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
A lively and happy little dog, the Pug is a fantastic pet for families with toddlers. These charming 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
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 dogs only require two daily walks and some play sessions indoors to keep them in shape.
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 Bernedoodles 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.
A dog that enjoys acting silly and making toddlers laugh, the Frenchie is a perfect fit for households with toddlers. These dogs 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.
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. Cockapoos 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.
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 dogs in shape.
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
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.
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 dogs 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.
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.
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, Yorkies are energetic and need at least two short daily walks and plenty of fun games indoors.
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.
A laid-back, happy-go-lucky dog, the Cavapoo lives up to its reputation as the dog that every kid loves. Cavapoos 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.
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 dogs 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
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.
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 hybrid dogs 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.
A spunky little dog with a foxlike face, an animated personality, and a great deal of love to give, the Pomeranian 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.
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 Aussiedoodles 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.
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 dogs 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.
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. They 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.