As pack animals, dogs have an inborn sense of loyalty because they feel the need for companionship, love, security, and friendship. Since they share these needs with humans, dogs have cemented their place as humankind’s best friend over the centuries.
That said, some dogs don’t seem to specifically care about who feeds, bathes, or walks them, and they may end up loving anybody who crosses their paths. That’s not the case for the breeds listed here.
These dogs have strong loyalty instincts and can easily pick you out of a crowd. Many breeds have stories of dogs that have protected, saved, or otherwise stood by their owners.
The 12 Most Loyal Dog Breeds
1. Labrador Retriever
According to the American Kennel Club, a Labrador Retriever is a listener, a keeper, a lover, and a devoted dog. This is the reason that they have topped the list of the most popular dog breeds since 1991.
Initially bred to be loyal pups and for retrieval purposes, Labs naturally bond with humans and can develop a stronger connection with particular family members. Their loyalty is unshaken, and they are not timid about protecting the people they love.
Labs are renowned for their happy dispositions, boundless energy, intelligence, calmness, loyalty, and ease with kids. They are excellent family companions and wouldn’t mind stepping in to save their owners from difficult situations.
2. The Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees were initially herding dogs, and this function shaped their loyal guardianship traits and protective instincts. The Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue concludes that these large, densely coated, and powerful dogs are inherent guardians committed to protecting sheep, livestock, goats, children, and their favorite humans against any real or imaginary predators.
They have unmatched intelligence, a muscular build, and an exquisite physique that exudes elegance and majesty. The Great Pyrenees is a man’s friend, sensitive, affectionate, hardworking, and independent.
They like to stay active, and just like with other herding breeds, you’ll need to be sure to provide them with plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Pyrs, as they are also known, are hard-core barkers, though!
Akitas, a.k.a. Japanese national treasures, are large, dignified dogs that enjoy close companionship and are aloof around strangers. These dogs are alert, courageous, and fiercely loyal to their family members.
Initially used as working breeds, Akitas can also be formidable guard dogs. Puppy Akitas are all cuddles and play, though, and resemble small bears.
The Akita dog is considered one of the world’s most loyal dog breeds. In fact, this breed remains Japan’s symbol of loyalty and love. The legendary Hachiko displayed commitment by accompanying his owner to the train station daily. When the owner passed on, the dog held a vigil at the train station every day for 10 years, waiting for him to come back before dying later in 1935. Who wouldn’t want such loyalty?
4. Rough Collie
The long-haired Rough Collie is a herding dog breed with Scottish origins. Collies have gained a reputation as loyal and devoted pups, with a history of protecting their owners.
This trait and the fact that they are sensitive and intelligent and can foresee their owner’s needs make them excellent working and therapy dogs, even though they also love staying at home with their families.
Rough Collies are good-natured and friendly but suspicious of strangers.
5. German Shepherd
While some people may think of German Shepherds as intimidating hounds, these dogs are actually incredibly loyal to their pack and anyone they love. They are often described as gentle, caring, and loving toward their humans and want nothing more than their owner’s company.
These pups are so active, intelligent, and employable that they remain favorites for the military and the police force and as service dogs to families. Besides being loyal pups, German Shepherds are also among the dogs with the most “followers,” with many owners tending to commit to this breed for life.
Brittany is an enthusiastic worker and a loyal and family-oriented pup that will do anything that you tell them to do. This dog breed loves staying active and may need daily exercise for mental and physical well-being. Brittany dogs will gladly play fetch with your kids, go hunting, or compete in canine sports, such as agility and flyball.
They are notable for being sweet-natured, sensitive, and easy to train. Initially bred for bird hunting, these dogs are increasingly popular family dogs and companions. You can’t resist their immense loyalty, lovable personality, and perfect size.
7. St. Bernard
Anyone looking for a loyal and devoted dog can’t go wrong with a St. Bernard. If there is one thing that dog enthusiasts learned from the “Beethoven” movie, it is that St. Bernards are among the most loyal, caring, and loving family dogs.
Raised initially as a rescue dog in the Swiss Alps, this imposing breed could keep their owners trapped by avalanches warm and pull them to safety due to their vast size.
All St. Bernards tend to have ample amounts of gentleness, friendship, and protection. Their rescue instincts tend to push them to protect and look out for their families and even play “nanny” to kids. Their loyalty is attributed to their eagerness to please their owners.
They are hugely territorial of their surroundings and the people who inhabit it, and it is an innate trait. These sturdy guardians were initially used as herding and working dogs and will show up for whatever job you give them. Their loyalty is a matter of inborn personality and how you raise them.
A Rottweiler will stay by your side and protect you to bits as long as you are committed and loving and give them attention. Despite being a feared breed, this dog is sensitive and susceptible to separation anxiety if you leave them alone for long.
The Dachshund traces their origins back to Germany and is widely known as one of the most loyal and amusing dog breeds. People often refer to them as wiener hounds, sausage dogs, or hot dogs due to their small but long bodies. They also have stubby legs and huge digging paws suitable for hunting badgers, rabbits, and other rodents.
Dachshunds are known for protecting their owners, saving them from fires and even bear attacks. They love fun and play and retain their curious hunting nature, even if they can be a bit stubborn.
This dog is a jealous one, capable of developing attachments to one person and making others feel left out.
Just like Dachshunds, Chihuahuas pick favorites, and when they do, they’ll stick with you till the end. While these pups tend to be smaller than most of the others on this list, they are immensely loyal and have big personalities, which could be why they are so appealing.
Although they tend to latch onto one lucky human most of the time, they can open up to other people as long as you train and socialize them. But their tendency to be mean to strangers stems from their inborn trait to protect their humans.
The Kuvasz dog breed has Hungarian roots and guarded livestock for Hungarians for years. Today, they are renowned house pets with admirable intelligence and a clownish sense of humor.
These pups are loyal and faithful to the people they love and appreciate any attention, even though they display aloofness and independence too. The Kuvasz dog blends their large size, intelligence, strength, and loyalty to protect and guard their people from strangers.
Be sure to socialize and train them from a young age, though. The canines can be overly aggressive and may not understand boundaries. A bored Kuvasz is a wandering and destructive Kuvasz.
12. Doberman Pinscher
Karl Friedrich Dobermann from Germany developed the Doberman Pinscher dog breed because he wanted a pup that would stay by his side during his dangerous tax-collecting profession.
Although their exact ancestry remains a mystery, Dobbies are thought to have Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier, and German Pinscher strains. They are highly energetic and intelligent dogs favored in the military, canine sports, and family guardians.
These dogs have aristocratic features, sleek coats, athletic body builds, and fierce reputations. They are reputably known as aggressive and vicious dogs and are natural protectors to kind family members.
As a dog fancier, all you want is a dog that loves you right back. If you have an Akita, Chihuahua, or German Shepherd, chances are you have a companion for life.
This doesn’t mean that any pups not on the list can’t be loyal breeds, though. All dogs are inherently reliable and can portray great loyalty. All you have to do is treat them right!
Featured Image: Spike Summers, Pixabay