Ten of the friendliest large dog breeds

dog breeds, dogs, friendly pets, large dogs -

Ten of the friendliest large dog breeds

Welcome back to the second part of our blog about the friendliest dog breeds. Last week we looked at the friendliest small and medium breeds of dog, this week we’re looking at larger dog breeds.

In last week’s post we mentioned how, since the advent of social media, some small breeds are becoming popular because of the way they look, even if they don’t always make suitable pets. This is also true of larger dog breeds too. Some people are also influenced by pups they’ve seen on film and TV too. For example, the popular television series Game of Thrones featured “Direwolves’ as part of the plot. The show used Northern Inuit dogs to depict them as puppies, then real wolves and CGI as they grew into large fictional beasts. This saw a surge in demand for wolf-like dogs such as Huskies and Alaskan Malamute dogs. Whilst these breeds can make great pets with the right owners, they need a lot of attention and exercise – and grooming! If you’re new to dog ownership, choosing a breed that is renowned for it’s good nature is always going to be a better choice than choosing a dog because it suits your online persona and looks good on your Instagram feed!

Likewise, the recent movie ‘Dog’ starring Channing Tatum features a Belgian Malinois (aka a Belgian Shepherd) as his prominent canine co-star and has caused concern among experts worried that people will be rushing to buy a Malinois without understanding how much training and exercise they actually need.

‘Dog Wizard’ Vladae Roytapel explained the situation to Today:

"The major mistake people make when they are selecting dog breeds (is) they think that every dog breed is created equal like people. They are anticipating behaviour that dogs are not designed for and that is the root cause of the problems."

This breed in particular needs hours, and hours of training, regular physical activity and stimulation. They are generally trained as working dogs and not bred to be house pets. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at ten dogs that are suitable pets instead...

Bearded Collie photo by Ray Bilcliff on PexelsBearded Collie photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels

Bearded Collie

Bearded collies were originally bred to herd sheep in bonny Scotland, so they are born to be independent decision makers. This means that they can on occasion be quite wilful, but they are always very friendly at the same time.

Bearded Collies do need quite a bit of exercise and grooming but make great family pets if you have an active household.

Border Collie photo by Helena Lopes on PexelsBorder Collie photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels

Border Collie

Another high energy, intelligent dog. like the Bearded Collie, Border Collies were originally bred for herding and require lots of stimulation and exercise. However if you are willing to put in the hours, they are very smart and eager to please and will pick things up quickly.

Border Collies are very friendly within a family setting but can sometimes be a little more nervous around strangers. They make ideal pets if you want to get out walking or running and excel at dog agility.

Boxer photo by Jackson Jorvan on PexelsBoxer photo by Jackson Jorvan on Pexels


These super-loyal hounds are really good with children and love to play. They have boundless energy and need lots of regular exercise.

Like the Border Collie, Boxers can be wary of strangers and may need some encouragement to socialise when you are out and about.

Rough Collie photo by Kanashi on UnsplashRough Collie photo by Kanashi on Unsplash

Rough Collie

As we started off talking about dogs from the silver screen, many people know this breed only by its colloquial name, the ‘Lassie Dog’ popularised by the hit tv show and series of films featuring the tenacious and super-friendly Rough Collie who was always on hand to rescue people from the bottom of a well or put out a house fire.

Just like Lassie, Rough Collies are renowned for their loyal and sociable nature. These energetic herding dogs are clever and easy to train. They love to play and make wonderful family pets.

Golden Retriever photo by Helena Lopes on PexelsGolden Retriever photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels

Golden Retriever

One of the nation’s favourites, these large cuddly dogs were originally bred as gun dogs but their consistent, sunny personality makes them a popular choice as a family pet.

Golden retrievers love children, people and other dogs and they love to socialise. They are also pretty easy to train to as they love to please. They do need quite a bit of exercise and regular grooming as they have a thick curly coat which both sheds and traps dirt.  

Irish Setter photo by Radek Grzybowski on UnsplashIrish Setter photo by Radek Grzybowski on Unsplash

Irish Setter

Also known as a ‘Red Setter’ due to their beautiful glossy rich chestnut coloured coats, these super intelligent dogs are very affectionate and outgoing and they positively love children, although they can be quite boisterous. 

Irish Setters are an active breed they will need a long walk every day, running off the lead in wide open spaces. They have been known to have a tendency to 'play deaf,' and not come back when called, so make sure you have trained them properly in recall before you let them off! 

Labrador Retriever photo by Matthis on PexelsLabrador Retriever photo by Matthis on Pexels

Labrador Retriever

Consistently one of the most popular dog breeds, ever! Labradors were originally bred as gun dogs but their reputation as family pets proceeds them and it is well known that they make excellent family pets.

Labradors socialise well with adults, children, other dogs, other pets and strangers on the street. Everyone is a friend if you’re a Labrador! when they are younger, they have a lot of energy and can be quite over-the-top as puppies but they will settle into family life with a consistent training routine.

Standard Poodle photo by Jack Geoghegan on PexelsStandard Poodle photo by Jack Geoghegan on Pexels

Standard Poodle

Poodles have experienced a surge in popularity since people started to use them to create crossbreeds such as the Labradoodle, Golden Doodle, Cockapoo and Cavapoo. A hypoallergenic dog breed, Poodles and their hybrid variants have tight curly coats so do not shed and are great for anyone that has an allergy.

Smart, active and super friendly Poodles love to be the centre of attention and make great family pets. Also available in toy and miniature sizes.

Viszla photo by Pixabay on PexelsViszla photo by Pixabay on Pexels


Viszlas are Hungarian gun dogs, instantly recognisable by their golden liver chestnut coat, they look a little like a lean Labrador. Viszlas have a unique personality and are best known for the amazing bond they are capable of building with their owners. Viszla dogs tend to think of themselves as one of the family (human, even). They want to do whatever you are doing and will be quite vocal about it too. 

Newfoundland photo by Illyrion on Wikimedia CommonsNewfoundland photo by Illyrion on Wikimedia Commons


A gentle giant, these huge dogs are sweet, patient, kind and trusting. Although they are big dogs they don’t need a huge amount of exercise, just regular walks and lots of games to keep them content.

That’s the end of our round up of the friendliest large dog breeds. If you’ve got a large friendly dog that we didn’t include in the top ten, let us know all about them in the comments section below!

Main photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published