There can be few things more pleasing to the dog lover than meeting a new canine for the first time that appears to be absolutely delighted to make your acquaintance! There is something infinitely rewarding in greeting a dog that lets it be known that they think that you too are awesome, and something very validating in the enthusiastic greetings of a friendly dog. As dog owners, we all know that our dogs love and value us, however enthusiastically or otherwise they demonstrate this, but again, some dogs are simply more demonstrative about this than others.
Happy, secure and outgoing canines tend to be both much more social with other people (and dogs) than their quieter cousins, and are often more demonstrative and affectionate with their owners as well. While every dog is of course different, and both nature and nurture play a strong part in the personality and sociability of any given dog, nevertheless, there are several dog breeds that are strongly associated with social, friendly and affectionate behaviour, both with new people that they are meeting for the first time and with the members of their families.
If you are wondering what some of the most social, affectionate and friendly dog breeds are, read on for our pick of ten of the best, in no particular order!
The Springer Spaniel (and in fact, most breeds of spaniel) is a bouncy, energetic and fun-loving dog that just loves to be around other people and dogs. As well as forming strong bonds with their own families, the Springer Spaniel is usually more than keen to meet new people, and make friends with anyone who might be willing to give them a hug or throw their ball for them! The Springer Spaniel also actively enjoys the company of children, and is gentle, kind and patient.
The way to the Labrador’s heart might be through their stomachs, but the Labrador isn’t all about the cupboard love! While sharing a tasty treat with a Lab will usually garner you a friend for life, the Labrador is equally happy socialising with anybody who is polite enough to show an interest in them and give them a scratch behind the ears. Laid back, eminently social and usually highly tolerant of other dogs, the Labrador is rarely seen without their tail wagging!
Collies of all types are highly energetic, active dogs who like to run and run and run! While it is probably fair to say that the Collie’s first love is exercise, people come a very close second, and if you happen to be the person providing the exercise, you will make a firm friend! The Collie is very affectionate, and usually happy to play with anyone who is happy to play with them. They get on very well with children, and are usually keen to share their toys... or show willing to share other people’s!
The Golden Retriever is one of the kindest, most personable dogs around, with a genuine love of people of all ages and a calm, laid back temperament. The intelligence and general willingness to please of the Golden Retriever makes them a perfect choice of dog for assistance work, such as helping people with visual or hearing impairments to lead independent lives. They are infinitely keen to please, love people, and are highly affectionate.
The noble Staffy is an intelligent, kind natured dog that enjoys the company of people of all ages. When they are properly socialised, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is usually keen to get involved in play and games with other dogs, and equally happy around children or adults. Staffordshire Bull Terriers bond strongly with their families, and make loyal, affectionate lifelong pets.
The Greyhound is an infinitely adaptable and affectionate dog, and every year, ex racing greyhounds make the transition from kennelled working dogs to much-loved family pets with delight. The Greyhound is laid back, calm, incredibly even tempered and always keen to snuggle up on the sofa with either their human or canine friends. The perfect companion for a quiet night in with a bowl of popcorn and a good film!
The Pug is the comedian of the canine world, with his comical looks, mischievous personality and lust for life. The Pug loves to get involved in the play of other dogs, although he may have problems keeping up with his long-legged counterparts! Pugs really love their people, and as well as bonding strongly with their owners, are keen to meet and greet newcomers of all ages who might enjoy a game or a hug!
The bright-eyed, lively little Maltese dog is eminently cute and just begging to be cuddled! Fortunately these small, compact little dogs are usually perfectly happy with this arrangement, and like nothing more than a little fuss, attention and tummy rubs! Alert, lively and always on the hunt for a new friend, the Maltese is usually only too happy to meet and greet, or to rest on the laps of their favourite people.
The Beagle is a well-balanced dog that is considered to be amiable, friendly and calm, but never timid. They are an excellent pick for people of a nervous disposition, and are great at making people who are usually wary of dogs relax. The Beagle is a pack dog that likes nothing more than being in the company of other dogs, and is generally incredibly social and well mannered with all kinds of canines. The Beagle is also an excellent choice for families with children, and kids often form strong bonds with their first Beagle pets!
The pretty, delicate and diminutive Yorkshire Terrier has the cute personality to match their looks, and a warm, affectionate temperament. They like nothing better than the company of their favourite people, and are usually delighted to meet strangers that are calm and laid back as well. Yorkies enjoy play and exercise with other small dogs, and will often join in enthusiastically despite their small size! Yorkies require plenty of play and exercise, but are also more than happy to curl up to sleep in a welcoming lap.