You and your family have decided to get a dog, but you’re not sure what breed you want to adopt.
Purchasing a dog is obviously a significant decision and must be considered carefully.
You'll want to select one of the breeds that are good house dogs and look for a pup that will match your family's needs and your environment.
Just about any breed can be a good house dog – but which one you choose would depend largely on several factors.
There really is no ‘one dog fits all.’ Before dog shopping, weigh all the factors of your home and family situation.
Think realistically about how much time and money you will be able to invest in your dog in terms of training, playtime, feeding schedule, and general health upkeep.
Rest assured, there is a dog out there for you.
The listing below is by no means a comprehensive list, but it highlights 30 of some of the most popular breeds.
You'll need to take grooming requirements, activity level, size, and common health ailments in mind when choosing a good house dog for your family.
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30 Breeds That Are Good House Dogs
1. Labrador Retriever
Voted the most popular dog of 2015, this breed is one of the most intelligent and the most loyal.
They are excellent family dogs and have a knack for getting along well with children.
The Labrador Retriever is easy to train and enjoys spending time with people.
Beagles are liveliness and intelligence rolled up into small, adorable packages.
They are low maintenance and are excellent family dogs.
If you're looking for good house dogs that don't grow very big, the Beagle is a great option!
3. German Shepherd
Loyal, protective, and versatile, the German Shepherd was voted the second most popular breed globally, just behind the Labrador Retriever.
These dogs are excellent with kids and other pets but are often cautious and wary around strangers.
Known for their intelligence, German Shepherds make excellent working dogs.
They'll be happy to do their job all day and come home to their family at night.
This breed is one of the more energetic, friendly, and loyal breeds out there.
Boxers have long been known as one of the best house dogs for families, especially if you have kids.
Boxers are low maintenance dogs and require a minimum amount of grooming.
They are playful and affectionate with children, but their health needs monitoring since they are prone to certain genetic diseases.
Dachshunds are not necessarily the optimal choice when there are kids in the family, as the breed is known for being aggressive at times.
There are a few health problems that are common in the Dachshund too.
This isn't a good breed choice for new pet owners.
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6. Siberian Husky
This beautiful breed was developed in the unforgiving Siberian Arctic, where they were utilized as sled dogs hauling cargo across the tundra.
Siberian Huskies are brilliant and energetic dogs.
Generally speaking, the husky is not good with kids unless the puppy and the kids are raised together.
Their thick coat will require a lot of grooming.
If you're looking for a good house dog that doesn't shed very much, the Siberian Husky isn't the breed for you.
7. Great Dane
Great Danes are loyal to their people and make an excellent breed for kids.
The obvious downside to these dogs is their enormous size. You'll need to have plenty of room in your home for these big guys!
And remember, the larger the dog, the more expensive he will be to care for.
8. Miniature Schnauzer
These dogs are highly trainable and are excellent with kids.
They also have tons of energy and enjoy playing and lots of mental stimulation. You'll need to keep your Schnauzer entertained, or he may get bored and find himself something naughty to do.
Owners that are going to be away from home frequently should think about adopting a different breed.
9. Shih Tzu
Even though they can be friendly, they are not always easy to train.
Shih Tzu’s are independent-minded and stubborn. This breed is really only best with older children or children the dog has been raised with.
10. Miniature American Shepherd
They are good house dogs because they are easily trainable and well suited for all climates and living conditions.
Because this dog is of the herding family, caution should be used when the dog is around small children.
They love to run and chase small things and have a lot of energy.
That's not a great combination to have around small kids.
Pomeranians or ‘Poms’ are a trendy toy breed in the United States.
They are easily trained, friendly, and should be groomed regularly.
They adapt well to their climate and are extremely good with kids.
They are extremely friendly, intelligent, and playful.
Because of their easy-going personality, they are a cinch to train and are excellent guard dogs.
Corgis adapt easily to just about any climate.
They are affectionate and energetic with kids, which is what makes them such good house dogs.
This breed adapts well to extreme heat but does not do well in the cold.
They are also not well-suited for kids unless both the children and the dog have grown up together.
Known for being courageous, loyal, and protective, this breed is hugely protective of its owners and will do whatever it takes to protect the family from an attacker.
Despite his large size, the mastiff can thrive living in an apartment.
He can do well in cold weather but struggles in the extreme heat.
15. Cocker Spaniel
They adapt well to any weather and need regular exercise.
Plus, they are great with children and are frequently playful and energetic around them.
Cocker Spaniels are good house dogs for families or single folks who enjoy spending a lot of time with their canine companions.
Loyal, adorable, and intelligent, Pugs are really the complete canine package.
They are suited for just about any living condition and any climate.
However, they cannot handle extreme heat.
Pugs are trainable, but because of their independent nature, it will be a challenge.
They are not only good house dogs. They are also excellent pups for kids.
They are very multi-talented and agile, participating in such activities as herding, competitive obedience, and tracking.
This breed is suited to all types of living conditions and most climates.
Because of their friendliness, collies are extremely good with kids.
18. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier, or ‘Yorkie’ as it’s more commonly known, is a wildly popular breed, especially in the United States.
They are affectionate towards their owner and are very fearless and self-assured.
However, the Yorkie is not very good with young children. They are good house dogs for families with older children who know how to take care of dogs.
19. Border Collie
Unlike many of the breeds featured here, the Border Collie is not suited for apartment living and would feel much more at home in a large yard or on a farm.
Their high energy level requires plenty of exercises, or your Border Collie is likely to get bored and find some trouble.
To keep him fit and happy, the more space, the better!
Border Collies are an excellent breed for kids because of their energetic nature.
20. Bichon Frise
This little guy is known for being very playful and affectionate with their people.
Because of their intelligence, they regularly compete in agility contests.
The Bichon Frise is trainable, but not without some challenges.
They adapt well to most climates and are great with kids.
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Like the Siberian Husky, Samoyed's are part of the herding family and are well adapted to pulling a sled and toughing out the cold weather.
Regular grooming is recommended as this is another dog with a double coat.
Samoyed’s are trainable but can also be stubborn at times. Patience is required when adopting these good house dogs.
They are known for their playfulness and even aggressiveness. Because of this independent tendency, training will likely be a challenge.
Formal obedience training might be the best option for these dogs.
They are adaptable to the cold weather but struggle in the hot weather.
Also, because of their occasional aggressiveness, they may not be the best option for kids.
23. English Setter
Highly intelligent and affectionate, they are adept at activities such as hunting, pointing, and tracking.
Owners will have an easier time training this breed, although specialized commands will certainly take more time to train.
The English Setter is one of the rare breeds that is not suited for apartment living, and it requires a large amount of exercise to maintain its fitness. It is a friendly, playful breed that is excellent with kids.
The Japanese Chin is an energetic breed in the toy family known for his intelligence and loyalty.
Regular grooming is required for this pup, and training is said to be difficult due to the Chin's independent nature.
These good house dogs can adapt to just about any living space, although in terms of climate, they cannot handle extreme temperatures.
The Japanese Chin would not be the best option for kids unless the Chin and the children grew up together.
25. Norwegian Elkhound
This is another breed with a double coat, so regular brushing is a must to keep the coat sleek and clean.
As mentioned, this is a very protective breed and makes an excellent watchdog.
As with other dogs in this family, Elkhounds thrive in the winter but wilt a bit in the summer, although they adapt well to most living situations.
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26. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier is one of the most popular breeds around today.
Highly intelligent and charismatic, these little bundles of energy make great pets.
However, it is important to be aware that they can also be stubborn and difficult to train.
New owners should consider professional obedience training.
Jack Russell Terriers adapt to most living conditions and most weather, but they need a lot of exercise because of their high energy.
They are excellent companions for children.
This breed will not do well in apartment conditions and needs a large yard or many lands to run around in.
Pointers adapt reasonably well to all types of climates, and they are extremely good with kids.
These good house dogs enjoy spending time with their families, but they also don't mind being alone.
It is highly talented and has participated in such activities as hunting, agility, and racing. Training this breed should be relatively easy.
The Greyhound can adapt to just about any living condition as long as it receives plenty of exercises.
It can adapt to most climates, although it cannot tolerate extreme temperatures.
The American Pit Bull Terrier, or pit bull, is a popular breed in the United States known for its loyalty and intelligence.
Easily trainable, the pit bull adapts relatively well to most living conditions. Although with this particular breed, adequate exercise is required.
This breed is extremely loyal to its owner and has historically formed strong bonds with children in the family.
English Bulldogs are great for potential pet parents looking for a more sedentary breed.
Your Bulldog will enjoy brief walks throughout the day, but he won't be bugging you for exercise and activity all day. This breed loves lounging.
While the breeds on the list are great options for family or house dogs, they are not the only good choices you will find. If you don’t see any breed that catches your eye above, consider these honorable mentions for breeds that are good house dogs and perfect for families.
- Alaskan Malamute
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Boston Terrier
- Brussels Griffon
- Cairn Terrier
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- French Bulldog
- Golden Retriever
- Irish Setter
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Shiba Inu
- Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
- St. Bernard
- Toy Poodle
- West Highland Terrier
Common Questions About Breeds That Are Good House Dogs and Perfect for Families
If you still have a few doubts about breeds that are good house dogs and great for families, check out the information in this FAQ section we compiled to help you.
What is the best dog for families?
The best dogs for families include Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, Vizslas, Bull Terriers, Newfoundlands, Border Collies, and Irish Setters.
What is the best low-maintenance family dog?
If you want a family dog that is low-maintenance, consider a Dachshund, Greyhound, Pug, Chihuahua, Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Shiba Inu, or Bullmastiff.
What is the easiest dog to take care of?
For most people, the easiest dogs to take care of will be those that are well-trained. The easiest breeds to train include German Shepherds, Border Collies, Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Papillons.
What is the best family dog in Australia?
The best family dogs in Australia are similar to those in other countries and can include the Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Beagle, St. Bernard, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Golden Retriever, Border Collie, and Jack Russel Terrier.
What is the No. 1 dog breed in 2020?
The most popular dog breed in 2020 was the Labrador Retriever, followed by the French Bulldog, German Shepherd, and Golden Retriever.