The Most Loyal Dog Breeds (Velcro Dogs!)

Cuddling with a golden retriever
© Kashaeva

Written by Sandy Porter

Updated: August 10, 2023

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Known as the human’s best friend for a reason, many breeds of dogs are particularly loyal and loving. Whether you’re living the single life in the apartment world or countryside cozy with a farm full of critters, the right breed for your circumstances is important. The most loyal dog for you, though, is even more so.

Literally, thousands of dog breeds exist but not all are equally loyal. So, we’ve narrowed down the list for you to some of the most praised companion breeds you’ll find.

Border Collie

gold border collie

Border collies in many colors, but they’re all extremely loyal, high energy, and hard-working.

©Salyaeva Natalia/

For high energy, deep devotion, adorable personalities, and mad herding skills, look no further than the Border Collie. Made famous by the classic TV show “Lassie” these beautiful and deeply loyal and playful dogs make for some of the best pets and working dogs in the world. Highly athletic, incredibly intelligent, and hard-working, collies are favored in many families and industries alike.

Weighing in between 50 and 75 pounds and reaching 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder, border collies are amazing companion animals for singles, couples, or families. These graceful, well-tempered dogs come in many colors with either coarse or smooth coats, and are boundlessly delightful.

Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear

A Coton de Tulear is highly affectionate and loving.


Though perhaps less known by name than by looks, the Coton de Tulear is a charming, incredibly happy, loyal pooch. The fluffy white dogs look like walking balls of cotton. They can be a bit clingy, meaning they want all your attention all the time. But they’ll earn that attention through silly tricks and playful activity.

Cotons are happy, intelligent, charming little dogs that stand 9 to 11 inches at the shoulder, and weigh between 8 and 15 pounds when full-grown. The tiny pooches live 15 to 19 years and offer you a long life of close companionship and fun. They’re also highly affectionate and loving, so they’re more than happy to just snuggle, too.


Beagle dog asks for cucumber in the kitchen

Beagles are truly Velcro dogs like none other. Wherever you are, they are!

©Viktoriia Bu/

Coming in at 10 to 15 inches at the shoulder and anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds, beagles are a small, friendly, and extremely loyal dog breed. A happy life of 10 to 15 years will produce the friendly, almost doting pooches in one of the happiest bundles of fur around. The deeply companionable dogs adore their persons – whether solo or many – and thrive in homes with kids and other pets.

Sensitive souls, beagles need a good bit of affection and attention to be truly happy in life, though, so they’re not for the folks working 12-hour days.

Labrador Retriever

Black labrador retriever with its tongue out

Labs are known for being super affectionate, loyal, and high energy.


One of the most familiar family-friendly dogs on this list has to be the Labrador Retriever. Also known simply as labs (or black labs, chocolate labs, etc. based on their coloring), Labrador retrievers are independent but incredibly devoted to their people.

These hard-working, social animals love water but love people more. They generally grow to between 55 and 80 pounds and 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder. They’re a highly active breed, meaning they need plenty of running space or good, long walks.

Labs typically live 10 to 12 years of happy lives with kids and grown-ups alike. They usually like new people, tend to be easy to train, and they believe themselves lapdogs, so they’re always up for a cuddle.

St. Bernard

A Saint Bernard dog wearing a barrel in snowy weather.

While it might seem cartoonish, these massive dogs did once carry barrels in their line of work as avalanche rescue dogs.

©Becky Swora/

Need a giant friendly, cuddly pal? Look to the St. Bernard, a highly loyal, rather giant dog. These charming dogs are highly alert and protective of their people. They have traditionally worked in search and rescue, with their origins giving us the cartoonish picture of giant brown and white dogs with whiskey barrels on their necks. The giant pooches were employed as rescuers back in the 1700s by the monastery in St. Bernard Pass (earning their name) between Switzerland and Italy. The dogs were sent out with whiskey barrels along the treacherous route to save travelers buried in avalanches.

Today, these giant pups just want to give you their love and affection – all 120 to 180 pounds of it! They stand between 26 and 30 inches at the shoulder and typically live between 8 and 10 years.

Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are some of the most well-known dogs for their loyalty and loving personalities.


Similar to the Labrador retriever, the Golden Retriever is an exceptionally family-friendly, highly loyal dog. The beautiful, shiny coats and happy expressions they wear most of the time are just part of the charm. They make excellent service and therapy dogs, as well as emotional support companions.

The vigilant animals are careful of their humans and other animals but they prefer playtime and cuddle time with their favorite two-legged and four-legged critters over keeping watch. Not to say they aren’t hard-working though, because they are some of the hardest workers around.

Goldens typically live 10 to 12 years with a moderate to high activity level. They’ll reach 55 to 75 pounds and usually 21 to 24 inches at the shoulder.

Siberian Husky

Why do Siberian Huskies have blue eyes


Huskies are some of the most loyal and strikingly attractive dogs in the world.


For those looking for a great walking companion that’s as loyal as any breed out there, look to the Siberian Husky. The beautiful dogs measure in at 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and between 30 and 60 pounds. They have boundless energy during their 12 to 14-year lifespan and provide more love, affection, and cuddly companionship than you could hope for.

Originally bred to work in teams as service and working dogs, Huskies are tough, loyal, and gentle. They love their people fiercely and other dogs and pets, as well. On top of that, they’re some of the most beautiful dogs in the world, with incredible coloration and stunning eyes. The sweet personalities to accompany their devotion makes them ideal for families with kids and other critters tromping around.

Great Pyrenees

large breed dog

In their homeland, the

Great Pyrenees

is often called the Patou.


Another giant breed that will stray true no matter what is the gorgeous Great Pyrenees. These majestic dogs come in at 25 to 32 inches at the shoulder and between 85 and 110 pounds of pure love. They’re a calm breed that is fiercely loyal with a bark that’s pretty intimidating to anyone they see as a threat.

You’ll notice they look like giant teddy bears – and that’s what their personality is, too. They’re highly protective of their people and their pets (many of them love other animals like cats!) and give more love than you could ask for.

Great Pyrenees need a lot of attention, though, so they’re not for the distant pup-parent. They’re soothing animals, though, and make for excellent companions and – whether you like it or not – giant lap dogs. Families are their favorite, though they’ll become your absolute best friend in the world if you live solo. Just be sure to get plenty of quality training in early on and keep their exercise habits up.

French Mastiff

Dogue de Bordeaux or French Mastiff with young woman at outdoor park meadow.

The French Mastiff looks like a fighter, but in reality, he’s a lover who’ll stick to your side faithfully.

©Max4e Photo/

The largest Velcro dog you’ll find is probably the French Mastiff. These gentle giants measure in at 27 to 32 inches at the shoulder, weighing between 110 and 220 pounds. Large, certainly, they’re also courageous and equally patient. That means they’re amazing companions for families with kids and folks living on their own alike. They’re protective and intimidating to strangers but loving as can be to their own people and friends. In fact, Mastiffs are really just big ol’ softies.

These massive dogs require committed training as they bore easily – and they eat a ton. So, these gentle giants are for those with plenty of time to spend with their pooches and finances to keep them well-fed.


Akita standing on a hill with tongue out

The Akita is a protective, loyal breed from Japan.

©Tatyana Kuznetsova/

Originating in Japan, Akitas are one of the most loyal dog breeds you could hope to find. They’re on the larger (but not giant) size, coming in at 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder and 70 to 130 pounds. With an exceptionally brave and loyal spirit, these canine pals are your best friends for life, once you bring them home.

These working dogs are protective and territorial, so they must be socialized early in life with well-behaved adults. They live 10 to 13 years old and are described as “fiercely loyal” to their people, including their kids, with whom they’re extremely patient. As puppies, they kind of look like bear cubs, so add super cute to the score.


Beautiful silver and black Dapple Dachshund looks up at the camera from his bed on a silver pillow.

Doxies come in many color forms and both short and long hair lengths.


On the smaller side of the scale, the dachshund, whether standard or miniature, is a friendly, loyal, happy little dog that welcomes your love. Standards come in at 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder, with minis at 5 to 6 inches. Weights for standards are typically between 16 and 32 pounds, with weights up to 11 pounds for minis.

Whatever size, doxies are curious, intelligent, and highly affectionate, with moderate activity levels. This means they’re great companions for folks looking to cuddle up without having to have a big backyard for Rover.

Doxies live from 12 to 16 years when in good health. They love other doxies but may be stand-offish with other breeds, depending – but they’ll always prefer their own family over anyone.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

corgi runs on a beach

Corgis are adorable, energetic, and incredibly intelligent. Their bright eyes and personalities are only part of the appeal.

© Demianiuk

If cute, cuddly, happy, and intelligent sound like a good “package” in a pooch, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is your go-to. These incredibly clever pups love playtime as much as they love cuddling. They’re affectionate and alert and deeply loyal to their people. They need plenty of exercise and attention, though, so don’t bring one home unless you’re ready to have a true Velcro dog bounding with energy.

Making excellent watchdogs, Corgis come in at 10 to 12 inches shoulder height, weighing up to 30 pounds, and live 12 to 13 years on average.

German Shepherd

Black German Shepherd

While many of us may be more familiar with a sable shepherd with dark points, German Shepherds come in a variety of color forms.


For a serious-minded loyal dog, look to the German Shepherd. The beautiful dogs are loyal to their core, exceptionally intelligent, and hard-working.

Shepherds typically reach heights of 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 50 and 90 pounds. These dogs are wholly devoted to their family and tend to be fairly independent and aloof, so they’re the perfect choice for folks looking for affection without being overwhelmed by the need for attention.

German Shepherds are confident, loyal, high active, but relatively calm and protective of their own. They typically live between 7 and 10 years. They may come in black and tan, all black, all sable, sable with dark points, black and silver, gray, white, or red and black.


blue buffalo small breed

Chihuahuas may grow short, sleek fur, medium fur, or long, sweeping fur forms.


Whether you love the teensy, tiny teacup chihuahua or the standard size, these dogs originating in Mexico are a fiercely loyal breed. These minute pooches are exceedingly attached to their people, even to the point that others may never see the “true” character of the pup.

This little breed may weigh as little as under 4 pounds to as much as 7 pounds. They may be as short as 4.5 inches tall to as much as 8 inches tall.

The little dogs have plenty of energy but they’re fairly independent so they can burn off some of that in the backyard or running around the house. The feisty tiny pups need plenty of affection, though, and enjoy lots of walks. They are small enough to lapdogs comfortably and they truly expect to be at the center of your world.

Chihuahuas typically live between 14 and 16 years when they’re healthy.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound sitting on a table

With their short legs, basset hounds are ideal for scent-tracking of small animals and anything that might be close to the ground. They make excellent search and rescue dogs and excellent companions.

©Billion Photos/

If you want a chill and charming pal who won’t expect too much but will give loads of love, think Basset Hound. These medium dogs are known for their patience and their calm demeanor. They may be a bit stubborn but most of that lies in their loyalty and determination to keep you safe from the bad insects and animals out there.

They hit up to 15 inches at the shoulder and typically weigh between 40 and 65 pounds. Lifespan is between 12 and 13 years, on average.

And though they might seem sluggish and “saggy” thanks to their flanks, they actually adore long walks and long grooming sessions to follow.


A beautiful, young red fawn Chinese Shar-Pei dog standing on the lawn, distinctive for its deep wrinkles and considered to be a very rare breed.

A beautiful, young red fawn

Chinese Shar-Pei

. These dogs are known for their unusual wrinkly faces and skin and their intense loyalty.


There’s something utterly adorable about the wrinkle-faced shar-pei, a Chinese breed. These cuddly dogs are exceptionally attractive, for sure, but they’re also incredibly loyal to their humans. Friendliness bubbles over from their happy selves as they keep you company around the home. They’re wary of strangers but love their people intently, including kids, and are known as excellent guard dogs.

Shar-peis usually weigh between 45 and 60 pounds and stand at 18 to 20 inches at the shoulders. They typically live between 8 and 12 years.

Cocker Spaniel

cocker spaniel standing in grass

Cocker spaniels love to run and take long walks, making them excellent companions for folks who love the outdoors.


Weighing between 20 and 30 pounds, depending on gender, cocker spaniels are super-friendly medium-sized dogs. These pooches are incredibly loyal and love lots of affection, attention, and love. At one point in time, they were the most popular breed in the USA because of their adorable faces, friendly personalities, and love of playtime.

These pups love long walks and unbridled love – and usually take well to strangers. They usually live between 10 and 14 years.

Summary of The Most Loyal Dog Breeds

RankDog Breed
1Border Collie
2Coton de Tulear
4Labrador Retriever
5St. Bernard
6Golden Retriever
7Siberian Husky
8Great Pyrenees
9French Mastiff
12Pembroke Welsh Corgi
13German Shepherd
15Basset Hound
17Cocker Spaniel
Summary Table of The Most Loyal Dog Breeds

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About the Author

Sandy Porter is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering house garden plants, mammals, reptiles, and birds. Sandy has been writing professionally since 2017, has a Bachelor’s degree and is currently seeking her Masters. She has had lifelong experience with home gardens, cats, dogs, horses, lizards, frogs, and turtles and has written about these plants and animals professionally since 2017. She spent many years volunteering with horses and looks forward to extending that volunteer work into equine therapy in the near future. Sandy lives in Chicago, where she enjoys spotting wildlife such as foxes, rabbits, owls, hawks, and skunks on her patio and micro-garden.

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