Dog may be man’s best friend, but some dog breeds are friendlier than others. To find out which breeds are generally more sociable and affable, we scoured our dog breed profiles for those that tend to be affectionate, love people, get along with kids and other pets, and are friendly to strangers. Of course, it’s important to remember that dogs are individuals, so you can’t assume that every Labrador Retriever or Pug you come across will be besties with everyone he meets.
Without further ado here are the 13 dog breeds that rose to the top of the list.
1. Golden Retrievers — Goldens tend to love everyone. Everyone. If a burglar breaks into your home, she’ll probably greet him like she’s known him forever and give him a tour of your house. If you’re out on a walk, she’ll likely want to say hi to all the humans — and dogs — you pass. Of course, a Golden can sometimes be a little too friendly. Make sure you train and socialize her from an early age so she isn’t too rambunctious.
2. Pugs — Pugs are a true delight and can charm the socks off anyone. It’s hard to resist the Pug’s wrinkled face, huge eyes and curly tail, especially when they are combined with his winning personality. No wonder everyone wants to be his friend! But don’t fall too hard for the breed’s charms: Pugs can be especially good at convincing humans to give them lots of treats.
3. Greyhound — Sometimes you want a friend who will chill on the couch all day and watch reruns of reality shows without complaint. The Greyhound can be that kind of friend. Generally calm, quiet and affectionate, this 40-mile-per-hour couch potato can be content to snuggle with his favorite human after just a 20-minute walk.
4. Poodle– It’s time to get past the Poodle’s prissy reputation: This breed is anything but uptight. Known for her intelligence and sense of humor, the Poodle typically loves to be the center of attention and just wants to be your friend.
5. Labrador Retriever — There’s a reason the Labrador Retriever consistently lands the top spot as the AKC’s most popular dog breed: He tends to be outgoing, family friendly and versatile. Labs usually get along with just about everyone (especially if there’s a tennis ball involved) and are generally not aggressive toward people or other animals.
6. Bearded Collie — Expect to be greeted with a bounce and lots of kisses when you meet a Beardie. The generally affectionate and lively breed tends to get along with people and be friendly toward older kids and other pets. Beardies can be total clowns and should not be shy or aggressive.
7. Havanese — Typically clownish, funny and smart, the Havanese makes a great best buddy. When he’s not trying to make you laugh with his silly antics and tricks, he’s dreaming up his own games to play with you. He tends to enjoy spending time with humans and may not mind children, cats and other dogs. One downside to his gregarious nature is that he hates to be alone and will do anything for attention.
8. Bulldogs (pictured)– It’s a good thing Bulldogs are so laid-back and loving, because their adorable wrinkled faces and signature bow-legged gait tend to attract a lot of attention. They can be a great fit for families who want a relaxed and good-natured dog who may be able to tolerate kids and other pets.
9. Keeshonden — Keeshonden (that’s plural for Keeshond) tend to stick to their humans like Velcro. The often affectionate and social breed typically revels in attention and, despite his excellent watchdog abilities, tends to get along with strangers. That being said, the Keeshond is a barker. Without proper training, his noisiness can be a nuisance.
10. Boston Terrier – Typically friendly and easygoing, the Boston Terrier can be just as happy snuggling on the couch as playing in the yard — as long as he’s spending time with his family. He may just be the best kind of friend you can have: He’ll often do just about anything you want to do, he tends to get along with pretty much everyone, and he can have a great sense of humor. Plus, he looks like a million bucks in his tuxedoed coat.
11. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – Whether you’re a proud owner of (or total stranger to) a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, you’ll most likely be welcomed with the breed’s signature “hello” — the so-called Wheaten greeting. That means you’ll get a lot of bounces and twirls from your canine admirer. The breed’s exuberant nature is probably not well suited for families with small children, but with early and consistent training, you can curb her boisterous behaviors before they become a problem.
12. Beagle – Generally outgoing and personable, the Beagle loves to be part of a pack. His small size and usually happy disposition can make him great for families with children as well as active older couples. But remember: The key to the Beagle’s heart is his nose and stomach. The breed has a keen sense of smell and loves to eat, which can get him into trouble.
13. Saint Bernard — A faithful giant breed from the Swiss Alps, the Saint Bernard is generally a sweet and gentle dog who tends to get along with cats and other dogs and can be a great choice for families with older kids. Just be prepared when he comes in for a kiss — it’s going to be very slobbery.
More on Vetstreet.com:
- 10 Most-High Maintenance Dog Breeds
- 14 Common Dog Behavior Myths Decoded
- 5 “Drama Queen” Dog Breeds
By Laura Cross | vetstreet.com