Top 10 Friendliest Dog Breeds
Pablo the Labrador Pablo the Labrador

Top 10 Friendliest Dog Breeds

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Read time: 4 mins

23 Jan 2024

Dogs, often celebrated as man's best friend, come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Certain breeds stand out for their exceptional friendliness and affectionate nature, coupled with their charm and unwavering loyalty. Let's take a look at which popular breeds made the list. 

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are renowned for their friendly and outgoing nature. Their affable temperament makes them exceptional family pets and ideal companions for children. These intelligent dogs are quick learners and possess an innate desire to please their owners, making them highly trainable. Their friendly disposition extends to everyone they meet, earning them a reputation as one of the most approachable and sociable breeds. 


Labs thrive on human interaction and excel in various roles, from service dogs to search and rescue partners.

2. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers embody warmth and amiability. Their friendly and gentle nature, combined with an eagerness to please, makes them remarkable therapy animals. Their intelligence and willingness to learn ensure they adapt well to various environments, making them ideal family pets. Golden Retrievers are not just friendly but also incredibly patient, especially with children, cementing their position as one of the most beloved breeds worldwide.

3. Beagle

Beagles are small hounds with big personalities. Their cheerful disposition and merry nature make them irresistible companions. Known for their loyalty and sociable temperament, Beagles thrive in the company of both humans and other dogs. Their friendly demeanour, coupled with an inquisitive nature, makes them excellent pets for families seeking an energetic and affectionate canine companion.

4. Bulldog

Despite their muscular build, Bulldogs are affectionate and dependable companions. Their friendly and docile nature, coupled with a natural love for children, makes them great family pets. Bulldogs form strong bonds with their families and are known for their patience and gentle demeanour, making them particularly suitable for households seeking a loving and steadfast companion.

5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for their affectionate and gentle temperament. Their friendliness knows no bounds, as they thrive on human interaction and affection. These graceful dogs are well-suited for families due to their loving nature and adaptability to different living situations. Cavaliers possess an innate charm and a playful demeanour that make them beloved pets.

6. Poodle

Poodles, with their exceptional intelligence and friendly nature, have earned a reputation as one of the friendliest breeds. Their sociable disposition and eagerness to please make them adept at forming strong bonds with their human companions. Poodles excel in various canine activities and enjoy being a part of family life, thanks to their friendly and adaptable nature.

7. Boxer

Boxers are bundles of energy known for their exuberance and affectionate nature. Their playful antics and unwavering loyalty towards their families make them fantastic companions. Boxers thrive on social interaction and are often described as perpetual "puppies" due to their cheerful and friendly demeanour. Their enthusiastic approach to life endears them to families seeking an active and loving pet.

8. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter's striking appearance is matched only by its friendly and outgoing personality. These spirited dogs are known for their affectionate nature and love for human interaction. Their playful nature and boundless energy make them excellent companions for active families. Irish Setters are not just friendly but also highly intelligent, making them adaptable to various environments.

9. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise, with its cheerful and affectionate nature, captivates everyone it meets. These charming dogs thrive on companionship and are known for their joyful attitude towards life. Their friendly demeanour and adaptability to various living situations make them a popular choice for families seeking a loving and amiable pet.

10. Collie

Collies are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and friendly demeanour. Their gentle nature and unwavering devotion to their families make them exemplary companions. Renowned for their intelligence and eagerness to please, Collies excel in various roles, from family pets to therapy dogs. Their friendly and gentle disposition ensures they form deep bonds with their human companions.

What Makes a Dog Friendly?

Friendliness in dogs stems from a combination of innate traits, upbringing, socialisation, and experiences. Here are some key factors that contribute to a dog's friendliness.

Genetics and breed

Certain breeds are inherently more predisposed to friendliness due to their genetic makeup. Breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Beagles, for example, are known for their affable nature.

Socialisation

Early socialisation plays a crucial role in shaping a dog's behaviour. Exposing puppies to various people, animals, environments, and experiences during their critical developmental stages helps them become more confident and comfortable in different situations, contributing to their friendliness.

Positive reinforcement training

Training methods based on positive reinforcement, where good behaviour is rewarded, encourage friendly behaviour in dogs. This not only helps them learn commands but also fosters a positive attitude towards people and other animals.

Individual experiences

Positive interactions and experiences with humans and other animals reinforce friendly behaviour in dogs. Dogs that receive love, care, and attention from their owners and are exposed to positive social interactions tend to be more friendly towards people and other pets.