Having a friendly dog is always desirable, and sometimes non-negotiable. If you have small kids, other animals, or meet a lot of strangers, you’re going to want a dog who won’t create a problem. Luckily, almost all dogs are friendly, or at least cordial, if they are well-socialized.
There is a factual reality, though, that some dogs are more likely to be friendlier than others. Who says stereotypes aren’t sometimes right? Without further ado, here is a list of the 20 friendliest dog breeds of all.
Everything about a Corgi screams friendliness—their sweet faces, their stout legs, and their stubby little tails. They have immensely strong personalities, and their playful attitude is contagious. Spirited and spunky, your Corgi will get oohs and ahhs from strangers and friends alike.
While they are extremely bubbly, don’t let that fool you—they have a rotten streak and can try to get away with just about anything. If you don’t correct bad behavior early on, your Corgi may just think they can get by with murder. No matter how cute, you have to put your foot down.
2. Labrador Retriever
Labradors haven’t maintained their #1 popularity slot by happenstance. These dogs are lovable, attentive, energetic, and intelligent—basically, every quality you could want in a man’s best friend. Labs lavish their owners with love and give livelong devotion to their families.
If you have a highly social life, your lab pals will love to come along with you on every outing. They will jump in the car at will and wag their tails each time they see a leash. They want nothing more than to spend as much time with humans as possible.
3. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers make excellent therapy and service dogs because of their docile demeanors. They are incredibly even-keel and joyful. Because of their inept desire to please people, Golden’s love to show affection to their owners.
Because of their intuitiveness and soft-heartedness, Golden Retrievers make the best service, therapy, and emotional support dogs. They have a heightened sense of detecting emotions and illnesses so they can help their human counterparts combat their own life challenges.
Pugs may not be the brightest crayons in the box, but they sure are the happiest. Pugs are always up for snuggles, cuddles, and kisses. They love to meet new faces, human and animal alike. They may bark at passersby or random creatures, but their bark is always, always, always bigger than their bite.
Pugs love adventures. If you want a small, compact dog that can come along with you anywhere you go—look no further. They will be your shadow. And even though they couldn’t do much damage, they will stick up for you anyway.
5. Shih Tzu
These little long-haired cutie pies are one of the most docile small dogs around. They usually have very calm temperments and love attention. They are awfully clever, too. So, if they want to get their way, they can outsmart you and make you think it was all your idea.
Shih Tzus never seem to lack in the hairdo department, either. Groomers can get pretty crafty with cut styles. This breed is one that you can dress up and style to match your own outfits—they will love being pampered.
Beagles are hunting dogs, but they have a strong desire to bond with their people. Rarely aggressive or aloof, these sweet canines just want to hang out with you. They are a perfect combination of playful and chill.
Beagles make great companions for kids, especially. They have the perfect demeanor to be a friend to little ones. They’re also an ideal size—not bulldozing or knocking down tiny tots. Beagles are also very adaptable, so you can have them in practically any size home.
See also: Best Puppy Food for Beagles
Boxers are well-known for having goofy expressions and silly personalities. Because of their muscly bodies and indimidating looks, you may be a little unsure if every Boxer is approachable. But don’t worry, they are almost always ready for all the petting you want to give.
Great with children and strangers, Boxers are social creatures. They may not make the best guard dogs. But what they lack in watchdog abilities, they make up for with a gentle, playful demeanor.
8. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees may look intimidating, but don’t let their size fool you. These dogs are widely known for being gentle giants who harm none. Unless, of course, a wild animal or predator is hunting their livestock.
It’s not uncommon to see a Great Pyrenees taking on the role of an emotional support animal. They are calm, cuddly, and surprisingly intuitive. Their energy levels, personalities, and willingness to listen make them ideal therapy dogs—or perfect for any home, really.
Bulldogs are big brutes that generally have more strength than brains. They are easygoing and fun-loving, ready to take on the world. Their slobbery smiles are sure to melt hearts and captivate the eyes of passersby. They’ll eat up the attention, happy to be the life of the party.
Bulldogs may need heavy supervision around tiny kids. That’s not because they’re mean or aggressive, but because they don’t always know their size. The muscle power may outweigh their reasoning skills, making them bulldozers when they’re excited.
Newfoundlands may be large, but they have innocent expressions that radiate kindness. These dogs have a teddy bear quality with soft-hearted personalities to boot. They tend to be laidback—sometimes even lazy. They want to please people and thrive on lots of cuddles.
Even though you want to keep your Newfie safe indoors, this dog will always be an outdoor lover at heart. They can adjust to apartment living, but would fare better somewhere they could explore and roam.
11. Basset Hound
Could you ever imagine being scared of a Basset Hound face? Everything about this dog’s looks demands kisses and love. They have a dopey, slow-paced demeanor with hearts of gold. Because they’re generally calm, they are superb companions for kids and older people.
Bassets are natural trackers. So, you’ll notice that when you take your guy or gal on walks, they will be nose-to-ground almost 100% of the time. While they are terrific with people, they are inborn hunters, so be extra mindful around wild creatures or tiny pets.
Mastiffs are very loyal, gentle, and lazy. They tend to be very motherly or fatherly, which makes them extraordinarily protective and docile pets with kids. They are very courageous, standing up for the little guy. They are very good-natured, but if they need to defend their loved ones, they will.
There are several spins on the Mastiff breed. It seems several countries tailored the breed to fit a certain mold. While some can be more aloof than others, they all share an inclination towards compliance and pleasantness.
13. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These sweet little dogs are one of the most famous types of spaniel—and for good reason. These dogs are highly social, affectionate, and playful. They tend to do well with strangers, kids, and other pets. These dogs are lapdogs naturally and will cuddle with their humans as much as you allow.
Don’t confuse the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with their Cocker Spaniel cousins. Cavaliers are smaller and the pattern variations are different, too. These sweet dogs will keep you entertained with their vibrant personalities and courageous attitudes.
14. Rough Collie
You may have fond childhood memories of watching Lassie on TV. And if you do, you may know just how smart, loving, and well-mannered Rough Collies are. On top of being super friendly dogs, they are tremendously smart. They have a warm, inviting energy and love to stand with their families.
These dogs are highly inquisitive and responsive. Even though they are friendly to most people they meet, they tend to bond well with one person. If you’re looking for a dog who will be decent to strangers but favor you above all else, consider this breed.
15. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are spunky, outgoing dogs that love to be the center of attention. They are incredibly affectionate. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stranger—these dogs will typically soak up any attention you want to give them.
They can be rather mouthy or yappy. So, if it bothers you when a dog continually sounds the bark alarm, remember that they are very vocal instinctively. But on the upside, they do well in almost all living situations and love making new friends—even if they are rather bossy.
16. Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are super energetic and full of adventure. They never meet a stranger, quickly acclimating to persons of every walk. This kind of dog will love to see new sights and meet new faces. Australian Shepherds make terrific playmates for children and athletic people.
If you’re a laidback person with a quiet, relaxed household—it won’t stay that way with an Australian Shepherd around. These dogs thrive on action and don’t like sitting still for very long. These dogs do best in busy households or in homes with plenty of running room.
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You may think Greyhounds are high energy—even hyper—but this is actually not the case. They are good in short bursts, but they are otherwise quite lazy. They love lounging around with their humans. They might be somewhat standoffish with strangers, but they warm up like butter with family.
Greyhounds may only bond to one person. They won’t likely run to greet visitors with tails wagging, but they are peaceful creatures who will be cordial to all.
Havenese dogs tend to be bubbly and quick on their feet. The more affection you want to give them, the more they’ll eat it up. If you want a shadow dog that follows you everywhere, this breed should definitely be on your list of possibilities.
They love to please their humans, so they are typically very trainable. They’re also agile and nimble, so they are great playmates for kids and other dogs. They may be little, but they don’t seem as stricken with the little-dog syndrome like other similar breeds.
19. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Petit Basset Griddon Vendeens dogs are active and independent. These dogs like to accompany owners everywhere, excited to take in ever new experience. They have an enthusiastic nature, marching head-on into anything without fear or reservation.
They are swift to act, noticing unusual things quicker than most. They need a lot of stimulation because they bore so easily. Make sure your PBGV has lots of things to occupy their time so they can exert their energy in positive ways.
20. American Staffordshire Terrier
While it may cause a wave of uncertainty, the American Staffordshire Terrier is actually one of the most friendly breeds of dog. AmStaffs are super social and loving toward people—especially kids. There is a lot of bad information floating around about these dogs—which is a stigma that needs correcting.
These dogs have a strong desire to please owners and are one of the most loyal breeds around. They are confident, good-natured, protective, and just plain fun. Not to mention, they have arguably the best smile of all canines combined.
So, there you have it—the top 20 friendliest dogs all hashed out. This list is full of variety, so what it really comes down to is your personal preference and lifestyle. Does your household need a lazy, sweet dog who takes naptime to the next level? Or do you want a zippy socialite who’s always stealing the show? There are plenty of things to consider before you make the final plunge.
No matter what you pick, your friendly dog will bring you many years of love and happiness.
Featured Image Credit: Vera Reva, Shutterstock
- 1. Corgi
- 2. Labrador Retriever
- 3. Golden Retriever
- 4. Pug
- 5. Shih Tzu
- 6. Beagle
- 7. Boxer
- 8. Great Pyrenees
- 9. Bulldogs
- 10. Newfoundland
- 11. Basset Hound
- 12. Mastiff
- 13. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- 14. Rough Collie
- 15. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
- 16. Australian Shepherd
- 17. Greyhound
- 18. Havanese
- 19. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
- 20. American Staffordshire Terrier