The World’s Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

Picture of a woman hugging a Golden Retriever

When most people start their quest for the ideal dog to join their home, one of the traits that tops their list is a dog that will lavish affection on them. Dogs who enjoy to spend time with us provide us with a great sense of companionship, one of the primary reasons most people seek to add a pooch to their family. Though most people do plan to do basic obedience training with their pups to help strengthen their bond while teaching appropriate canine manners, families are looking for more than just a good working relationship in their next family pet. There are some dog breeds that are known for being aloof. These dogs prefer their own company, and though they enjoy being in the presence of their owners, they are not the type to give elaborate kisses or cuddle up next to their family for a night of Netflix on the couch. If you’re ready to add a pooch to your home and one that loves affection is an absolute must, consider one of the breeds on our list of top 10 most affectionate breeds.

How Do Dogs Express Affection?

How dogs express affection is commonly misunderstood. Since humans can make use of words and specific gestures to express their love, we often struggle with interpreting just what our dogs are trying to tell us since their own language is so distinctly different from our own.

What cannot be denied is the fact that our dogs do love us and want to express the depth of their feelings towards us. However, their affection is often displayed in different ways than what we might think.

Here is a list of the most common ways that dogs express affection for their people:

  • Nudging you with their nose

Nose nudging is often a way for dogs to express they would like your attention. However, sometimes a gentle little nudge followed up with an affectionate look is a means to let you know that your dog enjoys your company.

  • Making eye contact

Establishing eye contact with a person is one of the most meaningful things a dog can do. When your dog chooses to look you in your eyes, he is expressing to you that he values and trusts you. The longer the eye contact, the deeper the affection is.

  • Expressing a sigh

Humans often express sighs as a release of built up tension and stress. However, when your dog makes a similar sound, it is quite the opposite. Gentle sighs are a means to communicate that your dog feels at peace and is comfortable when in your presence.

  • Licking you

Though this particular sign of affection is somewhat controversial amongst dog people, it is highly possible that kissing your face or hands is but one way your dog lets you know they think you are the bomb.

Licking amongst pack members often indicates submission and is a means of acknowledging roles within the group. With this in mind, it is possible that your pup is licking you to pay homage to your role as the leader of his pack.

Puppies also learn at a young age to lick their mother’s mouth to indicate they are hungry. Since dogs in the wild often had to quickly consume food, saving some to regurgitate at a later time for their young, licking the mother’s lips was a signal to her to produce the food she had been saving for her babies. This means it is possible that your dog is simply telling you it’s time for a snack.

Of course, another plausible explanation is you taste good! Human skin is quite salty, and dogs do love salt! But don’t fear; your dog might like the briny taste of your skin, but he’s not interested in making a meal out of you.

  • Jumping up and down

Dogs love to jump up to get our attention. Unfortunately, this is one habit that most owners do not enjoy as it can be off putting to guests visiting their home.

Still, when your dog starts jumping up and down for joy, it is his means of drawing nearer to his very favorite person: YOU! This is yet another way that dogs express their affection.

  • Rolling on their back

When your pooch rolls over onto their back and exposes their belly, he is expressing to you that he trusts you and would love to have his tummy rubbed. This is as high honor for any owner as a dog that willingly offers up their belly places themselves in a position of complete vulnerability. This is an act of true love.

Our Top Ten List of the Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

Though many breeds are known for their loving ways, there are several that thrive when given opportunity to revel in the presence of their families. Here is our list of the top 10 most affectionate dog breeds:

Labrador Retriever

Labrador retriever

The friendly Labrador Retriever is an excellent family dog that is well-renowned for his intense loyalty and strong bond with his people. A breed that delights in pleasing his owners, the Labrador Retriever will eagerly lavish affection on everyone he meets while still maintaining his most ardent zeal for his own family.

A breed characterized by their intense level of intelligence, the Labrador loves to work with his family, making him an excellent candidate for obedience training and other performance sports; all activities which will help enhance the owner and pup bond.

Great Dane

Picture of a Great Dane standing next to a man in a suit

The gentle Great Dane is a giant breed with an extremely affectionate nature. Though considered an extra large dog, Great Danes are known to be excellent companions for young children.

The Great Dane is a playful fellow though his large size often makes him degenerate into goofy behavior which only serves to make him even easier to love.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Picture of a girl and a Cavalier

A breed whose hallmark is his joy-filled, happy nature, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an excellent choice for a family pet. This dog breed loves to play and enjoys the company of children. A pooch that is extremely social, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one dog who has never met a stranger: he loves every dog and person he meets.

A breed well-renowned for its calm demeanour, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lavishes his affection on this family members every opportunity he gets. This dog is happiest when pleasing his family, making him an easy pet to train.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Though many are intimidated by the American Staffordshire Terrier’s muscular appearance and strong block-like head which often features cropped ears, the Amstaff is a breed that is chock full of love for his family. His closely related cousin, the American Pit Bull Terrier, also bears these same properties, with both being dog breeds known for intense bonding with their people. The Amstaff and the American Pit Bull Terrier are extremely affectionate dogs who thrive when close to the people they love most.

The Amstaff is known for his intense loyalty and is quite content cuddling with his fave person on the couch when the occasion allows.

Old English Sheepdog

Picture of a Old English Sheepdog running outside

The Old English Sheepdog is a giant breed with a playful heart to match his immense size. A dog breed with high grooming requirements, the Old English Sheepdog enjoys the company of children and is exceptional when meeting strangers, greeting them with a friendly nature.

This dog breed makes a wonderful addition to any family and is extremely affectionate to those he loves.

Irish Wolfhound

Picture of a woman hugging a Irish Wolfound

Another breed belonging to the extra large class, the Irish Wolfhound is an elegant gentleman who is known for his deeply affectionate ways. A hallmark of this breed is their patient nature, making them well-suited to life with children.

The Irish Wolfhound gets along exceedingly well with other dogs, making him a good choice for families with more than one dog. A dog with a stately and regal appearance, the Irish Wolfhound is equally at home by the hearth or by your side on the couch.


Picture of a Collie sitting with a woman on the beach

Whether you opt for a Rough, a Smooth, or a Bearded Collie, you will find this breed a loving family friend. Collies enjoy regular play time with their families and are always happy to make new friends; whether they are of the two legged or four legged sort.

Collies are quite intelligent and thrive when given a job to do, meaning they need regular activity and mental stimulation to remain content. The Collie is a breed that expresses his affection for his people with great vigor.

Bichon Frise

Picture of a boy and a Bichon Frise

An excellent companion for family living, the Bichon Frise’s happy nature makes him well-suited to life as one of several family pets. The Bichon has a gentle nature and is known for his playful ways.

Bichons make good pets for families with children and eagerly display their affection to those they love most.

Bedlington Terrier

Picture of a woman holding a Bedlington Terrier

The distinctive appearance of the Bedlington Terrier makes him closely resemble a lamb. Though a breed developed with a job to do, the Bedlington is one dog who loves to have fun with his favorite people.

The Bedlington is a playful pooch who loves to snuggle with his family. Loyal and affectionate, Bedlingtons are excellent companions for families with children. In general, the Bedlington is good with other dogs if carefully introduced when in their youth.

Italian Greyhound

Picture of a woman and an Italian Greyhound

An elegant breed of great delicacy, the Italian Greyhound is small of size but mighty of heart. A dog known for his kind nature, the Italian Greyhound loves deeply and easily becomes attached to his family.

Though extremely affectionate with his family members, the Italian Greyhound maintains a reservedness with new people but quickly warms to them in time.

Looking to add a loving pooch to your home? Check out our list of top ten most affectionate dog breeds, and you just might find the perfect one for you! For best results, contact a reputable breeder to learn more about the breed you are considering to find your perfect canine fit.



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