Bringing dogs into a household with babies is a big responsibility as it can go either way.
Some dogs are fond of babies and have a protective instinct that allows them to take care of the young ones even in their absence while others can harm them due to their overt behaviors and a total disregard for the safety of the child.
Thus, it can be a safety concern for your babies and it becomes essential to look for caring and affectionate breeds that go along well with babies and don’t hurt them in any way possible.
The dog breeds that are friendlier toward babies include Poodles, Bulldogs, Havanese dogs, Newfoundland, Boxers, English Mastiffs, Mutts, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Irish Setters. Boston Terriers, Corgis, Vizslas, Border Collies, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Pugs, Beagles, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
1. Energy level
Dogs with extensive energy reserves are always on the move. When their energies are not properly channeled, they are capable of hurting others, especially babies that are prone to get injured.
Thus, you would need to have a breed with moderate energy levels or those whose energies can be properly channeled through sports and similar activities such that they are calmer and relaxed inside the house.
A dog’s energy also magnifies or diminishes the effect of its size.
Although size is not related to a dog’s overall demeanor as many larger breeds tend to be docile while some smaller breeds are more aggressive, however, it does have some indirect effects.
Larger dogs with high energy levels have more chances of hurting a baby than a smaller dog of the same energy.
Also, large breeds can knock babies down even without notice due to the sheer difference between the sizes.
3. Natural affection toward kids
Some breeds are naturally inclined toward babies and have the instinct to protect them. This is partly because they have been bred originally to protect the family.
On the contrary, many breeds, although good with the owners, show little love for babies and kids in the household and do not bother caring about their safety.
Dogs that are highly intense in their activities tend to be more aggressive. They do everything with vigor and it often becomes dangerous to the people near them, more so to babies and children.
Ideally, you need to have a dog that is less intense in its daily activities and has a calm demeanor. Such dogs have lower chances of hurting babies both intentionally and unintentionally.
5. Intelligence and Trainability
An intelligent dog can appreciate the nuances of dealing with a baby and would adapt to safer behaviors.
Similarly, a more trainable dog can be taught to get rid of any unhealthy habits that may harm the babies like biting, nibbling, and barking.
Conversely, a dog that doesn’t appreciate the differences between an adult and babies would treat them equally, and this could result in injuries to babies.
Moreover, stubborn dogs will give you a tough time when trying to change their habits to more suitable ones.
Now let’s dive into the list of the best dog breeds for babies that you should consider adopting.
List of 18 Best Dog Breeds For Babies:
Here is the list one by one.
Regarded as one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, Poodles are known for many reasons, one being a great family dog. Poodles also cuddle and love their owner most of the time.
They are very affectionate towards babies and tend to take care of their safety. Dogtime gives them a score of 4/5 for their kid-friendliness.
With moderate energy levels, Poodles have low intensities, making them less vigorous in their actions and hence safer around kids.
Their playful nature allows them to be great entertainers to all the family members.
Moreover, they are very easy to train and with little time and effort, any negative traits can be trained out of them easily.
Having been bred as cattle herders, Bulldogs have now a special place in the dog world as companion dogs that are especially good with kids.
Their playful nature allows them to bond with babies quite well. They protect them and give them joyful company. Their small sizes and low prey drives make them very gentle in their approach. They score 4/5 in Dogtime’s kid-friendly category.
Bulldogs lean more towards being couch potatoes with low intensities, making them safer around the young ones in the house.
One thing to note here is that Bulldogs are not a smart breed and are difficult to train. You would need to put in some extra effort for removing any bad habits like biting, chewing or barking, etc.
3. Havanese dog
The Havanese dog breed is a ‘velcro’, meaning that they stick close to their owners all the time. This is good when it comes to babies as they will have a constant eye on them.
Havanese are kind and gentle and have little tendency to be aggressive and overt. Being very playful they will provide great company to the kids in the house.
With intelligent minds and easy-to-train personalities, they are one of the top choices as household pets. Their habits can be easily molded according to the home they live in.
They do not have much energy reserves and their intensity of doing things is also low which nullifies any safety concerns you’d have for them around babies.
Their small sizes also give them an advantage around babies. Overall, this is one of the top choices in smaller breeds for households with kids and babies.
If you’re looking for a large-sized breed that goes extremely well with babies then Newfoundland is the right dog for you. Bred to be working dogs for fishermen, Newfoundland is now known for their family-oriented persona.
They are extremely docile and have lower intensities. This, coupled with their low energy levels make them very calm and relaxed in their demeanors and are gentle around babies and kids.
Also, they are quite playful and will not let your children be bored for a second.
Being smart and trainable, they are open to any behavior adaptation that suits their owner’s household.
5. Golden Retriever
This can easily be stated as one of the most famous dog breeds around the globe. GRs are affectionate in every way possible and are great family dogs.
With a score of 5/5 in their kid-friendliness on dog time, Golden Retrievers take good care of the young ones in the house. They are quite playful and provide great company to them.
Although highly energetic, GRs have lower intensities and are not aggressive toward other dogs and family.
Also, Golden Retrievers are not a large breed, they are a comfortable size to engage with babies without hurting them.
Their intelligence is unchallenged and GRs are very trainable as well. You will not face any problems training them.
6. Labrador Retriever
Any list of family-friendly dogs is never complete until it mentions Labradors in it. This breed scores a full 5/5 in Dogtime’s category of family-friendliness and kid-friendliness.
Labradors are a very trainable breed that is quick at learning new skills and behaviors as demanded by their masters. Also, they are very intelligent and pick up emotional cues from their surroundings.
They care very much for the family they are raised in, whether adults or babies. They will protect them at any cost and refrain from any aggressive behaviors.
However, they are energetic with high intensities so they have to tame at times to a calmer demeanor for them to be harmless to kids and babies.
Bred to be guard dogs in the past, Boxers have established themselves as family dogs in the 21st century. They are calm and composed with a kind persona, befitting the role of a family dog. Boxers love to cuddle and play with kids and owners.
Their small sizes with low prey drives and potential for mouthiness make them a perfect suit for babies.
Being intelligent and trainable, they adjust well according to the requirements of their household. With a playful nature, they become great companions for all the kids in the house.
One thing to note about this breed is their excessive energy drive that needs to be directed into sports and exercise so that they attain a much calmer and more relaxed behavior inside the house.
8. English Mastiff
A breed that is overly protective and loving to its family, Mastiffs are one of the oldest dog breeds known.
With their low prey drives and highly playful nature, Mastiffs become the center of joy for the entire family, be it, babies, kids, or adults.
They have moderate energy levels with low intensities which makes them one of the least aggressive dogs. Children feel comfortable in their presence and tend to like them a lot.
However, Mastiffs are not an intelligent breed and it takes a lot of time and effort to train them owing to their stubborn nature that is resilient to any change.
Plus, they are a large breed with a predisposition to weight gain that needs to be kept in check.
Also known as a mixed breed, Mutts defy any classification of dog breeds owing to their mixed and unpredictable features. They are a breed of more or less average characteristics.
Mutts are fairly affectionate to their families and tend to love and care for the young ones too. They are playful and full of life and provide great company to all the members of the family.
With considerable intelligence and trainability, it is not hard to train Mutts out of any negative habits such as barking or biting.
Also, they have moderate energy reserves and intensity, Mutts are more or less harmless toward babies and older children.
They are not too big or too aggressive to be dangerous for babies. However, you would need to access each dog individually for its characteristics as they carry a lot about the breed.
10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This breed with its uniquely long name is a large-sized toy spaniel. Its cuteness is capable of melting even the toughest of hearts.
CKCS are very caring and loving to every living soul, be it their family, friends, other pets, or even strangers. Their love and affection have no boundaries and they tend to be protective of the ones they love.
They are smart enough to read the atmosphere and mold their behavior. Furthermore, they are easy-to-train dogs that require little time and effort for behavior modification.
Their low energies and intensities mean that they have a calm demeanor most of the time but they are playful enough to give your babies great company.
With a moderately smart personality, CKCS can also be trained fairly easily.
Beagles are small dogs with big hearts, cute faces, and playful nature, enough to melt your heart.
As a family-oriented breed, Beagles are as caring as they get, sharing their undivided love and attention with all the family members, especially the babies. Beagles are one fo the best option for first-time owners.
They are protective and oversee their well-being, understanding their moods and trying to cheer them up when the need arises.
One thing worthy to note about this breed is that they are not easy to train and you would have to be vigilant when dealing with them. It requires great patience and effort to change their habits.
Also, they tend to do everything with great vigor, so their energy needs to be trained through sports and exercise for them to remain calm and relaxed with kids.
12. Irish Setter
Bred as bird dogs, this breed with its beautiful mahogany fur is now known for its companionship. Irish Setters are a great company to all the members of the family regardless of age.
Irish Setters are moderately sized dogs that are playful and kind which makes them a good choice for babies.
With high intelligence and trainability, it becomes easy to make them adapt to the requirements of a particular household.
Their high energies, coupled with a low intensity mean that they will have the energy to spend time with babies all day long without the vigor that may harm them.
13. Boston Terrier
This breed is more affectionate to the babies and kids in the family than it is to the adults. Boston Terriers are very playful and they are great entertainment for the young ones in the house.
Plus, they are quite smart and can be taught a lot of new skills and habits with ease. They put extra effort into things just to make their owners happy and this allows them to get rid of any unhealthy behaviors too without being fussy.
However, they have highly energetic personalities with vigor, you would need to channel all this energy into sports and exercise outside the house so that they are calmer and more relaxed inside the house with kids.
This active dog breed will be a great addition to your family with babies only if you could provide them with the daily exercise opportunities they need, hence they are a better fit for a sport-loving family.
They are very intelligent and can adjust themselves to any household in no time and are quite trainable as well.
A Vizsla’s high energy potential is paired with a moderate intensity that makes them less dangerous around kids. Dogtime gives them a 5/5 star rating in its kid-friendly category.
Being playful, they would be a center of joy for the young ones in the house. But as mentioned before, you’d have to deal with their high exercise demands regularly, otherwise, they’ll get fussy.
Originally introduced to the world as a herding dog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi is known for its high intelligence and great trainability.
They can be molded to fit any role they’re given in the house, be it to protect babies and kids or to help adults.
Their small sizes and low prey drives make them potentially harmless around small children and babies. They also lack the vigor you see with a highly intense dog, Corgis are capable of carrying themselves calmly around the house.
Corgis are very playful with kids and also protective of them, you’d rest assured in their presence.
Related: Are corgis lap dogs?
Collies have a great sense of loyalty to their families and protect them vigilantly. When they’re not in a protective mood, they are quite playful and prove to be great company to babies and adults likewise.
They are smart and trainable, known to be able to sense their owner’s mood and behave in the most situation-appropriate way possible.
With an average build and vigor, Collies do not become aggressive around people and so have the least potential to harm babies in any way.
Also, their energy levels are quite moderate, you would need to exercise them regularly for them to be calmer at home.
17. Bernese Mountain Dog
This breed has been developed in Switzerland and is known for its versatile nature. Overall, it’s a very friendly dog breed that is obedient to its owners and very protective of its family.
Dogtime rates its kid-friendliness a full 5/5. Bernese Mountain Dogs are very affectionate and caring with kids and babies. With a playful nature, they give them great company and are a source of fun and joy.
Intelligent and quite easy to train, this breed allows you to train them out of any bad habits of barking, nibbling, etc that you may find dangerous for your household.
Moreover, they have moderate energy levels with low intensities, you would not need to worry about them knocking off babies once you train them a little.
This cute little breed is as entertaining to its owners as it gets. Pugs are loyal, obedient, fun, and caring which makes them great family dogs.
Pugs have fairly low prey drives and small sizes, this makes them a very benign breed. Their exercise needs also aren’t that much so is their energy. Being highly playful, Pugs get along great with all the members of the family.
However, it is not an intelligent breed so may have to train them with some time and effort to make them learn the ins and outs of your particular household.
To better understand the behaviors of various dogs towards kids, let me share some common questions with you.
Is it good for a baby to grow up with a dog?
Yes, Dogs are great companions even for babies and kids. They are a source of protection, love, and joy and provide constant care when trained right.
Also, Babies that grow with dogs right from the beginning are less likely to develop allergies as well.
Can I let my dog lick my baby?
No, a dog’s tongue is a harbor for a lot of germs and other pathogens that can get transmitted to your baby. During the initial years of life when a baby’s immune system hasn’t matured yet, it is safer to stop dogs from licking them.
Do dogs get jealous of new babies?
Yes, dogs are a social species, and like any other social animal when they feel their time and attention are being redirected to someone else, they are bound to get jealous.
You would need to reassure them that this is not the case by giving them their due time and catering to their needs.
Best Dog Breeds For Babies – Wrapping Up
Having a dog in a household with babies can be very useful. They can protect them from any harm from many dangers and be a playful company.
On the other hand, aggressive dogs can hurt babies both intentionally and unintentionally.
Thus, choosing the right breed for your dogs is very essential. It should have the qualities of being naturally caring to kids, and moderate in energy with less vigor and intensity.
Moreover, they should be intelligent enough to know the nuances of dealing with a kid and be open to any behavior changes.
With these things in mind, breeds like Poodles, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Bulldogs, boxers, etc prove to be the best fit for a household with babies.