Top 10 Friendliest Dog Breeds

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington

When it comes to selecting the right dog for yourself and your family, there are a number of factors to consider. In addition to thinking about the size and exercise requirements for the dog, you also need to think about its temperament. If you have a family with small children, it is essential that you choose a patient, mild-mannered breed that will get along with children. While the temperament of individual dogs may vary, the dogs on our friendliest dog breeds are largely recognized for being sociable, and are always happy to make a new friend (especially if you have treats!). (Photo credit: Lilun/

Bulldog: Though the Bulldog may look a little rough with its wrinkled skin and heavy head, they are actually quite sweet. The biggest advantage of this breed as a family pet is the fact that they are sturdy – even the most rambunctious children will be unlikely to get a rise out of a Bulldog. (Photo credit: sabianmaggy/Flickr)

Beagle: The Beagle is a happy-go-lucky breed that loves to be around people and other dogs. This breed is energetic but friendly by nature which makes them a great choice as a pet. Beagles do tend to be a little nosy so proper training is required to prevent the development of problem behaviors, but you can rest assured that they will always be loving and affectionate. (Photo credit: Judd Hall/Flickr)

Golden Retriever: The Golden Retriever is largely recognized as one of the friendliest dog breeds out there due to their loving and gentle personalities. These dogs are not overly energetic but they do love to play and you can trust them to keep watch over your children. (Photo credit: Sonja Lovas/Flickr)

Collie: The Collie is largely known for its long, flowing coat, but it is also a great family breed. These dogs are well suited to large, active families because they have a great deal of energy to expend. Collies are intelligent and friendly – they also tend to react with patience when children climb on them or handle them roughly. (Photo credit: Hans-Joachim Schneider/

Labrador Retriever: The Labrador Retriever is a medium-sized breed that has consistently rated in the top 5 most popular dog breeds in the U.S. based on AKC registry statistics. In addition to being friendly and energetic, this breed is also very gentle and patient with children. When properly socialized and trained, Labrador Retrievers make great family pets. Just keep in mind that they require regular exercise and attention – if they become bored they may be prone to developing problem behaviors. (Photo credit: ots-photo/

Boxer: Though the Boxer is commonly used as a guard dog, they are actually friendly and gentle by nature. This breed craves human attention which makes them a great choice for families with children. Boxers are patient and spirited which makes them fun for children to play with, but they are also protective so you can be sure they will keep your kids safe. (Photo credit: ninare/Flickr)

Poodle: The poodle is largely considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds out there which means that they are responsive to training. This, combined with their gentle demeanor, makes them a great choice on our friendliest dog breeds list. Poodles are outgoing by nature, friendly with everyone they meet and gentle with children. As an added bonus, there are three different sizes to choose from: standard, miniature and toy. (Photo credit: Michael Porter/Flickr)

Newfoundland: The Newfoundland is a very large breed of dog known for its gentle nature and love for children. This breed is impossible not to fall in love with, with their loving nature and affectionate personalities. Newfoundlands may drool and shed a lot but you can be sure that they will always be a good friend – they are always willing to cuddle and will keep an eye on your children at all times. (Photo credit: Tracy Lee/Flickr)

Irish Setter: The Irish Setter is known for its long, dark red coat and for its endless energy. This breed is recommended for families with older children, especially active children who need a dog that will play with them. This breed has an outgoing, almost clown-like personality that lends itself well to being a family pet. (Photo credit: Reddogs/

German Shepherd: Though the German Shepherd dog is often used for police work, it is actually a gentle and patient breed which makes them a great choice for families. These dogs are highly intelligent and trainable – they also tend to be very easy going, not reacting if children climb all over them. Additionally, German Shepherds make good guard dogs. (Photo credit: Nneirda/

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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