11 Best Kid-Friendly Dogs

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There are so many kinds of dogs to choose from, selecting one that suits your family can be tough! We break down the best breeds for different family situations as suggested by our own North Shore Mums, with some extra information about each. 


1. Greyhound

Greyhounds can be great, kid-friendly pets. They are affectionate and wonderful with people, but will need to be exercised so be prepared to spend some time outdoors!

‘We got our greyhound Ernie about 7 months ago and he is a complete gentleman with our 13 month old and 4.5 yr old. If the kids do anything annoying he just walks away! I forgot to mention that they are really hardy and are known as a vets’ worst nightmare as they hardly have any problems!’ – Liz

2. Border Collie

The Border Collie is a popular breed for families and are famous for getting along well with children. Keep in mind they may need training and enough entertainment to stop them biting or chasing out of boredom.

‘Border Collies are beautiful dogs in every way- we had them growing up as pets & working dogs on our family sheep farm. BUT a key thing to remember is that they are bred as working dogs & as such they require a LOT of exercise or just end up overweight. Sadly I see too many overweight border collies (& kelpies & blue healers & cattle dogs- all working dogs) in the city & suburbs. Too often they just don’t get the exercise they need.’  – Sarah

3. British bulldog

The British bulldog, or English bulldog, is generally friendly although some are more aloof, especially as adults. They do need some exercise to stay fit, preferably walks in cool weather, but are generally happy to snooze most of the day!

‘Best dogs ever! We have had every dog under the sun growing up and the bulldog by far is the best family dog you could get. Wouldn’t harm a fly. Hes been pulled and prodded yet loves her to death. They just want to be loved and near every family member possible. I will stick with bulldogs for life now! (Only downfall is the snoring)’ – Rachel

4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier will need regular exercise and lots of social interaction- they’re super friendly and will want to be with you all the time. They may not always get along with other dogs (unless properly trained).

‘Staffy! They are robust and fun! Brilliant with kids and train well, although a tendency to be goofy. They are big sooks that love cuddles and always try to sneak up on the sofa.‘ – Heather

5. Beagle X Cavalier

The ‘Beaglier’ will adore company, and is a very intelligent dog that’s easy to train. They are also bursting with personality.

‘We have a beagle cross cavalier and she absolutely fantastic with our daughter!! Beautifully natured dog!’ – Dani

6. Blue Cattle Dog

This breed will need plenty of romp to romp and play, but they are also highly intelligent. They benefit from proper training and consistent leadership.

‘He only gives as much strength as he is given and will play gently with a little small dog or rumble with the best of them! My kids adore him and is just a big lap dog. He loves his walks and activity but is happy to lounge around until their is some excitement’ – Siobhan

7. Weimaraner

These are traditionally hunting dogs, so a lot of exercise is a must; keeping them cooped up inside might result in some destructive behaviours. They also have a compulsion to chase small animals like kittens or rats.

‘Extremely loyal and gentle and affectionate. But strong and need training! I have three daughters who rough house him and he has never shown an aggressive side ever! – Laura

8. Golden Retriever

Hugely kind and super friendly (although strong), these dogs are ideal for families. They need a good amount of brisk exercise (like walking), but they’re adaptable and suitable for almost any set up.

‘We  have a Goldie who is so gentle and so loyal and he is totally part of our family. Very patient with my kids jumping all over him. They are smart, beautiful and lovely to have around. I wouldn’t ever get anything else now.’ – Helen

9. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a smaller breed of dog, great for small kids to cuddle!  wonderful family pet. They’re peaceful and good-tempered.

‘We have a beautiful shih tzu. Easily house trained and such a loyal and easy going dog. We all love her. Loads of cuddles is all she needs.’  -Melanie

10. West Highland White Terriers

These cheerful dogs are friendly and spunky,likely to cause trouble only for any small animal that finds itself in your backyard!  Easy to handle and a good companion for children.

‘Absolutely brilliant dogs with kids. Cute to look at, patient, fun and sweet. Only require medium level of activity. Smart and easy to train. So gentle and loving with our kids and all visitors.’ – Nicki

11. Labrador 

These dogs are very loyal, affectionate and cheerful in nature. They are smart and hardworking. 

‘We got our beautiful girl just over two years ago at the age of 15 months and she’s been amazing with our now 14 month old. Just love seeing the beautiful relationship develop!’ -Meg

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