If you’re someone who wants a dog that can be a fixture in your everyday life—a pet that can pal around with the family and join you on outings—you’ll likely want to look for an extroverted dog breed.
So, what makes a dog friendly and social? For starters, they like to be around others. They genuinely enjoy human companionship and happily engage with fellow dogs and other pets.
Other signs are an outgoing personality and a playful attitude. Dogs that eagerly look for ways to join in the fun typically have very amiable natures.
Though many breeds meet these criteria (and plenty of mixed-breeds, too!), we’ve rounded up 20 pups in different size groups to help get your search for an outgoing dog started.
Social small breed dogs
Russell Terriers (also known as Jack Russell Terriers) are cheerful pups that love entertaining their people. Their boundless energy and spunky personalities make them a great fit for active families.
Rat Terriers are smart, alert dogs that form very close bonds with their people. They aren’t quite as active as other members of the terrier group but still need moderate daily exercise. An indoor game or walk in the neighborhood will help keep them happy and healthy.
Boston Terriers are fantastic family pets that get along with everybody. This rambunctious breed loves to play and enjoys getting attention from their humans. Though they can be stubborn, they like to learn and are relatively easy to train.
Pomeranians are extroverted dogs that love to put on a show. Entertaining a crowd with their latest tricks is one of their favorite activities. They’re also active pups that need regular exercise. They like neighborhood strolls and indoor play sessions. And, Poms are fluffy little whirlwinds on an agility course.
Shih Tzu were born to be lap dogs—and they wouldn’t have it any other way. These pups have affectionate, outgoing natures and are especially fond of kids. When not curled up with their people, Shihs love going on walks and playing hide-and-seek.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens have a strong sense of humor, outgoing personality, and very long name. These exuberant dogs need a lot of exercise and open space to explore.
French Bulldogs are easy to recognize with their stout bodies, short, wrinkly noses, and bat-like ears. They are easygoing, well-behaved dogs that love being the center of attention.
The "little dog from Havana," Havanese are extroverted pups that make it their mission to turn everyone they meet into a friend. They’re relaxed, gentle lap dogs, and an excellent breed for kids.
Bichon Frises are peppy, outgoing dogs that have a cheerful attitude about everything they do. These active, playful puffballs make excellent family pets and are well-suited for apartment living. And their low-shedding hair is nothing to sneeze at.
Extroverted medium breed dogs
English Springer Spaniel
English Springer Spaniels are energetic, athletic dogs with a calm nature. Springers are an affectionate breed that needs lots of attention from their families. They like to play fetch in the backyard for hours, not be left home alone without their people.
Once known as the "poor man’s Greyhound," Whippets are speedy athletes and low maintenance companions. This quiet, gentle breed is excellent with kids and other dogs. Cats, however, are another story. These sighthounds tend to chase any small animal.
Lively, happy, and eager-to-please, Brittanys are a wonderful breed for active families. These tireless pups need a lot of exercise, but as long as they have an outlet for their energy, Brittanys make calm, sweet-natured pets.
The Keeshond is an adaptable breed that makes an affectionate family pet. They have easygoing personalities and enjoy taking long walks, trips to the dog park, and playing in the backyard with their people.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are gentle companions and alert watchdogs. These dogs have unwavering loyalty to their families and love being a part of everyday activities.
Bearded Collies are hardworking herding dogs that like having a job to do. But when it’s time for fun, they enjoy taking hikes with their families or playing with other dogs. When excitedly greeting people, Bearded Collies are known to jump straight up off the floor. But don’t worry; these athletic pups always stick the landing.
Beagles are incredibly loyal dogs with happy, affectionate personalities. They’re known for their musical barks and keen noses—these little pups will follow a scent wherever it takes them.
Outgoing large breed dogs
Irish Setters have more energy than many dogs. But for anyone willing to provide them with enough exercise and plenty of outdoor activities, they make affectionate, playful companions. Irish Setters are slow to mature, so be prepared for a "puppy phase" that lasts into adulthood.
Golden Retrievers are gentle, goofy, and eager to please dogs that make a fantastic addition to most families. They love tagging along on outings and are incredibly loyal to their people. However, if you’re looking for a watchdog, Golden Retrievers may not be for you. They’re just too friendly to be a decent protector.
Saint Bernards are powerful dogs with a boisterous presence. Those qualities could be intimidating in a dog that can reach nearly 200 lbs. However, Saint Bernards are gentle, patient, and caring dogs that love to snuggle and are great with kids.
Happy-go-lucky, easygoing, and adventurous, the Labrador Retriever may be the perfect friendly dog for active families. These social dogs bond easily with people and make trustworthy playmates for kids.
Find the dog that’s right for you
The breeds we’ve highlighted have a reputation for extroverted personalities, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. The amiable qualities found in these pups are often seen in many other breeds and mixed breed dogs. When picking the newest member of your pack, the more you know about them, the better. Browse our breed library to find the right fit for your lifestyle. Or talk to your local shelter or adoption group about available dogs that meet your criteria and are ready to be your new best friend.