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25 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

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Last Updated: December 4, 2023 | 17 min read | 1 Comment

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Are you looking for more affection from your family members? Getting a furry companion could be one solution to help you get a snuggle buddy. Many dog breeds are amazingly affectionate companions. Which breeds are the biggest snugglers? We give you a list of the 25 most affectionate dog breeds. Some may be familiar friendly pups, like the Golden Retriever, but other affectionate breeds may surprise you.

Most dogs show their love in their own way. Some shower you with puppy kisses when you walk through the door or snuggle up to you on the sofa. Some dogs are sensitive to your emotions, and others become your second shadow, determined to trip you up whenever possible. But some dog breeds are way more affectionate than others.

Finding a good match for your personality is essential when picking a pooch. Our list of the most affectionate dog breeds might help you find your ideal devoted family pup that’s a major snuggle bug. Based on our research, we have many breeds and sizes to satisfy your canine companion’s wishes.

25 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

Here, we briefly examine 25 of the most affectionate dog breeds you can choose. If you find a dog that interests you, please research them in more detail in each of our breed guides. There’s more to a dog than the affection he provides, although it’s a pretty good place to start. So, let’s get started.

American Bully

American Bully dogs in grass.
American Bullies are super friendly and love being around people.

Let’s hit things off with the American Bully. This hunky hound is one of the four breeds that are a “Pitbull-type” breed. There’s a lot of misconception about these dogs, mainly because of their fighting history and the sometimes unfair press they receive. However, American Bullies are one of the most affectionate breeds you can hope to find. Most of these love bugs shower their human pack with wet doggy kisses and endless snuggles.

There are four American Bully sizes: pocket, standard, classic, and XL. They can range from 13 to 23 inches tall, from paw to shoulder, and weigh anywhere from 25 to 120 pounds. American Bullies are very muscular with a square head and frame. They can be stubborn, so owners must have previous doggy-owning experience. Training them fairly but firmly is usually seccessful.

American Pitbull Terrier

Two American Pitbull Terriers with brown coats in the lawn.
These pups are much smaller and more athletic than the American Bully.

The American Pitbull Terrier is another of the “Pitbull-type” breeds and the one that most people think of when talking about Pitbulls. They weigh between 30 and 65 pounds and measure between 17 to 21 inches tall. Pitties come in various colors and have a relatively simple grooming regime.

Like the American Bully, they have received a lot of unfair press, but most of it is down to misconception of the breed. Pitbulls are totally devoted and loyal to their family and incredibly friendly with strangers, too, so they make terrible guard dogs. The Pitbull is nicknamed a “nanny breed” because they adore children and often stick close to the family’s younger members. You should never leave kiddos alone with any dog, but dog-savvy children may find a best friend in this love bug.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog with human.
The Bichon Frise is a well-known lapdog.

Bichon Frises are small doggos with an extra large coat. It is brilliant white and hypoallergenic, so these affectionate pups are hugely popular with people who love doggy cuddles but struggle with allergies. Bichons weigh between 12 and 18 pounds and measure between 9.5 and 11.5 inches tall. Their coat is plush and velvety to the touch, and they have huge forever puppy dog eyes.

Bichons are curious, playful, and super sweet. Despite their small size, they are sturdy and resilient and have a lot of playful personality packed into their tiny body. They are renowned for their comical and clown-like character, providing tons of entertainment for the whole family. This stems back to their history as entertaining street and circus dogs seeking to coax some coins from passersby. These happy-go-lucky dogs are charismatic and draw in strangers for cuddles. This little pup wants to be friends with everyone they meet.

Boxer

Boxer lying on a bed.
Boxers get their name from their frolicking style and use their front legs to play, much like a human boxer does.

The Boxer is another comical canine with a super goofy nature and loves to be spoiled with affection. Boxers are active, fun-loving, and bright but can also be extremely stubborn and need an experienced owner to get the best out of them. They are alert, make excellent watchdogs and guard dogs, and will protect their family fearlessly. But when it comes to their family, they have so much love and slobbery kisses to give.

They weigh between 50 and 80 pounds, measure between 21.5 and 25 inches tall, and have a very square face and frame. Boxers have brindle or fawn coats, usually with black and white markings. They make great family companions for those with kiddos but need consistent training to keep them well-balanced.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon lying on sofa.
Many Brussels Griffons hate being left alone and like to be the center of attention.

The Brussels Griffon is one of the least known dogs on this list, but their iconic face, complete with a big bushy beard and mustache, is one that most people have seen. They have large human-like eyes and give off a “distinguished gentleman” aura. Brussels weigh between 8 and 10 pounds and measure between 7 and 10 inches tall. They have two coat types, smooth and rough, and come in four different colors.

Despite their serious-looking facial expression, they are secretly sensitive. If you can offer it, Brussels show their favorite humans affection, happiness, and loyalty. These pups do best with families with older children or none at all because they don’t tolerate rough or clumsy play with young children. However, their playful and energetic nature surprises those who take them on.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Woman in cozy home relaxing on sofa with a sleeping Cavalier dog on her lap, holding tablet and reading.
Cavaliers enjoy lazing around for cuddles on the sofa just as much as playtime.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the best of the athletic and active Spaniel world and the sweet attentiveness of the toy dog universe. If you’re after a fun and animated pup but one who craves human attention, you can’t do much better than this pooch. They might be linked to the royal family, but they are happy to get down and dirty with their family on adventures.

King Charles Spaniels weigh between 13 and 18 pounds and measure between 12 and 13 inches tall. They have four coat colors and have a medium to long soft coat with a slight wave. They get along well with children and other dogs as long as they are adequately socialized as a pup. These affectionate dogs love a cheeky snack (or ten), so be sure not to let them become overweight.

Chihuahua

Closeup portrait of small funny beige Chihuahua dog, puppy.
Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dogs on this list, and they don’t usually exceed 6 pounds.

The Chihuahua is one of the world’s best-known small breeds. They make brilliant watchdogs thanks to their vocal nature, and they like to think of themselves as family guardians, too. Chihuahuas are charming, with an equal measure of grace and sassiness. Although they can live with children, they aren’t the best option for families with small toddlers who don’t understand how to play with a tiny pup.

They measure only 5 to 8 inches and are commonly known as purse dogs. This is just as well because they hate being left alone and like spending as much of their day with (or on you) as possible. They have long and smooth coats, with plenty of colors to choose from.

Dachshund

Long-Haired Dachshund Laying on a Yellow Rug.
Dachshunds’ human-like eyes are full of love and adoration for their people.

There are two types of Dachshunds, standard and miniature. Standards weigh between 16 and 32 pounds and measure up to 9 inches tall, and miniatures weigh 11 pounds and under and are no more than 6 inches tall. They have three different coat types, too, with plenty of colors and markings to choose from. Their long body and little legs mean you must take extra care when they jump down from heights.

No matter your wiener dog’s size, they are all equally affectionate. As a Dachshund owner, I have never received so much love from a dog, and they have to be with you at all times, if not on you. They make fantastic watchdogs and can be stubborn, so experience is necessary to get the best from them. But their loyal and active personality makes them an all-round excellent family pooch.

Doberman Pinscher

Black and Tan Doberman Pinscher.
Dobermans are high-energy and need lots of socialization to keep them well-balanced, but they make fantastic family dogs.

Those who don’t know the Doberman breed often steer clear of them because they look intimidating and are one of the best protection dogs in the world. But those familiar with the breed know they are incredibly affectionate and loving with their family. These lovey-dovey pups do anything for their humans and nuzzle into you at every chance.

Dobermans weigh between 60 and 100 pounds and measure between 24 and 28 inches tall. Their coat comes in four colors, all with rust markings, and is short and sleek. Their grooming regime is super simple, too. The saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” has never been more accurate with the Dobie and their secretly sweet personality. Families looking to take this dog on must be prepared to take them everywhere because they hate to be alone.

English Bulldog

Vet examining English Bulldog, close-up.
English Bulldogs are very friendly and calm, with a courageous streak when it comes to looking after their family.

Everyone knows the English Bulldog breed for their iconic sour mug and goofy personality. But, despite their “don’t mess me with look,” they want to be friends with everyone. These dogs want and deserve endless attention, and they don’t need an excuse to laze the day away with their loved ones.

Bulldogs weigh between 40 and 50 pounds and measure between 14 and 15 inches tall. Their short snout and flat nose make them vulnerable to breathing problems, so you must take extra care during exercise and hot seasons. Their skin rolls require additional cleaning and attention to prevent odors and infection, but other than that, they are relatively adaptable and easygoing. If you’re looking for roly-poly affection with a hint of drool, this is probably the pup for you.

English Bull Terrier

English Bull Terrier standing in the grass.
English Bull Terriers thrive off human interaction, are needy, and require daily cuddles.

If you don’t know this breed, you might avoid them because of their intimidating appearance and bad press. But, and it’s a big but, the English Bull Terrier is one of the most affectionate dog breeds on the planet. As an English Bull Terrier mix owner, I have never met such an attention-needing breed. They need an experienced owner to get the best out of their wildly stubborn and mischievous personality, but if you can meet their needs, there is no more loyal and loveable canine companion.

English Bull Terriers are the iconic “eggheads” of the doggy world. Their sloped head, squinty eyes, and stocky bodies make them stand out in any crowd. There are two types of Bull Terriers, standard and miniature. Standards weigh between 50 and 70 pounds and measure around 21.5 inches tall. Miniatures weigh between 18 and 28 pounds and measure about 12 inches tall. Both types are equally loving, affectionate, and needy.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer guarding his toy in the garden ready to play.
GSPs have short and smooth coats that don’t need much grooming, which is another one of their appeals.

German Shorthaired Pointers consistently rank in the top ten most popular breeds, and a considerable part of their popularity is due to their lovey-dovey nature. They are very friendly and eager to please their humans and do anything for a reward or praise from their master. Yes, they need a lot of exercise to keep them happy, but once they are, you receive neverending hugs, tail wags, and wet doggy kisses.

German Shorthaired Pointers weigh between 45 and 70 pounds and weigh between 21 and 25 inches tall. They thrive with families who have plenty of time to spend with them. If socialized well, they get along well with other dogs and children, but their high prey drive makes them unsuited to living with smaller household pets. They have webbed paws and are one of the best swimmers in the doggy kingdom.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers eating kibble out of bowls while being pet by girls.
Apart from their sweet smile and adoring eyes, their best feature is their medium-length flowing golden coat with feathery features.

The Golden Retriever is one of the most thought of breeds for family doggos and consistently ranks in America’s top five dog breeds. They are intelligent, friendly, devoted, and surprisingly tireless hunting and retrieving breeds. They are Scottish gun dogs, but after a good romp, they worship family time. This second shadow pup forms a close bond with the entire family, usually whoever shows them the most fuss.

Golden Retrievers weigh between 55 and 75 pounds and measure between 21.5 and 24 inches tall. Their happy-go-lucky nature and puppy-like personality stay until they are well into adulthood, making them fun family companions. Swimming is a huge pastime of theirs, so you are sure to earn extra affection points for a dip.

Great Dane

Great Dane sleeping on sofa.
If you don’t want a large dog that tries to sit on your knees whenever the chance presents itself, the Great Dane is not the pup for you.

The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds in the world, and they are also one of the biggest lapdogs. They are friendly, patient, and dependable family companions with a hint of playful silliness. They love to lick and snuggle whenever the chance comes, but they also make imposing guard dogs with super loud and piercing barks.

Great Danes weigh between 110 and 175 pounds and measure between 28 and 32 inches tall. They have a short and sleek coat that comes in all kinds of colors and is relatively easy to maintain. The only grooming aspect you need to keep on top of daily is their drooly jowls. Although they are patient and great with children, they are better suited to older children who can handle their larger-than-life size.

Greyhound

Greyhound Being Lazy on a sofa stretching.
Greyhound’s slender frame shows off their ribcage, but don’t be fooled by their skininess.

The Greyhound is one of the least popular on this breed list in the U.S. but not any less affectionate. They are independent and can be aloof with humans outside of their family. But with their family, they are loving and gentle, and you can depend on them for snuggles on the sofa. They are one of the oldest breeds in the world, dating back 5,000 years, so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect their cuddling techniques.

Greyhounds weigh between 60 and 70 pounds and measure between 27 and 30 inches tall. They are the fastest dog breed and have a very high prey drive. Just like kings, poets, and artists have always been fascinated with this breed, owners quickly succumb to their sweet charms.

Irish Wolfhound

Two Irish Wolfhounds mother and puppy sitting in grass outside.
There are resources to help rehome Irish Wolfhounds, which can help reduce the cost for you instead of buying a puppy from a breeder.

The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest breed on this list, and males are at least 32 inches tall. They typically weigh between 105 and 120 pounds and have a wiry, medium-length coat. Their vast and rugged appearance and powerful bark are often enough to scare intruders away. But overall, they are too tranquil and gentle to make effective guard dogs. Instead, they focus their time on snuggling up to their owner’s feet or waiting patiently for belly rubs.

As their names suggest, they originate from Ireland and were once big game hunters capable of taking down a wolf single-handedly. But don’t let their history put you off. They are serene, patient, and great companions for families with children. Their wiry coats shed surprisingly less than other dog breeds, and it doesn’t “blow” during the shedding seasons.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier Getting Pet on belly laying on back.
Jack Russell Terriers are often called the “Teflon Terrier.”

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small but mighty pooch with tons of energy and needs to live with a reasonably active family. They were bred to hunt foxes and get into small holes to catch vermin. This means that they are expert diggers, and they are very vocal, too. But after a few hours of getting up to mischief, they love to be pampered by their humans. The Jack Russell Terrier is a faithful companion and sticks to his humans like glue.

Jack Russells weigh between 13 and 17 pounds and measure between 13 and 14 inches tall. They look very similar to the Parson and Russell terriers, but they have many subtle differences. They have a short and thick double coat that doesn’t need too much grooming, and they mainly come in white, tan, and black colors. Although they are super affectionate, they can be very stubborn, too, so you need to be persistent with their training to make them into polite pups.

Labradoodle

Stressed out Labradoodle about to get groomed.
Labradoodles are people pleasers and do anything for praise and cuddles.

Although many mixed breeds are very loving, the Labradoodle is a firm family favorite with lots of love to give. They are warm, loyal, and caring and do well in therapy settings. They are large canine teddy bears who are suckers for a lazy evening snuggle and sit closest to whoever spoils them the most with belly rubs and paw rubs. They have much more energy than people think, so you must be relatively active.

Labradoodles are a cross between Labradors and standard-size Poodles. They typically weigh between 30 and 65 pounds and measure between 21 and 24 inches. Sometimes, they are crossed with miniature Poodles, making them much smaller, so if their size is important to you, ask your breeder what size Poodle their parent is. Their medium-length, curly coat is hypoallergenic, making them much more tolerable for allergy sufferers.

Labrador Retriever

Closeup portrait of Labrador Retriever ready to sniff owner sitting down.
Labs eat everything in sight, so keep harmful foods out of paw’s reach.

The Labrador Retriever is one of America’s favorite Fidos. Not only are they fun, active, and playful, but they are also gentle, obedient, and very affectionate. They can be a little stubborn at times, but with consistent training, they can make some of the most trainable dogs in the world.

If you like large, solid dogs that give some of the best cuddles, the Labrador Retriever is a top contender for you and your family. Labs weigh between 55 and 80 pounds and measure between 21.5 and 24.5 inches tall. Like the Labradoodle, they make brilliant therapy and assistance dogs and do well in search and rescue and similar jobs. The Labrador is an all-rounder with lots of energy and love to give.

Mastiff

Human Hand Feeding Mastiff a Treat.
Mastiffs were bred to be large estate guardians and retain a protective side.

If you’re looking for an enormous love bug, look no further than the Mastiff, sometimes known as the English Mastiff. They weigh anywhere between 120 and a whopping 230 pounds, sometimes more. They measure a minimum of 27.5 inches, too, so you need plenty of room to accommodate this pup. Mastiffs have a short and double coat that sheds moderately throughout the year. But because they are so huge, you are bound to notice a lot of hair floating around, so it’s essential to keep up with grooming.

But when they’re satisfied, there’s no danger around, they are super docile. They think they are the size of a Chihuahua and jump onto your lap at any opportunity. Mastiffs adore their humans and like to be with them at all times. Slobbery kisses are the order of every day, so if you don’t like doggy slobber, this might not be a good match for you. But if you don’t mind it, you’re in for a treat with this colossal companion.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland sick in owner's arms.
Newfie’s webbed feet make them expert swimmers.

Here we have another large canine who thinks he’s toy size, but this time with a longer and shaggier coat. Newfoundlands weigh between 100 and 150 pounds and measure an average of 26 to 28 inches tall. This is another slightly slobbery dog, but they make up for it in sweet cuddles. They hate being left alone, and if they know you are in another room, a gate or door won’t stop them from getting to you.

The Newfoundland was bred to retrieve struggling people and boats from the water, and they jump into the water at any chance. You need a hairdryer and plenty of towels if you’re considering welcoming one of these dogs into your home. They also have such a kind and gentle temperament and have earned a reputation for being patient “nanny dogs” for children.

Pug

Pug with new family couple sitting on the ground.
Pugs’ snuffles are adorable.

This lovey-dovey snuggle bug is sweet, loving, and incredibly charming, and Pug owners often call them the perfect housedog. But they can also be mischievous and stubborn. They know what they want, and that is to be spoiled. And when do they want cuddles? Right now. This demanding doggo needs to be the center of attention to be happy, but in return, you can’t ask for a better cuddle companion.

Pugs are small canines that weigh between 14 and 18 pounds and measure between 10 and 13 inches tall. They have flat faces and often struggle with breathing, especially in the heat or during strenuous activity, so you must be cautious. They are small enough to travel with you but sturdy enough to handle play with children and adults alike.

Rottweiler

Veterinarian treats a Rottweiler dog in a veterinary clinic.
Rotties are popular canines that consistently rank in America’s top 10 dog breeds.

The Rottweiler is one of the most affectionate pups around, which surprises many people if they aren’t familiar with the breed. That’s right, the Rottweiler is a sucker for cuddles and kisses. They might look mean and stand guard around strangers, but they are big goofballs in the home and consider themselves lapdogs. So, if you want a protective and loyal teddy bear, you can’t do much better than the doting Rottie.

Rottweilers are large dogs that weigh between 80 and 135 pounds and measure between 22 and 27 inches in height. They have a short and sleek double coat that requires minimal grooming. All they need is an active and experienced family and plenty of companionship, and they are happy pups.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu smiling looking up at the camera.
The Shih Tzu is the Chinese Lion dog and is a small, lovable, and friendly breed.

Shih Tzus are playful, affectionate, and outgoing. There’s nothing sweeter than a Shih Tzu who has formed a close bond with their family. They are incredibly easygoing and adaptable and do well with most families. Shih Tzus are one of the original lapdogs who served Chinese emperors, and they still do it so well. They hate to be left alone and suffer from separation anxiety, so you must dedicate a lot of time to them to keep them happy.

Shih Tzus are in the toy group, and they only weigh between 9 and 16 pounds and measure between 9 and 10.5 inches tall. They have a lot of hair but are one of the few breeds considered hypoallergenic. They have a very long expected lifespan, too, so if you’re after a snuggle partner for as many years as caninely possible, this is a great choice. Famous owners that have succumbed to the Shih Tzu’s charms range from Miley Cyrus to Queen Elizabeth II.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier sitting in the grass.
This is another breed that has earned a reputation as a “nanny dog” and has an affinity for children.

Last but certainly not least is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, another of the “Pitbull-type” dogs. They aren’t that common in America, but across the pond in England, they are one of the most popular dog breeds for families and singletons. They are clever, brave, and tenacious like most terriers. But their best qualities include their devotion and affection towards their family.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers weigh between 24 and 38 pounds and measure between 14 and 16 inches. They have a short and sleek double coat in a wide range of colors. Well-trained Staffords are so friendly that they make terrible guard dogs and happily welcome an intruder into your home in exchange for cuddles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we see most often from our readers when they’re looking for affectionate dog breeds. Don’t see yours here? Ask us in our comments.

What Is An Affectionate Dog?

An affectionate dog displays several behaviors that show you that they love you. These behaviors vary from dog to dog, and they can include snuggling up to you, being happy to see you, trying to lick your face or give doggy kisses, wanting to spend time with you, and being sensitive to your emotions. Some dogs show all of these features, and some offer a few. All the dogs on this list are some of the most affectionate breeds you can choose.

Which Affectionate Dog Breeds Don’t Shed?

This is a frequent question for families with allergies. If you’re desperate for an affectionate pup but flare up after five minutes of snuggling with Fido, you might consider a hypoallergenic dog breed. Although no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, some are more tolerable than others. Three of the most hypoallergenic dogs on this list are the Bichon Frise, Labradoodle, and Shih Tzu.

Which Affectionate Dog Breeds Can Be Left Alone?

The thing about affectionate dog breeds is they love people, and because of this, they want to spend as much time as possible with you. If they don’t, they can suffer from separation anxiety, resulting in destructive behaviors and other behavioral issues. Crate training can help, giving your dog a safe space to relax for a few hours. All dogs can be crate-trained successfully. But if you want a more independent pup, the dog breeds above might not be your best choice.

Why Is My Dog Not Affectionate Anymore?

If your dog was once super affectionate but now not so much, there could be a few reasons. They might feel anxious about something, like a change in circumstance, or they might be jealous of a new pet or family member. Their lack of affection might be down to old age, or there could be a health problem that’s causing them discomfort. It could be as simple as the hot weather, or they’re having an off day. If you think their behavior change is worrisome, we recommend contacting your vet. Behavior changes can be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Training Your New Pup Is Key

Finding the perfect pup match personality-wise for you and your family members is so important. Some of the most affectionate breeds make excellent guard dogs, some are incredible assistance pups, and others are hypoallergenic and suitable for those with allergies. However, all dogs need proper training to learn how to behave appropriately in your house, on walks, and while interacting with other dogs and people. Training your dog also creates an even stronger bond between both of you.

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