10 Best Family Dogs

Looking for a new furry, four-legged family member? These ten dog breeds love children and family life.

  1. Newfoundland

    Newfies are definitely one of my favorite dogs, but very few people are familiar with them. Despite their bear-like appearances, they’re sweet, loving, loyal, and completely impervious to poking, prodding, and being pounced upon. As the epitome of the “gentle giant,” Newfoundlands are incredibly laid back and patient. Newfoundland puppies are also extremely laid back and gentle, making them perfect companions for children. Their patient and loyal nature also make them extremely easy to housebreak, especially at a young age. Probably one of their most interesting characteristics is their inclination toward water. Equipped with webbed feet and a water-resistant coat, these furry mammoths absolutely adore the water. They’ve even been known, on more than one occasion, to save people from drowning.

    Pros: Sweet-tempered, easy to train, loyal watchdogs, extremely good with children, active but laid back.

    Cons: As large dogs, Newfies are prone to several health issues. Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and cystinuria, a hereditary defect that causes calculi stones to form in the bladder. They are also prone to SAS (subaortic stenosis), a genetic heart defect that affects the heart’s valves. This can cause Newfies to die at a young age.

    Newfies require a little more grooming than most dogs, and should be brushed as often as possible. Their thick coat can easily become matted, but when a few minutes a day are spent brushing it, Newfoundland’s coats are the softest and most luxurious fur you will ever feel.

  2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

    This may seem like an odd choice of a family dog, but they have an incredible affection for children. They’re both quiet and trustworthy, making excellent family dogs. Despite their muscular build and fierce appearance, they are incredibly gentle dogs that love nothing more than cuddling and sun bathing. Staffies make excellent guard dogs, especially the females, but don’t confuse loyalty with aggression. They will defend themselves and their people, but they are almost always happy to meet new people. When socialized with other dogs early, they can be great playmates. They almost always get along with other pets in the household, too. They are extremely obedient and live to please, making them a breeze to train. Because of their trainability, Staffies can be trained to do just about anything, including agility and competitive obedience.

    Pros: As far as health problems, Staffies have very few. There have been a few instances of hip dysplasia in this breed, but it is not as common as in the larger breeds. They are prone to cataracts, but there has been DNA work that has the potential to cure the problem completely. They are expected to live anywhere between 10 and 16 years. Staffies are incredibly easy to groom. With their smooth, short coat, all they need is an occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush. When rubbed with a piece of chamois, their coat shines.

    Cons: While Staffies do well in most environments, they do require a rigorous exercise regime in order to maintain that fabulous muscle definitions. They were bred as working dogs, so it’s important that they are allowed to get outside and exercise. As puppies, Staffies tend to chew a lot. They have powerful jaws that will rip through just about anything, so make sure that all chew toys are durable and in good shape so that your Staffie doesn’t accidentally swallow a squeaker. Because of their fearless nature, Staffies may end up inadvertently hurting themselves. Their bravery leads them to do all sorts of things that other dogs would be afraid of doing, like jumping off decks or through broken glass. While they make excellent family dogs, Staffies require that all members of the family act as confident, consistent pack leaders. All members must provide firm rules and place limits on what their Staffie can or cannot do. If they don’t, this dog can become very stubborn and difficult to handle.

  3. Labrador Retriever

    Easily one of the world’s most popular dog breeds, it’s easy to see why the Lab makes a great family pet. Most commonly used as a hunting dog, the Lab excels at other tasks, too, such as being guide dogs, search and rescue dogs, and drug-sniffing dogs. These dogs are incredibly active and aim to please. They have an even temperament and are easily trainable, making the Lab a great pet. They are intelligent and adapt to almost any environment. Labs require exercise on a daily basis. Because of their strong necks, they can become terrible “pullers” on the leash, so early training is imperative. Labs are good companions for people of all ages. They’re extremely tolerant which makes them trustworthy and good with children. They are patient and gentle, which makes them excellent service dogs, too. They also respond well to praise and positive attention, so trained, the Labrador Retriever is one of the most dependable, obedient, and adaptable dogs out there.

    Pros: They are not prone to being territorial, like some other dog breeds. They are mellow and love to spend quiet time with the family, but they can also have loads of energy. They easily adapt to any activity. Labs generally only bark when they are alarmed; overall, they’re a quiet breed. They’re easygoing and trustworthy with strangers, which may be a bad thing if you’re looking for a guard dog. Labs generally live 12-13 years. They are generally a healthy breed, suffering from only a few health issues common for dogs their size, such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Because of their floppy ears, ear infections are common, but avoidable with proper cleaning. Overall, however, Labs can live a long time without any major conditions.

    Cons: Because of their intelligence, Labs are known to be destructive if not allowed much mental or physical stimulation. They also LOVE to chew. If you don’t have the time or energy to exercise this rambunctious breed, then the Lab may not be for you. They also require every member of the family to act as pack leaders, since the Lab can become difficult to handle and destructive if left to his own devices. Labs love to eat, often ingesting non-food items that may be harmful to his health. Because of their food obsession, Labs are prone to obesity, and their diet must be carefully monitored. Labs are also excellent escape artists. They will often climb or jump fences purely for their own amusement, so it’s a good idea to present mental stimuli so you can avoid boring your Lab to the point that he finds his own amusement, as well as microchip him, in case he should succeed in his escape efforts.

  4. Pug

    This is the smallest dog on my list of suggested family dogs, but pugs aren’t your typical ankle-biting toy dogs. As incredibly sociable animals, pugs prefer the company of humans over other dogs (though they generally get along with other dogs just fine). They love children and think of them as the pug’s own siblings, often forming a special bond with them. They also love to play, making them the perfect companion to children. Pugs are very attentive and thrive on the affection of their humans. Without it, they become anxious and agitated.

    Pros: They are very devoted and affectionate. They make good watchdogs, but they rarely bark. They are extremely well-behaved, even with minimal training, and can be trusted around children of all ages (as long as kids have been instructed to be gentle with the little guy). They do well in any temperature-regulated environment, including apartments. As long as they are kept out of the heat, they do well and don’t need much exercise, though a daily walk is always a good idea. These little dogs generally live 12 to 15 years. Grooming is minimal. The most important aspect of grooming is making sure their wrinkles are free of dirt and other debris to avoid infection and sores.

    Cons: Unfortunately, pugs have a myriad of health problems. Because they’re brachycephalic (have short snouts), they have compacted breathing passageways which make it difficult for them to breathe, as well as to regulate their temperature through panting. Because of this, they need to be closely monitored in warm environments. Pugs are also susceptible to PDE, pug dog encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. The condition is chronic, and most pugs die or are euthanized within a couple months after the onset of the symptoms. The condition generally occurs six months to three years into the pugs life. Pugs also experience difficulties during pregnancy and birth, and they often must be whelped by means of a Caesarian section. The wrinkles on their face are also prone to infection and irritation if not cleaned on a regular basis. Pugs are generally not a very active breed, so they are prone to obesity as well.

  5. Collie

    When most people think of the Collie, they think of Lassie saving Little Timmy when he fell down the well. Well, that description is actually not that far off. In addition to being beautiful dogs, Collies are very gentle family dogs and are well-suited to a life with children. They are highly intelligent, making them easily trainable. They are very devoted and protective of their loved ones, which also makes them good watch dogs. Because Collies are herding dogs, they often exhibit this same behavior with children, attempting to herd them or steer them away from danger, like they would a flock of sheep. This breed actually comes in two variations: the Rough-Coated Collie (with a long coat) and the Smooth-Coated Collie (with a short coat).

    Pros: Collies housetrain without a problem, generally within a week. Indoors, Collies are mellow and easy going, but outdoors, they have boundless energy. Collies are generally healthy, with very few health problems. Hip dysplasia and arthritis are not uncommon in this breed. They are also prone to eye defects, which may lead to blindness. Collies do well in most environments, including apartments, as long as they are allowed to get out and exercise on a regular basis (a long walk daily). Because of their thick, long coats, they are also sensitive to the heat, but as long as they are presented with plenty of shade and water, they generally do just fine. Collies generally live between 14 and 16 years. Despite appearances, the Collie’s coat requires little maintenance. A good brushing every week or two is really all that is needed to maintain that beautiful coat.

    Cons: Collies are wary of strangers, but, when socialized early, can get along with just about anyone. Collies can be very stubborn, and they often think for themselves (which may or may not be a good thing). If you can’t stand vaccuuming pet hair, the Rough-Coated Collie may not be the best choice. They shed heavily twice a year.

  6. Bernese Mountain Dog

    Self-confident, alert, and good-natured, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a loyal, gentle companion. They are so loyal, in fact, that they have a difficult time adjusting to a new owner after they reach 18 months of age. They’re friendly towards everyone; strangers, other dogs, cats, etc. They are rarely shy or anxious, and they are always willing to play. The Bernese is a very social dog, and he needs to be around his human family, not relegated to a kennel or a run for long periods of time. Most people recognize the Berner by his soft, beautiful, tri-colored coat.

    Pros: The Bernese is a dog that matures very slowly, maintaining his puppy-like nature well into adulthood. They are sensitive to training and aim to please, making them very obedient and polite pets. The Bernese is a very hardy dog breed and has few health issues, but, like most large dogs, the Bernese is susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia. On a few occasions, cancer has occurred as well, but most dogs live a long time without any major health problems.

    Cons: The Bernese is a large dog, as you may have guessed, so they are not particulary suited to apartment life. While they are relatively inactive indoors, they occasionally need to get out and romp, preferably in a large, fenced-in yard. These dogs also do not do very well in warmer climates for obvious reasons. When cancer does occur in a Berner, death is almost always inevitable. Because of the devastating effects of cancer, the average life span of the Bernese Mountain Dog has decreased from 10 to 12 years to 6 to 8 years. While grooming is not incredibly time consuming, attention does need to be paid to a Berner’s fur. Weekly brushing is recommended, as well as regular shampooing. The Bernese is also a heavy, seasonal shedder, so be prepared…

  7. English Bulldog

    While the bulldog appears intimidating, they are actually one of the gentlest of all the dogs. They are affectionate, gentle, and dependable with children. Despite their gentle nature, they are definitely not afraid to chase away intruders. They’re incredibly loyal and courageous, so they make excellent guard dogs. Bulldog’s love attention and will do everything they can to spend as much time as possible with their family.

    Pros: This dog does very well in small environments, such as apartments. They are not a breed that requires a lot of exercise, since they are incredibly inactive indoors, but a walk a day suits it well. They are incredibly easy to groom, only requiring a quick brush and regular cleaning of his wrinkles because, like the pug, infection and irration can occur. Bulldogs are not massive shedders, so vaccuuming is minimal.

    Cons: These dogs are incredibly bullheaded and stubborn, so training can be a bit of a hassle. If the owner displays dominance, however, the bulldog can understand his place in the pack and be obedient and reliable. This dog is good with other pets he’s used to but is uncomfortable around strange dogs. Because their breathing is restricted by their short snouts, snoring, and other more serious breathing problems, are issues. Bulldogs have a lot of energy when they’re young, but slow down as they get older. They also have poor eyesight and are very susceptible to heat stroke when in a climate that is too warm for them. However, they are also sensitive to the cold, so temperature regulation is imperative. On average, Bulldogs only live 8 years. Bulldogs also have terrible gas, so if you are easily offended by foul smells, this dog may not be the pet for you.

  8. Golden Retriever

    I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a Golden. They’re intelligent and multi-talented, excelling in everything from hunting, tracking, retrieving, narcotics detection, agility, competitive obedience, swimming, and being guide dogs. They’re sweet and playful, yet protective and mellow. They’re patient and gentle with children and very easy to train. Like the other breeds I’ve mentioned, they’ll do anything to please you. Because they enjoy training, obedience and agility training is fun as well as physically and mentally stimulating. Goldens are friendly with just about everyone, even other dogs, but they do make good watch dogs, alerting their family to a stranger’s approach. When trained, the Golden is mellow and contented. If guidelines are not set, however, this dog can become mischievous and high-strung.

    Pros: Goldens are relatively healthy, only affected by typical large-breed issues such as hip dysplasia. They’re also prone to congenital eye defects and skin allergies, but none of these are life-threatening, and your Golden can live a very long, happy life. Goldens can adapt to almost every environment, including apartments. They are a larger breed and require at least moderate exercise daily (like a long walk), but do not require excessive exercise. Since they’re retreivers, they love to fetch and play ball, and that’s a great way for them to exercise as well. The Golden is expected to live between 10 and 12 years. Their coat is easy to maintain, only requiring an occasional brushing to avoid matting. They shed, like most long-coated dogs, but only moderately.

    Cons: Goldens need a confident, consistent pack leader in order to avoid behavioral issues. If not properly exercised, and if their diet is not carefully monitored, the Golden tends to put on weight.

  9. Border Terrier

    For those who prefer the smaller breeds, and perhaps are a bit wary of having the larger dogs around small children, the Border Terrier might be a good fit. At only 15 to 25 pounds full grown, Borders are affectionate, intelligent, even-tempered and obedient, making these little terriers excellent with children. Like most terriers, they have moments of ultra-high energy, but generally they adapt to the energy level of their owners. They don’t demand exercise, but they are more than happy to receive it. Borders are more than happy to engage in any activity, including hiking and running with his owner, or just lounging in the sun for hours. While they love company, they also don’t mind being left alone for long periods of time. They are eager to please, but they still retain a sense of independence, an important characteristic for when they were used to chase rats and foxes. They love the challenge of agility training and are skilled jumpers! But their love of people and calm temperament also make them perfect therapy dogs, especially for children and the elderly. These dogs are also excellent contenders in a competition called “Earthdog.” In the Earthdog trials, a terrier is trained to navigate a series of underground tunnels, eventually reaching his goal, a rat in a cage. Terriers of all kinds compete to see who can reach the rat the fastest. This activity stimulates the dogs natural instinct to burrow and seek out prey.

    Pros: Border Terriers are very adaptable and are able to deal with different environments, situations, and other changes. Borders are generally a hardy breed, but can be affected by hip dysplasia, cataracts, various heart defects, and progressive retinal atrophy; most of which are not fatal conditions. Border Terriers generally live a very long time, upwards of 15 years or more. Their coarse, wiry double coat requires little maintenance, besides an occasional brushing and regular shampooing.

    Cons: Because of their instinct to chase and kill small things, it’s not unlikely that a Border Terrier could consume an inedible toy, which could result in serious injury, so supervision is a good idea. These dogs are also jumpers and borrowers, so make sure you don’t leave the little guy alone in the yard for too long. While they generally get along well with other dogs, and sometimes even cats, their instinct to chase little critters makes them unsuitable to allow around other pets, such as rabbits, birds, rats, mice or guinea pigs. Borders need to be socialized with other dogs early. Even though they generally get along well with other dogs, if a Border decides he dislikes another dog, he won’t hesitate to fight. And, like most terriers, it’s difficult to get him to stop once he starts. His alert and fearless nature sometimes causes him to pick fights with dogs who are much larger and stronger than him, so monitor his behavior and reactions carefully to ensure no one gets hurt.

  10. Leonberger

    The Leonberger is lively and loves to play while also being affectionate and loving. They are calm and have an even disposition which makes them trustworthy around children. They have incredible patience, even with the most obnoxious children. If the Leonberger is irritated, instead of showing aggression, he simply walks away. The Leonberger is not a very good watchdog, as he accepts and loves anyone and everyone. Despite their massive size, Leonbergers are incredibly agile and even compete in agility competitions.

    Pros: Despite their intimidating size, these dogs are the epitome of the “gentle giant.” They respond well to training, as they are determined to please their owners. The Leonberger is trustworthy around children. While they do not need a lot of exercise, and are relatively inactive indoors, the Leonberger really only needs a daily walk to be properly exercised. They’re incredibly adaptable, enjoying tasks such as swimming, hiking, and pulling carts and sleds. These dogs prefer colder climates because of their thick coat, but can live inside or out.

    Cons: The Leo doesn’t do well in smaller environments, such as apartments. These dogs do best with a large yard to romp in. Like all large breeds, the Leo is also prone to hip dysplasia and other skeletal problems. They are also susceptible to eyelid defects and bone disease. The life expectancy of the Leo is 8 to 9 years, which isn’t bad for a dog this size. Grooming is moderate, and they require a weekly brushing to maintain that beautiful coat. Mats form easily in the fur where feathering occurs, such as the tail, behind the ears, and on the legs. The Leo sheds heavily on a seasonal basis and should be brushed and combed daily during this time. The ears must be kept clean to avoid ear infections.

Liked it


User Comments
  1. Betty Carew

    On November 27, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    wonderful article , they are beautiful dogs. thank you for info

  2. eddiego65

    On November 28, 2008 at 5:26 am

    Excellent article. Yes, beautiful dogs.

  3. Clay Hurtubise

    On November 29, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    As a long time dog person, I wouldn’t be able to narrow the list to ten, but good job! We are extremely partial to Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers now. They are gentle, mid-size, smart, hypo-allergenic, don’t shed,great family dogs. We currently have four dogs, three from rescue. Ms.Bea, the SCW, is my protector! She reads my emotions better than any human, and should I get stressed out while driving, she puts her paw on me!

  4. hfj

    On December 16, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I wrote a poem about my ole pet dog rover.

  5. Valerie

    On April 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I have to admit we are partial to the Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They are just so good with children!! Now all we need is for the Ontario government to open their eyes!!!

  6. rj

    On June 7, 2009 at 8:00 am

    a stafordshire is just an elite pit bull

  7. my opinion

    On June 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    RJ, it is people like you that make it hard for anyone to get past the fact that the Staffordshire terrier is not a f*cking pit bull! It is ignorance of people like you that bring that dog group down. My family owns four, and they are great loveable dogs and are far from being anything but loving and playful.

  8. Dog Newcomers

    On July 2, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Thanks for all this information. Our family is thinking about getting a dog for the first time, and we want ine that we will remember fondly. The dogs that you have listed here seem like great dogs for our family of 4(two children, 12 and 10). Thanks for all this wonderful information; it will make our selection of a dog alot easier!!!

  9. Sarah

    On July 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I have a staffie and a three year old and they are the best of friends. I would highly recommend a staffie. But you should be a good owner and socialize and train your dog. I can promise you if you do this you’ll never have a better family pet.

  10. muckysue

    On July 16, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    We have owned both a Collie and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. And in all honesty, the Terriers are better family and house dog, and do very well with our cat! People need to educate themselves about this breed! They are amazing creature and in our opinion the best dog of choice for families!!

  11. Mana

    On July 16, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Nice dogs. I love any types of Retrievers. Come over to my house and you’ll see TONS of dogs. Literally.

  12. eric

    On January 27, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    newfies and bernese are great meduim energy dogs but i am parial to the american eskimo they are great family dogs and are good watch dogs

  13. Jon

    On February 3, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I think all of these are great choices, but I am surprised that the English Mastiff was not included in this list. I have two English Mastiffs: one male (1 yr.) and one female (2 yr.), and I have two children (9 and 5 yrs.). We have had the male since he was eight weeks old and adopted the female at a year and a half, and they have both been the most perfect dogs I’ve ever owned (I’ve owned quite a few, including a labrador retriever). They are the most calm dogs I’ve ever seen. Like I said though, I agree with this list. All are great choices.

  14. Jeff

    On May 3, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Yes Staffordshire Bulls can be great family dogs, great with kids and even make great rescue dogs… we all know that and appreciate this fact about the breed. That said due to the morphology of their skull – primarily their jaw bone along with the bulk of surrounding muscle they can do much more damage most other dog breeds. This is simply a fact. And yes I agree it wouldn’t really matter if aggression had actually been breed out of the breed like the English Bulldog but it hasn’t. Statistics on dog attacks clearly show that the Staffordshire & pit bull terriers breeds have the highest volume of incidents classified as dog attacks. Again this is a simply a fact per us animal control. So when your docile family oriented Staffordshire gets out of control it can injure other dogs and or people terribly. I’ve watched Staffordshire owners trying to pull their dogs off other people’s animals after brutal attacks shortly after telling everyone around them that the same nonsense that their dog is great with other animals. Please be sensible if you get a powerful breed and one that has actually had the aggression breed out of it.

  15. Abigail Zhu

    On June 20, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Excellent article! I have a golden retriever and he’s simply adorable. And I also learnt 2 more dog breeds, Newfies and Leonberger, which I did not kno about previously. Thanks for sharing! :)

  16. lauren

    On August 19, 2010 at 8:48 am

    i have a staffie and to be honest hes the most loving dog ive ever know, cuddles all the time and has just got the most amazing temperament..so all these idiots saying there aggressive and ”petite pit pulls” you are wrong because the dog isn’t born aggressive its the owner that does…and thats why Staffordshire Bull terriers are 2nd,

  17. Barb Taylor

    On October 9, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Great article, very informative, and some great photos too! I have a small dog (a Shih-Tzu) who I love to bits, but if I had the time and energy, my choice would be the Golden Retriever. They are a beautiful dog, loyal and affectionate – a good all- rounder so to speak. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Mj Ces

    On October 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I thought beagle will be part of the list. :) Thanks for sharing. :)

  19. wisdom555

    On October 27, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I love this article. I want a Labrador Retriever now and i want a pug. Pugs are so cute with their wrinkly skin!

  20. Zannnie

    On October 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Wow, it’s great that you show in such details about the 10 best family dogs! I love dogs and I only have a small little dog which is a Bichon Havanese :) By the way, it’s a very harmonious and great companion for the family too, I’m surprised you didn’t include it :)

  21. Sweet girl

    On December 4, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Great content..

    Would you like to check my new blog which I created 3 months ago..


  22. halooopppoiu

    On December 27, 2010 at 9:09 am

    i have a border collie and she is very affectionate, loyal, gentle, clever and not noisy. Also great with the cat and other dogs. Border collie’s make fabulous family pets, they should be on the list! :) and when she was about 8 years old we got a staffordshire bull terrier, she was very affectionate with children and loyal. But she definatley did not like other animals as staffs are very protective. We did have a few incidents where she attacted my border collie vicously, so we had to give her away. But i would reccomend a staff to a family which has no other pets and is willing to train thier dog not to lash out at other animals and dogs, because they can get out of control if not tained properley. But border collies are the best!

  23. Lisa

    On January 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I agree with the Labs because we have one around our year old granddaughter and our sons. But we also had our Boxer and our Great Dane around her too and trusted them with her just as much.

  24. abi

    On April 11, 2011 at 11:24 am

    i like dogs

  25. amitchawla

    On May 29, 2011 at 7:30 am

    great i like it

  26. mikie2000

    On July 20, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Ok, I now have about ten different dogs going through my head between this article and your article about digs you never knew existed. Thanks for all the great info.

  27. jhalyn

    On July 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    all dogs are great from a pitbull to a labradoodle if training is made

  28. jhalyn

    On July 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    and staffordshire bull terrier is the show dog version of the pitbull terrier

  29. VanPitBull

    On July 30, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I would put all dogs in the pitbull family to death and eliminate the species.

  30. StaffyOwner

    On September 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    @ my opinion i completly agree

    and in saying that VANPITBULL which im assuming is meant to say BanPitBull you clearly have no idea what you are on about.

    as MyOpinion has already said:
    it is people like you that make it hard for anyone to get past the fact that the Staffordshire terrier is not a f*cking pit bull! I
    t is ignorance of people like you that bring that dog group down. My family owns four, and they are great loveable dogs and are far from being anything but loving and playful.

    I too have a Staffordshire Terrier and i would trust her with my kids alot more than i would trust some of the people n this forum.

    I wouldnt trust you, as far as i could kick you.


    On October 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I totally agree with VanPitBull…I would NEVER allow one of these demon dogs around MY family or my other pets, unless I wanted them dead. If I had it my way, these demon dogs would no longer exist. Stop breeding and ban these dogs, so they can do society a favor and go extinct. This is the most ridiculous list of preferred family dogs that I’ve ever seen! Ridiculous, because you have included a dog that kills and mauls children, and other pets…YES, the Staffordshire Terrier IS another version of the pit bull. I just don’t get WTF is wrong with all these pit bull/Staffordshire Bull terrier lovers?! Why do you continuously want to close your eyes and ears to what these demon dogs have done to children and other pets? I just don’t get it. I would never want to own such an aggressive animal that could rip my neighbors kid to shreds, and have me potentially doing 20 years in the joint. You people who continue to defend these animals, are well…dumb.

  32. Sara Cranford

    On January 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Pithater, you are ignorant and very uninformed. Most of any dog breed can rip your neighbor\’s child to death if they wanted to. Educate yourself before you make stupid comments.

  33. StaffordLover

    On January 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm


    I just wanted to let the author know that the image used for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is of an American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) or American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff), not a Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Stafford). The APBT and the AmStaff are similar breeds to the Stafford, but they are not the same. At only 14-16″ tall and 25-38lbs, the Stafford is, basically, the smaller British cousin of the APBT/AmStaff (which are 17-19″ tall and 35-60lbs). All of them are great dogs, but they are not the same breed.

    Thank you.

  34. Laura

    On January 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Whoa! A whole lot of ignorance is being spewed on this page by people who have no idea what they’re talking about! Lol! I’ve had pit bulls for years…so I KNOW how the dogs are. They’re dogs. Period. Get ovah yourself and all the hype. God tells us to care for His creatures, not kill them. I think I’ll go with God’s plan. ;-) I respect any animal that can hurt, injure, or kill a person, but I don’t think we should kill all lions, tigers, and bears too….oh, my! This is their earth, too. Man bred them to be this way physically. Man is responsible to teach them manners and train them to be good citizens. Problem is…there’s a bunch of dopes out there who mistreat them and turn them in to bad dogs. Wake up Pit Haters…or whatever you want to call yourselves. You’re making fools of yourselves! Thanks for the great article about ALL of these GREAT DOGS! :-D

  35. StaffordLover

    On January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I must add that Staffords are absolutely terrible guard dogs! Where did you find that information? Staffords love all people, even strangers!

  36. Deborah

    On January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    DEMON dogs? for real? do you believe in demon people as well? good lord there is so much ignorance out there…i\’ve got a Staffordshire Terrier I\’ve had since she was eight weeks old, she\’s only known love her entire life and she\’s sweet as pie…there\’s one down the block I don\’t trust at all, because he\’s been abused and he\’s aggressive…mine is not AT ALL, she doesn\’t even BARK, much less bite! has never bared her teeth to anyone, human or animal, in her entire life…can we stop with the useless and false generalizations?

  37. Deborah

    On January 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    StaffordLover I totally agree with you…my staffie would make a terrible guard dog as she would let anybody in the house! she also never wants anyone to leave and will cuddle up with the new person to make sure they stay!

  38. bostonsfinest

    On January 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    You can train a hamster to be vicious, to hate an entire breed just shows the writers ignorance and stupidity, grow up and listen to yourself, maybe when some creep is climbing through your window at 4am you can throw your fuckin poodle at him….. Idiots!!!

  39. StaffordLover

    On January 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Part One:
    Jeeze! I just read through the comment thread and there sure is a lot of confusion and misinformation in this thread about Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls!! I thought I’d take the time and clear things up a bit for everyone!

  40. StaffordLover

    On January 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Part Two:
    First, some information about Pit Bulls. “Pit Bull” is the nickname used for over a century to describe the American Pit Bull Terrier and it’s AKC equivalent the American Staffordshire Terrier. Back in the day, the American Kennel Club (AKC) would not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT). So, some breed enthusiasts got together, made a breed standard and changed the name to the American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff). The AmStaff was recognized by the AKC in 1936. Other APBT enthusiasts didn’t want to change the name so they founded the United Kennel Club to recognize their breed in the late 1800’s.

  41. Michelle

    On January 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    If you do not or never have owned a Pitbull & basing your thoughts on what you see in the media – SHUT UP! I never thought I would own one until one day I walked in the pound in Oakland CA and an 8 week puppy caught my eye – she was a red nose. She went home with me & my then 1 year old son. When she was 1 1/2 I got a cat, she never met one but they were instantly best friends. Now she is almost turning 14 years old, has grown up with my son & my youngest who is 7 now. She has a Cocker mix & Dalmation playmate. I work with an animal rescue group – so she is around all sorts of animals when we foster,from small to big – including rabbits. She has never been aggressive, has been my son’s sports team maskott, has literally been dog piled by the team. I trust her with my everything & love her dearly. She is loved by family, friends, vets and all who meet her – just watch out for her tail cause it wags and acts like a whip. Until you own the breed & know it – you can not judge. You base the whole breed on the few who have bad owners that trained them to be the way they are. BLAME the OWNERS not the BREED.

  42. StaffordLover

    On January 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Part Three:
    Here is the AKC standard for the American Staffordshire Terrier: www(dot)akc(dot)org/breeds/american_staffordshire_terrier/ Here is the UKC standard for the American Pit Bull Terrier: www(dot)ukcdogs(dot)com/WebSite(dot)nsf/Breeds/AmericanPitBullTerrierRevisedNovember12008 (Sorry I had to put the websites that way, it wouldn’t let me publish my comment otherwise!) While many consider them to be two different breeds, the AmStaff and APBT are still so similar that, to this day, there are many dogs dual registered as AmStaffs in the AKC and APBTs in the UKC.

  43. StaffordLover

    On January 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Pat Four:
    Now onto the actual breed mentioned in this article, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Stafford). The Stafford is a completely different breed all together! Staffords are similar to APBTs/AmStaffs in the way that Golden Retrievers are similar to Labrador Retrievers or Cocker Spaniels are similar to Springer Spaniels, but that doesn’t make them the same breed by any stretch of the imagination! The Stafford stands only 14-16″ tall and weighs only 25-38 lbs (as opposed to the 17-19″ tall and 35-60 lb APBT/AmStaff). The Stafford has been around for just as long as (some argue longer than) the APBT/AmStaff, but wasn’t recognized by the AKC until the 70’s. Here is the link to the AKC standard for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier: www(dot)akc(dot)org/breeds/staffordshire_bull_terrier/index(dot)cfm As you can see, the little dog in the picture is quite different to the dogs on the AmStaff and APBT pages! That’s because it is a different breed!

    I hope I cleared things up for everyone!


  44. StaffordLover

    On January 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    P.S. Sorry I had to write my comment in four parts!! It was too long and wouldn’t publish as one long comment! Also, the reason that I know the image in the above article is not of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is that Staffords do not have cropped ears, only AmStaffs and APBTs do. Staffords also have rounder faces and shorter snouts than APBTs/AmStaffs.

  45. Morgan

    On January 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    These comments range from funny to hurtful to stupid to incredibly kind. Yes, Staffies would fall under the “pit bull tyoe breed” category and I see nothing wrong with admitting to that. I will allow my two pit bulls, one an APBT and another an AmStaff, around any children (I have no children myself but they are used to my 4 year old niece who considers them “her dogs”!) much faster than I’d allow a Chihuahua around…no offense to Chihuaua owners, but I’ve never had a good expierience with one! :(

    At least with my pitties I don’t have to worry about them becoming aggressive or short-tempered, the only thing I’d have to worry about is them accidentally knocking them over, which would also be unlikely! Lol, I hope I have children while my two dogs are still alive because I know they would make wonderful family dogs. Right now they’re both fast asleep and snoring on top of my bed….vicious little monsters ;)

  46. StaffordLover

    On January 12, 2012 at 12:12 am


    Yes, it is true that Staffordshire Bull Terriers often fall under the “Pit Bull Type” blanket of BSL/BDL here in the US, but that doesn’t mean that they are Pit Bulls. As I said before, Staffords are a close relative to the Pit Bull, but they are not the same breed. For over a century “Pit Bull” has been the nickname for the American Pit Bull Terrier (and American Staffordshire Terrier) in the same way that “Lab” is a nickname for Labrador Retriever, “Newfie” is a nickname for Newfoundland, or “Dobie” is a nickname for Doberman. I don’t know why in recent years people have come to believe that “Pit Bull” means “any stubby dog with a big head and muscles.” It is just not true.


  47. Meals on Wheels

    On January 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    This just proves that anyone can make a list, so I think I will now create my own version of the best choices for people who probably shouldn’t have kids but want a dog. Pray for the children.

    1. Wolf
    2. Wolf-Hybrid
    3. American Pit bull terrier
    4. Staffordshire Terrier
    5. Bully Kutta
    6. Cane Corso
    7. Presa Canario
    8. Dogo Argentino
    9. Coyote
    10. Rottweiler

    Remember, all dogs bite! I just wish that all people, especially ones with children, can read and think and make better choices than advocates with an agenda and no brains come up with insane lists like this. Get a Beagle!

  48. theyalleatshoes

    On March 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Good god a beagle?!! Poop-eating, garbage devouring, eat until they might seriously die, constant running away…. ahh but they’re soooo cute. I’ve often said somebody needs to give an honest opinion about beagles (please, all beagle lovers start typing …now!) most every other Beagle owner with kids I’ve ever met has said the same thing and I’ve met LOTS ” great temperment – good with kids but I’d never have another, way too much work” and my favorite ” oh yes, our beagle …. we just love her (him) but we’re basically just waiting for him (her) to die.” I have owned and grew up with many, many dogs over the years, from Bouviers to yes (gasp) Rottweilers, one of which was the sweetest dogs I ever had, one other the stupidest (so long ago I can remember people asking my mom why our Doberman was so fat ) and Bull Terriers in various forms to Spaniels, Australian blue healers (great frisbee dog) Mastiff’s and numerous mutts along the way.Now with my own family we have our Beagle and my dream Leonberger puppy (if you can call 75+ lbs at 6.5 months a “puppy”(so awsome but still has his drawbacks) I’ve come to the conclusion that dogs are a wonderful, loving,expensive pain in the a** ALL dog breeds and all dogs have the ability to injure other animals and people – some dogs just do a better job of inflicting damage. ALL dog breeds are capable of being the best, most loving family pet. It would help if ALL dog owners understood the need to keep their animals in control – (dog parks= dog fights if no one is paying attention) educate yourself- know how to handle your breed and don’t set your pet up for a disaster, if your dog is aggressive don’t take him unleashed to the park – DUH!. BTW beagles really do eat their own poop, eat garbage until they explode ( I know all dogs eat, but so much they physically can’t get up for two days?) and for most, you can never let them off leash and they make houdini look like a beginner. Nothing says family fun like a day at the park screaming at your beagle as they look over their shoulder at you , wink and run as far and as fast away from you as they can – usually into dense forrest or a busy street -all because a child let a leash slip. The best way to find the best dog for you is to talk to actual owners – not at the show arena but regular joes with the breed. They’ll give you the honest lowdown.

  49. Michelle Milam

    On March 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I have had many dogs over the years including all kinds of mutts, labs, German shepards, beagles, and a Pomeranian. Anyone and everyone should do their own independent research when it comes to owning a dog. All dogs have the potential to inflict harm to humans/other animals. In my personal opinion, all pet owners should be responsible enough to train their dog(s) properly via home or professional obedience training. Any animal that has been allowed to think he (she) is master of the human territory or has been shown nothing but negative to minimal attention is a serious threat. I love and respect dogs because of their primal history. I love them and I want them in mine and my family\’s lives for years to come.

  50. Paul Mays

    On April 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    For me the Leonberger will always be number one. My dear wife and I look after severly disabled youngsters, the Leo is the best breed for a therapy dog. Our Merlin, a 21 month old male, is a 165 lb epitome of a ‘gentle giant’, trained for carting, and water rescue, he is a joy to behold, but because training takes lots of patience, and understanding, the laid back Leo can not be rushed, not a dog for a novice.

  51. Dogs Rule

    On May 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Most dogs are friendly enough with children, but you don’t want that, you want a dog that will grow up with your children as part of the family. Newfoundlands, bermese mountain dogs and Irish Setters are the best for this. They keep their “puppiness” and almost never seem to grow up.

  52. Jay

    On June 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I live in england where american pit bull terriers are banned but staffordshire bull terriers are not because we tell the difference. i feel that any dog can be dangerous if it is trained to do so by a stupid owner . The fact they get bad press in papers and have higher statistics of attacks is because some people get the dog for the way it looks and try to make it ferocious i feel its never the dogs fault only the owner. The people that hate pit bull type breeds are pretty stupid calling them devil dogs , yes Staffs have the potential to harm a dog or human but so does any other breed of dog if you teach it to do it.

Post Comment
comments powered by Disqus