Good Dogs for Small Child – Discover 5 Dog Breeds for Small Children

Planning the addition of a new puppy into your household is exciting! Proper planning and preparation can make adopting a new puppy into a positive and perfect experience.

If the family pack already has one or more small children, though, you need to carefully pick the type of dog that is joining your family.

good dogs for small child
What are good dogs for small child/children?

But how to pick good dogs for small child? You need to consider a few different factors.

In this article, we find out which breeds suit a young family best. We discuss the different steps to be prepared and introduce a puppy and also list good dogs for a small child.

Read on to find out more and see the 10 best dogs for small children, and 3 best non-shedding dogs for small children.

Traits of a Kid-Friendly Dog                                     

A dog that is suitable for kids will need to meet a few criteria.

  • Have an excellent temperament
    • The personality of a good dog for small child will be patient and curious 
    • A calmer dog can often better match the nature of a young child, and grow and develop a positive bond over time
    • For some kids a more energetic care-free dog can be overwhelming initially
    • Once kids are older, high energy dogs can become better suited
    • A willingness to learn and a keenness for treats and positive reinforcement training will make life with a dog and a small child much easier
cute mini cockapoo puppy
A supercuts Cockapoo puppy. See Cockapoo Vs Cavapoo comparison.
Photo by Greg Dunlap /CC BY
  • Size does matter, but perhaps not in the way you think
    • Although a smaller dog may have less risk of crushing, intimidating or knocking a small child over, the breed and temperament are far more important
    • Some large dogs are incredibly laid back. Look at many Bernedoodles, for example! A patient and relaxed giant dog can be a perfect dog for small children
    • Some small dogs are also absolutely buzzing with energy. If there is problematic barking or just a simple case of the zoomies – a small child might be scared

  • A dog that is too lazy, or too excitable will be equally unsuitable for a small child
    • A dog that just wants to snooze and be left alone can become annoyed by the curious energy of a young child. Snapping, barking or mouthing can occur and create a situation that is not ideal
    • A dog that needs many hours of exercise daily may be (unfortunately) underserved in a household that is busy already with the needs of a small human

Good Dogs for Small Child

Here are ten dog breeds that would make excellent dogs for a small child.

French bulldog puppy
French Bulldogs are an amazing dog breed, but are typically lower energy than a Goldendoodle.

The temperament and nature of these dog breeds mean even small children will love having in the house. They can grow healthy and happily together. Friends for life!

  1. Golden Retriever
  2. Poodle
  3. French Bulldog
  4. Labradoodle
  5. Goldendoodle
  6. Bernedoodle
  7. Jack Russell
  8. Bichon
  9. Basset Hound
  10. Greyhound

Best Small Dog for Kids No Shedding

Here are the three best dog breeds for small children that do not shed. Picking a Poodle crossbreed is the easiest way to end up with a hypoallergenic or non-shedding dog.

  1. Goldendoodle (or Teacup Goldendoodle)
  2. Cockapoo
  3. Bernedoodle
goldendoodle with straight coat vs labradoodle
Goldendoodles have zest for life and are super family friendly.


The Goldendoodle is a kid-friendly dog with boundless energy and a zest for life. They are a famous cross between a Poodle and a family-friendly Golden Retriever.

The larger sizes can be overwhelming to a small child. Picking a miniature or Teacup Goldendoodle can help get past this stage. American Goldendoodles are also a little less stocky than English Goldendoodles.

With that said, the larger dogs can be incredibly gentle with kids. And the size does not modify the energy levels

Find out more about the Goldendoodle and children. You can also compare them to the most popular Poodle mix breed, the Labradoodle. See which is better, Labradoodle or Goldendoodle.

Dark cockapoo having a nap
Are Cockapoos hyper? Or do they love chilling?
Photo by G Westin /CC BY


A Cockapoo is a friendly, loyal, and protective small dog. A super cute and low-shedding option for children. They should be top of the list when thinking about good dogs for small child.

They are a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. Check out those super cute droopy ears!

Learn more about the temperament and energy levels of the Cockapoo here.


The giant Bernedoodle dog may not be the first breed that comes to mind when looking for a good dog for small child.

bernedoodle review
The Bernedoodle Review: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bernedoodle Breed

Put them at the top of the possibility list though, this is a fantastic breed.

They are great with kids, non-shedding, and play well with other animals. Bernedoodles even get along with cats! (or at least they can tolerate each other)

Find out more about the Bernedoodle in our extensive breed review.

Best Dog for Scared Child

When picking a dog for a scared child, the temperament is the most important thing. In the short term, a calm and relaxed dog is essential.

The size of the dog is not the make or break factor for most scared children.

Put yourself in the shoes of a scared child.

  • Adults are much larger than you, large objects are not necessarily frightening.
  • Fear of the unknown, unpredictable, or loud noises are common issues.
  • Things that move slowly are less frightening than fast-moving small objects.

Picking a calm larger sized dog can be a great option. Consider skipping the puppy stage and adopting a fully grown dog from a family member or shelter. Temperament test the dog before bringing it home.


Finding good dogs for small child should not be too difficult. There are so many amazing breeds with personalities and temperaments that will suit. From French Bulldogs to the non-shedding Goldendoodle, Cockapoo or Bernedoodle – there is such a variety of different types of dogs you can pick from. 

Allergies and the temperament of the dog are the most critical factors. By going with a reliable breeder or using reputable animal rescue with clear policies for difficult situations – the risk of problems diminishes.

Even a scared child can be brought into the fold of having a supportive and beautiful best friend.

Kids love dogs, and the right dogs LOVE kids back!

Can dogs see in the dark?

If you have welcomed a puppy or dog into your home, check out our list of 35 indoor dog games and activities to play with your puppy! Lots are DIY or easy to make. Also see how to properly stuff a Kong to make a frozen puzzle treat. Stuck for a name? Check out our list of 51 actually good Star Wars dog names.