What are the Friendliest Dog Breeds to Bring Home to Your Family?

Last Updated on April 22, 2023

There is a reason why dogs are labeled as “man’s best friend.” Doggos are goofy, friendly, loyal, and affectionate.

However, some dog breeds might be a touch friendlier than others. If you’re looking to bring home a loveable pooch to your family, then we’ve compiled a list of the friendliest dog breeds.

Golden retriever dog running outdoor

Keep reading to learn more about these adorable dog breeds!

Top 20 Most Friendly Dog Breeds

Dogs are generally happy and friendly. However, some breeds naturally get along with other dogs and people, while others need early socialization and training.

So, which dog breed has the best temperament? Let’s take a look at some of the friendliest dog breeds.

Small Friendly Dog Breeds

If you live in an apartment or prefer a small dog, let’s look at the most gentle small dog breeds that are people friendly.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Tongue's out Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog
Source: @nicesphere / IG

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is certainly a lovebug. This pooch doesn’t like to be left alone and enjoys being with their family at all times. They make a great companion dog. They’re loyal, friendly, and sweet.

2. Beagle

Beagles wearing bandana
Source: @miss_bagelandnutellathebeagles / IG

The Beagle is an overall happy and friendly pup. They’ll love spending time with their family members. They enjoy lots of cuddles and snuggles.

This hound can be energetic and will enjoy long walks or playing fetch with their favorite humans. 

3. Boston Terrier

A big mouth Boston Terrier dog
Source: @bodhixdrako / IG

Boston Terriers enjoy making new friends. This pooch is affectionate, silly, and always up for a play session. They are adaptive and will get along with anyone, making them a great family pet. 

4. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi sitting on pavement
Source: @bentley.decorgi / IG

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of the friendliest dog breeds because they’re highly affectionate, loyal, and playful. They enjoy being around their favorite humans. This pooch makes for a great companion and guard dog. 

5. Pug

Pug dog sitting on the grass with wild flowers
Source: @buddy_pug / IG

Pugs are friendly dog breeds that will get along with just about anyone. They’re loyal to their family, but they’ll also get along with other dogs and even strangers.

They love to be the center of attention, thriving on human interaction. Unfortunately, because of this, they’re prone to separation anxiety when home alone for too long.

6. Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu dog running fast
Source: @mottaeltravieso / IG

The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed with a big personality. They’re independent and can be stubborn, but they’re friendly and playful.

This pooch is incredibly loyal and will make an excellent family dog. They love to be around people.

7. Havanese

Havanese dog waiting for snacks
Source: @homeroschulman / IG

The Havanese is a sociable lap dog that’s loyal and family-oriented. This pooch is playful, good with children, other dogs, and even cats. They’ll get attached to one human and make great companion dogs.

In addition, they’re silly and will always try to make you laugh.

Medium-Sized Friendly Dog Breeds

Next, let’s take a closer look at medium-sized dog breeds that will make a great family pet.

8. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen dog portrait
Source: @mamaslittleluna / IG

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen enjoys people. They’re enthusiastic and good-natured pups. This pooch is friendly with kids to other dogs, cats, pets, and even strangers.

9. Standard Poodle

Standard Poodle sitting in a beautiful flowers background
Standard Poodle sitting in a beautiful flower garden background

Standard Poodles are athletic, eager to please, and love to play. They’re goofy but one of the most intelligent dog breeds. This makes them easier to train and quick to learn.

Poodles are not aggressive pups, but they can be protective of their family.

10. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Two Staffordshire Bull Terriers enjoying the beach
Source: @lykka_enzo_staffies / IG

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are incredibly sweet. They’re loyal to their humans, including small children in the family. However, they might not be as friendly to other dogs. This is why early socialization and training are a must. 

11. Border Collie

Border Collie dog looking up
Source: @po_theborder / IG

The Border Collie is another friendly dog breed. This is a herding dog that will certainly keep an eye on their family. They’re also eager to please and will excel in dog sports such as agility and obedience training. 

12. English Bulldog

English Bulldog on top of the beach lounge chair
Source: @iva_grof_bulldog_ / IG

English Bulldogs are excellent family pets. They’re friendly, getting along with everyone in the house. This includes small children, other dogs, pets, and cats in the house.

This doggo is even friendly with strangers, though they might be a bit timid at first.

13. Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie dog portrait
Source: @theo_herrmann_dietrich / IG

The Bearded Collie is active and intelligent. They are not aggressive in the slightest, so they won’t make a great watchdog. They have bubbly personalities, making a great playmate for young children.

14. Vizsla

Vizsla dog sitting on the walkway
Source: @izziethevizsla / IG

This sensitive dog breed is pretty loving and affectionate. Vizslas are friendly with family members and will get along great with children. This pooch will be a perfect playmate for young children. 

Large and Giant Friendly Dog Breeds

Finally, here are some of the friendliest large dog breeds, also known as gentle giants.

15. Boxer

Boxer dog selfie on beach
Source: @barneytheboxeruk / IG

The Boxer is part of the working dog group, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). They love attention, are sociable, and are great with small children.

They’ll make excellent family dogs but will need some training to help curb their excitement. 

16. Golden Retriever

Gorgeous Golden Retriever dog portrait
Source: @hanarin8686 / IG

Golden Retrievers are confident and cheery, making them a popular dog breed that fits in with any family. They’re great with kids and humans alike.

This dog breed has an overall friendly nature, and they are loyal and obedient to their family members.

17. Irish Setter

Irish Setter laying down outside
Source: @ladymae_theirishsetter / IG

Dog owners will need to give the Irish Setter regular exercise as they have high energy levels. Otherwise, this hunting dog is carefree, funny, and will make a great family dog.

This active pup will enjoy plenty of playtime and hanging out with their family.

18. Labrador Retriever

Happy Yellow Labrador Retriever laying on the backyard
Source: @bigboyozzie / IG

The Labrador Retriever was bred to be a companion dog. They’re friendly with just about anyone and everyone, making them an awesome family dog.

This doggo is sweet and carefree, although they do have high energy. They’ll love running and playing with you in a fenced-in yard.

19. Newfoundland

Solid black Newfoundland dog portrait
Source: @thenewfports / IG

The Newfoundland is a gentle giant working dog. Also known as the “nanny dog,” this doggo is sweet and patient, making them great with kids.

They’re loyal, sociable, and trainable as well. They don’t require too much exercise but will enjoy a nice, long walk once in a while.

20. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard dog relaxing on the backyard
Source: @rasthebernard / IG

Saint Bernards are an overall friendly dog breed. They’ll get along with their family, strangers, other dogs, cats, and small animals in the house.

They are not aggressive but will need early socialization and training. However, they don’t like being left alone for long and won’t bark too much.

Runner’s Up: Other Friendly Dog Breeds to Consider

Lovely Samoyed dog
Source: @ava_thesamoyed / IG

If none of those dog breeds tickle your fancy, don’t worry. There are plenty of other purebreds and even friendly crossbreeds.

Friendly Purebreds

  • Bichon Frise
  • Brittany
  • Collie
  • Coton de Tulear
  • English Setter
  • Flat-Coated Retriever
  • Greyhound
  • Keeshond
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
  • Papillon
  • Samoyed
  • Siberian Husky
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Whippet

Friendly Mixed Breeds

  • Cavapoo
  • Cockapoo
  • Goldador
  • Labradoodle

Frequently Asked Questions

Border Collie in the middle of the flower garden
Source: @duncc.boy / IG

Should you invest time in training your dog?

A dog’s personality and temperament can be affected by the environment they’re in. This is why investing time in training your dog and socializing them early is essential.

There are many other dog breeds out there looking for a forever home. Some may not be labeled as “friendly,” such as the ones on this list.

However, they can be just as loyal, loving, and affectionate as these breeds with proper training.

Training never stops, and there’s always something for your pooch to learn, but this is why their first year is important.

Puppies should learn from a young age since this is the time they have their significant milestones throughout their life.

How to pick the right friendly dog for you?

Not all dog breeds are suitable for every family, even the friendly breeds. So, when choosing the right friendly dog breed for you and your family, there are a few things to consider.

First, figure out why you want a dog in the first place. Are you looking for a companion to go on hikes and jogs with you? Or do you want a cuddly friend to curl up and lounge on the couch with?

If you have allergies, then it will probably be best to look for a hypoallergenic dog breed. This means they won’t shed their coat as much, lessening your allergies.

You’ll also want to consider where you live and who is in your household. For example, not all dogs can adapt to apartment living and prefer a large, fenced-in backyard.

In addition, not all dogs are friendly with young children, seniors, other dogs, cats, or other pets. 

Finally, take into account how much time you have to invest in your pup. For example, are you at work all day so they’ll be home alone a lot? Or are you able to be home most of the time to keep your pooch company?

Different breeds have different needs, so when choosing the right dog for you and your family, be sure to do your research.

Which Friendly Dog Breed is Right for Your Family?

Two Golden Retrievers playing together
Source: @edgar_the_golden_retriever / IG

There are many friendly dog breeds. Most of them are great with young children, other dogs, cats, small animals, and even strangers.

Some of the friendliest dogs have quirky personalities that are goofy, silly, and thrive on human attention.

These dog breeds are loyal, affectionate, and loving to everyone in their family. However, every dog is different, and they’ll need early socialization and training to be as friendly and accepting as possible.

You won’t regret bringing home one of these beloved canine companions.

Is your furry friend at home friendly with others? Let us know in the comments below!

Further reading: Other Best Dog Breeds to Bring Home

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