17 Most Loyal Dog Breeds That Will Never Leave Your Side

most loyal dog breeds

A dog’s loyalty is one of the best things you can ever have in your life. There’s nothing better than looking down to see your best buddy by your side.  

Loyal dogs all have one thing in common: they are dedicated to their families. They’re in tune with what their owners want and can match their energy.

Some show their loyalty in the way they protect their homes and yards and the way they look after their humans. Others show their loyalty in how they want nothing more than to please you and be next to you all the time. 

While there are certainly dog breeds that are loyal by nature, any dog really has this capability if it’s treated right and if it has the right personality. 

Most Loyal Dog Breeds

While it’s true any dog can be extremely loyal, even mixed breed pups, there are certain dog breeds that are just inherently so. Let’s take a look at a few of our top choices for the most loyal dog breeds. 

1. Labrador Retriever

most loyal dogs
GroupSporting
Weight55 to 80 pounds
Dog’s Size21.5″ to 24.5″
Fur and ColorDense, short double coat; black, yellow, or chocolate
Lifespan10 to 12 years

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most loyal dog breeds and one of the most popular dogs in the US. It originates, however, from Newfoundland and is often used as a hunting dog, even today.

The Labrador Retriever is highly energetic with seemingly boundless energy and loves to play, but it’s also affectionate and very content to snuggle up with its owner. You’ll often find them underfoot and following you from room to room.

Fun fact: they’re also my favorite dog to own. 

2. German Shepherd

loyal dog breeds
GroupHerding
Weight60 to 100 pounds
Dog’s Size22″ to 26″
Fur and ColorMedium-length, double coat; black and tan, black and red, black and silver, white, gray, black, bicolor, and others
Lifespan7 to 10 years

German Shepherds hail from Germany, and it’s a breed that dates back to the 1800s. The German Shepherd makes a great watchdog and is often used in militarypolice, and rescue organizations.

However, at home, German Shepherds are known for bonding with their people, especially children, as loyalty is a huge part of their makeup. Socializing your German Shepherd is necessary to avoid it becoming overprotective.

If you want to draw people’s attention, try adopting a white German Shepherd

3. Chihuahua

loyal dogs
GroupToy
Weight2 to 6 pounds
Dog’s Size6″ to 9″
Fur and ColorShort and smooth, or long coat; several color varieties, including black, fawn, white, tan, cream, silver, blue, red, and chocolate
Lifespan12 to 20 years

The Chihuahua is another one of the most popular dogs in the country, and it’s also one of the most loyal dog breeds out there. These small but mighty dogs pack a lot of personality into their small bodies.

Chihuahuas are fun and playful, but they also take their loyalty seriously, choosing to bond with their humans. There are several different types of Chihuahuas as well. Because of their size, Chihuahuas do best in homes with older children.  

4. Golden Retriever

loyal dog
GroupSporting
Weight55 to 75 pounds
Dog’s Size21.5″ to 24″
Fur and ColorMedium-length double coat; Dark golden, golden, light golden
Lifespan10 to 12 years

If you’re in the market for a goofy, fun-loving dog, the Golden Retriever is your best bet in the loyal dogs category. These pups are high-energy and love to play, but more than that, they simply love everyone, including children.

Golden Retrievers are very outgoing and social, but they’re also eager to please, which means they’ll do (sometimes literally) backflips to keep their humans happy.

They’re also friendly and intelligent, which means you’ll never have a problem training them, and they’re often used as therapy dogs.

5. Pug

what are the most loyal dogs
GroupToy
Weight14 to 18 pounds
Dog’s Size10″ to 13″
Fur and ColorSmooth, short coat in black or fawn
Lifespan13 to 15 years

Pugs have made our list as one of the most loyal dog breeds because of their loving and affectionate nature. They are small dogs, which means they fit well in apartments or homes, and they are very playful at times.

Pugs love to be companions and cuddle up with you when you’re winding down. If you’re looking for a couch buddy while you binge-watch your favorite series, this is it! 

6. Bulldog

most loyal and protective dog breeds
GroupNon-Sporting
Weight40 to 50 pounds
Dog’s Size14″ to 15″
Fur and ColorSmooth, short coat; fawn, red, white, red, brindle, fallow, or any combination thereof
Lifespan8 to 10 years

The English Bulldog is one of several different types of Bulldogs you’ll find. This pup has a short, stocky build and is happy to live its life, being an incredibly loyal companion.

Bulldogs are known for being easygoing and sweet, and they’re devoted to their humans and children.  

7. Beagle

what is the most loyal dog breed
GroupHound
Weight20 to 25 pounds
Dog’s SizeTwo sizes: under 13″, 13″ to 15″
Fur and ColorShort, smooth coat; tricolor of black, white, tan, reddish brown, or lemon
Lifespan10 to 15 years

The Beagle, while ornery and mischievous, are one of the most loyal dog breeds out there. They’re very sweet pups with sensitive souls and extremely loyal companions who love to be around their humans.

Beagles get along well with other dogs and other pets, which makes them wonderful household additions. The beagle is an intelligent, determined dog, too, so don’t be surprised if they display a bit of bold behavior.

You can easily correct Beagles, though, because they’re eager to please and thrive on making their owners happy. 

8. Doberman Pinscher

most loyal dog
GroupWorking
Weight65 to 100 pounds
Dog’s Size 24″ to 28″
Fur and ColorShort, smooth coat; black, blue, red, fawn, with rust markings
Lifespan10 to 12 years

When you picture a Doberman Pinscher, it’s easy to think of a watchdog because that’s the stigma these dogs are saddled with. While Dobermans do make great guard dogs, they are so much more.

Loyalty is huge with this pup. They love to stay by your side and are very lovey-dovey with their families while remaining slightly wary of strangers.  

9. Newfoundland

most loyal dog breed
GroupWorking
Weight100 to 150 pounds
Dog’s Size26″ to 28″
Fur and ColorDouble medium-length coat; black, gray, brown, white and black, beige, black and tan, or white and brown
Lifespan9 to 10 years

This dog breed is a gentle giant that prides itself on being one of the most loyal dog breeds available. These pups, while huge, are very loving and affectionate with their owners.

They were originally bred as fishing dogs but have become loving guardians of the home. This is one of the dog breeds that loves children and will guard them fiercely. They act as nanny dogs all the time.

10. French Bulldog

what is the most loyal dog
GroupNon-Sporting
Weightunder 28 pounds
Dog’s Size11″ to 13″
Fur and ColorSmooth short coat; brindle, cream, fawn, white, or any combination thereof
Lifespan10 to 12 years

The French Bulldog is proof that sometimes the cutest things come in the smallest packages. They’re playful and lively pups that love to socialize and will be the (canine) life of the party.

If you look at the Frenchie, as it’s affectionately called, you’ll notice it always appears to be smiling, and it might as well be. These pups are also very patient and easygoing. 

11. Rottweiler

best loyal dog breeds
GroupWorking
Weight80 to 135 pounds
Dog’s Size22″ to 27″
Fur and ColorShort, smooth coat; black and rust, black and tan, or black and mahogany
Lifespan9 to 10 years

The Rottweiler Dog falls into the same category as the Doberman, intimidating yet a total mush inside, earning it a spot on our most loyal dog breeds list. These pups are so loyal to their owners that they are nearly totally wary of strangers.

They do need training and proper socialization so that they don’t develop aggressive tendencies, but honestly, Rottweilers are more than happy to spend their days as devoted dogs loving you. 

12. Akita

10 most loyal dog breeds
GroupWorking
Weight70 to 130 pounds 
Dog’s Size24″ to 28″
Fur and ColorDouble-layered short, thick coat; pinto or brindle with white markings
Lifespan10 to 13 years

The Akita is so loyal that it will not welcome strangers with open arms. In fact, it will totally disregard them. The Akita will bond very closely with its owner and its family. This working dog hails from Japan, where it made an impact throughout history.

An Akita named Hachiko traveled from his home to the train station every day, where he waited for his deceased owner to come home. Hachi even has his own statue near Shibuya Scramble Crossing to honor his dedication to his owner.

The American Kennel Club calls this dog “profoundly loyal,” though it can be aloof with strangers.

13. Dachshund

the most loyal dog
GroupHound
WeightTwo sizes: 11 pounds and under (Miniature); 16 to 32 pounds (Standard)
Dog’s Size5″ to 6″ (Miniature); 8″ to 9″ (Standard)
Fur and ColorSmooth, short or medium-length coat; black and tan, chocolate and tan, cream, wheaten, wild boar, red, blue and tan, and others
Lifespan12 to 16 years

The Dachshund is a cute little wiener dog, as it is affectionately termed. This pup prefers its owners to anyone else and is more than happy to cuddle and snuggle all day. They are very lively and playful family dogs, so mental stimulation will do them good.

While they tend to get along with their own breed, they may clash with other breeds. Like the Chihuahua, the Dachshund’s size means it does best in a home with older children.

14. Miniature American Shepherd

loyal pet
GroupHerding 
Weight20 to 40 pounds
Dog’s Size13″ to 18″
Fur and ColorDouble medium-length coat; black, red, blue merle, or red merle
Lifespan12 to 13 years

The Miniature American Shepherd is a very lively pup that is highly trainable and enjoys being kept busy with agility and other tasks. Bring it inside, though, and you’ll see its true loyalty bloom.

Don’t be surprised to see your Mini American Shepherd follow you all over the place because they’re just glue — they want to be stuck to you! 

15. Collie

most loyal dog in the world
GroupHerding
Weight50 to 75 pounds
Dog’s Size22″ to 26″
Fur and ColorSmooth, short coat, or rough, long coat; several color combinations, including blue merle, sable, sable merle, black, white and tan, white merle, and others
Lifespan12 to 14 years

The Border Collie dog breed is one of the most acclaimed of the family dogs. Collies are easy to train and welcome the challenge. As herding dogs who herd sheep and other livestock, Collies must be kept busy.

Collies are a very mellow breed and are known for being extremely calm and gentle with kids. If you adopt a Collie, you’ll be enchanted by its devotedness and willingness to please its owners, as well as its ability to get along with other animals.  

16. Great Pyrenees

most disloyal dog breeds
GroupWorking
Weight85 to 150 pounds
Dog’s Size25″ to 32″
Fur and Colorthick double coat; white, often contains reddish-brown, gray, badger, or tan markings
Lifespan10 to 12 years

The Great Pyrenees is another one of the gentle giants on our list of the most loyal dog breeds. Throughout history, the Great Pyrenees have been around for centuries as guardians who look after not only livestock but their owners as well and make great family pets.

Great Pyrenees pups have endless patience, it seems, even when it comes to children. If you adopt a Great Pyrenees, you’ll need to socialize them early. Great Pyrenees dogs are also very affectionate and courageous.

17. Saint Bernard

best loyal dog breeds
GroupWorking
Weight120 to 180 pounds
Dog’s Size26″ to 30″
Fur and ColorSmooth, double, rough short coat; brown and white, mahogany and white, orange and white, red and white, brindle and white, and others
Lifespan8 to 10 years

Saint Bernards are a giant breed that loves their families; however, they also drool — a lot! They are very protective pups, so don’t be surprised if they place themselves between you and a perceived threat — it’s how they show their loyalty.

These pups are absolutely charming and end up winning over most people who encounter them, including your family members.  

Can Training Increase Dog Loyalty?

Technically, loyalty is one of those traits that is inherent — in other words, it just is. Training can help increase the bond between pet owners, family members, and their dogs, but loyalty is not a trait that you can train into a pup.

FAQs

What Is the Most Loyal and Smart Dog?

There’s only one pup that stands out the moment I read this question, and that’s the Collie. This pup is known for its wholehearted loyalty and its high intelligence, combining the best of both in a single dog breed. 

Which Dog Breed Is the Most Clingy?

 There are many breeds that tend to be clingy, but the most clingy dogs I’ve ever owned were Labrador Retrievers.  

What Small Dog Is the Most Loyal?

Chihuahuas are considered the smallest of the most loyal dog breeds. 

Wrap-up

When looking over our list of most loyal dog breeds, keep in mind that this list just scratches the surface. Any dog can be a loyal dog if it has the right personality and you take the time to bond with them. We didn’t include Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Yorkshire Terrier, but they are fiercely loyal nonetheless!

Though some breeds may be known for their aloofness outside the home, bring them in, and you’ll soon see a whole new side to them.

Christina Drury
Meet Christina Drury, a dedicated animal enthusiast, and proud pet parent. She has a deep-rooted affection for all creatures, and Christina has called the Buckeye State home for the past four years. As a seasoned writer, she possesses a versatile writing style that spans various niches, yet her heart truly belongs to animals. With her innate connection and expertise, Christina is committed to crafting engaging and insightful content for animal-related issues.

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