15 Friendliest Dog Breeds That Love People

Dogs are generally friendly animals. When dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago, it was in their best interest as they evolved to woo humans for food and shelter. And while every dog has a unique personality, certain breeds tend to be a little more sociable than others, including, the pug, the Labrador retriever, the Boston terrier, and the poodle.

Here are the 15 friendliest dog breeds that are eager to socialize with and please people.

Friendly dogs are adaptable to new situations and environments. They are easy to train and not terribly excitable all the time. When a dog gets overly excited, they’re no longer attentive and become challenging to reign in. An active and playful dog is wonderful, but dogs need to understand limits and play without becoming too rough. A friendly dog usually does not get fearful or anxious; they accept and follow your calm energy or leadership into a situation.

These 15 dog breeds are among the friendliest of human’s best friends.

1. Labrador Retriever

With their warm eyes and cheerful grins, Labrador retrievers are the picture of friendliness. That’s probably why they have been the most popular dog breed in the US for more than three decades, according to the American Kennel Club. Labs were bred to be companions—first to fishermen and women and then to hunters. They adore being around people, and they maintain a sweet, carefree nature. But they are high-energy dogs that need vigorous exercise every day. Keep your lab smiling by taking him for a daily run, playing a vigorous game of fetch, or tossing a Frisbee until he’s had enough; chances are, you’ll be tired out before your lab.

2. Golden Retriever

Another breed that has remained in the top most popular breeds for decades, Golden retrievers generally exude friendliness as they engage with people and other animals. Part of this comes down to confidence. Goldens tend to have a cheery outlook that helps them navigate the world with ease. Moreover, a golden is almost always willing to sit or stay as long as a person wants. These dogs are wonderful family pets, as they are always up for a romp with the kids, a game of tug-of-war, or a vigorous session of fetch.

3. Beagle

Beagles are a cheerful breed that genuinely enjoys spending time with people. They are relatively active and love playing fetch or going on long walks with their humans. They’re always down to have some fun and are happy to snuggle with their favorite people at the end of the day or spend some time tussling with the kids. This loyal breed was developed to accompany hunters in packs, so beagles usually get along very well with other dogs. They can sometimes get caught up in following an interesting scent, however, so should always be kept on a leash when outside the house or yard.

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

When it comes to Cavalier King Charles spaniels, their primary purpose throughout history has been to serve as companion animals. These dogs genuinely love people, so they demand ample attention and don’t like being left alone. But much of that attention can simply be cuddling with your dog on the couch. This is a gentle, good-natured, and affectionate breed that gets along very well with children, other dogs, and dog-friendly cats. While not the most athletic breed, they do enjoy a romp with the kids, a walk around the neighborhood, or a game of fetch on a regular basis.

5. Pug

Pugs are little dogs with big personalities. These smart, affectionate, and sometimes silly canines like to play and love to spend time cuddling with their favorite people. They are social with strangers and other dogs, and get along great with children, as long as the kids aren’t too rough. It’s easy to hurt a pug’s feelings, however, so you shouldn’t be too hard on him or ignore him for long. While pugs don’t need a lot of exercise, they should get a daily walk and a play session to help keep their weight under control.

6. Boston Terrier

Nicknamed the “American Gentleman,” Boston terriers are affectionate dogs with a silly streak. They love to make new friends, and they’re usually up for a play session. They also tend to be adaptable, meaning they’re at ease in many situations. If that isn’t enough, that goofy smile will definitely win your heart. Boston terriers generally get along great with children, other dogs, and dog-friendly cats, but keep an eye on things if play gets too boisterous; remember that despite his big personality, the Boston is a small dog.

7. Irish Setter

Irish setters are friendly dogs with carefree, spunky attitudes that many canine lovers find appealing. They generally make wonderful family dogs, as most love children, other dogs, and even dog-friendly cats. These canines are very affectionate and devoted to their family, and most are eager to make friends with strangers as well. This is a very active breed, however, and if their energy gets pent up, they might engage in unwanted behaviors, such as excessive barking or chewing. So regular exercise is a necessity for an Irish setter.

8. Border Collie

Generally considered to be the most intelligent dog breed, border collies need plenty of mental and physical stimulation each day to keep them happy and well behaved. But this breed aims to please. They are very in tune with their humans, which helps them succeed in dog sports, such as agility and flying disc, and excel at everyday training or learning tricks. But minimizing a border collie’s desire to herd everything in sight is a must, as this can cause them to nip at people’s heels. This high-energy canine requires lots of daily exercise, as well.

9. Boxer

If they were people, the average boxer would be the class clown. Boxers are suckers for attention. These affectionate dogs want to be social, and the more positive attention you give them, the more you’ll get back. For this reason, boxers can make excellent pets for families with children. But training is essential to curb their desire to jump on people excitedly. And as a very athletic breed of canine, you should provide your boxer with regular exercise and playtime to ward off destructive behaviors or excessive barking.

10. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire bull terriers, a breed under the umbrella of pit bulls, have mammoth smiles that instantly give away their sincerely sweet personalities. Once bred to be fighters, today they are more often lovers. They’re intensely loyal to their humans, which, unfortunately, is why they once excelled in the fight ring. But these clever and sweet-natured pooches are surprisingly patient, often making them good family dogs. They should be socialized starting in puppyhood to reduce their tendency to mistrust other dogs, however, and they do need regular exercise and attention.

11. Newfoundland

The size of this gentle giant of a working dog might scare off some, but the Newfoundland’s sweet, patient, and gentle demeanor is perfect for everyone, including children, other dogs, and dog-friendly cats. These dogs are loyal and sociable. Although they are huge, they aren’t high-energy. They do well with regular walks and moderate exercise to keep fit. As with any giant-sized breed, it is very important to train your Newfoundland from puppyhood not to jump up on people or become over excited.

12. Collie

If you’ve read the books or seen the movies about Lassie, you already know collies are intelligent, loving, and loyal canine friends. They are sociable, love to spend time outdoors with their family, and are perfect for kids. This breed is a herding dog that is accustomed to a lot of exercise and play, however, so does best with an equally active family. And be prepared to devote time to maintaining that beautiful, flowing coat; collies are shedders and require regular brushing to prevent tangles or mats.

13. Poodle

Whether toy, miniature, or standard, the poodle is a supremely intelligent dog that excels at learning tricks, mastering obedience training, and competing at canine sports like flyball or agility. Plus, poodles are as close to hypoallergenic as a dog can be and barely shed. The poodle is a very affectionate, athletic, and devoted dog that loves to cuddle with family, play with the kids, and race around the dog park with the other dogs.

14. Bulldog

Their faces might look like they have a perpetual frown or scowl of confusion, but don’t let their down-turned expression fool you. Bulldogs are super friendly, easygoing, low-maintenance, and make steadfast companions. They like to stay by your side and go with you everywhere. They are agreeable to training and adaptable to all living environments—urban cityscape to the rural countryside. Also, if you’re not the most active person, that’s great for these dogs. They only need moderate exercise and shouldn’t get overheated.

15. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Corgis are known for being highly sociable, intelligent dogs that love spending time with their families. They were bred to be at attention as herding, guard, and companion dogs, which perhaps explains why they’re always so focused on their humans. They tend to be very affectionate and need lots of playtime. Don’t assume that just because their legs are short, they can’t run; corgis can be surprisingly fast and energetic. But on the downside, they do shed considerably, and so require regular brushing sessions to keep the shed hair under control.

Breeds to Avoid

Most dogs acknowledge they need humans for food, shelter, and love. But some dogs seem more aloof when it comes to human interaction. Stereotypically, Chows aren’t big fans of cuddling—they often seem to tolerate it. Other dogs like basenjis and Afghan hounds love their owners but may have no time for strangers. Some dogs like shar-peis, Dobermans, and Rottweilers can have strong protective, guarding instincts and may actively shun strangers, even making them feel unwelcome.

Published On: May 24th, 2023Categories: Dog News