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Dog-friendly Dogs

My parents had a standard poodle – Jack – for many years and my husband and I got our yellow lab when Jack was still alive (rest in peace, Jack). When our lab was a puppy, we would frequently bring him to my parents’ house (he was like our baby – this is pre-children) and Jack would always try and bite our dog. This is when I first became aware of the fact that some breeds are extremely sociable with other dogs (i.e., labs) and others are not (i.e., poodles).

As a dog owner, being aware of what kind of dog your pet is on the sociability scale is the responsible thing to do, especially prior to taking him over to the dog park to play. Just because a certain breed is less sociable with dogs than others doesn’t mean they are inferior pets – in fact these breeds tend to be extremely loyal and protective, and good with kids.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule and I am sure someone out there has had a standard poodle who absolutely loved other dogs. Here are just a few breeds of well-known dog-friendly dogs (there are many sociable dogs missing – is yours? Let us know!):

  1. Bernese Mountain Dog
  2. Briard
  3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  4. Cockapoo (Cockapoodle)
  5. Coton de Tulear
  6. Goldador
  7. Golden Retriever
  8. Goldendoodle
  9. Harrier
  10. Havanese
  11. Irish Setter
  12. Labradoodle
  13. Labrador Retriever
  14. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
  15. Puggle

24 Responses to “Dog-friendly Dogs”

  1. Karen says:

    I have an Old English Sheepdog and she loves every person and dog she meets. I’d highly recommend this breed.

  2. Connie says:

    I have a mid-sized shep mix from the shelter. She is a registered therapy dog and Canine Good Citizen. Her “brother” was tied to a tree with little socialization for 6 years. We rescued him: cocker, lab, bassett mix. He got Mr. Congeniality at school and is also a CGC. It is all in the love you give your dogs–they will return it ten fold to you and everyone around you. Rescued mutts rule!

  3. TattleTails says:

    I think that almost every dog can be a very sociable dog with both people and other dogs. We started both of our labs as puppies going to doggie daycare twice a week. There are numerous breeds attending and they have made lots of BFFs. I do agree that certain breeds may be predispositioned to be less sociable or more have agressive tendencies, etc. But I think proper socialization is the key and of course training. I highly recommend books by Tamar Geller.

  4. Shannon says:

    I agree with TattleTails. And yes, I am one of those people with very sociable standard poodles! Like children, every dog’s disposition is different. That said, it is extremely important to slowly introduce your dog (preferably when they are young, if you can) to social situations and make sure they understand acceptable behavior. If you’ve never made an effort to socialize your dog, you can’t expect them to be friendly towards people and other dogs. While for some it comes naturally, for others it is a learned behavior and every responsible dog owner should know this. You wouldn’t isolate your child from their peers and expect them to be socially at ease, would you?

  5. Margie Decker says:

    We have an American Staff. Terrier (AKA..Pitbull) who is our “Granddog”. Our daughter adopted her at 5 weeks old. Regardless of what has been said about this breed, it is all in how you raise them. Vanidy is the most people/animal friendly four legged member of our family that we have ever owned. We have wild bunnies in our backyard that she has never paid attention to.

  6. My schipperke boy, Indigo, is the friendliest ambassador for dogs you’ll ever meet. He loves everyone. His mother, Daisy, is standoff-ish at first but then cuddles next to folks in the dog park.

  7. Pam says:

    I have two pitbulls. Both were rescue babies. One is an all white pit and is deaf. He has the best personallity and is so loyal. Even though he is challenged, he shows so much love. The second one is a chocolate pit. He was dumped and was found hiding in a barn. He had a face injury that required surgery. He is such a happy little guy and loves to snuggle. I would not trade either of them for anything. They are great with my grandson and they both love company. Rescue dogs are so appreciative and loving. Thanks Rachael for what you do!

  8. Sara says:

    You do know that “cockapoos” and “goldendoodles” and “labradoodles” aren’t real breeds, right? They’re designer mutts. Anytime you’re breeding together 2 different breeds, such as a lab and a poodle, the results are not consistent. It’s not really true to say “labradoodles” are dog friendly, when that’s not consistently the case. Some “labradoodles” will take on the traits of a lab, some will be more like a poodle, some will be a mix somewhere in the middle. Also, designer mutts are almost always poorly bred as they mainly come from puppy mills and backyard breeders. Reputable breeders do not breed mutts, even if they’re popular designer mutts. Anyone considering one of these dogs – do your homework before buying a designer mutt … or better yet, if you’re going to get one, adopt it from a shelter or rescue!

    That being said, I have a mutt adopted from the shelter, a lab/rottweiler, and he is not dog friendly at all. Very friendly to all people, but he’s very wary of strange dogs. He’ll tolerate dogs he knows.

  9. Cindy says:

    I cannot find where I wrote about adopting grady. But, I accidently put the wrong email address the correct is on here… :( Thz for all you do for the animal pounds and shelters.

  10. Denise says:

    I have had pets my entire life.My current crew consist of a 4yr.old chihuahua,CoCo,a 4yr.old rescued pit named Hannah & a one yr. old rescued Min-pin named Piper.They are all social and get along with each other like kids.I just have to watch the Min-pin-VERY MISCHEIVIOUS, but can hold her own while rough-housing with the pit.I also have EIGHT cats!Yes-Eight-all rescued.The dogs like to chase them, but most of the time they just give the dogs a look like “Really??”and walk away. My big buddy Ranger passed away this past summer and left a big empty hole in my heart.He was a beautiful German Shepherd-I believe to be one of the most lovable & loyal dogs.He was a gentle giant.all of my dogs are social and good with each other-its all how they are raised!

  11. Tiffany says:

    I have a pit bull, Layla, who is now 11 years old. I’ve had her since she was about 8 weeks old. She tends to be standoffish with strange dogs, but she is great with “her” pets. Right now I have a nine month old kitten that she absolutely adores. I even had pet rats at one time that she tolerated. As for kids, you might as well say she is the nanny. She keeps an eye on them, will get in between them if they have a tussle, and would protect them from anything (even discipline).

  12. Beth says:

    Ihave had three Standard Poodles and they all have been extremely dog friendly. In my group of close friends, I can count at least 30 Standard Poodles.(We have parties). In any case, buy from a reputable breeder, who will know the lines,d social traits and will have done proper testing of the parents. Poodle Rescue will also have evaluated the dog’s traits if you are adopting. As to Poodle Xs, any reputable breeder will not breed, or sell to anyone who is going to breed without the breeder’s permission. All in all, Standard Poodles are a great breed, but one must investigate before buying one, they are grooming intensive and lively. They were originally hunting dogs after all.

  13. Holly says:

    I can also account for the wonderful temperament of standard poodles. ICE is my 3rd and he grew up around 6 cats. My Bengal mix totally adores ICE. He is great around children and he always wants to play with other dogs. We have neighbors down the road with yellow labs that attacked two other neighbors! I agree with some past comments, owners must socialize any breed of dog.

  14. pamela Burns says:

    i have an all black german shepherd, adopted from Mountain Paws Rescue in TN, she is extraordinary with other dogs and cats. An Australian Cattle Dog (aka blue heeler-but he is not blue) found us and is now part of our family and he too is excellent not only with our Gretta but with our cat, rabbit & donkey!

  15. Maria says:

    I have an English Bull dog who is super friendly she loves everyone and animal she meets.

  16. Jess says:

    I have an American Bulldog. She is the sweetest dog. Loves cats and all dogs. Even the little ones that bark at her.

  17. Debra says:

    My mixed breed (cattle dog, boxer, pitt) Lucy was socialized at Play Group at her trainers starting about 4 months old. She got along with all the other dogs. Since then, she’s been attacked several times while we were walking in our neighborhood – a German Shephard who was lose, Black Lab jumped on the door and it came open, mixed breed on a retractable leash that just pulled and it came out enough for her to attack us. Needless to say, she is no longer sociable. The fear of being attacked instantly puts in the defense mode whenever she sees another dog. It’s such a shame that she is fearful of other dogs now. She does have three of my friends dogs that she’s grown up with that she will still play with. But because of these other dogs she can no longer go to the dog park and we have to keep our distance when encountering other dogs on our nightly walks.

  18. paula says:

    We have two mini-schauzers and one jack russell terrier mix and they are all sociable.

  19. Heather says:

    I have a pit bull and he gets along with every breed. He has never met a stranger. He is two years old now.

  20. Roz says:

    Greyhounds are usually great with other dogs, with the exception of little dogs, although that depends on the greyhound. All of my greyhounds have been great with both large and small dogs. I think a lot depends on the owners. I socialize my dogs right away, puppies and rescues, and don’t tolerate bad behavior. I have Great Pyrenees, greyhounds and borzoi and all of them are wonderful with all breeds.

  21. Kerry says:

    My Newfoundlands love everyone. They have been well-socialized since they were puppies – which I think is essential. Good breeding is important too – I got them both as puppies from very reputable breeders. I take them everywhere with me too. They have been to farmer’s markets and concerts in the park and have had toddlers climbing all over them, loving every minute of it.

  22. shari says:

    My American staff AKA Pit bull loves people and animals alike my husband and i have 3 other small dogs we adopted midnight when she was 8 weeks old and she loves my 4 year old nephew and he loves her right back. American staffs have gotten a bad rap because of bad people who fight the breed and that is NOT ok I take midnight with everywhere farmers markets and just out and about she is one of the most sociable friendly dog’s that we have ever had and i have had dogs for 24+ years. Midnight is 1 years old. My whole family LOVES her!!!

  23. It is not the breed, it is the upbringing.

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