Special Report

The 27 Best Dogs for Kids

Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend. When it comes to kids, we can probably add “teacher” to that phrase. Dogs can teach children responsibility, kindness, and teamwork — all while being a wonderful playing companion.

But, just like humans, dogs are very different from one another, and not all are suitable for cohabitating with kids.

To compile a list of the best dogs for kids, 24/7 Tempo reviewed information on each of the 282 dog breeds currently listed by the American Kennel Club, the country’s purebred dog registry. We included the 27 breeds the AKC has classified as the most kid-friendly and listed them in order of popularity.

The best dogs for children seem to have infinite patience and can play endlessly. The breeds on our list share several traits that are key to living and playing with kids, including being gentle, affectionate, and devoted.

Most of the dogs on the list belong to the sporting or terrier groups. They are active dogs that don’t usually weigh more than 75 pounds or grow taller than 25 inches. Terriers and sporting dogs normally live between 10 and 15 years.

Deciding who your child’s best four-legged friend will be for years to come takes more than looking into a puppy’s eyes and falling in love with it. You may also want to consider how long a dog is expected to live —  these 26 dogs have the shortest lifespan.

Click here to see the 27 best dogs for kids

To compile a list of the best dogs for kids, 24/7 Tempo reviewed information on each of the 282 dog breeds currently listed by the American Kennel Club, the country’s purebred dog registry. We included the 27 breeds the AKC has classified as the most kid-friendly. Dog breeds are listed in order of overall popularity, from highest to lowest. Four breeds are still fairly new in the U.S. and did not have a popularity ranking as of March 2021.