Best Dog Breeds For Kids Ranked: Find The Best Of 199+ Puppies!

Are you searching for a dog that is perfect around children?

We have compiled a comprehensive list of two hundred and one dog breeds in the American Kennel Club Registry, all ranked by how well they do with small children.

Let’s start your search for the perfect kid-friendly dog.

best dog breeds for kids

Best Dog Breeds For Kids

If you are in search of the quintessential family dog, especially for families with small children, scroll down to see our chart of every dog breed ranked by kid-friendliness. Make sure you check out our Q&A section below, where we delve deeper into the fascinating relationship between dogs and kids.

Dog Breeds Ranked By Kid Friendliness

This chart is organized on a scale of 1 to 5. Five means the breed is the most kid-friendly, while one means the breed is the least kid friendly. The scale is ranked one through five, then alphabetically in their perspective rank.

How we define kid-friendly; A breed’s level of tolerance and patience with children’s behavior and overall family-friendly nature.

Best Dog Breeds For Kids ChartGood With KidsGeneral Weigth
American Eskimo Dogs (miniature)510-20 lbs
American Eskimo Dogs (standard)525-35 lbs
American Eskimo Dogs (toy)56-10 lbs
American Foxhounds565-70 lbs
American Hairless Terriers512-16 lbs
Australian Shepherds550-65 lbs
Australian Terriers512-18 lbs
Basset Hounds540-65 lbs
Beagles (13 inches & under)5under 20 lbs
Beagles (13-15 inches)520-30 lbs
Bearded Collies545-55 lbs
Bernese Mountain Dogs580-115 lbs
Bichons Frises512-18 lbs
Black and Tan Coonhounds565-110 lbs
Border Terriers513-15.5 lbs
Boston Terriers512-25 lbs
Boxers565-80 lbs
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels513-18 lbs
Cesky Terriers514-24 lbs
Chinooks555-90 lbs
Collies560-75 lbs
Coton de Tulear59-15 lbs
Doberman Pinschers575-100 lbs
English Foxhounds560-75 lbs
English Toy Spaniels58-14 lbs
Finnish Spitz525-33 lbs
Fox Terriers (Wire)518 lbs
French Bulldogs5under 28 lbs
German Shepherd Dogs565-90 lbs
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs5115-140 lbs
Harriers545-60 lbs
Havanese57-13 lbs
Icelandic Sheepdogs530 lbs
Irish Terriers527 lbs
Keeshonden535-45 lbs
Leonbergers5110-170 lbs
Lowchen515 lbs
Mastiffs5160-230 lbs
Miniature American Shepherds520-40 lbs
Miniature Schnauzers511-20 lbs
Newfoundlands5130-150 lbs
Norfolk Terriers511-12 lbs
Norwich Terriers512 lbs
Old English Sheepdogs560-100 lbs
Papillons55-10 lbs
Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeens525-40 lbs
Pointers (German Shorthaired)555-70 lbs
Poodles (miniature)510-15 lbs
Poodles (standard)560-70 lbs
Poodles (toy)54-6 lbs
Portuguese Podengo Pequenos59-13 lbs
Portuguese Water Dogs542-60 lbs
Pugs514-18 lbs
Rat Terriers510-25 lbs
Redbone Coonhounds545-70 lbs
Retrievers (Curly-Coated)560-95 lbs
Retrievers (Flat-Coated)560-70 lbs
Retrievers (Golden)565-75 lbs
Retrievers (Labrador)565-80 lbs
Retrievers (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)535-50 lbs
Rhodesian Ridgebacks585 lbs
Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka56-9 lbs
Samoyeds545-65 lbs
Setters (Irish Red and White)542-60 lbs
Setters (Irish)570 lbs
Shetland Sheepdogs515-25 lbs
Shih Tzu59-16 lbs
Siberian Huskies545-60 lbs
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers535-40 lbs
Spaniels (Boykin)530-40 lbs
Spaniels (English Cocker)528-34 lbs
Spaniels (Field)535-50 lbs
Spaniels (Welsh Springer)540-55 lbs
St. Bernards5140-180 lbs
Staffordshire Bull Terriers528-38 lbs
Standard Schnauzers535-50 lbs
Swedish Vallhunds520-35 lbs
Tibetan Spaniel59-15 lbs
Treeing Walker Coonhounds550-70 lbs
Vizslas555-60 lbs
Weimaraners570-90 lbs
Welsh Terriers520 lbs
West Highland White Terriers515-20 lbs
Whippets525-40 lbs
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons550-70 lbs
Wirehaired Vizslas555-65 lbs
Yorkshire Terriers57 lbs
Boerboels4150-200 lbs
Brittanys430-40 lbs
Cardigan Welsh Corgis430-38 lbs
Finnish Lapphunds433-53 lbs
Kerry Blue Terriers433-40 lbs
Manchester Terriers4under 12 lbs
Manchester Terriers Toy412-22 lbs
Setters (English)465-80 lbs
Spanish Water Dogs440-49 lbs
Affenpinschers37-10 lbs
Afghan Hounds350-60 lbs
Airedale Terriers350-70 lbs
Akitas3100-130 lbs
Alaskan Malamutes385 lbs
American English Coonhounds345-65 lbs
American Staffordshire Terriers355-70 lbs
Anatolian Shepherd Dogs3110-150 lbs
Australian Cattle Dogs335-50 lbs
Basenjis324 lbs
Beaucerons370-110 lbs
Bedlington Terriers317-23 lbs
Belgian Malinois360-80 lbs
Belgian Sheepdogs355-75 lbs
Belgian Tervuren355-75 lbs
Bergamasco370-84 lbs
Berger Picards350-70 lbs
Black Russian Terriers380-130 lbs
Bloodhounds390-110 lbs
Bluetick Coonhounds355-80 lbs
Bolognese36-10 lbs
Border Collies330-55 lbs
Borzois375-105 lbs
Bouviers des Flandres370-110 lbs
Briards355-100 lbs
Brussels Griffons38-10 lbs
Bull Terriers350-70 lbs
Bulldogs350 lbs
Bullmastiffs3110-130 lbs
Cairn Terriers314 lbs
Canaan Dogs345-55 lbs
Cane Corso3Proportionate to height (100+ lbs)
Chinese Crested38-12 lbs
Chinese Shar-Pei345-60 lbs
Chow Chows345-70 lbs
Cirnechi dell’Etna322-26 lbs
Dachshunds (miniature)311 lbs & under
Dachshunds (standard)316-32 lbs
Dalmatians345-70 lbs
Dandie Dinmont Terriers318-24 lbs
Dogues de Bordeaux3110 lbs & up
Entlebucher Mountain Dogs355-65 lbs
Fox Terriers (Smooth)318 lbs
German Pinschers325-45 lbs
Giant Schnauzers360-85 lbs
Glen of Imaal Terriers332-40 lbs
Great Danes3140-175 lbs
Great Pyrenees3100 lbs & up
Greyhounds365-70 lbs
Ibizan Hounds350 lbs
Irish Wolfhounds3120 lbs
Italian Greyhounds37-14 lbs
Japanese Chin37-11 lbs
Komondorok3100 lbs or more
Kuvaszok3100-115 lbs
Lagotti Romagnoli328.5-35 lbs
Lakeland Terriers317 lbs
Lhasa Apsos312-18 lbs
Maltese37 lbs
Miniature Bull Terriers318-28 lbs
Miniature Pinschers38-10 lbs
Neapolitan Mastiffs3150 lbs
Norwegian Buhunds331-40 lbs
Norwegian Elkhounds355 lbs
Norwegian Lundehunds320-30 lbs
Otterhounds3115 lbs
Parson Russell Terriers313-17 lbs
Pekingese3up to 14 lbs
Pembroke Welsh Corgis3up to 30 lbs
Peruvian Inca Orchid38.5-17.5 lbs
Pharaoh Hounds345-55 lbs
Plotts350-60 lbs
Pointers355-75 lbs
Pointers (German Wirehaired)350-70 lbs
Polish Lowland Sheepdogs330-50 lbs
Pomeranians33-7 lbs
Puli325-35 lbs
Pumi327-29 lbs
Pyrenean Shepherds315-30 lbs
Retrievers (Chesapeake Bay)365-80 lbs
Rottweilers395-135 lbs
Russell Terriers39-15 lbs
Salukis340-65 lbs
Schipperkes310-16 lbs
Scottish Deerhounds385-110 lbs
Scottish Terriers319-22 lbs
Sealyham Terriers323-24 lbs
Setters (Gordon)355-80 lbs
Shiba Inu323 lbs
Silky Terriers310 lbs
Skye Terriers335-45 lbs
Sloughis335-50 lbs
Spaniels (American Water)330-45 lbs
Spaniels (Clumber)370-85 lbs
Spaniels (English Springer)350 lbs
Spaniels (Irish Water)355-68 lbs
Spaniels (Sussex)335-45 lbs
Spinoni Italiani356 lbs
Tibetan Mastiffs390-150 lbs
Tibetan Terriers318-30 lbs
Toy Fox Terriers33.5-7 lbs
Xoloitzcuintli (miniature)315-30 lbs
Xoloitzcuintli (standard)330-55 lbs
Xoloitzcuintli (toy)310-15 lbs
Chihuahuas16 lbs

This information comes from the American Kennel Club and is the breed’s reputation for how well they do with children.

best dog breeds for kids

Common Questions About A Life With Dogs and Kids

Discover the answers to frequently asked questions about children and dogs.

What are the most child-friendly pets?

In general, kid-friendly pets are patient, gentle, low-maintenance animals and able to tolerate the noisy and energetic environment kids often generate.

Dogs, mainly breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Boston Terriers, are often considered among the most kid-friendly due to their patient and friendly nature.

Other pets that are great for kids:

  • Fish
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Rabbits
  • Hamsters
  • Parakeets

What breed makes the very best family dog?

The Coton de Tulear is hands down one of the best all-around family dog breeds. This breed makes an excellent family dog because they:

  • love kids
  • are sweet-natured
  • are small
  • minimal barkers
  • minimal shedders
  • and minimal droolers.
Coton de Tulear puppy
Coton de Tulear

Learn all about the characteristics of the Coton de Tulear down below:

Coton de Tulear Traits & Characteristics
Height10 – 11 inches (male)
9 – 10 inches (female)
Weight9 – 15 pounds (male)
8 – 13 pounds (female)
Affectionate With Family5 out of 5
Good With Children5 out of 5
Good With Other Dogs5 out of 5
Shedding Level2 out of 5
Coat Grooming Level4 out of 5
Drooling Level1 out of 5
Openess to Strangers5 out of 5
Playfulness4 out of 5
Watch Dog / Protective3 out of 5
Adaptability (Routines vs non)4 out of 5
Trainability4 out of 5
Energy Level3 out of 5
Barking Level1 out of 5
Mental Stimulation Needs3 out of 5
Average Lifespan15 – 19 years
American Kennel Club GroupNon-Sporting Group
1 = least 5 = most

Which dog breed is not suitable for children?

While Chihuahuas have a small size and big personality, they are not recommended for families with small children.

Chihuahua puppy
Chihuahua Puppy

Chihuahuas can be protective, and the loud noises and fast movements of children may be overwhelming for them, leading to stress and potential reactive behavior.

However, they can be a great addition to families with older kids who understand the importance of gentle and respectful interaction with pets.


10 Most Miniature Dog Breeds That Are Kid-Friendly

Presenting a compilation of the tiniest dog breeds known for their gentle nature towards children. These pint-sized pups make for ideal family companions, especially for city dwellers and those with limited living spaces. And naturally, they’re a delightful addition to any family that adores small canines!

  1. Poodles (toy) – 4-6 lbs
  2. Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka – 6-9 lbs
  3. American Eskimo Dogs (toy) – 6-10 lbs
  4. Yorkshire Terriers – 7 lbs
  5. Havanese – 7-13 lbs
  6. English Toy Spaniels – 8-14 lbs
  7. Portuguese Podengo Pequenos – 9-13 lbs
  8. Coton de Tulear – 9-15 lbs
  9. Tibetan Spaniel – 9-15 lbs
  10. Shih Tzu – 9-16 lbs
Leonberger Dog Breed

5 Most Giant Kid-Friendly Dog Breeds

Presenting a compilation of colossal breeds renowned for their exceptional suitability as excellent family dogs. Moreover, their formidable size makes them ideal as guard dogs.

  1. Leonbergers – 110-170 lbs
  2. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs – 115-140 lbs
  3. Newfoundlands – 130-150 lbs
  4. St. Bernards – 140-180 lbs
  5. Mastiffs – 160-230 lbs

7 Best Dogs Who Are Known To Be Hypoallergenic & Kid Friendly

While it’s a common misconception that certain breeds are entirely ‘hypoallergenic,’ the truth is, there’s no such thing as entirely hypoallergenic dogs. However, some breeds are indeed less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

This is because they produce fewer allergens than other dogs. Allergens are primarily found in a dog’s dander (flakes of skin), saliva, and urine, and not just in their fur, as is often believed. Dogs that shed less will distribute fewer of these allergens into the environment.

Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise

Here are some of those breeds:

  1. American Hairless Terrier
  2. Bichon Frise
  3. Coton de Tulear
  4. Miniature Schnauzer
  5. Toy Poodle
  6. Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka
  7. Yorkshire Terrier

Video – The Science Behind A Truly Hypoallergenic Dog

Dr. Mima Petrick from Family Allergy and Asthma addresses the timeless inquiry – do hypoallergenic dogs truly exist?

Video – The Science Behind A Truly Hypoallergenic Dog

5 Popular Dog Breeds In 2023 That Are Good With Kids

Are you looking for a popular breed that is great with kids? Here is the list, but keep in mind the popularity of dog breeds changes every year.

  • Golden Retrievers
  • French Bulldogs
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Poodles
  • Beagles

Top 5 High-Energy Breeds That Are Great With Kids

If you are an active family who wants a dog that will match your energy level, consider one of these high-energy breeds.

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Vizslas
  • Siberian Huskies
  • German Shepherd Dogs
  • Irish Setters
Australian Terrier

Top 5 Dog Breeds That Do Not Shed And Are Good With Kids

Explore this curated collection of dog breeds known for being a great companion to children and their minimal shedding.

What are some non-drooling dog breeds that are good with kids?

Prefer a slobber-free pup? Check out the comprehensive list of American Kennel Club dog breeds that exhibit minimal drooling tendencies while being exceptionally cheerful and well-suited for children, especially the little ones.

Pug puppy

Which dog breed is well-suited for apartment living and also gets along well with small children?

The Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka is ideal for families living in apartments or some other small space. The Bolonka combines a playful and charming nature with a curious spirit.

Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka dog breed
Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka

Here are a few reasons why the Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka is perfect for family apartment dwellers:

  • Good With Children
  • Not Considered Watch Dogs – meaning they are not going to bark at every noise while you are away
  • Very Adaptable – perfect for when you need to be away from your apartment for work
  • Very Eager To Please – meaning they are easy to train
  • Not Big Droolers
  • Do Not Require High Level Of Mental Stimulation To Stay Happy And Healthy

When is the right time to get a dog for my child?

75% of people agree that it is advisable to wait until a child reaches the age of five or older before getting a dog for them. This comes from the findings of one survey we conducted, asking dog lovers, When do you think a child is ready to get a puppy? The majority of respondents said five years plus is the best age for a child to get a puppy. See the photo of the survey results below:

Poll asking when is the right time for a child to get a dog

Deciding the right time to introduce a dog into your family depends on several factors, primarily revolving around the child’s age, maturity, and readiness to handle responsibilities.

My son Samuel with our dog Bella

Should I get a dog while I have a newborn?

It may be better to wait until the baby is older and routines are established before getting a new puppy. Puppies, especially, require lots of attention and training, which can be overwhelming during the intense early months of parenthood.

While dogs offer benefits like teaching empathy and responsibility to children, they also demand time and energy. Parents should consider their ability to meet the needs of both a newborn and a dog.

If you already have a dog when the baby arrives, it’s essential to prepare the dog for the new family member and closely supervise their interactions for everyone’s safety.

Are kids happier with dogs?

One study revealed that children who had a strong bond with their dogs exhibited a higher level of secure attachment to both their mothers and fathers. These children also reported possessing more positive attributes and experiencing less conflict within their friendships.

Although the study did not directly measure happiness, it looks as though a child would be happier with a dog if the by-product is stronger bonds with family and fewer conflicts with friends.

What advantages do children experience when they have a canine companion of their own?

Owning a dog can have numerous positive effects on children. Here are five benefits:

  1. A dog offers companionship and reduces loneliness. Their loyalty and affection can help children develop emotional stability.
  2. Having a dog promotes physical activity since they require regular exercise. This encourages children to adopt an active lifestyle early on.
  3. Caring for a dog also teaches responsibility as kids learn about feeding, grooming, and maintaining their pets’ health.
  4. Interacting with dogs can enhance a child’s self-esteem and social skills. The bond with a pet also promotes empathy as children learn to understand and respond to a dog’s needs and emotions.
  5. Some research suggests that children growing up with dogs have a lower risk of allergies and asthma, contributing to better physical health. (See allergy study)

However, it is always essential to ensure that the family environment is suitable for a pet, and that the dog breed selected is appropriate for the child’s age and lifestyle.

When considering getting a dog for a child, should I purchase one from a breeder or adopt a dog from a rescue organization?

Buying from a reputable breeder offers the advantage of knowing your dog’s breed, size, and temperament. This helps in selecting a pet that fits your family’s lifestyle and your child’s needs. Breeders often have pedigree puppies with predictable characteristics and health history.

Adopting from a rescue or shelter gives you the opportunity to provide a home to a dog in need. Rescue dogs come in various shapes, sizes, and breeds, and adoption counselors can assist in finding a dog that suits your lifestyle. Some rescue dogs are already trained and socialized, making integrating them into your home easier.

Knowing your dog’s breed, size, and temperament.You Decide
Breeders often have pedigree puppies with predictable characteristics and health history.
Some rescue dogs are already trained and socialized, making integrating them into your home more accessible.
Adopting from a rescue or shelter gives you the opportunity to provide a home to a dog in need.You Decide
Rescue dogs come in various shapes, sizes, and breeds, and adoption counselors can assist in finding a dog that suits your lifestyle.
May already be potty trained.

Research is crucial when choosing a dog, whether from a breeder or a rescue, to ensure they’re healthy, well-cared for, and a good fit for your family. Owning a dog is a long-term commitment that requires time, effort, and resources, so choose wisely.

Do dogs help kids with ADHD?

One study suggests that dogs, in combination with treatment, can be truly advantageous for children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The method of the study was designed around a 12-week cognitive-behavioral intervention delivered with or without canine-assisted intervention (CAI). Children were randomly assigned to group therapy with or without CAI. Parents of children in both groups simultaneously participated in weekly parent-group therapy sessions.

The study found that both groups of children saw improvements in how they acted with others and how well they behaved. However, the group that used dogs to help them had even more improvement.

Adotping a Boston Terrier From A Texas Rescue
My daughter Sofia with our Boston Bella

How to choose the right dog for my child?

Choosing the right dog for your children involves multiple considerations. Here are five things to consider when choosing the right dog for your kids.

  1. First, consider your family’s lifestyle. Active families may find joy in a dog breed with high energy. Conversely, if your home is more tranquil, find a breed that likes to sit around. See every dog breed listed here ranked by their energy level – Dogs Ranked By Energy Level.
  2. Also, consider the dog’s temperament. Choose a breed known for patience, gentleness, and being even-tempered.
  3. Consider the dog’s size too. While larger breeds are often gentle, a smaller dog might be less intimidating for children and easier to handle. However, remember that smaller breeds may not tolerate rough and tumble play by young children.
  4. The age of the dog is another important factor. Puppies require time and effort to train but can grow up with children. An older dog is typically calmer and already potty trained and more, but older dogs may have less energy for play.
  5. Lastly, spending time with the prospective pet is recommended before deciding. Observing how the dog interacts with your children can provide valuable insights into compatibility.


While some of these breeds make the best family dogs, remember that each canine is unique despite their breed’s reputation. Keep this in mind when introducing any new family member to your forever home, especially if you are adopting an adult dog.

A few ways to help your furry friend behave well around young kids is to give them regular walks daily, with daily exercise and consistent training.

Final Thoughts

With so many dog breeds for families to choose from, you’ll definitely find the perfect new pet for your family. Soon you won’t be able to imagine life without them!

If you need more help finding the right dog, you may want to check out these articles to help get you started:

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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