5 of the Best Dog Breeds for Kids

Are you looking for the newest addition to your family? Find a lifelong companion for your kids in these loyal, gentle, fun-loving breeds.

A home can feel empty without a bounding, leaping fur-baby being a part of it. We’re sure you feel the same and that’s why you’re trying to find out about the best dog breeds for kids that will fit right in with your family.

When you have kids in the home, you want them to be safe whilst still being exposed to all there is to learn about the big, wide world. A great opportunity for this is to introduce a dog into the family. Your child will have years to learn about nurturing, responsibility, and which mud spots in the flower beds are the best for rolling around in together.

Things to keep in mind

Character and personality

What does your family like to do on the weekends? Do you have time to spare throughout your day for a high-energy dog? How old are your kids and what is the safest option? All dogs are unique and bring their own quirks to the table but there are known traits about certain breeds that make a difference when choosing a pup.


Before you decide to fall in love with a Great Dane puppy and bring them into your two-bedroom, third-floor apartment: do your research on size. Also, remember – the bigger the dog, the bigger the dog-food bill!

Find out: The 5 Best Small Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

How adaptable is your space for a dog? Would a large dog have enough room, or would a smaller fur-baby be more comfortable with you?


Choosing to introduce a dog to your family means having a plan about how to care for them. Who will be responsible for what? And which responsibilities come with the breed of the dog? Can you afford to finance the real cost of pet care?

Related: How Pet Insurance Saves You Money

Bear in mind that the way your dog interacts with your children largely comes down to how to train them from the get-go.

The best dog breeds for kids

1.     Pug

These sleepy, lazy dogs have a gentle, patient, and friendly demeanour that’s perfect for young children who are learning how to care for a pet. Beware that you’ll have to keep them on a regular diet (no table scraps allowed!) and make sure they get plenty of exercise, but look no further if you want a couch companion to snuggle up and watch movies with. The nice thing about pugs is that they don’t need a large garden, so they suit a variety of lifestyles.

2.     Beagle

Looking for a dog who’s more content with the calmer side of life? Cue: Beagle. Your Beagle will feel like a second (or third or fourth etc.) baby – they are as curious, floppy, and gentle as a child. They are fantastic family dogs because of how they bond with many members of the family – they have a unique bond with each of their loved ones. Training and age do play a role here because Beagles are better to socialise and introduce to a large family when they are young.

3.     Boston Terrier

These small bursts of dynamite stand at about 28-37cm tall. Their size doesn’t mean that they aren’t sturdy companions. If you are fond of terriers but still enjoy having a gentle dog in the home, a Boston Terrier would be a wonderful choice. Boston Terriers are famous for their sense of humour and will have you and your kids laughing non-stop. They quickly learn your child’s limits and are responsible playmates. If you have a baby who wakes up at the slightest creak in the floorboard, a Boston Terrier doesn’t bark often and won’t be another reason for disrupted sleep.

4.     Border Collie

Border Collies will be beautiful friends to your children IF you have a particular kind of lifestyle, home environment, and love for dog training. Border Collies are traditional farm dogs and remarkable athletes, so if you have the time to train and adapt your Border Collie to family life you can gain a loyal member of the family.

5.     Bulldog

Bulldogs are commonly recognised for their child-friendly demeanours. They are a breed that really enjoys being part of a large family and socialising with other people and dogs. They are fantastic guard dogs and will make your kids feel secure and well looked after. Bulldogs can develop a stubborn streak and will have to abide by strict rules (which they enjoy, believe it or not). This is a good learning curve for your kids, too.

Adopt don’t shop

Of course, you can always do something that will change the life of a stray forever, and that is adopt from a shelter. For a far more affordable fee, why not pop into your local shelter and find a fur baby you love. Trust us, it’s not hard.

Whenever we head over to our friends at CLAW, we have to stop ourselves from taking home every puppy, doggo, or kitty we make eye contact with. Adopting a shelter dog will certainly change your life and theirs, forever (and make sure you have pet insurance that will cover your new fur baby if they get sick or injured).

Teaching your child to behave around dogs

It is also up to you to teach your kids to treat all dogs with love and respect. Remind them to:

  • Never pull on a dog’s ears, fur, or tail.
  • Give the dog space during mealtimes or rest periods.
  • No matter how big the dog is, do not climb or try to ride on the dogs back.
  • Remind your child that dogs have sensitive ears and screaming will make them scared.
  • Never give a dog a fright or sneak up behind them.
  • Never hurt the dog – on purpose or by accident.

Yours in Not-so-average Pet Advice,

The Petinsurance.co.za Team