Most Loyal Dog Breeds?

Dogs are (hu)mans best friend, but friendship takes many forms. Some dogs dont much seem to know, or care, who feeds them and walks them, falling in love with every stranger they meet. But not these breeds. Theyre loyal to their people, through and through.

They do require plenty of early training and ongoing exercise and mental stimulation, like their sheep herding brethren. The Rottweiler got a bad reputation in films but these sturdy guardians are some of the sweetest, most loyal family dogs around.

These large, dignified dogs of Japanese origin are alert and courageous, but also affectionate and patient with children (though aloof with strangers). Golden Retrievers are consistently among the most popular choices for family pets, as well as for service and therapy dogs. When Tokyo-based university professor Hidesabur Ueno adopted Hachik, a Japanese Akita, he couldnt have known his loyal companions devotion would transcend his guardians death.

Zanders guardian John Dolan had been away from home for two weeks when the Husky mix decided to take matters into his own paws . One night, he slipped out the back door of his New York home and walked for two miles across a stream and highway to a nearby hospital hed never before visited. Devastated, the family was forced to leave their beloved dog behind and eventually returned home to Silverton, Oregon.

But six months later, the family got a sweet surprise: after walking more than 2,500 miles and braving frigid winter conditions, Bobbie was home. Cristina Maria Cesario Santana was among the more than 600 people who lost their lives that January but it was only thanks to her dog Leo that she was properly laid to rest. He reportedly laid at his familys grave site for days until, finally, volunteers rescued the pup from his misfortune.

In the 17th century, Waghya, which means tiger in Indias Marathi language, was the loyalist of companions to his guardian, the warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Which is most loyal dog breed?

Collie. “Lassie” made this breed synonymous with loyalty, and for good reason. ….Labrador Retriever. ….Chihuahua. ….Rottweiler. ….Great Pyrenees. ….Staffordshire Bull Terrier. ….Golden Retriever. ….Akita.

Which dog breed is most loyal and protective?

Belgian Malinois. The Belgian Malinois are brilliant dogs, highly capable, and love to work. ….German Shepherds. ….Rottweilers. ….Doberman Pinscher. ….Bullmastiff. ….Giant Schnauzer. ….Rhodesian Ridgeback.

What dog breed loves their owner the most?

Labrador Retriever. The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, and it’s no surprise it tops the list as being one of the most affectionate. ….Greyhound. ….Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. ….Golden Retriever. ….American Pit Bull Terrier. ….Old English Sheepdog. ….Irish Wolfhounds. ….Collie.

Lets be clear, as pack animals, all dogs have an inherent sense of loyalty to their pack and crave love, companionship, and security. Yet, some dog breeds are known for being hyperfocused on one human or the entire family. Loyal dog breeds just might be the perfect fit for first-time owners who are looking for a devoted companion. Some dogs on our list are known for being super affectionate, while other dog breeds take pride in guarding their family. The most loyal dog breeds are the ones that are always by your side, no matter what life brings you. Though our list is by no means conclusive, here some of our favorites tell you about themselves in their own words.

Back in 1932, an Akita named Hachiko stole everyones heart after he sat at a Tokyo train station every day, waiting for his master, who never returned. His faithfulness touched so many; a statue was erected in his honor and still stands at the Shibuya Train Station in Toyko, Japan, and his story inspired the movie Hachi: A Dogs Tale.

Yes, I might be aloof with strangers and show an independent streak occasionally, but really, does it matter as long as my loyalty lies with you first? My robust and muscular frame makes me look more like a bouncer at that hip new dog park in the city. My humans show it by spoiling me because Im smart as a whip, friendly, and super cute (my luscious, long-haired coat is to die for).

All that rigorous mental and physical training with our handler developed a deep sense of loyalty that carries through today. Maybe that doesnt happen much these days, but long ago, when I found a lost traveler, I would cozy up next to them and lick at them to keep them warm while we waited for help. Im a huge teddy bear and a calm dog breed , but I will fiercely defend my family if they are threatened.

Hey, did you see my buddy, Daniel take first place in the Sporting Group at the Westminster Dog Show in 2020? I may only be about 10 inches tall and 12 pounds, but Im a fearless, spirited, and lively companion who is not afraid of the big Ccommitment. Go ahead and say what youre thinking: You aint nothin but a hound dog. How can I be a loyal sidekick to you if every time an exciting scent comes my way, Im howling and barking and chasing it down? My keen sense of smell and curiosity is something I satisfy by exploring.

As a member of a tightly knit hunting breed , Im genetically geared to be around other dogs or people. I may not give off a warm and cuddly vibe, but any dog parent will attest that Im a major softy inside. Admittedly, with my high prey drive (I like to chase things), Im probably not the ideal breed for families with young children.

Im quite content with hanging out at home for long cuddle sessions, but short walks are good for exercise and mental stimulation for both of us. Historically, we used to hunt small critters that burrowed in the ground, so we still love to bark, scratch, and dig when something gets our attention.

It might sound clich, but almost all dogs simply want to give us unconditional love. Innocent and true from the time they’re born, they look to us to give them the best life possible and will adore us in return. We humans definitely get the better end of this deal! But what are the most loyal dog breeds, and are they naturally this way or trained to become so?

While the following good pups might fit into the stellar category of best loyal dogs, Kelley says we can foster loyalty in every pet by, well, being the most rewarding thing to them. Calm, confident, and ever faithful, it’s no wonder so many heroic dog stories feature German shepherds going above, beyond, and through for their people.

If you yearn for a loyal pooch who’s absolutely happy to do whatever and trades snuggles with cats and kids , this silky-furred beauty is perfect. Cherished by queens, kings (she was once the ‘Royal Dog of France’), and sheepherders alike, this snowball of love is fond of her family. A trusty furred companion too proud to cling and too well-mannered to bark a lot, a Saint Bernard is a mighty dog with an even bigger heart.

Because she’s so bright, she responds well to gentle training and appreciates a casual stroll with you each day so you can share deep thoughts while she puts her sniffer to work . Despite their history, greyhounds enjoy daily walks with you and exploring fenced backyards before resting their long snouts on your knee for head pats. She might be happiest as an only fur child, but if she learns to adapt to other dogs and even cats in puppy kindergarten , she’ll be more inclined to let them into your inner circle.

If you’re considering adopting a rescue dog , keep in mind that depending on her background, Kelley says she might have challenging experiences to overcome and initially have trouble trusting you.

Any dog has the potential to become your best friend, but some breeds are known for being super loyal companions. So what are the distinctive qualities of a faithful, four-legged friend?

Many breeds that possess loyal traits tend to be very sensitive, due to their intelligence and close attachment to their humans, DiNardo adds. Some loyal breeds can be protective of their families and wary of strangers, so proper training and socialization at an early age is important, DiNardo notes.

This courageous, confident breed is just as loyal when working on the battlefield with armed service members as they are at home protecting their family. Much like the breeds fictional representation, the breed is a great companion dog, happy and active as well as being good with children and other dogs, says Bill Lambert, head of health and welfare at The Kennel Club , the official kennel club of the U.K. Be advised that Collies require a lot of exercise, so they are best suited for active homes. The Labrador Retriever earns its place as one of the most popular dog breeds out there, much in part to its affectionate and outgoing personality.

These working dogs once specialized in rescuing drowning victims at sea, but these days many Newfies happily fulfill the role of loving family pet. Dont let their muscular frame fool youmany Staffordshire Bull Terriers are sweet-natured companions that feel most at home with a family, Lambert says. They are hard-wired to protect those they love. Given their larger size (70 to 130 pounds) and independent spirit, its important to socialize Akitas from a young age with both other dogs and people outside of the family.

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1. Great Pyrenees

Like many herding dogs, the Great Pyrenees is a loyal guardian with a protective instinct. They’re also basically your very own Luck Dragon—perfect for the name Falkor, perhaps? This breed, and the similar Kuvasz, are majestic, calm, smart, and extremely floofy. Both the Great Pyrenees and Kuvasz are great family breeds, as they are very patient. They do require plenty of early training and ongoing exercise and mental stimulation, like their sheep herding brethren.

2. Collie

The Collie is one of the most devoted breeds. Lassie was a Collie for a reason! No other breed is as likely to alert the masses when Little Timmy falls down a well. The Shetland Sheepdog (“Sheltie”), also makes the list, as a pint-sized version of the Collie.

3. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler got a bad reputation in films but these sturdy guardians are some of the sweetest, most loyal family dogs around. They can be reserved with strangers, but love their people. And that’s what you want, right?

4. German Shepherd

It’s not a surprise to see the German Shepherd on this list. German Shepherds are loyal to their pack, and so smart that they are one of the most employable breeds, too! Three cheers for dogs with jobs.

5. Beagle

Beagles have also enjoyed a fair amount of attention in films, so their reputation for being loyal has already spread. This companionable breed has been many a man’s best friend for centuries. Sure, Snoopy had his own thing going, but in the end, he was very loyal to Charlie Brown.

6. Akita

These large, dignified dogs of Japanese origin are alert and courageous, but also affectionate and patient with children (though aloof with strangers). They definitely need plenty of early socialisation. As puppies, they have a strong resemblance to bear cubs!

7. Labrador Retriever

This list would not be complete without this quintessential family dog. They’re retrievers, after all. They always come back to you! Lab people know that these sociable, hardworking water dogs love their people to the point of wanting to lick their feet at all times.

8. Brittany

This fun-loving breed is “an enthusiastic worker” who’d love to do whatever job you give them. Many refer to them as spaniels, but they’re actually closer in personality and breeding to a pointer or setter.

9. Boxer

Boxers are very alert, and active, which makes them an excellent watchdog breed. They are wary of strangers, who would be fools to tussle with that loyal, lovable mug.

10. Dachshund

Though they be small, these little sausage dogs are very protective of their pack. There are numerous stories about Dachshunds saving their families from house fires, and even bear attacks. Bred to hunt badgers in Germany, they retain their persistent, curious hunting nature, along with plenty of smarts.

11. Golden Retriever

These smiley, patient, fun loving, eager to please, highly trainable dogs love of being around people. Golden Retrievers are consistently among the most popular choices for family pets, as well as for service and therapy dogs. Let this dog play on your team. You won’t regret it.

12. Yorkshire Terrier

This spunky little breed is one of the smallest, but one of the mightiest. They get very attached to their owners and quickly become skeptical of strangers. One look into those little eyes will assure you that Yorkies are not to be messed with.

14. Bulldog

The Bulldog has a reputation for being stubborn, but owners will soon find they’re just stubbornly in love with you. This dignified breed is brave but loving and protective. They know who cleans their wrinkles.

15. Staffordshire Terrier

The Staffordshire Terrier aims to please, at any cost. Sadly, this breed is often picked as a fighting dog, because they will do whatever they’re told. Responsible owners will find these dogs to be confident, courageous, and loving, as has been documented by many of their fans.

16. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are with you ’til the end. According to legend, they’re the breed that guides you into heaven. And they live for so long it seems they’re determined to see their job through. Chihuahuas become very attached to their one person, causing many Chihuahua owners to cry, “he’s different when it’s just us!”Whether you’re away from home for the week or just a few hours, Rover.com has you and your dog covered. Find and book local pet care with the nation’s largest network of pet sitters (many of whom offer dog boarding ) and dog walkers. Then hit the road happy—your dog is in good hands.

The Most Loyal Dogs of All Time

With stories like these, the world’s most devoted dogs won’t soon be forgotten.

1. Hachiko

When Tokyo-based university professor Hidesaburō Ueno adopted Hachikō, a Japanese Akita, he couldn’t have known his loyal companion’s devotion would transcend his guardian’s death. The day Ueno died abruptly at work from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1925, Hachikō was at Shibuya Station, like he was every day, waiting for Ueno to step off the train. Ueno never did but that didn’t dissuade his dog. For the next ten years, Hachikō returned to the train station every day in search of his beloved friend.

2. Zander

Zander’s guardian John Dolan had been away from home for two weeks when the Husky mix decided to take matters into his own paws. One night, he slipped out the back door of his New York home and walked for two miles across a stream and highway to a nearby hospital he’d never before visited. The dog had no way of knowing that Dolan was convalescing on a bed inside. A hospital employee intercepted Zander and got him back to his family home but Zander, who wasn’t allowed to see his sick dad, repeated the journey again a few days later. Luckily, Dolan’s hospital stay was short and Zander and Dolan were soon happily reunited.

3. Bobbie the Wonder Dog

On a road trip in 1923, three local dogs attacked the Brazier family’s Scottish Collie, Bobbie the Wonder Dog. Bobbie ran from his aggressors and hid so well that, when it was time to leave, he was nowhere to be found. Devastated, the family was forced to leave their beloved dog behind and eventually returned home to Silverton, Oregon. But six months later, the family got a sweet surprise: after walking more than 2,500 miles and braving frigid winter conditions, Bobbie was home. Bobbie the Wonder Dog’s journey made him famous and at his death in 1927, Hollywood canine star Rin Tin Tin was on hand to lay a wreath at the grave of Oregon’s most devoted dog.

4. Leão

When a series of rainstorms triggered landslides in southeastern Brazil in 2011, whole villages were tragically swept away. Cristina Maria Cesario Santana was among the more than 600 people who lost their lives that January but it was only thanks to her dog Leão that she was properly laid to rest. When rescuers arrived, they found the mutt digging in the mud. Santana and three other family members were trapped underneath. When the bodies were reburied at a nearby cemetery, Leão came too. He reportedly laid at his family’s grave site for days until, finally, volunteers rescued the pup from his misfortune.

1. Great Pyrenees

Just last week, I heard a little kid say, “Dad look at that big dog. It’s as big as a horse!” The kid’s right. I am big! As one of the biggest dog breeds, I tip the scales at around 100 pounds, give or take. But hey, a lot of that is due to my abundant, super thick, and waterproof coat. I used to protect sheep from sneaky, sly wolves, so it’s in my blood to feel responsible for protecting my family and property. Yet, you could say I fall into the gentle giant category because I’m pretty mellow, gentle, and affectionate with my humans family. I’m not the only mellow and massive breed in town.eftoefto/Getty Images

2. Basset hound

Admit it, you’re kind of surprised to find me on this list. I have a reputation for being lackadaisical, preferring to be a spectator of life instead of an active participant. But loyal? You bet your buttered biscuits I am. Being loyal is part of my temperament. And I’m also charming and patient except when I want food. My vocal range is enviable among other breeds, and I use it to my advantage by howling, grumbling, and whining (it’s adorable, really) for food, treats, and affection—three of my favorite things.milorad kravic/Getty Images

3. Akita

I’m proud to say devotion runs deep in my Japanese breed‘s lineage. Back in 1932, an Akita named Hachiko stole everyone’s heart after he sat at a Tokyo train station every day, waiting for his master, who never returned. Hachiko didn’t know his master died while at his office. His faithfulness touched so many; a statue was erected in his honor and still stands at the Shibuya Train Station in Toyko, Japan, and his story inspired the moviesusanna cesareo/Getty Images

4. Kuvasz

I don’t mean to humblebrag, but if you’re looking for the most loyal dog breed, I’m known for being “profoundly loyal, “thank you very much. As a rare dog breed, you probably don’t know about you might not realize I tip the scales between 80 to 115 pounds, but I don’t get many complaints about taking up a sofa cushion. Everyone loves to snuggle up to my gorgeous white and thick coat. As a breed from the working class, I’m naturally inclined to be loyal and protective of my family. Yes, I might be aloof with strangers and show an independent streak occasionally, but really, does it matter as long as my loyalty lies with you first?Nikola Stojadinovic/Getty Images

5. Rottweiler

My robust and muscular frame makes me look more like a bouncer at that hip new dog park in the city. I may look intimidating and mean, but I’m not. Well, I should clarify that. I might be a bit standoffish with people I don’t know. It’s not that I’m rude—guarded is more like it. I love spending time with my family and would do anything to protect them and our home. Now that doesn’t mean I want to be on guard duty and isolated. That kind of life isn’t for me. Spending time with my fam, aka my top priority, is my jam.Gary John Norman/Getty Images

6. Collie

If I had a dog biscuit for everyone who says, “you look just like Lassie,” my mom would never have to buy them again. I haven’t saved anyone from a well, but I would put on my superhero cape if my family were in crisis. My unwavering devotion clearly makes me one of the most loyal dog breeds around. My humans show it by spoiling me because I’m smart as a whip, friendly, and super cute (my luscious, long-haired coat is to die for). Sometimes my enthusiastic barking gets “that look” from my dad, but it’s just my way of saying, “let’s get some exercise!”SStajic/Getty Images

7. Boxer

I’ve got a fast fact for you. Did you know that boxers were one of the first breeds used as police and military dogs? All that rigorous mental and physical training with our handler developed a deep sense of loyalty that carries through today. In the 1940s, we were all the rage and have been one of the most popular dog breeds since. I think families with kids really love us because we’re so playful and gentle with young ones. Fair warning— if the fam is preoccupied with their screens, I might get into a bit of mischief out of sheer boredom!Cavan Images/Getty Images

8. St. Bernard

Cue the Swiss Yodeling…the original search and rescue dog is here! People are ecstatic to see me if they’re stranded in the snow-covered mountains. Maybe that doesn’t happen much these days, but long ago, when I found a lost traveler, I would cozy up next to them and lick at them to keep them warm while we waited for help. To say I’m loyal and focused is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m a huge teddy bear and a calm dog breed, but I will fiercely defend my family if they are threatened.SashaFoxWalters/Getty Images

9. German shepherd

Faithful, dedicated, and a workaholic, some might say. My German dog breed is well-known for its unfailing and tireless service for the police and military. I might look like I’m all business, but my commitment to you runs deep. That includes the kiddos too. Nobody’s coming into our yard without my permission—except for the family cat. I’m OK with family pets but a little cautious of other dogs. I’ll never leave your side, whether it’s in a fox hole or your backyard. My heart beats for you and our family.Justin Paget/Getty Images

10. Labrador retriever

Hey there! Can I lick your ice cream cone? Can we see your friends with the kids who drop food? Oh wait, can we see my buds at the dog park? Never mind, I think I want to play fetch, collapse, and then snuggle. I know it seems like I’m the extrovert in overdrive, but at the end of the day, I’m one of the most loyal dogs—and smartest, too!—on the planet. I have so many things I like to do. And if we’re honest, I probably have more friends than you. Just kidding! Ultimately, I always choose you.Westend61/Getty Images

11. Golden retriever

Hey, did you see my buddy, Daniel take first place in the Sporting Group at the Westminster Dog Show in 2020? We’re always the fan-favorite at dog shows because we’re just so darn lovable and friendly. I love that people adore us for our easygoing nature yet appreciate our more serious side as service dogs. We’re basically the whole package: easy-going, smart, cuddly, playful, dependable, and trustworthy. Best of all: We’re true-blue devoted to you.fotografixx/Getty Images

12. Norfolk terrier

Who knew one of the most loyal dogs would be in such an adorable package? I may only be about 10 inches tall and 12 pounds, but I’m a fearless, spirited, and lively companion who is not afraid of the big C—commitment. My pack dog camaraderie gives me an extra helping of sweetness. When humans compare me with other terriers, they say I tend to be a little more outgoing. My close bond with you might make me jealous of other people at times. When I feel jilted, I might start digging holes to let you know!SStajic/Getty Images

13. Tibetan terrier

I bet you thought I was a Lhasa Apso. It’s not difficult to make that mistake. We’re one of those dog breeds everyone always gets confused. I’m bigger than my goofy cousin, who covets being the center of attention. I’m like a dog with two tails when I’m with my human! Yet, I have enough love to share with other people, too—my sweet and affectionate nature comfort people in nursing homes and hospitals. Whether I’m wearing a therapy dog badge or not, my steadfast devotion to you will always be my top priority.Maryna Terletska/Getty Images

14. Beagle

Go ahead and say what you’re thinking: “You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog.” How can I be a loyal sidekick to you if every time an exciting scent comes my way, I’m howling and barking and chasing it down?” My keen sense of smell and curiosity is something I satisfy by exploring. Kind of like what a hobby is for you. Let’s do it together! As a member of a tightly knit hunting breed, I’m genetically geared to be around other dogs or people. I would never be happy as a solo act. My irresistible adorable floppy ears are just the icing on the cake.inhauscreative/Getty Images

15. Portuguese water dog

I have a strong pull to the water, no doubt. I love to swim and play in the water, but doing it alone isn’t much fun. Plus, you should never swim alone, right? Even if you’re not much of a swimmer, we can do other things together just as long as it’s physical. I need to expend some energy and get plenty of exercise. By nightfall, I’ll be ready to snuggle up on the sofa. I may be a strong-willed and spirited medium dog breed, but maybe it’s just my way of telling you I want more time with you.TayaCho/Getty Images

16. Welsh Springer spaniel

If you’re looking for a companion who will never leave your side, and I mean never, I’m your pup. It has been said that we need to be with our human every minute of the day. We’ll follow you to the ends of the earth—and to the bathroom. Sounds kind of needy? I guarantee that’s not the case. It’s not like I’m demanding belly rubs and petting around the clock. I’ll return your love with plenty of affection and happily hang out with the kiddos too. I’ll need socialization when I’m a pup, so I’m not so timid and shy around people outside of our family unit.GoodLifeStudio/Getty Images

17. Belgian Malinois

I may not give off a warm and cuddly vibe, but any dog parent will attest that I’m a major softy inside. My sense of duty and dedication make me a blue-chip candidate for police work, military patrol, and therapy work. It’s that same commitment to my work that makes me so loyal at home—whether I’m a working dog or strictly a companion dog. I have a high-energy drive, but I like to direct that more toward serious things like obedience and agility training. Admittedly, with my high prey drive (I like to chase things), I’m probably not the ideal breed for families with young children. My unwavering devotion is to one person, and I literally would be a lost soul with my human.LourdesPhotography/Getty Images

18. Skye terrier

I like to wear a bandana around my neck that says, “I’m with her” (or him!). Kidding aside, I don’t have a roving eye and am faithful only to you. I’m one of the most loyal dog breeds in the terrier group. Here’s another reason why I stand apart from other terriers—I don’t need much exercise. Some of my terrier cousins are in zoomie mode most of the day, but that’s not how I roll. I’m quite content with hanging out at home for long cuddle sessions, but short walks are good for exercise and mental stimulation for both of us. Though, we’ll probably be the talk of the town with too-cute short-legged swagger.IzaLysonArts/Getty Images

19. American Staffordshire terrier

Even though I’m one of the most popular breeds in the United States and the United Kingdom, I still get a bad rap for being aggressive and mean. Truth be told, the “facts” about my breed are totally wrong. If you took a peek inside my house, you would see that I’m good-natured, fun-loving, and can quickly pick up new tricks and commands. My bond with my human parents and kids runs deep. I generally reserve my devotion to them above all others. That said, it may take a little while to warm up to new friends, including dogs I haven’t met and small pets. Fun fact: I’m also a brindle dog breed!Thais Almeida/Getty Images

10 Most Loyal Dog Breeds

Some loyal dogs watch and follow you like it’s their job. Genetically, it might be, Kelley says. In fact, a 2019 study at the University of Arizona identified “131 places in a dog‘s DNA that may help shape 14 key personality traits.” So for example, when you hear about canines naturally adept at shepherding, that guardian characteristic has passed down through many generations.”Loyalty by that definition lends itself to dogs who are more selective and prefer a few people who are well-connected to their person,” Kelley says. So how do loyal dog breeds demonstrate devotion to you? He assesses it with the following behaviors:To encourage a greater bond, Kelley says to start positive reinforcement training with small scenarios and build up to greater challenges. “Just because your dog isn’t necessarily listening to you doesn’t mean she’s disloyal. It could just be that she needs more practice!”

Rottweiler

Don’t be fooled by that ruff tuff mug. A Rottweiler is one the most popular dog breeds in the U.S., and it’s because snugglebug is his middle name. Fans of Rotties coo about their companionship and dedication to family, especially when trained as puppies with proper socialization skills. (He’s even the star of a children’s book!) These hardy and clever working dogs are actually quite sensitive and don’t like to be left home alone.

Chihuahua

Oh sure, a Chihuahua will slip some sassy shade on you, but she’s also most content tucked into the crook of your arm. This pint-sized pooch

German Shepherd

Brilliant German shepherds could certainly write the loyal dog breed manual. Calm, confident, and ever faithful, it’s no wonder so many heroic dog stories feature German shepherds going above, beyond, and through for their people. You’ve heard of ‘Velcro dogs’, right? Yep, these are them—always wanting to stick with their people like the connective fabric. Train, exercise, and love a German shepherd and they’ll be your best friend forever.

Cocker Spaniel

Once you gaze into the soft brown eyes of a cocker spaniel, her sweetness completely washes over you, and that’s a

Labrador Retriever

A Labrador retriever, be he black, chocolate, or golden, nuzzles his way into your heart and never leaves. For 30 years, this pooch has held the first spot on the American Kennel Club’s most popular dog list. That’s three entire decades! Steadfast, true, and smart, he’s a versatile buddy who does just about everything. Go on adventures? Sure! Comfort people as a therapy dog? Yes! Save you from a rattlesnake? Absolutely, but we

Great Pyrenees

All you need to know is in the name: Great Pyrenees. So great! Cherished by queens, kings (she was once the ‘Royal Dog of France’), and sheepherders alike, this snowball of love is fond of her family. But as an independent thinker, she might want to go her own way once in a while, so consistent positive reinforcement training keeps her close. What else should you keep nearby? Grooming supplies, as this polar dog sheds

Saint Bernard

A trusty furred companion too proud to cling and too well-mannered to bark a lot, a Saint Bernard is a mighty dog with an even bigger heart. She has infinite patience for children who treat her kindly. Those slobbery kisses will wake you up, though! Because she’s so bright, she responds well to gentle training and appreciates a casual stroll with you each day so you can share deep thoughts while she puts her sniffer to work.

Greyhound

Few sights are as wonderful as a greyhound sprinting. It’s what they were bred to do. However, fans of this darling loyal dog breed say they’re also the most smoochable ’40 mph couch potatoes’ you’ll ever meet. Empty nesters can easily cozy up with this tender and mellow pup. Despite their history, greyhounds enjoy daily walks with you and exploring fenced backyards before resting their long snouts on your knee for head pats.

Akita

One of Japan’s six treasured national breeds, if you approach an adorable Akita and she doesn’t know you, expect a cold shoulder. She’s 110 percent dedicated to her people, and playful and affectionate with them. The rest of us get a little side-eye. She might be happiest as an only fur child, but if she learns to adapt to other dogs and even cats in puppy kindergarten, she’ll be more inclined to let them into your inner circle.

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Any dog has the potential to become your best friend, but some breeds are known for being super loyal companions. So what are the distinctive qualities of a faithful, four-legged friend?“Key traits of a loyal dog include being confident, devoted, and affectionate,” says Gina DiNardo, executive secretary at the American Kennel Club. That devotion is one of the big reasons people gravitate toward loyal dog breeds. “Many breeds that possess loyal traits tend to be very sensitive, due to their intelligence and close attachment to their humans,” DiNardo adds.Like all breeds with a dominant personality trait, there are certain factors to consider before committing to a loyal dog. “Some loyal breeds can be protective of their families and wary of strangers, so proper training and socialization at an early age is important,” DiNardo notes. Even within the family unit, “giving your dog one-on-one time with each family member…is important to keep your loyal breed from becoming too protective over one person,” she advises.If you’re searching for a true-blue canine companion, look no further than our list of the 10 most loyal dog breeds.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and ability to adapt to a variety of roles. This courageous, confident breed is just as loyal when working on the battlefield with armed service members as they are at home protecting their family. “Their defining attribute is…the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones,” DiNardo says. “German Shepherds will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians” no matter who they’re protecting.

Collie

“Lassie” made this breed synonymous with loyalty, and for good reason. “Much like the breed’s fictional representation, the breed is a great companion dog, happy and active as well as being good with children and other dogs,” says Bill Lambert, head of health and welfare at The Kennel Club, the official kennel club of the U.K. Be advised that Collies require a lot of exercise, so they are best suited for active homes.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever earns its place as one of the most popular dog breeds out there, much in part to its affectionate and outgoing personality. “Labs are companionable housemates who bond with the whole family,” says DiNardo. Unlike some of the more profoundly loyal dog breeds, “they socialize well with neighbor dogs and humans alike.”

Chihuahua

Little dog, big personality. Weighing in at 4 to 6 pounds, these pint-sized pups are full of confidence, and typically love to go everywhere their owners go. “They were bred to be companion dogs, so they love attention,” Lambert says. Remember: Even small dog breeds need training. When it comes to good manners, there are no size limitations!

Rottweiler

Rottweilers are first and foremost known for their protective nature, earning them a reputation as a guard dog. They require “a calm, stable, and firm ‘pack leader’ or they will assume that role for you,” DiNardo advises. However, if you’re willing to put in the time, you shouldn’t be intimidated by this sturdy, loyal dog breed. “Rottweilers are confident, powerful, and loving companions,” she says. Lambert agrees, adding that a Rottweiler can make “a wonderful family companion, with a responsible owner.”

Newfoundland

These gentle giants are “known for being a patient and loyal family companion,” Lambert says. In fact, they’re commonly referred to as “nanny dogs” because they are often good with kids. These working dogs once specialized in rescuing drowning victims at sea, but these days many Newfies happily fulfill the role of loving family pet. At 100 to 150 pounds, the devoted Newfie is the largest loyal dog breed to make our list.

Great Pyrenees

This majestic breed is not only a natural guard dog but also gentle and good with children. Their large frame moves with speed and agility, yet they’re known for their calm demeanor. As DiNardo puts it, the Great Pyrenees is “a mellow companion and vigilant guardian of home and family.”

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Don’t let their muscular frame fool you—many Staffordshire Bull Terriers are sweet-natured companions that “feel most at home with a family,” Lambert says. “As a breed, they are known to be loyal, intelligent, and affectionate, especially with children.” Make sure to socialize this breed early to ensure good behavior with other people and dogs.

Golden Retriever

It’s not hard to figure out why Golden Retrievers are also among the most popular dog breeds. “Goldens are outgoing, trustworthy, and eager-to-please family dogs, and relatively easy to train,” DiNardo says. As one of the more easy-going dog breeds on our list, the Golden Retriever is “a devoted family dog” that would make a nice addition to many households.

Akita

This Japanese breed is one of the most profoundly loyal on this list. “Akitas are often wary with strangers and other animals but thrive on human companionship,” says DiNardo. “They are hard-wired to protect those they love.” Given their larger size (70 to 130 pounds) and independent spirit, it’s important to socialize Akitas from a young age with both other dogs and people outside of the family.

Tips for Loyal Dog Breeds

While all of these dog breeds are known for their loyal nature, it’s important to remember that each dog is an individual. “Anyone considering a dog must remember that temperament is specific to each individual dog and their upbringing, and training is vital, especially if the dog will be a family companion,” Lambert says.Lambert reiterates the importance of proper training and socialization early on, especially for super-loyal breeds. “With all dogs, but particularly those that are extremely loyal, it is important to get them used to being left alone when you are not there to prevent them suffering from separation anxiety as they get older,” he says.If your loyal dog is always by your side, chances are you’ll be spending plenty of time together outdoors. No matter where your adventures take you, it’s important to protect your dog against harmful parasites. Some monthly chews, like Interceptor® Plus (milbemycin oxime/praziquantel), are effective against heartworm disease and hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, and whipworm infections. For protection against ticks and fleas, consider a tasty chewable like Credelio® (lotilaner).Loyalty goes both ways. Keeping our canine companions happy and healthy shows we care about them as much as they care about us!

Credelio Indications

Credelio kills adult fleas and is indicated for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations, treatment and control of tick infestations (lone star tick, American dog tick, black-legged tick, and brown dog tick) for one month in dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older and 4.4 pounds or greater.

Credelio Important Safety Information

Lotilaner is a member of the isoxazoline class of drugs. This class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions including tremors, incoordination, and seizures. Seizures have been reported in dogs receiving this class of drugs, even in dogs without a history of seizures. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders. The safe use of Credelio in breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs has not been evaluated. The most frequently reported adverse reactions are weight loss, elevated blood urea nitrogen, increased urination, and diarrhea. For complete safety information, please see Credelio product label or ask your veterinarian.

Interceptor Plus Indications

Interceptor Plus prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm infections in dogs and puppies 6 weeks or older and 2 pounds or greater.