Our pups are our best friends, and we can’t deny how much we love them. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s truly a pup out there for every one of us. Some people will prefer a large, energetic dog, while others want a tiny, quiet lap dog to cuddle up with on the couch in a pawdorable crewneck. But there is one quality that we all look for in a pup: loyalty.
Whether you love bulldogs, spaniels, or Japanese Akitas, a loyal pup isn’t hard to find. Still, certain breeds out there fit the bill more than others.
Today, we’re bringing you a list of the most loyal dog breeds and what this actually means in a pup. Once you know the full story, you’ll know what type of breed to look for at rescues. It’s time to get on our site and get your Dog Mom tees ready because you’re finding your puppy soulmate today!
What Are the Most Loyal Breeds?
In a minute, we’re going to explain what loyalty means to our canine companions. Tons of pups will be the most loyal to the leader of their pack, but some breeds exemplify loyalty in everything they do. Here are the top breeds if you’re looking for a loyal bestie.
If you’ve seen Lassie, you know we aren’t exaggerating when we say these herding dogs are one of the most loyal and caring pups. They love their families fiercely, although they generally have a deep connection to one main family member.
On top of being insanely sweet, kind, and easy to train, labs are very loyal dogs. This great family pet is gentle and patient with even the smallest humans in the household, so you never have to worry about the dogs and kids getting along. If you need any more convincing, they are one of the most popular breeds for service dogs and therapy dogs.
This is another breed that does a lot for its community. German shepherds are notorious as the most popular breed for working dogs. You see them constantly in police training and military service, and these watchdogs’ loyalty is hard to match. German Shepherds will be one of those breeds that stick to one alpha, so gently assert yourself early.
If you were a fan of Beethoven, you know the lengths these dogs will go to keep their family safe. St. Bernards are loyal and patient gentle giants, which makes them great for families. Even though they’re friendly, don’t let that fool you. If their humans’ security is at risk, these guard dogs will spring into action.
These howling hounds are sweet and caring pups. They’re also very loyal and love their families fiercely. Beagles are great hunting dogs, as they are good at keeping track of their human and whatever they’re out and about. These high-energy little dogs require physical and mental stimulation, but they’re also a great example of how a small dog can be filled with so much love.
You can find beagles easily enough in the woods due to their tails, and their loud cry carries if you get separated for a moment. Regardless of whether you hunt, your beagle will love you endlessly — and that is something wonderful.
These family pets are giant dogs with a lot of love to give. Newfoundlands want to cuddle all day and night with their families and will be very vocal about their need for affection. They are sweet and kind but huge, so cuddles on your lap might not be the comfiest.
Newfoundlands’ loyalty means they will stick by you and your pack everywhere you go, providing security and comfort without being overly aggressive.
They may seem big and menacing, but rottweilers are pawsome family dogs. Their stature gives them a hard, aggressive look, but much like the giant mastiff, these large dogs are actually very kind and sweet. They’re highly intelligent, so they’re very easy to train, which is ideal for a family wanting a big dog for love and security.
Rottweilers’ penchant for loyalty is unmatched. You won’t even realize their ability to protect their loved ones until the situation arises.
What Does Loyalty Look Like in Dogs?
When you think of loyalty, you probably think of someone who would never betray you. You might think of a significant other that would never cheat, lie, steal, or say bad things about you when you aren’t around. When it comes to a dog, most of these situations don’t directly apply — so what exactly does loyalty look like in our furry friends?
The most obvious way our dogs show loyalty is through their direct behavior toward us. Dogs are social animals that are used to being part of a larger pack. They’re accustomed to multiple tiers of obedience and authority, and when you adopt a pooch, you become their pack leader. This means your pups will show you their loyalty by following your commands and protecting you above all others.
Why Are Dogs Loyal to Us?
Aside from being part of our pack, dogs show us loyalty because we love and care for them every day.
We rescued them from a shelter, brought them home, and gave them a great life. Loyalty is not only a tradeoff or a result of pack mentality, but it’s also their way of thanking us for our love. If you’ve ever heard the expression, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” this is exactly what our dogs are probably thinking, too.
Affection vs. Loyalty
Affection might look a lot like loyalty, but these aren’t exactly the same.
Our dogs will give everyone they love affection, but they’ll show differing degrees of loyalty to us depending on their understanding of our status in the pack. For example, they love our children and spouses, but maybe listen to us the best. Why? They see us as alpha, even though they adore the entire family.
Our dogs understand that our word is the ultimate, but they want everyone in our family to know that we are all equally loved.
How Can We Encourage Loyalty and Affection?
To help our pups understand that we’re the head of their household, there are a few tips and tricks we can try. There’s no need to be too strict with your pup — a little training and structure can go a long way.
While discipline is also a part of this recipe for loyalty, that doesn’t mean you have to scold them. (Actually, you should never scold your pup — it just doesn’t work!) Instead, use positive reinforcement so your pup can learn the rules and love you all the more for being so sweet.
Another way to foster trust and loyalty is to greet your fur baby just like you would greet any other member of your family. When you get home from work or running errands, make sure to spend a minute or two acknowledging them. They’ll know you’re excited to see them, you’ll know the feeling is mutual, and you’ll both feel all the love.
If all else fails, treats are always a good option!
Do Dogs Understand What Loyalty Is?
In short: yes and no. They understand that you’re the leader of their pack, and they know that affects the ways in which they act around you.
However, do they feel loyalty the way that we do? Not so much. They understand their love is for you, but their loyalty is based on their position in the pack.
Give the Dogs a Bone!
We hope you had fun today exploring all these loyal and kind breeds. After this read, we are confident you know the ins and outs of what loyalty means to pups and how to establish it with your own furbaby.
Of course, there are TONS of adorable dogs that make for loyal companions: golden retrievers, dachshunds, Great Pyrenees, and even chihuahuas could have easily made this list. Honestly, there are so many fun-loving rescue dogs to choose from that we’re shocked we could narrow it down at all!
These popular dog breeds are our best friends, and we should always be proud of that. So, maybe an extra treat or two at dinner tonight? We think yes!