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26 Most Popular Family Dog Breeds in 2023 (With Pictures)

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Happy family stroking Golden Retriever

Dogs of all kinds are happily living as pets in households across the world today. Some are more suitable for adults, others are best for seniors, and others are perfect for families with children. Are you wondering which breed might be the best pet option for you and your kids? Here’s a list of the 26 most popular family dogs.

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The 26 Most Popular Family Dog Breeds:

1. The Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever standing on green meadow
Image Credit: fsHH, Pixabay
Origin Newfoundland
Average Weight 55–80 Pounds
Temperament Intelligent, outgoing, kind

Considered one of the most popular dog breeds in existence, the Labrador Retriever has been named the best family dog breed by the American Kennel Club. This breed is strong yet gentle, independent yet loving, and outgoing yet sometimes reserved. Labrador Retrievers are excellent with children and other animals, and they excel when it comes to obedience and agility training.

2. The Pug

pug in a harness
Image Credit: maniablack18, Pixabay
Origin China
Average Weight 14–18 pounds
Temperament Loyal, laid-back, stubborn

Although sometimes stubborn, Pugs make awesome family pets due to their loyalty and laidback attitudes. They don’t need much exercise, which makes them easier to keep happy than some other popular family dog breeds out there. These small dogs are gentle with babies and loyal to all human household members. They tend to snore when they sleep, and their dense double coat requires special attention to keep them clean.

3. The Golden Retriever

american golden retriever sittingh on patio
Image Credit: rustyc, Pixabay
Origin Scotland
Average Weight 65–70 pounds
Temperament Affectionate, intelligent, confident

These energetic dogs are fun, silly, and unpredictable, though they can be successfully trained to behave well in a household setting. These dogs were bred to hunt, so they are happiest when they have a “job” of some kind, even if that means accompanying you on walks around the neighborhood for protection. They are big and bold yet gentle and loving depending on the situation.

4. The French Bulldog

French Bulldog sitting on the pavement
Image Credit: GLady, Pixabay
Origin France
Average Weight 20–28 pounds
Temperament Smart, sociable, patient

French Bulldogs are loving pooches with even dispositions and playful personalities. They are popular family pets because they do well in cities, suburbs, and country settings alike. These dogs do not need much outdoor time and can get along well in households with singles, couples, families, and seniors. Their amusing personalities will keep kids busy for hours, while their temptation to cuddle up will make bonding easy for adults.

5. The German Shepherd

German Shepherd standing on the grass
Image Credit: cvop, Pixabay
Origin Germany
Average Weight 55–85 pounds
Temperament Watchful, loyal, curious

These dogs were bred to herd, so they are used to doing hard work throughout the day. As household members, they enjoy playing with kids and interacting with adults after exercising outdoors. They love going on adventures and are extremely loyal to their family members. If trained properly, they make great watchdogs that can help protect everyone while spending time at home.

6. The Dachshund

a Longhaired Dachshund standing on grass
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock
Origin Germany
Average Weight 16–30 pounds
Temperament Independent, clever, lively

Dachshunds are good dogs that were once known as excellent hunters. Nowadays, they are better known for their vibrant personalities and ability to easily fit into households of all shapes and sizes. These energetic little dogs are watchful and will not hesitate to let you know when someone or something is lurking about when they shouldn’t be. They are extremely social and require plenty of interaction with family members throughout the day.

7. The Irish Setter

irish setter in mountains
Image Credit: Kseniia Kolesnikova, Shutterstock
Origin Ireland
Average Weight 55–75 pounds
Temperament Affectionate, playful, independent

These lively pooches are curious by nature and will never turn down an outdoor adventure. They love to hike, camp, and hunt. They are excellent with children and will spend all day playing with them in the yard. They are also awesome snuggle partners when the lights are turned down low during the evening hours. Irish Setters are full of personality and love to be the center of attention.

8. The Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu sitting on the patio
Image Credit: Frauke Riether, Pixabay
Origin China
Average Weight 8–16 pounds
Temperament Loyal, affectionate, playful

The Shih Tzu is happy, perky, and outgoing. This breed is loyal to everyone whom they spend their lives with and are affectionate no matter what time of day it happens to be. This breed comes in a multitude of different colors and has an adorable face that is hard to resist. Their excitement and inquisitiveness make them perfect companions for children.

9. The Poodle

brown toy poodle at home
Image Credit: NDAB Creativity, Shutterstock
Origin Germany
Average Weight 45–70 pounds
Temperament Active, loyal, alert

Poodles are proud, independent, active, and loyal dogs that will keep a family on their toes on any given day. These dogs may look “prissy,” but they don’t act that way. Poodles are strong and curious dogs. They get along great with kids, but they will not put up with much teasing. They are protective over their family members, which makes them excellent watchdogs at home.

10. The Australian Shepherd

Red Merle Australian Shepherd
Image Credit: Eve Photography, Shutterstock
Origin United States
Average Weight 45–65 pounds
Temperament Active, protective, affectionate

This proud dog breed is stout, lively, and interactive. Once popular among rodeo enthusiasts, Australian Shepherds are proud pooches that enjoy the company of human companions, young and old. The breed is known for being kind to children yet wary of strangers. They will let you know when something is going on outside of the home that shouldn’t be. Native Americans considered these dogs to be sacred, and not much has changed today. People all over still think of these dogs as spiritual, sacred beings.

11. The Boxer

boxer dog lying on carpeted floor at home
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock
Origin Germany
Average Weight 55–70 pounds
Temperament Smart, friendly, calm, devoted

Boxers are smart, adaptable, and always ready for a good time. They can play cheerfully yet softly with kids, and they will never pass up an opportunity to snuggle on the couch. Their intimidating looks and protective nature lend to their ability to keep would-be criminals away from the house. They are typically brindle or fawn and have black masks that give them a dramatic look.

12. The Pomeranian

Brown Pomeranian
Featured Image Credit: DrNickStafford, Pixabay
Origin Europe
Average Weight 4–8 pounds
Temperament Playful, friendly, active

These little dogs are active, friendly, and all about having fun. They enjoy walks, trips to the park, and any other outdoor adventures that families like to do together. Pomeranians are spontaneous and can handle roughhousing with children in the yard. They will hang out and mind themselves during movie night, yet they are happy to show their extroverted personalities whenever the opportunity arises.

13. The Boston Terrier

boston terrier on grass
Image Credit: Lenka N, Shutterstock
Origin United States
Average Weight 10–25 pounds
Temperament Friendly, lively, intelligent

If you are looking for a small pooch that is exciting, interactive, lively, and curious, the Boston Terrier might be the right pet for you. This breed is intelligent and easy to train, gets along well with children and adults alike, and can handle social situations in places where there is no home base to rely on. Boston Terriers love to play games and will spend their time chasing balls and seeking out friends when the opportunities arise.

14. The Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer running on field
Image Credit: Grigorita Ko, Shutterstock
Origin Germany
Average Weight 12–20 pounds
Temperament Obedient, friendly, loyal, fearless

These are playful animals that are full of curiosity and loyalty. They stick with their family members and will keep the younger kids in sight whenever social situations require it. These dogs have a serious side, especially when it comes to protecting their household members. They tend to be introverted and prefer to spend their time with humans and animals that they know rather than meeting new acquaintances.

15. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog standing on grass
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock
Origin United Kingdom
Average Weight 13–18 pounds
Temperament Sociable, patient, playful

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is considered a toy breed yet is large enough to handle roughhousing and active play in the yard with the kids. This intelligent dog breed is easy to train, offers plenty of affection, and can happily live in both apartment and house settings. These are social dogs that do not enjoy being left at home alone for long periods. They prefer company and attention all day long.

16. The German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer pointing
Image credit: Burry van den Brink, Shutterstock
Origin Germany
Average Weight 45–70 pounds
Temperament Active, trainable, loyal


These dogs need plenty of exercise and attention, but in return, they offer tons of affection and loyalty. They keep an eye out for the safety of children and don’t mind playing physical games in the yard with them. They seem to understand the responsibilities of adults and will happily stay out of the way as long as petting, interaction, and treats come their way at the end of a long day.

17. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Image credit: ElfinFox, Pixabay
Origin Pembrokeshire (Wales)
Average Weight 20–30 pounds
Temperament Protective, outgoing, playful

This adorable little dog is hardy, outgoing, and protective of family members. The average Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves playing and is curious enough to spend all day in the yard sniffing out snacks and other items of interest. These dogs do like to bark, but their communication is typically playful and appropriate. When the house is calm and quiet, chances are that this dog will be too.

18. The Beagle

a cute Beagle puppy eating at home
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
Origin England
Average Weight 20–24 pounds
Temperament Cheerful, affectionate, curious

This is a dog breed that loves company and especially enjoys spending time with kids. As curious pooches, they don’t like to spend most of their day lounging around. Instead, they would rather be inspecting the yard or finding something new to chew on inside. Beagles are smart but stubborn, so training takes extra time and patience. Their short coats make them easy to groom as both puppies and adults.

19. The Rottweiler

Rottweiler standing in the ground covered with snow
Image Credit: K L, Pixabay
Origin Germany
Average Weight 70–120 pounds
Temperament Confident, loyal, good-natured

Thought of as a fierce watchdog by many, the Rottweiler is typically a kind and good-natured dog that get along well with people and other animals. When well socialized and trained as puppies, these dogs grow up to be gentle companions that are great with children of all ages. Despite popular belief, these dogs are rarely aggressive unless protecting their homes and household members.

20.  The Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier side view
Left: Yorkshire Terrier (metha1819, Shutterstock); Right: Shih Tzu (Tatiana Gasich, Shutterstock)
Origin England
Average Weight 2–7 pounds
Temperament Bold, courageous, smart

Tiny yet mighty, this cute dog breed is known for having luxurious hair that can be styled in various ways. Yorkshire Terriers are active dogs that require daily walks just like large breeds. However, they do enjoy spending time inside with their family members. They are especially gentle with young children and are happy to roughhouse with the older kids in the house. They also enjoy spending time with other pooches.

21. The Siberian Husky

a siberian husky
Image Credit: BARBARA808, Pixabay
Origin Siberia
Average Weight 35–60 pounds
Temperament Friendly, alert, outgoing

This is a medium-sized dog breed that has striking blue or brown eyes (sometimes one of each!) and strong, lean bodies. Siberian Huskies are smart and outgoing, but their stubborn independence can get in the way of training. Even with minimal training, though, these dogs are usually fun-loving and forgiving when it comes to interacting with children. This breed requires plenty of exercise, so an older child should live in the home who is eager to go on walks and play in the yard with the dog.

22.  The Great Dane

Great Dane
Image Credit: mtajmr, Pixabay
Origin Germany
Average Weight 100–175 pounds
Temperament Reserved, friendly, devoted

Great Danes have gained a reputation for being gentle giants over the years. Yes, they will guard their family members and property from intruders, but they will welcome all visitors and treat children with care. They tend to drool, which can be messy, especially when they are lounging on the furniture. These dogs do best in houses with large fenced yards where they can run and play during the day.

23. The Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock
Origin Germany
Average Weight 70–100 pounds
Temperament Obedient, intelligent, fearless

Doberman Pinschers are robust, strong, and intimidating to strangers, but their looks shouldn’t deter anyone from becoming companions with them. These goofy dogs are adaptable to most situations and are easy to train. They are extremely loyal to their family members and will help protect children as if they were their own. Unfortunately, these dogs can be territorial, but socialization and training at a young age can curb unwanted behaviors.

24.  The Havanese

Image Credit: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock
Origin Cuba
Average Weight 10–16 pounds
Temperament Affectionate, responsive, gentle

If you have room in your life for constant companionship, the Havanese is an awesome pet option to consider. These little cute dogs require plenty of attention and interaction throughout the day, but their affection and loyalty make up for their needy attitude. Havanese are generally happy dogs that always want to be a part of the action when it comes to playing with children.

25. Pomeranian

pomeranian smiling while walking
Image Credit: Purplehorse, Pixabay
Origin Northern Europe
Average Weight 4–8 pounds
Temperament Playful, friendly, social

This is a small dog breed that happens to be excellent with kids and social with the entire household. They come in many different colors and have long hair that is fun for kids to comb. These playful dogs enjoy participating in activities like fetch and agility training. They will alert the whole household when a stranger comes onto the property or something doesn’t seem right outside.

26. Shetland Sheepdog

Image Credit: evantoddmedia, Pixabay
Origin Scotland
Average Weight 14–27 pounds
Temperament Responsive, eager, playful

This is a working breed that expects to have something to do during the day. They do great on farms and ranches, but they can also get along well in houses if they have plenty of opportunities to exercise outdoors. These loving dogs are good with children of all ages, but they require training, and the kids in the house should know how to maintain control when playtime rolls around so things don’t get out of hand.

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Many different dog breeds make for awesome family pets, even when young children are in the mix. The decision that you make as to which type of doggy to acquire as a pet for your family should be based on your family’s structure, the amount of time that you have to devote to a pet, and the ages of your kids. But there is a dog out there for every family, no matter the situation, dynamics, or circumstances!


Featured Image Credit: wavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

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