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15 Dog Breeds With the Best Personality: Facts & History

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

golden retriever dog walking on grass at the park

Dogs have individual personalities, but some breeds have a reputation for being friendlier and more playful than others. There are others that are known for being impish, boisterous, or exciting.

These breeds come with long hair, short hair, and all different sizes as well, so you’re sure to find one that’s ideally suited to your lifestyle. Here are the 15 dog breeds with the best personalities.


The 15 Dog Breeds With the Best Personality

1. Golden Retriever

golden retriever dog standing on grass
Photo Credit: Mohammad_Hamza7393, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 21–24 inches

A breed renowned for their good looks and exuberant personality, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds. Though bred for hunting and field work, the Golden Retriever has proven a versatile breed that excels at service work, search-and-rescue work, canine competitions, and as a loyal companion.

Golden Retrievers are extremely athletic and hardworking, but they balance that with a friendly, intelligent look and an eternal puppy-like personality.

2. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever dog standing on the lawn
Photo Credit: Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Lifespan: 11–13 years
Height: 21–24.5 inches

The Labrador Retriever was developed in the United Kingdom from fishing dogs that were imported from the Labrador region of Newfoundland. These dogs were bred as gundogs, but they are among the most popular dog breeds in America for competitions and companionships.

Though beautiful and athletic, the Lab is a friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited breed that offers tons of affection for their family members, including children, other dogs, and cats.

3. Border Collie

border collie dog standing on fallen leaves at the park
Photo Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 18–22 inches

A bright, hardworking breed, Border Collies originated in the UK as herding dogs. They’re known for their famous “herding eye” and remarkable agility, as well as the desire to work hard.

Though the Border Collie can be reserved with strangers, they are exuberant and fun-loving around family, friends, and other familiar people. Border Collies have extremely high energy levels, however, so they can be a bit much for some pet owners.

4. Beagle

beagle dog standing on grass
Photo Credit: Fran Vargas, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Height: 13–15 inches

The Beagle is a happy-go-lucky hunting dog that was developed in Great Britain as a pack hunter for fox hunting and other small game hunting. These dogs are often described as “merry” and loving, happy and companionable, and eager to please, making them desirable as a pet dog.

5. Chihuahua

chihuahua dog standing on bench at the park
Image Credit: Lesia Kapinosova, Shutterstock
Origin: Mexico
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Height: 5–8 inches

The Chihuahua is a tiny Mexican dog breed that has a massive personality. The national symbol of Mexico, Chihuahuas are one of the oldest dog breeds and a graceful dog with a terrier-like demeanor. There are different varieties of Chihuahuas with different shapes and coat types, but they all share loyalty, charm, and tenacity.

Chihuahuas are ideal city pets, but they can be a handful. Smart and strong-willed, Chihuahuas need positive but consistent training to avoid destructive behaviors.

6. Bulldog

bulldog standing in the garden
Image Credit: chettarin, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Height: 14–15 inches

The Bulldog is a well-muscled bruiser with a sour mug face but plenty of courage, tenacity, and loyalty. With loose skin, a furrowed brow, small ears, and an adorable underbite with thick chops, the Bulldog only looks like a rough dog.

In reality, the Bulldog is docile and easygoing in a way that may come off as laziness. These dogs enjoy short exercise sessions, such as brisk walks, to relieve energy. Because of their short snouts, they may struggle to breathe in hot and humid weather.

7. Poodle

black standard poodle dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Danica Chang, Shutterstock
Origin: France, Germany
Lifespan: 10–18 years
Height: Over 15 inches (Standard), 10–15 inches (Miniature), under 10 inches (Toy)

Whether Standard, Miniature, or Toy, the Poodle shares a friendly personality, a desire to please, and high intelligence. Standard Poodles were bred for hunting, but they’ve since proven themselves in the show ring and unusual jobs like circus work.

Poodles are extremely people-oriented and enjoy spending time with their owners. Fun, positive training methods get the best results out of a Poodle, no matter the size.

8. French Bulldog

black french bulldog puppy standing outdoor
Image Credit: Tatiana Katsai, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 11–13 inches

The French Bulldog is a companion dog that was developed in Paris from crossing Toy Bulldogs from England with Parisian ratters. Unlike some breeds, the French Bulldog’s unique, affectionate personality is reflected in their looks, namely the signature large bat ears and irresistible face.

Frenchies are happy dogs, quick to make friends with new people or animals. They’re highly adaptable, adjusting just as well to city or country life with singles, couples, or families.

9. Siberian Husky

siberian husky dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Sergey Lavrentev, Shutterstock
Origin: Siberia
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 20–23.5 inches

The Siberian Husky is a thick-coated, compact sled dog that was bred in Siberia to pull light loads over vast frozen expanses. These dogs are hardworking and energetic but have an innate friendliness that makes them great for the right owner.

As born pack dogs, Siberian Huskies are happy in families and tend to get along well with other dogs, though they have a high prey drive and may chase small animals.

10. Pomeranian

portrait of pomeranian dog standing
Image Credit: SubertT, Shutterstock
Origin: Pomerania region, Central Europe
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 6–7 inches

The Pomeranian is a historic companion to royalty. This breed was developed in the Pomerania region of Poland and Germany. Now, they’re one of the world’s most popular toy breeds with their diminutive size and big-dog personalities.

Pomeranians are active and easy to train, but they need regular activity and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

11. Papillon

papillon dog standing on sandy field
Image Credit: Kanyshev Andrey, Shutterstock
Origin: France, Belgium, Spain
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Height: 8–11 inches

The Papillon is yet another toy breed with a massive personality. Beautiful and athletic, the Papillon is a lovely companion dog with unique butterfly ears, a feature that gave them their name. They’re dainty and elegant yet quite robust.

Papillons are among the most versatile dogs and thrive in warm or cold climates, cities or the country, single owners and families. They’re happy to meet new people and spend time with their families.

12. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Imageman, Shutterstock
Origin: UK
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Height: 7–8 inches

The Yorkshire Terrier is an attractive and dainty dog, yet it has the distinctive traits of the terrier breeds. They were developed as ratters for mines and mills before becoming opulent lap dogs for royalty.

Despite their fancy looks, the Yorkie is a tenacious, feisty, brave, and often bossy dog. They adapt well to city life and enjoy lives as companions and alert watchdogs.

13. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

pembroke welsh corgi dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: Gorodisskij, Shutterstock
Origin: Pembrokeshire, Wales
Lifespan: 12–13 years
Height: 10–12 inches

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a strong, athletic cattle herding dog that originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. They are affectionate and companionable, yet independent, and love hard work.

Like other herding breeds, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is fearless, independent, and highly sensitive. They pair well with owners who can provide outlets for their bold personalities and need for activity.

14. Newfoundland

Newfoundland dog
Image Credit: Pandas, Shutterstock
Origin: Newfoundland, Canada
Lifespan: 9–10 years
Height: 26–28 inches

The Newfoundland is a large, powerful working dog that was developed in Newfoundland, Canada. These dogs excel at their jobs, but they’ve since earned a reputation as a companion dog and a patient and watchful family dog.

Despite their intimidating look, Newfies are sweet-tempered, trusting, and highly trainable.

15. Rottweiler

rottweiler dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Miroslav Cik, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 9–10 years
Height: 22–27 inches

The Rottweiler is a robust working dog that descended from the mastiff breeds used by Roman legions. They have confidence and courage, yet no serious aggression. Among family members, they can be playful and outright silly.

These dogs are self-assured, aloof, and protective, so they need strong owners who can manage their personalities.



These 15 breeds with the best personalities offer different traits, from tenacity to playfulness to happy-go-lucky demeanors. Keep in mind that these breed traits are part of the standard, but there’s no guarantee that all dogs of a certain breed will possess them. Ultimately, all dogs are individuals.

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Featured Image Credit: Burin P, Shutterstock

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