I have 3 dogs:
-purebred cocker spaniel
my pit is almost always full of energy and even though she is extremely social and good with people, she is too busy and i dont like her running around when we have small kids over.
my cocker was a great family dog growing up, and i definitely recommend them. (even though shes a total ***** now that shes ~9yo)
<--- my shih-poo is the best dog I have ever owned. even though he is small and not a manly dog, or expecially hyper/fun to play with, i would choose him over my pit any day. he is great with all ages and doesnt shed! I never thought I would want a small dog (my dad bought the cocker without anyone elses opinions lol) but after having him, I dont think i will go back to a large dog.
i realize you want a large dog, but dont look past the little guys, bc my shih poo buddha has stolen my heart.
but to play along, if I got a big dog for my family I would choose a german shepard, boxer, pit, or even a terrier/hunting dog
also, take a look into rescuing a grey hound. great trained dogs.