Top dog: 15 best breeds for families with kids

Which of these star players is the best fit for your family?

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  • When deciding which dog breed is best for your family, don't risk anyone getting hurt. Though there's always a possibility that the dog you choose might be too rough with your children, with proper obedience training, your dog can be a trusted companion.

  • Here are 15 dog breeds known to be friendly around children.

  • Newfoundland

  • A sweet temperament is the hallmark of this breed. Their goodness is best expressed through their love for children, taking naturally to the role of "nanny." It's no wonder they're ranked among the top nine best dogs for children by the American Kennel Club.

  • When it comes to training, the Newfoundland is a star student. Quick learners with a strong work ethic, they can do almost anything you want them to.

  • Beagle

  • Beagles are lovable, easygoing, very active, and they make wonderful companions. Currently, Beagles are the fifth most popular dog breed.

  • Beagles bond with everyone in the family - especially children. Untrained Beagles may try using their mouths to play with younger children, but this does not mean Beagles are biters. With training, these dogs learn to be gentle with younger kids, loving the little ones just as much as they love everyone else.

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  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

  • This breed may be big, but Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are gentle giants. Bred to work, they are devoted to their families and they love children. They make excellent watchdogs and therapy dogs.

  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs excel in agility and obedience training. If you want your children to have a companion that will teach them responsibility, this is the perfect dog for the job.

  • Boston Terrier

  • Averaging only a foot in height, the Boston Terrier is the perfect dog for children. They love to play, and they tend to be gentle and even-tempered - with some spunk and attitude mixed in.

  • Boston Terriers have a lot of energy and require daily attention. Daily walks are a good activity to keep them entertained. Playing fetch will help them use up their energy.

  • Boxer

  • Currently ranked as the eighth most popular dog breed as well as one of the top nine best dogs for children, this fun-loving, bright and loyal dog has won the hearts of many.

  • Since Boxers are a medium-sized dog, they make excellent playmates for active, older children. They will also love on younger kids and be gentle with smaller children when trained to do so.

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  • Old English Sheepdog

  • The Old English Sheepdog is a trustworthy children's companion. With herding in their blood, not only will they supervise young children, but they may even herd children around, keeping them contained in one area.

  • With a clownish personality, the Old English Sheepdog is full of energy but affectionate with family members. These dogs should be trained at a young age to be gentle with young children and not play as hard as they would with older children or adults.

  • Collie

  • Just as Lassie is known for her loyalty and love for young Timmy, these playful dogs love kids and are very protective over children. As part of the herding group, they watch over children to keep kids safe from possible danger.

  • Collies are good at listening to people and understanding moods, making them a great breed for families. They thrive on companionship and do whatever they can to please their owners.

  • Brittany Spaniel

  • Although the Brittany may be the perfect hunting dog for some, for others it is the ideal family dog. Brittany Spaniels are intelligent, happy, and they enjoy learning new tricks.

  • Brittanies enjoy a lot of playtime - great for children with a lot of energy. However, they may have too much energy for toddlers. These dogs would never think to hurt children, but rather protect children from anything they feel could be a threat.

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  • Poodle

  • An exceptionally smart and active breed, the Poodle is the seventh most popular dog breed. They come in three different sizes, allowing families to choose which size fits best for them.

  • Despite their regal and sophisticated appearance, Poodles are outgoing and love to play. They are fond of people and create close bonds with family members. They are eager to please and enjoy learning new tricks.

  • Labrador Retriever

  • One of the top nine best dogs for children and the first most popular dog breed, Labrador Retrievers are gentle, intelligent and family-friendly. Their greatest desire is to please their masters, and they go above and beyond to ensure they do.

  • The Labrador Retriever not only loves children, they like the commotion created by kids. This dog also enjoys playing with other animals and is sweet-natured around many other breeds.

  • Havanese

  • An affectionate breed, the Havanese enjoys being with his family and will stick to his owner's side whenever given the chance. For their small size, Havanese dogs have a ton of energy, making them fun companions for children.

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  • The Havanese is both intelligent and amusing. Their silly antics make playtime all the more enjoyable.

  • Irish Setter

  • Irish Setters are eager playmates. In fact, they typically won't settle into adulthood until they are around 2 years of age, maintaining puppylike enthusiasm for years. This breed is ideal for active families who look forward to quality time with their dogs.

  • An outgoing breed that loves people, the Irish Setter shows affection to adults and children alike. They also make excellent watchdogs, barking to let you know if there's someone visiting - or intruding.

  • Cocker Spaniel

  • Whether snuggling on the couch or running around outside with the children, the Cocker Spaniel tends to be happiest as part of a family. They are affectionate and playful.

  • As the smallest member of the sporting group, Cocker Spaniels are small enough to live in an apartment setting if needed. Still, plenty of exercise is beneficial, just as it is with most dog breeds.

  • Golden Retriever

  • Golden Retrievers are known for their sweet, calm nature. They aim to please and enjoy being around people. They also aren't bothered by the noise and commotion of children.

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  • As one of the top nine best dogs for children and the third most popular dog breed, the Golden Retriever is one of the friendliest dogs you will meet. Their popularity among families will never end.

  • Vizsla

  • Nicknamed the "Velcro Vizsla," this dog is above average when it comes to being attached to its owner. Vizslas are loving, friendly and tolerant with children.

  • The Vizsla thrives most as part of an active family that can offer daily attention and exercise (if not given the proper care, Vizslas may become bored and get into things they shouldn't). If you don't mind having an extra shadow, the Vizsla will make a great companion for you and your children.

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Kylie has always had a passion for writing. From writing poetry to creating short stories as a kid, writing allows her imagination to take her places she otherwise wouldn’t have been able to explore. She's a freelance writer and enjoys web and graphic design, tennis, baking and photography.

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