21 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

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Some people like huge dogs, some like them small, some like energetic, some lazy. When it comes to family dogs, you know what matters the most, though. That’s right, cuddling time. And as far as cuddling on the couch is concerned, there are no breeds that do it better than these:

1. Chihuahua

These saucy little tamales draw their connection to the Mesoamerican dish not only because of their place of origin but also because of their temper. They are the world’s smallest dogs but don’t let their size fool you – they quite possibly have the world’s biggest personality tucked into those tiny bodies of theirs. You could almost say that their persona is larger than life itself. They make ideal pets for men and women alike.

There’s nothing that a Chihuahua loves more than being close to their people, showing them just how much they love them and giving them rather busy maintaining schedules. It’s not uncommon for a Chihuahua to follow you around everywhere you go, making them ideal companions to carry along in tote bags when you have to run errands or go shopping. Don’t be surprised if your Chihuahua forms a close bond with a single person – they are overwhelmingly affectionate, but cautious at the same time.

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2. Labrador Retriever

The Lab is a dog breed recognizable by every human on the planet – that’s right, even non-dog people can easily recognize a Lab thanks to numerous artists and photographers that have captured their impressive image a vast number of times.

They are usually depicted as loyal companions, waiting patiently by their owner’s side – and that’s just what they are. They are also America’s #1 breed registered with the American Kennel Club. Labs possess an adorably sweet nature and they’re not strangers to hours of cuddling and comfortably lying around the house with their owners.

Their nature makes them excellent therapy dogs for visiting homes for the elderly and hospitals while their intelligence makes them an ideal assistance dog for the handicapped. In fact, Labradors are so kind-hearted they would gladly greet an intruder and eagerly show them where your most valuable goods are stashed – all with a goal to please everyone around them.

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3. Maltese

The ancient breed that has been known by a number of names throughout history, the Maltese was previously called the Melitae dog, Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta, the comforter, the bichon, the Spaniel gentle, the Roman ladies dog and the Maltese lion dog. This elegant toy dog breed is famous for their silky white hair, with their coat falling all the way to the floor. They came in many colors years ago, but nowadays they are all white.

Don’t be fooled, though, the Maltese are much more than their coat! They are sweet, intelligent dogs who are devoted companions and extremely loyal and loving toward their people. There’s no better reward for a Maltese than a gentle pat on the head or belly rub while nothing drives them more insane then being scolded or shouted at in anger. Although small in size, they will fiercely defend their owners and can deliver quite the nip if angry or startled.

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4. Pug

The first thing people usually notice about pugs is their comical faces, the deep wrinkles around their big, dark eyes and their flat, round faces. There’s simply no way you can resist the urge to laugh when you see them happily running toward you, making those funny breathing noises pugs usually make.

It’s believed that their name comes from the Latin word for “fist” because…well, their faces literally look like clenched fists. As far as their personalities are concerned, they are happy, loyal, charming, playful and extremely affectionate. Their favorite time is cuddle time with their owners. Don’t be fooled by their charm because they can be rather mischievous and they will always find a way to get things going just the way they want due to their high intelligence.

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5. Skye Terrier

Just like their fellow terriers, the Skye was created in Great Britain – on the Isle of Skye, one of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides islands, to be precise – with an idea to rid farms of den-infesting creatures whose holes presented a nuisance to livestock. Skyes are distinguished by their lush coat, long bodies and feathered prick or drop ears, while their versatility allows them to both exterminate all vermin and keep their owners company, both with the same amount of determination.

The Skye has always been more than just a vermin-hunting tool wearing a fancy coat – they are fearless and rather self-assured, but they make exceptional companions due to their happy and friendly nature and their limitless devotion to their owners. Their affection reaches out even to strangers, who should wait for them to make the first move, an act they usually accept well – if the person isn’t too pushy or an obvious threat.

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6. Boxer

You simply wouldn’t believe how affectionate and playful boxers can be. Also, you will be shocked once you discover how much energy these darling dogs have. They are large and muscular dogs, packing a mean look that can easily scare the uninformed, but when you give them just a little attention and look them straight into the eyes, you won’t find anything but affection, love and joy there. They are often called the “Peter Pan” breed of dogs because of their high energy levels.

They thrive on outdoor activities like running and playing around with other dogs, but when it comes to time well spent, nothing beats cuddling with their human family members. As long as you give them a fraction of your love and attention and treat them with respect, they will be more than happy. Boxers are also extremely loyal to their humans and show a certain amount of distrust toward strangers. They will not openly show aggression, however, unless their family is directly threatened.

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7. Greyhound

Greyhounds are one of the most ancient breeds in the world, seeing as they are thought to have originated in Egypt. There are also many historical figures who loved them and kept them as pets, including Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth I.

Nowadays, the greyhound has found their place among loving families who are ready to reward their good nature and affection with love and attention. When it comes to loyalty, there are very few breeds that match the greyhound. One thing you will immediately notice about them is how they will never hide their affection.

In fact, they will shove it in your face every single day. They are also incredibly protective of their family and will usually bark if they notice a stranger approaching your home. But when they’re not on guard duty, they will try to find a way to snuggle up next to you on the couch and hope you will reward them with a gentle stroke across their delicate fur.

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8. Bichon Frise

With compact bodies, baby-doll faces and fluffy white hair, Bichons make for a very appealing breed which features a distinctive look enhanced by a perky, good-natured disposition. People will often confuse them with white poodles since they are very similar in both looks and behavior.

Bichons may be rather small (the ‘larger’ ones barely reach a foot in height), but don’t let their looks fool you: they are quite hardy and despite their diminutive size, they aren’t classified as a toy breed by the American Kennel club. Bichons Frises are always affectionate and gentle, and we mean just that, they are always affectionate and gentle, especially toward their family and children.

In fact, they are so attached to their humans that they often suffer from separation anxiety when they are apart from them for a long time. They are happiest when you give them attention and cuddle with them. Finally, their brightness will never fail to brighten up your day, no matter how gloomy it is.

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9. Mastiff

The Mastiff also falls under the category of older breeds, if not the oldest. They are a breed that makes for a great friend and companion to anyone with enough room in their home for a dog of this size and who doesn’t mind the occasional drooling here and there.

Weighing about 200 pounds in average and featuring a great size and a somewhat scary look, they are incredibly kind, calm and quiet. Moreover, they enjoy nothing more than spending all their free time with their family, showering them with affection. You might be surprised to learn that they are especially affectionate toward children, especially when you keep in mind that they can sometimes knock kids over just by bumping into them.

Don’t worry, though, they will never do it intentionally, but rather as a result of their immense size and playful attitude. They love walking and playing outdoors, but what they love the most is spending time inside their home, in the company of their family. Regardless of their size, they will try their best to be a lap dog, resulting in some hilarious moments.

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10. English Toy Spaniel

The English toy spaniel is a quiet dog that fancies having a single person as a companion more than showing their affection to the entire family. But that doesn’t make them any less affectionate since that person will be swarmed with endless amounts of honest love and kindness.

These dogs are gentle and sweet and it is nearly impossible not to fall in love with them as soon as you get to know them. And it’s not surprising, seeing as they are a breed developed with the sole purpose of being good companion dogs. For people who can’t handle big and demanding breeds and who don’t partake in physical activities that often, this might just be the perfect breed.

English toy spaniels are extremely devoted to their owners and can also suffer from separation anxiety if separated from them for a long time. They get along well with kids, although you might think twice before introducing them to very small children – they don’t cope too well with noises and excess excitement.

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11. Australian Shepherd

Although this breed was originally developed with the purpose of herding livestock and still remains a working dog deep down in their heart, the Australian shepherd makes for an awesome family companion if you make sure their energy is channeled in the right direction.

The Australian shepherd is an incredibly energetic breed that needs a lot of exercise. This is a good thing if you have children, as the time spent with these dogs cannot possibly be boring. After they’ve had their exercise, though, there’s no finer way to rest than cuddling up with their owners and sharing a loving moment of peace and quiet.

Australian shepherds are extremely loyal and protective and there’s no way you can avoid falling in love with their personality. If you give them a chance, they will try to get as close to you as possible, so don’t be surprised when they pick your lap, legs, and feet as their favorite resting places.

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12. Great Dane

The Great Dane is a noble and large dog breed with a great size, as the taller specimens can go up to nearly three feet in height. They are often called gentle giants because even though they’re very large in size, they are also one of the kindest dogs in the world.

They are exceptionally affectionate and sweet and they love playing with children while also being very careful not to harm them in any way imaginable. They are brave and protective of their family, but won’t openly show aggression unless their family is under a real and obvious threat – instead, they will usually alert their companions of the possible peril by barking loudly.

Great Danes are very people-oriented and they thrive on pleasing their humans and showing their love. They will follow you anywhere you go and will demand all your attention because they can’t live without it. They like to be cuddled, petted, stroked and hugged all the time. These pups will also nudge you with their huge heads to let you know 5 minutes have passed since you last showed them some love.

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13. Xoloitzcuintli

While the Xoloitzcuintli has a rather unpronounceable name, it also has a body that seems to be comforting to people who suffer from arthritis or similar diseases. You’ll enjoy cuddling with them even if you are completely healthy, though, as they are just awesome like that. And as you may have guessed, this Mexican breed is better known as the Mexican hairless dog.

If you’ve set your eyes on this specific breed but are picky when it comes to size, don’t worry – these fantastic dogs often vary in size from very small to very large, so you can actually choose how big you want your dog to be. As far as their personality is concerned, they are very, very cold toward strangers, but when it comes to their family, you probably won’t find a warmer and more attentive breed. They will literally shower you with attention and love and will always be up for some cuddling time.

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14. Newfoundland

Dependable, good-natured, loyal, affectionate, energetic – these are just some of the traits of the Newfoundland breed, which certainly makes for a perfect family pet. As you may have already guessed, they got their name from their place of their origin and they were specifically bred to be working dogs. Today, the Newfoundland is simply an awesome addition to the family. Be wary of their size, though, they will always grow a bit more than you’d expect them to.

This is a breed that forms a life-long bond with their owner and if you’re not sure you can handle that, it’s better not to adopt them in the first place. For a Newfoundland, there’s literally nothing worse than being abandoned by their owner. They are sweet, cuddly, loveable, highly intelligent and good with children. They will always try to find ways to please their friends and family and you’d be surprised how creative they can get when it comes to pleasing their favorite humans.

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15. Dachshund

There’s a very small chance you’ve never seen a Dachshund (also known as the weenie dog) in your life. However, if you have, you probably remember one thing about them – how much they love cuddling with humans.

They were originally bred to hunt small game like badgers, rabbits and foxes. Today, they are simply great family members. They are usually small in size, cute, cheerful and incredibly funny in an adorable way. However, you can always count on them to protect you – a Dachshund will often stand up to much larger dogs, just to show that they are on your side.

Weenie dogs are very playful and love to be around you, no matter what you are doing at the moment. The golden rule with them is as follows: when a Dachshund wants to play, they will play. There’s absolutely no exception and good luck convincing them otherwise. The joy and love they can bring into your family are immeasurable.

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16. Rat Terrier

There’s one thing rat terriers excel at – never allowing you to be bored. They are adorable, funny, playful and extremely energetic (and we mean it when we say “extremely”). If your pet happens to be a dog of this breed, you will probably be laughing all the time.

They aren’t very interested in pleasing people who aren’t a part of their family and they can get mischievous and stubborn at times, but when attended to properly, these dogs can be the perfect companions. Rat terriers are very devoted to their humans and they will always want to be around you and socialize. If you’re somewhere, they are there as well; if you’re doing something, they are right behind you to support you.

One interesting fact about this breed is how perceptive they are – they are one of the few breeds that can adjust their behavior to your mood so accurately. This all stems from their immense need to satisfy and please their human friends. Last but not least, they will try to make physical contact with you whenever possible.

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17. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A very kind and friendly breed, the King Charles spaniel loves being close and intimate with everyone they meet. “Everyone is a friend, I love everyone, oh god, belly rubs everywhere!” is how we assume their brains work most of the time.

These dogs are so cuddly that even though they might have never seen you before, if they see you sitting down and looking at them in a friendly manner, they will come running, jump into your lap and smother you with kindness and gentleness. They are not the best breed if you’re looking for a watchdog – if an intruder gave them a pat on the head, they would gladly let them steal your TV.

Besides being so cuddly and loving, they are also very playful and like chasing other small animals. Keeping them on a leash when going for a walk would be the smart and responsible thing to do. If their personality doesn’t melt your heart, their gorgeous eyes surely will. When you see the warmness in them, you simply won’t be able to resist the temptation to pet them – and that’s precisely what they want.

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18. Bulldog

Sometimes called the English bulldog or the British bulldog, the breed originated in England and has quite the bloody past. They descended from fighting mastiffs that Romans brought to the British Isles to use in a bloody sport called bullbaiting, where the dog is supposed to find a way to bite a bull in the nose or the head area.

Today, however, our loving bulldog doesn’t really resemble their ancestors. What about all the ferociousness that they exhibited in the bullbaiting pens? Gone. Yes, they still feature a ferocious appearance, but you’d have a hard time finding a dog with a sweeter, more loving disposition.

Despite the cartoon depictions of them you may have seen, today’s Bulldogs are bred to be affectionate and kind. Yes, they are resolute and courageous, but they aren’t the ones who will start a fight. Bulldogs love people. They want plenty of attention and they love nothing more than sleeping next to their masters.

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19. Belgian Sheepdog

If you’re looking for a dog that will never run out of energy and will be very affectionate toward their family, the Belgian sheepdog is a good choice for you. Of all the traits this breed has, energy is at the top of the list.

They are not a breed that enjoys lazing around the house – they are a working breed and need a job to do. But if you manage to tire them out to the point that they want to rest and relax a bit, do you think they will do it on the floor? Wrong! They’ll do it wherever you are and they’ll have it no other way.

A well-socialized and trained Belgian sheepdog is a confident protector of their people and property and will never show signs of aggression without cause. They are incredibly affectionate and friendly with people they know, particularly with family members. However, these pups are also demanding of their time and attention – this breed really, really, really doesn’t like being left alone. Take them out for a run and then wrestle with them on the living room sofa and you can be sure you’ll have a happy pet.

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20. Bloodhound

The Bloodhound is indeed single-minded on the trail and yes, they are used for hunting quite often, but what many people don’t realize is that once a bloodhound finds their quarry, they might lick the person to death or smother them with hugs and kisses, but they will never, ever attack. These wrinkled hounds are very gentle and far from lazy.

They can follow scent trails for miles and will always rather work than sleep on the sun porch. If you want to live with a bloodhound, expect to commit to long walks every single day. Also, expect awesome rewards from your pooch for doing so.

They are generally very affectionate but don’t forget that they are independent hounds as well. They will want their share of attention, but unlike some breeds, they don’t require it constantly. They need a well-balanced amount of human attention on a regular basis to prevent the independence in their nature from creating social problems. They simply need their quality ‘human time’ each and every day.

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21. Papillon

The Papillon is literally a portrait come to life, a modern representation of the small spaniels we so often see in paintings from centuries past. Their name comes from the French word for butterfly and this could be due to their small size, gentle personality and gracefulness.

Although their appearance has somewhat changed over the years, they are still the same wonderful companions that graced the laps of lords and ladies so many years ago. You know, if a breed is well-known for showing affection for centuries, something tells us that people looking for affectionate dogs would love having a Papillon.

Papillons have awesome temperaments and they are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be petted all the time. They are happy, alert, friendly and they are never shy or aggressive. They are also very smart and highly trainable. If you’d like a dog you can take to competitions, the Papillon is a good choice.

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