The 20 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

There is something to be said about man’s best friend. What in the world would we do without dogs, honestly? They are such loving, loyal, and friendly companions that it is difficult for many to picture what their lives would be like without that crucial family member.

Of course, in the world of pups, there are some breeds that are just a tad more loving and affectionate than others. There are dogs with better temperaments, dogs that prefer quiet and relaxation, and dogs that just have crazy amounts of energy that need to be run off on the daily.

But how can you know which breed is the right breed for you and your family, without just basing it on looks alone? Well, that’s why we are here.

In this article, we are counting down the top twenty most affectionate dog breeds that you can adopt into your family, with dogs of all shapes and sizes that you can imagine. With that said, let’s take a look at these adorable and hard to resist dog breeds that we surround ourselves with on the daily.

Dogs kissing

20. Dachshund

Also known as a “Weiner Dog”, the Dachshund breed is specifically known for its long torso and short, stout legs, making their goody appearance all the more entertaining. Dachshunds are also known to be ready for a cuddle at any given moment, and are extremely loyal to their families and their owners.

This loyalty also translates into protectiveness, as these dogs won’t be afraid to stand up to other larger dogs and strangers to protect their families. However, their bark is most certainly worse than their bite.

More often than not, Dachshunds are cheerful, friendly, and are always ready to play, regardless if you are. If you want a playful, small dog that is ready to snuggle up and keep you warm at night, a Dachshund is a great choice for you and your family.

19. English Toy Spaniel

This is a breed that tends to be more on the quieter side of the spectrum. The English Toy Spaniel does exceptionally well with single owners, as opposed to having an entire family surrounding them.

They are very gentle, very sweet, and very easy going dogs; However, they do tend to have separation anxiety when they are left alone for long periods of time without their owners at their side.

The favorite pass time of the English Toy Spaniel is simply to lay next to you on the couch and get in a good pet. It is also important to remember that, coinciding with preferring single owners, English Toy Spaniels do not do well with loud noises and a great deal of excitement, which makes them not the best dog breed to have with a house of young children.

18. Chihuahua

You may think of Chihuahuas as just another yippy little dog, one that is always in the way, always excited and energetic, and shaking uncontrollably because of it. However, Chihuahuas are always incredibly affectionate dogs, and are very loyal and attached to their families in particular.

This toy breed loves to be close to their people at all times, following their owners all around the house, and will often be found in purses and totes, being carried around as well.

At the same time, Chihuahuas can also be very cautious dogs, often choosing a “favorite” among their families to be attached to. Some Chihuahuas will also have a touch of separation anxiety when they are away from their owners for extended periods of time, but trust us when we say they will show you all the love they can possibly muster from those little personalities once you return home.

17. Newfoundland Dog

Just like many of the breeds that you will see on this list, the Newfoundland Dog is another that is full of energy, ready to play, and is always affectionate to their families.

These dogs will often grow to be quite large in size, but don’t let their size fool you whatsoever; The Newfoundland Dog is a sweet and gentle dog all around. They are also very intelligent, and tend to form life long bonds with their families as loyal companions. Because of their gentle demeanor and devotion, Newfoundland Dogs are excellent additions to the family, especially those with young children.

16. Labrador Retriever

It should be no surprise to anyone that the Labrador Retriever has made our list. They are very loyal companions, and are always playing or running around. On the other hand, their sweet demeanor also makes for a dog that is ready to cuddle up and enjoy quiet time with their families. Because they are so affectionate, Labs will often be more willing to be affectionate and greet strangers than other breeds.

However, they can also be somewhat protective when it comes to their families and their owners, but never to the point of being aggressive; Just a bark or two will do the trick for them.

15. Golden Retriever

Much like its “cousin”, the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever is full of playful fun and energy that makes for excitement all day long. Golden Retrievers don’t differ much from Labs, except for their long, thick coats that they have.

Goldens have excellent temperaments, and love nothing more than to be cuddled up next to their owners on the couch or on the floor at the end of the day. They are also extremely gentle, making them great dogs for families with young kids.

They are rare to be aggressive, but will show protectiveness for their families if a stranger comes by. If you are looking for an amazing family dog that just wants a pat on the head and a good time, the Retriever breed is definitely the way to go.

14. Boxer

If you have ever met a Boxer, you will know that it is a very energetic and playfully high strong breed of dog. You will also come to know upon meeting them that they are extremely affectionate and friendly to almost everyone they meet, always looking for a belly rub or loving pat on the head for their playful behavior.

With this affection also comes the intense need for attention around the clock, and is what makes them excellent dogs for families of all ages.

However, because of their high strong demeanor and need for exercise almost around the clock, they are definitely a dog meant for a family that likes to have just as much exercise and energy as well. You truly won’t find any more excitement or crazy energy like you find in the Boxer breed.

13. Australian Shepherd

Known to be bred as herding dogs back in the day, Australian Shepherds come with a great amount of energy and stamina to be the perfect family pet.

This dog breed often requires an intense amount of exercise and play time, making them perfect for families who are ready for adventure and fun times.

Along with their energy, Australian Shepherds are also very loyal to their families, and are also extremely affectionate, wanting nothing more than to be as close to you as possible at every moment. This loyal devotion and affection also makes this dog breed very protective of their families, and makes them excellent guard dogs as well.

12. Papillion

The Papillion breed has graced the homes of historical figures for many generations going way back, and today, they are just as popular as ever for family homes.

The Papillion is extremely affectionate, which also plays into their good temperament and lack of aggressiveness. they are also very curious and playful pups, which makes them excellent for families with children on board.

Though they are generally small in size, the Papillion is full of happy, eager, and loving personality that will make their need for attention and love ever clear. You genuinely will find no better affectionate dog than that of the Papillion when looking at toy breeds.

11. Greyhound

The Greyhound is a breed of dog that has been around for thousands of years, and has even been the loyal companion of many historical figures throughout ancient times. The Greyhound has continued to be a devoted dog as we have come into the present day.

They are always craving attention from their families, and will let you know their love for you day and night.

Greyhounds are so affectionate that they will often become very protective of their families, but are also ready for a good cuddle every now and then. Either way, the affectionate that the Greyhound has reaches all sides of the spectrum.

10. English Bulldog

With their playful and goofy demeanor that we see nowadays, you wouldn’t believe that the English Bulldog came from an aggressive and bloody, fighting past, would you? Luckily, you won’t see these dogs bred for fighting anymore, regardless of their somewhat aggressive appearance.

Bulldogs are often quite affectionate and kind to their families, only wanting to sleep next to their owners and wait to be cuddled constantly. These dogs are also known for being courageous and protective, but once again, they will not start a fight on their own accord.

This is what makes them such excellent family dogs, along with their playful and exciting personality.

9. Maltese

Famous for their silky white fur, the Maltese dog breed is well known for being a gentle and comforting all the same. This toy breed often does not receive anger and discipline well from their owners, but would rather be giving a belly rub or a soft scratch under the chin at all times throughout heir day.

They are very loyal, devoted, and intelligent dogs that simply want nothing more than to be cuddled and loved by their families day in and day out. They don’t always like aggression, as we mentioned, but they can make excellent family dogs for those with younger children in the house as they are also quite playful for a toy breed.

8. Bloodhound

When you think of the mighty Bloodhound, you will often think about their intense and strong sniffers, on the trail of anything and everything you can possibly think of.

Regardless of what you might think will happen when they finally find what they’ve been searching for, the Bloodhound is so gentle and kind that the worst they will do is smother them to no end with affection.

These dogs love outdoor activity, and like to take long walks with their owners. They also are quite affectionate, obviously; However, unlike some of the other dogs that have made our list, the Bloodhound does not require or want the affection and attention quite as frequently.

They are known for being quite independent dogs, who just want a good balance between affection from their owners and their own down time as well.

7. Mastiff

Known to grow to extremely great sizes, often averaging at about 200 pounds once fully grown, the Mastiff can be both an intimidating but extremely loyal dog as well.

Don’t be fooled by their scary outward appearance and size, however; This dog breed is almost always calm, gentle, and very affectionate to all they meet. In fact, they are so affectionate that they absolutely adore children, and want nothing more than to snuggle with their families after a long day.

Mastiffs also have a playful attitude, and love to be outdoors with their owners. Even though their size might seem quite overwhelming, you won’t believe the amazing temperament that they have one you bring them into your home.

rat terrier

6. Rat Terrier

As you will see come the end of this list, the Terrier breed takes up a great deal of the most affectionate dogs that you will find. This continues on with the Rat Terrier, who are extremely energetic, playful, and ready for just about anything you throw their way.

This type of Terrier can often be mischievous at times, but make up for it with their dire need for attention and affection.

Because they are so perceptive, they are perfect for making your mood better and helping you all the while; They are also very devoted to their families, making them an overall excellent dog to have in your home.

5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

We have mentioned other Spaniels on the list as well, but nothing compares to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are also known for their gentle and sweet demeanor, but also have more of a playful side to them that makes them excellent dogs for families with young children.

These dogs are so gentle and kind that you won’t even notice them sleeping next to you or following you around every waking moment. You truly won’t be able to believe their friendly manner, and while they seem super passive, it is always good to remember that they are quite intelligent, and will run at a moment’s notice to chase small animals around.

4. Pug

Well known for their smooshed up faces and stout build to their bodies, Pugs have the personality that will win over any dog lover. They are very loyal, playful, cheerful little pups, and they are also extremely affectionate toward their families and their owners.

Be warned, however, as pugs are also known for being somewhat mischievous, and tend to get into trouble frequently in their homes as well. What they have in trouble making, they most certainly make up for with their adorable faces and loving personalities. You can’t go wrong with the playful and entertaining nature that is the pug.

3. Bichon Frise

Often confused to be that of a small poodle breed, the Bichon Frise is often known to have fluffy, curly white fur, and smaller, more compact bodies. These good natured dogs are excellent family dogs, especially for those with young children in the mix.

The Bichon Frise breed is typically very gentle and affectionate toward their families, and often more than not, this affection can even get taken a bit too far — We mean that Bichon Frise often suffer from separation anxiety when they are away from their families for long periods of time.

2. Great Dane

Another huge dog on the list when it comes to size, the Great Dane is a quite noble breed that also makes for a very loyal companion. Here is a fun fact for you all … Did you know that Scooby Doo was also a Great Dane?

Great Danes are also known for being extremely gentle and cautious around children, making them excellent family dogs for all ages. As one of the kindest dogs in the world, the Great Dane is also affectionate, rarely showing any aggression unless they feel threatened or are protecting their family from immense danger.

This affection that they have can be shown in various forms, whether they be following your every move, or whether they are nudging your hand for another pet on the head. You won’t find a more gentle giant then that of the Great Dane.

1. Skye Terrier

Just like similar terriers that we see in our society today, the Skye Terrier originated in Great Britain (actually on an isle just off of the country of Scotland, to be exact), and are often known for some of their distinguished features, such as their perky ears, lush, wavy fur, and their keen determination.

Skye Terriers also have a very cheerful and friendly nature to their personalities, making them have generally the ideal temperament that most are looking for in a dog.

Their affection also reaches out to strangers, along with their families (as with other dogs on this list), and they will show their devotion through and through. Along with their friendliness and affection, these terriers, just like others in the breed, are quite playful, and are ready for an afternoon outdoors with their owners.

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