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10 Best Family-Friendly Dog Breeds to Consider

Adopting a dog can significantly change your life and bring so much joy to family members. However, choosing a breed can be difficult, especially if this is your first dog. While all puppies are undoubtedly cute and adorable, adult dogs can differ greatly in personality, size, activity, and grooming needs. That’s why it’s important to research and check out grown dog pictures to ensure you can handle your breed of choice. 

Read further to discover which dog breeds are considered the most family-friendly and which personality traits they have. 

group of people standing on green grass field during daytime

Family-friendly dog breeds / images from Depositphotos

The best large-breed family dogs

Large dog breeds are perfect for families with a private house or a flat big enough for such an animal. Despite their size, they are loving, loyal, gentle, calm, and kid-friendly. The breeds that match this description are the following:

Labrador Retriever

A sweet Labrador Retriever on a walk

Labradors are well known for their friendly and outgoing nature. They are highly intelligent, adaptable, and easy to train. Due to this, they often work as service and therapy dogs, as well as aid in search and rescue. 

Labrador Retrievers are excellent with children and other pets. That’s why they were considered the most beloved breed in the US for 31 years, only this year eclipsed by French Bulldogs. Still, Labradors remain one of the most popular family dogs across the globe.

golden retriever

Golden retriever

Golden Retriever running through the field

Just like Labradors, Golden Retrievers are friendly, intelligent, and devoted. They have a gentle temperament and love human companionship. This breed is well-known for its patience with children.

Golden Retrievers are also often used as therapy and assistance dogs. They work well in search and rescue and can comfort people with mental health issues. 

Bernese Mountain Dog 

A cute Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are large and strong yet gentle and affectionate. This is a Swiss breed that is often used to search for people who are stranded in the Alps to help rescue them. 

Due to their loyalty and protective yet nonaggressive behavior, Bernese can become your best family guard dog, especially if you enjoy an active lifestyle. 

close-up photography of adult brown and white border collie


An adorable, fluffy Collie sitting in blooming grass

Collies are famous for their intelligence and grace. Originally, they were herding dogs—smart, trainable, and adaptable. This means this breed can easily adjust to home and apartment environments. 

Furthermore, Collies are gentle, patient, and overall good with children. That’s why they are loyal family companions. If you decide to adopt a Collie, ensure that you’ll be able to go outside and play often enough, as they are very active and energetic. 


Two cute Newfoundlanders playing in the snow

Newfoundlands are well-known for their strength and swimming ability. This is quite a large breed with an average weight of 130–150 pounds for males and 100–120 pounds for females. Still, there’s no reason to be intimidated, as, despite their size, Newfoundlands have a sweet and gentle temperament. 

Furthermore, Newfoundlands are called “nanny dogs” because they are kind and very patient with children. They are also protective of their family, especially around water.

FAQ: What is the #1 best family dog?

Considering that each family has its own preferences and lifestyle, there’s no correct answer to this question. Nonetheless, breeds with friendly temperaments and adaptability, such as Beagles or Poodles, are often considered excellent family companions.

FAQ: What are perfect medium-sized family dogs?

Commonly chosen and loved medium-sized breeds famous for their friendly nature, adaptability, and compatibility with children are Cocker Spaniels, Bichon Frises, or Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

woman in blue denim jacket holding black and white siberian husky dog on snow covered ground

The best protective dogs for family

It’s great to feel safe and protected when your dog is around. This, however, isn’t necessarily related to the size of the animal; you can feel as comfortable with the best midsize family dog to guard you. 

Here are five protective dog breeds that can grant you this feeling of safety and security.

German Shepherd 

A cute, young German Shepherd pup

German Shepherds are highly intelligent, loyal, and trainable. Due to this, they are often used in various roles in police, search, and rescue departments.

This breed is well-known for its courage and loyalty. They are also naturally protective, alert, and responsive. These traits make German Shepherds excellent guard dogs loyal to their families.


Boxer running through an autumnal field

Boxers are strong, energetic, and playful. They are famous for their boundless enthusiasm and playful nature.

Boxers love fun and are very energetic. They can be very affectionate with children and protect them simultaneously without aggression. This breed is one of the top watchdogs and the best protective dogs for the family. 

Akita Inu

Akita Inu chilling in the snow

Akitas are powerful, dignified, and cute dogs. This breed originally comes from Japan and is famous for its loyalty.

If you decide to make an Akita Inu your family dog, be ready to train them a lot. The breed is very independent and strong-willed, so you must invest effort to get them to respect you. As a reward, you’ll get a dog who is fiercely loyal to your family and protective of your home. 

Australian Shepherd

Four Australian Shepherds running in a field

An Australian Shepherd or Aussie is an energetic and intelligent herding dog breed. They are agile, responsive, highly trainable, and eager to please. 

Although Australian Shepherds aren’t considered traditional guard dogs, they are very protective and often view their family members as their “flock”. These dogs are also highly observant and responsive to all changes in their environment. 


Bulldog enjoying the outdoors

While Bulldogs may seem unfriendly to some people, they are gentle, affectionate, and generally good with children. Just like Akitas, they can be slightly stubborn, which is easily fixed with training. 

This breed is calm and generally not overly protective. However, they have lots of affection towards their families and can be determined to guard and defend them. 

FAQ: What dog is the best for friendly neighbors and family members?

A well-suited dog for friendly neighbors and family members has a calm temperament, good socialization skills, and an overall friendly nature. These are breeds like Shih Tzus or Vizslas.

FAQ: What is the best house dog?

To choose the best house dog, you have to take factors such as lifestyle, living space, and family size into account. French Bulldogs or Dachshunds are often considered good choices for house dogs due to their adaptability and moderate exercise needs.

To sum up

There’s no single best dog to protect a family or be an ideal family companion. However, there are more than ten family-friendly options to pick from. Start by researching the breeds listed in this article to verify if they are a good fit for you. Remember that no matter which breed you pick, you must invest time in your dog’s training to ensure everyone gets along well.