Most kids would love to hold and cuddly a giant dog at any time of the day. However, while there are a lot of big dog breeds, not all giant dogs have gentle demeanors to tolerate the excessive nature of kids. This is why you need to know which big dog breed has that calm and patient temperament that is required to handle younger children. 

Therefore, below are some of the best big dog breeds you can consider for your family if you have kids. You can be rest assured to find the perfect dog for your family from this list. 

1. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese mountain dogs are simply adorable, with their double-layered coat that has a thick yet wooly feel to it. This feel is due to the outer coat being longer and thicker, while the undercoat has a wooly texture. They have a life expectancy of about 6-8 years and can grow to weigh 79-110 pounds. Their height ranges from 23-28 inches (shoulder height). 

Bernese mountain dogs are very protective – not in an aggressive manner – and can risk their limb and even their life trying to rescue people. They are also very gentle with people and love it when they are included in activities, and so they are good around kids. 

2. Alaskan Malamute

This breed was originally used to hunt big prey like seals and bears; however, they are now fully domesticated. They have a friendly nature and would treat a stranger as a friend instead of a foe, they are not the best choice for guard dogs because of this reason. 

They stand at about 22-27 inches (shoulder height) and weigh 75-100 pounds. With a life expectancy of about 10-12 years and their gentle temperament, one of these gentle giants will be a great addition to your family. 

3. Labrador Retriever 

American Kennel Club (AKC) groups Labrador retriever as a sporting dog; they have a short double coat that may be chocolate, black, silver-grey, or yellow. They have a loving and sweet personality that has endeared them to many and has made them rank as the most beloved dog breed in the United States consistently. They are also very enthusiastic about activities. 

They are very intelligent as they were initially used as hunting dogs; this also makes them great companions. They have a life expectancy of 10-12 years, and so you have nothing to worry about them not being around for a long time. 


4. German Shepherd

German shepherds are grouped as herding dogs by the American Kennel Club (AKC), they weigh about 60-100 pounds and can grow to about 22-26 inches in height (shoulder height). Dogs of this breed are hardworking and highly intelligent, and so, they are often used by the armed forces. 

As the name implies, they originated from Germany where they were used as herding and hunting dogs. You may click here to find other dog breeds of German descent. They have a life expectancy of 7-10 years, so they can stay in the family for a long time. They are also remarkably loving and loyal; this character trait is what makes them perfect for active families. 

5. Golden Retriever 

Golden retrievers are super sweet, patient, intelligent, and have such loving personalities. They have a medium-length double coat that is silky; this makes them perfect for cuddles and hugs. Also, they can be part of the family for a very long time as they have a life expectancy of 10-12 years. 

6. Great Dane 

A Great Dane can grow up to a whopping 200 pounds! But do not be deceived by their stature, they are nothing but gentle giants. They are calm, very loyal, and love children. They have a short but smooth coat that can be fawn, black, blue, brindle, and yellow. 

The only downside to these beauties is that they have the shortest life expectancy of all the breeds on this list. 6-8 years is a rather short time to spend with them. 

7. Basset Hound 

When you initially look at this breed, you may not classify it as a big dog, but they have an average weight of 40 pounds. This put them among big dogs like golden retrievers, golden doodles, and Siberian huskies. They can be stubborn but this does not take away their unending loyalty and devotion to those they consider family. 

They are patient and affectionate with kids and other pets. They can live for about 12-13 years. 


Dogs just like people are individuals. So, although the type of breed can determine its temperament, the dog has its mind. You would have to give your dog proper socialization and training to ensure it maintains a mild behavior and temperament. 

Your children also need to be taught to respect the family pet and give it space when it wants it. You can visit https://petradioshow.com/teaching-your-child-to-love-and-respect-pets/ to learn more about how to teach your kids to respect animals. Remember, your dog may be tolerant and patient but can be pushed to its limit if the child is too rough or acts over-excited with it. 


Having a big dog in the family is one sure way to keep your kids happy. However, you would not want a breed that is known to have intolerant behavior towards kids. This is why you need to know which big dog breed is best to have around your kids. 

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