When considering adding a four-legged friend to your family, there are a few things to consider. You need to know which races need a lot of exercise, which ones run away, and which have their general temperament. (And of course, you’d also want a cute, cute dog that would wag its tail and do a wiggle dance every time you get home.) But aside from the furry factor, you also want a dog that is entirely devoted to your family. What are the most loyal dog breeds?
Well, the question is not always easy to answer. Sure, there are some breeds that are innately known for being kind, loyal, but in the end it really comes down to the individual animal. For example, you might think that a certain breed (like a pit bull or a Doberman) is fierce, but you would be surprised to know that they are a total mush when with their loved ones. “Many dogs are very loyal and almost any dog can be a very loyal companion,” says Texas-based veterinarian Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, on Romper. “So when choosing a loyal dog for your family it will depend on your family and the individual dog to determine if it is the best breed for your family.”
So if you’re looking to find man’s best friend for the family, choosing a pooch from one of these most loyal dog breeds will mean years of joy – and wet, sloppy kisses, too.
If the visions of the fictional farm dog Lassie pop in your head with a collie, there is a good reason. “Collies are usually devoted, quick, and attentive to their owners so they can effectively respond to family emergencies,” Harvey Wells, a pet expert, tells Romper. The AKC says Collies are “known to be fond of children and make wonderful family pets.” Just make sure to give your collie plenty of room to run and don’t be surprised if they want to keep the kids in the same room together. they are a herding dog, after all.
The Yorkshire Terrier is about five pounds of devoted devotion. Yorkies are known to be cute stuffed animals and make excellent family dogs, explains Daniel Caughill, a pet expert and co-founder of The Dog Tale. “Yorkies are an extremely loyal and protective breed of dog and, if properly trained, can perform important roles,” he says. “You are active enough to run around the garden with your children, but small enough that they don’t need a lot of exercise every day.”
While the Akita is suspicious of strangers (and doesn’t love other animals), that doesn’t mean they’re not a suitable pet for your own pack. “Although the same American Kennel Club considers it an aggressive breed towards other dogs (especially those of their own gender), Akita’s are perfect dogs for families because they get on very well with children and people in general,” said Dr. Georgina Ushi, DVM, a veterinarian tells Romper. “Akitas are strong and independent dogs who can become hostile if treated inappropriately by first owners. However, once you and your family are able to bond with this beautiful creature, it will remain lifelong. “
Pit bulls have often gotten a lot of bad press, but when it comes to loyalty they really are a class up. They are the epitome of lap dogs and love to cuddle with their owners. “Dogs that many people find aggressive, like pit bulls, are actually some of the cutest and most loyal dogs,” says Dr. Ochoa. Because of this, pit bulls are often referred to as “climbing dogs” because of their desire to love and care for their families, Rover reported.
When it comes to loyalty, a lab just can’t be beat. “These dogs are very good with children,” says Dr. Ochoa. “They are very gentle, but very protective of their families.” Your good nature is great with young children who may be a little hands-on.
German shepherd dog
If you are looking for a dog that will protect both your home and family, a German Shepherd could be a good fit. “These dogs are big and adorable,” says Dr. Ochoa. “They are very protective dogs and are always there to help their families.”
As part of the work group, boxers are great with children and have proven to be very loyal companions. “They are quick learners and are very protective family members,” says Dr. Ochoa. And since they’re playful and protective, they can handle it if your child suddenly wants to climb onto the top and play horse. One of the most popular breeds for families with children, the boxer takes their role as a guard dog and family guard seriously.
Just like laboratories, golden retrievers really are a family pet. They are part of the sports group which means they are very energetic and play a lot, which is perfect when you have young children. Dr. Ochoa says, “Goldens are very smart and very loyal to their families.” Cute, happy, and eager to please, this breed is often an excellent choice for families.
The Lowchen is a small little dog that comes from Germany. “His name means ‘little lion’ in German, which stands for the courage with which he will defend his family,” says Steffi Trott, owner and head trainer of SpiritDog Training in Albuquerque, NM, to Romper. “Lowchen are loving, happy and affectionate dogs who get on well with other dogs and love children.” In the USA they are rare, but in Germany they are especially popular in families with small children. They like to sleep, do not shed and are ideal for apartments.
Dobermans may look a little scary, but they are extremely loyal to their families. “Originally bred as guard dogs, they love their owners and will defend them vehemently,” says Trott. Because of their high energy nature, they require daily exercise and obedience training to behave well. Taking your Dobie for a walk with your kids or attaching its leash to the stroller can help it get the exercise it needs.
This stunning greyhound was originally bred for hunting and is one of the oldest breeds in the world according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). “Beautiful, slim and with an incredibly gentle temperament, a Saluki will be a perfect companion for children and adults,” says Trott. “They love to sleep long hours, which makes them perfect apartment dogs.” They are great family dogs (even for toddlers) because of their very soft character and cute demeanor.
The English bulldog is a lazy little chunk of love and sweet dog who has an eager attitude, according to the AKC. Their compact body makes them ideal for apartment living, but it is their lazy demeanor that earns them a place on the list of quietest dog breeds. “When they’re not napping, English bulldogs are clowns and a great addition to families with children,” says Trott.
It is true that most greyhounds are racetracks and, as retired racing drivers, find a home forever, but at home they turn into four-legged couch potatoes. Greyhounds are sensitive and cute, with easy-care short hair. If you’re looking for a calm dog breed that is also easy to keep, the greyhound is perfect.
If you’re looking for a gentle giant, the Great Dane is the place for you. They’re a great deterrent to potential intruders, but don’t let their stature fool you. Great Danes are a friendly breed, like to please their owners, and are especially patient with young children. Their loyalty makes them an indispensable breed – if you have the space for it.
Another large breed dog, the Bullmastiff, was originally bred to deter poachers and intruders alike. But these gentle giants are a good breed for a family pet as they tend to be calm and easy-going. And because of their superior status, they make great watchdogs.
No one is going to mess with you or your family if you are walking a rottweiler. Although this breed was built as a guard dog, this confident dog has a strong love for his family and becomes a playful pup when near his own eyes.
If love (and loyalty) is what you are looking for, these 13 breeds might be best for your family. They will offer lots of laughter, happiness, and loyal companionship for many years to come.
Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, veterinarian
Dr. Georgina Ushi, DVM, veterinarian
Steffi Trott, owner and head trainer at SpiritDog Training
Harvey Wells, a pet expert
Daniel Caughill, pet expert and co-founder of The Dog Tale