Bulldog – The bulldog has a sturdy build that is perfect for kids who like to roughhouse. Only between 12 and 16 inches in height and weighing about 50 pounds, the bulldog is comfortable living in large houses as well as apartments. However, he won’t win any awards for most energetic dog. A docile, friendly and loyal dog, he gets along well with dogs and other pets too.
But their temperament with kids is all but famous. As intimidating as they look, they’re friendly and gentle with kids and known for their guarding capabilities and courage.
Boxer – If the bulldog doesn’t strike your fancy, the boxer is another sturdy dog that can maintain its composure around kids. While boxers were originally bred as medium-size guard dogs, you’ll find them as an extra member of the family in many homes today. Along with its stout size, the boxer is known for its high energy — this playful pup needs lots of exercise and may keep your kids occupied for hours.
True to form, the boxer is described by the American Kennel Club as fun-loving, bright and active, making it the 10th-most popular dog breed of the AKC. When introducing a boxer to the family for the first time, plenty of supervision is required, though the breed is ultimately considered an ideal family dog.
Beagle – Originally kept as hunting dogs, beagles fit well in homes with active kids, as they are sturdily built and never too tired to play a game. Friendly, clever and cheerful — if properly socialized with non-canine animals — the beagle usually gets along with other pets too (except for a bit of chasing here and there). They do shed and require frequent brushing and bathing, however.
Bull terrier – The bull terrier can get quite rambunctious and requires plenty of playtime. Therefore, he is a perfect dog for a large family. The bull terrier will return your affection by being very protective of your children for his average decadelong life expectancy.
Often mistaken for the larger pit bull, the bull terrier was bred to be a companion dog — friendly and loving toward grown-ups and kids alike. This well-framed dog also has a high threshold for pain, making him perfect for rambunctious children who are learning how to properly treat dogs.
Irish setter – Known for its red coat, the Irish setter is playful and energetic, loves being around people and plays well with children. This doggy needs lots of exercise and is a good match for energetic kids.
A smart and trainable companion, the Irish setter is perfect for people with lots of space but isn’t what one would call a good apartment dweller. At 26 inches high and about 65 pounds, the breed may seem small enough for a large apartment, but I’d avoid it unless you’re an avid daily jogger.
Golden retriever – At an average of only 22 inches and a typical max weight of only 80 pounds, he’s not quite as big as the Lab, but the golden retriever is a kind, smart, confident and loyal dog. Neither aggressive nor timid, the golden retriever is extremely patient, which is perfect for kids. While he does need a lot of exercise, his love of play makes this an easy thing to achieve.
So now that you know a thing or two about kid-friendly dogs, choosing one for your home and your family should be a little bit simpler. Remember, highly strung small dogs are usually not the best choice for children, though there are some to choose from if you have a small apartment. Also, keep in mind that mutts from the pound are a fantastic option, as they are often more docile and well-tempered.