Breeds That Make Great Family Pets

Choosing a family pet is exciting, but should be approached with care. There are some dog breeds that historically don’t do well with children or children in certain age ranges. Keep in mind grooming requirements when choosing a canine. Some shed year-round or need weekly trips to a groomer.

Families also need to consider the mature size of the dog. While some breeds can live in small apartments or city environments, they may be best suited to a larger or rural home. The American Kennel Club has named the following breeds, in no particular order, as those that make good family pets and get along with children and other dogs.

Golden Retriever

The breed is known for an agreeable personality, intelligence, and versatility. They’re friendly, eager to please, and devoted to their family. The breed is high energy, playful, and requires daily exercise.

Labrador Retriever

They’re highly trainable and eager to please, versatile, patient, and playful. They have a lot of energy, need plenty of playtime, and are great for active families.

Irish Setter

Trainable and playful, the breed is great for active families. They’re sweet-natured, outgoing, and need plenty of exercise and/or room to run.


Intelligent, trainable and affectionate, the breed is great for active families. They’re protective, require daily exercise, like to play, and are very quick.


Known as “nanny dogs,” they’re loyal, smart and gentle. It’s a very large breed that’s curious and outgoing. Socialization is essential, they’re typically calm, and have a moderate energy level. Human contact every day is essential for this breed.


Loyal, friendly, calm and courageous, they can adapt to a wide variety of living environments. The breed is dignified, low energy, but still require regular walks and playtime.


Intelligent, friendly, playful, and curious, the breed is high energy and likes to keep active. They need plenty of exercise and tend to be vocal.

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