A clingy German Shepherd laying on its owner’s lap

A clingy German Shepherd laying on its owner's lap (Photo by AnnaStills on Shutterstock)

The term “Velcro Dog” has come to mean any breed that sticks to their owner like glue. Some folks don’t like the idea of a pet that won’t respect their personal space. Others, however, may absolutely crave the 24/7 adoration they can get from a clingy dog. These adorable canines want nothing more than to be with their favorite person. That’s why StudyFinds has compiled a list of the most clingy dog breeds that will steal your heart.

Clingy breeds may not like to sleep away from their owners, and it could be challenging to prevent them from sleeping in the bed along with their humans. This can be especially difficult for dogs that have already become accustomed to this. For dog owners who still want to share a bedroom with their best friend, there are safe steps you can take to make this happen. First, purchase a comfortable bed. Place it right next to your bed to lessen the shock of change. Make the change slowly to ensure a smooth transition. This helps create a comforting routine for yourself and your dog.

The cuddly pooches we know and love came from wolves that fended for themselves in the rough wilderness. Since then, our housebroken pups have come a long way from the time of their untamed ancestors. However, that also means plenty of our furry friends are pretty spoiled today! According to a recent survey, two in three dog owners claim their dogs “could never survive in the wild” without them. That is especially true for the dogs on our list.

Knowing that a breed is clingy by nature can be a big help when selecting a pet. We looked through reviews from 10 experts to learn about the most clingy dog breeds that came up most. For people that enjoy having a constant companion, these clingy canines could be a great fit. Let us know your favorites in the comments below!

➡️ 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 Most Clingy Dog Breeds, According to Canine Specialists

1. Vizsla

Vizsla
Vizsla (Photo by Cole Wyland on Unsplash)

It is rare to find a dog that is overwhelmingly regarded as the number one in a given category. The Vizsla is one such dog, as they are considered the ultimate “Velcro Dog” by experts. This Hungarian breed was originally bred for falconry, so it enjoys active lifestyles. These dogs also like being attached to their owner’s hip. Wag! raves, “The Vizsla is your wingman for hiking, swimming and hunting, and will be your loyal cuddle buddy too.”

The Vizsla breed only wants to hang out with their owners constantly. “It is their natural instinct to stay close to their owners because, during the hunt, wandering away could be deadly,” writes Animal Kingdom.

Vizslas might seem like they wouldn’t be needy because of their athletic builds and serious expressions, but as Great Pet Care points out, looks can be deceiving. “[T]he hunting breed is widely recognized to be among the most dependent on human companionship and should not regularly be left alone.”

2. Labrador Retriever

Chocolate Labrador Retriever
Chocolate Labrador Retriever (Photo by James Barker on Unsplash

One of America’s favorite dog breeds can be emotionally needy. It may come as a surprise to some that Labrador Retrievers actively dislike being apart from their family. Always Pets says, “There’s so much going on in those eyes, so be kind, and you will have the most loyal friend in the world who’s ready for any adventure or even just a lazy day around the house.”

Even though Labrador Retrievers love to constantly be around their owners, they can easily be stressed out from time apart. “The negative part of this is that the world’s most popular dog is also one of the most likely to suffer from separation anxiety,” writes The Scotsman.

Since Labrador Retrievers are very clingy, they can get mopey if no one is paying attention to them. “Labs usually love being at your side, and don’t be surprised if yours tries to squeeze onto your lap despite her large frame,” explains K9 of Mine.

3. French Bulldog

French Bulldog
French Bulldog (Photo by Angelos Michalopoulos on Unsplash)

Frenchies are internet famous thanks to their Instagrammable looks. These petite love muffins also require near-constant companionship. French Bulldogs can have a stubborn streak and larger-than-life personality.

Puppy In Training notes, “Frenchies don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time and some even develop separation anxiety.”

French Bulldogs have an ulterior motive always wanting to go out with their owners. They love to leave the house to see their fans! “These short, wrinkly pups are one of the most popular breeds, and it’s no surprise why,” writes iHeartDogs.

The French Bulldog’s relaxed temperament makes this breed an attractive option. They don’t bark much and are usually very playful. “So, you shouldn’t have to worry about your French Bulldog complaining when you can’t give them attention,” says Love Your Dog.

4. Great Dane

Great Dane hugging its owner
Great Dane hugging its owner (Photo by Ben Griffiths)

Scooby-Doo and Marmaduke may be fictional characters, but they are based on some of the Great Dane’s most well-known traits. Loving snacks and getting into mischief seems to hold true for the big dogs. PetGuide.com explains, “If the thought of a 100-plus pound Great Dane trying to curl up on your lap has you rethinking your decision to adopt this breed, be aware that a side-by-side snuggle on the sofa is probably sufficient to keep this gentle giant happy.”

Owning a Great Dane is like having a large, dark shadow following you along. “Not only do they tower over a lot of other dogs, but when they stand on their hind legs, your Great Dane may even be taller than you,” says Love Your Dog.

Great Danes are gentle giants who love attention and love going for car rides. “Despite regularly weighing over 100 pounds, these canines are often lazy and prefer lounging around beside their humans as much as possible,” writes iHeartDogs.

5. German Shepherd

A woman petting a German Shepherd
A woman petting a German Shepherd (Photo by Sonsedska Yuliia on Shutterstock)

German Shepherds have a reputation as strong guards and law enforcement animals. They also bond closely with their handlers and prefer to always have a human on-hand. Wag! writes, “Many people think of German Shepherds as guard dogs, but the reason they are good at guarding is because they love their human so much.”

Despite their size, German Shepherds crave love and attention from their owners. “This lovely dog breed is super loyal, and this is one reason why they always like to be near their owners,” says Animal Kingdom.

Even though German Shepherds can be clingy, they’re not traditional lap dogs. They were originally bred for herding and are fantastic working dogs, but can become needy if they’re not challenged. “The German Shepherd is surprisingly clingy, and in modern society can develop severe separation anxiety if not properly trained and socialized,” explains Great Pet Care.

6. Border Collie

Brown and white Border Collie
Brown and white Border Collie (Photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash)

Border Collies are uncommonly smart dogs who crave stimulation and companionship. Border Collies also need a lot of attention and need to participate in many activities. “Border Collies are exceptional dogs — sometimes a bit too exceptional for the less-enthusiastic human companion,” according to Always Pets.

Even though Border Collies are known for being “Velcro Dogs,” they are a very unique type. Love Your Dog says they are super close with their humans, but don’t need to be by your side at all times, like other dogs on this list.

Border Collies, the world’s smartest dog, are best for families who have plenty of time to devote everyday interaction. “Think of a household where someone is almost always home or coming in and out, and that’s her ideal setup,” explains K9 of Mine.

7. Maltese

Maltese
Maltese (Photo by Tali Despins on Unsplash)

Maltese dogs are compact and clean dogs. These sensitive and playful pups prefer to spend their days at the foot of their owner, looking for attention. Always Pets says they live long as well, so you will have these pooches by your side for longer than the average dog. Talk about a lot of cuddling!

Maltese pups are fans of sitting on laps, no matter who it is. They also love to socialize and make new friends. One might ask, then, why are they clingy if they constantly interact with others? Pet Guide has the answer. “Because these people-pleasing pooches absolutely adore their humans and crave non-stop interaction.”

Maltese pups being lap dogs goes back hundreds of years. During the time of the Roman Empire, aristocratic women would bring Maltese dogs along with them, making them a symbol of loyalty. “Besides their clingy nature, Maltese dogs are also famous for their eye-catching, silky coats and puppy-dog eyes,” writes Love Your Dog.

Sources:

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.

About Alan Corona

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink

Editor-in-Chief

Chris Melore

Editor

Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor

144 Comments

  1. Pam says:

    GSD’s by far should be #1. They are seen by non owners as mean or aggressive – walking our GSD ( German Shepherd), it’s actually comical to watch people turn and walk to other side of street to avoid us.
    They are also the best family dog. So clingy. But so good with kids of all ages, especially babies – they know instinctively
    this is a human baby and stays by their side to protect and give kisses to show their love. They are a bit high maintenance though as working dogs they need their exercise daily and training as well as socializing. They are Uber smart and train easily.

  2. George Morris says:

    I truly think that a boxer should be on the top of the list. Mine is over 70 pounds and thinks he’s a lap cat. I’ll call him my Velcro dog he won’t leave my side.

    1. Karen says:

      I have a Boxer/ charpai mix and I can’t ever remember a time he wasn’t inches away from me. When he is sleeping if I get up from the couch he is awake and at My side

  3. George says:

    I truly think that a boxer should be on the top of the list. Mine is over 70 pounds and thinks he’s a lap cat. I’ll call him my Velcro dog he won’t leave my side.

    1. Carolyn says:

      Exactly!! Boxers HAVE to be ON you or squished up next to you. Clingyest breed and sweetest!

  4. Allen says:

    My 5-year-old Mini Australian Shepherd is never more than 4ft away. He hates it if I go outside and he has to stay inside. He’ll sit in the window watching and waiting. If I move around the house, he’s right there with me. Incredibly intelligent, I really think he’d have made a great working dog.

    1. G'Teezy says:

      It’s one thing to be by your side but another to be a velcro dog! Until I had a Vizsla (grew up with amazingly loving labs) I didn’t know the meaning of Velcro dog. I had my visa for 17 years and she was a wonderful loving companion. Always needed to be with me or sitting on top of me. Haha very special breed for sure!

    2. Shane says:

      I have one as well and she is right by my side and always with a toy in her mouth lol. She Absolutely loves catch!!!!

      1. Bill says:

        I have a mal…cant poop withouthim wanting to hold the paper

  5. Barb says:

    My jack Russell territory loves to be around ME ALL TIME. SHE LOVES FOR ME TO TALK TO HER. SHE LOOKS AT ME LIKE SHE KNOWS WHAT SAYING.SHE LIKES CAR RIDES AND GOING EVERY WHERE WITH ME SHE IS A GREAT BEST FRIEND

    1. Ron says:

      I also have a female Jack Russell and she is super sweet!

    2. Patricia says:

      Yes we have a. JR also..vecro to my hubby. Hes also dpes not like being. Left along.. the meds dont seem to be helping much even for short periods of time. He was 5 when we rescued him 2 years ago. We know he was on the strreet for awhile
      . The owner kicked him out for someme reason.. But other than that.. he is am amazinh dog for us. Were 2 seniors and arr very lucky to have him

  6. Matthew Chrzanowski says:

    Any kind of bully breeds!

    1. Mehgan says:

      Agree 💯!!! My Pittie and Staffy are glued to my hip 24/7, they’re also my service dogs. They sense when I’m gonna have an episode and get me thru it. Idk what I’d do without them, they really are the best! ❤️

  7. Doug says:

    We have two male ridge backs father and son and they are our family and go everywhere we go and I think there the best bread. I’ve ever had

    1. Carolyn Levant-Lee says:

      The wonderful Dobermans are Velcro.

      1. Darlene says:

        I have a golden doodle and he is a velcro bou. I cant get out of his site. I have only left him 3 times in a crate and he literally goes crazy.. sure love him

  8. Jim Shellhammer says:

    I have a Chineese Crested that was a rescue from a holding situation. This dog does leave my lap except for food or water.
    And sleeps under my bed covers right next to me.

  9. Samantha Anne Sweeney says:

    My American Staffordshire( better known as pit bull), looks big and strong, and like he could be very defensive. Honestly he is a giant cuddle bug. I think if someone attacked me he would defend. They have a very bad rap and I have found a clingy, sweet attached ,love able dog in Him.

    1. Kristie Sasser says:

      Agreed!! We rescued our girl off the streets before animal control was called. She’s by far the best fur baby I’ve ever had the pleasure of living with. She has no idea of what personal space means she is glued to me every second of every day when people in the house, don’t move quick enough to get food in the bowl or treat out of the pantry. She looks at them and gives them about five minutes and then she comes to me looks at me and looks at them and I’m like I got you, she’s my constant and I’m her constant. I quickly learned that as much as we saved her and rescued her she has saved me comforted me many times she can be aggressive, especially towards men. She’s great with her daddy and our grandson because he’s here all the time he lives with us and you can see right away when a smaller child comes in the house why they call them nanny dogs But once kids get to a certain height, then she starts treating them differently cuz in her eyes your not a little anymore and you better not be messing around with my mama in here. Terrible anxiety and separation anxiety. If my attention is not focused on her if there’s other people in the house, she is in a constant panic in a vehicle anxiety medication does not help her. She just has to pan it out and we do not drive far. I have had many great dogs, I love them to death. They are awesome dog German shepherds, he was brilliant he was fantastic. He was one of the best. I’ve had an Australian Shepherd Sharpay mix great with family, not outsiders. But nothing beats our Fiona May she’s 95lbs and she doesn’t hesitate to throw her weight around.

  10. Dennis Riley says:

    I have a cane corso that is the most affectionate dog I ever had more then my lab! He is literally 2 inches from you backside all the time. It is painful sometimes to have a 100lb lapdog.but wouldn’t trade him for the world

  11. Tia Kiki says:

    Akita , would be the breed I recommend!

  12. John Perry says:

    I have a half husky and half Akita and she is the greatest dog that I could ever have.

  13. John Perry says:

    I love my half husky and half Akita. She is the greatest dog that I could ever imagine having. I have been in the hospital for over 4 months last year and she has been very helpful in my rehab

  14. Patrick Graham says:

    The #1 most clingy dog is the Italian Greyhound. In fact, in dog shows they are described as “Velcro dogs”. Sure other dogs want to be with family most of the time. But IG’s HAVE to be with you all the time. To the point that some new owners give them up to rescue shelters because it is too much for them. Imaging your average loving dog but twice as clingy. That an Italian Greyhound.