Looking for a great dog companion for your kids? Here are 10 great big and small dog breeds for kids that our Ruckersville vets recommend that you consider for your family. 

Picking the Best Family Dogs for Kids

If you are looking for a canine companion for your children, it is critical to choose a breed whose characteristics match your child's temperament. Is your child looking for a pet to run around the yard with or a friend to cuddle with on the couch?

Make sure to also consider the available space at home. Do you have plenty of space, or is your home small?

We at Ruckersville Animal Hospital recommend the following dog breeds for families with children.


The ideal canine companion for your children may be waiting for you at the local animal shelter. Mixed-breed Mutts can be great family dogs! These dogs can be just as good with children as purebred dogs, are less prone to genetic diseases, and are less expensive to maintain. If you're thinking about getting a mutt for your family, take your time visiting local animal shelters and be patient while looking for the right dog for your lifestyle. Shelter workers can often provide you with a doggie report card that details all of the dog's known personality quirks.

Boston Terrier

These people-loving bundles of fun weigh about 25 pounds or less and come with their own easy-care "tuxedo" coats. This charming small dog breed adapts well to apartment living and makes a great companion for children of all ages, as it enjoys playing with children and going for short walks.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The compact size of this lively but gentle breed, weighing between 10 and 18 pounds, makes it ideal for small homes or apartments. Cavaliers get along well with kids and other dogs. They can be both playful and cuddly, making them an excellent pet for children of all ages and activity levels.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever makes an excellent dog for children because it is gentle, loyal, and entertaining. Labs enjoy spending time with people and will quickly become your child's best friend. However, it is critical to give labs plenty of exercise or they will become mischievous. These dogs vary in size, but they usually weigh between 55 and 80 pounds.


Beagles are excellent medium-sized dogs for family life. This dog weighs 18 to 30 pounds and enjoys spending time with its owners, playing games, and going for walks. Beagles are intelligent and loving dogs who can make wonderful family pets if they get enough interaction and exercise. Beagles are unsuitable for families that spend a lot of time away from home.


These adorable little characters will entertain the entire family! Pugs are content with simply eating and sleeping. If your children are small or have low energy and would benefit from a dog who will play with them indoors before curling up beside them to watch TV, a Pug could be the ideal breed for your family. Weighing around 15 pounds, this breed does not require much space and is content with a couple of short walks per day.


Sweet, loyal, and patient are just a few words to describe this fluffy giant. This endearing breed has a genuine fondness for children and is often referred to as a 'nanny dog' due to its gentle patience with them. Weighing between 100 and 150 pounds, you'll need plenty of room if you want to get a Newfoundland for your family. It's also important to note that, like many giant breeds, Newfs have a relatively short life expectancy of only 8 to 10 years, whereas many small to medium dogs can live 15 to 20 years or even longer.

Golden Retriever

The loyal Golden Retriever, which is affectionate, good with children, and playful with other dogs, is an excellent choice for families with children of all ages. This breed, with its dense, lustrous gold coat, is equally enjoyable to cuddle as it is to play with. Golden retrievers are typically friendly family dogs who are easy to train. They approach life with a positive and playful attitude, and they maintain their youthful spirit well into adulthood. This breed typically weighs 60 to 80 pounds and sheds moderately.

Standard Poodle

The standard poodle is an energetic, proud, and intelligent breed that would make an excellent family pet. Standard poodles, known for their distinctive hairstyles, shed little and, with proper grooming, can look handsome whether clipped to breed standard or left natural. Poodles are generally easy to train, energetic, and fun-loving family dogs with a quirky sense of humor. These dogs typically weigh between 45 and 60 pounds and live for 10 to 14 years.

Bernese Mountain Dog

If you want a large dog, your children will love this sweet-natured, fluffy breed. Bernese Mountain Dogs weigh 70 to 100 pounds and, despite their size, are known for being gentle with children. One word of caution: these large, beautiful dogs shed heavily.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you have a new family dog, contact our Ruckersville vets today to schedule your four-legged friend's preventive care.