Dogs are affectionate animals that have positive effects on childhood and a child’s overall development. A dog makes a compassionate friend, an entertainer, a protector and a teacher. What some may see as “smelly” and “overly-exuberant” others see as their very best mate and a crucial piece of the family puzzle.

A dog’s intelligence, devotion and affection are incredibly rewarding to a child. So too is their need for walking – providing the perfect excuse for exercise and outdoor play. Studies have shown that children with dogs have higher self esteem, improved social skills and are less likely to be overweight or obese.

Pet ownership also has a beneficial effect on family harmony, with studies showing that families with pets spend more time interacting, having fun together and conversing about life’s important topics.

The benefits of dog ownership for children are endless, but this all starts with finding the right breed.

Choosing a breed that’s right for your family

When it comes to selecting a dog for your family, it’s important to take your time and think about what type of dog you are after. An animal shelter is a fantastic place to start your search, with most dogs in care being perfectly healthy and sociable.

If choosing a puppy from a breeder, follow the RSPCA’s Smart Puppy Buyer’s Guide and you’ll be on the right track to taking home a happy and healthy puppy for you all to love.

As for what breeds are best, do your research. All breeds are unique and have their own special qualities and it’s important you learn of these before considering bringing one home. To get you started in your research, here are some of our favourite dog breeds for kids.

Golden Retriever

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Golden Retrievers – the poster dog for families – are a very patient breed. This may come from the fact they were bred to sit and wait while prey was hunted, but whether true or not they make loving, loyal companions for children and are devoid of any aggression.  Visit the Petsecure dog breed centre for more info


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Like the Golden Retriever, Labradors were bred to gently retrieve prey on hunts, mostly fowl. This makes them a highly intelligent breed and easy to train. Their sense of protectiveness makes them perfect playmates for kids and their playful nature makes them lots of fun to be around. Visit our dog breed centre for more info visit


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The Beagle’s small size and calm temperament makes him a great choice for families and if your kids love the outdoors, this breed will fit right in. Beagles love nothing more than exploring and taking to the trails, so if you’re after a dog that encourages the kids to walk more, this is the breed for you. Smart, friendly and happy, they get along great with other animals. For more info visit


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Families that love to travel but still want the companionship of a dog will do well with a pug. The pug is a breed that listens and is not too adventurous. Cute and compact, he’s extremely well-mannered and socialises with other animals well. Happy to spend half the day snoozing in the corner, he’s also happy to have a good run around, making him flexible with your family needs.  For more details about Pugs visit or if you are interested in a rescue pug visit our pet partner

Bull Terrier

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Since the Bull Terrier was designed and bred as a companion dog, they’re ideal for families with young children. Their high tolerance of pain and wonderful patience means your little ones can pull and prod him as much as they like (of course it’s important you discourage this behaviour) with very little risk of him becoming agitated. For more information visit


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This gentle giant has earned himself the nickname of “nature’s babysitter”, being full of patience, love, affection, protectiveness and playfulness. Considered one of the most intelligent breeds in the world, they particularly love children and enjoy mothering them. Both the young and old will swiftly fall in love with this sweet, large dog.


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Collies are a gentle and predictable breed that’s typically well-mannered. Sensitive and intelligent they can be a little stubborn, but they love to protect their family and please their owners. For more information abou this lively dog visit

Irish Setter

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Known for its red coat, the Irish Setter is playful, energetic, loves being around people and enjoys playing with children. In fact, this breed love their family so much, they hate to be alone. Always wanting to please they display excellent behaviour, but if you’re out for long periods of the day, they’ll miss you terribly.   For more info about this handsome pooch visit


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The Poodle is a smart and gentle dog available in both miniature and standard size. Obedient, adventurous and playful, they love people. Miniature versions, however, do prefer to dedicate themselves to one person, making them great for one child but not so much for two. For more info about this dog with attitude check out

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were designed and bred as lap dogs. As a result, they become very attached to their owners and can experience separation anxiety when left alone. Soft, floppy-eared and playful, Bondi Vet Dr Chris Brown recommends the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as his number one family pet. For more info about this little cutie, check out

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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