The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Families

It can be tough to know what kind of dog to get when you’ve got a family. Certain breeds take to family life and children specifically more than others, in fact. This list was compiled to show a bunch of different expert opinions on the top dog breeds to look at when selecting a family pet. All breeds have their strengths and weaknesses, but there are a lot of great types of pups to choose from here!

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  • Beth

    I am the lucky owner of a non conventional choice BUT absolutely the best family dog… A Carolina Dog/aka American Dingo. We adopted her as a 4 mth old puppy… now 9 yrs old.

    The Carolina Dingo is super smart, sweet and loyal. She is always kind and kissy to children and seems to fully understand the difference between a baby, toddler, and playful young human friend. She follows my 3 yr old around the yard as if she is her 2nd mom. There are no health issues with the breed and they live 12-19 yrs! She is 9 yrs old and can take a 2-3 mile jog with me everyday happily-

    I have had dogs my whole life (including labs, goldens, pitbulls and mutts) and I have to honestly say she is the best of the best in everyway!!! Absolute #1 pick for a fantastic family dog!!!

    • http://none Norm Hoppe

      J.S., Squeek, and anyone else this pertains to.
      I have owned a Beagle, a Doberman Pincher, a Black Lab, 2 Pugs, and an English bulldog.
      I am very upset that you would point fingers at the Pug and Bulldog breed because they are born with crushed palettes. I can assure you being the current owner of a Pug and an English Bulldog. Neither dog experience difficulty breathing or starvation of oxygen. And I live at high elevations.
      Both my dogs run, play, and ate not just very affectionate animals with other animals. But with children of all ages. And as spoken before. They both are protective. Though the Pug really doesn’t have much bite.
      The bottom line is there are bad breeders and good breeders. There are also bad pet owners and good pet owners. But anyone can tell you that investigating a breeder, meeting with a breeder, looking at their current dogs as well as previous owners litters will lower you chances quite a bit from being placed with a problem dog. And those owners who do not investigate or read about the breed they are investing in can result in having issues in a breed.
      But I have had bad and good. The bad is just simply resulting in my other pug passing away from cancer. It happens and it is just what it is. All dogs age fast, therefore cancer is very hard to stop once it has started.
      But I am very upset that you have labeled the 2 breeds as foul breeds to own and it is obvious in the words you use and your lack of education that you understand what your spewing.

      Ladies and Gentleman. Just be a smart person before you make a choice in any breed. Spend time investigating and meeting with breeders. Don’t buy a cheap dog. Good breeders will charge more because they want responsible owners willing to take care of a breed.
      Too many strays in need if homes from pet owners who didn’t spend the time to investigate.

      Bottom line is, all breeds can have issues. But don’t believe for a minute that all Pugs and Bulldogs are suffering or damaged.

      • Mlock2354

        I have had Boston Terriers over 30 years and agree with you 100%. They stay active even into old age and have few health problems. The key to sucess is a good breeder who knows what they are doing,I would never but any dog from a non-professional breeder. I have never bred a dog, I leave breeding to the breeders.

      • http://shebudgets-top10breedstoown Janet powell from Cleveland Ohio.

        I’m sorry Norm I just read further and now I understand where you were coming from. Some people have strong opinions….. too strong for my taste.

      • Bulldog lover

        I have been the lucky owner of 8 English Bulldog…They are a magnificent breed, full of love and spirit. They are quirky with their likes and dislikes…the love wheels, vacumes , water sprinklers andything with action…They are spirits, unlike any other dogs. However, they are extremely expensive to own…the purchase price is nothing compared to a lifetime of vet bills. My little female is now 11years old and has had her breathing issues operated on 4 times..she has had a hernia operation and many scopes to pull out shoes and belts out of her belly. She has also had numerous eye surgerys 4 for cherry eye that kept returning and inverted lids operated on several times. Painfully she was recently diagnosed with a very unusual type of cancer and thank the Lord we found the most amazing doctor in San Diego to put her through 18 rounds of radation…She endured being put under every day for 2 months, everytime it was agonizing for me because anesthesia is very complicated for Bulldogs…I was worried less about the cancer. She is now on 6 mo of chemo and praise the Lord, she is doing remarkable! These dogs never complain and are so thankful for everything.
        She is the love of my life and we’ve spent over $ 150,000 on her health in 11 yrs..Thankfully, we were able, but not many people are and therefore the truth should come out about their health isues. I would hate to have a family become so attached and find their baby needs all this care. Out of the 8 English Bullys I’ve owned all but 1 needed throat surgeries. Please keep this in mind when buying a puppy. There are many of these amazing dogs up for adoption due to the fact people cant afford their medical care..Thanks for the time

        • Bulldog lover

          I forgot to mention, all my Bullys we adopted except for the million dollar girl..I also have 6 other dogs 3 mutts that are beyond healthy and 2 beautiful boxers..I was surprised they were not mentioned because they are amazing famiy dogs.

      • http://msn mary c.

        I have pugs, and some kind of dogs that were wandering on a lonely backroad and mistreated that followed me home as far as i can tell from the pictures the ones that followed me home several years ago are yellow labs, not very big ones but not real small either, my oldest pug, mitzi, is 13, her back legs don’t work very well any more and she is incontinant and can’t hold her peepee very well mostly because of her medications, which she needs to live but i also think are going to kill her so i give them to her on aneed basis, i have to make her have a bowel movement manually about twice a day, and i can barely walk and am in a lot of pain myself. My daughter said i should have her put to sleep…… mitzi means as much to me as a child does to most ppl so i told brenda that unless she knows someone that is willing to put me to sleep also then it just wasn’t going to happen. Mitz is still fully alert and is afraid of dying as much as i am, sorry but i just can’t and won’t make that choice for her, i just pray to god every day that when her time does come it’s gentle and she’s asleep. Love your babies (pets) because we don’t have nearly enough time with them. gotta stop now , mitz is whining for a treat , as usual.

      • NORMAN SHAPIRO

        THE PUG AND THE BULL DOG WERE, UNFAIRLY, BRED WITH A FLAT MUSSEL. THE POOR BREEDS CAN NOT BREATHE FREELY AND DEVELOP RESPIRATORY AILMENTS AS RESULT.

      • gutterfalcon

        My father had a Bull Dog when I got out of the Service, it was a Great dog. But did have eye problems, & I think like warts grew on it. And my father got air conditioning for the dog. But again it was a Great dog, i loved it. But they Do have vet bills. I trained Springers for about 12 years, now I have been Breeding Boxers for almost Twenty years.

    • rainbow dash

      the catahoula is another dog you can find its alot like the Carolina dog. i have two catahoulas. i picked one up from the pound and i got the other one from cregs list (they got it from the pound i have all the papers) a catahoula dog is smart sweet and wonderful with kids, i feel safe letting my 1 year old catahoula watch my 3 year old while i mow the lawn and stuff. the only medical problem with the breed is sometimes they can be born def or blind. they are high energy and they require constant entertainment and reinforcement of training. they are fun and silly. you might let your catahoula out in your backyard for a few minutes and find it has disappeared into the fenced yard nextdoor. if you call they always come back. a catahoula will sleep warever you put your feet. catahoulas will also eat anything if they get bored. walls, doors, bowls, ash treys, kitty pools, garbage and anything they can find. but if you have the time to exarsize your catahoula properly every day they are the best dogs anybody could find. if you want a good dog, and a new best friend, go to your local shelter and look around, spend as much time as you want looking at dogs. you may not know exactly what to expect when you get a mut or a mix, but the fun is in finding out. i bet they will have the best dog for your needs.

      • daniel

        I have a Catahoula Queensland Heeler mix. Best dog Ever. She is actually fairly moderate energy (which is unusual for the mix), she entertains herself and plays with our other dogs (especially our manchester terrier, who is a ball of energy). Houla is a great dog. Always there. Always loyal. She isn’t much for strangers, but never does more than bark (and stops when I shake hands with the stranger). She loves our cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. When we foster Kittens, the climb all over her. Great Great dog.

    • http://toyitoyienterprises,inc.com andre Young

      I am interested in obtaining a Carolina Dingo. How might I go about doing so. Do you have a photo of the breed?

  • Squeak

    Bulldogs are a not a good choice, they are a very unhealthy breed with a multitude of problems, the crushed nose in particular creates terrible breathing problems. I’ve known otherwise healthy bulldogs that dropped dead from asphyxiation.

    If you want a bulldog-type breed, go with a Boxer. Not nearly the amount of issues, much sweeter and better able to handle energetic play, and they’re much less expensive. (even pet quality Bulldogs run around $3K!)

    • Sydney

      Squeak
      I’d like to say how absolutely wrong you are about English bulldogs. Well, I’d like to. But they are SOOOOO adorable, sweet, and funny.!!!!!! And so they do have a “SLIGHT” ability to pass noxious fumes, their snoring is an understatement, and they spray huge amounts of thick drool in all directions. But if you don’t fall in love with them then you have a screw loose. At least go with a great compromise – – – a FRENCH Bulldog.

    • rebecca witte

      Squeak… I have own 90% of the breeds out there at one time of my life or another! I have to say your are WRONG about English bulldogs. I am a breeder and have been for 32 years. I can’t say all breeders are like me BUT English bulldogs are one of the best dogs to own period !!!!!!!!!!!!! If you have NOT ever own one then why do you say they have so many health problems.Allot of this is “hearsay” You simply have to check out the parents of the dog and make sure there are any none issues etc…Everydog has health issues some more then others. English bulldogs have special issues to look out for but they are far better then most dogs out there because of the gentle nature, very loving and very protective. I have NEVER had a bulldog die under 14 years of age. I personally have 7 bulldogs of my own and donont experince health issues NONE! I breed good healthy dogs so I am not sure you woould make that statement about bulldogs having so many health issues? I use to raise boxers and they are 10 times more hyper then a bulldog ! The answer to the consumer is take care of your pet and they will last a long time. I can’t sell enough bulldogs and people want more because of the type of pet they make and companion they are to families and especially children that is the bottom line!

      • http://msn mary c.

        I agree, sorry not meaning to be rude, but she can’t speak english either, i say that because there’s a site with english bulldogs for adoption….. with a generous several hundred dollar adoption fee, they tell you to send them the money and your dog will be shipped to you, i spoke with a person on this site and said i would pick the dog up and pay for it rather than having it shipped and all of a sudden she didn’t have any available at that time, she also couldn’t speak english well, and i checked the site recently, (this was more than a year prior that this happened) and it’s the exact same pictures of puppies being offered for sale and as ready to be shipped. actually now that i think about it it wasn’t an adoption fee they ask for the money to ship the pup.

      • Gini Barrett

        My nephew really wants an English Bulldog but I have been advising him not to get one because of the health issues. How is your breeding program so different from others such that your dogs don’t have any breathing problems and are able to exercise fairly vigorously all their lives? What have been the health records and longevity of your litters over the last 5 years?

        My nephew is in Kansas City. Where are you located if he wants to get a dog?

    • lcmshannon

      I don’t agree… as long as you get a bulldog from a good breeder, they are a treasure. I’ve not had a lick of trouble with Lucy. She’s beautiful and so sweet and really smart. Don’t be discouraged by the price. Just save your money and get a good one! Best dog EVER!!

      • J.S.

        Yes, just save your money up and get a good one. It still won’t be able to breath properly but at least it is a “good one” from a “good breeder.”

        “de-sensitised are bulldog owners to the fact that many of their dogs live their entire lives in a state of hypoxia (oxygen starvation).”

    • John

      I’ve had several English Bulldogs and while they have some health issues, possible I have been lucky and wouldn’t give up this wonderful breed for nothing! Not sure why health issues have anything to do with Best Family Dog. Also not sure where you live but here in the Midwest I get pet quality EB for around $1300.00

      • J.S.

        You’re not sure what health issues have to do with best family dog? Well lets see, maybe because most people with kids don’t have the money to put towards a bunch of vet bills and they don’t have the time to take care of kids and a sick animal. ALSO, a child should never be given a dog just to have it die early from some stupid disease bred into it. That is what happened to me. I got my first dog, a purebred, when I was a child. It was my best friend, then it died at the age of six. My second dog, also a purebred, died at the age of seven. They were supposed to live to be in their teen years but they died halfway through their lives. The average lifespan of the English Bulldog is 6.29 years. http://users.pullman.com/lostriver/breeddata.htm

        • rachel

          Ok, seriously I know everyone is entitled to an opinion but you’re opinion sucks. everyday people talk about how one race puts down another race. You are doing the same thing by giving everyone false information and telling them that certain dogs aren’t as good as others.
          and just going to say people may reply to you.But in all honesty no one cares about your opinion.
          oh and by the way I had 3 bulldogs, two goldens and a pug after a workout all were panting normally.

          • April and Lobo

            I don’t think it’s fair to say someone else’s opinion sucks. I also disagree that J.S. is showing “breedism” toward Bulldogs. It looks like s/he is actually showing care; giving facts about their lifespan and their birth.

            Bulldogs ARE amazing dogs. But I wish they would go back to the way they were before appearances started to mean something. It’s our own stupid fault that we made it so that Bulldogs can’t even breed or birth properly. I think everything would be fine if breeders STOPPED breeding for appearance only, and started breeding for health and temperament.

  • julie

    I would have to say miniature schnauzers are awesome family pets as well. They shed hardly at all and they don’t have a doggy smell. Plus they are great with children our mini schnauzer loves kids and she is very sturdy even with only being 15 lbs.

    We also have a german shepherd who is a great family dog too, if you can get through the first 6 months as a puppy where they like to nip at people.

  • Mary

    I have three dogs. one a 19 year old pit bull. She was my sons but when he moved into town she didn’t wan’t to go. Took her up there once snd he said she stayed by the door and cried all night, so I went and got her.She is friendly, loves people and children. But her tounge is sure wet when she kisses you. Then there is angel she is 1/2 weine dog, and 1/2 black fuzzy dog. Short leggs long body and curley hair. very layed back and lovable, then the third dog is a wire haired toy terrier. he is a resque dog. Got him when less than a year, as still had his baby teeth. very quiet when first got him, but after three days he knew he had a home Thinks he is big, will carry everything outside so have to keep everything that is small enough for him to take has tobe kept up. Loves people, but is not a small childs dog, as if they hurt him he will first growel and if that doesn’t stop it , then he will nip. He goes everywhere with me. Looks like a little wolf with hair sticking out all over. Don’t know what his other breed is. He loves to play fetch and tough of war. All I can say is since getting him he has sure liven up our house. Can’t help but love him. This is my family.

    • Emily Rickershauser

      Pit bulls are the the breed to have. You are lucky to have her for so long.

    • Karen

      Oh my goodness Mary, your Pit bull is 19? That is just awesome. I just lost one that was 14 in May of 2012. Had her from the time she was a puppy and still have one that is almost 13. They are the best dogs. Their personality is just unbelievable. I just love them.

      Karen

      • Denise

        I agree, Pits are wonderful! I have had my 9 year old pit/boxer since he was a year old. He has the best personality and he is so gentle and friendly, he loves everyone, including other pets. After having him as an “only child” for 5 years, my daughter moved back home with her cat. I wasn’t sure how that would work out because while Dallas is very friendly with other animals, he can sometimes be somewhat territorial when they come into our house. I needn’t have worried, he took to the cat immediately and have never had a problem with the two of them, although the cat doesn’t care for him one way or the other. Last summer I took in a 5 week rescue kitten and once again was a little concerned because the kitten was so small and Dallas was not used to such a young animal. Well it is almost a year later and he loves the kitten. He licks him and gives him tongue baths, and lets the cat hit and bite him and even eat out of his dish with no problem at all, and it is really adorable when the kitten grooms him. My dog loves both of the cats and is very protective of them. Pits get such a bad reputation, and undeservedly so. I’ve had many dogs throughout my life but my pit mix has absolutely the best personality of all.

    • http://shebudgets.toobnetwork.com/lifestyle/the-ten-best-dog-breeds-for-families/18077/11 Lisa

      Omg Mary 19?? WoW I can only hope my Pit lives that long!! God Bless!! I have a Pit & 5 cats & she is so loving toward them.. I rescue animals & find them homes so she sees all types of things come in & out of my house & I must say people have such bad things to say about Pits but just like every other animal it’s the way you raise them. I don’t think I could ever own another breed after owing a Pit & seeing how loyal & loving they are.. And luckily every Pit I have met has been the same way!

      • Katie

        I have a pit-mix, 5 cats, too (and 2 kids)! He is the best dog. I volunteer at an animal shelter. I see all kinds of dogs come through. Even with breed recommendations, you need to meet each dog to find out if it is the right match. Go to a shelter with good staff or volunteers and meet some family dogs!

    • Therese Camillone

      Mary, you are so blessed! My Oopsie lived until 15, which is old for a Pittie. Cancer took her from me in 4 weeks.

      American Pit Bull Terriers/American Staffies are the best w/kids! Both my current and past girl adored people of all ages. Callie, my current Pittie, likes other dogs, as long as they are not obnoxious when they play with her. Oopsie only loved people, not other dogs, which was fine. They are all different, like people. When you hear reports of dog bites and attacks on the general media, they only tell if it was a Pit that did it. They are such a great breed; it’s the owners who make some of them bad.

  • colleen

    I have 4 dogs—a Belgian Sheepdog, a pit bull and two pit mixes. All of them are members of our family (NOT dogs who live outside on the end of a chain) and ALL of them absolutely adore children. That said, wise owners never leave their children and dogs together without supervision.

  • jamie

    i have a great dane/black lab/ bull mastif mix and although he is a very large dog (nearly 175) he loves kids, always wants to play with them and love on them but hes also very cautious as to how big the child is so he doesnt hurt them. he also has 2 companions he plays with, a german shepard/grey hound mix and a walker coon hound/ dalmation mix and all of them love children, i believe its just their nature to love children. that said i believe mixed breed dogs are the best family dogs, because they dont get nearly enough love as the pure bred dogs.

  • tumblewind

    You’ve picked nice family breeds, but I have to say you are helping wonderful mixed breeds get euthanized at shelters. I have worked shelters, am raising a yellow lab/golden mix as a service dog, and have fostered and adopted Australian Shepherds. Please – tell your readers that every breed has a rescue group; every shelter has the breed you are considering come in that needs adoption; and purchasing a dog from a breeder or pet store just means that many wonderful, loving dogs get put to sleep. One of my friends’ Search & Rescue award-winning dogs, a German Shepherd, was a day away from euthanasia; my friends’ champion agility Aussie was too much for the five families who adopted him before he went to the right owner. Please start publicizing the many breeds and mixes available for rescue who make wonderful family dogs. People need to research breed characteristics, but understand that dogs, like people, all have individual personalities that may not fit the breed standard. Go to many shelters & rescue groups, check out dogs who deserve a loving home, and rescue a deserving dog. No breeding is needed in these days of overcrowded shelters full of somebody’s best friend.

    • Sydney

      Hey Tumblewind it sounds like you’re full of hot air——most of the dogs I’ve read about here DON’T mention anything much more than the “breed”” or description of people’s dog’s. Just because it is referred to as German Shepherd doesn’t mean it is a pure breed. I’ve worked with dog rescue a lot——-and the only bad breed I’ve ever deal with were the two-legged ones who got pure or mixed breeds and were clueless what they were getting. NO BREED of dog is perfect—–cute little puppies can grow up to be 100+ pounds or need an hour of grooming a week, or need daily love & care and can’t be ignored or just left outside. And I’ve seen plenty of guys who bought a pit=bull to make up for being cowards or to try to make up for the owner having a penis the size of a toy poodle.

      • Leah

        Sydney, i’m not sure why you accused Tumblewind of being “full of hot air”. She merely reminded us all that the ten purebred dogs that were mentioned in the article can be found in shelters and rescue organizations. She also made clear that each time you purchase a puppy at a high price from a breeder, another dog is euthanized at a shelter. I’m guessing you’re a breeder who is threatened by the idea of potential customers looking elsewhere for their family pet.

    • http://www.charliedogandfriends.com Suzy Allman

      Tumbleweed, I couldn’t have said it better myself. No matter what kind of dog you’re looking for, it’s out there and homeless in a rescue or shelter, and in most cases, it’s homeless through no fault of its own. “No breeding is needed in these days of overcrowded shelters full of somebody’s best friend” is so well-put, it should be a bumper sticker. Thanks.

    • renee’

      we have rescued dogs all my life! I have always had huge yards, my dad of 83 still has chickens. I now have three rescued dogs now . my daughter had brain avm ,six stokes at 19 ,loss 50 o/o vision .her story goes on and on . now three years later her vision has not come back,and they scan her for brain cancer. i would like her to have a service dog but can not afford after all her medical. I have a 8 months german shepherd i just saved and german short hair pointer. Can you help me ? you are so right ! thanks Renee’

      • Eliza Gregory

        My heart is heavy reading Renee’s post. I’m sure there are service organizations who will provide your daughter with a service dog if neither of your two dogs is young enough.
        I’d start with the shepherd right now teaching obedience. I’m sure if you explained your daughter’s situation any obedience trainer worth his or her salt would be glad to have you in his/her class gratis. From what I understand there are all kinds of service dogs — it depends on the needs. Some are trained to assist the sightless, some the deaf, some can be trained to detect seizures and alert someone others low blood sugar. Get help from an organization that understands service dog training and your needs. Perhaps the hospital’s social service workers where your daughter is being treated can put you in the right direction.

    • peggyholley

      Wonderful advice and by all means spay and nuter your dogs Never buy from a pet store overpriced and likely came from a puppy mill Adopt, they seem to know that you saved their life and they show it

    • http://godsangels Audrey blakeney

      tumblewind…you are so right, these dogs are so amazing and the best…and so loving and grateful.

  • J.S.

    Sadly, bulldogs and pugs have many health problems due to their smooshed faces. They typically have difficulty breathing, especially in hot weather, and sometimes require surgery to help them breathe better. Often owners find certain behaviors and noises amusing because they don’t realize their bulldog or pug is doing those things because they are struggling to breathe. How would you feel if your airway was partially blocked all the time? It is cruel of people to continue to breed bulldogs and pugs when they have to endure a lifetime of discomfort. FYI, bulldogs are notorious for being one of the most expensive breeds when it comes to vet bills.

    As for papillons, anytime a family with young children gets a small dog they have to realize that they can never ever leave the dog alone with those children. You may think that you will just teach your kids to be gentle, but I can assure you that the average child won’t understand the concept until they are about six years old. I know from experience. And you can’t blame a little dog for biting a child when it is being tormented. Your child is bigger than it, how else is it supposed to protect itself? If you have kids under the age of six, your best bet is to get a bigger dog that will be forgiving of the occasional rough handling. Btw, the article was wrong, there are in fact other toy breeds besides the papillon that are “spirited, highly intelligent, fun-loving and eager to please.”

    • Agee

      J.S.–You are so right. It is irresponsible to recommend a very small dog for young children. Older children, fine, but not very young children. They are way too hyper, reactive, and yes, it’s not their fault but they are going to nip or even deliver a pretty serious bite if they are being messed with too much or if a kid gets his/her face right up in the dog’s when the dog is in its special place, etc. All dogs can have some element of unpredictability, but it stands to reason that a dog that is only the size of the child or even smaller bears watching if the child gets too rough. Even more tolerant dogs have to be watched when they are young, particularly if they have a bone or any other treat that is special and new. My Treeing Walker Coonhound mix is very, very, gentle with our daughter, but when she was a pup and she had a bone for the first time, we made a mistake and she made a mistake. Just a snap, not a real bite, but she had to learn that that was unacceptable. Neither of us will make that mistake again, but you have to be vigilant.

  • J.S.

    I forgot to mention that my brother has young children and two wonderful toy dogs. One is a poodle and the other is a shih tzu mix. They are fantastic with the children and enjoy being held. HOWEVER, not all poodles and shih tzus are good with children. Infact, I know of many that are terrible with children and have bitten due to rough handling. I wouldn’t be surprised if Papillons are the same way.

    The way that my brother found two toy dogs that are fantastic with his kids is by looking through the classifieds and/or craigslist for adult dogs that are being rehomed. He made sure to ask about the history of the dogs and how they are with children. In each case he felt that the owners were being honest and that the dogs truly are good with kids. He gave them a test run before making the final decision to add them to his household. Getting an adult dog that is known for being good with young children is a better option than HOPING your puppy will grow up to be tolerant of them. Often a toy breed puppy, that is handled roughly by little kids, learns to bite in order to defend itself. So give an adult dog a chance and save yourselves the heartbreak.

    • Sydney

      J.S, .Something else that must be remembered is that some big dogs never grow out of thinking they are lap dogs——-and MANY little dogs are convinced they are big dogs in small bodies.

      • April and Lobo

        Actually, that concept that “little dogs think they’re big dogs” is false.

        Little dogs KNOW they’re small. They know that they suffer a disadvantage when it comes to gaining access to treasured items or food. This is why they become “aggressive.” (Actually, the correct term is “reactive.” This is when a dog is fearful, and chooses the “fight” option from fight or flight. They use “aggression” to put distance between themselves and the object that is causing fear. True aggression is a lot more difficult – and scary – to work with than reactivity.)

        So, little dogs actually tend to be less confident, whereas bigger dogs aren’t concerned with that. (That doesn’t mean big dogs can’t be insecure; just ask my Akita/Husky mix.)

  • Cin

    You obviously know very little about dogs. Especially Golden Retrievers. They do not have a short life span. I have had five Goldens so far, they all lived past 13 years and one lived to be 15 1/2. They are actually more obedient than labs – but they are both great dogs.

    • Richad

      My three Goldens spanned almost 35 years. Better dogs I could not have chosen but I have known brilliant, wonderful dogs from a wide variety of breeds and mixes.

    • Golden Lover

      I agree with you. I have a Golden that will be 13 in less than 2 months. She is almost just as active as the puppies I raise for Guide Dogs. She is in very good health. Friends who have had Goldens have had them live to be 14 to 15 years.

      • http://loveGoldensandShistzus shirley

        I love Golden Retrivers and Shih tzu’s and I have 3 little shih tzus and they love kids and all people!! But at 63 and a bad spine and balance problems I know one day I need a guide dog as I tend to fall a lot. Any ideas? I live in Kansas??!

  • Robin Robbins

    My children my family grew up w/Chow Chows,you have to socialize them as a pup,let them know when they are very young YOU are the pack leader! But they’ll protect children & family w/everything they have,their lives if necessary.They can even sense the smell of other family members that come to visit & are more ok w/them!We had several & a chained link fence for the front & back of our house.If a grown stranger came in the yard they’d not keep their eye off them for protecting the children unless you told them they were OK.Then they always kept them in sight before warming up to them.They’re the only breed I’ve had that you DO NOT HAVE TO HOUSE TRAIN.Never once did I have one I did.One of our dogs had a litter because in the yrs I had them my uncle had started to raise them & they were not as well known & sold well.I let one of my dogs have ONE litter.This dog when the pups were old enough to walk,took the WHOLE littler outside in line behind her to show them OUTSIDE was for restroom purposes.My sister had one left at a vet & I guess it didn’t have an outdoor walk because in the few days it was there it got very constipated not wanting to “mess” inside.

    One slept w/my daughter by her side.Two pulled my children on a sled on the ice on a road & they could sleep in the snow despite having dog houses & LOVED it! They had a thick double coat that was almost impossible to get wet I had one BLUE colored Chow that when pecan fuzzy seed strands fell on the ground his fur would have them sticking all over them like fuzzy worms!He looked like a swamp monster!Once our female found a beehive when the children were outside,she’d sneak up on them one by on like a cat & EAT them! We got the children inside & NO more bees bothered them!If you pick one-pick one that’s the friendliest in the litter & outgoing,guarding instincts comes very natural & you don’t want one guarding out of fear.They are by FAR the Cutest puppies there ever was looking like little teddy bears.Only way these get mean is if they are cooped up in a pen or chained up & not treated like part of the family,then will be miserable.One time a painter came over & one of ours just snuck up on him from the back He climbed a tree & was there a while,found out later they judged his character well! They don’t hardly bark EVER.If they do LOOK, most will sneak up without a warning! We would see trails of clipboards,pens etc.left as a meter reader left in a hurry & we had to put them up during times meters were read.But growing up w/a family they’re naturally protective of children & the younger the child the more gentle w/them.

    They’ve got some bad raps from people who use them just as guard dogs & not family members but they’re a ONE family dog putting the stress on family!We miss ours very much,ours got old,or cancer so we have no more.We live in a rural home now w/many strays DUMPED So far the ones we have bark at ANYTHING.I’d love to have a fuzzy covered pecan podf covered one that looks like the swamp monster again to look at strangers & run them away w/looks!If we ever get another one to love & protect us,never have to house train & naturally guard us it’ll be a Chow. Don’t overlook them except for ones breeders bred to be mean or the fearful one in a litter.One of the oldest dog breed & best!

    • Maggie

      Robin – You are so very right in your assessment of ChowChows. What a wonderful dog. I miss their personalities now that I am Chow-less. I’m waiting to get my next pair as soon as I find the ‘right’ ones as you mention. I, too, had one litter of pups, despite an vet (AI) who was not reputable – the pups are awesome and the mom was oh-so protective of those pups! A great breed that is very misrepresented!

      • Phoebe

        So wonderful to hear good things being said about Chow Chows! They are an amazing, special breed that is truly unlike any other dog out there. Raised in a good, well-socialized home, the Chow is a wonderful family companion – for adults and respectable kids. They are relatively easy dogs to care for, (despite so many internet articles out there warning against Chows as first dogs) and are a great blend of independence and loyalty.

        I would just stress to anyone reading this list to follow up with a lot of research about different breed requirements, where to get your dog, training basics, etc.

  • Caylog

    I can’t believe they didn’t list boxers. Have always had boxers (30 plus years) and think they’re wonderful family pets. Intelligent, gentle, fun to be around. Raised my son with two great dogs that were family. I have three of them now, two of which are rescues. But a year ago I found a pitbull mix on the highway and cannot believe I could ever get this attached to a pit. He is a big couch potato, gets along with our three female boxers and our male Minn-Pinn and lives to wash my face and lay at my feet He’s great with kids, although I would never leave even my little dog unsupervised with a child.

    • Leaha

      My thought exactly!!!

    • Rhonda

      BOXERS are the Best. We adopted one from a military family that was completely heartbroken when they had to move overseas and couldn’t take him.
      He is the most amazing loving fun dog ever!! I would have a house full of them if I could!!

      • Fran

        My daughter & son-in-law have a great dane, Otto, and a boxer, Bandy. Otto likes to kay down with the grand children, and Bandy runs to check on it when he hears a baby cry, then looks up to the adults in the room as if to say “someone please help the baby”. He doesn’t move until someone helps the baby. Both are great for all ages.

  • Shelly

    We have a Havanese, wonderful small dog. They don’t shed so they are great for anyone with allergies, very loving and always want to be with people. They love the outdoors , playing fetch and other games. If you have children (which we have) or a single adult you won’t find a sweeter, gentile or loving dog

    • http://havanasilkdog.org/ J.S.

      I suggest for the person that is going to get a Havanese from a breeder to instead get a Havana Silk Dog from a breeder. http://havanasilkdog.org/ Havana Silk Dogs are a result of breeders wanting to improve the health of the Havanese. They discovered that there was a genetic link between the bowed out legs (dwarfism) that some of their Havanese had and many of the health problems that the breed experiences, heart and other organ problems being some of them. Therefore, a group of breeders decided to only breed their straight legged Havanese and the result was a healthier dog that takes after the Havanese of the old days, the Havana Silk Dog. They have their own registry to ensure that this healthier and slightly different breed of Havanese will stay that way. They have very strict rules about health screening and registering. So if you want a healthy dog with the personality and close resemblance of a Havanese, then get a Havana Silk Dog.

      Btw, all dogs shed, Havanese and Havana Silk Dogs are just low shedding. AND just because a dog is low shedding doesn’t mean that everyone with allergies will be able to tolerate it. If a person has dog allergies, they need to visit a breeder of the dog they are interested in and spend time with the dogs in order to know if they will have an allergic reaction or not. Some people have allergies that aren’t dog related but will still have a reaction around dogs because the fur will pick up pollen and/or dust. Therefore, just because a dog has a low shedding coat, doesn’t mean that the person will be able to tolerate living with it.

  • http://www.SrigoRottweilers.net Felicia Luburich

    Too many generalities. ALL terriers were bred to KILL vermin of one kind or another. PBs were bred to kill other dogs. CBs are unnatural. In nature “breeds” of cats, dogs, etc breed with the same kind. CBs are a mix of abilities, body types, etc & so are NOT fit for specific jobs & life s tyles so are mainly redundant animals so MILLIONS must be euthanized. It is not SO much the breed as the BREEDER that should be the determing factor. PRODUCERS do it for the $ & are to be avoided at all costs. Real breeders are PROFESSIONAL. They know breed standards, pedigrees & their own dogs well enough to consistently have high quality pups for sale that will be healthy, trainable, & have correct structure, coat, color, etc to make it be the breed it is purpotrted to be… not a POOR facsimile. Go to a local dog show (www.infodog.com) where you will see correct dogs that are suitable for breeding. The owners can help you obtain a high level pet from these dogs or a relative of these dogs. You will NOT see Poodles with BIG round weeping eyes & cotton soft coats or 180 lb Rottweilers , or white German Shephers or white (Albino) Dobermans. These are ABSOLUTELY incorrect & a detriment to the breed. If you don’t buy from a real breeder you are wasting your money & encouraging them to breed more faulty dogs. Surely do not buy from a producer ( pet shop, puppy farm, backyard supplier.. rathar go to a shelter as you will get the same poor quality only MUCH cheaper.

    • Liz

      You obviously know very little about Pit Bulls. They were NOT originally bred to kill other dogs. They were bred in the U.K. to bait bulls, and then in America they protected the homesteads. But above all they were nanny dogs. All you need to do is google Pit Bull History or Pit Bull images and so many of the pictures taken in the early 1900’s that involved the family dog in fact depicted pit bulls.

      I find it sick you are referring to shelter as “poor quality”. When we got a dog we didn’t look at pedigree and papers. We looked at the dog. We looked at its personality and the issues the dog had and had temperament testing done. I grew up with a doberman and she was the sweetest dog ever. She’d sleep in my room on my bed and snuggle with me on the couch when I was 4 years old.

    • peggyholley

      Good for you Cindy I have had purebred dogs and shelter dogs and ever had inferior quality in any of them altho I sometimes think some humans are poor quality

  • Kimmie

    Bichon Frise are great family dogs. They are somewhat hypo-allergenic as they don’t shed, not big barkers, not tiny but not too big – total package of cuteness (although they do require brushing/grooming). My two boys were the best dogs!

    • Rosa

      I had a Bischon for 13 years. Yes, they are wonderful dogs. My major problem with my Bischon — he was almost impossible to house train. The vet said that breed is known as being difficult to house train. This is not because they are not bright, more because they have a mind of their own. Another issue was that he was a little escape artist. If they door opened and he could get there he was off and running.

      • Agee

        My neighbor’s dog is like that. Constantly going around the small yard and even in the house. Yipping all day–so nervous around people, other dogs, whatever. If she lets it out to go in the yard, one minute later he’s whimpering to get back inside with the most pitiful sound. Doesn’t guard the house at all or socialize with other dogs. Not sure what is so attractive about that type of dog except for someone’s idea of cute. Sorry to sound so negative, but when you’ve spent some afternoons painting or working on your house and had to listen to a dog next door whimper and yip for hours and hours and hours (and hours) on end in neurotic fashion, you tend to get a prejudice against it.

  • Jayme

    Greyhounds will always be #1 to me.

    • John

      Got my fawn greyhound, a retired racer, two years ago and has been a wonderful addition to our family. Loves to go for walks but is not so high energy to be always clamoring to go outside. a real gentleman inside the house who doesn’t tear up your furniture or rummage through the trash. Does well when left alone during the day. The retired racers are especially easy on the leash and do well around other people. The greyhound rescue does home visits with multiple dogs that are evaluated on how well they are with cats, small dogs or young children in order to get the best fit for your family.

  • mk

    Some of these breeds are totaly incorrect for families. Many of these are hard to find. A Newfondland are very expensive and hard to find. They are huge and require a real experienced dog owner. Good luck finding a Visla. They are wonderful but good luck finding one. PLEASE PLEASE GO TO A SHELTER!!

    • http://www.charliedogandfriends.com Suzy Allman

      Yay!!!! (or contact a rescue — there are breed-specific rescues out there and they are waiting for you!)

    • Mary

      Newfoundlands – I suppose just depends on where you are for finding one. Go to a dog show and talk to people, and look for the rescue site (probably applies to any breed). As far as owning one: they are great big couch potatoes! And love people, are gentle too. Ours was wonderful with my kids.
      Why no mention of St Bernards for family dogs? They are wonderful! Also don’t need that much room, just a little exercise. Mine would run if an ambulance went by on the road, but mainly laid in her spot in the yard (we called it “guarding the west”).
      You can try to find a short hair if shedding is a issue for you.

      As with any large breed, get the hips checked. I was very lucky – the vet said my St had hips a retriever would envy.

  • Gregg

    I have to put my two-cents worth in for Old English Sheepdogs. THESE are know as “nannies” and clowns in dog suits. I have had three of them over my life and they all grew with my kids and grand-kids. They will take all the abuse a kid can hand out and just lick them. They always want to have fun, watch over the child like it is theirs (must be form the sheep-herding genes) and are the most intelligent dog i have seen. They are very strong, stout dogs that live about 12 years at best, can be athletic or laze about, depending on your mood. On top of that, they will love you forever.

    • J.S.

      Old English Sheepdogs are fantastic with kids but they have some serious health problems due to too much inbreeding. Anybody looking into getting one needs to be aware of the possible health problems and to pick a breeder that knows what they are doing and is working hard to breed the healthiest OES possible. Find someone that has been breeding for years, knows the health problems and is HONEST about them, and does the proper health screening before breeding.

    • Ingrid Thompson

      I agree with you Gregg, there is none better than an Old English. I have had OES as we call them, for 30 years now and would not have any other breed. I did OES rescue for 10 years and all my sheepies were rescue dogs. Three of them were therapy dogs. I took them to Day Care Centers, the little ones were all over my male, even laying on his back and he had a big time with the kids.
      OES are loyal, we call them velcro dogs, always by your side. There are no big health issues other than the hips and arthritis as they get older and that is about in every large breed dog.
      The maintenance is a problem if you want to keep them in full coat, but they look adorable in their puppy clip.
      I lost my last one at the age of 14. There is nothing like an Old English Sheepdog:)

      • http://www.charliedogandfriends.com Suzy Allman

        Ingrid: Thanks for this post. I think there are many who have no idea that you can choose your breed without going to a breeder, but to a breed-specific rescue. I think it’s great that you made this point in your post. I’m also a big fan of the Old English Sheepdog!

    • Dan

      Gregg,
      I could not agree more. We have had an OES in our home for well over 30 years and we just love them. Our children were raised with the OES (we had the dogs before our children) and now our grand children are growing up with these wonderful dogs and are the recipients of the love and affection only an OES loves to give out. A very gentle dog, they truely do not require a lot of space. We had one in our first apartment and they are now city dwellers in our rather smallish back yard. They have all loved being by our side and always wanted to be and were wherever the family was or is. They have such a unique sense of humor, I understand fully where the “clown ” tag comes from.

      We have owned five OES over the years they have all lived to be at least 13 years of age and were faithful, and loving to the end.And as to the maintenance, I agree completely, that the most work is if you want to keep them in their full coat, otherwise the puppy cut is perfect, and they always look so darned cute, they really never seem to lose the puppy look, always a great big teddy bear! We recently adopted our fifth OES and are absolutely in love with her, home just isn’t home with out an OES in it!

  • LLS

    The collie was overlooked. A wonderful loving dog who’s mission in life is to love its “flock”. This is another dog ruined by bad breeding practices that continue to this day i.e.: collie eye”. But if you can get a good one or a mix, you can have an angel in fur.

    • arlene

      Collie’s are so loyal and are being unfairly overlooked I read as a backlash against lassie..HUH???? THEY DON’T DESERVE THAT…..WAKE UP!

      • Audley

        You are so true, my collie is the sweetest, nicest obeident and loving dog you could ever come across, he is 14 years old now sight not as good as it used to be having a little hip problem, trying to find somewhere or someone that has a baby male in a shelter, that i could adopt and grow up with my boo,

  • Mark Jeffrey

    My papillon Micah is now 5 1/2 years old. Great companion, extremely alert and intelligent (rated among the top ten in intelligence). Papillons are known to fawn, which means they may get up on their hind legs and lay their head on your knee as you’re sitting at a meal, but they can be trained to dissuade from that. They need at least a 30 minutes walk a day, at least mine does, so modest exercise is suggested. Not too rambunctious but don’t leave a pair of socks lying around unless you want to find it with a few holes in it. A few toys will distract them. They are simply great therapy dogs. Also, papillons can be unusually (I mean to an astonishing degree) sensitive to your moods. When there was a death in the family, mine was solicitous and had moments of depression mirroring those he saw family members going through. He had long bonded with this as his home and we as his caregivers, and was affected by our display of sadness. I know that’s hard to explain, but he actually picked up on the solemn atmosphere and in a way that was almost enigmatically perceptive and, believe it or not, tactfully undemanding. Quite an uncanny little canine.

    • arlene

      Thanks for the info on the papillon i will be looking for a intelligent. Sm. Breed to replace my current one who is starting to have age relating problems. And wanted to know about the papillon. My current dog is yorkie and is awesome but needs grooming. Expense.

      • arlene

        I must add I will keep my yorkie but need to train a service dog. A job that he excelled. At.

  • kristine

    i would like to add boston terriers to the list! bred to be companions they are loyal, shed little,
    bark rarely and are utterly content to be by the side of you and yours 24/7. they can enjoy a short walk every day, but then again, if you are sick or housebound…that’s fine too!
    they have fewer vet bills than the pugs, and just as funny and loveable.

    • mark

      Bostons are the best of dogs! Any one that haas had a Boston always talks about them, and will go up to complete strangers to meet their Boston. Great family dogs and great friends.

  • hannah

    i recomend a tea cup poodle i have two.they are realy sweet sometimes overenthusiastic and fun for little children (ages4-8)after that there a little to overenthusiastic for older girls but boys there perfect

  • hannah

    i recomend a young poodle for young kids (ages 5-8) because older girls are not enthusiastic but boys there perfect

  • kayleigh

    I was surprised to find your list omitted boxers. I have had 2 females boxers & have found them to always be loving & attentive with children, especially very young children. my current boxer is extrordinarily gentle with children, can take rough housing & remains at the child’s side as long as they are in our home. My english bulldog on the other hand, is gentle & tolerant, but does not seek to actively engage with a child. our boxer is also tolerant of other pets, such as rabbits. mothering & monitoring the rabbit when we have it in the yard.

  • ckson

    Well everyone has their preference as do

    i. I have had dogs for many years. I trust and love Doberman Pinschers, very loyal and protective. They are awesome animals very family orientated. To me they are the ultimate dog.

    • Kim

      I could not agree with you more. I have had my Doberman for 6 years now and could not wish for a better breed of dog. He is wonderful with my 5 year old daughter and has always been protective of her and I. I would recommend a Doberman as a family dog to anyone and I would never own another breed of dog but a doberman. They are also great with other dogs big or small.

    • peggyholley

      I have owned many breeds of dogs in my 77 years I find that Dobies and Roties are great family dogs Collies are wonderful and so are just plain mutts but believe it or not I found that the best friend my great grand children have is a Bloodhound that I raised with them. He loves them,watches over them like a guardian angel tracks them if the wander out of sight. of course they have to put up with his slobbering and hound smell but they love each other and I wouldn’t want to be the one to get between Jake and his kids.

  • Kara

    I have two rescues that are mixes (Lab/? and Beagle/?) and they are awesome with kids and great family pets. When you do an article like this, you should ALWAYS talk about how each breed has its own rescue group and mixes/mutts are amazing, too. TIred of people going to breeders when there are TONS of dogs in their own area waiting to be adopted. For instance, the lab rescue group that we got our lab mix from always has alike 20 dogs available for adoption JUST in our area. Get your dogs spayed and neutered and buy from shelters. :)

  • Dana Dwinell

    Not sure who put htis list together. I would agree with most of your selections however the papillon is generally NOT recommended for Families with small, rambunctious hildren. They are lively, intelligent and clean, but they are also Fragile- especially young paps. Most reputable breeders would not approve of a home with children under 8-10 probably. WHat happened to a representative from the Spaniels. I was “raised” by one. :-) but I have 4 papillons now.

  • http://shebudget elizabeth

    I grew up with purebred coons hounds and purebred Labs. I have yellow lab now he best dog ever love kids and so calm.

  • anynoumous

    i have a collie is a wonderful watch dog he follows the kids around the house. he is so sweet he is 9rs old now but surprisingly he still runs around like a puppy

  • Mike

    The author of this article clearly knows nothing about dogs. At least you could have done some research! We are all a little more ignorant after reading that article.

  • http://SheBudgets Laurie

    I think we can all agree that the type of dog we know and love as members of our family is going to be the dog that we think is the best for families. Lets face it, there are many ,many great dog breeds and mixed breeds who are wonderful family pets. There are also a great many dogs who are not that great for families with rambunctious children. We have two Havanese who are the most entertaining, hysterical dogs I have ever seen. They are extremely smart and also sensitive to the moods of our family members. They are always doing things that make us laugh. They are a toy breed with a tremendous amount of strength and stamina. One thing they are not is “Yappy Lap Dogs”. They are tough and durable with children, not at all fragile! Even though Havanese are considered a rare breed, there are also rescue groups for them too. Everyone should consider many breeds and dogs available at shelters to see which breed or individual dog is right for them! Sometimes they also pick you!

  • Terry

    Glad to see beagles on the list. As mentioned, they are sturdy and mostly placid with a great attitude. Plus, you can tie in the whole Snoopy thing…

    • Agee

      True. But a Beagle–Shepherd mix is even better. Had one. Fetched like a gymnastic shortstop, protected the house, didn’t shed, didn’t chew things, didn’t beg too much, didn’t bark incessantly, was gentle with children, did her business without fussing– practically on command, was hilarious how she could fake out and outrun other dogs, perfect city size 35-40 lbs . . .

  • Mark Davis

    I have a Rotterman (half Rottweiler half Doberman) named Rocky who is the best dog ever. Only problem is he doesn’t play well with other animals.

  • Leslie

    Personally, I would pick the Newfoundland if you are looking for a good dog with Children. Yes, I am a biased Newfie owner but I have this wonderful, loyal, sweet fur ball who can never get enough love. Yes, she sheds but I am convinced she is just lending me her fur for a sweater so I can be as warm as she is on a cold Michigan night. lol. I knew when I adopted her that Newfoundlands were good with children. I just didn’t realize how good they are until my nephew spent the night at my house about a year ago. He was a little over a year old and being that walking and running were kinda a new experience with him, my sister had come over to watch him with me. I didn’t have any covers for my outlets and my nephew was known to escape from his crib, so my sister was really worried about staying up all night to make sure he was safe. I told her not to worry because Matilda always alerts me if anything occurs in or around my house. I know when the neighbors come home across the street and the where abouts of the squirrels the tree that is in her yard.. If he stood up…I would know. Anyhow, we put my nephew to bed and we were watching some TV. We both noticed that Matilda would go and check my nephew every half an hour. She would go over his crib, sniff the air and glance over the crib rail for a couple minutes. After she deemed everything was fine, she would come back down and lay by the couch. Yeah, Newfies are that good. Nanna in Peter Pan is not as far of a stretch as I used to think.

    • Gee Dubya

      “Nanna” was a Saint Bernard.

      • J.S.

        Nana is a Newfoundland. She is only a Saint Bernard in Disney’s version of Peter Pan. You do realize that Disney isn’t the one that created Peter Pan, right? Disney didn’t create Pinnochio, Snow White, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, The Frog Princess, (and so on) either. They take well known stories/fairy tales and make their own version of them.

      • peggyholley

        I’m sure Nanna was wonderful most large breeds are easier to train can take more roughhousing from kids and enjoy it But a dog is what you make it.If you are looking for a purebred make sure you check the breeder out, meet the pups mother and father if possible. Sit down with the puppies and let one pick you it works out every time. NEVER EVER BUY FROM A PET SHOP as many of their puppies come from puppy mills. If you don’t really have your heart set on a certain breed Adopt from your local shelter those dogs seem to know that you saved them and will show love for the rest of their lives

  • David Wilson

    Hands down is our PBGV. Never has even growled at a person or other animal. Always wagging his tail and had plenty of spirit. Great with kids but can be a bit headstrong.

    Also Great Pyrenees are a great dog

  • mary

    Firstly, Beagles should have been number one on the list ;) I am the very proud mom of two 14 year old beagles. They are sweet, very loving little dogs with big personalities and are still very playful and healthy – they nap a little more than they did when they were younger. They love kids and both of mine are baby sitters. When the kids were little and my hounds were still puppies, they would go check on the kids several times a night. When the kids got on their nerves they would go lay down under the bed where the kids couldn’t get to them – this was RARE.

    All puppies, regardless of breed, are potentially great dogs. Before you bring a puppy home it is your responsibility to be ready to spend the time training it, playing with it and socializing it. Some breeds require more patience than others – do your research BEFORE you get a puppy. If you live in an apartment a beagle is the right size BUT keep in mind they like to bay and this may disturb your neighbors and the first few years they are very active little dogs and they crave play time, exercise, attention and affection. They are hunting dogs and their noses can get them into trouble, never ever ever take them out unless they are on a leash. If you are a couch potato, do not get a high energy dog like a jack russell- it will drive you nuts. I volunteer at a local shelter and it is so sad to see all of the animals that get dropped off because the owner had no idea what they were getting into. There is no friend more loyal than a dog, they deserve no less than that same unfailing loyalty from their owners.

    • Agee

      Agree with most of what you say, but I have had two dogs, one part beagle and now a coonhound, and they are fine off the leash in city woods. They don’t stray far and come on a whistle. I think that you need to take them out when they are very young and then they learn that they need to stay with you. A deer or a rabbit, yes, they might go after that with abandon, but squirrels–they can be called off. At least mine can. So, I think it depends on the dog, but my hunting dogs have been quite obedient about not running off and it’s a pleasure to see them track a bit through the woods and play with other dogs.

  • Mary

    My family and I have 5 dogs. 4 inside and 1 outside. Our sweet Boxer stays outside and comes in at night when its cold or raining. Then I have a chihuahua, a mini pin, chihuahua mix and two boxer pit puppies. The puppies are only 12 weeks and are very playful pups. I love everyone of my dogs and because I keep our biggest dog on a chain doesn’t mean he isn’t family.

    • Jewelz

      So sorry I disagree, how can you have 4 dogs in your home while another sits on a chain? unless its cold or raining? Thats not a family member, would ou exclude one of yur children like that? Dogs should not be on a chain, they should be part of your family, all day and all night, every day and every night.

      • Mary

        Just because he is on a chain does not mean he is loved any less than the others. Our home is not big enough for out Boxer to stay in the house and having him outside is a safety for us, cause he alerts us when something is wrong outside. We plan on moving soon and plan to fix it where he is inside a pin and not on a chain.

    • Cheryl

      People who keep dogs on a chain should not be allowed to own dogs.

      • Mary

        Thank you Cheryl for your ugly comment, but its only a comment. Not everyone has the option to have their dogs run lose and afford to buys others or keep them all in the home. We love our dogs just as much as you love yours and just because he stays outside does not mean we love him any less. Our baby is loved, fed, and we play with him on a daily basis. So next time you decide to make a comment about how I raise my babies keep it to yourself. My mom always taught me if you can’t say something nice KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!

        • SQ

          I believe you love your dog. SO? Doesn’t make you a good owner! You’re right, some people don’t have the option to let their boxer run loose and don’t have a house big enough. THEN YOU DON’T HAVE THE OPTION TO GET A BOXER! How selfish! Shelters are full of little dogs who need homes too. Bragging that you are a good owner because you feed it, wow, where is your gold star? You don’t have “a dog who stays outside,” you have a dog who stays on a CHAIN. And a big, active dog like a boxer? Deplorable. Too bad so sad if you think people are being mean, we think you are the one being borderline cruel to your puppy. How about this: he does not love you less than the chihuahuas do but he is forced to stay outside by himself. And what the HECK are you going to do with TWO pitt/boxer mixes? Buy two more chains? I am appalled. And while I do believe you love your dog, you love him a tiny fraction of how much I love my dog, a beautiful rescue pitt. Thinking of him on a chain all the time or outside at night instead of in my bed under the covers snuggled with me (with the 2 other dogs and my cat) breaks my heart, I would NEVER. I love him wayyyyy too much for that, I would die! And I have a HUGE yard.

          • peggyholley

            Amen to that if your house is too small or your yard isn’t fenced then get a smaller dog who can live in the house

          • Haas

            Ok, now we have to define “Love”. Sleeping with your pet is a true sign that you “love” your pet more than others. My children can crawl into my bed, not my dogs.

        • HIlda

          First of all, dogs are pack animals. So if you have 4 inside with you and one outside, alone AND chained up – he does not see himself as part of the “pack,” no matter how much you say you love him! In my county, it’s against the law to keep a dog tied up. And if you don’t want to be condemned for your dumbass actions against your dog, don’t mention them in a public forum!

          • Phoebe

            Agreed!

            The last thing a dog cares about is being “loved”. Yes, thats right, “love” is an abstract concept … dogs don’t comprehend in the same way we do. What a dog wants first is good food, fresh water, and a stimulating environment with low stress and comforts. I don’t know your circumstances – perhaps you have an amazing yard that provides everything your Boxer needs and take him on exciting walks everyday, so I will reserve my judgement.

            But to think that “loving” a dog is simply enough saddens me.

  • Emily Rickershauser

    I was sad not to see pitbulls on this list. Pitbulls are amazing dogs because they are so smart and all they want is the praise from the owners who really know and love this breed. They have a lot of power but are the biggest sweethearts with the perfect amount of energy for a family. They are the third most tolerant of all breeds and can take the roughness of growing children but can also be gentil around babies.

    If you do not respect this breed, this is not the breed for you, but once you go Pitt, you never go back.

    • Teddy

      Thank you, Emily! We have 3 pit mixes, and are total fans of the breed, purebred or mixed. They do need people who will commit to proper training, and who will spend plenty of time with their dog. But in the early 1900’s, they were indeed known as “nanny dogs.” They are great with kids, and fun companions.

    • Mary T.

      Pitties ARE amazing, intelligent, loyal, loving dogs who make great companions for the right owner. I believe that training pits (and mastiffs) is different from training a small dog. If you are not used to these breeds, finding a good dog training class to attend with your new buddy should be done before you bring your puppy home. These dogs have strong minds and you need a firm (not cruel) hand in training and commanding them. That said, our Neos and my buddy’s pit were probably the best dogs I’ve ever seen around children. Neo moms may occasionally kill their puppies chastising them– fair warning that you are taking on a tough dog!– but they can be gentle and loving with human children if socialized and trained properly. Our children used to climb up and lay on our male Neo when they were infants/toddlers; he nudged them back up if they started to slide off.
      Again, though, these are not dogs for a novice owner or someone who has always owned small dogs. They can become territorial and ‘bossy’ if not taught properly when young, and an improperly trained large dog who takes his own lead can be frightening even for its owner..

    • Ibu Dewi

      Thank you Emily. I have a pit bull and 12 grand children. People should see how sweet she is and docile with them. They climb all over her and she just lies there and if they are near her head she loves to give them kisses. At 72, i have had dogs all my life but never one as loving, smart, loyal and friendly as my Lulu. I would get another pit tomorrow if I could. I do not understand why they weren’t on this list either. People should be more opened minded and judge each dog separately and not as a breed. Remember it is not the breed but the owner that is being judged. Especially with pits. .

    • Anne

      Don’t ANYONE jump down my throat here, I’m sure I’m offending SOMEone when I say this, but it obviously needs to be said… I have to say that some of my best “dog friends” have been pitbulls, but I certainly would NEVER recommend them online to people who have little kids, AND who are surfing cute-photos-with-quickie-text sites like these, looking to choose a dog. Pits do NOT make good family dogs for most people (since most people do not know how to properly train and control them), and proposing this idea is a dangerous statement to make in a forum like this, unfortunately. This is because (1) too many people buy pitbulls and do not train them properly, or choose the breed for the wrong reason (fighting, looking more macho as an owner, etc). and (2) statistically, rightly or wrongly, they are the most dangerous breed with other dogs and children (strangers or family members), according to studies done by European governments, as well as too many anecdotal instances to name. Complain about the data all you want, but it’s real and you can’t change the facts for wishing.

      Again, this could be due to poor training, but let’s all be VERY realistic here and acknowledge that most would-be owners getting their advice from sites such as these are likely NOT going to train such a sturdy, strong-willed breed properly– IF AT ALL! ANY breed which, like pits, is going to need strong, willfull, and careful training, by a physically strong owner, does NOT belong here. (Personally, I’m kind of disappointed that the size and physical strength of the Newfie was not emphasized MUCH more under its photo, among many other problems with this list.)

      The lack of training can account for much of the European data, but not all. As much as I love pitbulls myself, there are too many pits in rescues who are there because (either by their own fault or by their owners’ fault) they did not fit in well with a family situation. Again, not saying its always the dog’s fault, but one should assume that quickie tidbits like these will not provide adequate warning to would-be owners about the training needs, AND that would-be owners surfing such sites are probably not going to do the in-depth research needed before purchasing a dog.) I had been researching adopting another dog recently, and in Illinois now, there seems to be an abundance of pits and pit mixes in rescue groups versus ANY other breed, and too many of the individual dogs are listed as “not for families with children”. Again, not blaming just the dog here– God knows I really do believe there are no bad dogs, just bad owners– but it does strike me as statistically significant that so many of the unwanteds are now pits or pit mixes, as opposed to Chihuahuas, or Russell Terriers, or Greyhounds, etc. This would logically lead one to conclude that either (1) the breed is a bad breed in the first place, or (2) the breed is a bad breed for most owners who will not know how to care for and train them. Personally, I lean toward #2, but that’s just my 2 cents. Either way, pits are NOT a good breed for this list.

    • http://shebudgets.toobnetwork.com/lifestyle/the-ten-best-dog-breeds-for-families/18077/11 Lisa

      I totally agree with you Emily!! I don’t think I can ever own another dog other than a Pit! Mine is the light of my life!

  • Lynn

    Adopt don’t shop! Every day millions of wonderful family dogs are euthanized in our shelters, if you want a specific breed than adopt from a breed rescue!

  • Jennifer

    I have owned many different breeds and in my opinion the Pitbull is the best dog ever. They are very loving and loyal to people, children and other dogs. They are also very intelligent and all they want to do is please you, lick you and cuddle with you. Unfortunately they have gotten a bad rap because of irresponsible owners that treat them badly and don’t socialize them. We had a bad view towards them as well due to what the media portrays, which is only the bad stuff about them, until a beautiful brindle pitbull wandered in our yard 8 years ago and that was it. We fell so in love with this girl and she has given us so much joy and laughter. Now we own three and if we could, we would rescue many more. Don’t believe what you hear…go to the shelter and see for yourself or better yet go foster one in your home to help out. That way it isn’t permanent…however, be careful….I guarantee you that you WILL end up wanted to adopt it!!!!

    • Anne

      Actually, the “His Master’s Voice” dog was named Nipper, and he was NOT a pit, as so many pitbull lovers like to claim, but a mix of Fox Terrier and Bull Terrier (the “Bull Terrier” breed then is not the same as what we today classify as a “pitbull”). And while it is undeniably cute, it is no more a valid reason for praising pitbulls than it is for praising the hard of hearing, or post-Victorian images of Santa holding a Coke bottle are for praising old men with beards.

      Nipper was an advertising image like many others. True, it was based on a painting of a real dog, but the dog did NOT pose listening to the phonograph, he was only painted as such. Later, the painting was bought and used as an ad for The Victrola Phonograph Company.

      Lassie was a great dog, too, but that doesn’t mean that real Collies can always save little children who’ve gotten into danger. and/or communicate that danger every time to their human owners. And she was MUCH more a real Collie doing real things than Nipper was a real pitbull listening to real Victrola records.

    • rhonda harvin

      yes yes yes. right on, Jennifer

  • Chuck

    Some people have a hard time understanding why my dogs live so long and are so friendly. They are treated just like they were my children. they are with me 24 hours a day. If you see me you see them. My dane sits in the front seat just like a person. He and all of the others will play and have fun with dhildren and adults. There are 2 things you can not do. 1 miss treat any children in front of they. They will bite you in an instant. 2 Is to put your hands on me in a threating way. My danes live to be about 12 and I had a Lab and a Nove Scoca live to about 18. They reqired a lot of care in their old age but I did not mind. The Odd thing about the Lab is she would attack and kill any animal that ventured onto her property. Even Coons.

  • Jeanne Gauthier

    We have had dogs ever since I can remember…mostly Shepherd mix, and 2
    AGhan hounds, (not so good with small children) and one Doberman mix, she was a stray that my daughter found near a truck stop..and was an absolute sweetheart. Most of our dogs came from Animal Rescue Leaques…except the one we have now…She is an Old English Mastiff…WOULD

  • Jeanne Gauthier

    We have had dogs as long as I can remember…mostly Shepherd collie mixes, also 2 Afghan hounds at one time,(they are alittle aloof with anyone, and not a real good match for small kids) We had one Doberman mix that was a stray that my daughter found near a truck stop, somone abandoned her because she was coming into heat..wonderful temperment, loved everyone. Had her for 9 yrs. Most of our dogs have come from Animal Rescue centers, except the one we have now. She is an Old English Mastiff…would lick you to death if you let her. BIG Girl 175 lbs…fawn color with Black Mask, we got her from a registered breeder. I have always wanted A Mastiff…and she is 3 yrs old now. Lovable nature…does not bark excessivily. You do have to keep her ears clean…loves to play. Because of her size I would say kids over 9 – 10 yrs old would be better. She could wipe out a 1 -2 yr old just wagging her tail, and she wouldn’t realize it. But undeniable love and affection,low shedding. loves to be with HER PEOPLE..not the type to chain to a dog house outside all the time. They call them GENTLE GIANTS…and they are. Some people feel that feeding/medical are more expensive with a big dog…yes they are…but she is well worth every penny…I would get another Mastiff in a minute should she someday pass over “the rainbow bridge.”

  • Vito

    Pembroke Welsh Corgis make wonderful family dogs. Although they shed a bit, they are highly intelligent, fiercely loyal and protective, and have few health problems. I have had 4 pems over the past 30 years, and they have been a delight. They were great with kids, and were only mildly challenging to train.

  • mantion

    Golden are good, nefies are good, pyrs are good,

    labs are ok

    Hittle dogs are bad

    ANY pit bull is HORRIBLE. Never get a pit, and if you have a family kill any pit that comes near they are all dangerous. If you haven’t seen them attack yet just count yourself lucky.

    • Mary T.

      What a load of hooie about pitts. It’s obvious that you’ve never been around a properly trained one but only take your views from occasional horror stories on the news; actually knowing a pitt might give weight to your opinions.
      And you should be ashamed of yourself for promoting violence against dogs, especially those that haven’t done anything wrong.
      You are the one that is HORRIBLE.

    • Mary T.

      BTW- What the heck is a “hittle” dog?

    • nicky

      you’re an absolute ignorant arse – people who see you should judge and kill you, how would you feel about that?

  • Carol in StL

    Very surprised you’d pick some of those breeds over a Standard Poodle. I’d like to know how they were ruled OUT. They’re great family dogs – smart, extremely easy to train, non-shedding, athletic (but don’t require lots of room/exercise), and tend to be pretty easygoing and laid back. Yet, a little dog who’d be easily injured (Papillon) makes the list; I like Pap’s, but I don’t think dogs that small are safe with young children.

    • Rachel

      Absolutely agree with you Carol. I grew up with a Standard and she was a lovely dog. She was intelligent and loyal and put up with a lot of nonsense from three growing children. She passed away at the age of 15 and I’m now grown and living on my own with a young male Chessie but he is usually compared to Bridgette whenever I bring him to visit the farm.

  • rockit syntist

    By ommiting the German Shepard Dog which consistently makes the the 5 most popular breeds list, the article loses all credibility. GSDs love and interact with their families as if they were another one of the children. They are naturally loyal and protective, especially of the youngsters. Of course like any breed, there are positives and negatives, but when you add it all up it makes no sense that they were excluded here.

  • Adam

    Just to add my input. We have a full-blood pit (2.5 y/o) and a pit/boxer mix we got from a shelter. I have watched my 2 y/o daughter bouncing up and down on my pit’s back while she is watching and singing along to the television.
    Pits WERE bread as nanny dogs. As long as you teach them that you are the pack leader, and raise them together, you cant ask for a better dog with kids.
    And as people have stated, you shouldn’t leave any dog alone with little children. Kids can be much more mischievous than any dog :)

    • Mary T.

      AMEN!!! Sooner leave my little ones with one of these dogs than with some babysitters out there!

    • Anne

      Adam, what a load of B.S. about pitbulls! “Nanny dogs”??? Were you being serious?? You are a MORON!

      FYI, they are called “pitbulls” b/c hundreds of years ago, they were thrown into PITs with bears and BULLs, and expected to kill the larger animal single-handedly– it was a spectator sport, like dog fighting is today, only more popular and socially accepted. Their snouts are shaped the way they are, so that they can breathe while still attaching their extra-powerful jaws into the throats of their animal victims. Sadly, many people today still use them for violence, which is why many have been bred to be even more dangerous over the past few decades.

      Their jaws are more powerful than most breeds’ jaws, and they are less likely to detach from their victims once they bite– in fact, their jaws find it more difficult to detach than to latch on.

      PLEASE stop passing around such nonsensical & unfounded hogwash. It only shows you to be a mindless follower of unscientific propaganda. (Btw , I have a great bridge to sell you in Brooklyn, if you’re in the market for real estate, and a great Ponzi scheme you can make lots of money by investing in…)

  • ck

    It is perfectly evident from all the comments why dogs are man’s best friend. I like cats also (have one) but there’s much you can do with a dog that you couldn’t possibly do with a cat. Everyone has their favorite breed and I like many of them mentioned here but my favorite is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Very playful, affectionate, and loyal. He and our cat are best buds.

    • http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/health/cavalierkingcharlesspaniels.html J.S.

      Out of all the small dogs one could possibly choose, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is at the bottom of the list. Their health problems are off the charts! Breeders of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel have done a very good job of hiding the fact that the breed is in such peril. If you haven’t watched the documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, then you need to. This article also sums up their health. http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/health/cavalierkingcharlesspaniels.html

      “No one should acquire a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel today unless they’re prepared to spend lots of money for heart care and to very likely lose their dog in middle age.

      As if heart disease wasn’t enough, epilepsy is also a serious problem in Cavaliers.

      And the newest disease to strike this hard-luck breed is syringomyelia (seer-IN-go-my-ELL-ya), where a Cavalier puppy is born without enough room in his skull to accommodate his brain.”

      Breeders of the Cavalier often hide or diminishing the health problems of their dogs. They want to continue showing and/or selling them so they aren’t going to be honest. If someone is okay with all the vet bills, extra care, and heart ache that comes along with having a Cavalier then they might as well get one from a rescue. At least their money isn’t going into the pockets of those selfish breeders.

      It is a horrible shame that one of the sweetest breeds on this planet has been ruined by greed, stupidity, and stubbornness.

      • http://www.charliedogandfriends.com Suzy Allman

        This is news to me. Thanks for the post, JS. That’s really tragic.

      • rockyfortune

        thanks for all the information regarding the OE bulldog…i never realized what humans did to these poor creatures…sorry folks..JS schooled you all when it came to cited information..and facts!

  • Johnny

    I am the proud owner of two Newfoundlands. Nanny is the perfect description of these dogs. Newfs are very protective of children. We have two new-born granddaughters and these dogs will not leave their side. We have also had numerous toddlers visit our two-story home and the dogs will place themselves between the toddler and the stairs to prevent mishaps on the stairway.
    Yes, they do shed and require frequent brushing.
    As for being hard to find, I located several breeders on the internet within 150 miles of my rural home.
    Getting my first Newf was the best decision on a pet I have ever made. I doubt I will ever own another breed.

  • Johnny

    Newfs are also extremely tolerant with a high pain threshold. Children have pulled our dogs’ ears, large thick tail, their big floppy lips and the dogs never seem to bother; they don’t even bat an eye.

  • Arlene

    Were are the Shetland Sheepdogs on this list. Not only are they extremely intelligent, they have a sweet disposition, are easy to train, love kids and are just a great dog over all. I am on my second “Sheltie” my first died at 14 years of age. I don’t know how anyone puts together a list of great family dogs and leaves out the Sheltie.

    • arlene

      My kids had a wonderful sheltie and a collie they were the best and loved all the kids too

  • RT

    Sadly, the choices represent the same nonsense breeds at doggie shows…
    Only one breed stands out as superior, and , therefore, seldom mentioned…
    The Great Dane…a massive magnificent and sensitive dog that loves childrens and
    family….

  • Gee Dubya

    “Goldens are almost everything a Labrador is, except with a much shorter life span then the Irish Setter…”
    Would that be “then” or “than”? And how does the Irish Setter’s lifespan compare to the Labrador? Does anyone proof read this junk, or is it meant only for graduates of the public school system?

    • missybuto

      Be careful about Goldens short life span..We had a big girl ,GB (gingerbread) for over eighteen years… Exercise and social interaction I feel helped for her longivity. I always called her the PET PIG during her time with us growing up…

  • debbie

    ive had german shepard mixes all my life. would’nt have any other. my last shadow was the best ever. i got him from a police impound and he was being put to sleep that night. on his kennel it was written “power house” he was a 6 month old puppy. when our eyes met i knew he was the one for me. i couldnt have kids of my own and wanted another in the family. i was raising my husbands two daughters 9 and 10 years old which i love very much. i asked the officer what the Power House on the cage ment. she said that he will tear up and chew up everything and destroy the house and wouldnt be good with children. i didnt have babies at home and still i knew i wanted this dog. my mom tried to get me to look at another but i just knew. i took this puppy home and he was the best dog ive ever had. never chewed nor tore anything didnt even dig holes. he was very gental with his stuffed animals never tore them up. he was loving, caring, obedient, and very loyal to all of us. slept with all of us and went to work with my husband and i in our landscaping business. then we became grandparents. i was a little worried with tiny babies in the house but he took to them as if they were his own. protective slept next to the cribs. if the babies cried he was right there making sure theywere not being hurt. never agressive not even a growel. we had shadow through 2 children
    and 3 grandchildren we all lived together in the same house. the only time there was any type of aggressiveness was when 3 people came into our yard trying to steal our equipment. shadow did not let them know he was there. he nudged my arm at 3 o-clock in the morning whined i seen the shadows on the window, woke my husband. quietly i whisperd a word that i made up into shadows ear. he went into a hunting posistion and i opened the door and after them he went. needless to say we have never had that happen again. i would love to find another couple of german shepard/dingo dogs just like him. i pray someday we will. oh by the way he never went to any obedient schools didnt have to he was perfect.

    • http://Facebook Fritz

      That’s is a heartwarming read! Thank you! It is honest and reminescent of my past and present canine family members. Pure love and loyalty!

    • http://www.charliedogandfriends.com Suzy Allman

      Yes, Debbie — that was great. Shadow sounds like he was a one-in-a-million animal and that’s to your credit. :0) Love reading this testimony, thank you for sharing.

    • Agee

      Shepherd mixes can be fantastic. Takes the edge off the negative shepherd qualities while still often maintaining the great shepherd qualities of obedience, loyalty, protectiveness, and desire to please.

    • Sheila

      There is no better family dog than a German Shepherd Dog or German Shepherd mix! When raised the right way a family dog should be, actually with the family, they are generally healthy, hardy, friendly dogs. Easy to train, practically housebreak themselves. They do shed (heavily in the Spring, with some shedding year-round), but a good brushing once a week eliminates most of the shed hair. Highly inbred show bloodlines have given the breed a bad name for health problems, but there are a great man reputable breeders of working, obedience, and just plain pet shepherds who have fine dogs and stand by them. I like to adopt them from shelters or rescues; that way, you see the dog’s adult personality for yourself.
      Some alternate sources to consider when adopting, especially German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, & Labs, are retired military working dogs and dogs from adopt-out dogs from guide dog programs. There are many retired MWDs, usually after having served 3 to 5 years for bomb detection, who need forever homes. And only a small percentage of guide dog candidates graduate as guide dogs; those who don’t are adopted-out as pets. Both of these kinds of dogs are highly trained, socialized, and tested “safe” before being adopted-out to families.
      With any breed, a dog is largely what you make of it. But I agree with some of the other commenters here: some of the breeds in this list are definitely NOT for first-time dog owners.

  • http://Facebook Fritz

    Btw, have loved a variety of mix breeds and purebred; from pug, beagle, Big German Shepherd, wirehair unidentifiable small mix, labrador mix, retriever mix, small to medium mix of shepherd, dachshund, Newfoundland, and Yorkshire terrier (with likely chow parts)… The nonverbal intuition and soulful connection is beyond description. Superior to any human, deserving of increased protection.

  • debbie

    p.s. please forgive my spelling. i was in a car accident and lost alot of my memory spelling, math, memories and other things, thank you

  • tygress66

    I disagree with this list. The American pit bull terrier isn’t listed at all? And is the dog formerly known as the “nanny dog”. You’ve let the media warp your choices here. Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Great Danes, and the APBT and Staffordshire terriers are all excellent breeds to have if you have children. Labs and golden retrievers, though hailed as great family dogs, tend to bond more with a single person in a family than to the family as a whole. I am speaking from experience here.

    • HIlda

      Tygress66 – I agree with you! The APBT has gotten such a BAD rap thanks to terrible owners, the media, drug dealers, that a-hole Michael Vick, etc., and people don’t realize that they’re great dogs! The Little Rascals had “Petey” – a pit bull. Helen Keller, who was deaf & blind, had 2 pit bulls as service dogs. They were THE quintessential American dog in the early 1900s and were used on posters to sell war bonds. There was Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat.

      All dogs can be great with people if they’re socialized from an early age. I have a 100-lb lab/rottie mix who’s been going to nursing homes since he was 3 months and is now a therapy dog. He’s great with kids & people. And 2 other rescued mutts, one a 95-lb pit-mix who only wants to play and sit on my lap. It’s not the breed, it’s how they’re raised.

  • Mary T.

    “Unlike other toy breeds, papillons are spirited, highly intelligent, fun-loving and eager to please”
    I beg to differ. Chihuahuas are also highly intelligent, fun-loving, and eager to please. They are also easy to train (hence their preponderance in circus-type acts). The problem is that too many people don’t know to train their dog (or how to); they must think that dogs are like plants: give them food, water, and room, and they’ll be fine. People don’t realize that ALL dogs need to be trained, and ALL need to accept the owner as the alpha dog. Too many folks think that chihuahuas are yappy little ankle-biters bcause they’ve run into a dog whose owner has not taught the dog NOT to be that way.
    My long–haired chihuahua is my Medical Alert animal. In the year that I’ve had him, he has only barked when I’m going into seizure. He goes everywhere with me, either on leash, in arms, or in his tote, and is friendly to all who approach him (if I give permision to him). He’s also learned to ‘seek’ if I hide his toy,even working paddles and nudging doors open to get to it. Very clever! After all, their ancestors were the terriers of Mexico.
    We just adopted his baby sister, who was not given any training. In the past month she has learned 4 commands (sit, stay, down, quiet). She is more vocal than he is, but it’s just ‘talking'; if I answer she’s satisfied and goes back on her way.
    They are both lovies and will cuddle with anyone in the family. Yes, that took some teaching, but it is well worth it. Chihuahuas tend to be one-person dogs who tolerate the rest of the household. Ours have clear preferences but will obey all.
    I wouldn’t put one in the house with very small children, but my 7 yr old son is fine with ours. and vice versa. The new baby even likes to cuddle with our ‘puppy’ best, much to our teen daughter’s dismay.
    I’ve always had big dogs– shepherds and mastiffs– and never wanted a toy dog. I was leery of accepting a helper so small (5.5 lbs, 6 ” tall). I fell for all the myths and fallacies about them. I can now say that I’d be lost without my little boy; I call him my Five Lbs. of Freedom because now I can leave home without fearing seizures. He gives me enough warning to get out of the crosswalk/off the stairs/away from the plate glass window before a seizure hits and I fall. He is truly a miracle to me, and probably the best trained dog I’ve ever owned.

    • Sheila

      Every Papillon I’ve ever met was very hyper & snappish. They ARE generally very intelligent, but I would not recommend them for families with children.

  • Patty H.

    Several of these choices are just bizarre. How good an experience is the family dog going to be if it dies prematurely? Bulldogs, as a breed, are host to an enormous number of health problems, many of which are related to the dog’s appearance. In other words, if it’s a “well-bred” Bulldog that looks like a Bulldog, it’s going to be prone to breathing problems, among other things. Papillons are too fragile for homes with small children. Golden Retrievers are prone to hemangiosarcoma, and serious temperament issues are starting to crop up in the breed.
    I have (and breed) Lakeland Terriers. My dogs are great with kids, no health issues and don’t shed. The breed IS difficult to housebreak. There’s no perfect breed. I would agree with alot of other posters that an adult rescue can be the very best pet for your family. You KNOW what size you’re getting, what the dog’s temperament is like., etc. Any genetic problems (yes, mutts have genetic problems) will have probably declared themselves. If you want a puppy, then research the breeds, pick a serious hobby breeder who breeds for health, and get a carefully-bred purebred puppy.

  • Andrea

    To pick abreed that is the “best ” is impossible. As we see, we have all had great dogs of all types. Pure bred, mixes, small, large, and most hopefully a rescue. I’ve had purebred Husky’s, Dobs, Pits, and Poms. All of them GREATdogs in their own right. After the death of my last Pom, I rescued a lab/pit /husky off the street and then a sheppard/terrier (looks like a black coyote) from an insane family. I work in the dog field. To the person that says you get poor quailty from a shelter..YOUR AN IDIOT!!! Breeders are idiots. 8 million dogs and cats are euthanized EVERY YEAR due to over crowding…Go to a shelter, there are pure bred dogs that owners have died. You never know what will attract you. The answer to a great dog is a great owner. Bad dogs come from bad ownership, most of the time. I’ve had more wet kisses from pitts than any other breed. But leave me tied up out side, not fed, kicked every once in awhile and I’m going to become aggresssive too!! Let’s face it folks,DOGS ARE AWESOME!!! Learn the basics of training and you will have a winning combination and go to a shelter and save a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Foxymokey

    I have had two Norwegian Elkhounds and they were the best dogs ever. My Foxy will soon be two years old and still acts like a puppy. She is highly intelligent and is extremely loyal to our family. She needs lots of exercise but is a very loving dog. The first one came as a stray and stayed until her death. We missed her so much that we went to Wisconsin to get a puppy. She has been the joy of our lives. I am 69 and my husband is 85 and she has kept us young. Most eople in our area have never heard of this breed but I would highly recommend it. Both of ours had a wonderful temperament and love to play.

    • Sheila

      Yes! Elkhounds and GSD/Elkhound mix are two really terrific family dogs!

  • Virginia

    This is the best post Ive ever read, very little bickering at each other, everyone talking about the love of dogs. ME TOO!!! Mine are a Yorkie and a Lhasa. Spoiled rotten, my Lhasa loves little kids, the Yorkie not so much

  • Adam S.

    I’m 62 and have had dogs all my life. I certainly prefer them to cats. I agree that owners often fall in love with their dogs,regarding them as members of the family. Let’s look at the other side of the coin. I have personally been bitten 7 times. Believe it or not, 3 of the bites were provided by 3 different Labrador retrievers and once by a German shepherd. Please don’t start by telling me they “were being protective of the family.” In no case was I a threat to the familie’s life or property. And I fully expect to hear that the dogs “weren’t raised correctly.” I, on the other hand, owned a mixed breed pooch adopted from the S.P.C.A. After having bit 2 people, I returned it. One recpient of the bite was a man with a false leg (no pain involved) and the other was a sweet woman of 65 years. No law suits ocurred.

  • Janet

    Let’s face it, the best family dog is yours!

    • Mike H.

      Yup

  • Revenwyn

    I’m sorry, but best family dog, hands down is the Bichon Frise. They are small but sturdy enough for children to play with as they have a large bone structure for a small breed. They have plenty of energy for play but also like to cuddle. They have a “life is a bowl of cherries” attitude and approach to life, and are usually not barky like most small breeds, though sometimes they give a surprisingly low pitched bark for a small dog in warning about a stranger. They will live until your child goes to college, maybe even after. (I am 30 and the bichon my mom got when I was 11 is still kicking, even though he is my mom’s dog now.)

  • drodgers

    Dogs are as individual as people and don’t always conform to breed norms, whether you’re talking about health or temperament. The main thing there, if you’re looking at a purebred, is to take a good look at what the breeder has and what guarantee they’re willing to give. While mixed breeds are a mixed bag, there can be some advantages when you have one that gets the favorable traits from it’s lineage. I was raised with show dogs of various breeds, at various times: Airedale Terriers, Irish Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, and Basenjis. I love terriers; they’re great protectors and as loving a dog as you’ll find, but they’re generally not for everyone as you have to establish that you’re the boss, and keep them occupied or they will find a way themselves – kind of like having a toddler in the house. Basenjis are nice, but can be aloof and become strictly a one-person dog. Again, though, dogs are individuals and you just have to find the one works with your family dynamic.

  • Shawneekat

    I can’t believe German Shepherds were not listed. They are intelligent, loyal, and wonderful dogs for children. Yes they are large, they shed, and they need a lot of exercise, but your children will not be more loved and protected by any other breed.

    If you are going to get a dog for a family do A LOT of research. Match the dog to your family and life style – not just because they are soooo cute!!

  • http://www.mansfieldWoods.net/ Richie

    Not to politicize too much an innocent discussion, I’m moved to mention that any good behaviorist at a shelter or rescue, along with your own good power of observation, can find a senior dog to complement your family. Otherwise, your purchase of a purebred puppy facilitates the healthy shelter dog’s death by what is euphemistically called “euthanasia”. HSUS estimates that 3- 4 million of these innocents are murdered annually.

    I have saved three such, all mixes. And they have saved me.

    • rockyfortune

      I was waiting for someone to bring that up…i have rescued three from my local shelters and they are/were the best dogs..my sister went out and paid 2000 bucks for a purebred yorkie and basically went bankrupt paying for all its health problems.

    • http://www.charliedogandfriends.com Suzy Allman

      This is such an excellent point. Don’t like the “bummer” of the shelter atmosphere? Ask them to find a dog for you, and bring him to meet you in the lobby. Or find a fostered dog online, through Pet Rescue.

      We heard about our almost-senior dog Wolf during a casual conversation in the dog park. He’d been on the “inside” for nearly six years. I couldn’t wait to get to him — and when I got to the shelter, they had him waiting for us to meet. I didn’t need to tour the shelter, to walk past kennel after kennel with deserving dogs. I wanted this dog, and the shelter made the experience that much easier.

      Wolf is free because someone at the shelter knew him very well, and was able to pass on this information in a helpful way. This dog that had been confined for much of his life now enjoys daily hikes (off leash) in the forests north of New York City, and is the best pet ever.

  • Gary Kaiser

    I have 2 roti’s, 1 for 13 years and 1 for 11 years, both died of cancer, but what dogs they were, great with the kids and fantastic family dogs, smart and loving. Now I have a lab and and terrier, and again they are all a family could ask for in a loving dog. I guess what I’m trying to get at is, it doesn’t matter the breed, it matters the family; a family full of love that makes their dog a family member, will reep great rewards. Just remember that bringing a dog into your family should be a lifetime committment, because they will commit their lives to you and your family….

  • pat

    I have a Whoodle — poodle/wheaten mix. Great family dog. Sweet. Cheerful. Smart. I spent about 6 months searching for the right dog. I’d grown up around German Shepards — who should also be on this list. Fabulous dogs but I developed an allergy and had to find a new breed. My vet recommended this hybrid. In my search I saw some of the most pathetic situations. Backyard breeders who should have been arrested. Rescue people who were completely out of their minds. I understand all the reasons to go to a rescue but my experience with them was awful. Dogs that were completely unfit for a family home. Lied about the dogs’ backgrounds. Invasive contracts. I’m happy to have someone come look at my home to make sure that I can provide a safe and healthy environment, but once the deal is done, it’s done. Some of them wanted more than adoption agencies placing children. I’m sure there are great rescue people out there but boy, everyone I came in contact with was fanatical, deceitful, and manipulative. After months of that, I decided I wasn’t looking for the right dog, I was looking for the right breeder; someone who really cared about the health and well-being of the dogs. After a lot of checking, I found a wonderful woman with a lot of experience with both poodles and wheatens. She talked to me about my experience with dogs, about my lifestyle, why I wanted a dog. We had a good conversation. Then she picked the dog for me. Absolutely a perfect fit. Curled up at my feet right now. I get many compliments from vets and others who really know dogs about how well bred this dog is. I’m glad there are good breeders out there who really do care about their dogs.

  • Thade

    Like to know the author of the doggie book this came from and see if u purchased the only copy. This is ALL personal opinion(which u r ALWAYS entitled to)and really gives people a narrow view of which dog may fit in their family. Anyone realize more people r bitten annually by lab or retriever type dogs than any other breed? This article seems to point to them as a GREAT family dog. Not that they dont make great companions but you may not want small kids around them. ETC,ETC,andETC. Do some more research instead of throwin somethin together b4 deadline. It is difficult and spendy to find a good purebred dog. Most families will b far better off w a cross of one or two on your list as they usually have a easier goin temperament and seem far less likely to have costly medical issues down the road

  • Caroline

    YooHooo, Amber – you forgot PitBulls – they make the best family pet as long as they don’t come from an litter of inbreds and are not mistreated and chained to trees and abused/neglected.

  • Mike H.

    No hair dogs?
    If you or a family member has allergies, then there is no dog on this list for you.

  • RR Schumacher

    Gee, not much on Yellow Labs. Recently our 12-year-old male had to be put down because of cancer. It’s so sad that cancer continues to plague us and takes the people and pets we love.
    But as far as our Labrador he was crazy fun. Got him at 8-weeks from a N. Colorado breeder and our Lab was a treat. Great with everyone and intelligent, jumped in the Jeep and we were off. He’d see a stream and dash in, turn around and look at me like ‘Are you coming or not?!!’
    He was a knucklehead the first couple years, thought he was a gopher and gnawed on everything including river rocks. and he thought he was a lap dog, funny.
    Miss him much and in time I’ll have another.
    Thank you much puppy boy!

  • L0ren

    Well, I have a bulldog that will soon be 8 years old. When I got my dog, My Vet informed me that bulldogs do have several health issues. Best upon my experience, the Vet was telling me the truth that Bulldogs do incur breathing problems, skin issues, ear infections and bladder problems. However, the love and devotion that my dog gives to me outweighs these issues because she is the best dog a person can have as a pet. They are expensive to maintain but the joy they bring is unreal. However, I will give it much thought before replacing her with another bulldog just because of their cost to keep healthy.

  • mlock2354

    Boston Terriers should be at the top of this list. Great dogs,love everyone,very easy to train and SMART. They have a good long life and even when they get older still enjoy a good game of tug. They are really great little dogs with so very much personalites.

  • MrSatyre

    Bichon Frise. ‘Nuff said. ;-)

  • RMJoyce

    Everyone believes that their own dog is the absolute best…and even more than breed, environment and training will often determine a pet’s temperment. There is no better pet for babies, children, teens, young adults, middle-agers and old folks, however, than a Boxer. Bred from the first as a companion, uniformly affectionate, always gentle, and uncommonly sensitive to your moods and feelings , the Boxer wants nothing more than to be by your side…or on top of your side. Or in your lap. Or sprawled across your feet. Or plastered up against you and hogging your side of the bed like a moist hairy snuffling suction cup.

    A Boxer is funny, loves to run errands with you, adores all your friends (and neighbors, the mailman, the bug exterminator, the lawn service, Girl Scouts with or without cookies, the plumber, the painter, the garbage man, the paper boy, and neighborhood serial killer), and is equally happy going out for a walk, driving eight hours to Grandma’s, napping on top of the heating or air conditioning vent, or stuffed into a pink tutu and wheeled around in a stroller. A Boxer easily learns to sit, stay, lie down, and come, if it wants to, and is a natural beauty, with gorgeously jiggly jowls, dancing brows, sardonic tilt to the ears, and a twitchy rabbity nose.

    Almost without flaw, the Boxer is saved from the sterility of total perfection by a charming drool, alternately blowing whimsical foamy bubbles and oozing trailing strings of saliva strong enough to braid. Entertainment at its best, watching drool drip can be as much fun as watching paint dry. Luckily, every baby Boxer comes with a lifetime supply of spray cleanser and matching towels, which guarantees the Boxer’s place at the top of every Best Dogs list.

    • Monica

      TOTALLY AGREE! I have had many dogs, purebreds, mixed and boxers are hands down the best family dog!
      My boxer was the gentlest dog ever. And the funniest! What a baby he was!

      If you don’t believe us – look up “Linus the Boxer ” on youtube and you will see what wonderful dogs they are! Linus loves his babies!

    • http://www.reddirtboxerrescue.com heather

      love, love, love your description of the loyal boxer!! i have been working with a boxer rescue in the oklahoma city area for four years and i will NEVER own another breed again. i personally have rescued and rehabilitated over 30 boxers during this time and one thing is certain…no matter what a boxer has faced in their past, they are sooooo happy to have another chance at life, it will not be a problem for their future. the ONLY problem with them is their owners….meaning, they don’t always do their research before buying a boxer because the truth is, they are not for everyone. if you want a dog to toss in the back yard for the kids to play with when its convenient…a boxer IS NOT for you. boxers are not pets, they are family and should be treated as such so as not to break their spirit. in return, you will have a lifetime of love, kisses, and wiggles from the most loyal and loving breed ever!

  • Sicily

    I i much be confused, because I thought people were to comment on the dog pictured.I have had 5 newfies in my life time. All were kind and gentle. It is a fact that they are very protective of children and the whole family as a matter of fact. I can’t have a dog where I live now . I have had a black Lab, Bassett hound, a Siberian Husky, a Minature Poodle and my Newfies. But you bet your sweet a…………. if I could it would another Newfie.

  • Sadie and Sunny’s Mom

    Believe it or not, the only dog I have ever had trouble with was a purebred lab. Incredible dog, but kind of lost it after I became pregnant. He attacked my sister-in-law and nearly took her eye out. He had never been fixed, which the vet said may have contributed. Not normal for a lab at all. My current mixed breeds seem much calmer. The lesson I learned is, don’t judge a dog by it’s cover and make sure they are fixed. Also listen to the attributes of the breed. Dogs have been my best friends all my life, but they are animals and need to be respected as such.

  • Sicily

    Newfies were also breed for water safety.There were times when I would go swimming in the lakes and gorges where I live and she always came with me. There were times when she would get so tired I would have to hold her up by her collar to keep her head above water. She would never get out of the water until I did. Now that’s devotion!

  • Ami2013

    Australian Shepard : D ONE OF THE BEST : P

  • Fran

    I have 2 Miniature Poodles, 1 is Chocolate (5yrs), 1 is White (1yr). we had to put a 18 yr old
    Poodle to sleep last year. They make outstanding pets, they do not shed, are very lovable, and are very glad to see me when I come home. They give a lot of Love and ask for very little in return. They go in the backyard when they have to go potty, several times a day and they run, exercise, and are very entertaining! They are family. All our neighbors are crazy about them. M children, who are grown adults, are jealous of our attention to them because we treat them well. When you have a pet, any pet, you have to be a responsible pet owner, just like you should be a responsible parent! I am also a Emergency Room/Critical Care Nurse and would never have a Pitbull, Rottweiler, or Doberman in my home. I see way too many serious dog bites to people of all ages from these breeds.

  • Some chick

    Not so sure you can do any better than a Lab or Lab mix. Best dog
    I have ever had. I have had small , big ect….NONE as smart, gentle
    and mellow as our Lab/golden mix.

    • Kailani’s Mom

      You are so right! My labs have always been by far the most loving and smart companions. My 2 year old lab/pit mix Kailani is my autistic adult sons helper. She is so bright and intuitive. The smartest girl I’ve had the pleasure of adopting. She has brought so much joy, love and happiness to my family. Mixes are awesome, lab mixes are mind blowing! : )

  • John Nicoletti

    Totally agree, Rosie. Our Josie, was a real doll, and so great a companion. She was also a smiler. Whenever, she would meet new people, she would open up with a huge smile. We lost her to cancer at age 12. Still miss her. She was raised with our J.R., a Lhasa Apso, who also is a treasure. J.R. will be 15, in October. He has lost most of his eyesight, but is amazing, how he navigates thru the house. Gotta love all these furry creatures of God.

  • John

    Not bashing any of the other breeds listed and not pretending to be an expert on any of them either, but is she really saying there are 9 breeds better for families than labs???

  • Kailani’s Mom

    To all you breeders: With all the homeless dogs in our shelters, being killed by the handfuls each day…shame on you for deliberately breeding more dogs. I just don’t get it. It’s irresponsible. Why don’t you visit your local shelter/pound and take a look at all those dogs/puppies…how many will not be there tomorrow because of overcrowding etc? I have adopted healthy adult pure bred labs, boxers and mastiffs who were breeder bred and ended up in the shelter. Heart breaking. It’s to bad, for profit breeding sucks. Don’t brag about it, it’s not acceptable in these times. Shame on you. My 2 year old adopted lab/pit mix is hands down the BEST dog I’ve ever had. This baby girl is Smart, smart, smart! Mixes are awesome. Again, adopt people, have a heart and do the right thing. : )

  • Mac’s Mom

    I agree with the posters here who emphasize the need to have a well bred dog–even Scottish Terriers, not considered to be a good family dog, have been raised successfully with children. And for those of you criticizing those of us who get our dogs from breeders–most responsible breeders don’t overbreed–and the dogs from shelters come from people who don’t care enough to get their animals fixed. My dog’s contract came with a stipulation that I had to have him neutered. And by the way, you see very few Scotties in shelters or in puppy stores. And all of the breed clubs have excellent breed rescue programs. I don’t feel as if I should be responsible for irresponsible people not fixing their dogs or dumping them in shleters because they are no longer cute or convenient.

    • http://www.charliedogandfriends.com Suzy Allman

      I agree. You’re not responsible for picking up the slack for other people’s irresponsibility, and nobody HAS to go to the shelter or a rescue for their pet.

      And that’s what makes the people who DO go to a shelter for their dog all the more wonderful, to my mind. They can sort through the myths, find their special pet, save him from a world of confinement and aloneness, and teach their children about second chances, rescue and redemption, love that’s blind to appearances or prejudice.

      I love the rescuers.

      • Erin

        Well said! I couldn’t agree more!

  • Judy

    Quit buying dogs from breeders, go to the pound and get a wonderful loving mixed breed or one of the many pure breeds that find their way there every day.

    • Macs mom

      Instead of blaming the people who buy digs from breeders and likely never leave one at a shelter, why don’t you put the blame where it belongs? On the people who don’t neuter or fix their dogs or breed them indiscriminately.
      All my Scotties have been neutered–they never fathered any puppies. And you don’t find Scotties at the pound. So blame the right people–not me. And by the way I rescued a lovely cat as a companion for Mac. So I think I am doing my part.

  • Mac’s Mom

    To add to my earlier comments: lets look at the numbers–there are about 78 million dogs in the country–the most recent figure I found said that about 20 million (in 2006) were purebred. The AKC only registers about a million dogs a year so they have only added another 5 million dogs, presuming none of the registered dogs passed away, which is, of course, not trre. That means only about 1/3 and the other 2/3 are mixed breed.
    So where did the other 50-60 million dogs come from? From people who breed them indiscriminately, who don’t get them fixed or neutered. My four Scottish Terriers have never fathered any puppies–they were all fixed. If you penalized the people who aren’t fixing their dogs–made it more expensive to own them, you could get rid of unwanted dogs in a few generations. Or alternatively, make every person who doesn’t spay or neuter their dog have to watch unwanted dogs being euthanized. It costs me $8.00 a year to register my dog in my town and about $20.00 if he isn’t fixed–doesn’t anyone else besides me think this is an issue? Owning a dog is not a right, not a freebie, it’s a privilege and a responsibility.

  • Mac’s Mom

    Yes I love the rescuers too and I am one–I have had two rescued cats and one rescued dog. But I think we can love the rescuers and still ask that everyone do more to help the situation–overpopulation of dogs is not a natural phenomenon–it’s easy to solve–spay and neuter your pets. And if need be, government money would be better spent solving the problem than picking up the mess afterwards. As I said before, if most dogs were spayed or neutered, we could solve this problem in a generation or two. There is no reason other than human carelessness and lack of concern, for millions of dogs to be homeless and euthanized every year. My question to all of those who think that we should all adopt a dog from a shelter is this: shouldn’t we also focus our energies on solving the problem instead of ciriticizing people who are responsible dog owners, no matter whether they have given a home to a purebred or a rescue? If everyone who owned a dog–and coud afford to pay for their own spaying an neutering–were required to pay $10.00 a year to provide spaying a neutering–that would be millions of dollars. I for one would be willing to pay that.

    • alyr

      What do you mean “gave a home” to a purebred. If people stopped buying them, they would stop breeding them. Yeah, I’m Captain Obvious. And since when can people afford to feed a dog but not neuter them?

  • missybuto

    On Golden Retrievers……..We had Ginger (the pet pig, due to her size and bottomless stomach) for over 18 years before she passed…..My brother flew and traveled with her over 50,000 miles due to his job..She loved to travel… This breed is very socialable with 4 legged and 2 leged critters as well. It would rather swim than walk…This is not a kennel dog…it needs a job to do and always laying on your feet…..Always wanted to show off with a toy or hunting trophy carring around in her mouth…Its hard wired in their Genes and must . Very easy dog to train but must be rewared with Praise and Cuttles in order to develop their socialization skills as well as their owners……………It loved being with the pack during the day and a person inside at night…………..It loved confusion of the family but very scared of t-storms which she coud sense 3-4 hours before they happened…GB will always hold a special place in my heart for those 18 yrs. Fishing and crabing were her speciality blowing bubbles under the water watching her prey….

  • Nika

    The pictures were cute but I think these dogs should have been shown as adults. I have a Newfoundland and while I agree that it is a fantastic family dog, “large” doesn’t describe them accurately. They are GIANT breed dogs who need a lot of everything- space, food, time and money and regular vet visits to check for development of hip dysplasia. They shed like you wouldn’t believe and need thorough, daily grooming. If you can’t give them those things then they aren’t the breed for you.

    • Mary

      My Newfoundland & St Bernard ate much less than my sister’s Lab (who also ate her wall, boat cooler and weight bench -the bench part). Space needed: at your feet when you are sitting, but at least not UNDER your feet all the time like some small, more active dogs. (Trip hazard for me)

  • Poonky

    The best breed by far is the Labradoodle. It does not shed, is non-allergenic and is a great companion. Forget all these other suggestions–get one and you and your kids will be thrilled. Both of my daughters have one. They are the best!

    • Theodora

      Yes!

      Our ‘doodle is great fun. I have never seen a dog do what she does. She actually leans in to you for a cuddle. She puts her head on your knee for you to pat her, makes the most hilarious noises when she wants food, and is generally a very affectionate and easy to train dog. She loves everyone although she has a very deep bark and could be considered a great watch dog if you didn’t know what breed she was. One look at that furry face and you would know she wouldn’t hurt a fly.Everyone who sees her gets a great big smile on their faces. I think our dog performs a service to humans every time we take her for a walk. All the little kids want to pat her and the adults do as well.

      We re-homed our dog cause her owners were going overseas, and she was very nervous and polite when we first got her. Now she won’t leave our sides. She loves to swim, walk and play, and will lie on your feet at if you are sitting down. She just can’t bear to be on her own. If our dog is anything to go by, Labradoodles are a great mix.

  • alyr

    Wow what geniuses made up THIS list? The ONLY dogs on there that are appropriate for “families” are Newf, Goldens and Labs. All the others require too much exercise, are too high strung, are too accident prone (BULLDOGS) or too delicate for a bunch of kids. The people who made up this list must not know any dog owners who don’t do a single thing that the dogs need for a balanced life.

    • zhinka

      how can you say bulldogs are accident prone?
      I have owned 11 over the years, I find them to be very surefooted, they are smart, not dumb like a lab, a bulldog will think for itself.
      My personal favorite breed is the bulldog followed by the english mastiff, which Is accident prone until they are 2 years old due to their slow growth.

    • Erin

      I agree… being high energy does NOT mean a dog is great for a family with kids as seems to be implied by this article. I’d much prefer a dog that is sturdy (because kids aren’t always careful, even if they know how to behave around dogs) and calm. A dog I’m surprised is not on this list is the Great Dane. While they are giants, they are generally great with kids and don’t require as much space and exercise as you might think.

      I am also shocked at how many people on here comment that the reason their dog is great is because it lets the kids climb and jump on it. Those people need to train their kids more than they need to train their dogs! Your poor dogs!

  • bmc9999

    I know they have health problems however I would not trade my 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels for all the money in the world. They are the perfect lapdog and the sweetest dogs I have ever had the pleasure to live with.

  • Mary Ann

    I grew up with Collies. I don’t think there is a more intelligent, loyal and loving family dog! They are rarely seen these days – as dog breeds seem to come in and out of popularity. But a Collie is an awesome lifelong friend!

  • Yasmine

    Goldens and Newfoundlands :) I’ve got two Holden’s and kids. My kids love my dogs! I’ve had folders all my life. And I’m not sure where you got your information about how oo they live, because its wrong. One of my goldens is 13 and kicking right now, completely healthy. My last golden died at 16, and two other past goldens died at 14. Keep em healthy!

    • Yasmine

      Goldens not Holden’s, and goldens not folders!

  • April and Lobo

    Wow. I’m shocked that Akitas weren’t mentioned. In Japan, Japanese Akitas are left with the children while their mother’s go to the market. They are an extremely loyal breed. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t require any sort of “dominance-based” methods. They thrive on positive reinforcement-based teaching methods(my own mix is trained using clicker training). The reason why so many are called “stubborn” is because they DON’T like to be bossed around, and they really don’t like the “do this or else” standpoint that dominance-based methods gives.

    Akitas are wicked smart. I’m sometimes amazed by Lobo’s intelligence and his ability to figure things out quickly(of course, this is also a side-effect of a clicker trained dog). Akitas are also protective, and scary intuitive. Lobo has really clicked with certain people, and he’s really disliked others. (Once, a man came to our door, and as soon as I opened the door, I had to grab Lobo’s collar. He was growling and staring at that man. The man threatened us, and then left. It was really scary.) Given the chance, Akitas become really clicker-savvy and I think they’re almost mind-readers once they figure out the game.

    They don’t require a ton of physical exercise(although my boy gets several hours of hiking and running during the winter, he only gets about an hour, two max, during the summer), but they DO require lots of mental stimulation. For us, that includes going over the basics a couple times a day, and even finding new things to teach. I also hide treats around the house and let him find them. We also practice down-stays while I hide his food around the yard. There are also tons of food puzzle games if you feed kibble!

    Speaking of kibble… Akitas should not be fed anything with soy products or grain. I know of several Akitas who are fed Blue Buffalo. My boy eats prey-model raw meat. I know others who eat Taste of the Wild(it’s on the cheaper side of high-quality kibbles). Basically, they shouldn’t be fed supermarket kibbles. If you don’t have the money for high-quality kibble, then at the very least, avoid Eukanuba, Kibbles n’ Bits, Beneful, Science Diet, and anything with colored kibbles. The dyes that they use aren’t good(for *any* dog). Science Diet is just… crap. And for the same price, you could be feeding Taste of the Wild. The only thing is, Taste of the Wild won’t be found at your vet’s. It’s usually found in animal feed stores(like Tractor Supply). If you’re lucky enough to have a holistic vet, you can also get Instinct Raw for pretty cheap.

    American Akitas have a double-layered coat, whereas Japanese Akitas have a triple-layered coat. Both serve the same purpose. Both blow their coats twice a year(although some Jap. Akitas have been known to only blow their coats once a year). American Akitas are the ones who are larger, and look almost like bears. Japanese Akitas are a little smaller, and more lithe. My personal favorites are Jap. Akitas, but the above information works for both.

    Also, if you haven’t figured it out, there is a breed split, and most places recognize American Akitas and Japanese Akitas as two separate breeds. It is my opinion, and that of many breeders, that these two shouldn’t be bred together and called a purebred. That’s not say that it would be bad to have a mix of these two, of course! I just mean that they aren’t purebred if you have a Jap./Am. Akita mix. It doesn’t make them any less valuable. (: My Akita mix is my whole heart. He’s my heartdog. My soulmate in doggy form. <3

    • Ray

      Our family had an Akita from top show/obedience lines & for 8 1/2 years he was a terrific dog. Never gave us any indication that he would bite.Then at age 8 1/2 he grabbed a neighbor’s child and just about tore the child’s leg off. It took over 200 stitches to close it. Another Akita that my sister adopted (also originally from a top show kennel) became so vicious that she had to be put down. I would not recommend an Akita for anyone except a very experienced dog person and certainly not for a family with kids.

  • Greekrose

    Brittanys!

  • http://shebudgets.toobnetwork.com/lifestyle/the-ten-best-dog-breeds-for-families/18077/11 Lisa

    I think the best dog breed will be the dog that best fits your personality & your families needs. This is why it’s always best to do tons of research on the pup you want to bring into your family.. Dog as well as cats become like your children & if you are getting a pure breed then do your research & get the one that fits best with you!! As for all this talk about not breeding English Bulldogs come on… I hear this all the time about Rot’s, Pits ect… There is always a reason for someone to say why a certain breed should stop being bred well you may want to ask yourself if a doctor came out & said Cancer is found in mostly “White” people & “Diabetes” is found in mostly “Black” people should we stop reproducing?? It’s sad to me that everyone’s 1st thought is to make something extinct… I know people that have Bulldogs & their dogs have lived long & healthy lives.. Are they the most healthy dog NO but it doesn’t mean they should just all go away either..

    • Erin

      I don’t think people want the breeds to go away, but for breeders to stop being so irresponsible and breeding for traits that cause the dogs to have health problems. Breeding animals to have smooshed in faces causes health issues that are both costly and miserable for the poor animals to live with. If someone is willing to take on the costs, that’s on them, but to encourage the breeding of animals that will be in pain or discomfort because you want them to look a particular way? That is just awful.

  • LBR

    Come on… Where is the Collie? How many breeds can save Timmy from the well, find the missing cow, save the town from the forest fire all in a single afternoon!

    • GL

      Just like the Labrador in temperament. Smart, Loyal, great around children. I have had both breeds over the years. Never a problem.

    • Roberta Liford

      Absolutely. I have a Smoothie, the most affectionate, children and adaptable to any situation dog ever.

  • Juls

    Seriously. Get a mutt. A rescue dog. They are forever grateful and have many fewer health problems than purebred dogs, and you can be assured that you are not promoting irresponsible and inhumane breeding practices. ( I am not saying that there are not responsible breeders out there, but they are few and far between.) You save a life and you can donate the money you save to rescue other abandoned animals. (Of which aprox. 25% are purebreds, so if you are so set on “purity” you could still satisfy those needs.) All my animals have been rescues and they have all had different horror stories. All have been amazing (beyond amazing) and I have been forever amazed with their loyalty and their patience with children, and other small animals. You don’t pick your friends and family members because of their breeding, why would you pick you pets in that manner?

    • Dazzeetrader1980

      Right on the money. Never had anything BUT a rescue. I love them and keep them healthy.

    • Wally

      I agree. Rescue dogs seem to understand what you did for them and they are eternally grateful with both loyalty and affection. A win-win situation.

  • Constance Standley

    I’ve been a professional dog trainer + animal behaviorist for 40+ yrs, began training military + went on to specialize in Service Work. (Our dogs were THE FIRST Seizure Alert Dogs in our nation + the world. Been on world news, GMA, countless magazines in US and abroad, Animal Planet, and in national best seller etc.) After reading over the comments people have been reading about their various breeds, there haven’t been too many over the years I’ve not been personally around in their training. “PAW NATION” just this past week ran an article on the breeds with the worst health issues now and listed BULL DOGS (due to their breathing etc.), GOLDEN RETRIEVERS (due to the amount of cancer they are now getting), and a few other breeds. LABRADORS have always had HD problems + retinal, I know, I used to have a kennel of 13. My husband and I put a 7 month old down + 15 month old down we had purchased out of state due to HD. Neither one were related. BOTH were from the VERY BEST of BREEDERS! Dogs ARE being over bred. I have found my best Service Dogs from the shelters…human throw aways, GOD’S SERVANTS! Please, be cautious what you purchase. There are so many puppy mills out there + in today’s economy it is encouraging so many BACKYARD breeders to think they can make a buck off of their dogs! Look at all of the mix breeds now. AND BY THE WAY…THERE IS NO ALERGY FREE DOG! IT IS FORMED IN THEIR SPIT! you can feel free to contact me if you are interested in SERVICE DOG QUESTIONS. Put it in the subject line or you will be deleted! GodsSmilingSouls@aol.com

    • shay3780

      why don’t you get a mixed breed at a kennel that needs a home?

  • Marty

    There seems to be a common pit bull thread: they are wonderful dogs, except when raised irresponsibly. The same could be said about a lot of other breeds. However, the truth is that pits are far more often subjected to irresponsible ownership, which leads to a higher incidence of violence. Add in the genetics of the breed, and you have an animal that can and has killed people.

    You can argue nature vs nurture until kingdom come, but the simple fact is that pit bulls are more likely to be dangerous. Adopting a pit, especially an older one, will come with an inherent risk that I’m not willing to pass to my children.

    • Gobeers

      Genetics huh, you do know that most of these common and loving breeds were hunting dogs, right? Old dogs make great pets, no matter what the breed.

  • PJ

    I have two Toy Fox Terriers and have found them to be a fantastic dog. They are smart, friendly, loving, easily trained, weigh only between 6-10 lbs., are great with kids (if brought up with them), don’t need to be exercised (although I walk them), cheap to feed, have NO health issues (one is 11 and has never been to the vet other than routine care), and easy to clean up after. They would make a great city dog. They’re small enough to wash in the kitchen sink and because their hair is short, shedding is minimal, especially if you “Furminate”, which they LOVE.

  • Rachel

    It’s all about the Rottweiler, reaper was the best dog I ever had. He was a protector and a best friend. And a big baby :) I miss him but he is in Florida now with his new family, we are moving to New Zealand and I didn’t want to have to quarantine him.

  • Lauren

    I would like you to now that papillon is misspelled.

  • Byrty Kydd

    Once I saw that Irish Setters were described as “smart” I concluded that all of the comments in this article were likely invalid.

  • Rita-of-Sunland

    What– No DACHSHUNDS??? I love da WIENER DOGS!!! Got my first at age 5. I loved that little black-and-tan so much I wanted to MARRY him! (Remember, I was 5.) My last dachshund lived ’til age 17 and I miss him everyday. Let’s hear it for wiener dogs!! Nothing cuter in the world than that little bundle of adorable trouble, the Dachshund puppy!!!

  • ad4747

    i have a lab that is great and i always thought that is all i would ever own. until that is i got a great pyrenese. samson, the pyrenese is so incredibly tolerant of little kids petting him and all he does is sit there and wag his tail. doesn’t try to lick or jump or anything. great temperment to be used for therapy dogs. so sweet and gentle.

  • http://www.heartfeltmanuscripts.com Alice

    I have English Bull Terrier and he is awesome family member. List is missing PIT BULLS!
    They have always been nanny dogs until bad rep stroke media over and over!
    Author is probably afraid to list them because of small minded people or maybe is having bad feelings himself.

    • Kellyn

      You’re right, but this person is clearly misinformed about dogs in general…beginning with spelling American Pit Bull Terrier “Pitt Bull,” and calling them “larger” than the English Bull Terrier.
      Perhaps they should check the ADBA or UKC standard of weight for the APBT…but that would take effort. I suppose it’s easier to base your opinion off a few poorly bred examples you’ve seen than to research your topic before writing and posting an article.
      Oh well, you can’t win them all.

  • Erin

    I think it’s impossible to determine a “perfect” family dog because it all depends on the individual family and what kind of commitment they are willing to give to the needs of that breed. I have a pit/mastiff mix. She is an amazing little thing, but I invest a lot of time and energy in seeing to it that she is well socialized with other dogs and people. I also make sure that she gets tons of exercise. I want her to be a good example of a well behaved dog, especially because she is a pit mix. I know that many people have been brain washed into thinking that she is evil because of her breed regardless of the fact that she is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known. Her safety and quality of life depends on my dedication to doing everything in my power to be a responsible owner. At the dog park I see many dogs breeds on this list that have some major behavioral issues and would not be good family dogs at all, but that isn’t because of the breed, it’s because that particular owner hasn’t taken the time to make sure that the dog behaves well. So it all comes down to the owner. You can have a lab, a beagle, a pit or a dachshund…it doesn’t matter as long as you are willing to take on the responsibilities that come with it.
    And on a side note… I encourage anyone who has never been, to visit a shelter or rescue and learn about the fate that every one of those wagging tails faces because they were abandoned or abused. They just want to love and be loved and with the right family, the joy those “mutts” can bring is life changing.

  • H.L. Moore

    Chihuahua wants wrong with this breed for a family pet.
    I have two a Long hair male and a female mix with pug. I wouldn’t give either one up…
    The Male is spoiled rotten and Knows exactly how to get want he wants,he has trained the female in the art also of getting what she wants….
    I tell people they allow me to live in the apartment with them. For two small dogs they are bed hogs. They make great companions

  • Carrie Monday

    Would have loved to have read comments on the toy poodle. I have a rescue, and have never been loved so much by a dog. He is truly my best friend! Smart, lovable, alert, and can’t get enough of small children and big dogs! Everyone who has ever met my little man falls in love with him, even those who don’t particularly like dogs. Want a great dog…get a toy poodle!

  • Felicia Faulkner

    This has to be the most ridiculous list i’ve ever seen. Bulldogs number 1…. really? 11 years ago we bought a Boxer, whose still alive but unfortunately has cancer. He had the energy to keep up with my younger brother and I through our pre-teen and teenage years. Until the age of 9 he could still jump in the air and do a 360 turn. Very smart. He knows 6 different commands… using sign language. Grew up with 2 cats and loves them dearly. Protective of the home. And loves literally everyone…. except the guy who cut his nails once. The only tough thing about having him is the nail issue. He HATES getting his nails clipped and will snap at you…. no matter who you are. We think its just because he’s old and grumpy =)

  • Mary

    What a curious list for families. No list is complete without the standard poodle, german shepherd or schnauzer of any size. Allegery concerns eliminate the german shepherd, however, they are wonderful dogs for families. In my opinion, there is no more perfect dog than the standard poodle. Smart, loving, funny, loyal and protective both of home and family with no actual shedding or dander makes the standard poodle a wonderful companion for families with young and older children. The schnauzer is nearly as perfect with a wonderful personality and no shedding. The lab is also fine, but it somewhat overbred now that it is so popular. Labs are ridden with allergies and are great dander producers. They shed incessantly. They are loveable and loyal, though. Shelter dogs are wonderful, but be careful with young children and older dogs. There could be a reason the dog is in the shelter.

    • Eliza Gregory

      We’ve had Irish wolfhounds (3), a chow chow (1) and German shepherds (4). I discovered rescue late but our two rescued shepherds (one since died) showed us every day how thankful they were for their good home. Of the breeds we’ve owned, I’d say the wolfhounds were the best family dogs in that they are welcoming and loving to all creatures. The chow chow was a wonderful family dog but didn’t like strangers and shepherds are bred to be protective so though they’re wonderful with family, you have to be sure they don’t misinterpret someone as a threat or an invader.

  • Geoff

    What about KEESHONDS??!! The gentlest, most loving dogs on the planet. And, perfect with kids.

    • Gitte

      I second that! Such an amazing family dog. Keesies love children!

  • Dewitt

    I sure wouldn’t recommend a bull terrier as a top dog breed for families. The ones I’ve come across have all been MAJOR handfuls – strong, very energetic and strong willed. They can be great dogs, but they need an owner with a fair amount of dog experience and, at least in my opinion, no small children. Early training is really a must with any dog, but especially so with strong, high energy breeds like the bull terrier.

  • Eddie

    Personally after having Labs my whole life and loving their temperament and personalities (once they quit digging and chewing furniture as puppies), I grew to dread all the fur shredded all over the house and constantly needed house cleanings. I now have a little male Maltese and he’s a trip. Friendly, fearless, and he doesn’t shed. They are good with kids but shouldn’t be around toddlers because they are so small the toddler might injure the dog… Wonderful pets…

  • Emily

    Love all 10 of these but am disappointed to see that Boxers did not make the top 10 :(
    We have had family bred boxers now for the past 15 years and they are one of the most loyal & loving perfect family breeds. Definitly a consideration!!

  • Janice

    No where have I seen the Basenji mentioned. They shed very very little and usually only at certain times of the year. They are barkless because of the shape of the vocal cords which are similiar to a wolf. Which means she can yodel or give a howl. By the sound of the howl you can tell if she is happy or sad OR demanding a treat. They groom themselves very much like a cat does. Never has a “wet dog” smell. She travels with us everywhere we go and we never have to worry about her barking when we leave her in the hotel room. She has her special blanket and as long as she has that she seems to know we are coming back. And yes she does sleep with me. Especially if I’m not feeling good she will always lay with me and curl up as close to me as she can get. She is the best therapy a person could ever want. If you are not familiar with the breed, be sure to look the breed up. One of the oldest breeds around. Love my Miss Ladybug. I do not have little ones at home so I can’t really say how she would be around kids as she seems to avoid them since she isn’t used to having them around. There again would be how they are raised.

    • drodgers

      Hi! I did mention Basenjis in an earlier post. We got one when I was a kid – we were “babysitting” and then her papers showed up in the mail. Sophie was as good as an intelligent, strong-willed dog can be, and my dad did breed her one time. He raised show dogs, mostly terriers, and just one litter a year. She had 5 pups, and I thought the tri-colors were beautiful, and the short hair and self-cleaning helps them to be somewhat hypo-allergenic. Turns out they can pick up a bark if they’re around dogs that do, but it’s not much of one. Always loved the little “happy yodel.” They aren’t necessarily for everyone as they need to be kept busy – a bored Basenji can be dangerous to your stuff. They can also be aloof at times, and can be a one-person dog. And, yes, unless you’ve got a really good puppy, they tend to shoot off if they get loose – and they are fast and agile! We found they were best for people who took time to give them the attention and activity they seem to need. Had one that the owner said turned out to be a great hunting dog.

  • Kati

    I would like to add that this article maybe a little misleading for the general public looking to get a new/first puppy/dog. There is NO perfect breed. Each dog is it’s own animal just as each human is their own person. Generalizing dogs by breeds can be very misleading and stereotypical. I am a proud owner of 3 amazing dogs, only one of which is “pure” bred. I have a chow mix that I adopted from a humane society and have NEVER had one bit of trouble with her and my 3 yr old son. I have a beagle-terrier mix that rarely let’s me out of her site. I have a great dane that is my big baby and takes the most work of them all in discipline. I also have friends that owns pure bred pitbulls that wouldn’t hurt anyone that is invited into their house and I trust my 3 yr old around them as well. Now I have also had an unusual experience with one of the listed “family friendly” pets, the lab. When I was in the 5th grade I was viciously attacked by a family’s lab and before you place the blame on me let me explain that I have grown up with animals and have always treated them gently and I never physically touched the dog or even raised my voice. I wasn’t running around or acting in an excited manner. I simply placed my hands where the animal could smell me and while it did so the dog decided to rip open my face. The attack was illogical and random with nothing to do with the owners, the breed of dog, my actions, etc. The dog was a bad seed. My point is that people should not lull themselves into a false sense of security by thinking you got the “right kind” of dog. Breed plays as much a roll in behavior as does temperament and raising. Even then sometimes you just can’t tell. Animals and children should be properly supervised at all times.

  • maryalice

    I have a Dogue de Bordeaux and a Newfoundland and I love them both. They are the best when it comes to the children playful and gentle. And they both are protective. Which is a bonus! Our Bordeaux thinks she is a newfie, living in the lake, swimming and “rescuing” the children from playing king on the raft.

  • http://yahoo stephen

    I have a Samoyed and he’s a great family dog
    .

  • Joe

    Really, a bulldog #1, are you serious. Not only are they ugly as hell they are full of health issues and they die after about 6 years. Yeah really good choice.

  • Mairead

    I’d never trust a small dog around a child imo. And I wouldn’t trust my brother’s lab, but I would trust my pit. It’s all about the dog sometimes, not the breed.

  • Jo

    Another great choice is the Flat-Coat Retriever. They have the personality of a Goldie, but in a slightly smaller size. They ADORE children! Unfortunately, they are often listed by the unknowing pound patrols as “lab chow mix” or “lab-shep mix” due to their lab style body, feathers and petticoats, and smaller size. They are joy abounding, happy little loyal family members who just want to be near you, to play with you and to be loved. They come in black or liver brown colors.

  • chandra

    Wonder how you missed SPITZ breed !

  • AdamBoy64

    Ah, no dachshund on this list. A fantastic temperament. Great with the kids.

    • Gitte

      Dachshunds? These dogs were bread to hunt badgers! They are the number one breed most likely to bite followed by the Chihuahua. They are also vulnerable to back injuries if mishandled. Maybe with gentle older children, but overall they are not generally considered good with kids.

      • RiverJE

        I agree, and I own dachshunds. Many can be nippy if treated roughly–they will discipline those unruly kids. They also can be very possessive of their toys. They are funny, full of personality, and although some are good with kids, many are not.

  • Radbill

    no matter what dog you decide is right for your family, please consider adopting rather than going through a breeder. The fact is, the puppies breeders don’t sell end up abandoned, i.e. homeless and eventually dead – this is not just opinion. So sincerely, kudos to you on bringing any dog into your family and your home, whatever type suits you – but please consider adopting (and you can adopt almost any “purebreed” there is, as a puppy!) Good luck and thank you!

    • Al Briggs

      100% agree. SOOO many beautiful animals need homes that are in shelters.

  • Haldurson

    One thing that your article missed is the fact that about 10% of the population is allergic to dogs. One big exception to this are poodles. If you are going to have a top 10, poodles have to be among them for this reason alone. They don’t shed, if you stay away from toy poodles, they happen to be very good with kids and adults (The smaller ones tend to be more highly strung, so I’d recommend minis or standards). In fact larger poodles are best with families with kids, especially if you have room. They can be very smart which is both a plus and a minus — they are easy to train but their smarts can also get them into more mischief (we had one who figured out how to open the door by herself).

    I’m in a family that has had multiple members with dog allergies — and poodles were the only breed that we’ve been able to live with. And they’ve all had very long lives (for dogs).

  • Al Briggs

    I was pleasantly surprised at all the positive comments about pits on here, since I’m always defending them to the ignorant. I have 2 pits that I rescued (they were both on death lists because of over population) and they’re the 2 biggest lovable lugs ever. If they’re not rolling around on their backs making ridiculous noises, they’re curled up on the couch waiting for a good scratch. I do think that if you have kids you should be very careful around any 65+ pound dog, because they can get really excited and knock a child down easy. Bottom line, if you’re down to train a dog the right way and love them, no breed should be shunned for any family.

  • Inka

    Those who mention “wonderful” pit bulls in the same sentence with children must be either joking or are totally irresponsible. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen! Doesn’t matter what they were originally bred for, they are what they are TODAY! Why would anybody keep a pit bull or some other of these more agressive dogs is beyond my understanding (or perhaps I do understand, the reason must be very psychological, hidden aggressiveness of the owner?).
    It’s the same problem as with people who take Sar planina dogs as pets. Those are wonderful dogs, but meant for mountains, not houses or apartments and can be EXTREMELY dangers around children due to their nature (they are not particularly fond of people and children in particular, except for their owner). They are bred to protect sheep and other domestic animals on mountains and in more remote areas from wolves and other predators. They cannot stand sleeping inside, and prefer the outdoors, like huskies.

    We had german shepherds, a dachshund as well..great dogs..will take a newfoundlander next.

    Another good breed for children are Finnish spitz dogs. They are absolutely wonderful with children. Just bark too much so not meant for apartments.

    • Gobeers

      Your fear, intolerance, and ignorance is showing. You have never met a pitt bull clearly.

  • HIM

    Please people, stop spreading lies and fear.

    Pit bulls are NOT BAD DOGS and are great with children.

    When will people stop feeding the lies?

    • kvhudson

      Statistics unfortunately do not lie.

      • Gobeers

        Actually they do. Just listing off numbers doesn’t give the complete picture. Did you know ice cream sales and theft both go up in warm weather? The reason is more people go outside in summer months, but they are not tied together. People get sick in the winter, not because of the cold but because people huddle together in warm places more than summer months. Are pitts more likely to injure or kill, have not researched the exact numbers, but consider how they are treated by the owners. Pitts are popular and “trained” to attack for “protection”. When a golden or lab is beaten its horrible abuse, when a pitt is beaten it is “training”. I’ve heard many stories of the horrors faced by pitts rescued from fighting rings and have heard of and met pitts rescued coming back from the abuse as gentle and loving dogs. One poor old soul was blinded to be used as attack bait because he would not attack on command, the nicest dogs face the worst punishment. Another had scars all over his face, but was so happy to be visited and given attention, still one of the cutest dogs I’ve ever seen.

    • Karen Hanks

      I know someone who recently left his cat inside and the pit bull killed it. Dogs are dogs. Some pits are good dogs, some aren’t. But the truth is larger, more powerful dogs can do more damage if they become aggressive, especially if dogs are in packs.

  • tiffany

    I have 2 female PITT BULLS that are 1yr and 5 year .. I have had the 5 yr old since she was a baby fresh from the mother ( when I got her my daughter was a month old ) so the 5 yr old has been raised with my child and I have had the 1yr old from birth also.. I DO NOT CARE what ppl say about Pitt Bulls, neither one of my dogs ever attacked anyone.. U can ask anyone that lives in my building that they are the most lovable and friendly dogs.. But as at the same time if someone that they don’t know comes up to me or my daughter they do protect .. No biting just watching u and they will go and stand bye me or my daughter until they know every thing is ok>>> So NO Pitts Bulls are not mean .. It depends on how u raise them.. If U beat them every day and never feed them they will snap but that is with any dog and even humans

    • Sammy

      Same here!! My Wife & I have 2 beautiful girls 5 & 9 years old. We also have 2 Female Pit Bulls & they are the best dogs ever. We’ve had one since she was about 8 weeks old & now she 15 years old. Our other Pit was my brother-in-laws & gave her to us when she was about 2 1/2 years old. Now she is almost 9 years old. Our kids play with them & they have not once ever did anything aggressive to our girls. Like you said Tiffany, it all depends on how you raise them.

  • David

    Surprised no mention of the Neapolitan Mastiff. Had two now over the years, Very affectionate, Loyal, Protective dogs. Yes they are massive and powerful but they are the soft in nature. Would not get any other breed from now. on.

  • Sebastian

    I would recommend Saint Bernards. Whilst they are big dogs, they are low in maintenance, not very active, not prone to aggression and very friendly towards people and especially children. They are happy living outside in the garden, but you can also choose to keep them indoors. They are natural carers and take very well to children. Saint Bernards are big friendly dogs, that do not harm people. Nevertheless, they will guard your house and your family. Normally they do not bark often, but when they do – in case of guarding – their bark and build are enough to make you feel safe from anyone meaning harm.

  • Anne

    I think it’s too bad that the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is so overlooked and underrated. We have an amazing five year old Duck Tolling. Not only are the amazingly cute, they’re smaller than normal Golden Retrievers and therefor a little easier to handle and have around smaller children, but just as fun and loving. Google the breed and you’ll fall in love instantly.

  • Blue

    BEAGLES!!! they are amazing

  • sid gurney

    sorry i didnt see a comment on mountain curs.mine is 65lbs but sounds like a 120lb sheppard when he barks.breed about died out until 4 men in the 50″s revived it.bread to be a everything dog from guarding to hunting bears to rabbits.for people in apalachia that could only aford one dog.smart and very loving,a great member of the family.got him when he was 6 weeks took one week to house train him.then he trained our other dog we got about a year later.money couldnt by him

    • Marie

      Have never heard of this breed. I wonder if they are the same as the Blue Mountain Shepards I knew of as a kid? Sad that some really wonderful breeds are no longer in existence.

  • sid gurney

    his name is larry

  • elizabeththewellread

    I would love to see more attention given to retired racing Greyhounds. These animals are at high risk of being destroyed–in the most brutal possible way–once they fulfill their usefulness to man, and it is a crying shame. We have had FOUR retired racers, and have worked with countless others, and they are uniformly sweet-tempered, gentle, and patient dogs. Instead of purchasing an overbred dog, a family could have a beautiful, loyal, smart, trainable, lovingful Greyhound, that has been saved from a nasty fate.

    • http://greyhoundalliance.org toni

      I have 2 retired racers. They are great dogs. The racing industry is working well with our group and are willing to hand us the retired dogs. Not as awful as it used to be. Big couch potato dogs. 12-14 life span with not a lot of health issues.

  • Drew Witt

    You forgot the Irish Wolfhound. One of the best breeds all around and despite their size they are great with kids.

  • abigail

    I have been blessed with being able to help with the march in the pitbull movement against bsl and other breed discrimination. I have rescued pitbulls for 8 years and as I speak am a guardian to three. Our oldest pitbull and the first we ever let own us died this past September at the age of 13 yrs old. She was a shelter rescue.I too before meeting a pitbull loved all bully breeds because of their faces and goofy behavior. Now I couldn’t imagine being a guardian to any other breed. My children have grown up with these rescues and have been taught a lot about the value of life, discrimination and I’m sure will always be advocates the rest of their lives for pitbulls. I have never met a better breed. They are loving, goofy,loyal,energetic,slobbery kissers, oh I could go on and on. Pitbulls are number one in our book and ours advocate for themselves daily. They smile real big and people are drawn to them. Please if you have never met a pitbull before, go to your local shelter, they are also unfortunately over bred, and meet one. Give them a chance! I’m so glad we did!
    The Poe Family

    • Sylvia Ross

      Pitbulls, are the best. I have rescued two and they are very loving and caring.

    • chase van arsdale

      I agree Abigail! Pit Bulls are the sweetest, most loving & most loyal breed I know!

    • Howard Weldon Moore

      well your not going to get me to so bad things about pittys or mixes but mine avoids or 5 month old like the plague LOL but she also runs from any small dog or puppy

  • Gail Mackiernan

    I think you have to consider each family and their needs and also, what they can offer the dog in time and attention. If you have a houseful of older active kids then a larger, active breed is what you want — whereas with smaller kids, a less bumptious sort of dog. But little kids are not good with tiny fragile dogs either. I would also want a breed that is pretty free from health concerns — many on this list are not! — and not prone to behavior issues either (e.e. tail-chasing in Bull Terriers, a genetic OCD problem). If a family doesn’t have a lot of time for a dog and its training, they do not want one of the “needs a job” breeds such as Border Collies. Brilliant dogs but not happy in a dull household. My favorite breed is the Standard Schnauzer which was raised for centuries to be a hardy, intelligent family-farm dog, and still retains these qualities but is also very smart and determined so wants early guidance and something to do. There are many other great breeds out there — and mixes as well. Depends on what you want out of a dog. Many of the less-popular breeds are actually healthier, better-bred and more carefully raised than the common “in” breeds. That goes for popular “designer dogs” as well. Crosses of two breeds with numerous health issues doesn’t eliminate them!

  • Dean Keller

    Saying any breed of dog is better than another is just stupid. It’s more about how they are raised and trained and how much love they are given. There aren’t bad dogs as often as there are bad owners. Maybe we should spend more time euthanizing 2 legged mammals!!!

  • Shelia Grady

    Sorry not to see the Sheland Sheepdog (Sheltie) on this list. Have had them almost all my life and they are the best in my option especially with children.

  • mountaindogsix

    I’m surprised to not see the Bernese Mountain dog mentioned. While not every dog can make the list, if you’re going to include the Newfi why not the best of the large breed working dogs, the Berner. They’re great with kids and their enegry levels and playfulness mimic those they’re around, gentle with a baby and crazy with an 8 year old. I’m glad the setter made the list, you don’t see many. Another great family dog is the leonberger. I;m partial to massive furry dogs and this one is great with kids and extremely loyal.

  • Barbara

    Our “Missy” – Alexandria – is a Lab-Chow mix. She is so, so sweet and protective of our family. She has just turned 14 yrs. and is slowing down. Hind quarters are dealing with arthritis, hearing pretty much gone and now living inside since the Texas heat is more than she (or any of us can bare!). She seems to want to stay very close to all of us now and doesn’t want us out of her sight. Wondering if she senses something about herself and wants us to be close by if anything happens. I hate the thought of losing her! For now, we’ll keep appreciating her each day. If she could talk……

  • brown

    What? No Dobermans? IMO Dobermans make the best family pet because not only are they completely loyal to each family member, they will also protect them. I’m talking about pure bred quality Dobermans. Bad breeders and owners gave Dobermans a bad image.

  • Kelly M

    My Golden retriever and my Beagle both lived to the ripe old age of 18 So I think the thing about Goldens living 12 years at most isn’t true. Cute article though!

  • doglover

    Ok what about Bernese Mountain Dogs they surpass the newfie,golden ret,labs,saints,most breeds ,awsome family dogs loyal protective,do well with other animals of all kinds, yes they shed 2 x per yr heavy, But your can’t beat a Berner EVER

  • ashley

    I am very disappointed that the pitbull did not make it onto this list. My daughter had a pitbull when she was a baby and that dog loved her to death! But she no longer has that dog due to seperating with her father. But I do plan on getting her another one.

  • Stephanie Rodriguez

    Can’t believe boxers didn’t make this list.. they are known for being great with kids!

    • Beth Coale

      Boxers are the best, I totally agree

  • Valjean

    The Golden Retriever should be #1 with the Lab close behind. A Papillion? Are you kidding? What about Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties)? And the super-intelligent and loyal Border Collie?

    • shay3780

      I have a border collie. She is so much fun. Loyalty is her middle name

      • Myke794

        Love those dogs. However, the are very “needy”. As a working dog, they are often paired with the Great Pyrenees to guard sheep or goats.

    • Bernie Coates

      I agree. And my Golden made it way past 10 years…….how about 17!

  • Kenneth Bakke

    So where’s the Boxer?

  • Gloria Dulan-Wilson

    I love all the dogs, but I think that you overlooked the ChowChow. We’ve owned two – one lived to 15 and the other lived to be 13. They are intelligent, affectionate, playful, loyal to our kids, loveable, and serious guardians. I swear they understood everything you said, and it was almost as though they were trying to hold a conversation with you. They are very regal because of their high court breeding, I suppose; and yes, if you don’t groom them, they will shed. But my kids loved them, and they loved my kids back.

  • Lionel Boyd

    Miniature schnauzer
    or Schnauzer are the best dogs.

  • sidneyallenjohnson

    What!?!?!? No Boston Terriers?

  • Rennie Miller

    The best dog is a shelter or rescue dog! Adopt, don’t shop! Save a life! No need to breed more dogs, there are millions in need of homes right now! Many pets are killed in shelters because there’s not enough room!

  • Arlene

    You forgot about Cocker Spaniels. The Cocker Spaniel, a hunting dog, was originally developed in Wales to flush game bird. This dog has also become a Good Family Pet and energetic companion.

  • Charles Ingram

    Best kept secret in the world (well America anyway): the Standard Poodle. Couldn’t ask for a better family dog that is loving, smart, loves to play and can easily care for and keep up with kids. They are the true stealth breed. If you’ve never experienced living with one, you can’t compose a list like this. They are NOT what you’ve been led to believe from the show ring.

  • chase van arsdale

    Pit Bulls are the sweetest, most loving, most loyal breed around!

  • lolliebluecalitoo

    I wont watch the whole slide show because it loads way too slowly! Too bad you dont offer the viewing as a thumbnail.

  • Myke794

    I enjoyed the article on family dogs. However, when you listed the Newfie, you should have made it Newfie/Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees exhibits the same physical characteristics. Major difference is one is normally black and the other normally white. The are often confused for one another. Both are large, loving and protective dogs, great with cats and kids. I love my 4 year old Male Pyr “Jethro”.

  • houndhelper

    I have had beagles for many years and have five now. I have never heard of them needing to be bathed more than an average dog. I have read the opposite several times, they don’t need frequent baths. My little couch potatoes don’t require getting baths very often.

  • Kristal Towne

    And what about the Cockerspaniel??? The BEST PLAYFUL LOVING BREED IVE EVER MET!!! <3

    • Kristal Towne

      I Love My sweet Baby!! ;* :D

  • Howard Weldon Moore

    I had beagles when my children were young the kids dress them up and carried them around like dolls and had tea (milk and dog biscuits) parties, At birthday parties the dogs wore party hats. My youngest daughter even had her senior picture taken with her baby. He was 18 when we had to let him go and don’t let anyone tell you that letting the kids play with the dogs will spoil them for hunting I had a great brace of hounds and they LOVED to trail rabbits

  • Lisa Ward Hennesy

    you forgot PITBULLS…

    In the early 1900’s an interesting development occurred: One of the most popular dogs in America gained a reputation in the press as an all-purpose family dog because of it’s reputation for protecting its family’s children.

  • Jeannie Southard

    We had our first boston terrier for 17 years. They should be number 1 on this list, and I am not even a dog person. They are smart, clowns, energetic, never bite. loyal, and they cover their poo like a cat. We have had 5 between our extended family. Little boys love this breed. Everyone of my son’s friends begged their parents for one. They are tough and strong. I remember my son sitting on a skate board and ‘Gator’ on a leash pulling him down the sidewalk. They even showered together. They are ugly, but in the eyes of a little boy, they are beautiful.

  • Degé Coutee

    I love all the love that Pit Bulls are getting here! Great dogs. But where’s the Great Dane?

  • Barbara Reynolds

    Springer Spaniels! The best dogs ever and so lovable. Smart, kind and good playmates. After losing my last Springer at age 15, I now rescue dogs and have 3 labs and a setter. All of them great pets!

  • Lu Patterson-Sisco

    I agree on the comments about rescue dogs but I chose a good breeder so I knew what I was getting. With a rescue dog you just don’t know what it experienced before you got it. My friend adopted a rescue black lab that they found out does not like children and can get snappy with adults. I have never heard of a lab not liking kids. So now they have to keep it away from their grandchildren for fear of it biting. Obviously the previous owner had issues with the dog which is why it was given up for adoption at a rescue center.

  • FredC1968

    Bulldogs have more than their share of health problems. Bull Terriers are horribly inbred.

  • jrs1643

    There are no bad dogs, only bad owners. If I can’t trust the dog, I won’t trust the owner. I’ve seen St. Bernards go after German Shepherds and Pugs go after Huskies, unfortunately dogs with jerks for owners become jerks themselves.

  • sam

    I agree that pit’s are a very good dog.I own one and he is full of love with everyone but,.The best dog ever if you really like big dog’s and you can show lots of love and attention is the saint bernard.They are big,heavy,and druel a lot but they are the most caring,loyal,obedient,and very smart dogs.I have a pug also and between the three of them I very seldom dont laugh.These three types of dogs are great with people animals and me. I love my dogs….

  • King Swahilli

    Good breeding plus proper socialization results in a great dog.

  • Roberta Liford

    Seems there’s a new dog list of one kind or another every few days — none of them really comprehensive. It’s all generalized and open to personal preferences for any person to figure out for themselves according to their lifestyle and resources, and with a little research at many of the available outlets such as reliable breeders, as well as animal rescue orgs.

  • cameron

    Bernese mountain dog. None better. So gentle and lovable.

  • Claire Couchman Caponigro

    All dogs are awesome… all breeds….all types. I was protected by Rhodesian Ridgebacks as a young child, then a chow chow and now my kids hang out with Basset Hounds….All fabulous. Next I want a Pit Bull and Hound rescues.

  • RealityCheck!

    Or, retired racing greyhounds <3 They are not expensive to rescue and they're smart, well-behaved dogs!

  • The Man With No Name As A Name

    I put in a plug for the Bassett Hound. Kind of dumb, but a very loving creature with patience and a real sense of humor. We were given one from a family that couldn’t take it with them to a new living space. Just a big floppy, sloppy bundle of love.

  • JamesD2011

    English Mastiff.

    Very docile, gentle and protective of their human family.