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20 Best Dogs for Kids

20 Best Dogs for Kids - Nanny Dogs & Friends - Premier Pups
Published Friday, October 15, 2021 by Elena R.

Fun household, joyful companionship, lessons on the art of compassion and responsibility, friendship, and love are just a few of the many wonderful things a dog brings to a family with children. Dogs are remarkable creatures capable of much more than we give them credit for.

They are therapists, healers, teachers, loyal friends, and fur babies that love unconditionally and live to please their humans. Having a dog around is not only about fun games and cuddles; it is also about the benefits they bring to mental health and personal growth, especially for children. Studies have shown that children who grow up with dogs are more empathic, kinder, and friendlier, have stronger self-esteem, and are more open towards compassion.  

Before you embark on the joy-filled mission of picking your new fur baby, take the time to first learn everything there is to know about the dog breeds you fancy taking home to your kids. Find out what energy levels they have and if they are compatible with yours. Learn about their temperaments and grooming requirements and find the family dog that fits your lifestyle best.  

We believe that small dog breeds are best suited for families with children, especially very small children. Large dogs, although not necessarily more active, can knock over a child with a simple tail wag in a moment of excitement. Small dogs are less likely to bump a child over. They are also easier to manage and care for as their size makes them a breeze to handle, groom, and travel with.  

What are the best dogs for kids? Considering their energy levels, temperaments, and personalities, we’ve compiled a list of the best dogs for kids that are also favored by our Premier Pups families. Whether you have a toddler, young child, or teenager, we’ve got you covered. This list contains the best dogs for toddlers, teenagers, and young kids, so read on to find out which dog breed best fits your lifestyle and find your child’s next best friend, nanny dog, teacher, and cuddle buddy.  

Best dogs for toddlers  


Playful pug puppy ideal for toddlers

A lively and happy little dog, the Pug puppy is a fantastic pet for families with toddlers. These charming Pug breed dogs love to cuddle and play in equal measure and are neither jumpy nor timid around speedy toddlers.  
Even-tempered and moderately active, Pugs will happily engage in a friendly chase around the house or a long cuddle on the couch. They are happy with one or two brisk walks a day, plenty of cuddles, and a game or two of fetch.  

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Gentle and affectionate Cavalier King Charles Spaniel perfect nanny dog for toddlers

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are kind-hearted dogs that have a fun-loving personality and a gentle nature - attributes that make them the best nanny dogs for toddlers. Also known as the Gentle Spaniels, Cavaliers are one of the best-behaved dogs. They are patient, calm, and extremely friendly. Although somewhat active, these Cavalier puppies only require two daily walks and some play sessions indoors to keep them in shape.  

Mini Bernedoodle

Adorable Mini Bernedoodle puppy a blend of Bernese Mountain dog and Miniature Poodle traits

All the qualities of the Bernese Mountain dog and the Miniature Poodle put together in a gorgeous, well-mannered, and highly affectionate little pooch – Meet the Mini Bernedoodle – a sweet and calm dog that is naturally obedient, social, and truly kind. Mini Bernedoodle puppies are excellent dogs for families with toddlers as they are patient, loyal, and up for cuddles and games at any time. One or two walks of a combined 30 minutes each day is all it takes to exercise these beautiful dogs.  

French Bulldog

Comedic and laid-back French Bulldog great companion for toddlers

A dog that enjoys acting silly and making toddlers laugh, the Frenchie puppy is a perfect fit for households with toddlers. French Bulldogs are comedic, laid-back, quiet, and very loving of their humans. They enjoy lazing around the house, playing canine games, napping, and cuddling just as much as they love food! One daily walk will suffice to keep these goofy dogs exercised.  


Energetic and loyal Cockapoo puppy a mix of Cocker Spaniel and Mini Poodle

An energetic little puppy-dog that is exceedingly bright, loyal, and loving, the Cockapoo inherits all the desirable qualities of a Cocker Spaniel and a Mini Poodle. These dogs have a well-balanced personality that allows them to be patient and careful around little toddlers and spunky-playful with older children. Cockapoo puppies are excellent pets for city dwellers as they are small enough to live in a small apartment and only need a walk or two around the block to be happy.  

Bichon Frise

Fluffy and playful Bichon Frise gentle around toddlers

The Bichon Frise is a hearty little fluff-ball that loves everything that moves. Despite their fragile appearance, these precious dogs are hardy, fast, and agile. They love playing with kids and are as gentle as can be around toddlers. Bichons love big and their reputation as nanny dogs precedes them. They are caring, patient, and quite fond of looking over your little ones. 20 to 30 minutes of active playtime and walks are enough to keep these gorgeous small Bichon puppies in shape.  


Joyful Cavachon puppy a mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise

A fluffy dog that exudes a contagiously good mood, the Cavachon is a must-have for young parents. A crossbreed of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a Bichon Frise, the Cavachon puppy inherits an abundance of desirable traits from both parents. These perfect dogs are docile, sweet, fun, and a joy to have around. They love attention and are very fond of friendly chases. Two daily walks are recommended for these cute Cavachons.


Best dogs for young kids

Teddy Bear

Cuddly Teddy Bear dog either a Shichon or Mal-Shi perfect for young kids

One of the best dog breeds for children, the Teddy Bear is a pooch you can’t say no to. Either a Shichon (Shih Tzu Bichon Frise mix) or a  Mal-Shi (Maltese Shih Tzu mix), the Teddy Bear breeds are the way to go if you want a happy and playful dog to keep your small child entertained. Teddy Bear dogs are sweet, cuddly, and laid-back. They lack aggression and are just as happy to be lap warmers as they are playing a fun game of hide-and-seek. A daily walk and plenty of affection are enough to keep these little angels happy.  

Shih Tzu

Elegant Shih Tzu puppy patient and gentle with kids

The canine versions of Barbie and Ken, these small dogs will gladly sit and wait while children add bows and Legos to their long luxurious coats. Shih Tzu puppies love to be pampered and doted on 24/7, and who better to do that than young kids? These dogs are gentle, calm, and non-aggressive. They enjoy dog games like hide-and-seek and find-it and are very affectionate towards children. Shih Tzus are laid-back dogs and only need one or two short walks per day to keep them healthy and in shape.  


Friendly Havapoo puppy a mix of Havanese and Mini Poodle great for young children

Always on their best behavior, Havapoos are the warm-hearted and playful little dogs that every small child wants to befriend. The Havapoo puppy is a lovely crossbreed of a Havanese and a Mini Poodle – a stunning small dog that blends the best personality traits of both parent breeds. Havapoos are gentle, kind, and affectionate dogs that love to be part of a family. They enjoy spending time running outdoors and playing with kids as much as they enjoy lazing on the couch and cuddling. Two daily walks are recommended to keep these dogs in their jolly mood.  

Yorkshire Terrier

Curious Yorkshire Terrier adventurous companion for kids

This little canine detective is curious, attentive, and quite good at mischief. Yorkshire Terriers are ideal dogs for young children as they share the same sense of adventure. These dogs love to zoom, sniff a scent or two, investigate, and find out what every family member is up to. They also enjoy fetching, playing tugs of war, sitting on top of couches, and cuddling. Although they are toy-sized, Yorkie pups are energetic and need at least two short daily walks and plenty of fun games indoors.  

Mini Labradoodle

Playful Mini Labradoodle a mix of Labrador Retriever and Miniature Poodle

A dog that teaches children the meaning of loyalty, friendship, and compassion, the Mini Labradoodle is a perfect family dog. Mini Labradoodle puppies are a hybrid/doodle breed of a Labrador Retriever and a Miniature Poodle. These small dogs are energetic, adventurous, playful, and quite determined to live life to the fullest. They lack aggression and are friends with everyone in sight. Gentle with kids and loving of their pet parents, Mini Labradoodles make ideal dogs for families with small children. Two or three daily walks are recommended for this fun-loving and energetic breed.


Laid-back and affectionate Cavapoo ideal for families with kids

A laid-back, happy-go-lucky dog, the Cavapoo lives up to its reputation as the dog that every kid loves. Cavapoo pups are gracious, cuddly, and gentle dogs that love to spend their days spreading joy to everyone around them. They enjoy learning and performing dog tricks, playing with ball toys, and spending every waking moment near their favorite humans. Cavapoos are relaxed dogs that need one or two brisk daily walks to keep their merry-selves healthy and in shape.  


Playful and affectionate Havanese adores children

The Havanese dogs absolutely adore children, possibly even more than they adore their pet parents. These small dogs are playful, highly affectionate, patient, and very gentle. Their agreeable personality and joyful nature make them one of the best dogs for kids. Toy-sized and happy-go-lucky, the cute Havanese puppies want nothing more than to play and cuddle the day away. A moderately active breed, the Havanese does best with 2 daily walks and an abundance of attention.  


Best dogs for teenagers  


Intelligent and energetic Poodle perfect companion for teenagers

One of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, the Poodle is a perfect pooch for teenagers who want to take on the art of training a dog. These dogs love to learn and can be trained for all kinds of dog sports, games, and fun tricks. Energetic, happy, and always ready for a hike, swim, or friendly chase, the Poodle is an excellent companion pet for teens. Regardless of their size – Standard, Miniature, or Toy Poodles should be exercised at least twice every day.  


Entertaining Aussiechon puppy a mix of Mini Aussie and Bichon Frise

Highly entertaining friend for teens and a sweetheart dog for parents, the Aussiechon is a pooch that you can’t help but love. Aussiechon puppies are a designer mixed breed of a Mini Aussie and a Bichon Frise. They were designed to enchant the world with their big brains, superb looks, and fantastic personalities, and that is exactly what they do. These little Aussiechon puppies are energetic, sweet, fond of games and adventures, and highly devoted to their humans. As a moderately energetic dog breed, the Aussiechon requires at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to keep up with its athletic shape.  


Spunky and fox-faced Pomeranian lively companion for teens

A spunky little dog with a foxlike face, an animated personality, and a great deal of love to give, the Pomeranian puppy is ideal for families with teenagers. These dogs are extremely loyal, fun, and cute. Although very small, they love spending their energy by running, jumping, performing complex dog tricks, and chasing their chew toys. Pomeranian dogs are energetic and will require at least two walks every day and plenty of active playtimes indoors.

Mini Aussiedoodle

Adventurous Mini Aussiedoodle a blend of Mini Australian Shepherd and Mini Poodle

A mix between two brilliant and energetic dogs - a Mini Australian Shepherd and a Mini Poodle - the Mini Aussiedoodle is a dog that will keep your teenagers on their feet and away from their phones. Mini Aussiedoodle puppies are adventurous dogs that crave any outdoor activity they can get their paws on. They are fans of hikes, fetching, games of Frisbee, dog chases, swimming, and romping around freely. These perfectly gorgeous dogs need up to an hour of daily exercise.  


Fluffy white Maltese joyful and social companion for teenagers

A fluffy white dog that was meant to live among kings and queens, the Maltese is a living jewel that teens will love. These dogs are joyful, social, attentive, and quite smart. They can be trained easily and are remarkable at showing off their cute tricks. Maltese puppies crave a life that is perfectly balanced between adventures and cuddles. These little velcro dogs want to be with their humans at all times whether they’re on hikes or in front of the TV. Depending on their personality – as not all dogs are the same – the Maltese need between 20 and 40 minutes of walks and active play sessions each day.  

Mini Goldendoodle  

Friendly Mini Goldendoodle a mix of Golden Retriever and Miniature Poodle ideal for active teenagers

Last but not least, and one of dogdom’s crown jewels, the Mini Goldendoodle is perhaps the best dog a teenager could wish for. Adventurous, loyal, fun, and with looks that will make all of their friends envious, the Mini Goldendoodle is the dog to have in a family with teenagers. These dogs inherit the delightful personality, trainability, and outgoing nature of Golden Retrievers and Miniature Poodles. Mini Goldendoodle puppies are affectionate, energetic, joyful, and as friendly as can be. Miniature Goldendoodles, although an active breed, are smaller than their Standard Goldendoodle siblings and only require two or three daily walks. 

Elena R.

About The Author

Elena is a leading expert in the field of dog behavior, care, and training, with over a decade of experience in writing about dogs. As a published writer and lifelong dog enthusiast, Elena currently shares her home with three beloved canine companions. She is dedicated to staying up to date on the latest advancements in dog care and training, ensuring that her articles provide readers with accurate and valuable insights. With her extensive knowledge and passion for all things canine, Elena's contributions to the Premier Pups community offer both expertise and authority on a wide range of dog-related topics.
Elena R. - Author Photo

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the best dogs for toddlers? Some of the best dogs for toddlers include the Pug, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Mini Bernedoodle, French Bulldog, Cockapoo, Bichon Frise, and Cavachon. These breeds are known for their gentle nature, patience, and playful demeanor.

What are some of the best dogs for young kids? Teddy Bear, Shih Tzu, Havapoo, Yorkshire Terrier, Mini Labradoodle, Cavapoo, and Havanese are considered some of the best dogs for young kids. These breeds are friendly, affectionate, and enjoy playing with children.

What are some of the best dogs for teenagers? Poodle, Aussiechon, Pomeranian, Mini Aussiedoodle, Maltese, and Mini Goldendoodle are some of the best dogs for teenagers. These breeds are intelligent, energetic, and can be trained for various activities, making them great companions for active teenagers.

Why are small dog breeds considered best suited for families with children? Small dog breeds are considered best suited for families with children because they are less likely to knock over a child in a moment of excitement. They are also easier to manage, care for, and travel with due to their size.

How does having a dog benefit children? Having a dog can teach children about compassion and responsibility. Studies have shown that children who grow up with dogs are more empathic, kinder, and friendlier. They also have stronger self-esteem and are more open towards compassion.

What are some factors to consider when choosing a dog for a family with kids? When choosing a dog for a family with kids, it's important to consider the dog's energy levels, temperament, and grooming requirements. It's also crucial to find a dog that fits the family's lifestyle.