18 Most Loyal Dog Breeds for Complete Companionship

most loyal dog breeds.

18 Most Loyal Dog Breeds You Can Have as a Pet

Have you ever wondered which are the most loyal dog breeds? It can be said that every dog is loyal, but some are more so than others, and some breeds really stand out. Not only are big dogs devoted to their pet parents, but many small canines can form close allegiances with their owners. 

If you're interested in learning about loyal dog breeds, we've put together our picks of the pooches that will be partners for life.

1. Shih Tzu

loyal dog shih tzu.

We start our list of the best loyal dog breeds with the Shih Tzu — a cheerful and devoted breed that enjoys having people around. 

Giving lots of love and attention will win a Shih Tzu's heart. Their happiest moments are always when they’re sitting on your lap. Shih Tzus were bred as amiable companions, they have no natural hunting, herding, or guarding instincts. Instead, they just want to be close to their humans.

These pooches also make best buddies with anyone they encounter, despite their early tendency to bark at unfamiliar faces. They attract attention wherever they go because of their stunning looks and their look-at-me-and-love-me attitude. It makes sense why so many individuals are attracted to their amiable demeanor.

2. Labrador Retriever

loyal dog labrador retriever.

Anyone who has looked into the loving eyes of a Labrador Retriever can attest to what a loyal and loving dog breed the Lab is. There's a reason they've been one of the most popular dog breeds for decades. Temperament is key with this doggy, and that's why it's also on our list of the most loyal dogs.

The Labrador is an active breed known for its friendly and outgoing nature, making it a great family pet. Despite being high-energy as working dogs, Labs are incredibly patient and just as keen on snuggling on the couch. Unlike some other breeds, a Lab tends to bond with the whole family rather than a single person.

3. Great Dane

loyal dog great dane.

Not only one of the world's most loyal dog breeds, the Great Dane is also considered one of the largest dog breeds in the world. 

Despite their imposing size, they’re often referred to as "gentle giants" and have a friendly, patient disposition. Great Danes are an affectionate breed who don't think their size should stop them from being lap dogs!

However, given their large proportions, training and socialization is essential. And, while they may seem calm and slow-paced, Great Danes need playtime to avoid boredom, and plenty of walkies to stretch those long legs.

4. Akita

loyal dog akita.

While not a dog for inexperienced owners, the Akita is known for its loyalty to their family. This Japanese breed is reserved around strangers and can become aggressive toward other dogs. They need a firm hand and constant training to keep them in check. Despite this, Akitas are friendly family dogs who get along well with children.

One of the best-known examples of an Akita's loyalty and fidelity is the story of Hachikō, a dog who waited at a train station for his late owner until the latter's death nine years later. Before his untimely demise, Hachi met his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, at the same train station every night. One day, during a lecture, Ueno suffered a fatal hemorrhage and never returned, which meant the beginning of his faithful dog's night watch.

5. Golden Retriever

loyal dog golden retriever.

A relation to the Labrador, the Golden Retriever is another very popular dog breed known to be gentle, super affectionate, and extremely loyal. This intelligent pooch wants to please, so training is easy. This makes them a good choice for therapy and service dogs.

They’re also very patient and adore children, making them excellent family pets. If you're looking for a hiking companion or someone to cuddle with on the couch, this breed is for you.

6. German Shepherd

loyal dog german shepherd.

If you ask anyone what their top five most loyal dog breeds are, chances are the German Shepherd comes up frequently. Along with intelligence and good looks, devotion has been one of the outstanding traits of this elegant breed for decades. 

The German Shepherd has seen its popularity rise and fall on several occasions. Ultimately, they’re one of the most renowned and loyal dog breeds in the world today.

Smart and spirited dogs The German hates being alone or apart from their humans. This breed tends to bond closely with a single person in the household, but that doesn't mean their loyalty doesn't extend to the other members of the family. The German Shepherd is a shadow in many ways, and even going to the bathroom isn't something you’ll do alone.

7. Chinese Shar-Pei

loyal dog chinese shar-pei.

The next breed on our list is certainly a unique dog, the Chinese Shar Pei, is a medium-sized dog with a distinct appearance — broad muzzle, small triangular ears, and all those wrinkles. The Shar Pei is a wonderful dog known for being playful and clever.

They make a great beginner family dog who gets along well with children and other animals when young and well-socialized. However, they do have a stubborn streak, so need a firm hand.

8. Siberian Husky

loyal dog siberian husky.

Crazy, charming, and with a mind of their own, the Husky has captured our hearts for years. This breed has grown in adoration with the myriad of online videos showing their antics — mostly because they howl and “answer” their owners.

Modern media has also contributed to the breed's fame, with the breed starring in films such as Togo, The Great Alaskan Race, and Eight Below. Of course, Siberian Huskies are a breed with great characters and striking good looks. So, as one of the most loyal and protective dog breeds, it's not surprising how highly regarded they are.

9. Chihuahua

loyal dog chihuahua.

As one of the most devoted dog breeds, Chihuahuas are known for keeping a close eye on a single particular family member. Despite being regarded as lap dogs, they are lively and prefer to be entertained.

When handled properly, this pooch makes a terrific family pet, but they have a reputation for snapping at people they don't know or little kids who might be a threat given their pint-sized stature. Chihuahuas are also prone to yapping, similar to many little dogs.

10. Rhodesian Ridgeback

loyal dog rhodesian ridgeback.

An African breed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback descended from semi-wild hunting dogs and was once bred to track lions. 

Although not a common breed, the Ridgeback is highly intelligent and loyal to both its owner and family. Like many, especially large dogs, they need constant training and early socialization, but they aren’t naturally aggressive.

As scary as they may seem, this is a gentler breed that does better with positive training and appropriate correction. Although reserved around strangers, Ridgebacks idolize their families and will always want to be near them.

11. Cane Corso

loyal dog cane corso.

Any breed developed to be a protector possesses natural loyalty, and the Cane Corso is no exception. An Italian dog breed that descends from ancient war dogs and has a rich history beyond that. Despite their size, the Cane Corso is considered very devoted, and they regard themselves as lap dog!

As working canines, they need a task to keep them occupied. With persistent training and early socialization, Cane Corsos can be easy going and get along with strangers and other animals. They’re loving dogs that are very protective of their family.

12. Boxers

loyal dog boxer.

A big dog whose owners often refer to them as a class clown! Although this breed appears quite intimidating at first glance, they’re goofy, playful, and have tons of energy. Loyalty is so important to the Boxer that this trait is enshrined in the official breed standard.

It's hard not to fall in love with one of these tender dogs, and life never gets boring when you have one in the house. Despite this, the breed is known for its protective nature, which makes them excellent watchdogs. However, be prepared for the drool.

13. Samoyed

loyal dog samoyed.

Resembling a walking white cloud, the "smiling" Samoyed is a Siberian dog breed with a rich history believed to date back 5,000 years, although most modern lineages can be traced to the early 1900s.

Part of the Spitz family, this canine used to pull sleds, hunt, or even guard. Yet, they’re now known as companion dogs for their friendly nature. Although an active breed that needs daily exercise, they’re very loyal and hate being separated from their owners.

Not known for aggression, Sammies get along with everyone they meet, including other dogs.

14. Dachshund

loyal dog dachshund.

The little Dachshund is a big dog in a small body, which isn't too surprising given its original purpose as a badger hunter. The sausage dog can be a stubborn little bow-wow but shows endless devotion and loyalty to their owners.

They’re a well-liked companion, especially for elderly and apartment dwellers, due to their small stature and reputation as one of the most loyal small dog breeds. Although Dachshunds may not be the appropriate breed for everyone, their humans are just as devoted to them and frequently have multiples in the house.

Because of their nature, Dachshunds can be a little lively and don't always get along with children. Hence, they require proper socialization, and respect for boundaries should be sought.

15. Saint Bernard

loyal dog saint bernard.

The Saint Bernard, a rescue dog in the Alps, is now a loving companion that makes an excellent therapy dog. This dog's size may seem overwhelming, but that's just a deception as they’re very placid by nature — falling under the top loyal dog breeds.

This breed isn’t naturally aggressive, and their bark is worse than their bite, although their size allows them to make good watchdogs. The Saint Bernard is a calm dog with endless patience, unwavering loyalty, and drooling affection.

16. Beagles

loyal dog beagle.

The Beagle is an endearing, long-eared hunting dog and one of the most loyal dog breeds in the world, known for their gentle temperament and determination. Beagles were rabbit hunters and have an excellent sense of smell, which is now being put to good use in border controls as sniffer dogs.

This breed isn’t aggressive and can live with cats and other dogs, although they do have a strong prey drive.

Beagles also get along well with children, and as energetic hounds, they need plenty of playtime and long walks to be happy. But as they’re hunting dogs by nature, Beagles shouldn’t be trusted when off leash — they can wander if they pick up an appealing scent.

17. Border Collie

loyal dog border collie.

Another most faithful dog breed, and one of the most intelligent, is the Border Collie. Due to their energy and intelligence, which make them easy to train, they have become favored companions in active households.

It's not uncommon for Border Collies to excel in the sporting world, particularly in agility and flyball. Although they get along well with children and other animals, they can be very energetic, and have been known to herd children or other dogs.

18. Shetland Sheepdog

loyal dog shetland sheepdog.

We come to the last of our most loyal dog breeds in the world. Shetland Sheepdogs, commonly known as Shelties, are lively little dogs that resemble a Rough Collie in appearance — on a smaller scale. 

Originally bred as herding dogs, they’re now well known as family pets due to their warm-hearted, friendly, and gentle personality. Owners who enjoy competing obedience contests often choose Shelties because they are so intelligent and so eager to please.

Final Thoughts

We know this list barely scratches the surface of the most loyal dog breeds — so if your favorite wasn't mentioned, don't worry, that doesn't make them any less faithful! After all, it's always been a dog's job to be loyal to humans, and they're good at that... so give your pup an extra treat today.

Most Loyal Dog Breeds FAQs

What Are the Top Ten Loyal Dogs?

To aid you in selecting the best breed for your household, here are our 10 most loyal dog breeds:

1. Shih Tzu.

2. Labrador.

3. Great Dane.

4. Akita.

5. Golden Retriever.

6. German Shepherd.

7. Chinese Shar-Pei.

8. Siberian Husky.

9. Chihuahua.

10. Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Which Dog Is Only Loyal to One Person?

Among other breeds, German Shepherds often form a strong bond with just one family member. However, it doesn't mean they aren't loyal to the other members as well.

What Small Dog Is the Most Loyal?

Shih Tzus are lap dogs first and foremost; their devotion is almost contagious! A Chihuahua can also be one of the most loyal family pets, which may amaze you. 

Can a Dog Bond With Two Owners?

Even though most dogs adore and form bonds with every member of the family, they frequently have a particular person in mind. And that pull seems to be stronger in some breeds than others.

Are Female Dogs More Loyal?

The idea that female dogs are more devoted than male dogs is a persistent misconception regarding canines. Dog breeders and dog enthusiasts have handed this mistaken belief down through the decades, and it goes back to the time when dogs were wild and lived in packs.