Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Most Loyal Dog Breeds in the World: Info & Pictures

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

man with golden retriever

One word that often comes to mind when you think about dogs is loyalty. Many dog breeds are incredibly protective of their loved ones. They can be tremendously devoted and faithful and shower us with unconditional love. We’re the lucky ones when a dog chooses us as a companion!

Many dogs are devoted but several breeds stand out. While this list can’t cover every faithful dog breed, it highlights 10 of those considered the most loyal breeds.


The 10 Most Loyal Dog Breeds

1. Akita

akita dog resting in the grass
Photo Credit: Roman Zaiets, Shutterstock
Origin: Japan
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Weight: 70–130 pounds
Height: 24–28 inches

The Akita is an ancient dog breed from Japan that was used for hunting and to be guardians. They are known to be quite protective of their families and make excellent guard dogs and watchdogs.

Akitas tend to be wary of strangers and other dogs and are known to be territorial and courageous. Loyalty is something that these dogs have in spades!

2. American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier
Photo Credit: susanne906, pixabay
Origin: U.S.
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Weight: 40–70 pounds
Height: 17–19 inches

The American Staffordshire Terrier has an unfortunate bad reputation because they fall under the “Pit Bull” label. The breed is only dangerous when they are mistreated and abused by people, which is the real problem.

Otherwise, these dogs are energetic and loving with their owners and quite devoted and protective of them.

3. Belgian Malinois

belgian malinois dog out in the field
Photo Credit: Sha_shin, Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Weight: 40–80 pounds
Height: 22–26 inches

The Belgian Malinois is a herding dog from Belgium that looks similar to the German Shepherd. Mals commonly are used as guard dogs and work with the military and police.

This breed is an intelligent and confident dog that is devoted to their people. They can be wary of strangers, which makes them excellent guard dogs.

4. Collie

border collie
Photo Credit: Lucia Horvath Photography, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Weight: 50–75 pounds
Height: 22–26 inches

You can’t have a list of loyal dogs without the Collie (Lassie, anyone?). These beautiful dogs make wonderful family pets, but part of their protectiveness does come with barking.

Collies are proud and devoted dogs that are great with children and will protect you and your family when necessary.

5. Dachshund

dachshund dog sitting on the couch
Photo Credit: zoschfrosch, Pixabay
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Weight: 16–32 pounds (standard); up to 11 pounds (miniature)
Height: 8–9 inches (standard); 5–6 inches (miniature)

Dachshunds are little badger dogs that originated in Germany. Doxies are curious and affectionate, adore spending time with their families, and are generally social and friendly.

As small as these dogs are, they aren’t easy to scare and are willing to put up a fight if they or a family member is threatened.

6. German Shepherd

overweight german shepherd dog
Image Credit: tr19001, Pixabay
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 7–10 years
Weight: 50–90 pounds
Height: 22–26 inches

There’s a good chance that when you think of loyal breeds, the German Shepherd is one of the dogs that comes to mind. This gorgeous breed is from Germany and has been used in the military and police, but they also make excellent family pets.

They are gentle with children but won’t hesitate to protect their territory and family. The intelligent German Shepherd has long been a favorite, and when you observe their loyalty firsthand, it’s easy to see why.

7. Golden Retriever

golden retriever dog lying on couch with tv remote
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Weight: 55–75 pounds
Height: 21.5–24 inches

The Golden Retriever is a Scottish breed known for their devotion and affectionate nature. They are frequently used as service dogs and are famous for being excellent family dogs.

This good-natured and social breed tends to love everyone they meet but are fiercely devoted to their humans.

8. Great Pyrenees

great pyrenees
Image Credit: skeeze, Pixabay
Origin: France
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Weight: 85–100+ pounds
Height: 25–32 inches

The large and lovely Great Pyrenees are calm and patient dogs, and like most large breeds, they aren’t aggressive in any way but won’t hesitate to protect their family and territory.

They are protective of children but mellow and super affectionate with those they love.

9. Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever standing in the grass
Image Credit: Alexander Rim, Shutterstock
Origin: Canada
Lifespan: 11–13 years
Weight: 55–80 pounds
Height: 21.5–24.5 inches

Labrador Retrievers almost need no introduction. This Canadian breed is one of the most popular breeds in the world and is famous for their affection and devotion.

They are wonderful with children and are outgoing and social dogs, as well as incredibly energetic. Like Golden Retrievers, Labs are often used as service dogs.

10. Rottweiler

Rottweiler standing in the ground covered with snow
Image Credit: K L, Pixabay
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 9–10 years
Weight: 80–135 pounds
Height: 22–27 inches

The Rottweiler is a German dog considered one of the most loyal dogs in the world. This rather formidable-looking breed is often used for guard dog duties but is also known to be a sweet, cuddly pup.

Rotties are loyal, confident, and brave but can be playful and even silly when hanging out with their family.

hepper-dog-paw-divider2How Are Loyal Dogs Classified?

Loyalty in a dog can be classified by their deep connection to their owner. Some dogs will follow you around and keep an eye on you, almost like it’s their job. In fact, for many breeds, loyalty has been bred into them.

The American Kennel Club has divided breeds into seven groups. The Working Group, Sporting Group, and Herding Group all tend to be closely connected to their families. These dogs are easy to train and eager to please, and many make excellent family companions.

A dog’s loyalty can be more apparent when you observe the following:

  • Eagerness to follow your requests
  • Coming when you call, even when far away
  • Looking for consistent interactions with you
  • Frequently checking in on you

Bear in mind that dogs that don’t display these signs aren’t necessarily disloyal. They just might show their loyalty in other forms.

Are Adopted Dogs Loyal?

Some adopted dogs have come from abusive or neglectful homes, so it can take time to build up trust. That said, they will likely be loyal once you have earned their trust.

Many dog owners who have adopted an adult dog have stated that their dog is one of the most loyal animals that they’ve ever had.

However, this all depends on the dog, your patience, and a stable environment. Affection, proper training, stimulating games, and plenty of exercise can go a long way toward building their trust and loyalty.

family adopting dog
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock



This list just barely scratches the surface of loyal dogs. So, if your favorite breed isn’t on the list, it doesn’t mean they aren’t the most steadfast and devoted companion around!

In fact, when treated well, any dog can be loyal, including mixed breeds. Dogs in general are known for their unconditional love and devotion to their people. All they expect in return is the same.

Featured Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database