Having a dog in the house when you have kids is highly recommended. Why? Dogs provide unconditional love and companionship, help teach responsibility and empathy, and having a pet has been proven to help develop a healthy immune system. Here are my top 5 dog breeds for families to take a look at when deciding on a dog.

dog breeds

Rescue: Especially Adults

We are all familiar with the popular saying and hashtag #whorescuedwho. It is popular for a good reason. Adopting a homeless pet is an act of valor in my opinion. One that often pays off in immeasurable dividends. To make it even more rewarding I suggest rescuing an adult dog.

Puppies are adorable and you get to train them, but it is a lot of work and a dog’s true personality doesn’t always show until adulthood. I have seen dogs that were thought to be small dogs turn out to be large dogs. Sweet and quiet puppies can turn scared and aggressive shortly after.

Adult dogs, on the other hand, are often potty trained already, tend to be less destructive and will likely show you questionable behavior traits with just a few visits. You want to avoid a dog that is labeled any of the following “not good with other dogs, not good with small children, or not good with cats.”

Take the pet home for a day before committing and see how they respond in your home environment, at a dog park, and with any pets you already have. Unfortunately, this breaks the two-week isolation recommendation I make because you can not always tell if a pet is sick or coming down with something right away.

French Bulldog

I have never met an aggressive French bulldog! Of course, any dog can bite, but these adorable canines tend to have excellent yet laid-back personalities. Their short hair coat requires little grooming. They are small and portable but tend to be pretty hearty compared to other small breed dogs. French bulldogs are not known as yappers like a lot of other small dogs. I personally love the noises they make when they are vocal. It sounds like some sort of little monster and it cracks me up!

Insider Tip: French Bulldogs are expensive and can have a lot of health problems so definitely buy insurance.

Golden Retrievers and Labradors


I lumped these sporty breeds together as one since they are very similar and known as the classic family dogs. Most golden retrievers and labradors are very patient, loving, and kind.

The golden retriever has a lot more hair and therefore requires more grooming. However, they tend to calm down and learn manners sooner than labs do in my experience.

Despite having “short hair” labs tend to shed a lot! They will be loyal yet friendly to strangers. Labradors will run with you, play ball with you, and happily lay by your feet at the end of the day even if your toddler is crawling on top of them. They are smart and easily trained. Keep in mind, all of this happens with a lot of training and patience on your part though as they tend to eat things they shouldn’t and do not become this perfect dog until about three years old.

Insider Tip: I have met extremely viscous labradors and golden retrievers. Make sure you meet the parents when buying a puppy and socialize them well. These recommendations go for all breeds.

Shih Tzu

These adorable little fluff balls do not shed and are considered hypoallergenic. Breed to sit at the feet of lace makers they are fairly laid back dogs. They will require a lot of grooming. For some people, it can be very therapeutic to brush a dog daily.

Pit Bull


Yes, I said it. I absolutely have seen aggressive pit bulls but, not any more than any other breed. Most of the pit bulls that live in a happy home are amazingly sweet dogs. They just need socialization like any other dog. They also have very short hair and tend to be a nice medium size. Plus, most rescues around here are either pit or part pit. This means if you rescue a puppy you are often getting a pit even if it says lab cross, boxer cross, etc etc. Do not discriminate! Feel the pitty love.

Bonus tip: Training Training Training!

When we rescue and sometimes even when we buy a puppy, we do not know the dog’s story or family health history. There are never any guarantees with any dog. Some will get sick or have negative personality traits. Some will be endlessly kind and never have any health problems. The best way to enjoy a long fulfilling relationship with your family pet is to put the work in upfront. Take them to puppy classes and be consistent with daily training for the first two years at least. Your dog can even help you pick up the kids (or husband’s) laundry off the floor if you train it to.

Pet Insurance – They really pay!

These days pets are family. Many people even consider them another child. Having pet insurance is an excellent way to avoid very difficult decisions. These illness plans are inexpensive, $50/month on average and unlike human insurance agencies, they do not give you hassles about the bills or have deals with doctors about what they will and won’t pay.

Good Luck! I wish you and your new pet all the love in the world! The AKC website is another great place to learn more about different breeds.