It’s easy to see why people say dogs are man’s best friend, but they can also completely change family dynamics. If you’ve ever had a dog, you know that every member of your family develops a special relationship with the pet and receives unconditional love in return. Many of us likely consider them extra family members.

Dogs have a way to lighten the mood with their antics and presence. Often times they are just great company. But children also learn responsibility through feeding, walking and caring for them, and experienced guard dogs even create an extra layer of security to make you feel safer at home.

However, not all dogs are created equal. Some are more suitable for children than others. Stacker compiled its list based on data from the American Kennel Club’s list of the best family dogs, and included and classified breeds that were among the 193 most popular breeds in America in 2019 (data released 2020). In addition, criteria such as friendliness, training ability, temperament towards other dogs, gentleness towards children and of course cuteness were taken into account as further factors.

Which breed is right for your family? The age of your children is just as important as your living space. City dwellers often opt for small or medium-sized breeds like pugs or French bulldogs so that they can easily navigate their apartment complexes and crowded sidewalks. However, suburban families can make room for Labs and Retrievers with plenty of space in the backyard and park.

And maybe it’s not size that influences your family’s decision, but cleaning: do you mind if your dog is long or short haired? Shaggy or Often Shed? Are your kids getting enough of a mess – or are they allergic?

For working parents, it may be more important how much or little responsibility your children take in caring for a breed that needs more attention than one that is more autonomous. Fortunately, this list should provide some insight into those choices.

Here are the 37 best breeds to welcome you into your home and become part of the family.

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