Dogs with great personalities make wonderful companions. Getting a dog can change your life in so many great ways, especially when it comes to improving your mood and mental health, increasing how often you exercise, and they even help regulate your nervous system.
Choosing a dog with the right personality is key, since all dogs are different. If you’re thinking about getting a dog and you want a dog that is friendly, cuddly and affectionate, you need to know that not all breeds have these personality traits. For example, the Shiba Inu breed is not typically very cuddly, and can even be kind of aggressive sometimes. You can build trust with a Shiba Inu, but it takes more time and effort than with other dog breeds.
Meanwhile, certain dog breeds are famous for their sunny, warm, friendly and cuddly personalities.
Researching Dogs with Great Personalities
It’s crucial to research the dog breed you’re thinking of getting before making the commitment. This could make a big difference in one’s pet ownership experience, and one’s relationship with their dog. Dogs with good personalities make great dogs for first-time owners.
Many people research which dogs have the best personalities before getting a dog, which is wise, since you need a dog with the personality traits you’re looking for in a canine companion.
DNA tests for dogs such as the CirclePaw dog DNA test can help you determine which personality traits your dog’s breed is known for.
The personality traits to look for in a dog depend on what’s important to you. Those of you who have an anxiety disorder, for example, could benefit more from calmer breeds of dogs like a tiny Cocker Spaniel Prince Charles, rather than a yappy Chihuahua.
If cuddles and affection are important to you, note that Golden Retrievers are very cuddly with warm and affectionate personalities. When it comes to dogs with good personalities, you can’t go wrong with a Golden Retriever, or a Labrador Retriever.
Still not sure which dog breed to get? Below are 9 kinds of dogs with great personalities:
1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavaliers were initially bred to be companion dogs. Hence, their genetics run deep in providing comfort to their owners. These petite creatures are very cute and well-mannered, and they thrive on closeness with their owners. It’s also easy to put this lovebug to bed with you. This adorable dog could help calm you in socially awkward situations or reassure you at home. The only caveat is they are clingy and don’t like to be left alone. Moreover, they have a silky multicolored coat that sheds a lot. If you don’t want your shirt covered in dog hair, maintenance is necessary. It’s always good to know about the pros and cons with every dog breed, so do your research, and don’t just look up dogs with good personalities. Think about everything you might want in a dog.
2. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are known to always have a sunny, friendly and happy disposition. They have a lovely nature, they’re cuddly, friendly, and have a strong desire to please people. Apart from being one of the friendliest dog breeds, Golden Retrievers are intelligent and fiercely loyal. For this reason, they also act as service or therapy dogs (such as emotional support pets) and work as search and rescue dogs. Golden Retrievers also often win in the obedience category during dog competitions.
On social media, this is the most popular breed with its hashtag #goldenretriever getting billions of views. It's not surprising they belong to the list of dogs with great personalities. It is a joy to watch this smart dog perform various commands. A Golden Retriever has a bright and sunny nature that makes it a perfect family pet, service dog, or emotional support pet for someone living alone with depression or anxiety, who needs a therapy dog.
Corgis, with their short little legs and soft coat of fur, are cute to look at - but their personality is also one of the best. Corgis are very friendly, playful and affectionate, but they’re also smart, independent and not ‘needy’ dogs. Corgis might bark at you if you forget to do something you usually do within the realm of your own usual routine. It’s cute, but in reality, they do it because they’re smart enough to pick up on these things.
Their intelligence makes them easy dogs to train, and highly trainable dogs are also easier to bond with. In general, Corgis are gentle and friendly dogs that love to bond with their owners.
4. Standard Poodle or Goldendoodle
Standard Poodles, Goldendoodles (golden retriever and poodle mixes) and Labradoodles (the mixed breed dog of lab mixed with poodle) all share the same friendly personality traits. They’re certainly dogs with great personalities. The poodle breed is very smart, and this includes all sizes: standard, mini, and toy sizes, as well as labradoodles and goldendoodles.
Goldendoodles are especially friendly and cuddly, since they’re the friendly Golden Retriever mixed with a Poodle.
The standard poodle is the smartest and most assertive of the types of poodles, in part due to size and strength. This well-behaved pooch could be trained not to tear up furniture or jump on strangers.
If you want a spritely, friendly, and fluffy companion that you can do a trick on command, a standard poodle is a good choice. Notably, this breed doesn’t shed a lot of hair and is touted to be hypoallergenic, so it may work even for people with sensitivities like allergic rhinitis or asthma.
5. German Shepherd
Almost everyone loves the German Shepherd. This breed is highly prized in military/ police work, home protection, and show competitions because it belongs to the list of dogs with great personalities. Moreover, the Service Dog Training School shared that German Shepherds are commonly partnered up with disabled individuals and are rated as the most popular service dog worldwide.
That’s because German Shepherd dogs are intelligent, eager to please, highly trainable, and incredibly loyal. Although they look fierce with their stern face, size, and athleticism, they make for excellent family pets. A highly trained German Shepherd will do well with children. They can learn at an amazingly fast speed and retain what they’ve learned consistently.
German Shepherds have the kind of personality that will leave you feeling protected, loved, and safe.
Just like its cousin, the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever is another incredibly loyal and affectionate pet that falls under the category of dogs with great personalities. They are highly intelligent and responsive, so it is not a chore to train Labs. They will blend well with families, especially those with younger kids because of their naturally friendly, docile, and gentle nature.
Moreover, Labs also have fewer grooming needs because of their shorter coats and require only regular brushing to minimize shedding. They are also excellent emotional support pets because of how highly intuitive they are to their owners' feelings.
In fact, the Chocolate Lab is one of the most common emotional support pets for those suffering with anxiety or depression.
That being said, Labrador Retrievers thrive in active environments and are great for owners who live the same active lifestyle. They are medium-large in size with a height of 21.5 to 24.5 inches and can weigh from 55 up to 80 pounds. You must be ready to feed this pooch several times a day with nutritious feed for larger dogs for optimal wellness.
7. Parson Russell Terrier
If you’re in search of a clever, talented and bold dog with a good personality, a Parson Russell Terrier (PRT) could be the playful friend to warm your heart. These lovable cuties will motivate you to move and keep up with their adventures since they love a good romp. A PRT is fast enough to keep up with horses and fearless enough to flush a fox.
This lovable pooch is wicked smart, and easy to train. In fact, according to the Guinness World Archives, the PRT breed carries the tag of being the most talented pooch in the world. A PRT called Smurf holds the record of holding the most tricks performed by a dog in one minute. Smurf executed a record-breaking 32 tricks on his owner’s command. A few examples of these nifty tricks are barking, walking on hind legs, crawling backward, rolling over, and even making a cup of tea by pretending to pee in a teacup. All of these antics prove that this breed is wicked smart and very fast.
8. Great Dane
The Great Dane is a gentle giant that belongs on this list of dogs with good personalities. If you want space from others, this dog could act as your pseudo bodyguard with its compelling figure. They’re also naturally aloof towards people they’re not familiar with, yet very friendly with their owners. The Great Dane is a calm dog, and will help you feel calm. Though its towering size may make it look intimidating, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Although cuddling a Great Dane may not be as easy as cozying up to a Havanese, you could still cuddle this pooch. Great Danes offer affection to their humans and provide deep snuggles with accompanying pressure therapy to calm you down. They are loyal and protective of their owners. But be forewarned: prep your wallet if you own a Great Dane because they need a lot of high-protein food to maintain their muscles. They also sometimes don’t live as long as other dog breeds.
9. Border Collie
If you’re looking for a smart dog with a winsome personality who can do it all, a border collie fits the description. This breed has long been known for being a protective herding dog that keeps flocks of sheep safe. That’s why they’re also known as the best “shepherding dogs.”
Border collies are cunning and clever canines that learn cues and follow commands quickly because they’re highly intelligent. More importantly, they’re independent and understand routines, so you can train them to handle daily tasks with minimal supervision. Because of their nature, this breed is known for being observant, nimble, and athletic. That’s why it’s no surprise that they do well in agility competitions. If you want a whip-smart workaholic doggo who can compete, this quick learner is for you.
Remember, if you’re researching kinds of dogs with great personalities, don’t forget that a DNA test for dogs from CirclePaw can help you learn much more about a dog’s personality and behavior traits, as many of these traits are genetic.
- The Effects of Assistance Dogs on Psychosocial Health and Well-Being: A Systematic Literature Review (Kerrie Rodriguez et.al.) https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243302
- Animal-assisted interventions: making better use of the human-animal bond (Daniel Mills et.al.) https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1136/vr.g1929
- Effect of a companion dog on depression and anxiety levels of elderly residents in a long-term care facility (Marieanna Le Roux and Rene Kemp) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1479-8301.2009.00268.x
- Pet ownership and human health: a brief review of evidence and issues (June McNIcholas et.al.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1289326/
- German Shepherds as Service Dogs (Renee Fong) https://www.servicedogtrainingschool.org/blog/german-shepherd-service-dog10 Facts About Poodles (Jan Reisen) https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/10-facts-about-poodles/