Which Puppy Breeds Are Best For Families?

family dogs puppy breeds

Growing up with a family dog is part of the iconic American childhood experience. In order to create wonderful memories and preserve the nostalgia of a youth well spent, you need to make sure that your family dog is going to contribute to the household love and not cause trauma, drama, or psychological scars that […]

Growing up with a family dog is part of the iconic American childhood experience. In order to create wonderful memories and preserve the nostalgia of a youth well spent, you need to make sure that your family dog is going to contribute to the household love and not cause trauma, drama, or psychological scars that last a lifetime. 

Believe it or not, some dog breeds aren’t as comfortable and friendly around kids. 

You want to choose a puppy breed that will be gentle, loving, and trustworthy around your kids no matter what ages they are. And most importantly, you want the puppy to have a balanced temperament that enables him to “grow with” your children as they pass through all the precious ages of their childhood. 

So, what dog breeds are best for families?   

Our friends at The American Temperament Test Society tested 50 dog breeds to assess their intelligence and temperament for the purposes of determining the breeds’ trustworthiness around children. 

This non-profit organization, the ATTS for short, was founded to provide a uniform temperament evaluation for purebred dogs for the purposes of promoting awareness and disseminating information about specific breeds to people like you!

Their findings are fascinating, and we encourage you to check out the testing results for all 50 dog breeds when you have time. Roughly 33,925 individual dogs were tested, which is a respectable sample size! All test results were scored using percentages.

For your reference, a score of “100%” would indicate that 100% of the dogs tested among that breed performed correctly on every single criteria, whereas 0% would indicate that none of the dogs tested among that breed performed correctly.  

In order to help you narrow down the list of kid-appropriate puppy breeds for your family, the experts at Petland Florida have cherry picked the “best of the best” options. Our list features dog breeds you may have never heard of, as well as includes breeds that are common household names. 

Here are the top 6 best puppy breeds for families with children. We’ll start with the 6th best breed and work our way up to #1. All descriptions below contain the ATTS’s temperament evaluation percentage scores. 


Puppy Personality: Cheerful, Lively, Friendly

ATTS Testing Stats

Out of 294 Samoyed dogs, 236 Passed and 58 Failed

Score: 80.3%

This breed could be clumsy around children younger than 6 years old, causing accidental collisions. Proper obedience training will reduce this risk. For older children who aren’t easily knocked around, the Samoyed will make a lovely addition to the family. We recommend this dog breed for active families who enjoy walks, hikes, and trips into the great outdoors.


Puppy Personality: Loyal, Friendly, Protective

ATTS Testing Stats

Out of 896 Collie dogs, 724 Passed and 172 Failed

Score: 80.8%

Collies are gentle family dogs, and are known for their exceedingly high intelligence. As natural herders, they will keep an eye on your children. But due to their spritely energy and alpha personality, this breed is better suited for kids older than 8 years. Be aware, the family Collie will be protective of the kids but aloof with strangers. 


Puppy Personality: Bright, Protective, Good-natured

ATTS Testing Stats

Out of 702 Miniature Australian Shepherd dogs, 577 Passed and 125 Failed

Score: 82.2%

This small-to-medium-sized dog can handle the kind of rough play that children between the ages of 5 and 10 are capable of, and yet the Miniature Australian Shepherd will never get out of line in an attempt to assert dominance with your kids. They are inherently sweet and intuitive. That being said, this breed is prone to aggression towards less familiar people who may approach your children, for example at a social gathering. This breed must be socialized and trained properly during puppyhood.


Puppy Personality: Loving, Friendly, Dependable

ATTS Testing Stats

Out of 813 Golden Retriever dogs, 696 Passed and 117 Failed

Score: 85.6%

You were probably expecting to find this popular, lovable breed on our list! Golden Retrievers have long since established their trustworthy reputation of being excellent family dogs and patient with children of all ages. If you have toddlers or are still expecting your first child, then the Golden Retriever is the ideal breed for you. This dog’s patience is never-ending, and they won’t retaliate or complain if your baby tugs their ears or otherwise latches on. 


Puppy Personality: Obedient, Gentle, Good-natured

ATTS Testing Stats

Out of 176 Newfoundland dogs, 154 Passed and 22 Failed

Score: 87.5%

“Gentle giant,” “nature’s babysitter,” and “the nanny dog breed” are just some of the nicknames that this large, drooling, teddy bear dog has earned over the years. Innately patient, gentle, and friendly with small children, Newfoundlands have long since established an excellent reputation as a loving family dog. This is in special thanks to the fact that they aren’t typically possessive or territorial. Really, the only downside to this breed is their drooling and shedding. 


Puppy Personality: Gentle, Trusting, Even-tempered

ATTS Testing Stats

Out of 842 Labrador Retriever dogs, 776 Passed and 66 Failed

Score: 92.2%

The most popular dog breed in America is the Labrador Retriever, and more than 9 times out of 10 this breed is chosen for families with children, as opposed to a dog owner who is single or coupled without kids. What makes this breed so beloved is the fact that these dogs are great with children of all ages. 

Bear in mind, the trick with high-energy Labs is to use the full 8 months of puppyhood to thoroughly train your Labrador. Without proper training, this highly intelligent breed could behave in a boisterous manner. This won’t result in dangers to your children, but it could result in unruly behavior such as stealing food off the table or coveting those special occasion dress shoes. 

So, who’s ready to pick up a family-friendly puppy for the kids? If you’re in Florida within driving distance of one of our Petland Florida locations, we invite you to meet the available puppies in person! We’re sure to have Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and other popular family dog breeds. Plus, you can always scroll through our best puppy breeds for families with kids on our website. We hope to see you soon!