16 Kid-Friendly Dog Breeds

closeup of a puppy paw next to a baby foot

When you are considering adding a dog to your family, it’s important for that dog to be kid-friendly. It’s also important that your children are taught how to properly interact with a dog. Socialization is important to any dog breed and makes a big difference in how comfortable a dog is when they are around children, strangers, other dogs, and other pets. That being said, there are certainly some dog breeds that tend to have a more open temperament to begin with. Here are just a few kid-friendly dog breeds to help kickstart your research:

1. Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is a powerful and strong dog breed. Although they grow up to be huge dogs, they are also gentle giants that love people.

One of the facts about Saint Bernards is that they are also great with children. They are known for being patient and loving with children and have gained a reputation as a “nanny” dog.

2. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is another gentle giant who is also a notorious kid-friendly dog breed. They also have a reputation for being a “nanny” dog as they often take on the role of a loving, gentle, and attentive guardian. They love their families, enjoy being around people, and adore the attention they get from children. A Newfie is a fantastic family companion.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are popular family dogs. They are open and friendly and tend to get along well with just about everyone, including children. The Golden Retriever is an active dog breed, so they will love the extra attention and playtime that comes with children in the family.

4. Labrador Retriever

Labs are known for being goofballs and great family companions. Although they have a lot of energy and can be boisterous, they tend to be very aware of their size when around children. The Labrador Retriever has a sweet nature and good temperament, which makes them a good fit for families with children.

5. Bernese Mountain Dog

One of the facts about Bernese Mountain Dogs is that they tend to be open and friendly with a naturally sweet temperament. They love being around their family and will bask in all the attention they get from children in the family. The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large kid-friendly dog breed that is often compared to a big teddy bear.

6. Vizsla

The Vizsla is a high-energy dog breed that is also kid-friendly. They love to be around their families and are often referred to as the “Velcro Vizsla” because they are happiest when they are with people.

One of the facts about Vizslas is that they are great family dogs. They are mild-mannered, gentle, and sweet, which makes them a great fit for families with children.

7. Beagle

Some facts about Beagles are that they are popular hunting dogs and also make great family companions. They are a dog breed that is adored for their energetic, playful, and loving personalities. The Beagle is a kid-friendly dog breed that loves attention and will keep you and your children entertained with their playful and comedic antics.

8. English Bulldog

Some facts about English Bulldogs are that they are absolute sweethearts and make fantastic family dogs. Although protective of their families, well-socialized English Bulldogs are social, friendly dogs that are very affectionate with their families.

They also are known to have a sweet, loving demeanor, a playful personality, and get along well with children. These reasons are more are why English Bulldogs are one of the kid-friendly dog breeds.

9. Boxer

Boxers are known for their playful exuberance and affection. Well-socialized Boxers are known to make fantastic family companions that get along well with children, other dogs, and other pets.

They even tend to be open and friendly with strangers. After all, that just means another person to give them attention and play with them. This is why it’s no surprise Boxers are a kid-friendly dog breed and why one of the facts about Boxers is that they are a great fit for families!

10. Irish Setter

Irish Setters are athletic, intelligent dogs that love nothing more than being active with their favorite humans. Provided they are well-socialized and well-trained, they get along well with children, other dogs, and even other pets they have been socialized with.

One of the facts about Irish Setters is that they tend to mature more slowly in that they tend to retain puppy-like exuberance and energy well into their lives. Because of this, they’re more than happy to have other dogs, children, or other people to play with.

11. Basset Hound

With their soulful eyes and famously droopy ears, Basset Hounds are adorable, cuddly companions that make a great addition to a family. Well-socialized Bassets are known to be sweet-natured dogs that are affectionate and enjoy nothing more than relaxing with their favorite humans.

Despite one of the facts about Basset Hounds being that they can be quite lazy if you let them, they also tend to make great playmates for children. They tend to get along well with children and other dogs, and will often take on the role of a playful best friend. They can even get along well with other small pets if they have been raised and socialized with them.

12. Poodle

Whether Standard Poodles or Miniature Poodles, the Poodle is a highly intelligent, affectionate, energetic, and playful dog that fits in well with families. Although they are sensitive and may need a break from loud environments every now and then, they are quite energetic dogs that can thrive in those environments as well.

Well-socialized Poodles tend to get along well with children, other dogs, and other pets. One of the facts about Poodles is that they tend to make great companions to children whether playing, relaxing, napping, cuddling, and more. Whatever it is, they are usually just happy to be spending time with their favorite humans.

13. Bichon Frise

These little dogs are known for their affection. In fact, they are one of the most affectionate dog breeds. Although they are small and young children will need to be careful around them, the Bichon Frise tends to get along well with just about everyone, including children.

Bichon Frise bond closely with their families and are happiest when they are receiving attention and affection. They are known to love to cuddle and they have playful personalities. This can make them a great fit for families with children. After all, more family members just mean more people who can give these dogs the attention they crave and more potential playmates.

Although these dogs sit in a more moderate activity range, one of the facts about the Bichon Frise is that they can have bursts of high energy. You’ll likely see them now and then when these dogs are feeling particularly playful and ready to draw you into activities with them.

14. Great Dane

The Great Dane may look like a large and intimidating dog, and they certainly can be, but they have a reputation for being gentle giants. Well-socialized Danes are also known to get along well with children.

Even though they tend to take a guardian-type role in the household, they can also be more than happy to accept gentle cuddles and be an exuberant playmate for children. As one of the largest dog breeds in the world, they can accidentally knock over people, but overall, they tend to be gentle and patient with children, particularly those within the family that they are close to.

You’ll also want to be mindful of their tail when they are excited and work on training your dog not to jump up. And, don’t be surprised if these dogs sit on you or try to cuddle in your lap. They’re known for being affectionate with their people and completely ignoring their size in order to act like a lap dog.

Despite their size, these giant dogs are actually a good fit for apartments, provided there is enough room for them to move around comfortably and they get enough daily exercise and attention. This is one of the facts about Great Danes.

15. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Some facts about Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are that they are skilled and versatile hunting dogs and have origins in France, the Netherlands, and Germany. Although they make serious and determined working and hunting dogs, they are also fantastic family companions.

Not only are these dogs very affectionate with their people and love nothing more than being near them, but they are also known to get along fantastically with children when they are well-socialized. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons tend to be watchful and initially wary of strangers, but with their families, they are lovable, affectionate, playful, and always seem to be nearby.

16. Chinese Crested Dogs

Chinese Crested Dogs are often described as “ultra-affectionate”. They love being around their favorite people and receiving attention and affection. Even though they tend to choose a favorite person and bond more closely with them, they do still have a strong, close bond with other members of the family.

Well-socialized, they get along well with children and usually enjoy having another person in the family who can shower them with attention, cuddles, and playtime. These dogs are small and can be sensitive, so young children will need to be supervised and taught to handle these small dogs very gently.

Although these dogs are known for being hairless, one of the facts about Chinese Crested Dogs is that the breed actually has two coat types – the hairless one they are known for and a Powder Puff coat type that gives them hair all over. Unlike many other dog breeds, the hairless coat type is genetically dominant while the full-hair coat is genetically recessive. Either way, there are still plenty of grooming tasks and care that your kids can help with.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of kid-friendly dog breeds. This is just a small sample to help you get started when you’re looking for a puppy to add to your family. There are plenty more kid-friendly dog breeds out there to choose from, so you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your family.