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30 Most Loyal Dog Breeds [2023]

Are you looking for one of the most loyal dog breeds? Maybe you want a dog that will really be your best friend and want to partake in activities with the family as another member? A dog is considered a man’s best friend, but some dog breeds make better friends than others.

most loyal dog breeds

One of the most important personality traits when selecting a dog is loyalty. Most people want dogs that will love them and their family members and be faithful and reliable companions. There are hundreds of pure and mixed breeds, so we’ve selected the 30 that are considered by experts to be the most loyal. We’ve given each breed a score to indicate how loyal it is compared to other breeds. Keep in mind that all dogs have individual personalities, just like people, but this list should help give you guidance in selecting the most loyal dog.

If you have a small apartment or want a small companion dog that will stick with you and love to interact with you, then you will be interested to learn some of the most loyal small dog breeds. These dogs are going to be friendly and like to do things with you. While they may not be the most ideal guard dogs, at least they will alert you if a stranger enters your house. There are many benefits to small dogs which usually include less hair, less drool, less need for exercise, and lower food costs.

1. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack russell most loyal dog breeds

This is a loyal and loving breed that can be trained to do many tricks. They are sometimes aggressive to other small animals and should be kept away from cats, birds, and other pets. They are independent in that they are not really lap dogs and quite enjoy their freedom. They are perky and energetic, but also need training early on so they don’t run away. They are loyal and great family dogs with proper socialization. They can jump over things and onto things so you don’t want to leave them alone because they may get themselves into trouble.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Jack Russell Terrier is a small terrier that has its origins in fox hunting. It is principally white-bodied and smooth, rough or broken-coated.
    Personality Traits: Athletic, Energetic, Stubborn, Intelligent, Vocal
    Adult Weight: 14-18 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 5

2. Cocker Spaniel

cocker spaniel most loyal dog breeds

The cocker spaniel is a loving, loyal dog breed and will bark if a stranger approaches. If not properly trained, they tend to get shy which means that early socialization is important. They are sweet and make great family dogs. This smaller dog breed has a beautiful shiny, soft coat and will require some grooming so it doesn’t get matted.

  • Physical Characteristics: The English Cocker Spaniel is an active, good-natured, sporting dog standing well up at the withers and compactly built.
    Personality Traits: Playful, Faithful, Affectionate, Trainable
    Adult Weight: 12-20 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 5

3. Chihuahua

chihuahua most loyal dog breeds

This breed is very loyal to their owners although many of them do not shower their owners with affection. They will often perch themselves up high to be on the lookout like a mountain goat. They will always alert you to strangers so they are actually a great watchdog. They shouldn’t be around very small children because they themselves are so small that they could easily get hurt by a child squeezing them too tightly.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog and is named for the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of sizes, head shapes, colors, and coat lengths.
    Personality Traits: Lively, Devoted, Alert, Quick, Courageous
    Adult Weight: 3-7 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 5

4. Akita

akita inu most loyal dog breeds

This breed has a talent for helping to lower the stress of their owner. They are known to have a calm demeanor, although they are highly protective. One of the most appealing aspects of this breed is that they are very low maintenance when it comes to grooming because they tend to be very clean, often grooming themselves, and not shed much. They are majestic looking with a thick coat and make great companion dogs, but, because of their protective and loyal nature, they need to be socialized and trained from a young age to avoid aggressive behaviors. Hachikō was a Japanese Akita dog remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, for whom he continued to wait for over nine years following Ueno’s death.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Akita is a large dog breed originating in Japan. There are several variations of Akitas that have different color coats and fur lengths.
    Personality Traits: Alert, Docile, Friendly, Responsive, Courageous, Dignified
    Adult Weight: 70-130 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 5

5. Schnauzer

miniature schnauzer most loyal dog breeds

Physical Characteristics: The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of small dog of the Schnauzer type. Miniature Schnauzers are recognized in three colors internationally: solid black, black and silver, and a color known as ‘salt and pepper’. There’s also a poodle schnauzer mix schnoodle that’s loyal and smart.

  • Personality Traits: Spirited, Alert, Obedient, Friendly, Fearless, Intelligent
    Adult Weight: 12-20 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 5

6. Beagle

sitting most loyal dog breeds

This is one of the smartest breeds and has been used in Britain because of it’s keen sense of smell. This dog is a working dog often used by homeland security to find drugs and bomb sniff. They have been known to dial 911 if their owner has an emergency as well. They are remarkably smart and their short hair makes them low maintenance. There are references about this pack breed going back to Ancient Greece but they are known to have originated in England.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Beagle is a breed of small-sized hound, similar in appearance to the much larger foxhound. The Beagle is a scent hound, developed primarily for hunting hare.
    Personality Traits: Gentle, Excitable, Friendly, Intelligent
    Adult Weight: 20-24 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 6

7. Komondor

dog in forest

Physical Characteristics: The Komondor, also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, is a large, white-coloured Hungarian breed of livestock guardian dog with a long, corded coat.

  • Personality Traits: Steady, Gentle, Calm, Fearless, Affectionate, Independent
    Adult Weight: 80-110 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 6

8. Kuvasz

kuvasz in white room

Physical Characteristics: The Kuvasz is a large dog with a dense double, odorless coat which is white in color and can range from wavy to straight in texture.

  • Personality Traits: Protective, Loyal, Clownish, Patient, Intelligent, Independent
    Adult Weight: 80-100 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 6

9. Brittany

brittany dog in white room

Physical Characteristics: The Brittany is typically quite athletic, compact, energetic, and solidly built without being heavy. Their heads are of average size with floppy ears.

  • Personality Traits: Adaptable, Agile, Quick, Happy, Attentive, Intelligent
    Adult Weight: 30-40 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 6

10. Samoyed

Samoyed dog in grass field

Physical Characteristics: The Samoyed is a large, fluffy white dog. Its eyes are usually brown or black and its ears are thick and covered with fur.

  • Personality Traits: Lively, Playful, Alert, Friendly, Stubborn, Sociable
    Adult Weight: 35-72 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 6

11. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier looking out window

This little dog will love to be joined to your hip. They will bark when strangers come around, but an extra bonus is that they are hypoallergenic. They do not shed because they have actual hair rather than fur, but remember that they will need regular trims and brushing. They are friendly and love to sit on the lap of their owners. The toy version of this dog fits right into a small bag and they make great companion dogs. These dogs are quite fragile so you should be careful to not leave them around small children or large dogs.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed of terrier type, developed during the 19th century in Yorkshire, England, to catch rats in clothing mills.
    Personality Traits: Bold, Confident, Courageous, Intelligent, Independent
    Adult Weight: 4-12 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 7

12. Irish Wolfhound

irish wolfhound in white room

This long-haired scraggly-looking dog is massive. They usually weigh 115 to 180 pounds. They were bred to hunt large game but they are good family watch dogs and obedience dogs. They are easy to train and need to be trained and socialized from a very young age. This is also a hound dog so they have a keen sense of smell.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of all dog breeds. It is very muscular and its coat may be gray, brown, tan or red.
    Personality Traits: Loyal, Sweet-Tempered, Generous, Dignified, Thoughtful, Patient
    Adult Weight: 100-140 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 7

13. Great Pyrenees

great pyrenees in white room

This is a working dog that must be trained so he doesn’t get unruly but he is loyal and his massive size of 85 to 160 pounds is intimidating to strangers. He has long hair and was bred to guard and herd sheep. Now, this loyal breed is used in both therapy for humans and as a rescue dog. Being in a herding dogs group this dog is known to protect his loved ones with his life.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Great Pyrenees is a large breed typically used to guard livestock. It is large, muscular, and has a dense coat, especially around the neck shoulders.
    Personality Traits: Strong-Willed, Gentle, Confident, Fearless, Patient, Affectionate
    Adult Weight: 80-120 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 7

14. Papillon

papillon in white room

This show dog is a dedicated companion dog with a perky attitude. They love to show off their tricks and catch little bugs and rodents. They have dainty bones and, although they are courageous, they need to be protected from large dogs and small children. They are playful and their butterfly shaped ears are endearing. They need early socialization and training to they don’t become fear biters.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Papillon is a small “toy” dog, with long, butterfly-like ears (from which its name is derived). They are typically white with patches of other colors like brown or tan.
    Personality Traits: Alert, Energetic, Friendly, Hardy, Happy, Intelligent
    Adult Weight: 8-10 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 7

15. American Staffordshire Terrier

staffordshire terrier dog in white room

This fun loving breed is loyal to their owners and a very strong short haired dog. They are a part of the pit bull family and although they are short, they are extremely strong. They are stocky and usually weigh 57 to 67 pounds with the females being smaller than the males. They definitely need daily exercising and are known to be good with children and family members.

  • Physical Characteristics: The American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium-sized, short-coated American dog breed. It is one of several breeds commonly known as pit bulls.
    Personality Traits: Devoted, Loyal, Tenacious, Friendly, Courageous, Attentive
    Adult Weight: 62-88 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 7

16. Bulldog

bulldog in white room

This breed is gentle with other pets and will snuggle up with small dogs and cats. They are great companions and are actually smarter than they look. They will frequently be considered lazy because they move slowly but they are just methodical and consider things before doing them. They will tire out after 5-10 minutes of running and typically like to lounge and rest with you or near you at home. They enjoy a variety of training techniques and can become fixated on toys. Giving them structure is a good training technique as they have a great memory. They also are more interested in people than other dogs and will give a few barks to ward off strangers. This is a loving breed that can tend to have health problems, so feeding them a healthy diet, not leaving them alone for long periods of time, and giving them a daily walk is important for their health.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Bulldog has a characteristically large head and shoulders. It has thick folds of skin around its brow and has a short, flat coat.
    Personality Traits: Docile, Friendly, Gregarious, Loyal
    Adult Weight: 49-55 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 7

17. Boxer

boxer breed in stone pathway

This powerful dog is safe with family members, but can be a good guard dog. They were bred in Germany to hold down large prey until hunters arrived so they tend to be very strong and muscular. They are playful and low maintenance with a short coat which means shedding isn’t really an issue. They take a while to mature–about 2-3 years–and are very energetic puppies. They are now one of the most popular breeds in America and they respond best to positive rewards than negative punishments while training. They also need to be trained not to run after neighborhood cats.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Boxer is a medium-sized, short-haired breed of dog, developed in Germany. The coat is smooth and tight-fitting; colours are fawn, mahogany, black and white.
    Personality Traits: Playful, Devoted, Intelligent, Cheerful, Brave
    Adult Weight: 55-71 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 8

18. Fox Terrier The Smooth Fox Terrier

fox terrier in white room

This breed requires adequate training and proper attention but they are very dedicated to their families as well as loving. Terriers tend to have a lot of energy and make great guard dogs. They can be exercised in doors with balls or toys so it’s okay to have this dog in colder climates. This can be a stubborn breed so it might be hard for an older person to train them. This dog breed can be aggressive towards other dogs and shouldn’t be left alone with them.

  • Physical Characteristics: has a short, hard coat which is predominantly white. The Wire Haired Fox Terrier has a hard and crisp double coat with a coarse texture underneath that provides protection from the cold.
    Personality Traits: Playful, Alert, Fearless, Intelligent, Affectionate
    Adult Weight: 13-20 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 8

19. French Bulldog

french bulldog on grass field

Unlike pugs, frenchies like to give and receive human affection more than anything. They love to cuddle and aren’t prone to barking. They are loyal and should not be left alone for long periods of time. This dog is a loving breed that tends not to join in on commotion, but their clown-like demeanor does grant them a lot of playful energy. They do need a lot of attention so don’t get this breed if you want a more independent breed.

  • Physical Characteristics: The French Bulldog is a compact muscular dog. It has a smooth coat and is usually white, black or brindle colored.
    Personality Traits: Lively, Playful, Athletic, Alert, Easygoing, Bright
    Adult Weight: 16-25 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 8

20. Shetland Sheepdog or Sheltie

shetland sheepdog on grass

Most sheepdogs are known to be very loyal. They were bred to help their owner herd and protect their cattle. This dog is also known as the Sheltie and comes in different colors. They will generally live to be 12 to 13 years old and come with a variety of markings. They are relatively small with long fur. They generally only weight 14 to 19 pounds.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Sheltie is a miniature version of a Rough Collie. They are small, have double coats and are strong and sturdy.
    Personality Traits: Lively, Playful, Reserved, Alert, Gentle, Loyal, Strong, Responsive, Active, Intelligent
    Adult Weight: 14-28 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 8

21. Dachshund

dachshund on grass field

This breed which hails from Germany has a funny-shaped body. They have a very long midsection which has earned them the name wiener dogs or hot dog dogs. They are extremely loyal and love physical affection. They have long feet which were originally used for digging to catch rodents. They need training to be sure they don’t become aggressive and they are known to be fearless and very strong despite their size. Since they were a working breed, they have a lot of energy and will follow you around the house and entertain you. This breed should not be left alone as they get bored and can be destructive. Dachshunds also live for a long time.

  • Physical Characteristics: The dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied, hound-type dog breed. They are typically brown, black or a combination of the two colors.
    Personality Traits: Lively, Playful, Devoted, Clever, Stubborn, Courageous
    Adult Weight: 16-32 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 8

22. Great Dane

great dane in white room

Great Danes, or as we know them, Scooby-Doo dogs! These are very gentle giants, but they do not live so long, often only living for 6 to 8 years. They are one of the happiest dog breeds. Although he looks intimidating, he’s truly a gentle giant and gets along with everyone. He is very sweet and not an aggressive breed. This is a very popular dog breed that doesn’t need excessive exercise and as long as he gets daily exercise, he’s happy and he seems to sometimes think he is a lap dog. People love this breed but be prepared for a high food bill!

  • Physical Characteristics: The Great Dane is a very large breed known for its size. It is one of the tallest dog breeds. Coat colors are usually black, mantle, fawn, and brindle.
    Personality Traits: Devoted, Reserved, Friendly, Gentle, Confident
    Adult Weight: 99-200 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 8

23. Mastiff

mastiff laying down

This docile breed isn’t one to attack strangers, but they will stand between you and someone they don’t know until they know that person is safe. They also are good with children, but, given that they are usually 175-200 pounds, they should not be left alone with babies or toddlers because they could sit on them without realizing they are hurting them; they might accidentally knock them over as well. This is a quiet breed except they do tend to snore. They are also short-haired and drool quite a bit. Obviously, you would want to consider the cost of food with this breed as they are so big. This breed doesn’t do well with negative punishments and will flourish with positive reinforcement training.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Mastiff is an extremely large, heavy, and muscular dog. They have short, close-lying fur that is usually fawn or dark fawn brindle.
    Personality Traits: Protective, Calm, Courageous, Affectionate
    Adult Weight: 120-230 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 8

24. Rough Collie

rough collie looking side

The rough collie is certainly one of the smartest dog breeds. They can easily learn tricks and are very sensitive to everything going on around them. Collies are friendly and good with children but bear in mind that they do need adequate time with their owners and should not be neglected. They will bark if strangers come around to be protective, so you will need to train them not to bark too much. These dogs are one of the most loyal and some have been trained to be able to sense when someone is going to have a seizure to warn other family members. They love their owners and get along well with other pets.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Rough Collie is a medium to large, long-haired dog. Colors are typically white, sable or a combination.
    Personality Traits: Protective, Loyal, Gentle, Friendly, Intelligent
    Adult Weight: 40-65 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 8

25. Rottweiler

rottweiler dog in white room

This loyal, protective breed learns best with a positive reinforcement system. They don’t need someone to punish them in order to learn and, in fact, their feelings will be hurt with harsh words. They are people-pleasing dogs and highly intelligent, but they need to be trained and socialized from an early age so they don’t become possessive of food and toys. They should be pet while eating and get used to people handling their toys. They are a very loyal breed and, when properly trained, they make a great friendly addition to the family.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Rottweiler is a medium to large, muscular dog. Their coats are short and flat and are typically black with brown markings.
    Personality Traits: Loyalty, Alert, Self-Assured, Obedient, Calm
    Adult Weight: 77-130 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 9

26. Doberman Pinscher

doberman sitting down in dark room

This noble breed is a medium to large dog breed which tends to have the alpha complex and needs a strong minded owner. They need exercise and proper socialization. This is a German breed that was used as a guard dog and they are known to be very loyal. They live to be 10 to 13 years old and grow to be 59 to 100 pounds.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Doberman Pinscher is a medium to large breed known for its long muzzle, powerful rear legs and short, flat black fur (often with brown markings).
    Personality Traits: Alert, Intelligent, Fearless, Loyal
    Adult Weight: 60-100 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 9

27. St. Bernard

st bernard most loyal dog breeds

This is a massive breed that was used to rescue people in the snow in the Swiss Alps. Sometimes hikers were lost or caught in an avalanche and these rescue dogs would risk their lives to save a human. They are intelligent and will bark at a stranger but not attack. They weigh 120 to 180 pounds and excel in obedience trials. They are messy though with long hair and lots of drool. They need daily exercise but can live in a smaller house. It’s nice if they have a yard though as they are so big.

  • Physical Characteristics: The St. Bernard is a very large breed, often characterized as a “giant”. It has a long, heavy tail and usually has brown eyes. They are typically a mix of red, white, and mahogany.
    Personality Traits: Lively, Watchful, Gentle, Friendly, Calm
    Adult Weight: 140-260 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 9

28. Golden Retriever

golden retriever most loyal dog breeds

We can’t forget America’s favorite dog. The golden retriever is so loyal they are frequently used as therapy dogs and are one of the best dogs for children. They are prone to shedding with their long coat but they are docile and gentle creatures. As a hunting dog, they are easy to train and do well with obedience challenges.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Golden Retriever is a large dog with a thick, wavy, water-repellent coat. They are blonde, yellow or gold in color.
    Personality Traits: Reliable, Trustworthy, Affectionate, Kind, Intelligent
    Adult Weight: 55-75 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 9

29. Labrador Retriever

black labrador retriever most loyal dog breeds

This is naturally a short-haired breed, so luckily shedding doesn’t get too bad. Labs are friendly and love people. This dog originates in Newfoundland on the east coast of North America where they were bred to be a companion to hunters and to help retrieve game. They are extremely loyal and intelligent while aiming to please and have a very happy demeanor. They are also used as therapy dogs because of their optimistic personality. They are not considered aggressive, although puppies are energetic and need training.

  • Physical Characteristics: The Labrador Retriever is a large dog with thick smooth fur. Their coats are usually yellow, black or chocolate.
    Personality Traits: Outgoing, Even Tempered, Gentle, Intelligent, Trusting
    Adult Weight: 55-79 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 9

30. German Shepherd

german shepherd most loyal dog breeds

This breed has been used by military and police to bomb sniff and to help catch criminals. As service dogs, they are smart, protective, and can be somewhat intimidating to strangers. Keep in mind that they don’t usually trust strangers and can get aggressive if not trained and socialized properly. This breed has been used for the visually and hearing impaired are great working dogs. They are gentle with kids and young children, but will be aloof with people until they get to know them. They will often put their lives before their owners in order to defend them.

  • Physical Characteristics: The German Shepherd is a large dog with a domed forehead, long muzzle and black nose, They have a thick, two-layer coat which it typically medium length.
    Personality Traits: Watchful, Alert, Intelligent, Confident
    Adult Weight: 49-88 lbs.
    Most loyal dog breeds score: 9

Get Yourself One of the Most Loyal Dog Breeds

Now, you have a good basis to start from when choosing a breeds that will be protective and loyal there are also breeds that can get expensive so there are more affordable options. Some breeds tend to have the alpha male mentality if they aren’t properly trained, so be ready to socialize them at a young age. Some of them will try to assert their dominance with male dogs or humans if they aren’t properly socialized. Take into consideration that loyal dogs tend to have trouble rehousing so don’t plan on getting one of these breeds if you might not be able to keep them. Small dogs tend to live longer than large dogs and make a great addition to the family.

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