When choosing a dog for a family, it's important to choose a breed carefully. Particularly nervous or highly strung breeds would not be great around children, particularly youngger kids. In their desire to play with this cute new addition to the household, they may frighten or irritate the dog, which could lead to defensive behavior like nipping or biting your children.
* Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers make great family dogs. They love attention, and are extremely friendly. They are good with children, and can be quite goofy and playful. Some can be aggressive, but this is usually a problem with poor breeding. It tends to affect those with a reddish colored coat more, and is often associated with an underactive thyroid. So, it's important to get a dog from a good breeder who first priority is the temperament of the dog.
* Labrador Retriever
Labrador retrievers are very athletic dogs, so they need quite a bit of exercise. This is especially true of black labradors (my sister can testify to that!). But they are happy dogs, very affectionate with both adults and children, and gentle. They love water. My sister's dog chewed the hose one day when they were away and the people looking after her did not give her the daily play with the hose she so loved.
* English cocker spaniel
English cocker spaniels are intelligent, affectionate, and happy dogs. They love playing with children, and so make good family pets. They have a very gentle nature.
* Old English Sheepdog
Old English sheepdogs are large dogs. They are very affectionate, and get along well with children – as long as they are not teased or treated rough (or with rough play). So, if you have young children, this would not be a suitable breed. Older children would probably be fine, however.
When training Old English sheepdogs, it's important not to be overbearing, as this can cause these dogs to be timid, or respond aggressively based on fear. These dogs need company, and a reasonable amount of space.
Other good choices for a family dog include pugs, beagles, basset hounds, and Brittany spaniels.
Whatever type of dog you choose, it's important to understand that buying a puppy will require a lot of time in training, particularly with regards house training. Not only does the puppy need a lot of affection, attention, and guidance, but the children will also need to be taught how to interact with your puppy so that they do not accidently hurt them. If you have young children, or toddlers, and your hands are full with them, it may be better to buy an older dog who has already been trained.