Calm and Cuddly: The Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

Pet Love


June 3, 2020

Have you been searching for unconditional love? If it’s affection you want, no other being can offer as much as a loyal dog. While nearly all puppies show affection, there are a few dog breeds that are the most affectionate. These breeds are all well-suited for the loner who needs acceptance and a cuddle now and then, families with children both large and small, and even for senior citizens that need both affection and a watchful eye. 

What Are the Most Affectionate Dog Breeds?

Dogs demonstrate unconditional love at its purest and have been stated as being the most diverse species on the planet. Here is a list of the top 13 dog breeds that are considered by many dog breeding and pedigree associations—not to mention most dog owners—to be the most affectionate, loving their pet-parents with all their hearts. 

Golden Retriever

Headlining our list is the Golden retriever. This dog breed has a wonderful reputation as the friendliest of dogs. The Golden retriever’s intelligence is second-to-none. When it comes to obedience, this breed is truly in a league of its own. This furry pal will give you loads of attention and obedience—which means that if you call out, “Hey, come here and give mommy a hug,” you will not be disappointed. If you do any online research, you’ll find they have been considered a family favorite for decades, a born-to-please affection-giver. Great for families with small children and for senior citizens alike, this dog with its kind temperament is dedicated to one and all. The Golden retriever gets an excellent, five-star rating for furry love. 

Labrador Retriever

Next in our lineup is the Labrador retriever, a dog often used by hunters and search-and-rescue teams. This breed is as affectionate as it is hard-working, showing boundless devotion to their owners. The Labrador retrievers were bred for the companionship of humans. They’re both athletic and affectionate, enjoying their owner’s presence and attention no matter what. If you enjoy hiking and other intense activities, you are sure to have a caring companion by your side. 

Old English Sheepdog

Everyone remembers Nanna from the classic children’s movie Peter Pan. Kind eyes, gentle as a lamb, with a soft coat of extremely long fur, this dog breed would rather be cuddling than causing its owner any trouble. Both easy-going and fun-loving, “affectionate” is the Old English sheepdog’s middle name. 

Great Dane

The Great Dane was originally bred to hunt wild boar, but thanks to German breeders in the late 1800s, this breed became one of the gentlest of human companions. They are both attentive and sweet-natured, playing well with both children and adults. Being so people-oriented, they display a giant love for us humans and are truly well-deserving to be called the “Apollo of dogs.” 

English Bulldog

You have certainly heard the adage that you cannot judge a book by its cover. Well, that is absolutely true about the English bulldog. The breed’s sour expression is only matched by its big heart of gold. Did you know that the English bulldog was a national symbol for England during World War II? The English bully is both calm and good-natured; a complete softie who is a devoted family pet that loves to cuddle on the couch. So, the next time you settle down to watch some television, be sure to save a spot next to you for this affectionate guy. 


Having an affectionate, loving dog does not mean you’ll get the cutest or fluffiest companion. How big or small a dog is doesn’t really matter, either. Take the Chihuahua, for instance. This is one little furball with a big heart. A snuggler by nature, this breed will play favorites, though, and usually develops a special bond with a ‘chosen one.’ This might not make it a great match for families that have smaller children. These dogs are portable, personality-packed, furry balls of fun. So, if you live alone and are lonely, look no further than the nearest pet store with the Chihuahua for sale. 

Pitbull Terrier

Another “nanny” dog is the Pitbull terrier. These dogs are generally given a really bad rap. However, when raised by a human with the right temperament, a Pitbull makes a gentle-natured companion of adults and children alike. They’re even often used as therapy dogs. Pitbull terrier owners give this breed a “thumbs-up” for being loving to both family and strangers. A thoughtful companion with excellent socialization skills, bullies make an intelligent, obedient, and devoted pet. 

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small but very cheerful—and mischievous—breed. They look like a mini teddy bear but have a sweet, affectionate nature that provides their owners a lifetime of happiness and companionship. They are simply a lovable little pooch that gets along well with both people and other pets. If you have a cat in the house or a ferret running around somewhere, no worries. The Bichon Frise will be a cuddly and cute addition to your fur family. 


Prefer a dog that is fun-loving, silly, a great protector of the innocent, and maybe just a bit naughty? The Boxer is a breed that cannot show enough love. Although some veterinarians may caution you that this breed is a bit wary around strangers, these fellas with the worried expression on their faces are both caring and protective of their beloved family members. 

Brussels Griffon

Another small fellow with a sweet nature, the Brussels Griffon, is a breed that’s full of affection. Small and very sturdy, this dog was originally bred to hunt rats, but now only hunts for humans in need of loving and loyal companion. These little guys are huggers. If you like snuggling as much as playtime, this is the breed for you. 

Irish Wolfhound

With a heart as big as his height, this big guy is another breed known for being sweet, sensitive, and super-affectionate. This “gentle giant” is not only the tallest breed of dog but is a breed that loves without any restraint. They’re very gentle with children, other dogs, and even cats. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been for years considered a sweet and gentle breed that’s amazing with children. Although small, this dog is attentive, energetic, playful, and eager to please. Many delighted pet owners out there claim this dog will have sloppy kisses for anyone who wants them. If you enjoy being showered with affection, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel might be what you’re looking for. 


Last but not least, we mustn’t forget the Collie. Anyone who has ever watched the legendary Lassie movie on TV can tell you that this breed portrays both high sensitivity and devotion. A native of Scotland, mostly the Highlands regions, the Collie was originally bred as a herding dog. Being the sensitive and intelligent dogs they are, collies also became known for their undying loyalty and an amazing type of sixth sense for their owners’ needs. Collies are very affectionate towards adults and children alike, making them an excellent pet for anyone who needs a faithful friend and affectionate companion.  

Final Thoughts

All of the above breeds make great human companions. Because these breeds are so very affectionate, they’re frequently utilized as emotional support animals. If you are looking to have one of these dog breeds as a support companion and need to get an ESA letter for your cuddle buddy, you can contact a licensed mental health professional or any one of many support animal organizations online.