12 Best Family Dogs uk – Ultimate Guide In 2021

Are you searching for the Best Family Dogs uk? we have a complete researched guide on how to find the Best Family Dogs uk

Owning a dog can be a wonderful thing. Not only do they provide lasting friendship and companionship and unconditional love, they’ve also been known to lower blood pressure and reduce stress, and they’ve also been known to boost the social skills and confidence of children as well as adults!

Not to mention that walking them and getting outdoors more frequently has its health benefits too.

But choosing the right dog is like choosing a new family member – there is so much to think about and a decision not to be taken lightly!

There are hundreds of dog breeds and they come in all shapes and sizes – and with different personalities and character traits.

What characteristics make a good family dog?

First and foremost, it’s generally less about the breed of your dog and more about their individual personality. If you’re looking to share your home with both pup and child, your chosen dog should possess the following characteristics:

  • A calm and even temperament: your new dog should be calm and patient enough to be able to cope with the excitement of kids and eventually grow into a great friend for them
  • An appropriate size: on average, very small dog breeds may be more excitable, and they could also be more fragile – as a parent you’ll know that kids aren’t always the gentlest. Large dog breeds on the other hand tend to be more docile, but they can run the risk of accidentally knocking small children over whilst playing
  • Energy levels: this will largely depend on how active your family is. If you choose a high-energy dog, you’ll need to make sure you have the time to take them for regular walks and playtime. Also, if you have young children who run around a lot, you shouldn’t choose a low energy dog that may become frustrated by the constant excitement

It’s not just about choosing the best dog breed for kids, but it’s also about teaching your children to be kind to dogs, this will go a long way in ensuring you have a harmonious household.

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What are the Best Family Dogs UK?

Space is an important decision making factor for choosing the right dog – if you have a compact home, it makes sense to choose a smaller dog that requires less space. Age and energy is also important to factor – do you have the energy to take on an excitable and bouncy puppy, or would it be more manageable to adopt a slightly older dog?

Time is also important – do you have the time to train the dog, give it constant attention and walk it at least three times per day? Or are you quite limited on time – in which case, adopting an older dog that requires no training and a little less attention might be a favourable option?

Dogs have been bred for different purposes, and so certain breeds have different character traits which are important to consider. If you have young children in your home, it’s important to choose a family-friendly dog who is patient and tolerant with them. So which dog breeds are the most family-friendly?

We asked a dog expert and veterinarian for Tails.com, Sean McCormack.

1. Labrador

dog, labrador, pet
Photo by Chiemsee2016 on Pixabay


Labradors are regularly referred to as one of the best dog breeds for families, known for a fondness for being around children and getting along well with other pets in the home too. The labrador is a playful, kind and affectionate dog who loves nothing more than to spend time with its pack. They’re full of energy and incredibly smart, so they’re well suited to those with active lifestyles. One thing to bear in mind with the breed is that young labs tend to be quite exuberant and will jump and bounce around, so if you have very small children, you may want to consider rehoming an older dog who is past this stage.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

The Cavalier is a truly sweet-natured, gentle breed making a wonderful addition to the family home, particularly with young children. Loves to play and get in amongst the action, but equally content snuggling up on your lap for cuddles.

3. Beagle

Beagle Puppy Training Timeline: How to Train & Raise a Beagle

Not only are Beagles considered to be one of the best dog breeds for families, but also one of the friendliest in general. With energetic and cheeky personalities, they love their pack and enjoy nothing more than getting up to mischief with their smaller companions. And, despite their excitable nature they’re also generally very tolerant and calm with children.

 4. English Bulldog

English Bulldog health problems prompt cross-breeding call - BBC News

Although Bulldogs can appear stocky and fierce, you might be surprised to hear that this breed is actually very gentle and friendly with children. You probably won’t however be surprised to hear that Bulldogs are very relaxed (or lazy) and love to sleep on your lap. Their guarding instincts also makes them fairly protective of their close friends and family, and their size makes them a perfect breed to be handled.

5. Golden Retriever

golden retriever, dog, pet
Photo by Mentagi on Pixabay

Golden Retrievers have plenty of energy to share. They are intelligent and eager to please breed who thrive off love and affection. Bring your children on an exciting and playful walk with your Golden Retriever and he’ll reward you with a quiet cuddle in the evening. Don’t forget to encourage your kids to play fetch, Goldies are great at retrieving.

6. Staffordshire Bull Terrier


Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Pawversity

This one may surprise you, but Staffordshire Bull Terriers are actually thought to be one of the best dog breeds for kids and have even earned themselves the name ‘nanny dog’. When well socialised, they possess sweet natures and absolutely love life, people and playing with their family. Sadly, due to the negative stereotype the breed has, the Blue Cross alone takes in over 400 Staffordshire Bull Terriers a year, so if you’re looking for one of these wonderful dogs, we recommend checking at rescue centres.

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7. Poodle


Poodle Breed Information

Poodles range in size from Toy, Miniature and Standard so suit many family’s needs. Despite a reputation as precious or fussy, they are a working breed keen to get involved with family activities and their low-shedding coats can actually be quite low maintenance with regular clipping.

8. Bichon Frise

dog, puppy, pet
Photo by rzierik on Pixabay

A happy, playful little breed that doesn’t need too much exercise so is ideal for apartment living or less active families. They are very intelligent and can be a little stubborn to train, but more than make up for this with their loving, affectionate nature.

9. Hungarian Viszla

dog school, dog training, viszla
Photo by 825545 on Pixabay

A truly active dog for families that enjoy the outdoors and can provide plenty of physical exercise, this energetic hunting breed can make a great addition to the family. Fiercely loyal, sometimes to the point of being clingy, Viszlas are loving, tactile, sturdy yet sensitive.

Related: long hair dalmatian breed

10. Boxer

dogs, poodle, white boxer
Photo by sdnet01 on Pixabay

A wonderfully sociable breed, the Boxer loves to be around people and really enjoys playing and clowning around with children. Very energetic, exuberant and at times comically hyperactive when young, they do need lots of exercise and training.

11. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu - small dog with a big heart

This affectionate breed makes a great choice for families of all ages and most activity levels. Not requiring too much exercise, the easy-going Shih Tzu is a comfort-loving, trusting companion who loves being close to you at all times.

Related: Teacup Corgi breed

12. Mixed Breeds

Is There a Difference Between Mutts and Mixed-Breed Dogs? | Mental Floss

Finally, let’s not forget about the mixed breeds and crossbreeds. However you want to label them, these dogs can make wonderful pets and so many of them are crying out for homes in shelters and re-homing charities.

They’re often less prone to the genetic health conditions of pedigree dogs, so are more robust and less high maintenance.


The above breeds are just those that generally have the recommended traits for being able to cope with family life, but you’ll need to play your part too. Firstly, always buy a dog from a reputable breeder (or adopt a dog from a rescue centre), then socialisation and training will go a long way to ensuring you have a wonderful family dog.

If you’re wondering how to ensure your dog is well socialised, The Kennel Club recommends The Puppy Plan, a step by step guide which was created to reduce behavioural problems and prevent the countless dogs being given to rescue centres each year.

It’s also important to note that it’s not just your dog that will require training, but your children too. They’ll need to be taught how to be kind and respectful and to recognise dog behaviour signs, so your kids will know when your pup needs their space. Read our guide to introducing puppies and children for more tips.

Do you find any useful guide on this Best Family Dogs uk guide? kindly share this with others and comment if dog youand family have any questions or suggestions,

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