18 Lovable Dog Breeds Known for Their Good Nature

Written By Jill Taylor

Every dog is different, with distinct personalities that can vary among the same breed. However, these 18 breeds are prized for their affectionate, friendly natures, which make them perfect for families and individuals alike.

Poodle (Standard, Miniature, and Toy)

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Poodles come in three varieties and are instantly recognizable by their thick, curly coats. They’re considered one of the world’s most intelligent dog breeds and are easily trainable, making them great family companions.

Labrador Retriever

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Labrador Retrievers are consistently one of America’s most popular dog breeds and are loved by families. The American Kennel Club argues that Labradors are “friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited companions with more than enough affection to go around for a family.”

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate toy dogs that enjoy cuddling with their owners. They’re also known for adapting well to different living situations, making them ideal for owners living in apartments or houses.


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Newfoundlands are gentle giants that can weigh over 200 lbs. They’re also renowned for instinctively saving people who are drowning, helped by their webbed paws, thick double coats, and excellent swimming abilities.


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Collies are famous for their loyalty and protective natures, and their intelligence makes them easy to train. They require regular exercise, so they’re best suited to owners who live active outdoor lifestyles.

Bernese Mountain Dog

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Bernese Mountain Dogs are large dogs originally bred to work on Swiss farms. They’re affectionate, loyal, and suited to colder climates, making them perfect family dogs in locations like the Midwest and Northeast.


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Beagles are prized for their happy temperament and sociable nature, and their small size makes them great family pets. Purina explains that they’re intelligent and outgoing but need training to manage their “mischievous nature.”

Bichon Frisé

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These small toy dogs are famed for their cheerful and playful nature and low-shedding coats, making them relatively hypoallergenic. Their small size makes them suitable for apartment living, but they still need daily walking for at least half an hour.

Shih Tzu

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These toy dogs are famed for their friendly natures and luxurious coats. Their small size makes them perfect for apartment living, and they require minimal exercise, making them perfect for elderly people.

Irish Setter

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Irish Setters are gun dogs famous for their flashy red coats and long legs. The American Kennel Club argues they’re “good family dogs: sweet-tempered companions for the folks, and rollicking playmates and tennis-ball fetchers for the children.”


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Bulldogs are known for their docile temperament despite their thick-set, muscular frames. They can adapt well to city or country life, and their relatively low exercise needs make them perfect for less active owners.

Golden Retriever

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Golden Retrievers are one of America’s favorite dog breeds. They’re prized for their friendly attitude and are popular service dogs. DogTime explains they’re also “extremely emotionally intelligent, displaying a keen sense of empathy and understanding.”

Cocker Spaniel

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These spaniels were originally bred to be hunting dogs and are an active breed that loves playing games. They’re prized for their beautiful coats and long, floppy ears and generally have gentle dispositions.

Australian Shepherd

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This herding breed has become a popular companion dog over the past few decades, prized for its intelligent and playful nature. They require a lot of physical activity, making them great pets for owners with active lifestyles and big gardens.


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Boxers were bred to be working dogs, but today, they’re one of the most popular pets in America. The PDSA notes that Boxers are “known for their kind and clownish natures, which have made them popular family pets.”


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These pointer dogs can easily be identified by their long legs, golden-rust coats, and floppy ears. Vizslas have great stamina, making them ideal dogs for active jogging and biking enthusiasts.

Brittany Spaniel

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This French gun dog was bred for bird hunting in Brittany and is a highly energetic and trainable breed. They’re medium-sized dogs that enjoy vigorous walks and will get along with other pets through training.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

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This pure-breed terrier originates in Ireland and, thanks to its friendly nature, gets along with children and other dogs. However, they can easily overheat in hot climates, so they’re best suited for families living in cooler states.

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