Best Dogs for Your Family

Looking for the perfect dog for your family? Here are 8 great breeds that our San Diego vets recommend that you consider for you and your family.

Best Dog Breed for Your Family

When looking for a canine companion for you and your family, choosing a breed with qualities that match your family's personality is important. Finding a dog that can match your family's energy level and can adapt and be comfortable in your environment is also very important. Does your child want a pet they can run around the yard with, a companion to cuddle up on the sofa with, or a bit of both?

Be sure to take available space at home into consideration also. Do you have acres of space or is your home on the cozy side?

Our San Diego vets want you to find the best family dog for you and your kids, so here are a few of our favorite kid-friendly dog breeds.

Labrador Retriever

Still one of the most popular family pets out there - with good reason. Gentle, loyal and fun, the labrador retriever can be a great dog for kids! Labs just adore spending time with people - all people - and will become your child's best friend in no time. That said, it's important to ensure that labs get plenty of exercise or they can begin to get into mischief. These dogs vary somewhat in stature but generally weigh between 55 - 80 lbs.

Bernese Mountain Dog

If your family would prefer for a big dog, your kids will love this sweet-natured fluffy breed. Bernese Mountain Dogs typically weigh between 70-100lbs, and in spite of their size, have a reputation for being gentle with kids. One word of warning - these big beautiful fluffballs are major shedders.

Boston Terrier

Usually weighing in around 25 pounds or less, these people-loving bundles of fun come with their own easy to care for "tuxedo" coats. Perfect for smaller properties and apartments, this small dog breed prefers shorter walks and is a great companion for playing with children of all ages.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Another compact size dog that is great for apartment living and smaller homes, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel isAt about 10-18 lbs, the compact size of this lively but gentle breed makes it a great dog for smaller homes or apartments. Cavaliers tend to get along well with kids and other dogs. They can be both playful and cuddly making this sweet-natured pooch and a great pet for kids of many ages and energy levels.


The Beagle is one of the best medium-sized dogs for family life. This mid-sized pooch typically weighs in at between 18-30 lbs and adores spending time with its people, playing games, and going for walks. Beagles are smart and loving dogs that can make terrific family pets provided that they get plenty of family interaction and exercise. Beagles are not appropriate for families who are out of the house a lot.


Your family will love these adorable little characters! Pugs are pretty happy to just eat and sleep. If your kids are small, or lower energy and would appreciate a dog that will play with them indoors then curl up beside them to watch tv, a pug may be just the right breed for your family. Weighing around 15 lbs, this is a breed that doesn't need much space, and only requires a couple of short walks each day to be content.

The Mutt

The ideal dog for your family may be patiently waiting for you at the local animal shelter. Mixed-breed Mutts can make loving and loyal family dogs! These dogs can be as good with children as purebred dogs. Mutts also tend to be less susceptible to genetic diseases, and less expensive. If you are considering a mutt for your family be sure to take your time to visit local animal shelters and be patient in your search for the right dog to fit in with your family life. Often shelter workers can provide you with a doggie report card that lays out all of the known personality quirks of the pooch you're interested in.


This delightful breed has a real affinity for kids and is often referred to as a 'nanny dog' due to its gentle patience with children. Sweet, loyal and patient are just some of the words that best describe this fluffy giant. Weighing in between 100 -150 lbs you will need space if you plan to get a Newfoundland for your family, and it's important to note that as with many giant breeds Newfs have a relatively short life expectancy of only 8 - 10 years.

Once you have found the right dog for your kids, remember that preventive veterinary care is essential for giving your pooch their best shot at a long and healthy life. Is it time for your furry family member's annual preventive care? Give us a call to book an appointment.