Choosing a family friendly dog is an important decision and one that will affect the dynamic of your household. We’ve created this list of the best family-friendly dog breeds to help you make the right choice.

Family-friendly dog breeds

There is much to consider when you are selecting the right dog breed for your home, especially if you have children. Nothing can top the pure delight of your children meeting their new dog for the first time, but first you need to consider factors about the dog such as their energy levels, friendliness, and sturdiness to ensure the safety of your children and your new pet. Use our Dog Breed Selector Quiz to discover the perfect breed for your family and lifestyle, and read on to learn about the best family-friendly dog breeds that are great with children.


Best puppy toys

Beagles are merry little scent hounds. Their outgoing, friendly disposition makes them good play-mates for children as well as other dogs. A couple of cuddles and Beagles will happily consider strangers their new best friends. While Beagles are intelligent, they will need to be trained and socialised from a young age so they learn the rules of the house.

Beagles require a healthy amount of exercise and will love exploring outdoors with your children. However, they’re very curious creatures and are inclined to follow their nose so make sure you keep them on a lead when you’re out and about and in a fenced yard at home because once they catch a scent you’ll be hard-pressed to stop them going after it. If you’re looking for an affectionate and active pet, Beagles are one of the best family dog breeds for you.

Golden Retrievers

Playful golden retriever puppy

Golden Retrievers are adored by families around the world, and why wouldn’t they be? As a naturally outgoing breed, Golden Retrievers are very gentle and patient with kids and other pets alike. Intelligent and eager to please, this breed is very easy to train so you can teach them family-friendly necessities such as not to jump up, especially on children, not to chew on your kid’s toys, and areas in the house that are out of bounds for them.

For families with older children, Golden Retrievers are the perfect friend to bring to the park with you as they love to be active and will enjoy a good game of fetch and other sports. With their beautiful golden coats and cheerful demeanour, Golden Retrievers will soon become a beloved member of your family and enrich the lives of you and your children.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers

While they’re strong and muscular on the outside, at heart, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are gentle with children and very people-friendly, even with strangers! With their incredible stamina, Staffordshire Bull Terriers give it their all when it comes to love, play or work. They’re highly devoted to their families and love being around them. Due to their companionable nature they should be kept indoors but with access to a yard that they can play in. If you have a highly active family, then this is the right breed for you as they need an intensive daily workout.

They’re intelligent but stubborn so be firm, consistent and patient when training and socialising them. By beginning their training from a young age, your Staffordshire Bull Terrier will soon be house-trained and following your lead. Confident and loyal, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the best family dogs out there.

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retriever

Being good-natured, friendly and affectionate, Labrador Retrievers have a reputation of being one of the best family dog breeds, and are generally a very popular breed worldwide. They are very loyal and enjoy being around their family, making them perfect for children who just want to shower their pet with love. As a high-energy breed, Labrador Retrievers need a significant amount of exercise each day which will encourage your children to stay active.

As a ‘retriever’, they are instinctively good at holding objects in their mouth and do so with great gentleness, however if you do not provide them with suitable toys and the right training, this instinct could cause them to chew on your belongings. Luckily, Labrador Retrievers are also eager to please and responsive to training. Their fun-loving nature and lack of fear may need lead to boisterousness behaviour, but as long as you’re confident and firm in how you teach them, you’ll find that this breed makes for an obedient and beloved family pet.

Cocker Spaniels

With their soft coat and long, floppy ears, your kids will love cuddling up with a Cocker Spaniel, and this affectionate breed will be happy to snuggle them right back! Cocker Spaniels are very attached to their family and will crave their attention which is great for children who have a lot of love to give.

As they are intelligent and eager to please, this makes for a very obedient pet. In terms of exercise, Cocker Spaniels do not require a large yard and will be happy with a daily walk. They are also very good swimmers so if you have a pool, they will love to splash around with your kids. As a sweet and gentle breed, Cocker Spaniels are one of the best family-friendly dogs that love playtime and being included in family activities.

Bonus: Mixed Breeds!

Get the best of all the worlds with a mixed breed dog who can offer the most attractive traits of all their breeds! There are many rescue dogs in animal shelters across Australia waiting to be welcomed to their forever homes. You can learn about their personalities and see their body language to make sure they’re the perfect match for you before you bring them home. All dogs adopted through Petbarn’s adoption partners have been temperament tested and health checked so the only decision you have to make is which one is the best dog for your family!

To discover even more of the best family-friendly dog breeds, use our Dog Breed Selector Quiz to be matched with your new best friend.

Take our Dog Breed Selector quiz now!

Take our Dog Breed Selector quiz now!