heart set on might not be the best fit for your lifestyle or perhaps there's another breed that's just waiting to steal your heart.
When it comes to owning a dog, there is no cookie-cutter definition for the best fit. What works for one family may not work for the other and a common mistake that often trends is choosing a dog for your family based on appearance.
The fluffy and foo-foo outlook may seem like the cutest thing to welcome home with kids but the outer cuteness will not reveal the intensity of its bite. Though some popular dog breeds are known as family dogs, a solid education is important when adopting a dog.At Suburban K9, we know the importance of uniqueness while adopting a dog. That is why we offer full consultancy for dog breed selection. Our program takes out the guesswork and guides you on which dog breed is best suited to your unique lifestyle. Book a consultation with us now so that your investment of love, time, and labor doesn't go to waste.