The Most Family Friendly Dog Breeds To Own

The benefits of owning a dog are endless. Research has shown that canines and pets in general, make people happy and improve your heart health. Several factors must be considered when you decide what breed to adopt and make yours or your child's best four-legged friend. "You have to think about what type of family you have, interaction needs, age, how much time you spend in and outside the house," Dr. Heather Manfredi, a veterinarian at Lap of Love, says. "But the most important characteristic is temperament," she adds.


"The Beagle is a great dog and very cool for fun things to do," Dr. Manfredi says. They weight about 20-25 pounds which is a perfect size for active adventures with the family outside, she adds. You can easily carry them with you anywhere. Beagles are nice, friendly and always ready to play games.


"It depends on the type of breed, but Bulldogs, such as the English bull dog, are couch potatoes," Dr. Manfredi says. They really don't have much energy to play all the time and run around with the kids. But they make good guard dogs, she adds. Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Manfredi says, Bulldogs are not aggressive." They are actually social, get along fine with other pets and are comfortable in both small and big houses and apartments.

Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers love people and big families. If you need someone to match the high energy level of your child, consider getting this friendly canine. If there was a "most active" competition between a kid and a Bull Terrier, the latter is likely to win by wearing the former out. These dogs are also very protective of their owners.


"Boxers are very cool dogs and love to be outdoors," Dr. Manfredi says. They love people, especially kids. The four-legged representatives of this breed have a lot of energy to burn and will rarely be tired for any kind of frisky interaction. However, Dr. Manfredi adds, they can't be in the heat too long. They are short-nose breed dogs and may have breathing difficulties. 


If you and your family are very active, consider getting a Vizsla dog to accompany you on your adventures. The more opportunity you give them to run, hike, walk, and play games, the happier they will be. "This is an active, people-oriented dog who needs a great deal of exercise to avoid becoming bored and destructive. [...] His worst fear [is] being separated from his family, which means he/she absolutely can't live in the yard," according to VetStreet.

Border Collie

Border collies are among the most active dogs. They love to play ball, Frisbee, and anything that has them run around, Dr. Manfredi says. They are an exercise-loving and energetic breed, she adds. Border collies are too physically active for a small apartment. They are great training partners, especially if you are getting ready to run marathons.

Irish Setter

The Irish Setters are very active, outdoor-loving and trainable dogs. They love to be included in everything the family does, especially if the kids are involved. Upon maturity, the Irish Setter is an ideal walking, hiking and biking companion, according to the American Kennel Club.

German Shepherd

German shepherds have a mixed reputation because of the police work they are used for, Dr. Manfredi says, "but they are very nice dogs." They are also rated among the best guard dogs because they are good at listening and following orders. "Their loyalty, courage, confidence, ability to learn, and willingness to protect their people is like no other breed," according to VetStreet.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador retrievers are among the most popular dogs in the country. They are very protective (possibly why they are often used as service dogs), dependable, playful and affectionate. They love to be active outside in the yard and to swim. They also get along with other pets in the house.

Golden Retriever

The breed that is probably most worthy of the "All-American dog" title is the Golden Retriever, Dr. Manfredi says. They are always happy to play and friendly. They love it when people pay attention to them and will often initiate a game so you can engage with them.  

Bernese Mountain Dog

This loyal companion is famous for his or her calm, patient and affectionate personality. They can get very goofy when playing with kids. These canines are also heavy – between 70 and 120 pounds. They require a lot of exercise in order to stay healthy. Keep them hiking, tracking, running, chasing and active in any way you can. They don't have a long lifespan, however, and are sensitive to heat and humidity.


Newfs are famous for being sweet, patient, devoted and good companions overall. "Truly a gentle giant, the Newfoundland is a courageous and intelligent working dog who can masquerade as a couch potato inside the house. His docile temperament and love of children make for a wonderful family dog if you don't mind lots of slobber," according to VetStreet.


Consider a mid-size or a larger dog of a mixed breed for you family. One advantage of not having a purebred is that you get the best qualities of several breeds in one canine. Mixed breeds are thought to adjust more easily to a variety of households and living conditions and have fewer health issues, according to PetMD.


With an Einstein brain and a Three Stooges sense of humor, the Poodle keeps his people entertained, according to VetStreet. They score high in almost all categories, including friendliness, adaptability, exercising, trainability and sociability. Poodles' energy levels are through the roof, making them awesome family dogs, especially when you consider how gentle they are.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers sometimes get a bad reputation, but they are actually loving and loyal. The only time they are not friendly is when they feel a threat to their family. These dogs are smart and highly trainable as long as you don't leave them out in the yard without paying any attention to them. Their affection and adaptability levels are very high.