The Best Dog Breeds for Children from The Best Dog Breeds for Children

The Best Dog Breeds for Children

No one argues that having a dog has many benefits both mental and physical. Research has shown that canines and pets in general make people happy and improve your heart health. A study of 3- to 6-year-olds found that kids with pets had more empathy towards other animals and human beings. A separate study found that even just having an animal in a classroom made kids in fourth grade more compassionate.

Bull Terriers

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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

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“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 too tired for any kind of frisky interaction. However, Dr. Manfredi adds, they can’t be in the heat too long. They are short-nosed dogs and may have breathing difficulties. 

Irish Setters

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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.

Beagle

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“The Beagle is a great dog and very cool for fun things to do,” Dr. Heather Manfredi, a veterinarian at Lap of Love, says. They weigh about 20 to 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.

Newfoundland

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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.

Golden Retriever

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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.  

Labrador Retriever

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Labrador Retrievers are among the most popular dogs in the country. They are very protective (this is 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.

Old English Sheepdog

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These country dogs do best in the suburbs or anywhere they can run freely and play in a big yard, just like kids. This is an adaptable, intelligent breed with an easygoing disposition, according to Dog Time. They are excellent walking, jogging, biking and hiking companions – basically an active child’s best friend.

Dalmatian

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The Dalmatian is an activity-loving, high-energy hound. [See: The 15 Best Surfing Dogs] They are so fast that they can even keep up with horses. They love people so much that separation anxiety can develop, which, in turn, can lead to destructive behavior, according to Pet Wave.

Collie

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You can rarely find an inactive Collie. They are ready to go all the time and they always want to be engaged. Sound familiar? Just like active and young kids, they love to play ball, Frisbee, and anything that has them running around. They are an exercise-loving and energetic breed. They are great training partners (especially if you are getting ready to run marathons).

Poodle

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With an Einstein brain and a Three Stooges sense of humor, the Poodle keeps 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.

Vizsla

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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 that needs a great deal of exercise to avoid becoming bored and destructive. […] His worst fear [is] being separated from his family,” according to VetStreet.

Australian Shepherd

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They are known for their high-energy temperament and need for vigorous activity. Herding dogs were bred to have high stamina, work long hours and have a strong work drive. They are very energetic, and you have to keep them exercised; hyper Aussies can misbehave. Also, they have high tolerance for pain, which is helpful when a child is tugging, hugging, and falling on them.

Bulldog

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Bulldogs are calm, courageous, and friendly; dignified but amusing, according to American Kennel Club. They are not the most active of dogs, but they are very attached to their owners, which makes them great protectors. They are said to have a “sixth sense” when it comes to child protection, according to The Bulldog Information Library. Contrary to what many people believe, bulldogs are actually well-tempered.

Cocker Spaniel

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Cocker Spaniels are easily trained, gentle and playful. They are ranked very highly in the “child friendly” category, according to VetStreet. This dog is very affectionate and docile with members of the entire family. They are not small enough to be harmed by the kids, and not big enough to harm children by accident.