10 Breeds That Make Great Family Dogs 

July 8, 2022

Adding a dog to the family is a big decision – one that nearly half of American Households make according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Deciding on the best breed to introduce into your home can be tricky. Which breeds are best with children? Which breeds are social with the whole family? Which breed best fits our family’s lifestyle? To help you navigate these questions, here’s our list of 10 breeds that make great family dogs.

1. Labrador Retriever

The most popular breed in America, the Labrador Retriever, is social, easily trained, and easy going. Labs are best known for hunting and tracking, showing, and their eager obedience. Labs are friendly and outgoing, active, and good with kids and other dogs. They shed regularly and require weekly brushing.

  • Height: 22.5”-24.5” (M) 21.5”-23.5” (F)
  • Weight: 65-80lbs (M) 55-70lbs (F)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Three Labrador Retriever dogs on the grass

2. Bulldog

The loyal and unique bulldog is another popular dog among families. A bulldog’s adaptable, calm energy makes for a great companion to kids. Bulldogs are not very active and won’t beg for playtime outside of regular walks and an occasional rowdy game of tug or fetch. Bulldogs are good with children and other dogs. Unlike the Labs, Bulldogs only shed seasonally. They require regular brushing every week or so and are highly trainable. Best of all, the bulldog is not too keen to make a racket barking in your home.

  • Height: 14-15”
  • Weight: 50lbs (M) 40lbs (F)
  • Life Expectancy: 8-10 years
Golden Retriever Dog Walking in Fresh Green Grass Lawn

3. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are a staple of American households, almost to the point of cliché. But there’s a reason these happy-go-lucky dogs came to be so prominent. Goldens are easy going, smart, and playful. They are one of the most successful and easily recognized dog breeds of all.

Golden Retrievers are smart, loving, and devoted. They’re very active and need plenty of exercise daily. They’re good with kids and other dogs. Goldens shed seasonally and need some occasional grooming. They are easy to love and eager to please. They aren’t huge barkers, but they will let you know when they want your attention.

  • Height: 23”-24” (M) 21.5”-22.5” (F)
  • Weight: 65-75lbs (M) 55-65lbs (F)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Man walking his cute Beagle dog in autumn park

4. Beagle

The Beagle is a quick, energetic, happy breed with no clearly documented origin story. They are popular for their compact size, short coat, and quick wits. The Beagle is an excellent all-around family dog.

Beagles are agreeable, friendly, and intelligent. They’re very active and need lots of regular exercise. They’re social, shed seasonally, and require regular grooming. They’re a pretty vocal breed – if you’re in tight living quarters or a high rise apartment with lots of neighbors, you might consider if the Beagle is a good fit.

  • Height: 13-15”; some < 13”
  • Weight: 20-30lbs; some < 20lbs
  • Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

5. Pug

The smushy-faced Pug is a favorite among children, and children are a favorite among Pugs. Eager to please and adaptable, Pugs are easily adored by all. Pugs are a small, but charming and independent breed.

The Pug has an even-keel attitude but can be as loving as they are mischievous. They are active but not quite athletic, so some exercise is recommended regularly. They may need supervision around new children but are typically good with other dogs. As with most dogs, a weekly brushing is helpful in maintaining their coat. Pugs aren’t too talkative and only bark when necessary.

  • Height: 10-13”
  • Weight: 14-18lbs
  • Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
Dog breed Irish setter stands and looks into the distance

6. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter became popular in the 18th Century as a high-energy gun dog. The playful nature of the Irish Setter makes them great for active families, and they love to spend time outside.

Irish Setters are generous, kind, very active, and teachable. They’re great with children and other dogs, and need quite a bit of space and exercise to feel fulfilled. They shed seasonally and require weekly grooming. They’re not super keen to bark without good reason.

  • Height: 25-27”
  • Weight: 60-70lbs
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
brussels griffon puppy posing at sunset

7. Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is a perfect dog for the city: they are small in stature, active, intelligent, and social. A spin around the block might not quite be enough of an energy burn, so make sure the Brussels Griffon gets a nice long walk or a chance to be active and play.

The Brussels Griffon has a playful nature and enjoys playing with both children and other dogs – within a certain limit. Weekly grooming is a good idea, especially during shedding season. They are a trainable breed that tends to only bark when reasonably prompted.

  • Height: 7-8”
  • Weight: 8-10lbs
  • Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

8. Newfoundland

Newfoundlands are obedient, kind, and loyal dogs known for rescue work. Because of this helper’s spirit, the Newfoundland is a wonderful family dog.

Newfoundlands are loving, devoted, and wonderful sidekicks. They do like to work and play, and they’re…large. They need room to move. This is probably a dog better off in the country. They’re easily trained and shed seasonally.

  • Height 28” (M) 26” (F)
  • Weight: 130-150lbs (M) 100-120lbs (F)
  • Life Expectancy: 9-10 years
Close up portrait of a French Bulldog

9. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are on seemingly every corner in many cities and are known for their teachability and easygoing nature. They’re a wonderful dog for a new family in an urban area. They are playful, intelligent, and did I mention cute? Frenchies are pretty laid back, and a quick walking pace is all they need to stay fit. 

  • Height: 11-13”
  • Weight: < 28lbs
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Collie playing on the grass

10. Collie

Collies are renowned for their ability to herd. They are very trainable, active, and high energy. A very active family in any setting would be a good match for the Collie.

Collies are devoted, fast, and steady. They can relax – between high energy play sessions. They’re great with kids and other dogs and may need occasional grooming. Collies are vocal and communicative barkers.

  • Height: 22-26”
  • Weight: 60-75lb (M) 50-65lbs (F)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Why Choose Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital?

As a leading provider of modern pain management solutions for pets, Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital offers many alternative therapies for dogs, including massage, laser therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture. While each of these treatments has its own benefits, not all dogs are good candidates for the. The Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital team is always available to answer any question you might have about acupuncture. To learn more, contact us today or call us to get started.