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The best dog breeds for families with kids

These pups are seriously sweet.


By Jackie Frere, Woman's Day

Adopting a dog is like welcoming a new member. But before you make the plunge, it's important to do your research: Do you want a big or small dog? Are they good with small children? According to the American Kennel Club, these are some of the most family-friendly breeds out there.


Basset Hound


If those big eyes don't win you over, then those big, floppy ears definitely will. Basset Hounds are loyal, low-key dogs that are known for their keen sense of smell. They may not be so quick out in the yard, but they definitely have the endurance to keep up with the little ones in your family.


Beagle


Beagles were meant to hunt in packs, which means they live for companionship and have tons of energy - pretty much all of the time. These curious pups require playtime and a lot of love, but in return you'll get a loyal and friendly pet.


Bernese Mountain Dog


If you live in a colder climate, the Bernese Mountain Dog will love your home. This beautiful breed thrives in chilly weather thanks to their thick, smooth coats. They're also a perfect match for families, because they're gentle with young children - so you won't have to worry about them getting rough with your youngest.


Bichon Frise


Most Bichon Frises haven't met someone they didn't like. They're apt to please anyone who crosses their paths, so if your family wants dogs that they can teach tricks, a bichon is for you. The fluffy pups are also hypoallergenic, so allergies won't be a problem (bonus!).


Boxer


If your family is searching for a fierce watchdog, look no more. While boxers can be playful and energetic, they bond closely with their family and have extreme patience with children. That means they take their job as protecter seriously and won't be afraid to pounce if necessary.


Bull Terrier


Bull Terriers are hounds that require a little more love and care than most breeds for their loyalty, but it's worth it. If your family is up for giving them daily exercise, interaction with other dogs, and quality bonding time, then you won't have a better, more devoted pup.


Bulldog


Pushed-in nose, scrunchie brow, and a lot of rolls: It must be a bulldog. These little guys are incredibly easygoing and enjoy short walks outside. It's important to keep on their diet, however, because they gain weight - fast. But no matter their size, they'll love to cuddle no matter the time of day.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel takes after its royal ties - the dog will happily lounge on its throne all day or go for a brisk trot around the garden if its owner asks. The adorable breed really takes on the personality of the family it belongs to - if you have a more active family, your pup will be more energetic, but if your family is more centered around home life, then it'll become more of a homebody. Simple as that!


Collie


Collies adore companionship and love connecting with children. Don't let their long, beautiful coats fool you - collies are no show dogs. This breed requires regular exercise, as these hounds are very athletic. Take the whole family out for a day at the park or a daily run. It'll serve as a bonding experience for everyone.


Dachshund


Don't expect the dachshund to be running marathons or swimming laps any time soon thanks to their tiny legs. But these smart dogs love playing and definitely think they're much bigger than they actually are (just listen to their bark). This breed is the tiny watchdog you never knew you needed - and they'll win over your heart in a second.


German Shepard


Confidence? Yep. Courage? Of course. German Shepards are loved by the police force for a reason: they're one of the most loyal breeds out there. They learn commands easily and aren't afraid to protect their families when needed. German Shepards are gentle around their loved ones and caring creatures at heart, just don't cross them or you'll witness one fierce growl.


Golden Retriever


The American Kennel Club calls the golden retriever one of the United State's most popular dog breeds, and it's easy to understand why. These family dogs are incredibly eager to please, are easy to train, and could play for hours. This trustworthy creature saves lives on a daily basis and could fit into any home in an instant.


Labrador


Labradors are, simply put, eager: Eager to please, eager to love, and eager to share just about anything. The lovable hounds are easygoing with big or small families, and they couldn't be more excited to interact with other animals. Labs love exercise, particularly outdoors, and are one of America's most popular dog breeds to date.


Poodle


Poodles come in three sizes: standards, miniatures, and toys. The standard poodle is the largest of the breed and the most active. Miniatures are the second largest of the bunch, and toys are no more than 10 inches tall. These dogs are incredibly smart and want to be treated as such, so don't shy away from teaching them tricks at home.


Labradoodle


If you can't decide between an adorable poodle and a lovable labrador retriever, why not get both? This hypoallergenic dog has a low-shedding coat, is incredibly affectionate, and loves to play with others. Many labradoodles are actually guide dogs for the blind, because of their attentiveness to their owners and calming demeanor.


Newfoundland Dog


The Newfoundland might look like a small bear, but if you have the room for one in your home, you definitely won't regret adopting this teddy. The AKC calls "Newfies" patient and the "nanny dog" for young children, because these gentle giants won't let anything happen to your little ones.


Pug


If you've ever seen a pug in person, their faces tell you everything you need to know, because their expressions look almost human-like. This breed gets along with people of all ages and loves to hang out at home. But just like bulldogs, their diet needs to be monitored closely or they can gain a few pounds quickly!


Shih Tzu


Shih Tzus (pronounced "sheet-su") love lounging around, so if you live in a smaller space, consider these adorable pups. They come from Chinese royalty and are known to be incredibly affectionate with children. You might recognize most Shih Tzus as having long hair (some owners even like giving them ponytails!), but it's up to the family on how they want to groom their dogs.


Vizsla


Vizslas aren't the kind of dogs that enjoy alone time, - and in a house full of people, that's a good thing. These hounds love forming super tight bonds with their owners and are built for long days of activities. If you have an active family, these pups will fit right in.


A Mutt


There's no better feeling then giving a pup a loving home, so why not take a chance and adopt from a shelter? Your local animal rescue will help you find the perfect breed for your family. If you don't think it's a fit, ask a shelter how you can help others find forever homes for shelter dogs.

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Pets Magazine: The best dog breeds for families with kids
The best dog breeds for families with kids
These pups are seriously sweet.
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