20 Loyal Dog Breeds That Will Never Leave Your Side

Written By Jill Taylor

Since early humans first fed a wolf around a campfire, dogs have been our constant companions and are renowned for making strong bonds with their owners. But which specific types of dogs make the most loyal and devoted pets? This article describes the 20 most unwaveringly loyal canine breeds and the characteristics that make them the ultimate ‘ride or die’ pets!

Labrador Retriever

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The Pioneer Woman says Labs are “a great choice for families with young kids or other dogs; Labs get along with everyone and love their owners endlessly.” Well-known for being laid-back, friendly, people-focused dogs, these typically blonde, black, or chocolate-colored dogs make perfect companions and are one of the world’s most beloved dog breeds.

Golden Retriever

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The Golden Retriever has a paler, longer, and glossier coat than a lab but is equally affectionate and devoted. According to Dogs for Good, they thrive on human interaction and are famous for being calm-tempered, gentle, and loyal. They are sometimes called “velcro dogs” for their tendency to hesitate to leave their owner’s side!

German Shepherd

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These large, black-and-tan dogs are highly intelligent and often used in police or military roles, but they’re also very loyal and form close bonds with their owners and other family members, says Hooman’s Friend. Their fierce loyalty also makes them great at protecting homes and children, and they often show great courage and commitment when doing so.


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Also called a sheepdog, the long-haired three-colored Collie was bred to herd sheep, requiring intelligence and a strong bond with their handler (Dog Breeder Awards). They are easy to train and very eager to please, often staying by their owner’s side at all times. Collies are also gentle and friendly, making them great family pets.


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Boxers are known for their boundless enthusiasm and are highly motivated to be playful, loyal, and protective. PetPlan says Boxers are so loyal that they hate being alone and can be wary of new people, but they are the perfect energetic companion for active families and will protect their ‘people’ unflinchingly.


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‘Sausage Dogs’ may be small, but they pack a lot of loyalty in a miniature package! They are known to be fearlessly protective, affectionate, and closely bonded to their families. The Dachshund Journal states that they often form intensely strong bonds with their owners and will defend them without hesitation.


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Another small breed, the amusing-looking Pug is known to be charmingly lovable and loyal. Often described by their owners as “shadows,” Pugs will follow their favorite person from room to room and don’t like being separated from their families. They love interacting with humans and are often described as playful, affectionate, and funny!


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Like Pugs, Bulldogs are brachycephalic (short-snouted) with a big head and strong chest and are well-known for their devotion and loyalty. Despite being bred for violent blood sports, bulldogs are gentle and (often) lazy! The Dog People call the breed affectionate, sensitive, and loving—most content when at home with their families.

Shih Tzu

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These popular lap dogs may be small, but they make up for it in loyalty and affection. Many Shih Tzu owners describe their pets as sweet, gentle, and loving, so they don’t enjoy being left alone for long periods of time. Their small size, friendliness, and relatively long life expectancy (approximately 16 years) make them great pets for children, too.

Great Dane

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These gentle giants are one of the largest dog breeds, with Hill’s revealing they can grow as tall as 32 inches (at the withers) and weigh 120 lbs! They don’t live that long (only 6–8 years) but are loyal, loving, and calm companions, happily tolerating other pets and young children with their laid-back attitude.


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Pomeranians may look like ‘balls of fluff on legs,’ but they have big hearts and are very loyal once bonded to their owner. Surprisingly, for their size and appearance, they are brave home protectors and will bark courageously to warn of intruders. This, coupled with their manageable size and affectionate nature, makes them great companions for older people living alone.


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These large, muscular, and big-headed dogs look intimidating to some but are incredibly loyal and protective of their families. They form deep bonds with their humans and are particularly fond of children, protecting them without hesitation. Rotties are also surprisingly intelligent for a bull breed and are even used in search and rescue teams.

Australian Shepherd

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Like the Collie, the Australian Shepherd is easy to train, highly responsive to its owner’s needs, and eager to please. Their intelligence and alertness make them great working dogs, but they also make intensely loyal pets for an active family and often show unwavering dedication to the humans they live with. 

Doberman Pinscher

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According to The American Kennel Club, these Pinschers are alert, fearless, loyal, and “complete mushes with their families.” While they may look like intimidating guard dogs and are used in police work, they are known to be good with children and are typically highly bonded to their owners.

Border Collie

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The third sheepdog on the list, the Border Collie, is also highly intelligent and loyal. These black-and-white working dogs are always alert to their owners’ commands and keen to please them, making them responsive and easy to train. Their dedication to their owners is evident, and they make devoted, energetic pets. 


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Akitas look like large, chunky wolves with beautiful coats and are known for being particularly well-bonded to their humans. Although they can be wary and aloof amongst strangers, they form strong connections with people they live with and become loving, loyal, and strongly protective companions.

Siberian Husky

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Having been bred to pull sleds across unforgiving arctic terrain, Siberian Huskies are a necessarily loyal, obedient, and sociable breed. They often like to spend time with their families and are a great choice for active people due to their highly energetic and playful nature.


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Medium claims that Chihuahuas often become so well-bonded to their owners that they are described as needy or clingy. Though they may be one of the tiniest breeds, they are loyal and easily form strong attachments with their humans. Despite their size, they are also protective and courageous—a big dog’s personality in a small dog’s body!

Cocker Spaniel

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These smallish, shiny-coated Spaniels are known to be affectionate and gentle, so they’re popular with families and children. Cockers are also loyal and thrive on human interaction, seeking to be next to their family members at all times and often becoming unhappy when left alone for extended periods.


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Papillons are small dogs with distinctively large ears, curly tails, and long, silky coats. Inquisitive and affectionate, they are highly intelligent and easily trained, and they become closely bonded to their owners, often seeking to please them.

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