Family-Friendly Dog Breeds To Consider

When parents consider adding a dog to their family, the trusty Golden Retriever is often the first breed that springs to mind, but there are a number of other breeds that also deserve the spotlight. Today our White House vets share a few family-friendly dog breeds that you may want to consider.

Picking The Best Dog Breed For Your Family

When you're trying to decide on the right breed of dog for your family, it's important to look beyond the cuteness factor and consider more important factors such as the overall temperament of the breed and how much space and exercise the breed requires to be content.

Take your time to find a dog that suits the space you live in, as well as the energy level of your family, and how much time each family member is willing to commit to training your new canine companion.

To help get you off to a good start picking the best dog for family life, here are a few of our favorite breeds:

English Bulldog

English bulldogs weigh in at about 50 – 55 lbs, and tend to be less energetic than many other dog breeds, making them suitable for apartments and smaller homes. These people-loving pups seek out social interactions with their family and are happy to just cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie and relax. English bulldogs are a sweet, gentle and dependable breed that can make excellent family pets.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

At about 10-18 lbs, the compact size of this lively but gentle breed makes it the dog for smaller homes or apartments. Cavaliers tend to get along well with kids and other dogs. They can be playful and cuddly, which makes this sweet-natured pooch a great pet for kids of many ages and energy levels.

Boston Terrier

Weighing in at about 25 pounds or less, these people-loving bundles of fun come with their own easy to care for "tuxedo" coats. Happy to play with the kids and go for short walks, this charming dog breed adapts well to apartment living and makes a great companion for children of all ages.

Irish Setter

A slightly larger breed to consider is the strikingly beautiful Irish setter. This breed typically weighs in at around 65 lbs and can make a great family pet. These dogs are lively, intelligent and have a great sense of mischief. Irish Setters love to chase balls and go for long runs, but also enjoy playing in the backyard with children. If you have high-energy kids, they will love spending time with an Irish Setter!


The Beagle is one of the best medium-sized dogs for family life. This mid-sized pooch normally weighs in at between 18 – 30 lbs and adores spending time with their people, playing games, and going for walks. Beagles are intelligent and loving dogs that can make terrific family pets, provided that they get plenty of affection and interaction from their human family and adequate exercise. Beagles need lots of interaction and are not a good choice for families who are out of the house a lot.


Your family will love these adorable little characters! Pugs are pretty laid back, being more than happy to just eat and sleep (which means you'll have to keep an eye on their weight!) If your children are small or lower energy and would appreciate a dog that will play with them indoors then curl up beside them to read their favorite book, a pug may be just the right breed for your family. Weighing around 15 lbs, this is a breed that doesn't need much space, and only requires a couple of short walks each day to be content.

The Mutt

The ideal family dog for you could be patiently waiting for you at the local animal shelter. Mixed-breed mutts can make loving and loyal family dogs! These dogs can be as good with children as purebred dogs. Mutts also tend to be less susceptible to genetic diseases, and less expensive. If you are considering a mutt for your family, make sure to take the time to visit local animal shelters and be patient in your search for the right dog to fit in with your family life. Often shelter workers can provide you with a doggie report card that lays out all of the known personality quirks and/or special needs of the pooch you're interested in.

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.

Once you have found the best family pet dog to add to the household, remember that preventive veterinary care is the key to providing your pet with the best chance at health and longevity. If your new family member is due for their annual care get in touch with us to book an appointment. Keeping White House pets healthy is our passion!