10 Most Loyal Dog Breeds

It’s common knowledge that canines are trusted companions. Some dog breeds, however, are known to be more devoted than others.

Because of their history as working dogs such as guard dogs and herders, many of these devoted canines are classified as “Working Group” dogs by the American Kennel Club. Such dogs naturally bond with their owners because they spend so much time with them.

A dog’s devotion tends to parallel the tasks for which it was originally bred. Veterinary student Georgina Ushi Phillips has observed that working dogs (such as those used for hunting or guarding) tend to be more devoted to their owners than pets in general.

While it’s easy to picture a German Shepherd on patrol or a Border Collie herding sheep, which of these two most loyal dog breeds would be the best fit for your household?

Why Are Dogs So Loyal?

Have you ever pondered the origins of canine loyalty? Do they feel this way because they need our help to survive? Is their love for us genuine?

Researchers have found evidence that canine loyalty to humans runs in families. Researchers have confirmed what scientists have suspected for a long time: dogs have a different genetic makeup than wolves, which predisposes them to be friendlier and more outgoing. This is true even of “tame” wolves.

But does that mean dogs only show loyalty to their human owners? Or does it just have to be somebody who brings food and is nice? Emory University researchers discovered that canines do develop strong attachments to individual humans.

Dogs in the study had their brains scanned as they sniffed fabric samples, some of which had their owners’ scents on them.

The dogs not only displayed an innate ability to distinguish their owners’ scent from that of other people, but they also associated their owners’ scent with positive emotions. Loyal dogs tend to be very affectionate, devoted, and people-focused.

Top Ten Loyal Dog Breeds

Let’s take a look at the top 10 most loyal dog breeds and the qualities that make them ideal family pets:


The Boxer is a large, sturdy, and devoted canine. They weigh around 60–70 pounds but can look much larger due to their square jaw and muscular build.

Although they were originally bred for fighting, some people now use their intelligence and loyalty to train them as guard dogs, police dogs, and couriers. If raised with proper training and socialization, they can be very loving pets.


Historically, Rottweilers served as drovers, or guardians of cattle and other livestock. “Rotties,” like Boxers, are short-haired, stocky dogs, and anyone who has spent any time with one can attest to the fact that they are big softies at heart.

Rottweilers, according to the American Rottweiler Club, require a firm hand in training but make fantastic, loyal family pets for the right people.


Mastiffs, along with other ancient dog breeds, have a history of serving as guard dogs. Mastiffs are known for being friendly and protective while also being loyal and affectionate.

Have we mentioned how enormous they are? Mastiffs come in a range of sizes, from as little as 100 pounds to well over 200 pounds for the largest.

Mastiffs’ droopy jowls and furrowed brows are endearing. (which create a LOT of drool). Depending on their ancestry, Mastiffs can have a variety of coat colors, including grey, fawn, and brindle.

German Shepherds

The German Shepherd, like the Rottweiler and Boxer, is a native of Germany and a highly effective service dog. German Shepherds have many jobs, from search and rescue dogs to guard dogs in the police and military.

When properly trained and given an active lifestyle, they make wonderful pets due to their inquisitive nature, high IQ, and boundless energy.

German Shepherds have a double coat, and erect ears, and come in a variety of colors, including pure white and black, and brown. The lowest weight for a female is 50 pounds, and the highest for a male is 90 pounds.

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees dogs, another ancient breed, get their name from the mountain range that serves as a de facto border between France and Spain.

The dogs in this breed are very caring. Because their original job was to guard livestock and shepherds while they slept, they are generally nocturnal.

Their coal-black eyes may bring to mind Frosty the Snowman, and their soft, white fur helps them stay warm in the winter. Another giant breed, their typical weight is 85–100 pounds.

Border Collie

The high-energy Border Collie is traditionally used to herd sheep, but it has also been trained to herd children, cats, and even adults!

Because of their high energy levels, Border Collies require frequent playtime and mental challenges. There is a wide range of coat colors for Border Collies. Their eye colors range from brown to blue to even having two different colors in one eye. Their average weight is 45 pounds, and they have a double coat.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever, whether chocolate, yellow, or white, is a happy dog who loves to play.

Labrador Retrievers are devoted pets that enjoy hanging out with the whole family. They are eager to learn and improve, so they take to praise easily.

Their fur is medium in length, and they have long, floppy ears and a tail that constantly wags. There is a wide variation in Labrador Retriever weight, from 55 to 80 pounds.


The Chihuahua may be the right dog for you if you’re looking for a small, devoted pet. Although it only weighs 2 to 6 pounds, this little dog sure acts like a big one. Chihuahuas are small dogs with big, round eyes and pointy ears.

Chihuahuas are known to be one of the most loyal dog breeds, and part of that loyalty includes keeping an eye on a particular family member.

Your Chihuahua can be a wonderful addition to your family with the right amount of training and socialization.


The Akita has a reputation for nobility as the royal guard dog of Japan. Although they are confident and bright, these dogs need a skilled trainer because they can be as stubborn as they are loyal.

American Akitas typically weigh in at between 70 and 130 pounds and have a black mask over their triangular eyes. In Japan, however, their facial markings are white and they are smaller.


Do you recall Peter Pan’s large, shaggy dog, Nana? A Newfoundland, if you will. Newfoundlands, also known as Newfies, are a breed of dog with a long history of service as water rescue dogs and devoted family guardians.

Newfoundlands have a kind disposition and get along well with children. When they swim, water shoots out of the sides of their pronounced jowls, and they drool excessively.

Newfoundlands typically weigh over 100 pounds and have lengthy coats that can be any shade from brown to black to gray to black and white. Their droopy eyelids, floppy ears, and jowly faces all contribute to a carefree appearance.

Maintaining a Loyal-Breed Dog

In addition to their loyalty, you should look at the dog’s size, training requirements, and temperament when making your selection.

Most breeds of loyal dogs are smart and have traditionally held working roles, so adopting one may require some alterations to your daily routine. Dogs of all breeds and vocations (from service to guard) seek meaningful employment.

The question of whether or not a dog can be too loyal is a valid one to ponder. They may, for instance, be overly possessive of you, suffer from separation anxiety, or tag along wherever you go.

According to veterinarian Corinne Wigfall, “dogs sometimes can become too attached to their owners, and they need to become more independent to avoid separation anxiety or unnecessary aggression toward strangers or other animals.”

No matter which breed of dog you choose, they will all benefit from early socialization and training to help them become confident, learn appropriate behavior, and strengthen the bond you share with them.

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