15 of the Friendliest Dog Breeds Who Loves Everyone

friendliest dog breeds

Dogs are known as man’s best friend. They stick by your side through thick and thin and are always there when you need a good cuddle. But did you know that some breeds are just friendlier than others?

The friendliest dog breeds share similar characteristics. For example, they love people, other dogs, and other animals without discrimination. They’re also highly adaptable and easy to train because they have a personality that makes them eager to please.

The friendliest dog breeds are willing to follow you anywhere and don’t typically exhibit destructive behaviors such as extreme nerves or fear. 

Some of the best dog breeds out there, they are always looking for new friends and are the most sought-after at the dog park. 

Friendliest Dog Breeds

There are many friendly dog breeds out there, but we have narrowed down the list to our top 15. Let’s take a look at our choices. 

1. Golden Retriever

friendliest dog breeds
GroupSporting
Dog’s Size22″ to 24″
Weight55 to 75 pounds
Fur and ColorWavy or straight double coat, medium length; golden shades ranging from light to dark 
Lifespan10 to 12 years 

The Golden Retriever is one of the best dog breeds for any owner, even first-time dog owners. Golden Retrievers are excellent companions for any type of household, and they especially love children.

Golden Retrievers will greet you with a happy whine when you come home and follow you around with their tongues lolling out, eager to be in your company. These great family dogs tend to love playing fetch and other games like tug of war.

They’re easy to care for and are very intelligent, so they’re easy to train and only require moderate exercise.

2. Labrador Retriever

friendly dog breeds
GroupSporting
Dog’s Size22″ to 25″
Weight55 to 80 pounds
Fur and ColorDense, short double coat; chocolate, black, and yellow
Lifespan10 to 12 years

The Labrador Retriever is likely the most popular dog breed in the United States, and for good reason. Not only are they super friendly and great with children, Labrador Retrievers get along with other animals and adapt well to any household.

The Labrador Retriever has a friendly nature that aligns it with its owner and strangers alike, and they are bred to be companions.

The Labrador Retriever has very high energy though, and will need more than moderate exercise, but you can remedy this by playing fetch in the backyard or taking your friendly dog on a long hike or walk with you. 

3. Poodle

nicest dog breeds
GroupNon-Sporting
Dog’s SizeThree different sizes: over 15″ (Standard); 10″ to 15″ (Miniature); up to 10″ (Toy)
Weight45 to 70 pounds (Standard); 15 to 18 pounds (Miniature); 5 to 9 pounds (Toy)
Fur and ColorDense, curly coat; white, black, brown, apricot, or gray
Lifespan10 to 18 years

The Poodle is also one of the most popular dogs for those who are looking for a friendly breed. Poodles come in three different sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodle, so you can pick the one that fits best with your home and lifestyle.

Poodles are extremely intelligent, pick up training very quickly, and are very affectionate by nature. The Poodle enjoys spending time with its owners and children, as well as with other house pets running around and exerting its vast energy levels.

Feel free to teach your Poodle dog sports and tricks, and be prepared to be amazed. You’ll need to groom your poodle regularly to maintain its fur, or you can opt for a close cut to minimize this effort.

4. Bulldog 

most friendly dog breeds
GroupNon-Sporting
Dog’s Size14″ to 15″
Weight40 to 50 pounds
Fur and ColorSmooth, glossy short coat; pale brown, red, fawn, white, brindle, or any combination thereof
Lifespan8 to 10 years

The Bulldog is undoubtedly one of the most unique looking on the list of friendliest dog breeds, but it ticks all of the boxes for a companion dog. Despite their sometimes mean-looking mug, Bulldogs are generally friendly animals that come with a gentle demeanor.

One of the other great things about Bulldogs is that they are easy-to-socialize and low-maintenance dogs that don’t require much other than the love of their owners.

Bulldogs only require moderate exercise and tend to overheat quickly, so don’t overdo it! Did you know there are many different types of Bulldogs

5. Pug

friendliest dogs
GroupToy
Dog’s Size10″ to 13″
Weight14 to 18 pounds
Fur and Colorshort, smooth double coat; black or fawn
Lifespan13 to 15 years

If you’re into cute little smooshed faces, the Pug is your spirit animal! These cutie pies may be little, but they have a very big personality that will likely take you by surprise if you’ve never interacted with one before.

Pug enthusiasts often celebrate their love for these charmers by sporting Pug shirts, showcasing the unique and endearing qualities of this spirited breed.

Pugs are social butterflies and love to engage with their people, though they get along great with strangers, which helps them make new friends and other dogs as well.

These friendly dogs are also sensitive souls and tend to get their feelings hurt easily, so be gentle when training and use positive reinforcement methods. This cheerful breed doesn’t need a lot of exercise, but daily walks can help prevent them from becoming overweight.

6. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

best dogs
GroupTerrier
Dog’s Size14″ to 16″
Weight24 to 38 pounds
Fur and ColorShort, smooth coat; blue, black, white, fawn, brindle, or combinations thereof
Lifespan12 to 14 years

Want to see a perpetually smiling pooch? Look no further than the Staffordshire Terrier dog. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a breed that falls under Pitbulls and is every bit as gorgeous and friendly as the breed is.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a sweet, friendly nature that draws you in from the moment you meet. Because they are Pitbulls, Staffordshire Bull Terriers do need regular socialization to get along with other pups, and they are high energy, meaning you need to make sure they get enough exercise, lest they become destructive.

With a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, you’ll never need to know where their loyalty lies, even if they do spread the love around.

7. Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

friendly dogs
GroupHound
Dog’s Size13″ to 15″
Weight25 to 40 pounds
Fur and ColorLong, rough double coat; grizzle, lemon, black, gray, orange, or sable with white
Lifespan14 to 16 years

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a shaggy pup that was originally bred to hunt hares. They are always up for an adventure and tagging along with their owners.

A friendly dog, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, has a very happy disposition and is well-known for getting along with humans and other animals.

If you own a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, be warned that they are barkers, and you will likely have to train them to keep quiet if you choose to live in an apartment or other densely populated area. 

8. Beagle

most friendly dogs
GroupHound
Dog’s Sizeup to 15″
Weightup to 30 pounds
Fur and ColorShort, smooth coat; black and tan, white and brown, and others
Lifespan10 to15 years

Add a cup of ornery, a dash of happiness, and an endearing howl, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for the friendly Beagle. In addition to being happy dogs, Beagles are very active and love to run and romp around.

These hunting dogs are also scent hounds, so don’t be surprised if your Beagle gets distracted while you’re out and refuses to pay attention. Beagles are pack dogs and, therefore, love their canine counterparts.

You can take your Beagle anywhere, as it’s always up for a drive in the car, a walk in the park, or a snuggle on the couch at the end of the day. This fun-loving and outgoing dog also loves to make new friends.

9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

good dog breeds
GroupToy
Dog’s Size12″ to 13″
Weight13 to 18 pounds
Fur and ColorSleek and silky long coat; tricolor, black and tan, ruby, Blenheim, black and white
Lifespan12 to 14 years

Take it from me: it’s very hard to resist the soulful eyes of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel when you meet one. This affectionate breed was designed to be a companion dog, and it excels at the role.

If you adopt one, be prepared to spend as much time as possible with it because it does not do well when left alone. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very content to do low-key activities like walks in the park, playing with the kids, or chasing down toys in a game of fetch.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is great with children, dogs, cats, and other humans, making it a friendly option.

10. Boston Terrier

kindest dog breeds
GroupNon-Sporting
Dog’s Size15″ to 17″
Weight12 to 25 pounds
Fur and ColorShort, smooth coat; black and white, seal and white, brindle, and others
Lifespan12 to 14 years

The Boston Terrier is cuteness wrapped up in a small package that’s eager to please its owner. Boston Terriers are known for their silly side, so be prepared to laugh at their antics on a daily basis.

They’re also regularly called the American gentleman. When the Boston Terrier pants, it has one of the biggest smiles, and it will make you smile as well.

While Boston Terriers do get along very well with children, it’s a good idea to have them in a home with older kids as they are relatively small dogs. Your Boston Terrier won’t need a ton of exercise; daily walks and play sessions will do the job.

11. Irish Setter

what is the friendliest dog breed
GroupSporting
Dog’s Size25″ to 27″
Weight60 to 70 pounds
Fur and ColorLong silky fur; chestnut, red, mahogany
Lifespan12 to 15 years 

One look at the Irish Setter, and you’ll think regal. One dose of its personality, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how spunky Irish Setters can be.

Irish Setters love everyone: other people, children, dogs, other pets, you name it, which makes them highly coveted for their adaptability and friendly nature. If you own an Irish Setter, one thing you’ll notice quite quickly about this loyal breed is that it’s a very energetic breed that needs quite a bit of exercise, so it fits in very well with active dog owners.

If you don’t give Irish Setters the appropriate amount of activity or attention, they can become very destructive and loud.

12. Boxer

most friendly dog
GroupWorking
Dog’s Size22″ to 25″
Weight50 to 80 pounds
Fur and Colorshort, smooth coat; fawn, white, brindle, may have white markings
Lifespan10 to 12 years

If you want a goofy pooch that will always make you laugh, the Boxer dog definitely fits the bill. Boxers are very social dogs who are always commanding attention, and they’re very good at getting it — ignore at your peril.

The Boxer is a playful dog that loves to jump on people because it gets so excited to make new friends; it just has to say hi. Training is necessary to curb this behavior, as well as barking, something that Boxers love to do.

Boxers also require a lot of exercise and love to play with children, so if you have a big backyard, a game of fetch or a romp outside chasing the kids will satisfy your pup. The Boxer is a suitable pet as they make excellent family dogs.

13. Newfoundland

what is the friendliest dog
GroupWorking
Dog’s Size26″ to 28″
Weight100 to 150 pounds
Fur and ColorDouble, thick coat; black, brown, black and white, or gray
Lifespan9 to 10 years

Some people are deterred by Newfoundland’s size, but they really shouldn’t be. This pup is a gentle giant and has such affection for children that the breed is widely known as a nanny dog.

The Newfoundland is a very sweet, affectionate dog with a gentle nature that makes it hard for anyone to turn away. Plus, as a bonus, they don’t require a lot of exercise as they aren’t very active dogs.

Moderate exercise is enough to keep this pooch in shape. Training, however, is an essential part of raising one of these giants because they can knock someone over easily if they jump up

14. Border Collie

best temperament dogs
GroupHerding
Dog’s Size18″ to 22″
Weight30 to 55 pounds
Fur and ColorSmooth or rough coats; bicolor, tricolor, solid colors, sable, or merle
Lifespan10 to 17 years

The Border Collie is a herding dog that is well-known and revered for its work with livestock. Border Collies also make extremely great companions and love everyone they encounter, including children and other dogs.

Border Collies need mental and physical stimulation, and they will not be satisfied hanging at home all day on the couch. If you own a Border Collie, you’ll soon notice how it is eager to please and picks up tasks, including dog sports and tricks, very quickly due to its intelligence.

Be warned that this pup may nip at heels or ankles, but it’s not an aggressive behavior; it’s simply a peril of their innate need to herd.

15. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

best dog breeds
GroupHerding
Dog’s Size10″ to 12″
Weightup to 30 pounds
Fur and ColorDouble coat, medium length; fawn, red, or sable with white markings, or black and tan
Lifespan12 to 13 years

Quite possibly, the cutest on this list of friendly dog breeds is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Corgis are one of my favorite dogs as well because they’re just so loving and affectionate, and they want to share that with everyone they meet.

It’s so palpable, and their entire body wiggles when it greets you. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi was bred as a herding dog but also as a companion. Corgis love to cuddle up on your lap, but don’t let this fool you.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi can be very sprightly when it wants to be and will require a modicum of exercise to keep it happy. It also gets along well with other dogs.

Breeds That Are Not Recommended

There are some breeds that just don’t fall in line with being friendly to just anyone. For example, the Afghan Hound, Shar-Pei, Basenji, Akita, and Chow-Chow are affectionate and content enough with their families, but when they see strangers? Not so much.

These breeds tend to be aloof and standoffish with people they don’t know and need lots of ongoing socialization to maintain friendliness.

If you’re looking for a dog you can take everywhere and anywhere, like those on our friendliest dog breeds list, you might want to avoid these.

FAQs

What Breed Is the Kindest?

Hands down, Goldens will win this contest 9 out of 10 times. They are a gorgeous and free-spirited breed that simply wants to love everyone they come in contact with. Even if someone isn’t a dog person, the Golden can likely convert them — even if only for a few minutes.

What Dog Breed Is the Most Confident?

The most confident dog breed that I can think of isn’t on this list. It’s the German Shepherd, but if you want to stick to the pups listed above, the Poodle will stand out above the rest. Poodles are great family pets but thrive on being the center of attention as well. 

Which Is the Cutest Dog?

This is a rather subjective question because, in my opinion, all dogs are cute, no matter what they look like. On this list, if I had to pick one, it would be the Pembroke Welsh Corgi simply for its short, fluffy stature and its neverending tail-wagging, smiling disposition.

Wrap-up

When choosing a pup to join your home, even if it’s one of the friendliest dog breeds out there, you want to make sure you do your research. The pup should fit in with your lifestyle.

Active dog owners shouldn’t adopt a couch potato pooch and expect it to go jogging with them. Likewise, people who live sedentary lives shouldn’t adopt high-energy dog breeds and expect them to lounge about all the time. 

Christina Drury
Meet Christina Drury, a dedicated animal enthusiast, and proud pet parent. She has a deep-rooted affection for all creatures, and Christina has called the Buckeye State home for the past four years. As a seasoned writer, she possesses a versatile writing style that spans various niches, yet her heart truly belongs to animals. With her innate connection and expertise, Christina is committed to crafting engaging and insightful content for animal-related issues.

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