10 Best Family Dogs Who Are Naturally Kid-Friendly – Dogtime

Adopting a dog is like choosing a brand new family member. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly and proper research should be done for any new fur-baby. When there are kids involved, the decision is even more important. The truth is that some breeds are not great for families with children. They may be naturally nervous or aggressive, or simply prefer low-key home environments. If you’re looking for the best family dog, here are some qualities you need to look for:Sturdy: Kids aren’t always as gentle as they should be, so you need a dog that will be patient and resilient. This is for both your child’s safety and your dog’s happiness. (“Miniature” or “toy” breeds are known for being nervous and delicate and may not be great choices.)Energetic: Similar to “sturdy,” the perfect kid-friendly dog breeds have plenty of energy. They need to be able to keep up with the kids without getting exhausted or irritated. Make sure you pick a breed whose needs match your family’s activity level. (Choosing a young dog may help, but breeds like Retrievers and Spaniels are generally known for their high energy levels.)Intelligent: Although all dogs should be trained, it’s especially important around kids. Your new pet needs to know that no means no as soon as possible for your kids’ safety. (Hunting dogs, like a few on this list, are known for their high intelligence.)Friendly: This trait is especially hard to quantify and can vary the most by individual pet. However, when looking for a new dog to add to your family, it’s important to select one with a warm and open demeanor. Avoid breeds that are known for being impatient, nervous, or violent.With those traits in mind, here are the 10 best dogs for families that fit the bill:1. American Water SpanielThe American Water Spaniel is a highly energetic dog originally bred for hunting. These dogs need to spend all day running around if you ever want them to sleep at night (much like kids!). This breed is especially fond of water (hence their name). They are great swimmers and even sport a water-resistant coat. As an added bonus, although these pups are exceptionally warm to their owners, they are wary of strangers, making them great watchdogs.2. Basset HoundAnother hunting dog, the Basset Hound is well-known as one of the best family pets. They are a slower-pace hunting dog, making them lazy around the house. Bred as pack dogs, they are loyal to their family and may always be “under foot.” Their medium size (50 – 60 pounds) makes them adaptable to any living space. Bassets Hounds are loving and gentle dogs. The only downside may be that they’re stubborn and training can take patience, so they are best for families with some extra time.3. BeagleBeagles are a small-medium size, energetic, and very friendly. They make great family pets for all of those reasons and more. As a hound, Beagles can be a little stubborn, like Bassets, but they are great active companions for all ages, making them a fantastic choice for most families. Another pack breed, these dogs will bond strongly with their families, adults and children alike.4. Bernese Mountain DogBernese Mountain Dogs are known for being large, calm, and goofy. They truly are “gentle giants.” Originally used for farm work, this breed is eager to learn and easy to train. These gentle beasts make great companion animals. However, due to their large size, they are not suitable for living situations with limited space. If you have the space for one, they are an easy choice for their happy-go-lucky demeanor.5. Boston TerrierNicknamed “The American Gentleman” do to their tuxedo-like markings, these dogs were originally bred as fighting dogs… But don’t write them off just yet! A Boston Terrier is a lover, not a fighter. These dogs are highly intelligent and are full of energy, despite their small, stocky size. They are affectionate and loving, if a little cheeky. Their size, energy, and sturdy build make them great family pets.6. BrittanyBrittanys (previously “Brittany Spaniel” before 1982) make great family pets for an active family. These dogs are known to be especially athletic and need constant activity to stay happy. Brittanys are task-oriented dogs, which makes easy to train, but also means that they cannot be left alone for long lengths of time. They are friendly and fun-loving and work best in large families where they can have consistent companionship.7. Cavalier King Charles SpanielThe Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred to be the lapdog of the Spaniels. He loves cuddling up and getting belly rubs. This breed is perfect for kids who want to give their pets constant physical attention. But don’t let his calm disposition fool you. The Cavalier retains some of his heritage with a hearty appetite for games and easy-to-train attitude. They are very affectionate and form close bonds with their owners.8. Curly-Coated Retriever

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