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Top 20 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds That Love to Cuddle (With Pictures)

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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 that love to cuddle for you to choose from.Divider 8

The 20 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds:

1. Golden Retriever

Happy family stroking Golden Retriever
Image Credit: wavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

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 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

guy baby talking a labrador
Image Credit: SG SHOT, Shutterstock

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 in the hands of his female owner
Image Credit: Nestor Rizhniak, Shutterstock

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

a man hugging a boxer dog
Image Credit: Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay

Once you meet him, you’ll never forget him. 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

a young woman hugging her pet bichon frise by the christmas tree
Image Credit: Dan Rentea, Shutterstock

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

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

Image Credit: henriethaan, Pixabay

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.

Related Read: Best Dog Food for Vizslas: Our Top Picks!

8. Great Dane

Image Credit: Yuri Nunes, Shutterstock

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

9. English Bulldog

English Bulldog puppy cuddling with its owner
Image Credit: e-Kis, Shutterstock

There’s a lot to love about the Bulldog, and there are 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 problems.

10. Irish Wolfhound

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. Don’t be fooled by his seemingly elegant walk, either. He is a sighthound and will take off almost like a Greyhound if he sees something worth chasing.

11. Newfoundland Dog

man playing with his newfoundland dog outdoors
Image Credit: D. Ribeiro, Shutterstock

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 is tolerant of everybody’s behavior.

12. Brussels Griffon

Woman holding adorable Brussels Griffon puppy indoors
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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 awareness of your personal space. He will invade your bubble, no matter what you’re doing.

13. Pug

cropped old man holding an old pug
Image Credit: winterseitler, Pixabay

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

young dog owner hugging her pet collie in the woods
Image Credit: Selenit, Shutterstock

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

australian shepherd sitting on his owner's lap
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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

Young woman taking a selfie with a cute chihuahua dog toned with a retro vintage instagram filter effect
Image Credit: Annette Shaff, Shutterstock

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

a young woman hugging her pet Staffordshire Terrier dog at the park
Image Credit: Aleksey Boyko, Shutterstock

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 day after day.

18. Pit Bull Terrier

a Pit Bull Terrier on its owner's lap
Image Credit: Nata Bene, Shutterstock

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

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

owner carrying his pet dachshund at the park
Image Credit: Zarubina Viktoriia, Shutterstock

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 injuries.

Divider 5Affectionate 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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Featured Image Credit: goodluz, Shutterstock

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