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Top Child-Friendly Dog Breeds

At A Glance

Dogs are intelligent, hardworking animals. They are sensitive to emotions, respond to human authority, and are trained to handle emergencies. Read our list of the most intelligent dogs if you'd like to nurture the smartest dog in the neighborhood.

Last Updated on: Jun 24, 2022

As it turns out, dogs are remarkably intelligent creatures. How else are they able to respond to human commands, recognize individuals by scent, and understand body language? The greatest potential in a dog can be brought out by a human willing to train them to respond to tasks and carry them out correctly.

There are two aspects of adaptive intelligence—problem-solving and social-learning skills. Working and obedience intelligence refers to the dog’s capacity to learn and obey human commands.

Our list of the most intelligent dog breeds lists the brightest dogs in terms of working and adaptive intelligence. The dogs on this list have vibrant and active personalities. They are easy to train and socialize with children and other pets.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Confident, intelligent, and affectionate are some of the top qualities of golden retrievers. This breed strikes the right balance between being assertive and timid.

Along with a patient demeanor, golden retrievers are high-spirited, playful pets. They are easy to train and can pick up various skills very quickly.

Goldens are known to be gentle and playful with kids.



Labrador Retriever

With playful, loving, and protective natures, Labrador retrievers are America’s number one dog. This breed is highly intelligent and can be trained for hunting, performing tricks, tracking, and much more.

Their gentle and outgoing natures make them fantastic as household pets.

Labrador Retrievers gel very well with babies, and when mingling with children, they are calm, confident, and extremely careful. They are known to exhibit peaceful behavior around kids.

Beagle playing with kid


A popular hound breed, beagles were originally bred for hunting. They are highly energetic dogs that love to play or engage in extensive training sessions.

Beagles are one of the best dogs to accompany you when you explore the outdoors. Compact and easy to carry, beagles are a popular family pet.

Their calm temperaments and playful nature help  beagles get along with your toddlers.

Irish setter

Irish Setter

If you are looking for a sociable dog, Irish setters are ideal for your family. Popular for their red coats, the breed is jolly and loves being the center of attention. This breed enjoys spending time outdoors and in open spaces.

Their lively, intelligent, and affectionate natures make them the perfect companion for energetic kids.

The breed is intelligent and picks up commands on the go.

Pug sitting with boy


Pugs are small dogs with stellar personalities. They are endearing and intelligent, and they would be wonderful additions to your family. The breed thrives on affection and is extremely protective of its owners.

Gentle and passive, pugs can be your child’s best friend. They enjoy playing and will tolerate your child’s antics without biting or harming them. This breed is semi-active and will most likely not prefer intense exercise regimes.

Newfoundland playing with kid


Tender, sweet, and patient, Newfoundland’s are well suited for children.

They not only enjoy playing with kids but are also protective of them.

The breed is also easy to train. In particular, they enjoy highly stimulating activities. They’re excellent swimmers, so if you have a pool, that’s a bonus. Newfoundlands are best suited to open spaces and make active outdoor companions.

Bulldog with baby

French Bulldog

Sturdy, docile, and loyal, the French bulldog is a highly popular pet. Dog parents must train French bulldogs how to socialize around kids.

Once trained properly, this breed mingles well with children.

These compact-sized dogs are easy-going and adaptable with affectionate temperaments. Their exercise requirements are low. The breed enjoys training as long as the routine does not become overly competitive.

children playing with dog

What Makes a Dog Child-Friendly?

Characteristics like size, temperament, energy levels, and lifestyle determine how child-friendly your dog is.


Big and small dogs alike can be well-suited as household pets. There is a generalization that smaller dogs are more aggressive and difficult to control—according to a study, smaller dogs tend to be more destructive.

However, researchers confirm that a dog’s household environment significantly influences its combative behavior.

There is also a possibility that owners tend to be more lenient with smaller dogs. Hence, a dog’s behavior is highly dependent on how you train and socialize it.


Dogs have very different personalities: some are timid, and others are confident; some are boisterous, and others are shy. Look for dog breeds with agreeable temperaments. You will find it easier to introduce your children to friendly breeds like golden retrievers, poodles, Labradors, or beagles.


High-spirited dogs make great companions for kids. They are lively and playful outdoors. However, before you bring home a canine, evaluate the efforts that must go into taking care of it.

If you bring home a hyperactive dog, you have to devote significant time to managing its energy. It may become stubborn and destructive if its daily exercise requirements are not met. In contrast, a dog with relatively lower activity requirements won’t pose these problems. They are low maintenance and don’t mind spending their day taking naps.


Research has shown that pets carry microbes that can strengthen children’s immune systems. However, if your child is already allergic to animal fur, it’s best to choose a hypoallergenic dog breed with minimal shedding.

child with dog

Watching your child and dog develop a meaningful connection can be very beautiful. Now that you have insights on the best child-friendly dog breeds, you can bring home a canine companion.

Remember to gradually introduce your new dog to your child. Training dogs for child safety behaviors is crucial, especially when you have very small children at home. Equally essential is teaching your children to respect your dog’s boundaries.

General child-friendly dog breeds dog breeds

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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.