Dogs, often referred to as man’s best friend, have an unparalleled ability to shower affection upon their human companions. While all dogs have the potential to be loving and loyal, certain breeds stand out for their exceptional affectionate nature. From gentle giants who crave cuddle sessions to small bundles of joy who thrive on being close to their owners, these breeds remind us daily of the incredible bond shared between humans and dogs. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most affectionate dog breeds, delving into what makes them so beloved by their families and why they’re often sought after as loyal companions.
Affection with your pets is a two-way street. A recent study, however, shows just how affectionate dogs can be with their owners. According to the survey about dog ownership, 64 percent of respondents don’t know where they’d be without their dog’s love and support. In fact, nearly seven in 10 respondents believe their dog knows them better than they know themselves. The average respondent also agrees their dog has also helped them heal three broken hearts. The bond between a human and their pup is undeniably strong.
Of course, it’s no secret people love their pets, but are pet owners really happier than the average person? Thanks to all the photos pet owners take with their furry friends, a new study finds the answer is yes! In a global analysis using artificial intelligence, researchers with Petplan have found that pet owners worldwide are significantly happier than their pet-free neighbors. In fact, pet ownership increases overall happiness by more than 22 percent globally.
That being said, I think it’s about time we dive into today’s ranking, don’t you? As always, we at StudyFinds have researched across 10 expert sources to bring you today’s list of the most affectionate dogs. Don’t agree with our ranking or feel we missed a breed out? No worries, we realize there are dozens of breeds that could have made the list and we would love to hear your opinion in the comments below! Now, onto the list!
➡️ How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created
StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!
The List: Most Affectionate Dogs, According to Canine Experts
1. Great Dane
I bet you thought number one was going to be a tiny little Toy Poodle or something. No, the Great Dane takes the number one spot on today’s list. As Farmer Pete’s points out, these gentle giants are known for their loving and affectionate nature, often unaware of their own impressive size. They’re more likely to see themselves as giant lap dogs, always eager to cuddle up close despite their physical stature.
A majestic and noble breed of dog that originated in Germany, Reader’s Digest reinforces their neediness, highlighting their love for snuggling and their dislike of being alone. Despite their towering presence, Great Danes are known for their patience and friendliness, making them wonderful companions.
While Great Danes may be the world’s biggest dog breed, their hearts are even bigger! K9 Of Mine says their size might be initially intimidating to some. However, these gentle giants are true cuddle monsters, often acting like small lap dogs due to their strong bonds with their humans. While they might be wary of strangers, their trust in their loved ones is unwavering. Just be prepared for some drool along the way!
2. Labrador Retriever
Next up is the Labrador Retriever. It’s no wonder the American Kennel Club crowns Labrador Retrievers as America’s favorite dog! As Southern Living points out, their intelligence, even temperament, and eagerness to please make them ideal companions. Whether you’re exploring the outdoors or snuggling on the couch, Labs are happy to be by your side, always ready to learn and help (especially if treats are involved!).
Labs are a versatile and beloved breed known for their friendly and outgoing nature. Cosmopolitan emphasizes their irresistible charm, and the variety of coat colors (black, yellow, and chocolate) that make it impossible to choose just one. Their love for playtime, walks, and adventures is matched only by their love for their humans.
Daily Paws confirms their popularity and gentle nature, noting their constant tail wags and sweet demeanor. While sometimes confused with Golden Retrievers, both breeds share similar qualities of being good-natured and fantastic with families. Remember, these energetic pups need plenty of activity to keep them happy, but their a handful of good qualities makes training a breeze.
3. Pit Bull Terrier
The Pit Bull Terrier (often referred to simply as a Pit Bull) is next on the ranking—a breed originating in the United States known for its muscular build. Despite their often negative portrayal, Pit Bulls are gaining recognition for their true personalities: loyal, affectionate, and even goofy.
Veterinary consultant Sara Ochoa highlights their loving nature for Reader’s Digest, stating, “Even though they usually get a bad rap, many of these dogs love to cuddle.” Similarly, Southern Living describes their playful side: “Their most egregious behavior can be hogging the entire bed or being convinced they are lap dogs, even though they can weigh up to 80 pounds!“
While playful and cuddly, Pit Bulls also require proper care and training. Daily Paws emphasizes the importance of understanding their needs: “The key with pit bulls is to understand their care and exercise needs and to stay consistent with positive reinforcement training.” With proper socialization and training, pit bulls can thrive in families and become wonderful companions. Their affectionate and energetic nature makes them great playmates for both children and other well-socialized dogs.
So, the next time you encounter a Pit Bull, remember: their reputation may not always be accurate. With proper care and understanding, these goofy and loving pups can make incredible family members and loyal friends.
Next is the Canadian Newfoundland, known for its impressive strength and swimming abilities; this breed was historically used by fishermen to assist in water rescues and hauling nets. Newfoundlands are massive bundles of love, literally! “A hundred-plus pounds of straight love,” as Cosmopolitan puts it. These gentle giants are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, scoring “everyone is my best friend” on the AKC’s “openness to strangers” scale. Author J.M. Barrie, inspired by his own family’s Newfie, even entrusted the care of the Darling children in “Peter Pan” to one of these patient and loving dogs. As Southern Living states, “Even if you’re not in need of a nanny, these sweet-tempered pups make excellent pets.“
And by “sweet-tempered,” they really mean it! Daily Paws describes them as “sweethearts with floof that a child could get lost in while cuddling.” Their love is undeniable, and they’ll happily shower you with affection, sometimes literally crushing any doubts with their sheer size and enthusiasm! So, if you’re looking for a gentle, loving companion and don’t mind a bit of cuddle-time weight, a Newfoundland might be the perfect match for you.
5. Golden Retriever
Retrievers are a popular breed known for their friendly and gentle nature, beautiful golden coats, intelligent eyes, and strong muscular build. As Cosmopolitan points out, these pups have a knack for melting hearts, reminiscent of movies like “Homeward Bound.” Their inherent friendliness extends to everyone, be it humans or other dogs.
Golden Retrievers: Sunshine personified in furry form! Parade Pets delves deeper into their eagerness to please, making them exceptional therapy and service dogs. Plus, they require ample attention and social interaction, which translates to fun for the whole family. Hepper paints a vivid picture of their boundless affection, noting they’ll happily shower anyone with love, be it children they play with or strangers they meet. So, if you’re looking for a dog who radiates sunshine and spreads joy wherever they go, a Golden Retriever might just be your perfect match!
The Boxer dog is next up, known for its strong and muscular build; it’s a breed that captures the hearts of many dog lovers. With its expressive eyes, playful nature, and unwavering loyalty, Boxers are renowned cuddle champions! According to the American Kennel Club, their love for people is a defining characteristic, making them popular family dogs. Parade Pets echoes this sentiment, highlighting their affection for children. These playful goofballs thrive on human interaction and seek out attention, as noted by Farmer Pete’s. Imagine a happy shadow following you around, always eager for a cuddle or playtime!
But Boxers aren’t just couch potatoes. K9 Of Mine describes them as “permanent puppies,” playful and energetic companions who love being involved in family activities. Their loyalty and patience make them wonderful companions for children, and their zest for life is contagious. However, remember these energetic souls need someone around to keep them entertained, so ensure your lifestyle can accommodate their playful spirit.
Overall, Boxers offer a complete package: athleticism, loyalty, and unwavering affection. If you’re looking for a dog who craves cuddles, playtime, and family time, a Boxer might just be your perfect match!
The last spot on our list goes to the Pug, also known as the “clown of the canine world,” it’s a small breed that originated in China over 2,000 years ago. With their distinctive wrinkled face, curly tail, and expressive eyes, Pugs have captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. “Recent studies which were published in the multidisciplinary science journal PLOS ONE found that short-nosed dogs tend to be more affectionate than their long-nosed counterparts. The Pug certainly fits in quite nicely with this description,” explains Pet Helpful.
Pugs wear their hearts (and need for attention) on their wrinkled sleeves. As Pets Radar points out, these loveable goofballs crave your presence, happily following you around and demanding cuddles at every opportunity. They’re masters of snuggling, whether sprawled on the bed, curled up in your lap, or simply smothering you with affection. Belly rubs, kisses, and cuddles are their love language, making them the perfect companions for a pick-me-up.
However, be warned: pug affection comes with a side of snoring and snorting. Hepper reminds us that their flat faces can lead to these adorable (and sometimes disruptive) noises. But don’t let that deter you! These couch potatoes are perfectly content snuggling by your side, showering you with love in return for yours. Remember, they know they’re adorable, and they’re not afraid to use it to their advantage (and your ultimate happiness)!
You might be interested in:
- Reader’s Digest
- K9 Of Mine
- Farmer Pete’s
- Southern Living
- Daily Paws
- Parade Pets
- Pets Radar
- Pet Helpful
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.