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15 Best Big Dog Breeds for Kids & Families (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

siberian husky and golden retriever

All dogs have unique personalities, whether small or large. However, larger dogs are a little more successful when intruding on one’s personal space, simply due to their size. Many large dogs are just as suitable for families as small dogs.

But which are the best breeds to introduce into a family setting? Below, we have a list of 15 large dog breeds that outshine the competition regarding being loyal family members.

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The 15 Best Big Dog Breeds for Families

1. The Golden Retriever

golden retriever in harness
Image Credit: Dzmitry Dudov, Unsplash

Golden Retrievers are loyal, fun-loving, affectionate, and incredibly active, much like kids. They are known for their patience and ability to pick up on a human’s inner feelings, which may be why they make such good therapy and rescue dogs.

This breed can be up to 24 inches tall and weigh 75 pounds when fully grown.

2. The German Shepherd

Sable German Shepherd stacking
Image Credit: TanyaCPhotography, Shutterstock

Although these pups are known for being voracious guard dogs, they are sweet and gentle once you get to know them. German Shepherds have intelligent, patient dispositions. They get along well with children and other animals if socialized at a young age.

The German Shepherd is easy to train and can even be conditioned to perform a job at home that helps the whole family.

3. The Bernese Mountain Dog

bernese mountain dog
Image Credit: othmarsigrist, Pixabay

Weighing in at 110 pounds during adulthood, Bernese Mountain Dogs are huge dogs with even bigger personalities. They are fearlessly devoted to their human companions and self-confident but rarely aggressive unless they perceive a true threat.

They love hanging out with kids and will go out of their way to interact with them gently. They can also get along with other pets, like cats.

4. The Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever
Image Credit: Chiemsee2016, Pixabay

Labs are big and goofy. They love playing and expect daily walks unless they have a job, like being hunting companions or animal herders. Although active, they do not mind cuddling up in the living room while everyone in the house watches a movie.

In return for fun, exercise, and mental stimulation, Labrador Retrievers will reward their family with loyalty, affection, and a best friend for the kids to rely on.

5. The Rottweiler

Image Credit: Dolores Preciado, Shutterstock

Rottweilers do well with families that include older children. They can be a little overbearing for younger kids, but if they grow up with a youngster from puppyhood, chances are they can adapt to the need for gentler and more patient interaction with kids of all ages.

They are smart, patient, loyal, and softhearted. Rottweilers will also defend their family members as necessary, but the threat must be imminent.

6. The Great Dane

mantle great dane dog at the beach
Image Credit: mkzdillon, Shutterstock

Great Danes are mighty in stature, with males standing at 32 inches and weighing up to 175 pounds once fully mature. Even though their size is intimidating and can be challenging to accommodate for small households, the Great Dane is a joy to spend time with and does not have an aggressive bone in their body.

They get along well with kids of all ages and will quickly become their best friends.

7. The Boxer

Image Credit: Meli1670, Pixabay

Boxers have a strong work ethic, so they take their jobs of watching over children and pulling wagons seriously. These affectionate dogs are always alert, and they always seem to be paying attention to what their human family members are up to.

Their agility will keep up with any child on the playground, and their grounded personality allows them to adapt to a calm, relaxed setting at home.

8. The Samoyed

Samoyed dog in the summer forest
Image Credit: Nik Tsvetkov, Shutterstock

These gorgeous dogs have many intriguing qualities. Samoyeds are powerful yet loving, intelligent yet willing to learn, and confident yet humble.

They want to be an active part of the family unit, whether spending time around a fire pit at night while everyone roasts marshmallows, heading off on a weekend camping trip with the household, or helping with yard work by hauling dead leaves and grass cuttings.

9. The Chow Chow

chow chow
Image Credit:Tara Robinson, Pexels

This all-purpose canine is soft and cuddly, which is something kids and adults alike tend to admire. The Chow Chow is a working-class dog, so they do not want to spend all day lounging at home.

They are best for active families that spend a great deal of time outdoors together. Chow Chows can be easily trained for obedience and agility courses from the time that they are puppies.

10. The Dalmatian

dalmatian outdoor
Image Credit: TheOtherKev, Pixabay

Many people purchased these dogs after Disney’s “101 Dalmatians” movie originally came out. Because so many were returned or sent to the humane society, people assumed they were hard to care for.

The truth is that with proper exercise and care, Dalmatians are loyal, loving dogs that enjoy nothing more than spending quality time with their human family members.

11. The English Setter

Image credit: michellegraber, Pixabay

Any family looking for a laidback, mellow dog should consider the English Setter. They are always gentle and loyal but followers rather than leaders, so it is hard to find a dominant one in the pack.

However, this does not mean that they can skip exercise. They should exercise daily to maintain a positive frame of mind and family-oriented disposition.

12. The German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Lab Dog Breed Info
Image credit: Wilda3 , Pixabay

Although these dogs are full of energy, German Shorthaired Pointers are sensible and patient, which helps balance their personalities and makes them excellent pets for families. Their energy keeps up with the kids, their sensibility lets them know how to decipher what is wrong and right, and their patience makes them easy to train and love.

13. The Poodle

poodle puppy_Medenka Nera_shutterstock
Image Credit: Medenka Nera, Shutterstock

Poodles are well-behaved, happy-go-lucky, and playful. They make excellent family dogs for many reasons, including their hypoallergenic qualities and eagerness to please.

These outgoing dogs love going on outings, and if trained, they will be happy to greet strangers during their travels. There are three sizes of Poodles to choose from, all of which are suitable for families.

14. The Saluki

Image Credit: popovicmjeljica, Pixabay

While not a well-known breed, the Saluki is a hardy Egyptian canine that loves spending time with humans. They are well-domesticated and athletic, and they can get along with children, but they should have a fenced yard to run around in daily.

Salukis have warm, loving personalities and patient temperaments, which makes them suitable to be around children.

15. The Weimaraner

Weimaraner in the desert
Image Credit: celyi, Shutterstock

The Weimaraner has a gorgeous gray coat that looks silver in the sunlight. They can be up to 27 inches tall when fully grown, but they seem to understand their large size and know how to stay within boundaries when interacting with their human family members and other animals. Weimaraner dogs happen to be easy to groom and train, too.

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Best Big Dogs for Kids: Which Is Your Favorite?

We love all the big dogs that are good with kids mentioned on this list. Each breed has endearing qualities that are great for families of all types. Determining which breed is ideal for your home depends on the personality traits and care requirements that suit everyone’s lifestyles the best. Which of the breeds on our list are the most attractive to you? We want to know! Vote for your favorite large dog breed for families in our comments section.

Featured image credit: Olena Polianychko, Shutterstock

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