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15 Friendliest Dog Breeds That Love People (With Pictures)

Codee Chessher

By Codee Chessher

Golden retriever licking a woman's face

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but some breeds are friendlier than others. Some individual pups might vary, but certain breeds are famous for their outgoing personalities. If you’re searching for an eager people-pleaser and not a reserved watchdog, you’re in the right place. Down below, we’ll be detailing all the most gregarious canine breeds out there.

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The 15 Friendliest Dog Breeds That Love People

1. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever dogs lying on floor
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock
Weight: 65–75 pounds
Lifespan: 10–12 years

Renowned for their shaggy golden coat and famously personable temperament, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular family dog breeds out there. Goldens are naturally friendly toward everyone and love following you around inserting themselves into everything you do. They’re natural athletes that love to swim, play fetch, or roughhouse with other dogs and humans.

2. Labrador Retriever

chocolate labrador retriever dog in the parking lot
Image Credit: Vika Dubrovskaya, Shutterstock
Weight: 55–80 pounds
Lifespan: 10–12 years

Labradors are another of the most amicable dog breeds, with a long history of being a companion breed. They’re devoted and more attached to their family than Goldens, but still an extroverted people-lover by nature. There’s a really good reason why they were the most popular breed in the US for three decades running! Labs have one of the largest color palettes out of any dog breed, so you’ll have no trouble finding a Lab you’ll fall in love with.

3. Pug

Happy pug puppy on lap
Image Credit: wriemis, Shutterstock
Weight: 14–22 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

Best known for their photogenic social media antics, the Pug is known as a Velcro dog that follows you at your heels like a drooly shadow. They were literally bred to be lap dogs for ancient Chinese royalty, but you don’t have to be an emperor to welcome an exuberant, drooling Pug into your life today. Pugs prefer to hang out inside and fare poorly in extreme heat or with long bouts of exercise, but they love playing outside in moderation.

4. Beagle

Kerry Beagle dog laying down
Image Credit: DannyWalsh, Shutterstock
Weight: 20–30 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

Beagles are one of the most infectiously cheerful dogs you can own, and they’re a joy to be around. Beagles are natural pack dogs, meaning they naturally carve out their own niche in any household. Their small size and good-natured personalities make them ideal companions for kids.

5. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier and puppy
Image Credit: Akifyeva S, Shutterstock
Weight: 15–25 pounds
Lifespan: 13–15 years

The Boston Terrier is another small dog with a big personality, and they don’t have a mean bone in their goofy little bodies. Most of them have a clownish character, but some Boston Terriers are more reserved than others. They’re extremely loving dogs who do well with kids, dogs, and most cats, but they can get a smidge rough during their boisterous antics.

6. Poodle

Café au Lait Poodle
Image Credit: xkunclova, Shutterstock
Weight: 40–70 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

The whip-smart Poodle is a water-loving dog with an inquisitive outgoingness that makes them great dogs for active families. They pick up obedience training quickly and love to be involved in anything you do but need a lot of socialization to overcome their innate shyness. As a bonus, Poodles come in all sizes to suit any household.

7. Corgi

jindo corgi mixed breed dog standing on rock
Image Credit: Electric Sheep Media, Shutterstock
Weight: 22–30 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

The happy-go-lucky Corgi was favored by Queen Elizabeth II, and she owned more than 30 in her long life. They’re world-class herding dogs with a distinctly chipper personality that makes them great dogs for families with kids. For such a small dog, Corgis are known for having a big dog’s bark, so they make fair watchdogs too.

8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

two hungry cavalier king charles spaniel behind the table
Image Credit: Fotyma, Shutterstock
Weight: 10–18 pounds
Lifespan: 9–14 years

Cavaliers are one of the largest toy breeds, bred to be lap dogs to royalty but with a down-to-earth, whimsical charm. They’re not nearly as snobbish as their name implies, and Cavaliers are happy to frolic in the yard to curl up by your side on a chilly day. These spunky little spaniels are glad to match your energy, making them endlessly adaptable family companions.

9. Boxer

close up of boxer dog
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock
Weight: 50–80 pounds
Lifespan: 11–13 years

Boxers were originally a hunting breed in central Europe where they helped run down big game like boars and deer. Later on, they smoothly shifted gears to a career in law enforcement, and many know them by their trademark “boxing” move where they stand on their hind legs. Today, they’re one of the most devoted, friendly big dogs, and their short and smooth coat is easy to care for as well.

10. Bichon Frise

Teacup Bichon Frise sitting on wood pile
Image Credit: Debra Anderson, Shutterstock
Weight: 7–12 pounds
Lifespan: 14–16 years

Bichon Frises have a sweet, gentle personality and get along great with kids, dogs, and even most cats. This densely curly little ball of cheer is actually a water dog from Spain, but their current name comes from their reputation as lap dogs in France. Today, Bichons are a sensitive, merry addition to any home with or without kids or other pets.

11. St. Bernard

st. bernard dog resting in the grass
Image Credit: Kev Gregory, Shutterstock
Weight: 100–180 pounds
Lifespan: 8–10 years

Popularized by the movie Beethoven, the cold-loving St. Bernard made their bones as a rescue dog for an important Alpine pass but today enjoys a reputation as a gentle giant and nanny dog. Saints are remarkably tolerant toward children and other dogs but tend to be indifferent toward cats. Their signature droopy, shaggy coat endears them to almost everyone they meet.

12. Border Collie

Tri-Color Border Collie
Image Credit: Lichtflut, Shutterstock
Weight: 30–45 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

Border Collies are thought to be one of the smartest dogs in the world, and they’re certainly one of the friendliest too. Collies are exceptionally motivated dogs that do best in active households, ideally with a secure yard due to their Houdini reputation. Border Collies do well with children when socialized from a young age but have been known to nip at young kids because of their innate herding instincts.

13. Papillon

papillon jump
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock
Weight: 7–10 pounds
Lifespan: 14–16 years

Papillons or Paps, as their devotees call them, are one of the more unique-looking dogs, and you might recognize them by their delicate ear fringes of fur which resemble butterflies. These dogs have a deceptively larger-than-life personality that leads them on all sorts of adventures, though they definitely love spending lots of time with their families too.

14. Shih Tzu

Blue_Gray Shih Tzu
Image Credit: Mike Workman, Shutterstock
Weight: 9–16 pounds
Lifespan: 12–16 years

Adored by ancient Chinese royalty and dubbed the “little lion,” Shih Tzus were bred first and foremost as amiable companion dogs with silky coats. Shih Tzus are very perky and affectionate, but they can get very attached to their families. Don’t worry, they warm up fast to strangers. They’re pretty long-lived but expect to spend plenty of time brushing their coats or going to the groomer to keep their high-maintenance coats in presentable shape.

15. Newfoundland

Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock
Weight: 100–150 pounds
Lifespan: 8–10 years

Lovingly called Newfies by their fans, Newfoundlands are a huge, shaggy brute of a dog that also earns the title of being a gentle giant. They were first bred as rescue and fishing dogs because of their immense stamina and strength, but they’re great family dogs if you’re willing to occupy them with lots of play or walks. Newfies tend to have a more laid back, chill optimism than other in-your-face hyper breeds.

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If you’re searching for an upbeat people-loving dog to join your family, there’s no shortage of options listed above. The Golden Retriever is a classic choice with a sunny disposition, but explore the breeds above to get started finding the perfect breed for your home.

Featured Image Credit: Blue Bird, Pexels

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