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The 10 Best Dogs for Busy Families

2 min read

Hectic households can still love and care for a family dog! This just means that you need to find the best dog breeds for busy families and the best dog breed for your home and lifestyle.

What this could be depends on your family’s activity levels, the amount of exercise you want to do, and how involved you want your dog to be with family life.

10 Dog breeds for busy families 


Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen

This is a really appealing, slightly rakish looking hound that loves everyone without being rudely over-enthusiastic and boisterous. As long as they get sufficient walks (1-2 hours a day every day), sniffing enrichment opportunities, and plenty of appropriate cuddles, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is  more than happy to snooze, help around the garden, and generally supervise goings on, making them  a great dog for busy but active families.


English Setter

Once mature, the English Setter is happy to observe guests without needing to climb all over them, will enjoy being part of a busy household but is capable of observing rather than throwing themselves into the mix at every opportunity.
Getting them to that point, however, takes a fair bit of time, patience (this is often a slow maturing breed), and reward-based positive training. They will need 1-2 hours exercise every day and grooming every other day.

This makes them a great family dog for older children and active families.

Greyhound (ex-racing) 

This is an elegant dog far more concerned about comfort and relaxation than getting involved in the mayhem. As long as an ex-racing Greyhound can have the chance to have a good sprint, they love nothing more than to sit back and watch the chaos from the comfort of the sofa.

This means that their exercise requirements are low – as are their grooming requirements and noise levels – which means they are low maintenance. They do tend to be a little aloof and they will need to be on a lead and muzzled when out and about – as they are likely to chase other animals.

Note: this doesn’t apply to show bred puppy greyhounds.

Golden Retriever 

Once mature, the Golden Retriever thrives on a bustling household, welcomes guests young and old alike, gets on with all other family members (including the cat!) and will help around the house no matter how mundane the task.

Like many of the gundog breeds however, they can be slow to mature and need a lot of time, patience, positive, and reward-based training to get them to be the calm adults that a busy house needs. When you get there however, they are the perfect family dog.

This is another breed best suited to active, rural families as they need around two hours of exercise a day – and plenty of games and interactions.


Clumber Spaniel 

One of the less common spaniels, unlike the other members of the busy spaniel crew, the Clumber Spaniel is an observer rather than a participant. Once their daily ramble is done, nothing will disturb them from their napping – except maybe their dog food - so no matter how busy the household, the Clumber will be happy to relax and take it all in.



Built for comfort rather than speed, the Pekingese will be happy to watch from the side-lines, as long as they are comfortable, air-conditioned and luxurious side-lines!

As a brachycephalic breed, the Peke does have significant health issues, so you will need to find an excellent breeder who prioritises health, and also have deep pockets, a good vet and an even better insurance policy. This is not a dog who will be able to join in with games and long walks.

Border Terrier 

For the all-round ‘joiner-inner’ wrapped up in a small bundle, the Border Terrier can’t be beaten.
They thrive with plenty to do, are most social than many of the terrier group, and as long as training, exercise and terrier-appropriate enrichment are all taken care of, they will enjoy joining in with everything!

They are equally happy being in the house with their people as they are out in the countryside on long rambling walks.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier 

A well trained and socialised Stafford is enthusiastically friendly with people of all ages (although sometimes a little too enthusiastic for tiny children or vulnerable adults), exuberant about any activity their family are involved in, and thrives on the hurly-burly hustle-bustle life.

Though they are a good dog breed for busy owners, they do need far more exercise than many owners realise, and they have clever brains that should be used. So, at least an hour a day’s exercise is vital, and training is a must - as are enrichment games and problem-solving puzzles.

While SBTs love people, they are not always so keen on other dogs.


Standard Poodle

The largest of the three Poodle breeds, this is a friendly, athletic, enthusiastic dog who bonds closely to their people – but will still welcome strangers joyfully. While they need a lot of exercise and are often slow to mature, Poodles are high spirited, fun, often clownish, and enjoy being a part of everything their family are doing. 

Training and problem-solving enrichment opportunities are a must for this clever breed – as is finding a professional groomer who can take care of their non-shedding coat.



Small, portable, attractive and friendly, the Havanese loves nothing more than being a part of what everyone is doing (no matter how boring) - even if it is simply in a supervisory role.

While they can get overwhelmed by lots of visitors to the home, they are very happy to accompany their people everywhere – in fact they often need to, as this is a breed that really doesn’t like to be left home alone.

We hope this article on some good dog breeds for busy families was helpful.