SUV or Sedan?
If you only use the car for work and picking up your kids from school, then Sedan is ok; If you often drive out for outdoor activities, the SUV is better since it has more room to store your package and runs soomthly on the road.
Mini van or small SUV- it is the dogs that may be decider- rat terriors, dachshunds or Great Danes, Sheepdogs ? Kids: under 10 wearing size small or petite underwear or teenagers now about 6 foot tall and still growing with 3X in front of T on shirt ? My 1998 Toyota Camry can haul 2 adult and 3 kids under 10- but not much other room in back seat. Chrysler mini van can haul 2 adults set of twins 11 years old, 8 year old and wheel chair, have room for one more and grocery bags.
I think a Sedan is enough for daily use, but a SUV would be much better for family outing.
Obi Wan Knievel
Considering all the information you left out, I've got to say it's entirely your decision. Having kids and dogs and a job doesn't really stand out as anything unique. If those are your only factors in the equation, it really doesn't matter which one you choose.
I would recommend sedan only because they are cheaper and more reliable. However, if you live somewhere where is snows alot and you park on unplowed streets/alleys. Then you might be better off with a suv.
SUVs have become more popular because they are more practical than sedans.
Correction. I have 2 kids and 2 dogs.
Get a vehicle you can AFFORD.
Well.... The newer SUVs have much lower centres of gravity than they did before. So I would go with a "compact SUV".
so you have four kids? get a SUV. you can still find one that has great gas mileage.