Getting a new dog is always exciting, but introducing a new four-legged friend to your baby? The experience can be more terrifying than exciting. While there are a lot of factors to consider before bringing a new pup into your family, rest assured, there are plenty of baby-friendly dog breeds out there – you just need to pick the right one for you and your family.

So which dog breeds will not only tolerate your kid, but become their best friends and protect them? We’ve put together a list of 10 best kid-friendly dogs, so do your research, pick your favorite and help your child make wonderful childhood memories.

Labrador Retriever

Strong, calm, loyal and eager to please, the Labrador Retriever is a perfect family dog. They’re great with children as they’re very patient and active – a particularly positive trait when your kid grows up a bit and needs a bit of an exercise and a sturdy but gentle friend to spend time with.

Because Labs are loyal companions who always aim to please their owners, teaching them how to act around babies is an easy task. They seek attention and approval, so they’ll be more than happy to listen and learn their dos and don’ts around children. And if you already have other animals? No worries, the Lab is friendly with other dogs and even cats if trained early and properly.

They are quite active so they need to be walked and exercised regularly, and if you can take them for a swim from time to time, they’ll be very grateful as they love water. As for grooming, they have short coats that shed always but not a lot, except when it’s ‘shedding season’ (spring and fall), which is when they will shed the most. To keep a Lab nice and smooth, you need to brush it from time to time (once or twice a week).

Quick facts:

  • Friendly and affectionate
  • Loyal and eager to please
  • Strong and energetic
  • Calm and patient
  • Sheds quite a bit, should be brushed from time to time

labrador retrievers for babies

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is similar to its Labrador cousin in that it’s a baby-friendly dog that is absolutely wonderful with children of all ages. Intelligent but goofy, energetic but calm, the Golden is a lovable, affectionate family dog. Like the Labs, the Goldens are also eager to please and easy to train to behave properly around babies and children. And since they’re really active dogs, they’ll be great when your kid grows up a bit and needs a canine buddy to run around with.

Although most people who want family dogs don’t mind spending lots of time bonding with their pets, it should be said that the Goldens absolutely love spending time with their owners, so frequent pettings and walks are a must if you’re thinking of getting this breed.

With their glorious coats, Golden Retrievers shed a lot – as in, pretty much all the time. That’s why it’s crucial to groom them regularly – brushing about three times a week or more, and bathing every two to three months. The good news is that they love water, so bathing won’t be a problem.

Quick facts:

  • Smart and eager to please
  • Friendly and loyal
  • Patient and calm
  • Energetic and playful
  • Sheds a lot, requires regular grooming

retrievers for babies

Bulldog

If you’re looking for a truly loyal, patient and easy-to-take-care-of dog breed, get a Bulldog. These irresistibly goofy pets love their owners and family members and bond easily with babies and kids. They’re sturdy, strong and playful, which makes them perfect for families with kids who love to play outside. But don’t mistake the Bulldog’s playfulness with high energy – these dogs are actually pretty docile and laid back creatures. They love to nap and sleep around the house, and will rarely bother you for walks.

They’re affectionate with family members and pleasant even towards strangers. They are, however, pretty protective companions, especially when it comes to children.

Because they have compressed jaws, bulldogs do require special care when it comes to their oral health, in particular, teeth cleaning. And because they’re wrinkly little dogs, you do need to clean them from time to time to prevent dirt buildup. On the other hand, they shed very little, so they’re pretty low maintenance.

Quick Facts:

  • Friendly and affectionate
  • Sturdy and playful
  • Calm and low-energy
  • Protective and loyal
  • Sheds very little but needs help with oral health and cleaning

buldog for babies

Newfoundland

Newfoundland, a gentle giant of a dog, is so great with children it’s nicknamed “Nature’s Babysitter.”  Supremely intelligent, loyal, patient and protective of kids, the Newfoundland is probably the dog to have if you need help with babysitting. Seriously, these dogs are so smart and capable, they’re easy to teach how to help around with children. With a little bit of training, the Newfoundland can be taught how to watch children while no one’s around, pull them in a sled on the snow, and even save lives in emergency situations as they’re amazing swimmers.

However, they are messy creatures – not only do they shed excessively, they also drool like there’s no tomorrow. They also need quite a bit of space as they’re so big, and they should preferably have access to water as they love to swim. Still, these are first and foremost sweet-natured family dogs, who prefer living wherever their family lives.

Quick facts:

  • Big and strong
  • Highly intelligent and easy to train
  • Loyal and protective (especially of children)
  • Calm and patient
  • Sheds and drools a lot

newfoundland for babies

Poodle

Wonderful companions with a distinctive look, Poodles are intelligent, elegant, gentle and responsive pets. These dogs live to impress their owners which is why they’re one of the best breeds for training  – since they’re smart and obedient, they’re incredibly easy to teach how to behave around babies, children and strangers.

Speaking of strangers, most poodles are shy around unfamiliar people, but with friends and family? They’re friendly, affectionate and adventurous. This is especially true for the standard breed, who although is wonderful with kids, is pretty indifferent to strangers. The Miniature breed, on the other hand, usually has one and only owner – often, this is the child of the family, as they great with tiny humans. Still, both breeds are one of the friendliest family dogs who don’t mind spending hours around babies.

As far as shedding goes, you’ll be pleased to hear that poodles are one of the easiest dogs to take care of as they shed very, very little. They do, however, need to be brushed regularly – around three times a week.

Quick Facts:

  • Smart and eager to learn
  • Gentle and shy (towards strangers)
  • Friendly and loyal
  • Energetic and playful
  • Does not shed, but needs to be brushed regularly

poodles for babies

Beagle

Cute, small, friendly and energetic, the Beagle is a great family dog that thrives on companionship. Although Beagles are adventurers who love exploring around, they’re also pretty calm and patient with babies and children. They’re quite smart and easy to train to behave responsibly around kids, which makes them not only one of the cutest, but most kid-friendly dogs out here.

Because they’re so energetic, Beagles are best suited for families with young kids who love running around – these dogs make excellent exercise partners who are never too tired to play games. Importantly, they’re also friendly to strangers and other pets, so don’t worry if you already own another dog or a cat – as long as they’re down to play, Beagles won’t discriminate.

It should be mentioned, however, that this breed sheds quite a bit, and requires regular bathing and brushing.  They’re also hounds, which makes them ‘great’ at howling and barking whenever something or someone interesting’s around.

Quick facts:

  • Small and happy
  • Playful and energetic
  • Friendly and gentle
  • Smart and relatively easy to train
  • Sheds and needs regular bathing and brushing

beagles for babies

Bull Terrier

Because their history originates in bull-baiting, Bull Terriers are often associated with aggressiveness, but these dogs are nothing of the sorts – friendly, gentle and playful, Bull Terriers are some of the best family pets one could hope for. With a small, sturdy body, a protective attitude and highly active nature, they’re perfect companions for energetic toddlers and kids who are still learning how to properly treat canines.

Bull Terrier is a devoted and affectionate dog who prefers to spend time with family members. In fact, this breed is so loyal and man-loving, it doesn’t like being left alone for extended periods of time. This is great for new parents, as they generally don’t tend to travel as much once the baby is born, but may be a bit problematic for families who love to travel often and not take their pets with them.

This breed is pretty easy to take care of, as it doesn’t shed much, but since they’re highly energetic and mischievous, it’s likely they will need regular bathing.

Quick Facts:

  • Small and sturdy
  • Energetic and playful
  • Friendly and protective
  • Devoted and loyal
  • Doesn’t shed much

bull terrier for babies

Irish Setter

Active, friendly and smart, the Irish Setter is a great pet for the family with kids who love to play outside. This breed is a real family dog – loyal and devoted, it prefers spending time with family members over anything else. That’s why they’re so great with children, especially energetic toddlers, as they’re never too tired to play and run around with family members.

The Irish Setter is smart and loves learning new things (mostly because that means spending time with the owner!), so it’s easy to train him or her to behave responsibly around babies. Do bear in mind that this is an inquisitive dog with a high energy level, so even if you’re fine with letting him be, your Irish Setter will probably prefer to be taught new, useful things from time to time.

With a magnificent long, mahogany coat, these dogs require regular brushing and combing – about two to three times a week. A small price to pay for having such a beautiful dog, if you ask us.

Quick Facts:

  • Energetic and playful
  • Friendly and devoted
  • Inquisitive and eager to learn
  • Sheds a lot, requires regular brushing and combing

irish setter for babies

Collie

Beautiful, loyal and gentle, Collies are first and foremost people lovers. They’re highly nurturing towards their family members, especially babies and children, and are known to be protective of them. Importantly, Collies are highly intelligent, able to learn all kinds of useful tricks, including – believe it or not – how to herd your children. In reality, this should come as no surprise, as this type of breed was originally bred as herding dogs. Obviously, no matter how amusing child-herding may be, it’s best to discourage the behavior for safety reasons (you don’t want to scare your kids).

This breed is generally well-mannered and very friendly, which means they rarely misbehave and are pleasant even to strangers, including other dogs. A Collie is, therefore, a perfect choice if you don’t have any dog-experience.

Collies can have long and rough or short and smooth coat, but no matter which breed you choose, know that these dogs shed moderately and therefore require regular grooming, including brushing and combing.

Quick Facts:

  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Eager to learn new things
  • Friendly and calm
  • Loyal and protective
  • Sheds moderately, requires regular grooming

border collie for babies

Pug

Small and easy to take care of, a Pug is a laid back breed that loves hanging around children and other family members. With a charming personality and playful nature, this dog enjoys long play sessions with kids, and since it’s so small, a big backyard is not a requirement. In fact, a Pug is a perfect choice if you and your family live in an apartment.

As mentioned, this breed is pretty easygoing, so even if you have a seriously calm toddler who loves to nap most of the day, this dog won’t mind – he’ll snuggle right up next to the kid and nap along.

Requiring minimal exercise, this is a low-maintenance pet who won’t make your life complicated. But thanks to their adorable wrinkly appearance, pugs do need to be regularly cleaned, particularly around their face, so they don’t develop skin infections. It should also be said that they shed quite a lot.

Quick Facts:

  • Small and laidback
  • Friendly and calm
  • Playful and affectionate
  • Sheds a lot and needs regular cleaning

pugs for babies

Sources

  1. Best Dog Breeds for Kids, WebMD
  2. The 10 Best Dogs for Kids and Families, PetMD
  3. The 20 Best Dogs for Kids and Families, Good Housekeeping
Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!

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