The best dogs for extroverts are breeds you’re going to want to consider if you’re someone who enjoys living a social lifestyle. And while it would be easy to assume that the right dog for an extrovert would be an extrovert themselves, both outgoing and shy dogs can be a wonderful choice.
Which breed you choose really depends on what kind of extrovert you are and how you enjoy spending your time. If you thrive on large gatherings and love spending hours in busy parks where you can throw the best dog toys for your fur friend, then a friendly and playful breed that gets on well with everyone from strangers to children, is a great choice.
However, if you’re social but not overly gregarious and enjoy throwing dinner parties at home, a gentle or mellow dog might suit you best, while those of you who like going on long hikes with friends may prefer a more active breed - check out our guide for ways to have more fun with your dogs on walks to make the most of your time in nature together.
The good news is that no matter what kind of extrovert you are, there’s a pup out there to suit your personality. Read on to discover our pick of the dogs we feel are the best match for people who draw their energy from being around others.
Best dogs for extroverts
1. Labrador Retriever
An enthusiastic athlete with a highly spirited personality, the Labrador Retriever is a friendly and outgoing pup that loves to be counted as a fully fledged member of the family. Eager to please, they lap up affection from everyone like it’s going out of fashion and will happily accompany you everywhere, from a hike in nature to a full-on social gathering. Flexible and adaptable, they thrive being around people and get on famously with strangers, children, and other dogs.
2. Golden Retriever
Just like their Labrador Retriever brothers and sisters, the Golden Retriever is another highly social breed who’s devoted, intelligent, and affectionate. They’re also incredibly intelligent and compassionate, which is why they’re so often used as search and rescue and therapy dogs. Plus, their smarts make them easy to train, which will make your life a whole lot easier. Golden Retrievers have huge hearts and you’d be hard pressed to find a person or a pet on the planet that they won’t fall in love with.
3. Springer Spaniel
If you’ve ever watched a Springer in action, then you don’t need us to tell you that this is one extroverted bundle of fluff! With insanely high energy levels, these dogs need a lot of exercise, so if you have an active lifestyle, this breed is well worth considering. They love hiking, running, camping - you name it - and their lives are never so full that they can’t make room for a new friend or two. With a huge love of their pack, they crave company and do not enjoy solitude.
4. Boston Terrier
These amusing little clowns are the life and soul of the party thanks to their bright and bubbly temperament and their dapper coat, which looks like they’re wearing little tuxedo jackets. Enthusiastic with newcomers who they’ll welcome with open arms, the Boston Terrier packs a big personality into a small package with a natural gift for comedy that will have people eating out of the palm of their paws. They are also deemed as one of the best behaved dog breeds!
5. Pit Bull
Pitties are a wonderful match for extroverts thanks to their incredibly confident natures and absolute love of people. They’ve garnered such an unfair reputation over the years as being aggressive dogs but this simply isn’t true. When trained and socialized correctly, Pit Bulls are huge softies with big hearts and good natures who are super smart and up for anything. They’re highly trainable and love a physical or mental challenge, so if you like being active (but enjoy a cuddle too!), this breed is a fantastic choice.
Whether standard, miniature, or toy, the Poodle is a social dog that beautifully mixes both brains and brawn. They are one of the smartest breeds in the world and their high intelligence levels mean they can be trained to do all sorts of tricks. But they’re also hugely active and make wonderful athletes, so this truly is a dog of remarkable versatility. Most of all, they love people - whether that be strangers or their own humans - and are very comfortable being a part of large or small gatherings.
Upbeat and playful, the spunky Boxer is a square-jawed and muscular dog that can have an imposing presence from a distance. However, once you get in close contact with this pup you soon realize that behind this strong and alert exterior lies a sweet and playful spirit. Exuberant and high energy, they are fun-loving pups and form strong bonds with their owners. Although they have an athletic build and look like they could easily bulldoze their way over the top of just about anyone, they are very gentle and patient with children, making them wonderful family dogs.
8. Irish Setter
With its flashy red coat and charismatic personality, the Irish Setter is the total package for anyone looking for a pup that’s as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. This setter dog breed is active and outgoing and manages to be both wonderfully sweet-tempered (great for us adults) and rollicking playmates (ideal for children). Responding very well to positive and patient training methods, they really are big kids at heart but do be careful if you already have other small pets at home - this is a hunting breed so they’ll need to be trained not to chase the cat!
9. Australian Shepherd
If you’re a high energy individual or family and have a lot of space around you, then the Australian Shepherd will fit right into your lifestyle. Smart, exuberant, and incredibly work-orientated, this breed is easy to train and excels at anything agility or obedience related. This is a pup that needs a ton of mental and physical stimulation in order to thrive, so you’ll want to ensure you have the energy to devote to them. However, if you do, this versatile and active dog will reward you by being an affectionate and loyal companion.
10. Bernese Mountain Dog
One of the world’s most beloved breeds, the Bernese Mountain dog is the gentlest of giants with a calm, affectionate and good natured temperament that makes it well suited to family life. This is a breed that adores people - old, young, it doesn’t matter, the Bernese Mountain Dog loves them all. Hardy, with plenty of strength and endurance, they thrive in cold weather and enjoy being active.
A small pup with a big-dog bark, the Dachshund is ever vigilant when it comes to watching out for those it loves. Vivacious, bold, and curious, this spunky little dog can be brave to the point of being rash and they know their own minds, with a stubborn streak that can make training a challenge some days! That being said, they have very endearing personalities and have long ago proven themselves to be excellent family companions, with the wire-haired Dachshund being particularly fond of the extroverted lifestyle.
12. Jack Russell Terrier
If you’ve ever been around a Jack Russell Terrier then you know that these lively pups have almost boundless energy - making them an ideal best buddy for extroverts! With a friendly and upbeat personality, this jaunty little dog has an eager, tireless, and confident disposition and its entertaining antics will make it a huge hit at social gatherings. Just be aware that they do have a strong prey drive, so you’ll want to train and socialize them well if you have other pets in the house.
13. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a big dog wrapped in a low and long package — but don’t let that fool you, they can be incredibly quick and agile when they want to be. Native to Wales, these pups were a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II thanks to their affectionate and companionable yet non-needy natures. Bright dogs that respond well to training, they’re very social but are also independent and can be left to their own devices when the need arises.
14. Border Collie
One of the smartest dog breeds out there, no discussion about the best dog breeds for extroverts would be complete without giving a big shout out to the Border Collie. An energetic and athletic herding breed, these dogs are tireless and will work from dawn until dusk without complaint. Nimble and agile, they’re super affectionate and adore their family, however in order to thrive they require a great deal of attention in the form of physical and mental stimulation. As long as you give them a job to perform, this loyal breed will make for a wonderful companion.
The Pug is a great choice regardless of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert because they’re just so darn flexible and adaptable — not to mention hugely lovable. In fact, this breed gives everyone the best of all worlds because while they’re highly social and love a crowd that will shower them with attention, they also delight in the opportunity to enjoy a good snuggle session on the couch with their favorite human. This is a dog that loves to give and receive love, and they also have wonderfully mischievous and comical personalities, which will ensure your home is always filled with laughter.
Pomeranian’s are total extroverts in so far as they absolutely adore their owner’s attention. A vivacious and vibrant dog who tends to think it’s a lot bigger than it is (it will happily take on dogs three times its size!), the lively Pom loves learning new tricks and they’re particularly fond of making their owners laugh with their mischievous antics. They also adore putting on a show for the masses and having people fawn over them, so your little Pom will fit right in at your next social gathering.
17. Parson Russell Terrier
A true extrovert who thrives on being in the spotlight, the bold and clever Parson Russell Terrier looks like a plush toy come to life. Best not to let their adorable good looks fool you though, this is a fearless and hardy little dog who was built for being active and they’re not afraid to get their paws dirty! If you want a pup that’s reflective of your energetic nature, then this breed is a top choice as they’re absolutely tireless and will have no trouble keeping up with your busy lifestyle.
We’re not sure there’s a Beagle out there that has ever met a person it didn’t like — that’s how friendly and outgoing this breed is. The merriest of dogs, they absolutely adore human company and will happily entertain strangers and friends alike with their lovable and happy antics. While they love to play and run about, they’re also huge fans of a good snuggle session, so if you want a dog that will cozy up with you at the end of a long day, the Beagle is well worth considering.
If you’ve ever watched the film Lassie then you’ll be familiar with this gorgeous medium-sized herding dog that’s known for its long flowing coat and gentle disposition. A devoted dog that’s famously fond of children, the Collie is playful, good natured and friendly, and its athletic abilities and high energy levels means it’s well suited to anyone who enjoys an active lifestyle. Loyal and of sterling character, they excel as therapy dogs and thrive on companionship. Just be mindful that this is a herding dog, so training is key if you don’t want your children or other pets being rounded up!
Fun-loving and upbeat, this bright and eager dog is the social extroverts match made in heaven. Loving and active family companions, Brittany’s have a beautiful and bold patterned coat and a soft and gentle face that makes it impossible not to adore them. They’ll be more than happy to join you on an outdoor adventure - or five! - but what makes them so versatile is that they also enjoy quiet time spent at home. Exuberant and affectionate by nature, they can also be quite sensitive so patient and positive training methods are important with this breed.
21. Cocker Spaniel
Known for their sweet temperament and butter-wouldn’t-melt good looks, the Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular dog breeds on the planet. Always eager to participate in family activities, the gentle Cocker Spaniel is brilliant with children and other dogs, and forms strong bonds with its owners. Friendly and affectionate towards people when properly socialized, their merry and sound temperament makes them an absolute joy to have around. Highly athletic, they love getting out and about on a good walk or engaging in a playtime rough and tumble session with kids.
Created by crossbreeding a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, the Goldendoodle is a charming pup who’s highly social and gets along well with just about everyone. Incredibly affectionate and super intelligent, this active and playful breed is loyal to those it loves and is a brilliant choice for both first-time dog owners and families. Easy to train, they’re best suited to environments where someone is around all day to avoid them suffering from separation anxiety.
Native to Cuba, the Havanese is the ultimate cheerful little dog, always walking with a spring in their step. Smart and trainable extroverts, they exude charm and friendliness, making it impossible not to fall in love with them. They’re very much velcro dogs, meaning they stick to their owners like glue and can become anxious and upset when left alone. Very affectionate, they’re brilliant with children, other dogs, and strangers, and their comical antics will have everybody in stitches.
24. Miniature Schnauzer
Standing at 12-14 inches and weighing no more than 20lbs, the sporty and low-shedding Miniature Schnauzer is a tough and fearless little dog who’s known for their intelligence and bucket loads of energy. Always up for a good time, they’re loyal and affectionate and make for great companions for people of all ages. Their bushy beard and eyebrows give them a charming, almost human-like expression and they adapt well to all living situations. Fans of vigorous play, they’re family-oriented and require a great deal of attention.
25. Flat Coated Retriever
As you’d expect from a dog that comes from the retriever family, this breed is cheerful, good-humored, and lovey dovey. A gundog of relatively recent origin, they exude a joyful spirit and have a huge zest for life. Outgoing, playful, and highly intelligent, these social and versatile dogs excel in a range of roles from family pets to therapy dogs. They have boundless energy, so you’ll want to live an active lifestyle if you’re taking this breed on, and they mature slowly, displaying mischief well into old age.
26. German Shorthaired Pointer
An enthusiastic gundog that’s known for its power, speed, agility and endurance, the German Shorthaired Pointer excels at activities on both land and water. With friendly and outgoing natures, they bond firmly to their family and thrive on human companionship. They’re eager to please, which makes them easy to train, however you’ll need to keep things interesting as they can easily become bored and lose focus.
27. Siberian Husky
You’d be hard pressed to find a more handsome dog than the Siberian Husky with its piercing almond shaped eyes, lusciously thick double coat and mischievous expression. But don’t be fooled, this striking dog with wolf-like looks has just as much substance as they do style and is known for their high intelligence levels and incredible endurance. Huskies are pack animals and because of that, they need to be part of a family group. As you’d expect from a dog of this nature, they’re brilliant with children, friendly with everyone, and hugely affectionate. Just be mindful that they need a lot of exercise and they are master escape artists, so a well fenced yard is a must!
28. Portuguese Water Dog
Originating from the algarve region in Portugal, this affectionate and adventurous pup was bred to be a fisherman’s helper and as such, they’re built for water work. Porties, as they’re nicknamed, are the ultimate fun-loving dog and aside from being great aquatic companions if you love a good swimming session, they’re also wonderful jogging and hiking buddies. Easy to train thanks to how smart and eager to please they are, Porties are adaptable to pretty much any living situation as long as they get plenty of exercise during the day.
29. Airedale Terrier
The largest of the terrier breeds, the regal Airedale has eyes that convey a keen intelligence and a loyal and loving nature that makes them great family pets. Bold, determined, and quite stubborn at times, the Airedale is docile and patient with children but has quite the courageous spirit which means it won’t back down easily if it feels its family needs to be defended. They also have a strong prey drive and can show aggression towards other animals if not properly trained and socialized. But when raised with consistent, patient, and positive training methods (they don’t respond well to punishment), they have a delightfully playful and comical side that makes them a huge hit at social gatherings.
One of the most distinctive looking breeds, the Dalmatian is an outgoing and smart pup famed for its spotty coat. Originally from the Dalmatia region of Croatia, this breed is bright, loyal, and loving, but their incredibly high exercise needs mean they’re not the right dog for everyone. If you choose to welcome a Dalmatian into your home you’ll need to make sure they’re getting plenty of daily activity that offers a mix of physical and mental stimulation - think long walks or runs, agility and obedience training, and brain games with puzzle toys. However, if you have similar levels of energy and enthusiasm, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderfully affectionate companion.
31. English Setter
The English Setter is a medium-sized dog with a very sweet, mellow and merry temperament. Unlike the Irish Setter (who’s very boisterous) and the Gordon Setter (who’s very reserved) the English Setter is charmingly social with an ability to form warm connections with strangers, children, and other animals. Suitable for families and first-time dog owners, the English Setter is a good watch dog - however once their owner gives them the nod that the person approaching is a friend and not a foe, they’ll quickly welcome them with open paws! A delightful companion to share your life with, the energetic English Setter is the perfect match for the active extrovert.
32. Silky Terrier
A member of the toy group, these dogs may be small but they are total dynamos with endless curiosity and an alert and spirited nature. They have a striking appearance with their gorgeously silky, flowing coats and while petite, they’re not at all fragile. Feisty but not yappy, they’re quick learners and adapt well to almost any living situation. Loving and vivacious, they’re always up for getting out and about with their owners but are just as happy to have a good cuddle on your lap. This is a pup that needs the constant companionship of its pack, so it won’t do well in situations where it’s left alone for long periods and they’re best suited to families with children over the age of 10 as they don’t like being poked or prodded.
33. Alaskan Malamute
One of the oldest dog breeds in the world, the large and imposing Alaskan Malamute is a member of the Spitz family and boasts unwavering strength and loyalty. These dogs have a tireless work ethic and require a lot of mental and physical stimulation so they thrive in busy and active environments where they can put their endurance and energy to good use. The Alaskan Malamute sees everyone as a friend, so the more people that are around the better, and they have a gentle, friendly, and playful spirit. However, in order to prevent them owning you (they’re strong willed and know their own mind) you’ll need to be consistent in your use of firm but loving training methods.
The Samoyed is one super cute pup with their thick and fluffy coats and upturned mouths that look like they’re always wearing a smile. They are gentle and friendly dogs but come packed full of a good dose of mischief too and their strong-willed natures can prove a challenge for novice owners. Good-natured and with a huge fondness for humans, the Samoyed are at their happiest when surrounded by people. Chatty and smart, they demand a lot of love and attention and do best when they’re kept busy as this prevents them from becoming bored and destructive.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.