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The Best Dog Breeds for Families

The Best Dog Breeds for Families

A lot of thought goes into picking the perfect dog

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When adding a pup to your family, it can be difficult to decide which breed is right for you. To find the best dog breeds, we consulted the American Kennel Club and what breeds they recommend for families.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

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Labrador retrievers are consistently the most popular dog breed in the United States, and for good reason. The breed is friendly, outgoing, trainable and plays well with kids. The breed is also endlessly entertaining with its versatile set of skills, which include hunting, diving and tracking.

Bulldog

Bulldog

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Despite their mopey appearance, bulldogs are kind mannered and love curling up in their humans’ laps. They are calm and courageous, and tend not to need a lot of exercise. That means a nice, easy scenic walk is just perfect. This breed adapts especially well to both city and country settings, making it ideal for families who like exploring.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers

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Golden retrievers are one of the most intelligent dog breeds, making them suitable as guides for the blind and in search and rescue operations. They have an endearing personality and play nice with both children and other dogs.

Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter

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The American Kennel Club calls this breed “the black avenger of the Highlands” for its bold and confident disposition in the field. While they are highly athletic, adventurous and a great backyard dog, Gordon setters also love to cuddle by their owner’s side.

Beagle

Beagle

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Beagles are happy and companionable dogs, qualities that make them a top choice for families. The breed has relatively low grooming needs and loves to play, which will keep everyone in the family active.

Pug

Pug

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This even-tempered and charming breed has a special affinity for children. One thing to keep in mind when caring for a pug is that the dog will happily spend all day snuggling on the sofa. And with the breed’s fondness for food, you’ll want to make sure they’re getting outdoors for some exercise — except when it’s hot. The pug breed is not very tolerant of humid weather.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

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Brussels griffons are full of personality, but require calm and gentle surroundings. This breed would be best for families without other pets and without children who want to roughhouse. Brussels griffons are intelligent, active companions who thrive on interaction and mental stimulation, making them one of the best dog breeds for seniors.

Eurasier

Eurasier

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The Eurasier breed is known to be smart, loyal and attached to its family. The dogs tend not to be open and energetic in front of strangers.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound

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Basset hounds are not as active as some other breeds, but that doesn't mean they won’t enjoy playtime — they’ll just settle down for a cute and quiet nap afterwards. These low-key, almost animated dogs are as charming as they come.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland

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Getting your kids a pet is one of the things every parent should do in their lifetime, and the Newfoundland breed is known to be sweet-tempered, patient and perfect for families. The breed also boasts a reputation for being a patient and watchful “nanny dog” for kids.

French Bulldog

French bulldog

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French bulldogs are among the world’s most popular dog breeds. They are an especially good fit for families with younger children because of their alertness, making them excellent watchdogs. Frenchies also sport a short coat that requires only weekly brushing and won’t get in the way of the dozen other things you have to do.

Siberian Husky

Siberian husky

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Often found in beautiful frozen landscapes, the Siberian husky was first bred as a pack dog, which means it gets on extremely well with other dogs and will do well in a house full of humans. Siberians are friendly and energetic, so they require ample space to run in. Another appealing feature of this breed is that it is naturally clean and gives off minimal doggy odor.

Irish Setter

Irish setter

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The American Kennel Club notes Irish setters are “famously good family dogs” with a versatile personality. This breed will enjoy a peaceful stroll just as much as it will enjoy fetching tennis balls in a wide open field. A dog like this will be extra cute with the name Gizmo, which is one of the most popular dog names

Boston Terrier

Boston terrier

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Boston terriers are adorably well-mannered and make lovable companions to anyone. These dogs make an excellent pet if you live in the city — sturdy but portable, and ever so people-friendly.

Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka

Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka

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Russian tsvetnaya bolonka translates to “Russian colored lapdog.” This breed is hypoallergenic, inquisitive, clever and extremely loyal to its family. The American Kennel Club points out that these dogs are pretty independent for a toy breed and should be introduced to social circles early on. The easy-going Russian tsvetnaya bolonka is not aggressive, which makes it a great companion for children.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles spaniels are perfect for those who love small and snuggly companions. These regal pups get along great with other dogs, so having more than one would not be an issue. They’re especially popular for families because of their small size and even temper, making them an easy pick for when your kids want a puppy.

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

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The West Highland white terrier does require some grooming, but not as extensively as some of the other breeds on this list. Like other terriers, these dogs are loyal, entertaining and intelligent. And though they can be challenging to train, your family can work on it together.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

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Cocker spaniels love playing with kids. These happy dogs do require regular and thorough grooming as well as a particular diet, but that may not be a bad thing if you’re trying to teach your kids how to responsibly care for an animal.

Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier

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Scottish terriers have an almost human-like personality, which makes them great pets, as they are efficient, confident and highly aware of their surroundings. However, Scottish terriers do have a tendency to be cranky around other dogs, so they’re better suited as a family’s first pet.

Löwchen

Löwchen

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The löwchen breed weighs between 10-12 pounds and stands about 12 inches tall, yet it is considered to be “as brave as a lion” by the American Kennel Club. These dogs are not equipped to go on long-distance runs, but they’ll enjoy other activities if they’re surrounded by family.

Collie

Collie

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Thanks to the hit television series “Lassie” that ran from the 1950s to the 1970s, collies became the dream dog for families everywhere. And even though tastes may have changed, collies remain great for families because they love children, are equally athletic as they are entertaining, and they are loyal and gentle. They thrive on companionship and adjust to your lifestyle easily.

Schipperke

Schipperke

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Have a pest problem? A schipperke might be for you. This fox-like breed is a great dog to have for its alertness and ability to track down vermin. Schipperkes love playing and exploring, and they love being in households that have the time and energy to properly train them and appreciate their playful personalities.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

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Miniature schnauzers have a lot going for them for such little dogs. They are muscular and fearless without being overly aggressive, according to the National Kennel Club, and adapt quickly to any living space. But considering a pet-friendly city wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

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The fluffy bichon frise makes an excellent companion. These dogs generally weigh less than 20 pounds and are considered to be relatively hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed much. And to top it off, bichons are good at following directions, which will be helpful when it’s time to properly train your puppy.

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