Top 12 Friendliest Dog Breeds
Dylan the Beagle (Photo: Dylan the Crazy Beagle / Instagram)
helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on April 03, 2019

If you’re thinking about bringing a dog home, you want to make sure it’s the right breed for you.

A friendly dog is a must for most families who have lots of visitors of all different ages.

When you think of a friendly dog breed, odds are the Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever come to mind.

These two breeds remain amongst the most popular dogs in the world with families. They’re patient nature make them an ideal fit for homes with young children.

Other dogs such as the King Cavalier King Charles Spaniel love nothing more than to spend time with their human companions. They’re affectionate and loving little dogs.

In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 friendliest dog breeds in the world.

12) Border Terrier

Not to be confused with the Border Collie, the Border Terrier is a member of the Terrier group that won’t grow to be more than 12 to 15 inches in size. They’ve earned a reputation for being cheerful and upbeat little dogs. The Border Terrier is a great option for those living in the city, but they do just as well in rural areas. The breed usually get along well with other dogs, while they make excellent companions for children (with parental supervision of course).

11) Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Universally loved around the world, the Golden Retriever is the third most popular dog breed in the United States. It’s easy to see why given these caring and intelligent dogs make excellent family pets. Considered to be an extremely friendly breed, the Golden Retriever is eager to please their owners and quick to learn basic obedience. Their bond with humans is unquestionable, highlighted by their work as guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs and much more. While some have a big responsibility in their day-to-day lives, Golden Retrievers like to play in the garden or yard as much as any other dog.

10) Beagle

Dylan the Beagle (Photo: Dylan the Crazy Beagle / Instagram)
Dylan the Beagle (Photo: Dylan the Crazy Beagle / Instagram)

With their trademark floppy ears, big brown almond-shaped eyes and beautiful markings, the Beagle has a friendly appearance. You’ll be delighted to learn that their personalities match their looks. Beagles are usually upbeat dogs that like to put smiles on the faces of their owners. This breed usually need to be kept on a leash or fenced in a secure area – but only because they’ve got a tendency to follow a scent and wander off. The AKC describes Beagles as lovable, happy and companionable dogs, which makes them “excellent family dogs”.

9) Labrador Retriever

Dog labrador retriever playing outside smile in green park (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Dog labrador retriever playing outside smile in green park (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Next up is another crowd pleaser – the Labrador Retriever. Ranked the most popular dog in America (out of 193 breeds), you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who’ll say a bad word against these dogs. Labradors are outgoing dogs that like to socialise with people in a wide variety of settings. Like the Golden Retriever, they’re no strangers to responsibility. While not the first blind eye dog in America (that was the German Shepherd), Labradors often work alongside people with disabilities to improve their quality of life. They like to socialise with other dogs, while these medium-sized pets create bonds with every family member.

8) Poodle

Poodle (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Poodle (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The second most intelligent dog in the world (only outsmarted by the Border Collie), Poodles make friendly and warm pets. They’re outgoing dog that like to meet with other four-legged friends at the dog park or on walks in cities and countryside. Their intelligence makes them easy to train, so they should do well with basic obedience commands and even more complicated tricks. They’re low-shedding and considered to be a good breed for those with an allergy to dogs.

7) Irish Setter

Graceful by appearance and graceful by nature, the Irish Setter are docile and friendly dogs. They crave the company of humans, so expect an Irish Setter shadow to follow you around the house. In fact, their personalities are sometimes described as “goofy”, bringing lots of giggles to the family home. They may be medium sized dog that you’d think on paper would make good guard dogs, but the Irish Setter isn’t cut out for this role given their friendly nature. Their size means they are a better fit for families with older children.

6) Boxer

Boxer (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Boxer (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Don’t be fooled by their name, the Boxer is a gentle breed of dog that quickly becomes attached to its family. They’ve got a reputation for being funny dogs – although you’ll be laughing at them, not with them! Boxers tend to be very patient, especially with children. Unlike the Irish Setter, these goofy dogs can be protective, particularly of the home and family members. Boxers love to receive attention from their owners, so you’ll need to devote some time each day to friendly interactions with this type of dog.

5) Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Ava the Corgi (Credit: @littlepnwpups)
Ava the Corgi (Credit: @littlepnwpups)

These diminutive little dogs are a firm favourite around the world. Popularised by British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the 18th most popular dog in the United States. They’ve got a friendly appearance with a big smile, erect ears and large brown eyes. The AKC describe these dogs as “affectionate and companionable without being needy”. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi enjoys play time with his fellow family members, but these dogs are relatively easy to train if you’re willing to be consistent and persistent.

4) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Pixel the Cavalier (Photo: @cavalierpixel / Instagram)
Pixel the Cavalier (Photo: @cavalierpixel / Instagram)

Considering to be one of the best lap dogs in the world, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can become quickly devoted to their human companion. Often likened to a shadow, they’ll potter around the house behind you as you do your daily chores. They’re outgoing dogs that love to meet new people, while they do well with other pets. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel likes to be centre of attention, while they like to give a lot of love to their human friends.

3) Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Bichon Frise (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Bichon Frise is often described as an ideal dog for first-time owners. The AKC claim that their considered one of the “great personalities” of the dog world. Why? Well, they’re very charming dogs that love to win over new people. Indeed, the Bichon Frise isn’t afraid to approach strangers, so if it wasn’t already apparent by their size, the breed won’t make good guard dogs! They’re upbeat dogs that like to put smiles on faces wherever they go.

2) Boston Terrier

Given the nickname “the American Gentleman”, the Boston Terrier is an easy going dog. They’ve got a friendly appearance and a friendly nature. Their big, warm brown eyes make them approachable-looking dogs. The Boston Terrier does well in urban environments, which explains why you’re likely to see a handful when walking around some of the world’s biggest cities.

1) Shih Tzu

These dainty-looking dogs don’t grow to more than a height of 10.5 inches. When properly groomed, this little breed can look staggeringly beautiful. They’re inviting brown eyes make them a firm favourite in the dog world. They love to show affection to their owners by sitting on their laps in front of television or at the coffee shop.