What are the friendliest dog breeds? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are looking for a dog that is SUPER friendly.

A dog that people will see at the playground and not be afraid to let their children approach it.

A dog that people think of as a nice and safe dog.

I know that it is training and upbringing that determine how friendly a dog is -- and that there are super nice pitbulls and doberman pinschers out there -- but we want a dog that most people "assume" is nice.

My childhood pets were a doberman and a german shepherd...both very sweet dogs but I know that when we went out in public people shrank in fear when our dogs got close to them. We do NOT want another dog like that.

What kind of dog do you think of when you think of a "friendly" dog?

 

 

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#2 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 07:58 AM
 
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I totally understand your question. We have Greyhounds, and while I would tell you that they are the best, most tolerant, calm yet goofy, wonderfu, friendly dogs (and I have had quite a few over the years, as a child and an adult), people tend to think that they may be aggressive due to the size and the shape.

If youa re looking for a aproachable dog, I would go for something that is off lead trainable, like a golden, I realy think that would be one of the best choice. Most people think that they are a friendly, family dog. So if you then take the time to make certain that you train them well, so they are happy and calm, then that would be a great choice.

You could also go for a little dog, not miniature, but smaller, a border terrier for instance, just be aware, as you probably are, that they need a ton of training in order to feel comfortable with thier place in the household.

Good luck with your choice....
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#3 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 10:30 AM
 
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Goldens are a good choice. I also think of Boston Terriers and boxers.

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#4 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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I think medium sized dogs tend to be good choices. My Chaos is about 35 lbs and cute, and most people want to per her. One of the things that helps with this is that when anyone approaches she starts to wiggle so the temperament matters also.

Mellow dogs in general seem to make people more comfortable than those that jump around or bark a lot. Though my first priority would be to make sure that the dog really is friendly - last thing you want is a dog that looks approachable but is not good with people/dogs.
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#5 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 11:45 AM
 
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Pugs! They are amazing with children and incredibly patient. They aren't yappy or annoying either. My youngest was around my friend's pug since it was a puppy and it was always so gentle with her. We'll be getting a pug next year.

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#6 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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labs and retreivers
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#7 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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Mini or standard poodles

what other traits are you looking for...that may help narrow it down.

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#8 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Subbing, because I am curious too....

We have a pit mix and a great dane - both great with our kids, but one doesn't like female dogs and the other doesn't like some male humans, so we can't take them out. Love them to death, but once the beasts pass on, we will probably be searching for the magical dog you speak of.

As an aside, I agree with the golden assessment - the funny thing is, I worked in a large boarding kennel which was a part of a large veterinary hospital during college, and the only time I came close to being bit was by a golden retriever. Granted, this was a very scared male who didn't want to be there, so it made sense, it was just funny, that amidst all the rotts, pitts, dobermans, etc. that came through there, a golden was the only problem I had. Also, my MIL has had two goldens - one very sweet female who wouldn't hurt a fly, and then a male who had a slight aggressive side. He got out once and humped a neighborhood child (luckily didn't hurt him). I wouldn't get a golden because of the hair - otherwise I would seriously consider it. As you know, the moral of the story is you can never guarantee anything, but you can put the odds in your favor.

You would think working for the kennel I would have a better feel, but I just saw how they all were in a kennel - not how they interacted with children and out in the public. Weimeraners always intrigued me - seem very smart but a little skittish. The Chocolate Labs were almost always crazy (sweet, but crazy). We didn't have many pugs come through, but they seem sweet. Boston Terriers are cool, but the ones I have met have terrible gas (whew the stench! I am talking above and beyond normal dogs!) We owned a Rottweiler before the current beasts just because working there, almost all of the rotties that came in were so sweet and so cool. He was a great dog, but I know they freak people out. They really are a great breed, though. Anyway, good luck in your search!

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#9 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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I'd vote for a French bulldog (full disclosure: we have one and adore her). They're about 20-25 lbs. and built like a fireplug. They are sturdy dogs but their size isn't intimidating. They aren't aggressive at all and generally want to be everyone's friend. Their unusual appearance attracts attention. They aren't yappy or nippy.

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#10 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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I adore poodles but I'd stick with a Standard if you go that route. We had a mini that was very anxious and yappy.

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#11 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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Nearly every Pug, Maltese, Bosten Terrier, and French Bulldog I have ever met has been friendly and sweet. Beagles are nice dogs too. Mini Poodles I wouldn't recommend, lots of wonderful ones but a lot that bite.

Labs and Goldens of course usually have that friendly personality and people percieve them very positively, but they are big and if they get too excited kids can go flying.

Really though I would focus less on breed and more on finding an individual dog that's small or medium-sized and not black (big black dogs are what most people find most scary), and that has the perfect personality. If you go with a dog over a year old it's easier to tell how they will work with your family.
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#12 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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What size are you looking for?

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#13 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticmomma View Post
labs and retreivers
That's exactly my dog . His mom is a retriever and his dad is a lab. We have brought him all sorts of places and no one is ever scared or wary of him.
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#14 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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On my list Labs, Goldens and Basset Hounds. I also love Greyhounds.

We used to have a Great Dane and a Basset and while both were sweet as could be and so well behaved the Basset would have kids and adults just swarm all over her. People could not pass her by without commenting on how cute or funny looking she was. She was very approachable.

My Great Dane was just as sweet if not actually more personable, but her size was intimidating to some people. I hear Greyhounds have similar personalities so I have always been tempted by them, but I have to say my heart still goes with Great Danes.
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#15 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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We have a Havanese and its really the best natured sweetest dog ever. : Even w my 2.5 yr old - he is so sweet-although being tortured. My friend has the sister of my dog and she says the same thing. We both have had- German Sheperds,Collie's, Rottweillers and Bichon's between the two of us. I really can't say anything bad about our Collie either.
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#16 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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Look at the dog, not the breed. There are some really poorly bred goldens out there that are nasty and untrustworthy.

In really popular breeds there are people who breed only for money with no regard to temperment.


It makes me sad that so many people don't like black dogs as well. They often languish in shelters and are lovely dogs whose only flaw is their color.
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#17 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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Basset Hounds are the best. They have a few faults but never anything dangerous. I have never seen a Basset bite anyone. They sound like big dogs when they bark too, so people think you have a huge monster if they do not see the Basset. (They like to sing with the moon though.....personally I enjoy the howling....they only do it when they are lonesome too).
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#18 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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We grew up with goldens and they are such sweet dogs. I've had many basset hounds and worked in rescue so had lots of foster dogs in my home. A very sweet breed, but hard to train and stubborn as can be! Their long ears and sad eyes always attract attention too.

I've known lots of great boxers as well.

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#19 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peepsqueak View Post
Basset Hounds are the best. They have a few faults but never anything dangerous. I have never seen a Basset bite anyone. They sound like big dogs when they bark too, so people think you have a huge monster if they do not see the Basset. (They like to sing with the moon though.....personally I enjoy the howling....they only do it when they are lonesome too).
I had a basset shut off in a room once while a man did work in the house. He was barking his huge, deep bark - the man asked what kind of huge, mean dog I had back there! I brought out "Scooby" and we both fell to the floor laughing. They sure do sound HUGE though!

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#20 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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To strictly answer your question- I agree with the Golden assessment.

Nobody ever looks at a golden and thinks "I bet he's mean."

But away from your question- I agree with the concept that you have to look at the individual dog. My dog is a 35 pound mutt, and everyone LOVES her. We took her with us to dinner one time and had a ton of people, especially kids, coming up asking to pet her (she is just as sweet as people think, btw).

Having worked in kennels, the meanest dogs tended to be Chows and some of the small breeds such as cocker spaniels and chihuahuas. BUT, that by no means that all chows or little tiny dogs were mean...some were GREAT. Pugs, Boston Terriers, etc, were almost always sweet, and one of my favorite dogs was a chihuahua.

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#21 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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We have a Collie and everyone loves him. They either ask him, "What's that? Is little Timmy stuck in the well?" or they say, "It's Lassie!".

He is a wonderfully friendly dog. I haven't come across anyone he doesn't like, dog or person.

Good luck with your search for a family pet!
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#22 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. You'd need to go with a reputable breeder (of course) and see evidence of testing because they've really suffered from breed standards.

I disagree with labs and goldens - they're a dog I always steer clear of at the park. They come in just under rotties for aggressive bites (having said that I'm more of a 'deed, not breed' person - but I thought I'd throw it out there).
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#23 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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I think even if you have a "scary" looking dog you can do things to make them seem more friendly. A brightly coloured leash and collar often helps, as does a cute bandana tied around their neck. Bonus points for using kids' cartoon characters on either.
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#24 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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Labradors are amazing family dogs
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#25 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peepsqueak View Post
Basset Hounds are the best. They have a few faults but never anything dangerous. I have never seen a Basset bite anyone. They sound like big dogs when they bark too, so people think you have a huge monster if they do not see the Basset. (They like to sing with the moon though.....personally I enjoy the howling....they only do it when they are lonesome too).
My daughter got bit by a Basset Hound this weekend at the farmer's market Not bad but I was pretty shocked!!!!!
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#26 of 52 Old 07-15-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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I have a rough collie and a pembroke welsh corgi. They are the sweetest dogs and noone ever looks at them with suspicion
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#27 of 52 Old 07-16-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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We have a St Bernard and two boxers. Everyone wants to pet our St Bernard, we cannot go for a walk without getting accosted - not a good dog if you enjoy your privacy. Our boxers are the sweetest, most loveable dogs I have ever met (and I have met a lot of dogs - ) but they get kind of a bad rap because they can look so much like pitbulls or people mistake them for mean dogs.

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#28 of 52 Old 07-17-2009, 01:55 AM
 
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I see there are plenty of responses, but I wanted to add my opinion as well. The dogs I've listed below typically offer a "happy" face and a wagging behind, and they seem to be socially accepted in public. Of course, all vary in terms of size, activity level, health issues and cost...so researching breeds and heading out to meet some good examples would be your best bet in determining which breeds fit and which ones might be better left to a different family. Being that I was a professional trainer for several years, these are some that I would recommend looking into:

Golden

Beagle

Cavalier King Charles

West Highland White Terrier

Pug

German Shorthaired Pointer

Bichon Frise (they are adorable greeters - they tend to "pray" with their front feet)

English Springer Spaniel

Vizsla

Norwich/Norfolk Terriers

Also, keep in mind that there are other breeds that are far less common and not recognized by the AKC that might be just the right fit for your lifestyle. Hope this list helps to give you a place to start!
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#29 of 52 Old 07-17-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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Forgot a couple of herders:

Aussie

Border Collie

Herders come with their own set of issues, but they make great ambassadors in public and they are awesome in homes that know how to handle them.
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#30 of 52 Old 07-18-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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