Ten of the friendliest small and medium dog breeds

dog breeds -

Ten of the friendliest small and medium dog breeds

Since the advent of social media, we’ve seen a rise in people choosing dogs merely for their cuteness-factor or good looks – but not every pretty pup is as pleasant off camera. Chihuahuas are bold, brave little dogs and Dachshunds may look very cute but they are actually bred for killing badgers. So, this week we’re taking a look at some of the friendliest dog breeds as we believe if you’re choosing a family pet as a companion, you really need to get along! 

Of course, most dogs are friendly creatures, but there are certain breeds that really are man’s best friend. In the first of this two-part series, let’s take a look at some of the friendliest small and medium-sized dog breeds.

Boston terrier photo by SHVETS production on PexelsBoston terrier photo by SHVETS production on Pexels

Boston Terrier 

This relatively modern breed are often mistaken for French Bulldogs a they are a similar size and shape. Originally bred as fighting dogs they have earned the nickname “American Gentleman’ due to their soft and affectionate nature.

They make great family pets, are good with children and love to meet new people too. Although they need regular exercise they are suited to apartment living which makes them a great choice if you live in an urban area.

Pug photo by Lennart Wittstock on PexelsPug photo by Lennart Wittstock on Pexels


Originally bred as lap dogs for the Chinese emperors, these toy dogs have real character. Some people describe the as ‘a lot of dog in a small space’ meaning they are little dogs with the personality of a big dog.

Pugs thrive on human attention and don’t enjoy being left alone. They have a cracking sense of humour and love to show off. They love being part of a family and are extremely sociable. 

Shih Tzu photo by Helena Lopes on PexelsShih Tzu photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels

Shih Tzu

Just like Pugs, Shih Tzus was bred to be royal companions and they make sweet and affectionate family pets. They enjoy playing games, snuggling in front of the telly and they relish the company of children.

The name Shih Tzu means 'little lion', but this is down to their flowing mane, rather than their temperament - Shih Tzus are definitely lovers, not fighters! Although their personality is low maintenance, their coat can take a bit of upkeep and grooming so make sure you have time for the extra work that comes with owning one of these loving little pups.

Bichon Frise photo by Nikita Nikitin on PexelsBichon Frise photo by Nikita Nikitin on Pexels

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dogs originated in France, and like Shih Tzus they need regular grooming and trips to the groomer to keep their curly coats in good condition. These little dogs were bred for use in circuses so they are intelligent, energetic and love being the centre of attention.

It’s easy to teach a Bichon some tricks and they really thrive in busy households with lots going on around, so they make wonderful family pets.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on PexelsPembroke Welsh Corgi photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Popularised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are clever, cuddly and energetic little pups. Despite their short legs, they were originally bred for herding cattle in Wales and are very outgoing and independent. If you’re looking for a 'large small dog' they make wonderful family pets and are bold watchdogs too.  

If you’re getting a Pembroke Welsh Corgi as a pup, make sure you set plenty of time aside for training and socialisation as they can be quite stubborn so it’s important to build up a good rapport with them if you want to get along!

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen photo by Lilly M on Wikimedia CommonsPetit Basset Griffon Vendéen photo by Lilly M on Wikimedia Commons

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen 

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens or PBGVs as they are known, originated in France like Bichon Frise, and were originally bred to hunt together in packs. This means they are quite community-spirited and they really enjoy the company of children, other dogs and family members. They love to meet new people too.

If you’re wondering if the name means that they are related to that other short legged pup – the basset hound, it’s actually means low. Petit obviously means small and Griffon is shaggy so it’s a small, low shaggy dog. Vendéens is the area of France in which they originate.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel photo by Leah Kelley on PexelsCavalier King Charles Spaniel photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A very popular small breed and now often used for creating hybrid dogs such as the Cavachon (crossed with a Bichon Frise) and Cavapoo (Crossed with a poodle) these pups were intended to be loyal gentle companion dogs and whoever started breeding them for this purpose absolutely nailed it!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels fit right in as one of the family they love children, love to please and love to meet other dogs too. You can take them anywhere and they are also incredibly affectionate.

Bulldog photo by Creative Workshop on PexelsBulldog photo by Creative Workshop on Pexels


Don’t be fooled by the frowning face! Bulldogs are positively joyful dogs. They are also extremely low maintenance and very laid back. They don’t need much grooming and they aren’t bounding around full of energy or demanding to be walked six times a day – although they will still require daily moderate exercise.

A Bulldog is always happy to go wherever you go, they make great pub dogs and love meeting new people too.

Originally bred for bull baiting, Bulldogs are generally very courageous and make excellent guard dogs, but they are also very people-oriented and great with children.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier photo by Martin Dalsgaard on UnsplashStaffordshire Bull Terrier photo by Martin Dalsgaard on Unsplash

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Another tough-looking breed, which causes some people to mistakenly give them a wide berth. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier or ‘Staffie’ is still one of Britain’s most popular breeds – but they are often abandoned too so if you’re looking for a rescue pup that is really going to love you back, take a look in your local shelter to see if there are any Staffies there in need of a forever home before you shop for one.

Good-natured, playful and amiable, Staffies are renowned for their patience with children and they make wonderful, loving family pets. Like Corgis, they can be a little stubborn so make sure that you invest some time to train them properly in order to keep them in check.

Beagle photo by Artem Beliaikin on PexelsBeagle photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels


The same breed as of one of the world’s most famous dogs, Snoopy – like the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, Beagles were originally bred to hunt in packs which means they love company and being part of an active family.

A loyal companion, this medium-sized pup needs lots of exercise and will love to play games with the family and go for regular walks.

So that’s the end of our round up. Come back next week for our list of the top ten friendliest large dog breeds – and if you’ve got a friendly dog that we haven’t included in the top ten, let us know all about them in the comments section below!

Main photo: Beagle by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels

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