Find the best dog breeds for kids with information on size, care, temperament, and energy levels. Use the pros and cons charts and veterinarian recommendations to decided which dog breed is right for your family.

Dogs make great pets for families with kids of all ages. They are loving, loyal, and great companions, who will not only help teach your children learn about responsibility, but also about unconditional love.

Whether you want someone to cuddle up near you while reading a good book or running beside you as you train for a road race, a dog will be there to fill that roll.

The trick is picking the right kind of dog to blend in with your family’s lifestyle.

There are many factors that play a part in choosing what breed of dog will best suit your family. Focus on size, temperament, energy levels, and specific care needs when you begin your search.

Size
Do you want a small or big dog in your family? While the question seems easy to answer, size greatly affects an animal’s behavior and actions. Also, make sure the size home you have can comfortably accommodate the breed you choose.

Energy Levels
What type of energy do you want your furry friend to have? Do you imagine bringing home a sleepy lap dog or an overly energetic running pal? The animals on this list vary from low-to-high energy pets (one to three paw prints on our energy level scale), and you can also expect some variance within each individual breed, too.

Once you’ve figured out what type of size, temperament and energy level you’re looking for, it’s time to begin your search. Make an effort to meet any dog in person before adopting one. This will give you a glimpse into their personality and needs.

Care
Of course you’re going to be a dedicated, loving pet owner, but animals come with many different needs. All want to be fed nutritious, healthy meals, though some will eat much more frequently than others. All require grooming, but some may need daily efforts, while others only need light attention every so often. Know the amount of effort you’re willing to put into a pet before you take a step closer to adoption.

Temperament
All of the dogs on this list would love to join your family, and they’d be good additions, too. However, each breed has their own personality quirks, so make sure to think about the types of temperament that would blend best with your family. For example, some dogs may be overly affectionate, while others avoid kissing — especially from the youngest members of your clan. Some dogs adapt well to new places, while others might be more skittish and follow closely to the pack leader before acclimating to the entire pack. Dr. Teva Stone, a practice owner at Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Wellington, Colorado, weighs in with insight into each dog’s temperament and compatibility. She says, “Every animal in a breed can vary on personality – some good and some bad.”