5 Friendliest Dog Breeds that Love People

beagle cavalier king charles spaniel golden retriever labrador retriever pug

What are the friendliest dog breeds? That’s a great question! Some dog breeds are friendlier than others. Just as some breeds are naturally friendlier, some breeds will be more likely to follow your lead in terms of how to regard and proceed with new people and strangers. On the other hand, there are breeds who […]

What are the friendliest dog breeds? That’s a great question! Some dog breeds are friendlier than others.

Just as some breeds are naturally friendlier, some breeds will be more likely to follow your lead in terms of how to regard and proceed with new people and strangers. On the other hand, there are breeds who will not look to you to find out how they should regard strangers. Instead, their protective instincts take over. Breeds that fit this example are the Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, and German Shepherd. The owners of these breeds will have to use firm commands to guide their dogs to behave as they would like. 

If you’re looking for a friendly dog breed who will follow your lead with a welcoming attitude towards strangers, new friends, and children, then Petland Texas has the friendliest dog breeds for you. Read on to discover the friendliest dog breeds for people who love meeting new people.

A man gives his yellow Labrador Retriever a high-five.


Anyone who has stared into the big, soulful eyes of a Labrador Retriever will tell you that this intuitive breed is all heart and ready to love. Labradors, which come in three colors—yellow, brown, and black—were originally bred for the purposes of being loving, gentle protectors to women who, due to culture, had to stay home with their children. These dogs took on the responsibility of watching out for bears, pumas, and other dangerous wildlife on the American frontier, warning their families to get inside if they smelled trouble on the wind. Soon Labradors worked with fishermen on ships, which contributed to this lovable breed migrating to England and Europe where it became a companion to hunters, helping them retrieve their game. 

Today, this friendly breed continues to enjoy keeping an eye out for danger as it focuses on being a trustworthy companion to its owner and family. The keen instincts of the Labrador Retriever cause this dog to regard all humans as friendly, unless the human demonstrates violence or the precursors to dangerous behavior; and yet this breed maintains healthy caution towards unusual wildlife. Meaning, if you take your Lab on a camping trip, he will be friendly towards the other campers you meet on the mountain and warn you with barks and growls if he smells a bear in the wilderness.   

Tip: The Friendliest Dog Breeds Are “Companion” Breeds

A young girl hugs her sweet Golden Retriever, one of the friendliest dog breeds known to man.


For decades, the Golden Retriever has been the #1 family dog breed, and this is due in large part to their high degree of friendliness. Golden Retrievers are happy dogs. Laid-back, cheerful, and always smiling, the Golden Retriever experiences joy in all moments, from fun family outings to quiet evenings in front of the fireplace. This content, never-complaining dog breed is both easy to please and eager to please you. Golden Retrievers are great with children of all ages, too, because they have no problem when children get close to them and touch them. That being said, parents should teach their children to respect the dog’s food bowl and never interfere with meal time. 

Golden Retrievers regard strangers, neighbors, and basically everyone as their friends. For this reason, Goldies make mostly terrible watch dogs, though they will defend their families and loved ones if necessary. Their friendly nature makes them an excellent dog breed choice for anyone who wants their dog to greet new people with kindness and warmth. This can be an especially good quality for families who live in suburban areas where their dog will encounter pedestrians, passersby, the mail man, neighbors, and other neighborhood figures, even the occasional trespassing child who wants to retrieve his ball and hasn’t yet learned it isn’t right to enter someone else’s property without permission. Unlike aggressive dog breeds who could harm a trespassing child, the Golden Retriever will call attention to the child with a few friendly barks to alert you that a new friend has arrived, and then make friends with the kid in hopes of playing with the ball.

A purebred Beagle dog licks a woman's face as they lie in the sunshine.


Beagles are a cheerful dog breed, and thanks to their small stature, they rarely intimate people. Beagles genuinely enjoy spending time with their owners and families, and they like meeting new people. They are relatively active and love playing fetch or going on long walks with their humans. They’re always up for playing and learning, and especially enjoy mentally stimulating games and tasks. A Beagle can be entertained all by himself with a good dog puzzle. This  fun and happy dog breed also likes to relax and snuggle with their owners at the end of the day. And for those of you with children, your Beagle will always have energy to play a good tug-of-war game with your kids. This loyal breed was developed to accompany hunters in packs, so beagles usually get along very well with other dogs. 

Beagles have been around since the 1400s, which makes them one of the oldest purebred dog breeds in existence today. As “hounds,” Beagles are naturally curious, which means they can easily get caught up when following an interesting scent. If you have a Beagle, you should always keep your fence and gate closed, and keep him on a leash when outside the house or yard. When you take your Beagle for walks and to the dog park, expect to make friends. You Beagle will not hesitate to stop and sniff other dogs on the sidewalk and play with dogs and people at the dog park. You can be certain that if you have friends over, you Beagle will be the life of the party!

Tip: The Friendliest Dog Breeds Come in All Different Shapes and Sizes

A beautiful woman hugs her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a companion pet that's one of the friendliest dog breeds available.


Among the gentlest, snuggliest dog breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is also known for its friendliness towards strangers, new people, and children. This is due in large part to the fact that this adorable breed originated to be companions to people enjoying a leisurely lifestyle. As companion animals, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves sitting and relaxing with their owners whether on the living room couch or under a shady umbrella while vacationing in the English countryside. This breed is guaranteed to regard all humans, domestic animals, and children as friends. Families with small children can trust the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to be gentle and patient with their little ones. 

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog breed is one of the top therapy dogs. This is because they are very calm, gentle, and intuitive, and will sit with their owners and comfort them. Though this breed is probably best known as a “lap dog,” Cavalier King Charles Spaniels actually belong to the “sporting dog” group, which should tell you something about their energy. This dog breed has a lot of energy, and when taken out for exercise, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will sprint, play, and discharge a tremendous amount of energy. This makes the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a versatile dog breed, one that will love to relax for long hours at home as well as go out for a run or game of fetch. 

Tip: The Friendliest Dog Breeds Have Flat Faces

A group of hipsters dote on a cute Pug, one of the friendliest dog breeds for city living.


If you want a super friendly dog that isn’t high energy like the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Beagle, or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, then consider the lovable Pug! Pugs are among the friendliest of all the friendly dog breeds, and thanks to their short legs, stocky physique, and flat faces, you Pug is not likely to give you a run for your money, though you will get your money’s worth in hugs, licks, and kisses. These smart, affectionate, and sometimes silly canines enjoy short play sessions and love to cuddle with their owners and families. They are social with strangers and other dogs, and get along great with children, as long as the kids aren’t too rough. 

As companion animals, Pugs need to spend the majority of their time with their owners and don’t necessarily do well emotionally if they’re left home alone. If you are home and you’re too busy to give your Pug attention, you could hurt his feelings, in fact. This can be avoided, however, if you let your Pug sit next to you while you work and otherwise include him in your household activities. While pugs don’t need a lot of exercise, they should get a daily walk and a play session to help keep their weight under control, as Pugs are known for packing on the pounds if they’re overfed and under walked.  


That wraps up Petland Texas’ recommendations for the 5 friendliest dog breeds. Our runners-up of the friendliest dog breeds that you might want to check out include:

Petland is among the most reputable names in the pet industry. Petland Texas, as well as other states across the nation and cities across the world, has numerous locations where you can meet our puppies up close and personal. If you’re near one of our Petland Texas locations, we invite you to stop in to meet our friendliest dog breeds. Our knowledgeable pet counselors can help you choose the best friendly dog breed for your family, lifestyle, and size of home. We hope you found this article informative, and from everyone at Petland Texas, we hope to see you soon!