Many dogs are great with children. In fact, most dog breeds can even learn to get along with a brand-new baby. But if you want to get a dog and know that your family will be growing soon, it doesn’t hurt to look for a dog breed that’s known to especially love babies. (Or at least one that isn’t known to be a poor match for a family with a small child.) These family dogs will not only get excited to welcome a little one home, but will want to be best friends with your child as he or she grows up.
Below, check out the dog breeds that are most likely to want to be best friends with a new baby, whether it’s a child or a grandchild that you’re hoping to bring into your home soon.
Beagles are a quintessential family dog who do just as well with babies as they do with older children. PawCulture names the beagle as one of the best dog breeds for households with a new baby. According to the publication, most beagles never meet people they don’t like — that goes for the tiniest humans, too. Though they often follow older children around, they’ll stick with little ones, too.
The American Kennel Club also reports that beagles get along well with children and that these happy-go-lucky dogs make loyal, funny, and adorable companions. That sounds perfect if you want a dog who will enjoy adventures with a growing child.
2. Boston terrier
People often recommend the Boston terrier as a breed that gets along well with children. And because it’s one of the gentlest breeds, according to I Heart Dogs, the Boston terrier is a great breed to consider if you want a dog who will become best friends with a new baby.
The AKC promises that these little dogs get along well with kids. Plus, according to the organization, these dogs have “friendly, bright, amusing, and adaptable” personalities. Adaptability is an especially great quality if you want a dog who can successfully acclimate to life with a new baby.
3. Bull terrier
The bull terrier makes a loving and entertaining pet, thanks to his playful and affectionate nature. PawCulture reports that the breed gets along well with new babies and quickly becomes attached to the humans in his household. However, the publication does warn that you’ll have to ensure that your child doesn’t overstimulate the dog. But overall, bull terriers make devoted companions to both children and adults.
The AKC notes that these playful and sometimes mischievous dogs often do better with children under an adult’s supervision. However, that’s something that you should always provide anyway.
As PawCulture notes, bulldogs have a reputation for forming close bonds with the kids in their households. According to the AKC, they make great companions not only for older children, but also for babies and toddlers. If you give your bulldog the chance, he’ll be happy to kick off that process the day you bring home your child or grandchild. Plus, they also respond well to training, so bulldogs will learn to adjust to new family routines quickly.
As a bonus, they aren’t big on exercise. Of course, they still need some exercise to stay healthy. But more often than not, your bulldog will be happy to chill out on the couch with you when you’re running on just a few hours of sleep.
5. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
If you want a dog who will happily chill on the couch with you as you feed the baby (and try to get some shuteye during the baby’s naps), you may want to consider the cavalier King Charles spaniel. Most people recognize this dog as a breed that gets along great with children. The AKC, for instance, characterizes the breed as “an ideal companion for families with young children.” Plus, I Heart Dogs named the breed one of the gentlest dogs — a major plus when you have an infant around.
PawCulture also recommends the collie for parents (or grandparents) with babies in their household. The publication characterizes these famously child-friendly family dogs as “loyal, affectionate ‘caregivers.’” Collies grow very devoted to their families and can easily adapt to the addition of a new child or grandchild. Plus, the AKC reports that collies respond well to training. That will come in handy when you need your dog to adapt to the new rules and routines that come along with a new baby.
7. Golden retriever
PawCulture names the golden retriever as one of the best dog breeds for babies. Most new parents wouldn’t gravitate toward such a large dog when they have a new baby at home or on the way. However, PawCulture notes that small dogs don’t always react well to the “rough petting and occasional tugging that comes along with infant interactions.” The golden retriever, on the other hand, deals patiently with infants’ inadvertently rough play. As K9 of Mine reports, goldens tolerate small children very well. The only catch, as the AKC notes, is that the golden retriever is a pretty active dog. You’ll need to make sure you can provide him with sufficient exercise.
8. Labrador retriever
The Labrador retriever tops most people’s lists of the best family dogs. Therefore, it’s no surprise that PawCulture names the Lab as one of the best dog breeds for households with new babies. K9 of Mine notes that while Labs can be rambunctious as puppies, they generally calm down by the time they’re three or four years old. Similarly, the AKC characterizes these intelligent and loving dogs as “high-spirited and not afraid to show it.” But don’t let that dissuade you. As PawCulture explains, “Labrador retrievers love socializing, learning new things, and pleasing their people. These qualities, particularly a desire to please you, can be beneficial when training or working with your dog to be around small children.”
9. Mixed breed
Thinking of heading to the shelter and adopting a mixed-breed dog? PawCulture reports that that’s often a great way to go if you want a dog who will adapt to the arrival of a new baby. Many shelters and rescue groups perform a behavioral analysis to give potential owners an idea of each dog’s personality, which typically includes how they interact with children and babies. And, if you adopt an adult dog instead of a puppy, you’ll likely get a calmer dog who’s ready to bond with a new baby.
Think a huge dog like a Newfoundland should steer clear of tiny babies? Think again. The AKC promises that this dog gets along great with children. According to PawCulture, “the Newfoundland’s affectionate and loyal nature makes it an excellent choice for families with children.” K9 of Mine notes that these gentle giants make “great companions for families with young kids, even if those kids are only babies. In truth, Newfoundlands are friendly with just about everyone, so it isn’t surprising that they’re great with infants and toddlers.”
11. Old English sheepdog
Another large dog that, surprisingly enough, can get along great with tiny humans? The old English sheepdog. I Heart Dogs characterizes this breed as one of the gentlest around. While the AKC recommends that you supervise your old English sheepdog when he plays with children, they also characterizes the breed as “adaptable.” That’s a winning quality if you want a dog who will respond well to the addition of a new baby to your household. The group also promises that this breed makes a “mellow housedog,” which sounds perfect for the first few months after the baby’s arrival.
12. Pembroke Welsh corgi
Another dog breed that makes I Heart Dog’s list of the gentlest breeds? The corgi. The publication characterizes these smart, alert, and affectionate dogs as “incredibly gentle with children,” even babies. You should supervise your corgi when he plays with your child, the AKC reports. But, again, that’s a good rule of thumb regardless of the dog’s breed.
13. Pit bull
Forget all the unfair modern stereotypes about the pit bull. (It’s actually a group of breeds, not a singular type of dog.) In the 1940s and 1950s, pit bulls were known as the “nanny dog.” As Martha Stewart reports, that’s because “Their stability, natural affinity for humans, and good nature with kids had many American families employing pit bulls to watch over precious new family members.” The AKC characterizes the American Staffordshire terrier, one of the many breeds labeled a “pit bull,” as wonderful with kids. This people-oriented dog is especially happy when he feels like part of your family.
Most people know that the poodle makes a great family dog, so the breed is an obvious candidate if you want a dog who will get along well with a new baby. These intelligent and active dogs always want to please their owners, so you may have an easier time training a poodle than you would with many other breeds.
The AKC reports that the poodle gets along well with children, even small ones. However, the group does note that poodles need a lot of activity. So you’ll need to plan to give yours plenty of exercise, even in the hectic months following the baby’s arrival.
Pugs make charming, friendly companions for both children and adults. PawCulture reports that this family dog typically does well with babies. The publication also notes that pugs ” love spending time with and pleasing their people,” which can help make the transition a little easier on everybody.
K9 of Mine notes that pugs are often great with babies, and want companionship from both the adults an the children in their household. And though the AKC recommends supervision when you let a pug interact with small children, the group praises the breed’s “even tempers, playful personalities, and their outgoing, loving dispositions.”
Most people know that Rottweilers make great guard dogs. However, few realize that Rottweilers also make exemplary family dogs. According to The Nest, “Rottweilers typically enjoy the company of children,” including very young ones. The AKC reports that these dogs get along with kids, though you’ll want to provide supervision since they’re such powerful dogs.
The AKC also notes that the Rottweiler “responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his environment.” That sounds like the perfect approach for adapting to life with a new baby! Additionally, though Rottweilers need plenty of space to exercise, they don’t really count as a high-energy breed. That means you won’t find yourself struggling to keep up with your dog’s exercise needs if you’re sleep-deprived after the baby’s arrival.