Best family dogs: A guide to choosing a new puppy

best family dogs
The best family dogs are all here in one handy list

‘What are the best family dogs?’ It’s a question that regularly pops up on our Facebook group, so we’re answering it for all those families on the hunt for a furry friend.

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to add a new member to your family, a furry four-footed member. This is one time that the saying ‘You can choose your friends, but not your family’, doesn’t count – so choose wisely.

There are now many questions and considerations to be made before choosing your new dog. Think about how a new dog is going to change your life. Dogs are social animals and along with basic needs like feeding, grooming and exercise, they will need quality time with you.


Poodle mix dogs like Cavoodles or Spoodles are great family dogs (with low shedding coats)

Best family dogs: What to ask about

To choose the right kind of dog for your lifestyle, you’ll need to ask yourself:

  • What size dog are you interested in? To some extent the size of your house and yard will decide this for you.
  • Do you have small children in the house?
  • How energetic do you want your new dog to be?
  • How much time can you devote to exercising your dog daily?
  • How often will you be able to play with your dog?
  • How much time will you have for maintenance & grooming?
  • Do you have any other pets?

Most people think that getting a puppy is the best choice, but that isn’t always the case. Raising a puppy is just like introducing a new baby into the house. It will take a lot of time and effort to train and look after your new puppy. If you have small children in the house or a full time job then it you may discover that an adult dog is a better idea.

Along with deciding between a puppy and an adult dog you also need to think about whether you are after a purebred dog or a mixed breed dog (there are two types of mixed breed dogs; mutts/mongrels and purpose-bred cross breeds aka ‘designer dogs’).

Matching your lifestyle to the right dog is the secret to a match made in doggy heaven.

King. Charles Cocker Spaniel

King Charles Spaniels are sweet and affectionate family dogs

Best family dogs: A list of great dogs for kids

Below is a list of dogs that are great for families with young children:

King Charles Spaniel

Adorable King Charles Spaniel puppies

Adorable King Charles Spaniel puppies

Sweet and affectionate they are very good with children and make ideal family pets. A consistent performer in any ‘top family pet’ list.

Cavoodle (King Charles Spaniel x Miniature Poodle)

Cavoodles are playful and don’t shed hair!

Perfect for families, as they take the intelligence of the poodle and mix it with the easy-going nature of the spaniel. They tend to have fewer veterinary problems than their purebred parents. Due to the Poodle mix they also have a low shedding coat, however will need regular trimming & grooming.

Spoodle (Cocker Spaniel x Poodle)

A sweet spoodle! Image:

They love humans and attention. They need to be included with family activities and must have regular exercise. A low shedding coat but regular grooming required.

Golden Retriever

golden retriever

A gorgeous golden retriever. Image:

A perfect choice for families who want a larger size dog. Easy going, loyal, reliable temperament and easy to train. The coat does shed a lot of hair though, so a weekly brush and a powerful vacuum cleaner is a must.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer dog

German Shorthaired Pointers are great with kids. Image:

They love people and are safe with children. They are also good watchdogs, but not aggressive enough to attack people. They have boundless energy, so will need lots of daily exercise.


Go to your local shelter, and consider rescuing a dog. Look for a dog that matches the energy level of your family.

If looking online, try PetRescue, RSPCA or RescuePets.

Need more info?

This is not by any means a comprehensive list of family friendly dogs, there are many, many more out there. In fact speak to anyone who has a dog and they would no doubt put their dog on this list too!

There are a large number of resources available on the internet for choosing your new member of the family. If you are after a purebred dog then Select-a-dog-breed is one online resource that helps find the ideal breed for you based on the lifestyle information you provide.

The Burke’s Backyard website is another that covers approximately 117 breeds in their online fact sheets.

“Research, research, research” is the key to happy families.

More on furry friends:


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