Welcome to our guide, where we celebrate the joys of the best large family dogs.
We’ve scoured the world of canines to curate our selection.
12 of the best family-friendly large dog breeds.
Finding the top dog breeds for families can seem daunting.
We’re here to assure you that there are many large dog breeds for families with kids.
These dogs are more than just pets; they’re protectors, playmates, and profoundly affectionate.
12 Best Large Family Dogs
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Great Dane
- Saint Bernard
- Doberman Pinscher
- Alaskan Malamute
- Bassett Hound
- Siberian Huskey
When we think of popular dog breeds, the Labrador Retriever undoubtedly comes to mind.
Honored by the American Kennel Club and dog-lovers alike.
Labs are one of the most friendly and adaptable large dog breeds.
Excelling in service, therapy, and search and rescue operations
A breed known for their high energy and intelligence.
They have an iconic double coat, which comes in lovely hues.
Most popular colors include like black, chocolate, yellow, and silvery gray.
Their coat not only provide them resilience in various weather conditions,
but also a captivating appearance.
This double coat requires regular grooming to maintain its health and sheen.
But what truly endears us to the Labrador Retriever is their spirit.
Labs exhibit an energy level that is infectious and joyous.
Ideal partners for hikes, runs, and playful afternoons in the park.
They bond deeply with families, especially those that can match their vigor and zest for life.
- Height: 21.5 to 24 inches at the shoulder
- Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Their intelligence is not to be underestimated;
it makes them easy to train, shaping them into well-behaved companions who are eager to please.
Given their friendly nature and high adaptability, Labrador Retrievers make wonderful additions to any home.
Ensuring that shared lives are full of loyalty, fun, and adventure for years to come.
Golden Retriever: The Family Pet
Among all the family dogs, Golden Retrievers hold a special place in our hearts and homes.
Renowned for their kind demeanor and compatibility with children.
Goldens continue to embody the essence of child-friendly large dogs.
As part of the sporting group, these dogs not only bring joy to the household but also encourage an active lifestyle.
This is pivotal for maintaining their health and happiness.
Golden Retrievers shine as family pets given their remarkable patience and soft nature.
They are ideal companions for both young and old.
Their intelligence is matched with a willingness to please.
This aids in training sessions and in their roles as therapy or comfort dogs.
|Affectionate, patient, friendly
|Silky, medium-length double coat
|Variety of golden shades
|21.5 – 24 inches at the shoulder
|55 – 75 pounds
|10 – 12 years
|Role in Families
|Companion, therapy dog, active participant in family activities
We must also acknowledge the need for regular grooming with Goldens.
Their luscious coats are stunning, but they require consistent care to keep them in tip-top condition.
If you’re prepared for the grooming and thrive with an energetic companion who loves to fetch and play,
a Golden Retriever’s loyalty and sweetness will surely reward your efforts multiple times over.
The Standard Poodle: An Elegant Addition
When it comes to family-friendly large dog breeds that blend seamlessly with an active family lifestyle, the Standard Poodle stands tall.
Though often underestimated, this breed exudes high energy and calls for engagement that keeps both the mind and body active.
As an all-around companion, the Standard Poodle blooms in a household that will treasure its capacity for love and its athletic prowess.
With a life expectancy ranging from 10 to 18 years.
Standard Poodles are poised to become longstanding family members.
They hold an innate pleasure in forming close bonds with children and adults alike.
A quintessential match for those yearning for a meaningful connection with their canine companion.
|Over 15 inches at the shoulder
|Curly, distinctive fur
|Intelligent, Eager to Please, Affectionate
|Daily exercise for both mental and physical stimulation
|Suitability for Active Families
|Highly suitable for families that enjoy an active lifestyle
For those who desire a pet that embodies grace in the throes of play and companionship.
Whether it’s accompanying on a run, or mastering agility courses, these dogs are a great family dog.
Goldendoodle: The Perfect Hybrid
When exploring the hybrid group of family dogs, the Goldendoodle emerges as a top contender.
Revered for its high energy and amiable temperament.
Not only are they renowned for being one of the best hypoallergenic dogs, but Goldendoodles also boast intelligence and athletic prowess.
These characteristics are inherited from their progenitors, the Golden Retriever and Poodle.
Goldendoodles often stand out in any crowd of dogs.
Not just because of their unique aesthetic, but due to their sweet disposition making them incredibly good with children.
With an approachable demeanor and a capacity for patience.
They are an excellent choice for homes bustling with the energy of young ones.
Suitable for various activities and environments.
- Known for their adaptive intelligence
- Curly, low-shedding coats ideal for those with allergies
- An enthusiastic addition to any active family
- Commonly weight between 45 to 100 pounds
- Life expectancy that ranges from 10 to 15 years
Goldendoodles have found their niche within active family life.
A family life where their high-spirited playfulness and jovial character can be fully appreciated.
Every day is an adventure with these affable hybrids, as they bring joy and movement to your home.
Thus, if you’re seeking a dog that is both intelligent and athletic,
one that will be a joyous and devoted member of your family for years to come,
look no further than the Goldendoodle.
German Shepherd: Versatile Companion
When we think of shepherd dogs, one breed often stands out among the rest: the German Shepherd.
Renowned for their versatility, these canines excel as members of the herding group.
Favored for various roles as working dogs, including police dogs and service animals.
But their skills in the field are matched by their loyalty at home.
This makes the German Shepherd a top choice for families seeking an active and protective companion.
- Historical roles: Hunting, Herding, Service, Shepherd Dog
- Integral in: Police, Rescue, Military
- Character Traits: Loyalty, Intelligence, Work Ethic
- Ideal for: Active Lifestyles
|Coarse, medium-length, double coat; commonly black and tan
|22 to 26 inches at the shoulder
|60 to 100 pounds
|7 to 10 years
|Providing unwavering loyalty to their family
Great Dane: Cherished Companion
When it comes to finding the best dog breeds for families with children, the Great Dane is a standout choice.
These impressive gentle giants are renowned for their placid and affectionate nature.
One of the largest dog breeds on our list.
Well-deserving of their title within the working group.
Despite their grand stature, Great Danes are considered one of the top large breed dogs for families with kids.
At first glance, the sheer size of a Great Dane might be intimidating;
they can grow to a height of 28 to 34 inches at the shoulder and can weigh anywhere between 100 to 200 pounds.
However, beneath that imposing physique, Great Danes harbor a truly gentle soul.
They have a knack for bonding with children, often becoming their guardian and playmate.
A perfect combination of the patient caregiver and spirited companion.
Their short, smooth coat which comes in hues such as fawn, brindle, or even harlequin, requires minimal grooming.
Energy level wise, Great Danes exhibit a surprising balance.
Despite their size, they possess a moderate energy level.
They need regular walks and playtime but not the intense activity that some large breeds demand.
This bodes well for families who appreciate the joys of having a large dog without the need for an excessive exercise regimen.
- Height: 28 to 34 inches at the shoulder
- Weight: 100 to 200 pounds
- Coat: Short, Smooth
- Colors: Fawn, Brindle, Black, Blue, Harlequin
- Exercise: Moderate Needs
- Family-Friendly: Yes, with careful supervision around small children as they are a big dog
- Lifespan: 6 to 8 years
Our love for these majestic animals extends beyond their aesthetics;
the way Great Danes enrich our family dynamic is exceptional.
As part of the family, they offer a sense of security with their vigilant presence while forming an integral bond with each family member.
Yet, it’s important to remember that due to their bountiful size, thinking ahead about the living space they’ll occupy and being mindful around smaller kids are significant considerations.
As spirited as they are tender, these large breed dogs for families with kids advocate that the best things in life, indeed, come in bountiful packages.
Boxer: Energetic Guardian
Among the family-friendly large dog breeds, Boxers stand out for their joyful energy and protective instinct.
These dogs, falling within the working group, are not only strong and agile,
but also exude a high level of affection, particularly towards children.
We firmly believe in the importance of socialization and training from an early age to ensure that Boxers grow up to be well-mannered and gentle family members.
Boxers are known for their athleticism and high energy, requiring regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
This makes them ideal for active families who enjoy spending time outdoors.
Despite their strength, Boxers have a natural tendency to be protective of their family.
Paired with the right training, can render them excellent watchdogs.
The breed’s short, smooth coats, showcasing shades of brindle and fawn, allow for easy grooming—a plus for any busy family.
We have prepared a comprehensive table below that highlights the essential traits of Boxers.
|Height at Shoulder
|22 to 25 inches
|50 to 80 pounds
|10 to 12 years
|Brindle, Fawn, with a black mask or white markings
|Strong, naturally protective of family
|Early and ongoing socialization recommended
|Positive reinforcement methods
Whether it’s a game of fetch in the park or a peaceful walk around the neighborhood,
Boxers offer the perfect mix of spirited playfulness and vigilant guardianship.
Their undying loyalty and love make them not just pets, but full-fledged family members.
Saint Bernard: A Noble Breed
When embarking on the journey of selecting the perfect canine companion for our families,
the massive size and gentle nature of the Saint Bernard make them stand out as a breed that combines strength with a loving temperament.
Known historically as rescue dogs,
this gentle giant dog have carved their niche in our hearts,
offering unwavering loyalty and serenity amidst our active daily lives.
Let’s delve into a breed overview that celebrates the essence of these family dogs.
While the high energy levels of the Saint Bernard are not as intense as those of smaller breeds,
they still enjoy their moments of playfulness and require regular exercise.
Their sheer size, reaching an impressive 120 to 180 pounds, bespeaks their historical role in challenging alpine search and rescue missions.
This robust physique is partnered with an especially patient and benevolent disposition, traits that make them particularly affectionate family dogs.
|Saint Bernard Description
|120 – 180 pounds
|26 – 30 inches (at the shoulder)
|Kind, Gentle, Guarding
|Moderate – daily walks and playtime suggested
|Best Suited For
|Families with space; committed to training and socialization
|8 – 10 years
Their kind, watchful eyes may require a sizeable bed to slumber, yet they’ll ensure our homes are filled with love and gentle companionship.
As family dogs, they exhibit a commitment to protect and please their humans.
Doberman Pinscher: Loyal Protector
Known for their intense loyalty and protective nature.
Doberman Pinschers stand as one of the best large family dogs.
Not only are they admired as vigilant guard dogs, but their high energy levels make them the perfect fit for active families.
Let’s talk about the characteristics that define the Doberman Pinscher.
|Dobermans have an innate sense of devotion to their families, often forming an unbreakable bond with their owners.
|A vibrant breed that thrives on staying active, whether through daily walks, play, or agility training.
|With a legacy as guard dogs, they are natural protectors, always alert and ready to defend their loved ones.
|Early socialization and consistent training are imperative to ensure they remain well-behaved and gentle.
Doberman Pinschers are indeed manageable and loving.
Becoming a part of the family requires commitment to meet their physical and emotional needs.
If you’re up for the joy and responsibility that comes with raising these noble dogs, the Doberman Pinscher may just be the perfect addition to your family.
Alaskan Malamute: Family-Friendly Giant
Our journey into family-friendly large dog breeds takes us to the majestic Alaskan Malamute.
A member of the working group, which stands as a testament to endurance and faithful companionship.
Their resemblance to the Siberian Husky is uncanny, yet they have a distinct, affectionate nature that melts the coldest of hearts.
For households seeking a high-energy canine partner, look no further than the Malamute to complete your active family.
Famed for their sturdy build and exuberant spirit, Malamutes demand a lifestyle that embraces the great outdoors.
If your family thrives on adventures and relishes in being on the go, this breed’s enthusiasm and stamina will be the perfect fit.
Their affectionate nature and personable demeanor make them ideal for those seeking a furry friend.
|Sibling kin to Siberian Husky
|High Energy, Requires Ample Exercise
|Active Family Seeking Adventure
|Affectionate, Loyal, Friendly
|75 to 100 pounds or more
|Thick Double Coat, Various Colors
|10 to 12 years
We understand the unique charms and challenges of welcoming a family-friendly large dog breed into your home.
The Alaskan Malamute, with its robust character and dynamic energy, is one such furry bundle of joy.
One that will eagerly join and enhance your family’s everyday life.
Their demand for space and undivided attention might seem daunting.
However, the endless stream of happy moments and steadfast loyalty they offer in return is without a doubt, immeasurable.
Basset Hound: Family Friend
When searching for child-friendly large dogs, the Basset Hound is a breed that cannot be overlooked.
Despite its modest height, this member of the hound group brings a sizable portion of love and devotion.
Renowned for their distinctive low-to-ground profile and leisurely pace.
Basset Hounds showcase a pleasant temperament that meshes well with the high-spirited innocence of youth.
Here’s a closer look at why these high energy pooches are adored by many:
- Socialization: Bassets flourish in a family setting, provided they are well-socialized from an early age. Their genial nature makes them perfect companions for both children and adults alike.
- Temperament: With an even-keeled disposition and an inclination to please, these dogs exude patience and friendliness—cardinal traits for any dog sharing a home with children.
- Size: Although they don’t tower like some breeds, Bassets are quite sturdy and robust, tipping the scales at a substantial 40 to 65 pounds. Their size makes them solid and steady, yet not overwhelmingly so for younger family members.
The coat of the Basset Hound, short yet hardy, comes in classic hound colors:
a melange of black, white, and brown that’s both charming and low-maintenance.
Their longevity, with a life expectancy of 12 to 13 years, ensures a long-standing relationship filled with cheeky grins, leisurely walks, and heaps of cuddles.
While they may carry an occasional stubborn streak, consistent training from a young age can foster a well-behaved companion.
The Basset Hound stands as an exemplary breed for those seeking a family pet that embodies warmth, loyalty, and an endearing spirit.
With the right socialization and care, these child-friendly large dogs will cement themselves as indispensable members of your household.
Siberian Husky: High-Energy Companion
Our search for family dogs that blend into the household while offering both companionship and fun brings us to the elegant Siberian Husky.
Coveted for their striking appearance and spirited demeanor.
These dogs are like a breath of fresh Arctic air, weaving their protective instinct into the fabric of family life.
These athletic dogs boast a friendly nature that endears them to both children and adults alike.
A Husky’s independence is renowned.
Don’t let their high energy and occasional reservedness mislead you;
these canines adore being part of a pack and flourish when involved in family activities.
Standing proudly at 22 to 27 inches and weighing a robust 75 to 100 pounds.
Huskies fit right in with an active family – always ready for a game of fetch or a long hike.
Training is key to harmonizing their independent streak with family life.
A well-trained Husky is more than just a pet; they become a devoted and cheerful member of our homes, running side by side with us in this adventure called life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the best large family dogs for households with multiple children?
Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, and Goldendoodles are among the best large breed dogs for families with children due to their friendly and patient nature.
Are any large dog breeds suitable for families living in apartments?
Yes, Standard Poodles and Goldendoodles can adapt well to apartment living provided they get sufficient exercise due to their high energy levels.
What large dog breeds are known for their gentle nature around children?
Great Danes and Saint Bernards are known for their gentle and patient demeanor around children, often referred to as “gentle giants.”
Are Boxers considered high energy, and how does this affect their suitability as family pets?
Boxers are high energy dogs that can be very playful and affectionate, making them a good match for families, especially when given appropriate training and socialization.
Which large dog breeds have a reputation for being protective and make good guard dogs for families?
German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers are both known for their protective instincts and loyalty, making them excellent guard dogs while also being great family companions.
Are there any hypoallergenic large dog breeds suitable for families with allergies?
Goldendoodles are popular among families with allergies due to their hypoallergenic qualities inherited from their Poodle lineage.