One thing to consider when picking out a family dog is whether or not anyone in the house has any kind of pet allergies. The good news is that dog allergies are less common than cat allergies. Pet dander (a combo of dead skin cells and dried proteins from skin secretions and saliva ) on dogs, as with cats, is what humans are allergic to. This is the flaky skin that you'll see on the fur of dogs and cats.
Even though fur isn't necessarily the culprit, it can't hurt to have a dog that doesn't shed as much if you or your children are allergic to dander. The American Kennel Club lists the following breeds as having little pet dander and being ideal for allergy sufferers: Chinese crested, bichon frise, Bedlington terrier, Maltese, poodle and schnauzer.