17 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds That Are Always Up for Snuggles 

most affectionate dog breed

Overall, pups are an affectionate bunch. Some are especially loving, and that’s part of their popularity. Pooches form strong bonds with their humans. If you’re looking for affectionate dog breeds, these are the cuties you and your family might consider living with.

Of course, all canines are affectionate, especially when they receive lots of love.

Rescue dogs are always grateful, adore their families, and spend their lives thanking them for giving them a loving home.

Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

Prepare to meet the cuddliest and most affectionate dog breeds that will melt your heart with their love and devotion.

1. Labrador Retrievers

most loving dog breeds

Besides being especially friendly, the charming Labrador retriever was trained to stay by their human side in between retrieving ducks and helping locate waterfowl in the ocean. Labrador retrievers are good with kids and other pets; they are calm and gentle and like to play. The Labrador retriever bonds with their family. Labs are known for their loyalty.

Did you know there are two types of Labrador retrievers? American Labs and English Labs.

Working dogs and hunting dogs are particularly close with their owners because they’re bred to help, carry out commands, etc.

2. Old English Sheepdogs

dogs that love to cuddle

These shaggy cuties were drovers that herded sheep and cattle to the market. As a herding breed, the Old English sheepdog had responsibilities, which created a partnership with their humans.

Working closely with and depending on each other results in a team — like the relationships we have with our co-workers. They are popular because they are gentle, clever, adaptable, good with children, and trainable.

Old English sheepdogs love to explore.

They are one of a few English dog breeds on this list of affectionate pooches. The others are Bulldogs, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Pit bulls (also bred in Scotland and Ireland), and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

3. Bulldogs

Affectionate Dog Breeds

Smushy-faced Bulldogs’ ancestors were bred for bull baiting, a not-so-cuddly blood sport of tying a bull in a pit and making dogs attack it. When that was outlawed, the breed was refined to be adorable and darling.

They were rebranded as a friendly and affectionate family pet breed. Bulldogs bond with their owner and enjoy a cuddle. There are 15 different types of bulldogs from different countries.

Bulldogs are courageous, devoted, playful, friendly, agreeable, and calm. Their comical faces with a pushed-in nose, prominent jowls that flap when they run, and a big bottom jaw make them irresistible. They sense that we love them, and even at 50 pounds, they will attempt to get comfy in your lap.

4. Pit Bulls

cuddliest dog breeds

Precious Pit bulls include Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers. Although maligned by the media because irresponsible (and frankly, evil) people torment them and force them to fight, they are very sweet and eager to please their owners.

I met many while volunteering at a shelter, and they are just goofy, loving, fun, affectionate, and want to cuddle.

Originally, they were used for bull baiting. Pit bulls are friendly, energetic, like to play, and good with children. The American Kennel Club (AKC) says, “More than a hundred years of responsible breeding has transformed both breeds [Staffies/American Pit] from brawlers to loyal family companions.”

All dogs need to be socialized. Pitties think they are lap dogs and are always looking for their next snuggle!

There are many types of Pit bulls. Their temperament is misunderstood, and they make a wonderful pet. I have a pittie niece who is the sweetest little girl and never stops wagging her tail. They are such happy creatures. To know them is to love them!

5. Newfoundland

sweetest dogs

The Newfoundland looks like a gigantic teddy bear. The Newfoundland dog loves children and dogs, likes to play, and has an affectionate nature. They are/were protectors, water rescuers, fishing net haulers, and bred to be sweet.

Between working closely with their owners for their jobs and their love of people, these gentle giants are one of the most affectionate dog breeds and will cuddle with your family.

These gorgeous dogs are so friendly that they love strangers. They have webbed feet and are excellent swimmers, but on land, they pull carts, carry things like a horse would, and do whatever their people ask them to.

The AKC says that a Newfie called Brumus helped Senator Robert Kennedy and his wife care for their 11 children. When you have almost a dozen kids, you really need a nanny dog!

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

sweetest dog breeds

Bewitching Cavalier King Charles spaniels were created when Asian toy breeds, likely Pugs and Japanese Chin, were crossed with spaniels. In the UK, they are called Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and in the US, they are America’s English Toy Spaniels.

When a breed is bred to be smaller, they are meant to be affectionate companions and destined to be lap dogs like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

The Cav is affectionate, highly adaptable, friendly, and loves children and other dogs. It’s interesting that some breeds bond with their owners because they work with them, and others, like the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, are created to be played with and adored.

Besides the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, there are types of spaniels varying in the country of origin, size, colors, jobs, and appearance.

The Cav is such a friendly pet that they are comfortable with friends and strangers.

7. Great Dane

cuddly dog breeds

Majestic Great Danes originated in Germany, and no one knows why these gentle giants are called Danes. In Denmark, the Great Dane is known as Deutsche Dog, or “German dog.”

Great Danes hunted boar and protected homes. The Great Dane is social and calm, and they have big personalities and protective instincts. Great Danes are one of the very affectionate breeds.

They look a little intimidating but quickly create a lasting bond with their people. Imagine cuddling with a pup that can weigh up to 175 pounds!

8. Chihuahuas

most cuddly dogs

When the Aztecs conquered Northern Mexico, the nobles owned Techichis, the ancestor of Chihuahuas. Nobles had hunting dogs and dog companions. Chichis weigh six pounds or less, so they are quite portable and fit in your bed and on your furniture. They are sassy and loyal, so naturally, they’ll be right next to their owners for cuddling.

These tiny pups have a lot of personality and will nuzzle you to show affection. They just want to be on your couch and in your lap because Chichis crave attention. There are seven types of Chihuahuas that differ in head shape, color, size, and length of hair.

9. Boxer

most cuddly dog breeds

Beloved boxers are good with kids, are loyal, and are one of the most affectionate breeds. Their ancestors were used for blood sports and hunting big game, but Boxers were bred down to be family companions. They are clever and very trainable.

The Boxer has been a cattle dog, police dog, war dog, and guide pup. The Boxer has worked with people for many years, and they become emotionally close with them.

The Boxer dog breed is popular because they are smart, fun-loving, and sweet.

10. Brussels Griffon

affectionate dogs

This little bearded cutie pie was like a rat dog in Brussels (humble beginnings). They were bred from “Griffons D’Ecurie” dogs crossed with Pugs, English Toy Spaniels, an old Belgian breed called the Brabancon, and perhaps even Yorkshire Terriers.

The Griffon became popular with nobles. Companion dogs are bred to be affectionate. They are curious, have lots of personality, and are always ready for cuddles. A Brussels Griffon starred in the Jack Nicholson movie “As Good as It Gets,” and many people fell in love with the breed.

11. Bichon Frise

most loving dogs

These little captivating fluff balls are good with youngsters and dogs, are outgoing, and affectionate. The Bichon Frise was a favorite of nobles in France, Italy, and Spain in the 1300s. They lost their owners in France during the revolution.

Bichons were taken in by street performers and performed in circuses because they are adorable and smart. These stuffed animals come to life and are incredibly affectionate.

These little dogs are fun, energetic, and highly adaptable.

12. Pugs

Adorable Pugs have royal origins. They were lap dogs of Chinese emperors 2,000 years ago. The Pug is outgoing, affectionate, eager to play, has lots of personality, and is good with youngsters and other dogs.

The little pampered Pug loves attention and being with their people. These tiny pups were born to be one of the most affectionate dog breeds and make great pets for families.

13. Collie

Everyone loves beautiful and sweet Collies. They are affectionate, good with youngsters, devoted, and enjoy playing. Collies were created when conquering Roman herding dogs mated with native pups in Scotland.

They are devoted and clever. After watching Lassie on TV, everyone feels an affinity for Collies, and they are one of the most affectionate dog breeds. Collies make great family pets.

There are seven types of Collie dog breeds that have different appearances and include sheepdogs.

14. Golden Retrievers

most snuggly dogs

The Golden retriever is always near the top of the most popular pup list because they are affectionate, social, playful, gentle, and good with youngsters and pets.

The Golden Retriever is a lovely Scottish gun dog with the perfect temperament to guide blind people, do search-and-rescue, and have fun in obedience and other competitive events. Golden retrievers are joy personified.

There are types of Golden retrievers that vary from where they originated, their coat colors, size, and what they were bred to do. The Golden retriever is special in that they are beautiful, sweet, and known for their loyalty. They were bred to work with people, so they are happiest when with their family.

15. German Shepherd

what dog cuddles the most

The German shepherd is loyal, loving, intelligent, gentle, curious, good with youngsters, and playful. They may jump up for a hug. At the end of the 1800s, German cavalry officer Captain Max von Stephanitz and others crossed German herding dogs from northern and central Germany.

Today, we have five gorgeous types of German shepherd breeds. They are from America, Czech, and Germany.

When dogs were no longer needed to herd livestock, Stephanitz told the police that German shepherds were perfect K-9s. German shepherds also work as guide dogs and guard dogs and are in the military. The breed has worked with people for years and bonded with us. They are gentle and lovable.

16. Labradoodle

The Labradoodle is a combination of Lab and Poodle. They are loving, playful, clever, social, good with kids and dogs, and don’t shed.

Bred to have the best characteristics of both breeds, they are affectionate. Toy Poodles are especially affectionate. The Mini Labradoodle is also very loving — as Doodles are bred to be.

17. Shih Tzu

most gentle dog breeds

Enchanting Shih Tzus are good with kids and dogs, intelligent, playful, and outgoing. They were bred for the Chinese emperor, perhaps from Lhaso Apso and Pekingese dogs. They were created to be lap dogs with the purpose of loving and being lovable.

They are very popular in the US and the UK because they are great family pets and are always happy to lounge on the couch with you!


Which Dog Is Most Affectionate?

The most affectionate dog is a rescue dog because they are so grateful to have a loving home. The pooches in this article are all affectionate as well because it’s a personality trait.

What Is the Most Cuddly Low-Maintenance Dog?

A couple of sources agree that the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel is the cuddliest and most low-maintenance pup. It’s all about how they are trained and if you have toys, puzzles, etc., to keep them entertained and stimulated.

What Is the Most Attached Dog Breed?

One source says the Visla is the most attached and clingy dog breed. It seems like a lot of doggies just want to be in their human’s lap or next to them.


So now you know which furry friend to choose if you and your family want lots of love. Most dogs are very affectionate and loyal. If you give them affection and spend time with them, they will shower you with love. A dog’s behaviour is determined by training and treatment, so you can train them to be “lovey-dovey.”

Dogs, by definition, are wonderful creatures that we connect with emotionally. They are known for being loving and demonstrative.

Rescue dogs are very affectionate and grateful. You can check Petfinder to see which dogs are available to adopt.

Elise Margulis
Elise Margulis is a talented animal writer and a devoted pet parent residing near Manhattan in a cozy suburb. With a Chow mix and a rescued Siamese as her loyal companions, she's been animal-obsessed since childhood. Penning informative articles on pet nutrition, health, and animal welfare, she's also an avid advocate for adoption and animal rights. When she's not writing, she serves as the editor of two local online news sites. Working from home with her fur babies, she advocates adoption and animal welfare through volunteering and social media. A true animal lover and vegetarian for over 31 years, she's on a mission to raise awareness and make the world a better place for all creatures.

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