It's been said that a dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than he loves himself. Most dog owners would agree with this, but some pups are known to be a bit more adoring than others. If you want a furry best friend to curl up in your lap at the end of a long day, the most affectionate dog breeds will get the job done.
Well, most of the time. Your pup might be listed as one of the most affectionate dog breeds, but could still prefer to snuggle up by himself. On the other hand, your dog could be a breed that isn't known for its warmth yet loves to cuddle at every chance he gets. Many popular dogs were specifically bred for independence in their roles as cattle dogs, hunting dogs, and working dogs, while others were bred for companionship, making them excellent emotional support dogs because of their ability to bond with humans. In the end, though, it all comes down to a dog's individual personality.
Even the most affectionate dogs form varying levels of attachment with their families. Just like humans, dogs have diverse needs when it comes to physical contact and their desire for affection can change based on their mood, the situation they're in, or even the weather outside. (Did you know that dogs often avoid cuddles when they're trying to stay cool in the summer?) So, if you're looking for a velcro dog, this list of the most affectionate dog breeds is a good place to start. Just know that it's not a guarantee!
Get to Know the Most Affectionate Dog Breeds
1. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, so it's no surprise it's also one of the most affectionate. These pups are known for being sweet and gentle family dogs that are easy to train and build strong bonds with their owners.
These speedy canines may be best known for kicking up dust on the racetrack, but there's more to them than their competitive sides. Both miniature and full-size variations of greyhounds are friendly, laid-back pooches.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles spaniels are the definition of lap dogs. Their favorite place is wherever you are and when they're not begging you to play with them, they can usually be found lounging by your side. This affectionate breed's goal in life is to love and be loved by you.
4. Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are big, goofy, lovable dogs that have long been adored by pet parents and Hollywood producers alike. Shadow from Homeward Bound and Buddy from AirBud are prime examples of this breed acting as man's best friend.
5. American Pit Bull Terrier
American pit bull terriers are arguably the most misunderstood dog breed in the country. But in reality, these pups can be incredibly loyal, affectionate, and goofy pets. Their main goal is to please their owners and they've even been called "nanny dogs" because of their natural caretaking abilities.
6. Old English Sheepdog
Who needs a pillow or a blanket when you have a fluffy old English sheepdog in the family? These canines are crazy about cuddling and that's perfect, because their thick coats of fur practically demand to be petted.
7. Irish Wolfhounds
It's not uncommon for this giant dog breed to be mistaken for small horses instead of dogs, but don't let their size fool you. Irish wolfhounds are simply lap dogs that eventually grow out of your lap. (But shhh—don't tell them that. In their minds, they're still the perfect size.)
As one of Hollywood's original canine superstars, these Lassie-like dogs have proven both on the big screen and in real life that they're true people-pleasers. While their natural instincts may cause them to "herd" the humans in their lives, they build loyal relationships with their owners that seem straight out of a movie.
9. English Bulldog
English Bulldogs are calm and caring with an easy-going temperament. They are great with children and love nothing more than a day spent on the couch.
10. Great Dane
While Great Danes have an athletic and imposing appearance, their size shouldn't fool you—this breed is very playful and even works well around children. Great Danes make fantastic and affectionate family pets as long as they get plenty of food and exercise. Don't be surprised if one of these gentle giants tries to crawl into your lap!
11. Bichon Frise
Known to be great apartment pets and highly trainable, the bichon frise is also well-loved for its cheerful disposition. These tiny pups are the perfect companion if you're looking for an affectionate dog.
12. American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo dog is a highly intelligent breed with a knack for cleverness. The only thing bigger than their brains are their hearts! These dogs are known to be friendly, loyal, and very well-behaved.
13. Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature schnauzers are small terriers originally bred in Germany. Known for its trademark "beard," these dogs are less aggressive than typical terriers, making miniature schnauzers a great family pet.
14. Irish Setter
The Irish setter is enthusiastic, energetic, and athletic. Both beautiful and super affectionate, this breed is popular in the show circuit but makes a wonderful family dog.
This sweet and adorable breed comes in a small package, but can be very protective of their owners! Be sure to make sure they have a lot of socialization as puppies.
16. Alaskan Klee Kai
A small dog with a large personality, the Alaskan klee kai is known for being exceptionally affectionate. So exceptional, in fact, that the Alaskan Klee Kai Association of America has a warning on their website that these dogs might grow a little too obsessed with their owners. While obsession might not be the type of love you're looking for, it certainly qualifies as affection!
Boxers are a quieter breed sometimes called "shadow dogs" because of the way they follow their owners around. While this breed needs a lot of exercise to be happy, they slow down at an earlier age than many other dog breeds and love to snuggle.
These 17 loving dog breeds are known for their affectionate and eager-to-please temperaments, but it's important to remember that every dog is different. Always do research on a breed before you bring the best dog into your home!
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