Considering adding a new four-legged member to your family? You’re taking a great first step on your journey: reflecting on and determining what kind of dog is best for your family’s interests and lifestyle. Doing so may lead to a happier ending for you—and your dog. The most common reasons people give up their pets for adoption, according to a Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science study, “Behavior Reasons for Relinquishment of Dogs and Cats to 12 Shelters,” are people feeling that the dog was “too active,” needed “too much attention,” and was “aggressive toward people.” This goes to show that not all families are a good fit for all pets and not all pets are a good fit for all families.
Learn about these great dog breeds, and see who might be a good fit for you.
Dog Breeds That Are Good with Children
Beagle: “Beagles are happy-go-lucky and friendly, making them a wonderful family pet,” according to the American Kennel Club. The Beagle, pictured above, has these added benefits -- these dogs are not prone to smelling like… dogs. They come with minimal drooling and shedding.
Bernese Mountain Dog: Whatever you say, goes, boss, say these dogs! The breed is friendly with kids and other pets.
Bloodhound: Seeking a dog that is both docile and adventurous? This is your pet! The breed does well with other dogs and children.
Boxer: Wary of strangers and intruders, this pet tends to play nice with children and other dogs.
Collie: Like Lassie, dogs of this breed are loyal to and loving with kids and adults.
Golden Retriever: True to the typecast roles this breed has landed in family films from Homeward Bound to the Air Bud series, these dogs are playful with and faithful to kids and adults in their families.
Keeshond: Outgoing yet calm, this breed is a good fit for families with kids.
Labrador Retriever: These canines enjoy being active with their humans—small ones, too!
Spaniels: The variety—which includes Brittany, Cavalier King Charles, Cocker, English Springer, Tibetan and Welsh Springer Spaniels—is made up of loyal, companionable dogs who get along with people and their kids.
Terriers: Loving to people young and old, the variety—which includes the family-friendly Airedale, Australian, Bedlington, Boston, Cairn, Cesky, Kerry Blue, Lakeland, Rat, Scottish, West Highland White and Yorkshire terriers—packs a lot of personality, but these dogs are usually loyal and trainable.
Companion Dog Breeds: They Want to Go Where You’re Going
Bearded Collie: These sweet dogs thrive on human attention—to the point where they don’t enjoy being left by themselves. The good news? They’re social, extroverts who get along with kids and are easy to train.
Borzoi: Looking for a travel partner? Here’s your pet. These dogs like the company of children and other canines, too.
Dachshund: On the go? These dogs are up for the journey! They’re good with kids, given the right introductions and socialization.
Active Dogs Breeds
Alaskan Marmalute: Bred to carry cargo, these family-friendly dogs love athletics.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Muscular and energetic, this dog could be the perfect playmate for you and any kids in the family, too.
English Setter: Mild-mannered, this breed loves exercising and being outside and gets along with children. These dogs do not do well confined to small spaces.
German Shepherd: Known as a police and military dog breed—thanks to this canine’s strong build and intelligence—a German Shepherd will keep up with equally high-energy humans.
Great Dane: Traditionally hunting dogs, now a family-friendly pet, this breed is muscular and requires daily exercise.
Irish Setter: Always on the go, this dog has a strong drive to hunt and exercise.
Dogs for Busy Households
Basset Hound: These smart, independent, agreeable dogs require little grooming, do well with other pets and kids, have relatively low activity levels and are truly dedicated to their families.
Bull Dog: Docile and loving with kids, this breed doesn’t need a lot of grooming or exercise compared to other breeds.
Pug: These pups get along with families, do well in small living quarters and don’t require as much grooming or exercise as other types of dogs.
More on Dog Breeds
Popular Designer Dog Breeds Facts
The Best Dog Breeds for Older People
The Best Dog Breeds for Fancy Grooming