Congratulations…on your new baby baby and your potential new dog baby! Now, let’s get smart about selecting the best dogs for babies. When it comes to interacting with babies, many breeds are a perfect fit. They know precisely what to do in order to avoid injuries, entertain the babies, and, most importantly, even protect them to a certain extent. These breeds tend to be much more alert of their actions and have control over their movements. However, this all depends on what the owner’s needs are and what the dog’s personalities are like. Some dogs are great to grow up with, while other dogs are much safer to be around when they are adults.
Friendly reminder: Your baby is only a baby for a short time, but a dog will be around for the next 8-15 years 🙂
So which dogs are the best dogs for babies and toddlers? Here are the 25 best dogs for babies in 2023:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Bichon Frise
- Australian Shepherd
- Cocker Spaniel
- Irish Setter
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Basset Hound
- Boston Terrier
- Bracco Italiano
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Afghan Hound
- American Foxhound
Best Dog Breeds for Babies 2023
Some dog breeds are great for your babies to grow up with. These breeds are usually adopted as a puppy and do not cause a fuss until the very end of its moments! It is great for your babies mental health; the idea that he or she has a companion that will always stay loyal no matter what happens to them is indeed reassuring.
1. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever, though it does depend on when you decide to adopt your dog, is a great dog breed to grow up with. Assuming that your baby is around 2 or 3 years old (any younger would be a bit risky, considering how your baby would still be learning to learn the most basic of motor skills), if you adopt a Golden Retriever puppy, by the time your kid is 10 or 11, the dog will also be at the peak of its physical stamina, allowing for it to match the energy of your baby once he or she grows up. As puppies, they do not pose as large of a threat as other dogs, which make them an even more attractive breed for babies!
2. Labrador Retriever
You might notice a trend here; Retrievers are generally great for babies because of how friendly they are. However, Labrador Retrievers are especially in high demand since they are amazing breeds to have your baby grow up together. This breed is one of the most gentle, calm, and intelligent dogs that are quite easily accessible. Intelligence, here, is key because these dogs need to understand that the entity that they are interacting with is not the most robust, careful individual. Because of how bright they are, Labrador Retrievers easily catch on to how they have to behave around babies. Once the babies grow up to be kids, they can adjust to how active they are.
Collies are an unbelievably smart group of dogs; in fact, they are one of the most intelligent ones that many families choose for how smart they are. Again, dogs tend to have to be smart to understand that they must be careful around babies. Collies as puppies are great because they won’t bite as much and even if they do, it’s only for play. As adults or as they grow up, they become very intelligent, and are capable of living around older kids. Moreover, as your kid slowly approaches the age where most kids like to socialize, playdates won’t be too difficult to have since Collies are very outgoing!
4. Bracco Italiano
The Bracco Italiano knows precisely how to take care of babies with love. Naturally affectionate and compassionate, these dogs will be very understanding of your baby’s unintentional actions and will not fight back! This nature is a part of this breed ever since it is a puppy; this makes this dog one of the best dog breeds for your baby to grow with as even as they go through adulthood, their positive nature won’t change one bit. Your baby that will grow up to be a teenager will gain so much from this consistent positivity that this breed of dog emits!
Pugs are always, always friendly. It seems like a universal law. Although they might not seem like they are the most intelligent dog breed with their adorably clueless expression, they actually understand kids the most out of any other dog. Even if the baby goes through changes from transitioning from a toddler into childhood, then adulthood, pugs stay compassionate no matter what. If this isn’t a great trait for dogs growing up with the baby, we don’t know what is!
Despite their relatively rugged appearance, Bulldogs are one of the kindest dogs. It will be flexible and perfect for many different circumstances your baby might be in in the future as it grows up. Whether it be the more energetic childhood or quieter adulthood, Bulldogs make the perfect dog to grow up with because of how consistently kind and loyal the breed is. If someone tells you that they are not cut out for babies because of how intimidating they seem, tell them: “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”
Though they do bark quite a bit, as long as your baby is not too scared of your poodle barking, this breed makes such a good lifelong companion. They are so versatile both in terms of size and personality! While some poodles love to be active, some are relatively quieter. Some poodles are medium-sized while others stay tiny. This versatility allows for you to choose which dog is the best fit for your baby’s personality and living conditions at this moment.
8. Australian Shepherd
Naturally, as shepherds, these dogs bark a lot. However, as puppies, barks are very minimal, so even if your baby is scared of dogs that bark, he or she will be fine with an Australian Shepherd as they only usually tend to bark once they are older. By then, hopefully, your baby is no longer scared of barking dogs, which makes Australian Shepherds a viable option for you. All of this aside, Australian Shepherds are naturally kind and loving, so your baby will certainly be showered with love from this breed!
Dog Breeds For Babies That Love to Exercise
Although they do not have to exercise as intensely as adults do, babies do need their daily doses of sunlight. It is important for their health to be running around a little bit and absorb some vitamins for their immune system and, most importantly, for their future! If your baby seems to enjoy being in the sun, what better way to encourage such a healthy lifestyle than to have a dog that loves to do the same? Here are the best dog breeds for babies that love to exercise:
The Vizsla is a great option if you want a unique dog breed other than Golden or Labrador Retrievers for your baby. These Vizslas, even as puppies, are very active; they tend to be full of energy (like most babies that like to exercise in the sun). Having a dog like Vizsla, even as a puppy, can really encourage your baby to go out and play! For this reason, we believe that the Vizsla is one of the best dog breeds that you can find to accommodate for babies that love to stay active.
10. Irish Setter
Now, it is no new news that Irish Setters are very athletic, but that information is not very useful for babies. After all, babies are usually too young to play sports. However, there is another aspect of Irish Setters that make it an attractive candidate for active babies: how gentle yet full of energy they are. As naturally athletic dogs, Irish Setters love to run around with their owners. But if they are interacting with babies, they immediately recognize that they must be a bit more careful around them.
The Newfoundland is another great breed for babies that plan on staying outside most of the time. This dog might not have the best physical attributes to be able to catch frisbees and tennis balls, but this dog can sure take good care of your baby! Because of how smart it is, it understands that it needs to protect the baby. Although it might not actively engage in running around (which babies do not do much of anyway), it is great to have as a guardian maybe at a park!
12. Cocker Spaniel
The fact that this dog, both as a puppy and as an adult, is quite small compared to other dogs that work best for active babies gives it such a huge plus when it comes to interacting with babies. First of all, they don’t really have the potential to hurt your baby. Not only is this because these dogs are small, they are also quite compassionate! Therefore, they will be able to handle some “harassments” that your baby may accidentally commit. Moreover, Cocker Spaniels are as energetic as every other athletic dog. They can match the energy of a 10 year-old when they grow older, and, even as a puppy, they’re able to match the energy of a fun toddler.
13. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers do not run around too much, but they are great watch dogs for babies that love to exercise! As trusty dogs, they will be able to take care of your baby by making sure nothing happens to him or her; after all, they are naturally bred for protection (depiste their adorable looks!)
Boxers are very active dogs and need a lot of exercise to stay active. Now, for babies, that can be a good thing and a bad thing. This, unfortunately, means they can be quite reckless at times. At the same time, it encourages your baby to go out into the sun a bit more frequently, helping him or her improve her health. We recommend that you get a Boxer puppy when your baby is still a toddler so that once your baby and the dog grow up, they will be able to handle each other’s energy without it becoming a health hazard.
15. American Foxhound
Unlike the Boxer, although the American Foxhound does need lots of exercise, it is still able to control its energy. This is because they are built to catch foxes and not kill it, which means they have much control over how hard they bite and various other aspects that make sure no injuries occur. It is quite obvious that such skills, as they are translated for babies as well, can be very effective when it comes to playing sports with the dog. Even as adults, they will be able to handle the baby with caution and care; you won’t have to worry too much with Foxhounds by your side!
Dalmatians are known to be very active, so for babies that love to go outside to have fun, these dogs are great! At the same time, we want you to know that Dalmatians do bark a lot. If your kid is easily surprised by how loud dogs bark, this dog may not be the best fit for you and your kid!
Dogs For Sensitive Babies
Babies living in apartments need dogs that stay quiet. Barking can cause problems with your neighbor not only because your dog is being loud, but also because your baby can easily wake up and go on to cry, making going to sleep a nightmare for families! Therefore, if you live in an apartment with sensitive babies, it is especially important to choose the right dog breed. Even if you don’t dogs tend to cause allergies. If your baby has allergic symptoms, they can be detrimental to your baby’s health! Here are the best dogs for sensitive babies:
17. Bichon Frise
Contrary to popular belief, it is quite easy for you to get your Bichon Frise stop barking. They hate feeling left alone, so at night, as long as you let your dog stay in your room or stay near you, it should not feel the need to bark. Moreover, the breed is quite small, which means it won’t get stressed out from the relatively confining environments in apartments. Even better, the dog doesn’t even shed that much! You will be able to keep your residence clean without too big of a fuss with fur.
18. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
This breed is even better when it comes to shedding or allergic reactions with fur. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a breed that does not produce allergens that your baby might suffer from. Although we recommend that you thoroughly review your decision on getting a dog when your baby is allergic to most breeds, if you conclude that dogs will play an essential part on improving your baby’s life, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier will pose the smallest risk out of any other dog breeds in this list!
Bloodhounds are great for active babies because of how naturally active they are! As your baby grows up, he or she will require even more exercise, which, in turn, means your dog has to learn how to match how active your kid is. Bloodhounds are a perfect breed for such situations.
Beagles are great for sensitive babies, especially those that get easily frightened by dogs barking. Because beagles don’t bark as much as other breeds, they make such good candidates for sensitive babies! Moreover, they tend to be a lot more careful around babies than other, relatively reckless dogs, which means even the most fragile toddlers will likely be safe around this breed. It is without a doubt that beagles are one of the most adorable breeds and the perfect candidate for babies that are looking for lifelong companions that understand that they must adjust to the baby’s needs.
Although Bologneses do bark a lot, this is only when it feels anxious. As long as it is around owners or family members, it shouldn’t create too big of a fuss! Therefore, these dogs like to stick to babies and other members of the family, making them great companions for your baby even if it is sensitive!
22. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel definitely is a breed that does not bark a lot, which makes babies that are afraid of dogs at ease! Because of their naturally relaxed nature, as long as they know that their owner is safe, they do not feel the urge to stay alert. Despite smaller dogs having the stereotype of being meaner than larger dogs, this does not apply to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Even with its compact size that reduces the risk of your baby getting hurt around the dog, the breed is known to be one of the most friendly small dogs that you can get today!
The Mastiff is a dog breed that is the embodiment of the phrase “big size, big heart.” It is one of the most affectionate and careful dog breeds that we know, yet they are very, very large. Opinions, however, are divided around the dog. Although the dog is very cautious around toddlers, it is an irrefutable fact that there are some inherent risks that follow with having a large dog around babies. Our verdict is that this breed is usually careful enough to make sure the toddlers are not physically harmed. Moreover, because they do not bark, they are great for sensitive babies!
24. Basset Hounds
Basset Hounds are great for babies that are scared of loud noises; as a dog breed that does not bark a lot, it makes living with babies so much easier. Moreover, because of how protective they are, once they establish a strong bond with the baby and the family (which does not take too long), they will become trusty dogs!
25. Afghan Hounds
Afghan Hounds are great because of how little they bark. Although they might be quite difficult to train, they don’t bark too much in the first place, which helps babies stay stress-free. Moreover, they have such thick, fluffy fur that so many babies love!
Large dogs are not the best because they tend to be quite clumsy with how they move. Chow chows are not the best dog babies for this exact reason: they can be reckless, which is dangerous for the baby.
Absolutely! As long as the dog isn’t causing the baby any stress, dogs should have such a positive impact on your baby’s ability to socialize: having a lifelong companion does go miles.
The Boston Terrier is our pick for this question; they don’t shed as much, they don’t bark too much, and they’re intelligent enough to be potty trained!
Interestingly enough, most dogs do know that they must be gentle around babies. This is demonstrated well in large dog breeds such as Golden Retrievers.