8 People-Pleasing Dog Breeds


These eight breeds go the extra mile when it comes to pleasing their owners. Even today, many of...

These eight breeds go the extra mile when it comes to pleasing their owners.

Even today, many of them still work the jobs they were originally bred to do.


Australian Shepherd

Animated, adaptable and agile, the Australian Shepherd lives for his job, which still involves herding livestock and working as an all-purpose farm and ranch dog. Today, due to the breed's intelligence and versatility, "Aussies" also excel in AKC events such as agility, obedience and herding. Although sometimes reserved with strangers, they are "people" dogs that want to always be near their families.



His hunting ability, combined with a merry personality, has made the Beagle one of the most popular dogs in the United States according to AKC® Registration Statistics. Beagles are happy-go-lucky and friendly, making them a wonderful family pet. Since they lived in packs for hundreds of years, they naturally enjoy the company of other dogs and humans. They are favored by agencies like the USDA for their noses and ability to sniff out contraband food and other items brought into the United States.


Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is an alert, high-energy breed, very popular as both a police and military working dog. Intelligent and trainable, the Belgian Malinois possesses a strong desire to work and is happiest with regular activity and a job to do.


Flat-Coated Retriever

Although his tail never stops wagging, the Flat-Coated Retriever is suited for hard work. Originally bred to flush and retrieve both upland game and waterfowl, he transfers his determination, desire and verve on the hunting field to everyday life, enthusiastically participating in family activities and in the show, obedience and agility rings. Described by all who meet him as cheerful, optimistic and good-humored, the Flat-Coat excels as a family companion.


German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd Dog is hailed as the world's leading police, guard and military dog, but this dependable breed is more than its 9-to-5 job. The GSD is also a family companion, herder and show competitor. Energetic and fun-loving, the breed is very fond of children. He is a loyal family pet and a good guard dog, the ideal choice for many families.


Golden Retriever

The intelligence, working ability and eager-to-please attitude of the Golden Retriever has made him a useful hunting companion, guide dog, assistance dog and search and rescue dog. The breed is also often found participating in AKC sports like Agility, Obedience and AKC Rally®. They are willing to do anything for their owners for affection and treats.


Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers, originally from Newfoundland, were initially used in work alongside fisherman, helping to pull in nets and catch fish that escaped from fishing lines. Later, they were bred primarily to perform as an efficient retriever of game, with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of activities beyond hunting. Due to his desire to please his master, Labs excel as guide dogs for the blind, as part of search-and-rescue teams or in narcotics detection with law enforcement.


Portuguese Water Dog

The PWD was originally bred to accompany fisherman on their boats in Portugal. An exceptional swimmer and diver, the breed retrieved broken nets, dove for fish, carried messages between boats and to shore, and guarded the boat for his master in foreign ports. Although more of a family pet these days, the breed has transferred over that dedication and work ethic to its family. He is very intelligent and responds well to obedience training.


 Is your dog a people-pleaser? Let us know what breeds we missed (and share a pic!) to communications@akc.org.