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Top 20 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Some people want energetic working dogs. Others want watchful and alert guard dogs. Yet even more people want affectionate, companion dogs. With thousands of breeds out there to choose from, there is the ideal dog for your requirements and preferences, no matter what they might be. But what are the most affectionate dog breeds in the world?

If you are looking for an affectionate pup, you can choose dogs that range in size from the Chihuahua, the world’s smallest breed, to the Great Dane, the world’s tallest breed. There are short or long-haired breeds, as well as those with coarse and fine coats. Below, we have put together a list of 20 of the most affectionate dog breeds for you to choose from.Divider 8

The 20 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds:

1. Golden Retriever

Happy family stroking Golden Retriever
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The Golden Retriever is an incredibly loyal and affectionate dog. He does enjoy getting out for a good run to burn off excess energy, and he can be prone to mad moments of playfulness, but he loves nothing more than to sit and relax with his owner. This breed is very rarely aggressive and makes an excellent family pet. It’s one of the most cuddly dogs in the world.

2. Labrador Retriever

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The Labrador Retriever is, in many ways, the same as the Golden Retriever. He can be very puppylike in his playfulness, and he does need a decent amount of exercise, but he is confident, loving, and loyal. He is often preferred because of his short coat, negating the need for such regular brushing and grooming. There’s a reason he’s the most popular dog breed in most countries around the world.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on grass
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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is beautiful and regal looking. He does like exercise but is small, so he requires a lot less than either of the Retriever breeds. Despite this, he is still a playful little dog, and he will dote on all family members, especially younger kids that will play with him and pet him. His coat does take some tending, but he is a dream to own in all other ways. Why not give this affectionate dog breed a try?

4. Boxer

boxer dog lying on autumn leaves
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Once met, never forgotten. The Boxer has a reputation for being a little cooky, and deservedly so. He will happily charge around chasing a ball or play fighting with you to get his daily exercise. However, once you’re at home, he will not leave your side. Just be prepared for the fact that he will want to love absolutely everybody he meets whether they’re willing or not, so you will need to teach him to respect boundaries.

5. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog lying on the grass
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The Bichon Frise looks like a small poodle, thanks to his curly hair. But he isn’t. He is a small and very loving, loyal dog that seems to naturally take to young children. He is gentle and cuddly, too, but he can suffer from separation anxiety if he is left alone for too long. You will have to take the time to get him used to being left alone if this is going to become a part of his everyday life.

6. Old English Sheepdog

old english sheepdog in the field
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The Old English Sheepdog looks a little bit like a mop with a tongue. His coat is incredibly inviting. Fortunately, most Old English Sheepdogs love the attention and the fur ruffling that comes with the territory. They do love to explore, and they really enjoy time outdoors, but they can quickly switch this off when they get home.

7. Vizsla

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The Vizsla is a hunting dog and this means that he has very high energy demands. He brings the same level of intensity to the home, and he will shadow you from one room to the next before begging to be allowed on the sofa with you. They happily give kisses and affection to their owners.

8. Great Dane

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The Great Dane is a giant of a dog and he can easily dwarf younger family members, but he has an inherent sense of this. He is gentle and incredibly understanding. He will treat all members of the family gently, and they can usually be trusted around all family members as well as cats and small dogs.

9. English Bulldog

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There’s a lot to love about the Bulldog, and many reasons to consider him for a family pet. You’ll either love or hate his face, but the Bulldog is very sweet and affectionate. He also doesn’t require much in the way of exercise, but that face does mean that he is prone to some breathing complaints.

10. Irish Wolfhound

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He may not be as big as the Great Dane, but the Irish Wolfhound is no lap dog. Fortunately or unfortunately, he doesn’t know that. He will enjoy sitting near or, preferably, on you, and don’t be fooled by his seemingly elegant walk. He is a sighthound and will take off almost like a Greyhound if he sees something worth chasing.

11. Newfoundland Dog

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The Newfoundland is another gentle giant breed. He dwarfs many of the dogs on this list, and he takes some care because of his long and luscious coat. However, he also wants to care for family members, especially children, and he is tolerant of everybody’s behavior.

12. Brussels Griffon

brussel griffon
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

The Brussels Griffon, sometimes affectionately referred to as monkey face, has the facial features of an Ewok. He also has one of the most loving natures possible, but this does mean that he has no idea of your personal bubble. He will invade your space, no matter what you’re doing.

13. Pug

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The pug is fun, excitable, and incredibly entertaining. He will usually get along with all members of the family, as well as just about anybody he happens across while out walking. Be prepared for some potential health problems from your Pug, but you will be rewarded tenfold with cuddles and hugs.

14. Collie

rough collie in the woods
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The Collie is a working dog with more energy than you will know what to do with. They are also highly intelligent, and a typical Collie has herding built-in, to the extent that they will try and herd family members, other pets, and just about anything else. They are also very loving and affectionate but they do require a lot of exercise, preferably outdoors and in the mud.

15. Australian Shepherd

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd dog outdoors
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The Australian Shepherd is similar to the Collie in a lot of respects. In particular, he needs a lot of exercise and is highly intelligent. He also tends to herd family members back into a group, although he does it gently. He also seems to enjoy getting muddy, and he definitely enjoys time with or on his owner.

16. Chihuahua

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The Chihuahua is a small dog with a massive attitude and an equally large heart. They are headstrong and stubborn. They will do whatever they want, whenever they want. Fortunately, more often than not, what they want is to spend time with their owner, lavishing them with love and cuddles.

17. Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier
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The Staffordshire Terrier, or Staffy, is strong, agile, and very athletic. He garnered something of a mixed reputation for being an aggressive dog, and he isn’t always great with other canines, but he tends to make a loving family member that will go to any length to protect his family. All he expects in return is 24 hours of love and attention, every day.

18. Pit Bull Terrier

american pit bull terrier
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The Pit Bull Terrier is very similar to the Staffy. If anything, they have stronger jaws and a more imposing gait, and they may be aggressive to other dogs. They are also banned in some countries, but when they are well trained and socialized they have a lot of affection and love that they enjoy doling out freely.

19. Affenpinscher

Cute small affenpinscher dog breed on a leash, Germany
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The Affenpinscher looks like a small Wookie. He is alert and loyal, affectionate, and quite playful. They are very good with children but they are Terriers and, as such, they retain their high prey drive to this day, so they are likely to chase after cats and small rodents.

20. Dachshund

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The Dachshund, also known as the Wiener Dog or Sausage Dog, not only has a unique appearance. He also loves the attention that his appearance brings. They are very loyal and loving, but you do need to take care to look after their backs because their unique spine shape means that they can easily suffer injury.

Divider 1Affectionate Dog Breeds

There are plenty of reasons to consider buying a dog. Whether you want a companion for long walks, a working dog to work the fields, or a Terrier that will keep vermin away, you can also enjoy an affectionate dog that loves to spend time with his or her family. Above, we have listed 20 of the friendliest and most loving dog breeds, to help you choose your next companion.

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