My family only owned one dog when I was growing up, but she was as perfect as pups come. Loving, gentle, and obedient, Misty quickly worked her way into not only our hearts, but those of everyone she met. As a Standard Schnauzer, she was also a medium-sized dog who was great for a family: big enough not to get stepped on by us kids and our friends, yet small enough that an 11-year-old could comfortably walk her without getting dragged down the street. Like most Schnauzers, she was energetic and always up for a game of fetch, but still happy to lie down next to us when we were feeling lazy.
That's why I'm a little partial to the medium breeds when it comes to doggie favorites, and you may be leaning that way yourself if you're considering getting a dog for your family. Fortunately, there are many to choose from, and a number of them are particularly good with kids for a variety of reasons. Certain medium-sized breeds are typically mellow, which may appeal to parents of small or shy children. Others are naturally energetic, and would love nothing more than running around the yard with an enthusiastic group of kids. Still others have a long-standing rep for being affectionate and loyal family pets.
Finding the right dog for your family is a matter of your own preferences and needs; however, no matter which you choose, there are guidelines to keep in mind. Teach your children how to treat a dog gently and respectfully. And no matter how sweet your new best friend may be, babies and small children should never be left unsupervised around any dog.
Here are some of the not-too-big, not-too-small dog breeds that animal experts rank as being among the best for families with kids. With patience and proper training, they might turn out to be your best-behaved "child" at the end of the day.