Owning a dog can be a great way to teach a young child responsibility, and nobody has a stronger bond than a kid and their dog.

That being said, when deciding on a dog breed, it's important to look for certain traits that will mesh well with younger family members. That means prioritizing breeds with good temperaments and taking size and energy levels into account. But you don't need to look much longer because we've compiled a list of the 6 best dog breeds for young children.

1. Golden Retriever

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Golden Retrievers are smart, social, friendly, and loyal pets. They love spending time with their families, and while they're active, energetic dogs that love playing outside, they're happiest snuggling up on the sofa with their owners. Golden Retrievers are also known to be very patient and gentle, which makes them a perfect companion for children.

2. Labrador Retriever

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Labs are highly active and playful dogs, full of enough energy to play with their owners for long periods of time. They're especially great for kids old enough to run around the yard alongside them. Labrador Retrievers are very smart and take to training easily, and their short coats make upkeep easy―one less thing to worry about in your busy household!

3. Border Collie

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There's a reason Lassie was played by a Border Collie. Collies are friendly, easily trained, and incredibly gentle, making them a perfect dog for young children. The breed tends to be sensitive and affectionate too, so there's a good chance your Collie and your kid will quickly form an unbreakable bond. That being said, Collies were originally bred as herding dogs, so make sure they don't herd your children!

4. Beagle

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Beagles are a small, energetic breed that love exploring outside. This makes them one of the best dogs to help facilitate your child's love of nature. Together, they can travel the great outdoors, playing games and walking trails. They tend to be calm, friendly, happy dogs and outside of a little bit of shedding, need relatively little upkeep compared to other breeds.

5. Bulldog

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Bulldogs tend to be friendly, docile pets that love nothing more than hanging out with their families. While not a particularly energetic breed, bulldogs are highly affectionate and gentle with children, even when roughhousing. Their low energy levels also make them a great fit for apartments or small spaces without much room to run around.

6. Poodle

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Poodles are a highly intelligent breed, known for getting along well with their owners. In spite of their wacky hair-styles, they don't shed very much, which makes them a great choice for families dealing with allergies. Poodles can be shy around strangers, but they're especially loving towards their families. They also come in various sizes (standard and miniature), so you can adopt a poodle that fits your environment.


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com