I have a 16 year old and a 12 year old, they are both boys but when it comes to dogs that are loving, protective, gentle and can deal with the noise of kids without getting "nervy" a Samoyed is a wonderful choice. We have one who is almost 11 years old. She only barks when she is letting us know about a stranger, protective of the whole family, cuddly, smart- she does lots of tricks and she is a great companion. The downside to this is that they require lots of brushing and attention. If they are ignored or get bored they can be destructive to get attention, and they howl to communicate with you. Check youtube for videos of samoyeds- you will fall in love.