Large breed dogs that make great family pets

Large breed dogs weigh greater than 50 pounds when they are fully grown. Because of their huge size, people tend to think that all large breed dogs will be aggressive or dangerous. However, this is far from the truth.

Some large breed dogs are actually the most loyal, cuddly, gentle-natured pets you could ever imagine having. While it is true that not all dogs are the same, certain breeds have more family-friendly characteristics.

If you’re looking for a dog that would suit your family based on their temperament, you’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading to learn about some special large breed dogs and why they would make the best family pets!

Labrador Retriever

Golden Retriever

One look at a Labrador Retriever’s lovely face, and your heart will instantly melt. These are the least aggressive dog breed, with a kind nature and stable temper.

Labrador Retrievers are very active and highly energetic dogs that serve as the perfect playing buddies for children. They’re extremely tolerant and won’t react badly if your child pulls its ears or climbs on them.

These dogs are also very outgoing and friendly. They are intelligent breeds that can be well trained to become obedient and talented dogs.


Collies make excellent watchdogs, but this does not mean they are aggressive. They are, in fact, a very gentle breed that does well with children. Their ancestral herding skills make them good babysitters as well.

These dogs are extremely intelligent and very easy to train. A lot of movies have even been made around them, portraying their lovable and loyal character.

Collies have strong bonds with families and view everybody as a friend, which is pretty rare.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

These canines are calm, peaceful and very tolerant creatures. Their friendly and affectionate personality makes them the perfect family pet. Given the appropriate training, this people-pleasing breed can be very obedient dogs.

Bernese mountain dogs don’t need intensive exercise, so you don’t have to worry about taking them on daily walks. However, they do love running fast and rolling around, so they need big spaces.

This breed usually reacts well to strangers but sometimes might appear a little aloof or shy. But even this can be avoided if you socialize your dog enough.

Standard Poodles

Standard poodles are fabulous, fluffy well mannered, and poised.

Just because they look posh doesn’t mean they stay all day indoors. They’re actually a very active and energetic, fun-loving breed that mixes well with children.

Standard poodles are loyal and affectionate. They’re smart and can learn commands very well. They’re also straightforward to house train. They’re hardly ever aggressive and are most often shy around new people, which isn’t prominent if you socialize them early on.


These slobbery giant dogs are of a placid and devoted nature. They’re very good at assessing threats and make wonderful guard dogs. They are protective over the ones they love but never violent.

Mastiffs are quite easy to have around the house and don’t make a lot of noise. They are adaptable to apartments with moderate exercise needs.

Their large size might be scary at first, but a Mastiff’s nurturing and affectionate personality will win over any child’s heart. They’re instinctively caring and well behaved, given proper socialization.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

This popular dog breed is caring and talented and serves as a lifelong companion. They’re also a confident, athletic breed that loves challenging tasks. They have high energy levels which match perfectly with hyperactive kids and are always ready to play.

German Shepherds are eager to learn and please and are quite curious as well. They’re brilliant and can learn tasks fairly fast. These dogs are also very protective of their owners, but they can be very friendly with enough socialization and training.


This cuddly, mellow nature and a hardworking dog is a wonderful addition to the family; ask my friend Mandi over at Big Dog Little Adventures. They’re also incredibly child-friendly and affectionate in addition to sociable and reacts well to strangers.

Newfoundlands are excellent swimmers and are known to save people from drowning. It is their basic instinct to protect their family and watch over their loved ones. These dogs may seem docile, but they’re also very athletic and would be great playmates for your kids. They’re also effortless to train and can follow instructions quite well.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are a universal family favourite breed. Seeing these dogs and their friendly nature will instantly bring a smile to your face – and you can even get the family Golden Retriever t-shirts to boost the mood further!

This dog is brilliant and can be trained to become one of the most obedient pets. They are well mannered, people pleasers who make pretty good watchdogs as well.

These canines are often used as therapy and service dogs, so you can be rest assured that they will be guaranteed mood boosters and the best friends your children could ever have.

They’re extremely loyal, fun and athletic. If provided with enough exercise, they even do well in apartments.

Saint Bernard

St Bernard Dog

Saint Bernards are good-natured, laid back dogs. They are patient and kind and do very well with children. They’re extremely social and even strangers wouldn’t hesitate to approach them.

These dogs aren’t boisterous and won’t dig out holes in your garden either. They obey instructions and are quite obedient. Saint Bernards need little exercise and provide a great source of entertainment with their silly activities.

Great Dane

Despite their size, Great Danes are the most elegant looking of all dog breeds. These dogs are great with kids as well as other pets. They are gentle in nature and quite playful.

Great Danes are also easy to train and don’t bark or dig holes. They don’t need intensive exercise and are good with daily long walks.

They’re the perfect guard dogs for a family and extremely affectionate to their owners. They’ll even forget about their size and end up sitting on your lap like it’s the most normal thing to do!


The Vizla is a dog with aristocratic origins that loves humans. They are incredibly affectionate and kind and are good companions for kids.

What’s more, they’re even very friendly and approachable to strangers. Being highly energetic, with many exercise needs, these dogs are perfect for an active family.

They don’t need a lot of grooming and are easy to train. They are smart, sensitive and don’t have a lot of health problems either.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd Dog

The Australian Shepherd is a beautiful dog that loves human interaction. It loves to be affectionate and is overall a very devoted and gentle dog. They are intelligent and have a good attention span, making them easily trainable.

This is a completely indoor dog, but it still needs its daily vigorous exercise. They are extremely energetic and love nothing more than to play with their human owners.

They are also extremely talented and can be taught to do several tricks.


Rottweilers are extremely loyal and protective of the people they love. Despite being the ideal guard dog, they’ve got a fun and loving personality.

They have a calm and confident nature and tend to be in tune with their owner’s feelings. These dogs aren’t super active but this doesn’t mean they laze around all day.

They don’t need a lot of maintenance in the grooming department either. Although they can be a bit wary of strangers, these dogs can be quite friendly if socialized at a young age.

Final Thoughts

Adding a large furry member to your family will bring you nothing but happiness, entertainment and an overwhelming sense of love.

If you truly want a giant dog that is well mannered and fits with family life, it’s best to get an adult whose behaviour you are already aware of. Even better is if you get them in their puppy years from a reliable breeder.

However, please note that before bringing your large dog home, apart from their behaviour, you should also be aware of the large dog breed food requirements and the common health problems they face. This will help you be aware of all your responsibilities. You might also want to consider whether you have a practical car for transporting them to their vet appointments.

Now that you have an idea about the best large dog breeds suitable for family pets, you know what to look for.

So go on and bring your child’s future giant fluffy best friend home!

Author Bio:

Shawn is a content writer at FeedFond. He’s a doting father not only to his two children but also to his two Golden Retrievers. Check out more of his articles at

Keep reading to find out about some special large breed dogs and why they would make the best family pets!

12 thoughts on “Large breed dogs that make great family pets”

  1. Its lovely to see that you included German Shepherds and Rottweilers as they are two of my favourite breeds of dog and I think now-a-days they get a lot of bad press! Good choices all round though, I can’t wait till I’ll be working less outside the house so I can get a dog of my own

  2. I’m so pleased to see our breed of choice on there. We have a German Shepherd who joined our family (and now deceased female GSD) two weeks before our son was born and he’s incredible with him. He’s so patient yet fiercely protective of him. I wouldn’t have any other breed of dog.

  3. My partner wants us to get a labrador or a dalmation, the size does put me off a bit if I am honest. However I do find bigger dogs less yappy than smaller ones x

  4. i so agree , we always had a big and medium dogs and while my mother in law prefers small breed i find that the bigger the dog the more chilled they are – my MiL dog is sooo snappy 🙂

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