The 11 Best Dog Breeds Around People If You Like To Have A Lot Of Company
If you're someone who likes to have friends over, and are also thinking about getting a dog, then you may want to look into breeds that are social and good around people. This might include dogs that are calmer, extra friendly, or happy to kick back on the couch. But, of course, how your dog reacts in social situations will always come down to things like training, as well as their individual personality.
"In general, social people looking for social dogs want to train their dogs not to jump up on people, how to calmly greet newcomers, and to refrain from barking," Sally A. Morgan, PT, CST, TTEAM, of Pet Behavior Solutions & Hands-On Healing, tells Bustle. And that will all be up to you, in terms of teaching them to be cool.
"An easygoing dog isn’t necessarily bred, but trained to go with the flow," Caitlin Ultimo, resident pet expert at Chewy, tells Bustle. "Spend time in the beginning exposing your pet to new situations, environments, and people. The more exposure they have, the more comfortable they will be in social settings."
And that includes having friends over as part of the process. "Slowly build upon the amount of people you have over and the size of crowds outside of your home that you expose them to," Ultimo says. "Eventually, they’ll grow to associate going out or people coming over with extra attention, love, and more 'free pets' for them." Training is key, but you can also consider some of the breeds listed below, which experts say tend to be great around people.
1. Bichon Frises
The Bichon Frise is a small dog that just so happens to enjoy being around big groups of people. "They can be a bit timid at first," Morgan says, "but if they are brought up with many people coming and going, they soon become the life of the party." They can be friendly, and all sorts of entertaining.
2. Welsh Corgis
Welsh Corgis, along with Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis, are also very social. "The herding breeds in general are used to connecting with people to do their herding jobs," Morgan says, which means they'll naturally want to hang out by your side.
But when a dog is this sweet, your friends won't mind them being underfoot. "The cute smiles, big ears, and adorable bloomers on the Corgis make them very popular with many people," she says. "And you have the added bonus of them helping to herd your guests!"
Get togethers will always 100 times better with a Pug around, thanks to their fun personalities and scrunched up faces. As Morgan says, their expressions tend to make for great conversation starters, while their sweet demeanor also means they'll be happy to sit next to one person for an entire evening.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
"Another breed developed for companionship is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel," Morgan says. These small dogs tend to be relaxed and easygoing, and will happily sit for hours if your friends want to pet them.
And that level of relaxation may be something to consider if you like having people over. While it can come down to training, it can be helpful to go with breeds that don't need to be reeled in or calmed down every time the doorbell rings.
5. Standard Poodles
Standard Poodles have great personalities and are always down to make new friends. As Morgan says, "They are easygoing and try very hard to please their people so they will be very happy to be the center of attention when guests stop by."
6. Portuguese Water Dogs
Like Poodles, Portuguese Water Dogs "have a calm charisma that makes them ideal for socializing," Morgan says. And, like Poodles, they also don't shed.
This is a trait to keep in mind if you tend to have a lot of friends over, since nothing can trigger allergies quite like a couch covered in hair, or balls of fur lingering in the corners of your apartment.
7. Chinese Crested Dogs
This isn't a breed you see every day, but Chinese Cresteds — who can be hairless or hairy — are very happy and outgoing.
With these guys, "you can be sure to have a companion who will love all visitors and gladly go to sleep in anyone's lap," professional dog trainer Steffi Trott, tells Bustle.
Add in the fact they aren't very food-driven, Trott says, so you probably won't find them climbing up on kitchen counters or stealing snacks off anyone's plate.
Greyhounds are like cats in a dog's body, Trott says, meaning they love to sleep, snuggle, and generally snooze the day away.
"You don't have to worry about Greyhounds bugging your guests by bringing a ball over and over to be thrown," she says. "Instead, a Greyhound will happily curl up on the couch and welcome anyone's petting."
But that doesn't mean they aren't friendly. They're also good at schmoozing — just not in a wild way. "You will hardly see a Greyhound jumping up on your guests," Trott says. "Greyhounds do not have a mean bone in their body and will not act aggressively or try to protect you from visitors."
Schnauzers, and particularly the larger Standard Schnauzer, are known for their personable personalities. And, despite their commanding presence, are one of the gentler breeds out there, Morgan says. They are outgoing and friendly with many people and different types of dogs, and will likely do well when you have friends over.
10. Labrador Retrievers
Thanks to their even temperament, Morgan says, you can kick back and relax knowing that your Labrador Retriever will be cool around guests. Their friendly personalities make them a very popular breed, especially among people who like to socialize. Once they're trained and used to guests, you'll definitely have a good party companion.
11. Golden Retrievers
Another social — and very popular — breed is the Golden Retriever. "This dog is often the first choice for therapy work as they love people and are unflappable in a variety of situations," Morgan says, including busy get-togethers.
Keep in mind, though, that many other breeds can be social and sweet, too, as well as mixes of different breeds. Some may be more naturally relaxed and friendly than others, but it can come down to training, as well as the individual dog's personality. So no matter the breed, the sooner you start socializing your dog and getting them used to visitors, the happier everyone will be.