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Friendliest Dog Breeds

Seeking a great dog companion for your kids? Here, our Riverside vets share 10 friendly dog breeds to help you choose the right one for your family.

Benefits of Having a Dog

There are a few benefits (other than lots of love) to bringing a dog into your home. Below are some reasons people can benefit from having a pup in the house.

Improved Happiness

There's science behind why we feel so happy to come home to a dog's wagging tail; playing with a pet raises dopamine and serotonin levels, which calms the mind and improves our mood.

Reduced Stress

Patting a dog has proven to lower levels of cortisol - the stress hormone - in both people and pets. Research has also found that children's 

Develop Compassion

Owning and caring for a pet gives children more compassion and empathy for others. Nurturing and caring for an animal that depends on them helps children grow personally, studies have shown.

Stay Healthier

Many dogs require exercise, attention, and outdoor activities that can help your kid spend more time outside, getting in their physical activity for the day.  

Picking the Best Dog Breed for Your Family

If you're thinking about getting a dog for your children, it's important to choose a breed whose characteristics complement your child's temperament. Would your child prefer a pet to take to the park and play with or a cuddle companion?

Make sure to consider your available square footage at home as well. Do you have lots of space or is your home on the smaller side?

At Riverside Animal Hospital, we want you to find the best family dog for your kids. Read below for a list of our picks for the friendliest large and small dog breeds

1. Boston Terrier

Weight about 25 pounds or less, Boston Terriers love people and always look dapper in their easy-to-care-for "tuxedo" coats. Always game for short walks and happy to play with kids, this charming small dog breed adapts well to apartment living and will make a fantastic companion for children of all ages. 

2. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are still one of the most popular family pets because they are fun, gentle, and loyal, and they can make excellent dogs for children. Labradors enjoy socializing and will quickly become your child's best friend. However, it is critical that this breed receives adequate exercise, or they may begin to cause mischief. These dogs vary in stature, weighing between 55 and 80 pounds.

3. The Mutt

Your children's next canine companion could be waiting for you at the local animal shelter. Mixed-breed mutts can be loving and devoted family dogs. These puppies can be as good with children as purebred dogs and cost less to care for. Our Riverside pet hospital can examine your new puppy to check for health conditions and diseases. Additionally, they are less susceptible to genetic diseases.

If you are thinking of adopting a mutt for your family, make some time to visit local animal shelters and be patient in your search for the right dog to fit in with your family life. Shelter workers might be able to offer you a doggy report card that lists all of the known personality quirks of the dog you're interested in.

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This gentle but compact breed (they weigh in at between 10 and 18 pounds) may be an excellent match for smaller homes or apartments. Cavaliers tend to do well with kids and other dogs. They can be both cuddly and playful, which makes this sweet, good-natured pup well-suited for kids of many energy levels and ages. 

5. Beagle

The Beagle is one of the best medium-sized dogs for family life. This mid-sized pooch typically weighs in at between 18-30 lbs and adores spending time with its people, playing games, and going for walks. Beagles are smart and loving dogs that can make terrific family pets provided that they get plenty of family interaction and exercise. Beagles are not appropriate for families who are out of the house a lot. 

6. Pug

Your family will love these adorable little characters! Pugs are pretty happy just to eat and sleep. If your kids are small, or lower energy and would appreciate a dog that will play with them indoors then curl up beside them to watch TV, a Pug may be just the right breed for your family. Weighing around 15 lbs, this breed doesn't need much space and only requires a couple of short walks each day to be content.

7. Newfoundland

Sweet, loyal, and patient are just a few adjectives that best describe this fluffy giant. This breed is known as a 'nanny dog' for its gentle and patient nature with children. Weighing between 100 and 150 pounds, you'll need space if you want to get a Newfoundland for your family. It's also worth noting that, like many giant breeds, Newfies 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 in some cases.

8. Golden Retriever

Affectionate, good with children, and playful with other dogs, the faithful Golden Retriever can make an excellent dog for families with kids of any age. Covered in a  dense, lustrous coat of gold this breed is as lovely to cuddle with as it is to play with.

Goldens are typically eager-to-please family dogs, that are relatively easy to train. They have a joyous and playful approach to life and keep their youthful spirit well into adulthood. This breed generally weighs in at about 60 - 80 lbs and is a moderate shedder.

9. The Standard Poodle

The standard poodle, which is active, proud, and very intelligent, makes an excellent family pet. While standard poodles are known for their unique hairstyles, they shed little and, with regular grooming, can look handsome whether clipped to breed standard or left natural. Poodles are fun-loving family dogs who are easy to train and have a playful personality. These dogs weigh between 45 and 60 pounds and live for an average of 10 to 14 years.

10. Bernese Mountain Dog

If your family is looking for a big dog, your kids will love this sweet-natured fluffy breed. Bernese Mountain Dogs typically weigh between 70 and 100 lbs, and despite their size, have a reputation for being gentle with kids. One word of warning - these big beautiful dogs are major shedders.

Wellness Exams & Vaccinations

Once you've chosen your new four-legged family member, we recommend bringing them into our Riverside animal hospital for a complete physical exam to assess, diagnose and treat any health conditions. We can also administer any pet vaccinations your animal may need.

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.

Are you looking for a new canine companion? Contact our Riverside vets for help finding the right pup for you.

New Patients Welcome

Riverside Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Riverside companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

(951) 683-4200