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
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.
|Best Dog Breeds For Kids Chart||Good With Kids||General Weigth|
|American Eskimo Dogs (miniature)||5||10-20 lbs|
|American Eskimo Dogs (standard)||5||25-35 lbs|
|American Eskimo Dogs (toy)||5||6-10 lbs|
|American Foxhounds||5||65-70 lbs|
|American Hairless Terriers||5||12-16 lbs|
|Australian Shepherds||5||50-65 lbs|
|Australian Terriers||5||12-18 lbs|
|Basset Hounds||5||40-65 lbs|
|Beagles (13 inches & under)||5||under 20 lbs|
|Beagles (13-15 inches)||5||20-30 lbs|
|Bearded Collies||5||45-55 lbs|
|Bernese Mountain Dogs||5||80-115 lbs|
|Bichons Frises||5||12-18 lbs|
|Black and Tan Coonhounds||5||65-110 lbs|
|Border Terriers||5||13-15.5 lbs|
|Boston Terriers||5||12-25 lbs|
|Cavalier King Charles Spaniels||5||13-18 lbs|
|Cesky Terriers||5||14-24 lbs|
|Coton de Tulear||5||9-15 lbs|
|Doberman Pinschers||5||75-100 lbs|
|English Foxhounds||5||60-75 lbs|
|English Toy Spaniels||5||8-14 lbs|
|Finnish Spitz||5||25-33 lbs|
|Fox Terriers (Wire)||5||18 lbs|
|French Bulldogs||5||under 28 lbs|
|German Shepherd Dogs||5||65-90 lbs|
|Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs||5||115-140 lbs|
|Icelandic Sheepdogs||5||30 lbs|
|Irish Terriers||5||27 lbs|
|Miniature American Shepherds||5||20-40 lbs|
|Miniature Schnauzers||5||11-20 lbs|
|Norfolk Terriers||5||11-12 lbs|
|Norwich Terriers||5||12 lbs|
|Old English Sheepdogs||5||60-100 lbs|
|Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeens||5||25-40 lbs|
|Pointers (German Shorthaired)||5||55-70 lbs|
|Poodles (miniature)||5||10-15 lbs|
|Poodles (standard)||5||60-70 lbs|
|Poodles (toy)||5||4-6 lbs|
|Portuguese Podengo Pequenos||5||9-13 lbs|
|Portuguese Water Dogs||5||42-60 lbs|
|Rat Terriers||5||10-25 lbs|
|Redbone Coonhounds||5||45-70 lbs|
|Retrievers (Curly-Coated)||5||60-95 lbs|
|Retrievers (Flat-Coated)||5||60-70 lbs|
|Retrievers (Golden)||5||65-75 lbs|
|Retrievers (Labrador)||5||65-80 lbs|
|Retrievers (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)||5||35-50 lbs|
|Rhodesian Ridgebacks||5||85 lbs|
|Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka||5||6-9 lbs|
|Setters (Irish Red and White)||5||42-60 lbs|
|Setters (Irish)||5||70 lbs|
|Shetland Sheepdogs||5||15-25 lbs|
|Shih Tzu||5||9-16 lbs|
|Siberian Huskies||5||45-60 lbs|
|Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers||5||35-40 lbs|
|Spaniels (Boykin)||5||30-40 lbs|
|Spaniels (English Cocker)||5||28-34 lbs|
|Spaniels (Field)||5||35-50 lbs|
|Spaniels (Welsh Springer)||5||40-55 lbs|
|St. Bernards||5||140-180 lbs|
|Staffordshire Bull Terriers||5||28-38 lbs|
|Standard Schnauzers||5||35-50 lbs|
|Swedish Vallhunds||5||20-35 lbs|
|Tibetan Spaniel||5||9-15 lbs|
|Treeing Walker Coonhounds||5||50-70 lbs|
|Welsh Terriers||5||20 lbs|
|West Highland White Terriers||5||15-20 lbs|
|Wirehaired Pointing Griffons||5||50-70 lbs|
|Wirehaired Vizslas||5||55-65 lbs|
|Yorkshire Terriers||5||7 lbs|
|Cardigan Welsh Corgis||4||30-38 lbs|
|Finnish Lapphunds||4||33-53 lbs|
|Kerry Blue Terriers||4||33-40 lbs|
|Manchester Terriers||4||under 12 lbs|
|Manchester Terriers Toy||4||12-22 lbs|
|Setters (English)||4||65-80 lbs|
|Spanish Water Dogs||4||40-49 lbs|
|Afghan Hounds||3||50-60 lbs|
|Airedale Terriers||3||50-70 lbs|
|Alaskan Malamutes||3||85 lbs|
|American English Coonhounds||3||45-65 lbs|
|American Staffordshire Terriers||3||55-70 lbs|
|Anatolian Shepherd Dogs||3||110-150 lbs|
|Australian Cattle Dogs||3||35-50 lbs|
|Bedlington Terriers||3||17-23 lbs|
|Belgian Malinois||3||60-80 lbs|
|Belgian Sheepdogs||3||55-75 lbs|
|Belgian Tervuren||3||55-75 lbs|
|Berger Picards||3||50-70 lbs|
|Black Russian Terriers||3||80-130 lbs|
|Bluetick Coonhounds||3||55-80 lbs|
|Border Collies||3||30-55 lbs|
|Bouviers des Flandres||3||70-110 lbs|
|Brussels Griffons||3||8-10 lbs|
|Bull Terriers||3||50-70 lbs|
|Cairn Terriers||3||14 lbs|
|Canaan Dogs||3||45-55 lbs|
|Cane Corso||3||Proportionate to height (100+ lbs)|
|Chinese Crested||3||8-12 lbs|
|Chinese Shar-Pei||3||45-60 lbs|
|Chow Chows||3||45-70 lbs|
|Cirnechi dell’Etna||3||22-26 lbs|
|Dachshunds (miniature)||3||11 lbs & under|
|Dachshunds (standard)||3||16-32 lbs|
|Dandie Dinmont Terriers||3||18-24 lbs|
|Dogues de Bordeaux||3||110 lbs & up|
|Entlebucher Mountain Dogs||3||55-65 lbs|
|Fox Terriers (Smooth)||3||18 lbs|
|German Pinschers||3||25-45 lbs|
|Giant Schnauzers||3||60-85 lbs|
|Glen of Imaal Terriers||3||32-40 lbs|
|Great Danes||3||140-175 lbs|
|Great Pyrenees||3||100 lbs & up|
|Ibizan Hounds||3||50 lbs|
|Irish Wolfhounds||3||120 lbs|
|Italian Greyhounds||3||7-14 lbs|
|Japanese Chin||3||7-11 lbs|
|Komondorok||3||100 lbs or more|
|Lagotti Romagnoli||3||28.5-35 lbs|
|Lakeland Terriers||3||17 lbs|
|Lhasa Apsos||3||12-18 lbs|
|Miniature Bull Terriers||3||18-28 lbs|
|Miniature Pinschers||3||8-10 lbs|
|Neapolitan Mastiffs||3||150 lbs|
|Norwegian Buhunds||3||31-40 lbs|
|Norwegian Elkhounds||3||55 lbs|
|Norwegian Lundehunds||3||20-30 lbs|
|Parson Russell Terriers||3||13-17 lbs|
|Pekingese||3||up to 14 lbs|
|Pembroke Welsh Corgis||3||up to 30 lbs|
|Peruvian Inca Orchid||3||8.5-17.5 lbs|
|Pharaoh Hounds||3||45-55 lbs|
|Pointers (German Wirehaired)||3||50-70 lbs|
|Polish Lowland Sheepdogs||3||30-50 lbs|
|Pyrenean Shepherds||3||15-30 lbs|
|Retrievers (Chesapeake Bay)||3||65-80 lbs|
|Russell Terriers||3||9-15 lbs|
|Scottish Deerhounds||3||85-110 lbs|
|Scottish Terriers||3||19-22 lbs|
|Sealyham Terriers||3||23-24 lbs|
|Setters (Gordon)||3||55-80 lbs|
|Shiba Inu||3||23 lbs|
|Silky Terriers||3||10 lbs|
|Skye Terriers||3||35-45 lbs|
|Spaniels (American Water)||3||30-45 lbs|
|Spaniels (Clumber)||3||70-85 lbs|
|Spaniels (English Springer)||3||50 lbs|
|Spaniels (Irish Water)||3||55-68 lbs|
|Spaniels (Sussex)||3||35-45 lbs|
|Spinoni Italiani||3||56 lbs|
|Tibetan Mastiffs||3||90-150 lbs|
|Tibetan Terriers||3||18-30 lbs|
|Toy Fox Terriers||3||3.5-7 lbs|
|Xoloitzcuintli (miniature)||3||15-30 lbs|
|Xoloitzcuintli (standard)||3||30-55 lbs|
|Xoloitzcuintli (toy)||3||10-15 lbs|
This information comes from the American Kennel Club and is the breed’s reputation for how well they do with children.
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:
- Guinea Pigs
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.
Learn all about the characteristics of the Coton de Tulear down below:
|Coton de Tulear Traits & Characteristics|
|Height||10 – 11 inches (male)|
9 – 10 inches (female)
|Weight||9 – 15 pounds (male)|
8 – 13 pounds (female)
|Affectionate With Family||5 out of 5|
|Good With Children||5 out of 5|
|Good With Other Dogs||5 out of 5|
|Shedding Level||2 out of 5|
|Coat Grooming Level||4 out of 5|
|Drooling Level||1 out of 5|
|Openess to Strangers||5 out of 5|
|Playfulness||4 out of 5|
|Watch Dog / Protective||3 out of 5|
|Adaptability (Routines vs non)||4 out of 5|
|Trainability||4 out of 5|
|Energy Level||3 out of 5|
|Barking Level||1 out of 5|
|Mental Stimulation Needs||3 out of 5|
|Average Lifespan||15 – 19 years|
|American Kennel Club Group||Non-Sporting Group|
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.
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!
- Poodles (toy) – 4-6 lbs
- Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka – 6-9 lbs
- American Eskimo Dogs (toy) – 6-10 lbs
- Yorkshire Terriers – 7 lbs
- Havanese – 7-13 lbs
- English Toy Spaniels – 8-14 lbs
- Portuguese Podengo Pequenos – 9-13 lbs
- Coton de Tulear – 9-15 lbs
- Tibetan Spaniel – 9-15 lbs
- Shih Tzu – 9-16 lbs
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.
- Leonbergers – 110-170 lbs
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs – 115-140 lbs
- Newfoundlands – 130-150 lbs
- St. Bernards – 140-180 lbs
- 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.
Here are some of those breeds:
- American Hairless Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Coton de Tulear
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Toy Poodle
- Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka
- 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?
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
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
- Siberian Huskies
- German Shepherd Dogs
- Irish Setters
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.
- American Foxhounds
- American Hairless Terriers
- Australian Shepherds
- Australian Terriers
- Bearded Collies
- Bichons Frises
- Border Terriers
- Boston Terriers
- Coton de Tulear
- Irish Terriers
- Norfolk Terriers
- Norwich Terriers
- Rat Terriers
- Retrievers (Curly-Coated)
- Shetland Sheepdogs
- Shih Tzu
- Siberian Huskies
- Spaniels (Boykin)
- Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka
- West Highland White Terriers
- Yorkshire Terriers
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.
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:
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.
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:
- A dog offers companionship and reduces loneliness. Their loyalty and affection can help children develop emotional stability.
- Having a dog promotes physical activity since they require regular exercise. This encourages children to adopt an active lifestyle early on.
- Caring for a dog also teaches responsibility as kids learn about feeding, grooming, and maintaining their pets’ health.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Also, consider the dog’s temperament. Choose a breed known for patience, gentleness, and being even-tempered.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER
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.
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: