Loyalty is a trait that humans have been striving for since the beginning of time, but let’s be honest: dogs just do it better. But how did this diverse species come to be man’s best friend in the first place? Interestingly, it started during the ICe Age when men fed wolves in order to make them trusting so they could follow their keen senses to avoid danger. Over time, the species evolved into different breeds with various skills: herders, shepherds, hunters, workers, and more. But loyalty is common among all of them. Here are the dogs who really take it to the next level.
As pack creatures, Beagles are all about companionship – and they’re just as happy to attach to a human pack as to a pack of their own.
Humans are better scratchers after all, right? Being so friendly and energetic makes the Beagle a welcome addition to any home – and once they’re in, they will make very sure to be included in everything. However, no scent can get by their powerful noses, and sometimes they can’t be stopped from chasing it down. So don’t count on keeping that bacon a secret.
Shar-Pei’s have loyalty written right into the folds of their faces. This is where their name – the English phonetic of Sā Pèih, meaning “sand skin,” in Cantonese – comes from.
The Shar-Pei’s exceptionally high level of loyalty comes with some conditions attached (strangers be warned). They are an extremely loving and protective breed, but they are easy to perceive the unfamiliar as a threat, which can make them difficult in social situations with either other dogs or humans (other than their lifelong companions).
Remember The Fox and the Hound? It’s a tale of two young animals who are best buds – that is, until the hound’s owner tells him to hunt the fox. And what does he do? Exactly what his owner told him to…for better or worse.
In general, hounds are passionately loyal and loving. They are also very friendly and very lazy, making them easy to take care of – but on the other hand, difficult to train. Their noses are have been helpful in many criminal investigations.
Take one look and it isn’t hard to see from their muscular build that bulldogs were bred to fight. However, their capacity for strength is simply not a reflection of their personality or disposition.
Bulldogs are very relaxed, indefinitely cuddly, and fiercely loyal. If they don’t look all that comfortable in their unique shape, that’s because they’re not. Which is one of many reasons why life alongside a human is just way better. But, they are known to be stubborn…stubbornly loving!
Rottweilers have many moods, and their humans take the greatest pleasure in watching them swap out their protective snarl for a super goofy smile.
But no matter the mood, when the need arises, they will flip a switch on and their guarding responsibilities will take over 100% until the job is done. This is why they’re often employed by military and police forces. A family can feel safe if a Rottweiler that’s been treated well is at home with them to keep an eye out – only payment in cuddles is required.
The Brittany breed is, in short, an unlimited supply of energy. It can be challenging to keep this one occupied, but they enjoy plenty of human activities which makes it possible to bring them along on many everyday activities such as exercising, hunting, scavenger hunts, and more.
They love and excell at canine sports. They even keep the kids busy. On top of all that, they are so uniquely beautiful. Match that with their heightened obedience, and they are an ultimate canine companion.
Shepherds Around The World
Shepherds such as the Australian, Belgian, and German breeds have proven themselves to be so intelligent and trainable that they are the most employed dog in the world – and one of the most loved by families, too.
They are one of the largest dogs, both in the athletic build of their bodies and in the loving size of their hearts. They require ample amounts of exercise and activity, but make it all worth the while with their rare dispositions.
When you get a boxer, you get a lot of the same qualities as when you get married: a companion who will always make you laugh and always protect you. Boxers are endlessly energetic, and have a playfully teasing nature.
But no matter how busy they seem trying drag you into their games, they always stay alert to their surroundings. According to DogTime, boxers have “legendary patience and gentleness with children” – a sensitivity that also leads them to shy away from a harsh scolding.
Of all the different heartwarming shades of love that dogs share with us in their unique ways, loyalty seems to be emanating from their very bones.
But which ones have the most, and why? Most likely the first dog that will come to mind is this guy. Golden retrievers even have their loyalty written into their name: you say go, and they retrieve. Their main goal is to make others happy, and they have a great time themselves in the process.
This extremely close cousin of the Greyhound has just that extra pinch of calm and affection that makes their loyalty so lovable. Being so athletic and intelligent helps them easily train – and combined with their naturally calm demeanor, they are very obedient.
Although they’re always ready to head out to the races, they relax to the max when left to themselves. Maybe best of all, they almost never bark, unless there is real danger or they’re left alone.
Yorkshire Terriers – or “Yorkies,” for short – are just like us: all they want in this life is true love. But sometimes they can be threatened when the hand that feeds them shows love for another.
It could be because they are just too monogamous at heart, or because they are afraid of not getting their food anymore. Either way, their love and their adorableness are equally heartwarming and unfaltering. Bonus: they look like little tiny Ewoks.
Daschsunds, often called “Doxies,” are big lovers. They are great at tricks, they like to play, and they love to be right next to you at all times – even more preferably, right on your lap!
They’re also happy to just nap and chill for most of the day, as long as you’re close by. They are known to be very stubborn, but they are also known to save people from house fires and violent attacks, so…the choice seems obvious.
Great Pyrenees are massive dogs with massive hearts to match. They come from the mountains, where they were bred to guide and protect sheep – a skill which makes them intuitive and calm.
It also makes them quite independent, which means they don’t need too much attention at the end of the day. But their instinct to protect creates an adamant loyalty directed at those who they live amongst, and it makes them an amazing companion for children, as well.
Like most hunting dogs, the Finnish Spitz was bred to alert his human companions to danger and other objects or animals of interest, but the Spitz has a one-of-a-kind approach: conversation.
Their instinct is to bark as both an alert to their companions and a distraction technique that draws another creature’s attention to themselves. This makes them uniquely good communicators in all situations, frequently talking to their companions across a range of expressive tones when they want something known.
Cocker Spaniels are like the dog equivalent of optimists, believing that the world is good at heart. Their enthusiasm for life is contagious, and they usually have a smile almost permanently attached to their face that is guaranteed to brighten your day.
And being as popular and beautiful as they are, why wouldn’t they? Once they choose to love you, they want to make you happy all the time. The downside: they deeply suffer when left alone for too long, so availability is important in a companion.
The three foundations of a Schnauzer are, without exception: being affectionate, hardworking, and protective. Their main goal is to keep their beloved companions safe, but they want to push themselves far beyond those boundaries as well – especially when it means learning new tricks and exploring new places.
Their intelligence can easily result in depression if life isn’t bringing enough love or adventure their way. But what can be shared between a human and a Schnauzer is truly unique, and worth paying attention to.
A Shikoku’s loyalty is almost unmatched. Because they were bred to demonstrate high levels of concentration and endurance, they truly treat the well-being of their companions as though it were their job.
This kind of work ethic also comes with the need to stay busy, which means that Shikokus need regular stimulation and plenty of company. Without both, they will actually suffer emotionally. But who could pass up an opportunity to play or walk with these adoring, adventurous, and fuzzy little faces?
Collies live by the motto “work hard, rest hard.” They love their jobs, but love relaxing once the day is done. They are considered exceptional herders because of how attuned they are to their surroundings and what a gentle presence they have, which also makes them very sensitive to the feelings of their human companions.
Although they’re protective, they’re not aggressive. and will most likely scare off any potential threats without ever resorting to injury – but rest assured they will if they need to.
These giant dogs may be mellow for most of the day, but when it’s time to play, they need some real room to gallop around. They are keen to pick a few companions to bond with very deeply, and then attach themselves to their hips – maintaining a quiet but constant presence.
This actually made them a preferred pet for many monarchal rulers throughout European history, who valued a pet that would devote themselves fully to their happiness. Despite their size, they are easy to have around.
Newfoundlands, also called “Newfies” and sometimes confused for very friendly bears, are gigantic dogs. They weigh a whopping 150 lbs on average, with love pouring out of every piece of fur.
But loving so hard comes with its level of concern, and these gentle beasts are always keeping one patient eye out for any threat to their favorite companions. Their patience and intelligence has made them a valuable resource in investigations and rescue missions – but their favorite place to be is at home, watching over the ones they love most.
Chihuahua’s may not seem like the most loyal dog on the surface, but the truth is, how could they not get attached when they can be toted around everywhere.
With their portability in mind, it makes far more sense that pint-sized Chihuahua makes the cut. In fact, many of them are so loyal to their owners that sometimes they don’t get along with others. It’s not that they’re so unfriendly, they just want to protect the person they’re so loyal to.
The Kuvasz may not be the best-known dog breed, but they’re certainly one of the most loyal. It’s of utmost importance to Kuvaszok that they protect their humans at all costs.
Kuvaszok are intensely hard workers, which includes their duties to protect. At the same time, these dogs don’t want to be subjected to any harsh training methods. Treat your kuvasz with care and gentleness, and they will be sure to return that love and loyalty right back to you.
Skye Terriers may still enjoy the same pursuits as other breeds in the terrier family, like digging and sometimes barking. However, that doesn’t make them any less loyal.
In fact, Skye terriers are more loyal than average, even though they may not be the most common or popular breed. “Do right by your Skye and he’ll give you love and loyalty with the same tenacity he went after vermin in his ancestral Scottish homeland,” says VetStreet.
Of course, we have to include the Labrador Retriever on our list. They’re one of the most loyal dogs all around, so much so that it’s even included in their name.
Labs love to play fetch, but unlike some more easily distracted breeds, the lab will always come back to you with whatever you throw them. Not only do labs love their family, they make a good dog for a family with children. No matter what their size, labs will just want to love and protect their human family.
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier is not often shown the love it deserves. Rather many people like to use them for harmful sports, rather than showering them with the affection they so crave.
However, when you treat a Staffordshire with the love they deserve, you’ll be reward with a confident and affectionate dog who will strive to never let you down. The plus and minus of the Staffordshire is that much of their loyalty stems from their obedience.
St. Bernards are known for their inherently strong traits of loyalty and patience, but they have another lesser-known reputation as well: nannying!
When it comes to training and tricks, St. Bernards are like a huge blank canvas waiting to be painted. Turning this gentle giant into a nanny takes quite a bit of training, but once you’ve done it, you won’t believe how capable they are of such tender loving care. They also double as giant breathing pillows, should a pillow emergency arise.
If there’s anything that can put into perspective the loyalty of an Akita, it’s this: the famously deaf and blind Helen Keller, who changed the way handicapped people interact with the world, was gifted one of these reliable companions by the government in their homeland of Japan.
This was actually the first Akita to ever arrive in the United States. Another famous Akita waited for his owner every morning and night for years, even after he passed away. They are certainly one special breed.
Poodles are seriously smart dogs, and their high level of intelligence has its pros and its cons. The pros range from loving to learn and excelling at new tricks, to being emotionally perceptive.
On the downside, such a high level of intelligence can come with anxiety, leading them to struggle with being left at home alone for too long. The solution? Toy poodles! They have all the same amazing personality traits, but instead of leaving them home, you can take them anywhere with you.
Dobermans are one book you should not judge by the cover. From the traditionally manicured ears that give them an extra menacing look, to their dark coat and eyes, these dogs do look the part of the civil duties they were bred for, such as police and military work.
However, they fall just as in love with their humans as all of these other exceptionally loyal breeds, and express love with just as many cuddles and kisses where it’s shared – at home with the family.
Coton de Tulear
This precious, lesser known ball of fluff has been nicknamed a “velcro” dog, because they want to be by your side all the time. They are famously loyal, and famously happy to just sit on your lap.
And while there are so many more dogs worthy of being called loyal that we wish we could fit them all on this list, the truth is this: breeding goes a long way, but no matter what, at the core of every loyal dog is a heart of gold.
The tiny Maltese is the very picture of elegance, but despite their aristocratic demeanor, Maltese are hardy and make for very adaptable pets. They make alert watchdogs who are fearless in a charming toy-dog way, and they are little game athletes on the agility course.
Maltese are low-shedding, long-lived, and happy to make new friends of all ages. Maltese are incredibly intelligent, and in centuries of being companions to humans, they have learned how to get exactly what they want from their people.
His sleek golden-rust coat makes the Vizsla easily recognizable. They can stand between 21 to 24 inches at shoulder height and are the picture of a lean, light-footed canine companion. The long, silky ears frame an elegant facial expression that is gentle and loving around the house and concentrated when at work.
As a hunter dog is expected to work closely with humans, Vizslas form a close bond with their owners and hate being left on their own.
The Weimaraner breed is originally from Germany with sleek and swift features. They are beloved by hunters as well as pet owners for their friendly manner, obedience, and beauty. They enjoy plenty of exercise, along with lots of quality time with their humans.
Weimaraners are great with children and yearn to be full-fledged family members. Effortless grooming, trainability, a loving nature, and a can-do-attitude make them excellent pets, as long as owners are dutiful to keeping them physically active and mentally engaged.
The Boston Terrier is an energetic little canine recognized by his black and white markings, with a muscular but compact body and friendly big, round eyes. His perfect manners have earned him the nickname “The American Gentleman.”
They are a sturdy but people-oriented dog breed, and always up for a brisk walk to the park or around the neighborhood. A bright dog with a natural talent for humor, the dapper Bostonian is a steady source of smiles.
The unique French Bulldog, with his large bat ears and steady nature, is one of the world’s most popular small-dog breeds, especially among those who reside in the city. The Frenchie is playful, alert, adaptable, and utterly irresistible. They get on well with other pets and enjoy making new friends with people.
It is no surprise that city folk from all over the globe swear by this vastly amusing and companionable breed. They can sometimes be stubborn, but at heart, they’re people pleasers and therefore easy to train.
Smart, easily trained, and of noble countenance, the assertive and confident Cane Corso is a peerless protector. Cane Corsos are at a glance intimidating creatures. Their intimidating appearance is their first line of defense against intruders.
Cane Corsos are intelligent, loyal, eager to please, versatile, and intensely loyal to their humans, but are also assertive and willful. Despite their appearance, Cane Corsos are all heart and respond to love and rewards far better than harsh corrections or training methods.
Pembrooke Welsh Corgi
Corgis are among the most agreeable of all house dogs. They are muscular, active, and lively little herders who are affectionate and companionable without being needy. They are one of the world’s favorite herding breeds.
The Pembroke is a bright but also sensitive dog who enjoys playing with his human family and responds well to training. Humans who can meet their bold but kindly Pembroke’s need for activity and togetherness will never have a more loyal, loving pet.
The massive Mastiff belongs to a canine clan as old as civilization itself. A huge, heavy-boned dog of courage and prominent strength, the Mastiff is submissive and majestic but also a proficient protector of those they hold dear. Mastiffs are calm, lovable companions, and guardians who take best to gentle training.
Mastiffs are eternally loyal and protective of their family. With their natural wariness of strangers, it’s best to ensure early training and socialization. Mastiffs are magnificent pets, but acquiring a powerful giant-breed dog is a commitment not to be taken lightly.
Pugs were once the mischievous companion of Chinese emperors, and later became the mascot of Holland’s royal House of Orange. The small but robust Pug is today adored by his millions of admirers around the globe. Pugs live to love and to be loved in return.
Pug owners maintain that their breed is the ideal house dog, and they are adaptable to many situations, being happy in the city or country, with kids or old folks, as an only pet or in a pack.
The easygoing Great Dane, also known as the “Apollo of Dogs,” is a total joy to live with—but owning a dog of such formidable size, weight, and strength is a commitment not to be entered into easily and will take a lot more effort than most breeds.
Just catching a glimpse of these gentle giants is usually enough to make intruders think twice. They are patient with kids, Danes are people pleasers who make friends quickly. They must have human contact, affection, and socialization with other people to thrive and be happy.