What Are The Friendliest Small Dog Breeds?

Living with a dog can significantly add to your happiness and reduce stress. Walking pups is a great way to keep fit and enjoy the outdoors. The loyalty and friendliness of dogs are unquestionable. However, not all breeds are friendly to your family members and other pets. Some breeds have unpredictable behaviors and slightly aggressive. In this guide, we highlight top 10 friendliest dog breeds under three size categories (small, medium, and large).

Features of Friendliest Dog Breeds

If you’re like many puppy parents, you don’t want a dog who snaps or growls whenever you meet someone you know and trust. We all love to adopt a friendlier, well-behaved dog who puts his best paw forward when greeting visitors.

Unfortunately, some dog breeds have some temperament issues that are genetically acquired and will take a lot of sweat and time to unlearn through training. So, the best point to start is to choose one of the most affectionate dog breeds we’ve reviewed here before embarking or training.

Next, you will need to dedicate your time and energy to socialize your pup earlier by getting them to interact with a variety of people and pets as this will make them less fearful when meeting strangers.

To ensure that you choose a good play partner, you should consider several factors. For starters, consider the following three factors when choosing a friendly dog breed:


This describes the dog’s personality. To live better with your dog, go for a pooch with an agreeable temperament. Calm dogs have the ability to develop and nature strong bonds and are great companions for everyone in the family, including kids.


Consider the size of the dog in relation to the energy level and temperament. You will find large dogs that are extremely docile, but excitable small dogs are available as well.

Energy levels

You should be wary of the lifestyle that you will give your dog. If the dog needs more exercise beyond average and you aren’t able to provide, the excess energy may lead to behavior problems.

Ultimately, always consult with the dog breeder before making a purchase. To narrow your selection, here are our top 10 friendliest dogs under each size category (small, medium, and large size):

top 10 Friendliest small Dog Breeds

As the saying goes, “good things come in small packages.” That’s right; if you’re looking for some of the most affable dog breeds, miniature and small breeds are a popular choice for people living in tiny spaces such as in condos or apartments. They also work great for first-time dog owners and young families.

But with so many different breeds available, it can be hard to work out the right breed for your household. Fortunately, these small dog breeds that weigh just under 20 pounds are extremely loving, but they still need a lot of care, attention, and exercise and attention.  So, here are our top 10 friendliest small dog breeds:

1: Papillon

The Papillon breed makes it both in the smallest and smartest dog lists. These toy spaniels are highly energetic and friendly to people and other pets, making them great family dogs. Your Papillon will communicate so much to you just through ear positions, smiling, winking, tail wagging, and other body cues.


2: Schnauzer

There are three different kinds of Schnauzer, but the most common one is the standard Schnauzer that grows to around 18 inches tall and weighs up to 45 pounds. Schnauzers have loving and exciting personalities and are thought to mimic old grumpy men in personality and looks. 


3: Maltese Shih Tzu

The original Maltese Shih Tzu is an adorable “white fluffy dog” that exhibits protective behaviors. This dog can live up to 20 years old, and they love to yap and chat. However, they still make some of the most affectionate dog breeds.

Maltese Shih Tzu

4: Jack Russell Terrier

The little Miss Independent Jack Russell is an active and smart breed that makes a perfect family hound. This type of terrier grows to around 14 inches tall and likes to be kept busy both mentally and physically. 

Jack Russell Terrier

5: Chihuahua

Although tiny in size, Chihuahuas make up for it with great attitude and intelligence. These pint-sized pups also don’t need too much walking, making them great for people with limited time. They also love to play indoors, making it even easier to keep them fit without stepping outdoors.


6: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

If you’re looking for the most loving and loyal pup, look no further than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are extremely affectionate lap dogs who will be happiest nestled on your side or the couch. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

7: Pug

You’ll find it hard not to fall in love with a pug. Their adorable smile, short noses, and wrinkly skin are simply infectious. Pugs are extremely social breeds that don’t require a lot of exercise. They often feel happy leading a quiet lifestyle, but they’ll undoubtedly enjoy swimming sessions on a hot day.


8: French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is one of the friendliest dogs you’ll come across. This adorable breed is a cross between Toy Bulldogs and Australian local ratters. Frenchies are extremely loving and enjoy to be cuddled constantly. However, they don’t require much exercise.

But, you should note that they don’t do well in warmer climates since they find it hard to regulate their body temperatures, making them overheat and develop dark bellies.

French Bulldog

9: Mini Poodle

With all of the adorable traits of a standard Poodle (affection, intelligence, and hypoallergenic), a miniature poodle makes a perfect pet for young families and people staying in tiny homes or apartments. It is also common to find cross poodles with popular breeds like Golden Retrievers, Cavaliers, and Labradors.

Mini Poodle

10: Pomeranian

The European Pomeranian is among the tiniest dogs in the world, weighing just about 2.8-6.8 pounds. However, their fluffy coat makes them appear a whole lot bigger than they actually are. These pups make some of the top friendliest dogs and are extremely playful.


Other Popular Friendly Small Breeds

Scottish Terrier

Generally known as “Scotties,” Scottish Terriers are big dogs with short legs. They’re built very close to the ground and are generally poor runners. They enjoy a moderately calm lifestyle and are usually strong-willed and sometimes difficult to train if you don’t start early.

Scottish Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are extremely loyal and loving to their owners, and they quickly get along with visitors as well as kids. And if you’re looking for a friendly dog breed that is also hypoallergenic, these dogs can live happily and healthily with people with allergies.

Yorkshire Terrier


Dachshunds or Sausage Dogs have a fun and bubbly personality, which is great for kiddies. They don’t need a lot of exercise but will constantly vie for your affection.


The Bottom Line

Although your family will surely fall in love with any of these friendly dog breeds, you can also consider choosing a mixed breed. Mixed breeds provide the best traits of two different friendly breeds, resulting in even a better-mannered pooch.

When choosing a dog, find a breed that is social to your family members, kids, visitors, as well as other pets. You should also consider how easy it is to maintain the dog. More importantly, consider a dog who can join you for various activities such as walking, running, hiking, or swimming. If you prefer large dog breeds suitable for a family, here is our full list.

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