10 Top Friendliest Dog Breeds

Golden Retriever looking up at camera and smiling.

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Ever notice that some dog breeds just seem inherently friendly? A dog’s temperament depends on a lot, including his personality and background, but some dogs just seem to have friendliness in their genes.

Dogs are friendly animals. After all, evolutionarily it has been in their best interest to woo us humans and have us take them in as our own. (As you could probably guess, wolves don’t have quite the same tendencies when it comes to things like tail wagging and face kisses.) And while it’s generally recommended that when you’re ready to adopt you find a dog who clicks with you—rather than just looking for a dog of a certain breed—it can help to know what the friendliest dog breeds are and who’s most likely to snuggle up next to you at the end of the day.

So who are these super friendly pups? Here are 10 of the friendliest breeds to ever call themselves (wo)man’s best friend. 

  • 01 of 10

    Welsh Corgis

    Corgi in collar sitting on bench outside and smiling at camera.

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    In addition to their spectacularly stumpy lil’ legs, Corgis are known for being highly sociable, highly playful dogs who love spending time with their humans. Corgis were bred to be at attention, which perhaps explains why they’re always so interested in engaging. You won’t find a major difference in temperament between Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Pembroke Welsh Corgis—both off-shoots of the general Welsh Corgi breed are usually more than glad to hang out, cuddle with, and love on their humans. 

  • 02 of 10

    Labrador Retrievers

    Brown Labrador Retriever running through sprinkler.

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    If you looked up “friendly dog” in the encyclopedia, chances are you’d see a picture of a smiling Lab looking back at you. With their warm eyes and cheerful grins, Labrador Retrievers are well known for their friendliness, a quality that has made them immensely popular as pets, particularly in families with children. Labs were bred as companions—first to fishermen (hence their love of the water) and then to hunters. They adore being around their people, and have a sweet, laid back nature that can melt even the hardest of hearts. 

  • 03 of 10

    Golden Retrievers

    Golden Retriever smiling at camera.

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    Similar to Labrador Retrievers, pretty much any Golden Retriever that you meet is going to be affable toward humans. From puppyhood, Goldens exude friendliness both in temperament and in the ways that they engage with people and other animals. Part of this comes down to confidence—Golden Retrievers tend to have a cheery outlook that helps them navigate the world with ease. And because they’re comfortable in a wide range of environments, they’re easy to be around. Plus, a Golden is almost always willing to sit around for pets and attention for as long as their person is willing to provide it. 

  • 04 of 10

    Boston Terriers

    Brown and white Boston Terrier in grass looking up at camera smiling.

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    Who can resist that grin? Boston Terriers are intelligent, playful, and all around loving dogs with a silly streak, and they’ve parlayed these qualities into becoming a highly popular breed for families. Bostons love to make new friends, and for the most part, they’ll never say no to play time. They also have a tendency to be very adaptable, meaning they’re relaxed and at ease in most situations. And if that isn’t enough, that goofy smile will definitely get you. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Irish Setters

    Irish Setter sitting on sidewalk near grass and purple flowers.

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    Loving? Check. Charming? You bet. Irish Setters are an incredibly friendly breed, with easy-going attitudes that many dog lovers find appealing. They also have a mischievous streak that can be rather delightful, driven primarily by their intelligence and perceptiveness. If their energy gets pent up however, Irish Setters have no trouble putting that mischievous streak to use in not-so-good ways. Keep your Irish Setter well exercised and you’ll get all of the personality benefits of this genial breed without having to worry about getting your shoes chewed up.

  • 06 of 10

    Beagles

    Beagle on a leash outside smiling up at camera.

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    Beagles are a carefree breed that truly enjoys spending time around people. Similar to Irish Setters, they require a lot of exercise to be at their best, but if long walks and endless games of fetch are your thing then you are certainly in luck. Beagles are irresistibly cheerful, and their expressive eyes mean that they relay their friendly sentiments quite readily. They’re always down to have some fun, and will pay you back in dividends for the attention with all of the snuggles and nuzzles you could possibly want. 

  • 07 of 10

    Border Collies

    Black and white Border Collie smiling near the beach.

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    Border Collies aim to please. As such, they are constantly looking for ways to impress their humans, whether that mean excelling at sports like agility and flyball or being a perfectly friendly family pet (or both!). Like all breeds, temperaments vary from dog to dog, but Border Collies are overwhelmingly recognized for their affinities toward people. To maximize a Border Collies’ friendly qualities and minimize those innate herding instincts that could cause some trouble, be sure to engage in proper training with your Collie and give her plenty of outlets for expending mental and physical energy. 

  • 08 of 10

    Boxers

    Boxer smiling in front of brick wall.

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    Boxers are total suckers for attention, and they’ll take it wherever they can get it. You don’t have to spend long with a Boxer to notice how silly they are, or that their eyes get wide at the prospect of some extra love or TLC. These friendly traits are a nice complement to their appearance—think that large dog with the big muzzle is going to be tough? Think again! Boxers want to be social, and the more positive attention you give them, the more you’ll get back. For this reason, Boxers make excellent pets for families with children, and can often be found watching over their tiny human companions. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Staffordshire Bull Terriers

    White and brown Staffordshire Bull Terrier surrounded by fall leaves with big smile.

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    Staffordshire Bull Terriers, a breed also referred to under the umbrella of “Pit Bulls” or “bully breeds,” have mammoth smiles that instantly give away their sincerely sweet personalities. The breed is intensely loyal to their humans, which is, unfortunately, why some are trained to fight. But many Staffordshire Bull Terriers who have been hurt by humans are eager to love and trust, and they’ll win you over almost immediately with their charm. 

  • 10 of 10

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    Cavalier King Charlies Spaniel standing on top of rock smiling.

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    Different dogs have been bred for different things. And when it comes to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, it seems that their main purpose throughout time has simply been to serve as companions to their humans, providing a furry shoulder to lean on and always ready to interact. This breed truly loves people, so they demand a fair amount of attention. But with a face that cute, it’s easy to accommodate.