How to Choose the Right Dog Breed for Your Family

You probably have realized that not all dogs are created equal, right? There are small, large, noisy, cute, hairy, protective, social, quiet, and everything in between type of dog.

Most breeds though have certain common traits or characteristics that one can generally count on when trying to decide what dog to buy or adopt.

We usually understand the dynamics of our family unit pre-dog such as whether or not our family contains young kids, older kids, no kids, elderly or frail individuals, people who are always gone or extremely active or if our family is small or large, quiet and also if our family is generally of low activity level.

When searching for the perfect match regarding a dog for our family, we can then examine the breed traits and characteristics to see how well the dog may fit into the dynamics of our family unit.

Dog Breeds Good for Families


Breeds that are commonly thought of as being good for families with children are Labradors because of the lab’s personality, which is a very accommodating one. A lab though needs to be kept active otherwise they will become bored easily and then may turn to destructive behaviors.

Golden Retrievers

Another breed of dog that would be perfect for a family with children is the Golden Retriever. They, like the Lab are mild mannered, well accommodating to most situations, and enjoy being around humans.

If you have handicapped children or adults in the family both the Lab and the Golden Retriever would make excellent choices. Golden Retrievers get along well with other pets that you may have now or in the future.

They are very playful dogs and do well with an active older child. This breed does require lots of grooming though which would be good if you are teaching your child to be responsible for the care of a dog.


Another dog that is of a smaller breed, but does equally well with children in the family, is the Beagle. The Beagle is not an aggressive dog and is generally very friendly.

This breed does not do well though if left alone for long periods of time on a regular basis. The size of the Beagle makes this breed a great choice for families with small children.

Basset Hounds

Another sweet and gentle dog for kids is the Basset Hound. They are great for families with kids of all ages.

German Shepherds

Families with older children will also want to consider the German Shepherd, known for loyalty and a very strong protective nature. They are quite tolerant of the behaviors of older children but because of their size are not generally suited for families with small children.

Other Dog Breeds to Consider

Other dog breeds that you may want to investigate for those families with children are the Dalmatian, the Bearded Collie, the American Cocker Spaniel and also Cockapoos. Although these breeds are known to be good for households with children it is important to judge each dog on individual merits.

Dog Breeds Suitable for the Elderly

When choosing a dog for a family that has a senior citizen it is important to look at the temperament of the dog as well as the maintenance needs of the dog.

Top dog breed choices for the elderly are the Schnauzer, the Pug, Cocker Spaniel, the Chihuahua, the Shih Tzu, the Yorkshire Terrier, the Scottish Terrier, the Toy Poodle, and also the Pomeranian.

Smaller dog breeds with milder temperaments are generally good choices especially when they also come with the protective nature that will help to make those who are older feel more secure.