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Top 20+ Friendliest Dog Breeds

At A Glance

Most dogs are friendly-decades of domestication have ensured that. But like humans, every dog has a unique personality. And some breeds are more friendly than others. A dog’s personality also depends on how it was raised.

  • If a dog is trained and socialized early, it is more likely to adapt to its surroundings and be very friendly.
  • Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, and Pugs are some of the top friendliest dog breeds.

Last Updated on: September 29, 2023

All dogs are different, but some are just a little extra special when spreading joy and love.

Just like how humans grow and develop through their daily lives and experiences, dogs are shaped by their upbringing, too. Training and socialization play a significant role in molding a dog’s personality. A well-trained and socialized dog tends to be more open, confident, and comfortable in various situations.

Here are some of the friendliest dog breeds you will love:

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Golden Retriever

Originally bred as Scottish gundogs and game retrievers, Golden Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds worldwide. Goldens are quick to trust and are excellent for families with children.

This breed is also strong, highly trainable, obedient, and intelligent. They are often employed as search and rescue and therapy dogs. Ensure early training is needed to prevent the onset of troublesome behavior.

  • Height and weight: 21-24 inches, 55-75 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Friendly, Devoted
  • Colors: Dark Golden, Golden, Light Golden

Labrador Retriever

friendliest large dog breeds - labrador retriever

Labs are easy to train, adaptable to all lifestyles, and quite outgoing. Families love this breed because of how child-friendly and alert they are. They love their exercise time just as much as they love cuddling.

These energetic canines have a knack for tracking but sometimes get distracted. But with early obedience training, you can curb this behavior. A trained Lab rarely forgets its training, which is why they are so popular as search and rescue, bomb detection, and assistance dogs.

  • Height and weight: 21-25 inches, 55-80 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 11-13 years
  • Temperament: Active, Friendly, Outgoing
  • Colors: Black, Chocolate, Yellow


If the word “merry” describes one breed, it’s got to be the Beagle. One of the friendliest medium dog breeds, they are enthusiastic and easygoing. Many love this breed because of their human-like expressions and cheerful temperament. A Beagle trained with positive reinforcement, creativity, and lots of love becomes a companion for life.

Beagles have signature ticked black, tan, brown, and lemon markings. They are also strong and muscular for their size.

  • Height and weight: 13-15 inches, 20-30 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-15 years
  • Temperament: Curious, Friendly, Cheerful
  • Colors: Black Red & White, Blue Tan & White, Black & Tan, Black Tan & Bluetick, Black Tan & White, Black White & Tan, Brown & White, Brown White & Tan, Lemon & White, Tan & White, Red & White


Pugs were bred to be a companion dog to Chinese emperors. They get along well with people and other dogs and have a sassy side to them. These canines love their owners, are easy to train, and are fun-sized, making them ideal house dogs.

Pugs, because of their infamous pushed-up faces and snout, may have breathing problems. Sunny, scorching, and humid weather can worsen their respiratory health, so you should look out for that if you plan to get a Pug.

  • Height and weight: 10-13 inches, 14-18 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 13-15 years
  • Temperament: Charming, Loving, Mischievous
  • Colors: Black, Fawn

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This breed was officially named after King Charles II, who bred them. Cavaliers are among the friendliest toy dog breeds known for their regal looks and grace. They can run a course or huddle together on the couch for a quick cuddle-anything their master wants them to do.

Families and apartment dwellers love this breed because they are tiny, adaptable, and get along well with children and other dogs.

  • Height and weight: 12-13 inches, 13-18 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Gentle, Graceful
  • Colors: Blenheim, Black & Tan, Black & White, Ruby


bulldog running

Bulldogs’ wrinkled faces, muscular physiques, and broad heads make them stand out as one of the popular dog breeds.

Those who don’t know the breed well enough may find them intimidating, but Bulldogs are easygoing softies. They love cuddling with their owners and make excellent babysitters.

Like Pugs, Bulldogs have an undershot jaw and a pushed-up nose, making breathing in hot, humid weather challenging.

  • Height and weight: 14-15 inches, 40-50 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 8-10 years
  • Temperament: Friendly, Courageous, Calm
  • Colors: Fawn, Fawn & White, Fawn Brindle & White, Red, Red & White, Red Brindle, Red Brindle & White, White, Fawn & Brindle, Fallow

Boston Terrier

Known as the American Gentleman, Boston Terriers have distinct markings that make them look like they’re wearing tuxedos.

This breed was originally bred in Boston, so it’s no surprise they are suited for city life. They are kind, alert, mischievous, and love making new friends. Light to moderate exercise is enough to keep them fit.

  • Height and weight: 10-12 inches, 12-25 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 11-13 years
  • Temperament: Friendly, Intelligent, Amusing
  • Colors: Black & White, Black Brindle & White, Brindle & White, Seal & White, Seal Brindle & White

Poodle (Standard)

black standard poodle

Poodles are a very popular dog breed thanks to their soft, dense, hypoallergenic fur. There are three official varieties of Poodles: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. They differ in size, but other attributes are similar.

Poodles are some of the most intelligent dog breeds. They can take on any challenge, including making friends. Training them is also smooth sailing as they are people-oriented. Poodles are eager to please, and positive reinforcement encourages them to do better.

  • Height and weight: 15 inches and above, 40-70 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-18 years
  • Temperament: Active, Intelligent, Proud
  • Colors: Apricot, Black, Blue, Brown, Cream, Red, Silver, Silver Beige, White, Cafe Au Lait, Gray


Boxers are alert, friendly, and tough. Although their wrinkled face makes them look aloof, they are quite upbeat and adventurous.

These well-built dogs are great companions to children because they are extremely alert and protective. They also have tons of energy, so playtime is even more rewarding.

That said, these dogs need early socialization and training to refine these traits. Also, because Boxers are intelligent, repetitive training is a big no. Keep sessions creative to watch them ace training.

  • Height and weight: 21-25 inches, 65-80 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Active, Intelligent, Fun-Loving
  • Colors: Brindle, Fawn, White

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

cute corgi sitting in the grass

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are low-slung, with dense fur and a fluffy tail. These qualities have made them one of the most sought-after, cutest, friendliest dog breeds.

Corgis are intelligent, agile, and affectionate. They are eager to please, so training them is easy. They are also alert and have a loud bark-after all, they were originally bred to herd cattle.

  • Height and weight: 10-12 inches, 28-30 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-13 years
  • Temperament: Alert, Intelligent, Affectionate
  • Colors: Black & Tan, Fawn, Red, Sable

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs, fondly called Frenchies, have smooth, short coats, board heads, and short tails.

Frenchies have huge personalities. They are people-pleasers and will attempt to do anything you command. When they sense trouble, they act to protect their loved ones. Like all flat-faced breeds, Frenchies are prone to respiratory issues.

  • Height and weight: 11-13 inches, 28 pounds or less
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Playful, Intelligent, Adaptable
  • Colors: Brindle, Brindle & White, Cream, Fawn, Fawn & White, Fawn Brindle, White, White & Brindle, Fawn Brindle & White, White & Fawn

Irish Setter

beautiful irish setter

Irish Setters were initially bred to locate game birds because of their keen sense of smell. Even today, the breed is known for being efficient. These canine companions, with their thick, silky fur in shades of rich red, are alert and outgoing.

They love pleasing their owners and respond well to positive reinforcement. They do particularly well in agility training courses and excel in dog sports. Because they are built to be tough, they make for exceptional therapy and assistance dogs.

  • Height and weight: 25-27 inches, 60-70 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Temperament: Active, Sweet-Tempered, Playful
  • Colors: Chestnut, Mahogany, Red

Bichon Frise

If not for their bark, Bichon Frises are some of the friendliest small dog breeds that could easily be mistaken for a cloud or stuffed toy. These tiny dogs are the epitome of cute because of their build, fur, and personality.

Their hypoallergenic coat is thick and needs brushing regularly. They require little to moderate exercise to stay fit. And while they are easy to train, housebreaking them can prove troublesome.

Bichon Frises make friends with just about anyone and rarely exercise caution.

  • Height and weight: 9-12 inches, 12-18 pound
  • Life expectancy: 14-15 years
  • Temperament: Curious, Playful, Merry
  • Colors: White, White & Apricot, White & Buff, White & Cream

Shih Tzu

feeding shih tzu

Often called the Lion Dog because of their mane-like fur, Shih Tzus were bred to be companion dogs to emperors, and how they carry themselves proves that.

Shih Tzus need a lot of grooming. Their fur can cause eye irritation and infections if not trimmed regularly.

These friendly dogs require constant praise and a lot of love. If you find your Shih Tzus doing something undesirable, instead of reprimanding it, ignore it. Once it settles down, praise it and see what a difference that makes.

  • Height and weight: 9-11 inches, 9-16 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-18 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Playful, Outgoing
  • Colors: Silver, Red, Black, Black & White, Brindle, Brindle & White, Gold, Gold & White, Red & White, Silver & White, Blue, Blue & White, Liver, Liver & White


Ye Ancient Dogs of Malta have existed since the Bible was being written. They weigh next to nothing and have silky, soft fur, making them one of the friendliest dog breeds that don’t shed.

They adjust well to their surroundings and their owner’s lifestyles. They can ace agility courses and sit on your lap with just as much grace.

Naturally, their straight fur is high maintenance. It tangles easily, so gentle brushing is a must. Professional grooming is recommended.

  • Height and weight: 7-9 inches, 7 pounds or less
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Temperament: Gentle, Playful, Charming
  • Colors: White, White & Lemon, White & Tan


white and black newfoundland

Newfoundlands are soft and cuddly, one of the friendliest big dog breeds. These powerful dogs are muscular, strong, and heavy-boned but also gentle and patient. In fact, canine enthusiasts fondly call them “nanny dogs” because of how great they are with children.

These huge, friendly dogs are easy to train because they love to please their owners. They also trust easily, and being harsh with them will get you nowhere. Early training helps them adjust to their households.

  • Height and weight: 26-28 inches, 100-150 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 9-10 years
  • Temperament: Sweet-Tempered, Devoted, Patient
  • Colors: Black, Brown, Gray, White & Black, Beige, Black & Tan, White & Brown

Great Dane

Great Danes are large, agile, and lean-muscled. It’s no wonder these gentle giants are called the Apollo of Dogs.

They are one of the friendliest large dog breeds, but they can be a handful, especially for first-time dog owners. They need constant human touch, words of encouragement, and affection to be at their best behavior. Training will also help them control the sudden bouts of energy and excitement and prevent them from jumping on people.

This sweet canine’s size is enough to scare off intruders. However, they are also incredibly gentle, especially around children.

  • Height and weight: 28-32 inches, 110-175 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 7-10 years
  • Temperament: Sweet-Tempered, Devoted, Patient
  • Colors: Black, Black & White, Blue, Brindle, Fawn, Harlequin, Mantle, Merle, White, Silver

Yorkshire Terrier

cute yorkshire terrier

Terriers are feisty at heart, and Yorkies are no exception. Their size and hypoallergenic silky fur make them exceptionally cute. Early Victorian women kept them as lap and companion dogs, and the breed has held on to the status since then.

Yorkshire Terriers are brave, alert, and bossy. These canines are agile and can beat fitter dogs in competitions. They are also obedient and excel as therapy dogs.

  • Height and weight: 7-8 inches, 7 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 11-15 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Playful
  • Colors: Blue & Gold, Blue & Tan, Black & Tan, Black & Gold

Border Collie

The Usain Bolt of Dogs, Border Collies can be a handful for those who don’t have an active lifestyle. And their herd instincts aren’t just limited to cattle-they do it to humans, including children.

Collies are one of the top friendliest dog breeds, but they are reserved around strangers and don’t take commands from people they don’t consider their master. Early training can help strengthen this trait.

  • Height and weight: 18-22 inches, 30-55 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Temperament: Energetic, Intelligent, Affectionate
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Blue Merle, Red, Red Merle, Sable, White & Black, White & Blue Merle, White & Red, Lilac, Saddleback Sable, Sable Merle, Gold, Brindle, White & Blue, White & Red Merle, White Ticked


white havanese dog

Havanese are cheerful and social-they love meeting new people and accepting compliments. They are highly adaptable to all lifestyles, and their size makes them ideal for city life.

This breed has a knack for learning and they take their jobs seriously-both watchdog and lapdog duties alike.

  • Height and weight: 8-12 inches, 7-13 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 14-16 years
  • Temperament: Outgoing, Intelligent, Affectionate
  • Colors: White, Black, Black Brindle, Chocolate, Cream, Fawn, Gold, Gold Brindle, Gold Sable, Red, Red Sable, Red Brindle, Silver, Silver Brindle, Black & Tan, Black & Silver

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies became famous for winning sledding competitions. They are what you’d call sassy: they love to talk back and are energetic and mischievous. Since they are pack dogs, they do best among people and other animals; loneliness is their foe.

They are a very friendly dog breed, but it may not always be a good thing. They assume everyone who meets them is a companion, so having them as watchdogs is impractical.

  • Height and weight: 20-24 inches, 35-60 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Temperament: Outgoing, Loyal, Mischievous
  • Colors: Agouti & White, Black & White, Gray & White, Red & White, Sable & White, White, Brown & White, Black Tan & White, Black


pomeranian sitting on a rock

Pomeranians are vivacious dogs with a fox-like face, abundant fur, and compact size that is just adorable. But none of these factors stop it from challenging dogs ten times its size.

Needless to say, Poms are brave. They are also watchful and can be entrusted with children, as they are one of the most friendliest dog breeds. They require moderate exercise every day; lack of physical activity can lead to destructive behavior.

  • Height and weight: 6-7 inches, 3-7 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-16 years
  • Temperament: Curious, Lively, Bold
  • Colors: Blue Merle, Blue Sable, Black, Black & Tan, Blue, Blue & Tan, Chocolate, Chocolate & Tan, Cream, Cream Sable, Orange, Orange, Sable, Red, Red Sable, Beaver

German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherds are all-purpose working dogs in the truest sense. They are agile, strong, alert, graceful, and easy to train. They are also loyal, confident, and fearless. They will do anything to defend their loved ones if they sense danger. This quality also makes them ideal as watchdogs.

German Shepherds can be quite goofy with loved ones. They bond with their humans for life and thrive when they receive lots of praise.

  • Height and weight: 22-26 inches, 50-90 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 7-10 years
  • Temperament: Brave, Confident, Intelligent
  • Colors: Black, Black & Cream, Black & Red, Black & Silver, Black & Tan, Gray, Sable, White, Liver, Blue, Bi-Color

Bernese Mountain Dog

beautiful bernese mountain dog

Bred in Switzerland’s farms and pastures, the Bernese Mountain Dog is hardworking and powerful. Their striking, thick, and silky long coats make them look majestic. Their calm demeanor adds to the dignified aura they exude.

They are gentle and pleasant with everyone, especially children.

  • Height and weight: 23-28 inches, 70-115 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 7-10 years
  • Temperament: Sweet-Tempered, Calm, Strong
  • Colors: Black Rust & White, Black Tan & White

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is The Most Child-Friendly Dog Breed?

Golden Retrievers are the most child-friendly breed. They are sweet-tempered, watchful, and devoted to family members, making them excellent companions.

Labrador Retrievers and Newfoundlands are also wonderful with children because they are patient and calm. In fact, Newfoundlands are called “nanny dogs” by many canine enthusiasts.

What Dog Breed Is Overwhelmingly Cuddly?

Many consider Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Bichon Frise, Yorkshire Terriers, and Havanese cuddly. These dogs have soft fur and warm personalities.

Which is the Friendliest And Calmest Giant Breed?

Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Danes, and Newfoundlands are some of the calmest and friendliest giant breeds.

Note that no dog is born “calm” or “aloof.” Early training and socialization significantly impact their temperament and behavior.

What Is The Safest Dog Breed?

Labrador Retrievers are safe dog breeds. They are well-behaved, easy to train, and alert. It’s why they’re often employed as search-and-rescue and bomb-detection dogs.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Newfoundlands are also safe breeds because they are gentle and sweet-tempered.

What’s The Least Aggressive Dog?

Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are considered the least aggressive dog breeds. They make friends easily, are adaptable, and are extroverts. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newfoundlands, and Beagles are also friendly.

For all dogs, training is essential; no breed is naturally prone to extreme behaviors.



Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.