Top 5 Family-Friendly Dog Breeds


So you’re thinking about getting a new dog, huh? Congratulations! A new pup is bound to bring you and your family closer together and provide some extra companionship for everyone. Question is: which breed are you thinking about getting? Do you know which qualities you’re looking for, or do you want a dog to please everyone?

To be honest, almost every canine you meet will be loving, affectionate and will thrive as part of your family. It’s almost impossible to go wrong. But certain breeds really excel within a family unit. If you’re struggling to make a decision, here are 5 suggestions for family-friendly dog breeds along with additional information on their respective personalities.

1. Beagles


Though it’s true Beagles can be naughty (chewing and howling when bored), they are extremely loyal to their family. They adore spending time with their owners and are curious to get to know strangers and other animals too. Originally developed as scent hounds, Beagles have high energy levels and require frequent exercise to keep them trim. They rarely tire, however, meaning they’re always ready to accompany their owner, be it during the day, the evening or even at 4 AM!

Beagles have a beautiful bunny hopping gait and they enjoy nothing more than exploring their home and beyond. Be cautious, however: Beagles have a very acute sense of smell, hence the reason they’re used in airports to sniff out prohibited agricultural products – the Beagle Brigade! Just be wary when letting them off leash or leaving them alone in the yard as they have a habit of digging and following interesting scents, which could potentially take them miles away from your home.

  • Exercise: Hard
  • Grooming: Easy
  • Temperament: Good, with proper training
  • Size: 18 – 30 lbs

2. Boston Terriers


This small and sturdy breed is known as the American Gentleman owing to their tuxedo-like markings. Boston Terriers are affectionate, friendly and extremely enthusiastic dogs. They often clown around, making their owners and onlookers laugh with their goofy antics and inquisitive looks. Clearly Boston Terriers adore being center of attention, but most of all they crave their owner’s company.

Boston Terriers enjoy being active but don’t require excessive exercise. And, though they sometimes pretend to be dumb, they are in fact extremely smart and quick to learn, if a little stubborn at times. If you are looking for good times and smiles, Boston Terriers are an excellent choice.

  • Exercise: Easy
  • Grooming: Easy
  • Temperament: Good, with proper training
  • Size: 15 – 25 lbs

3. Boxers


Quite the opposite of their name, Boxers are very friendly, family-loving and loyal dogs. If you are looking for a larger breed who is great with kids and enjoys a cuddle then Boxers are a great choice.

Though their stern looks and muscular builds can be deceptive, they are smart, graceful and energetic companions. As such they require regular exercise and almost constant mental stimulation. They absolutely love playing fetch games and outdoor activities – though they should not be left alone outdoors for long periods since they struggle to handle excessive heat and cold.

If trained well, Boxers will always listen and follow their master’s instructions and make great watchdogs, though they also have a delightfully silly and mischievous side too.

  • Exercise: Hard
  • Grooming: Easy
  • Temperament: Good, firm training required from an early age
  • Size: 55 – 70 lbs

4. Golden Retrievers


Golden Retrievers are of course the breed that features so prominently in those Pedigree food ads. As such Golden Retrievers have gained huge popularity in the past few years, though they definitely live up to the hype. They are extremely social dogs, love to spend time with the family, have a great temperament and are undoubtedly smart and handsome dogs.

Originally developed as working dogs, Golden Retrievers maintain their high energy levels and love nothing more than going for long walks (at least an hour per day) and endlessly playing fetch. This breed has an easy-going, people pleasing reputation and they just love attention – be it from kids, strangers and indeed, other dogs. With that said, Goldens can become destructive if left alone for long periods, while family members are away at work and school. So, if you are looking for a big bundle of joy and you spend longer periods at home, you can’t go wrong with a Golden Retriever.

  • Exercise: Hard
  • Grooming: Medium
  • Temperament: Good
  • Size: 55 – 75 lbs

5. Labrador Retrievers


Another retriever who’s loyal, royal and just as eager to please as their Golden counterpart. In fact, Labradors are among the most popular breed here in the US, and with very good reason. If you are looking for an active, intelligent companion you can’t go wrong with a Lab. Most of their qualities resemble those of Golden Retrievers – they love meeting and greeting guests and strangers alike – either in the house or outside – and they indulge in endless playful activities. They require regular, daily exercise and are the last ones to get tired.

Labs are also multi-talented. You’ll often see them as service animals, sniffer dogs, guide dogs, even as hunting dogs. It’s this inherent versatility and great temperament that makes Labradors such great family pets. The thing they love the most, however, is food. Be sure to keep an eye on their calorie intake (they literally eat anything that looks or smells edible) as they can easily become overweight.

  • Exercise: Hard
  • Grooming: Easy
  • Temperament: Good, with proper training
  • Size: 55 – 80 lbs

So there are some tips on family-friendly dog breeds, though this isn’t to say that other breeds aren’t equally friendly and trustworthy. If trained and socialized well, almost any dog can become a family member and win your heart.

Also just to mention, while you’ll undoubtedly find all the above breeds at your local animal shelter, don’t forget that many mixed breeds display the same characteristics – and are just as worthy of your time. Every animal deserves a chance, so don’t overlook those mutts on your search for a new family friend.

How Can Activ4Pets Help?

Every new family member comes with responsibility, especially those who don’t have a voice to express themselves – your pets. Activ4Pets helps out by transferring your furry friend’s veterinary records (vaccines, medications, allergies… even their date of birth) to the cloud, so you’re never without important health information if there’s an emergency. Membership starts at just $24 per year and you can find further details on our signup page.


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