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Top 5 Dog Breeds for Families

When you have children, picking the perfect dog breed becomes incredibly important.  You need to consider size, energy level, medical history, and breed traits such as aggression and prey drive.  We have compiled a list of the top five dog breeds for families to help make your decision a little easier!


Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever has a long history as a family dog.  These beautiful dogs are intelligent, sweet, and loyal.  Goldens are known to be extremely patient dogs that are not aggressive by nature, making them ideal for even young children.   These dogs have a lot of energy and will play for long periods of time.  This also means that they need to be taken on at least one long walk each day.

Average Weight:  Male:  65-75lbs   Female:  60-70lbs

Average Height:  Male: 23-24 inches   Female:  21.5-22.5 inches

Coat:  Straight or wavy

Color:  Varying shades of gold and/or cream

Average Life Span:  10-12 years


Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers possess many of the traits you see in Golden Retrievers. They are affectionate, protective, patient, and always ready to play.  Labrador Retrievers, commonly known as Labs, come in varying colors, the most common of which are black, chocolate (brown), and yellow.  Labs are high-energy dogs and require playtime or a good walk each day.

Average Weight:  Male:  60-88lbs   Female:  60-77lbs

Average Height:  Male: 22-25 inches   Female:  21-24 inches

Coat:  Smooth, short, dense and straight

Color:  Black, Chocolate, or Yellow (pale cream)

Average Life Span:  10-13 years



Poodles are best known for outrageous hair-dos and are often misrepresented as a have a “snooty” personality.  This could not be further from the truth.   Poodles are highly intelligent and extremely sweet and gentle dogs.  Poodles have a unique coat that has no undercoat and therefore they shed minimally, making them ideal for families with allergies.   Due to the nature of their fur, they do need regular grooming.  Poodles are patient with children and adults, and their high intellect makes them very easy to train.  Poodles love to please and will do tricks and play nicely with children as much as they can.

Average Weight (Standard Poodle):  Male:  45-70lbs   Female:  45-60lbs

Average Height (Standard Poodle):  Male: 15-24 inches   Female:  14-23 inches

Coat:  Curly fur, no undercoat, minimal shedding

Color:  Solid or parti-colored, colors include: white, black,, parti, gray, silver, brown, silver beige, apricot, red, cream, sable, phantom, and brindle

Average Life Span:  12-15 years


Irish Setter

Irish Setters are best known for their striking red coat.  These beautiful dogs have energy to spare and love being around people, making them the perfect companion for rambunctious little ones.  Irish Setters are extremely smart and therefore quite easy to train.  Originally hunting dogs, Irish Setters love to chase things (especially small animals) and thus need lots of room to run, making them best for families with a decent-sized yard.

Average Weight:  Male:  60-70lbs   Female:  53-64lbs

Average Height:  Male: 23-26.5 inches   Female:  21.5-24.5 inches

Coat:  Curly or wavy

Color:  Red, chestnut, mahogany

Average Life Span:  12-15 years



Vizslas are not a common breed of dog, but they are one of the best breeds of dog for a family with children.  The Vizsla is loyal, affectionate, gentle, and intelligent.  They tend to build extremely close bonds with their close family members and are very loyal to all members of the family.  These dogs do best with an active family with will give them daily exercise.  They have a short-haired coat that requires minimal maintenance.

Average Weight:  Male:  45-66lbs   Female:  40-55lbs

Average Height:  Male: 22-25 inches   Female:  21-24 inches

Coat:  Short, smooth, dense, close-lying

Color:  Solid golden-rust in varying shades

Average Life Span:  12-15 years

Many dogs (and humans!) can benefit through participating in a dog obedience training course- click here to find out more!