When you decide to bring a dog into your family, age, size, breed and energy level are all important variables that will help determine compatibility. With children, it all comes down to the temperament of the individual dog, says Lauren McDevitt, co-founder of Good Dog. The dog’s behavior, personality and past experiences should be discussed at length with the breeder, shelter or rescue to decide if they’re suited to join a home with children, McDevitt adds.
There are certain breeds that are known for their gentle and patient dispositions, making them a great fit if your family is ready to take on the responsibility of having a dog. McDevitt recommends the following five:
1. Golden Retrievers
Golden retrievers are an ideal breed for families with children. They are highly trainable, loyal and extremely affectionate. With proper socialization and exercise, this playful breed can be very gentle with children. Size comes into consideration with golden retrievers because they can be quite large, which is important to take note of if you have very small children.
Despite its size, the Newfoundland is one of the most docile and patient dog breeds — making it well-suited for young children. This breed is the best match for a family who has a lot of space. Newfies love to swim and adventure, but their favorite activity of all is spending time with their loved ones. This loyal and gentle breed sheds and drools quite a bit, but it can make a wonderful companion for kids.
3. Bichon Frise
If you’re looking for a dog on the smaller side, the bichon frise is fitting option. Charming and fun-loving, this breed is known for its playful nature and affection toward children. Though they require frequent grooming and consistent exercise, Bichons are renowned for their boisterous personalities and would get along delightfully in a family with children as long as they are properly socialized.
As one of the most outgoing and clownish breeds, pugs are an excellent choice for any family looking for a funny and sweet companion. They are small, generally low-energy and low-maintenance, making them a great choice for anyone whose lifestyle would be better matched with a dog that isn’t too active.
5. Basset Hound
Short in stature and extremely friendly, this breed is well-equipped to get along with any person or animal they meet. This affectionate breed can be somewhat stubborn, so it’s important to be patient and consistent while training it. Regardless, basset hounds are generally happy, dependable and admired for their love of children.