Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

12 Most Loyal Dog Breeds (with Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

May 26, 2021

As pack animals, all 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 man’s best friend over the years.

However, some dogs never seem to care or know who feeds them, bathes, or walks them and may end up loving anybody that crosses their paths. But not the breeds listed here.

You are about to explore dog breeds with stronger loyalty instincts, who’ll pick you out of a crowd, and their stories of they’ve protected, saved, or stuck by their owners.

divider-dog

Most Loyal Dog Breed

1. Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever standing on green meadow
Image Credit: fsHH, Pixabay
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, calm, protective, agile, outgoing, energetic, trusting, loyal
  • Color: Black, yellow, chocolate
  • Height: 21-24 inches
  • Weight: 55-80 pounds

According to the American Kennel Club, a Labrador Retriever is a listener, a keeper, a lover, and a devoted one. This is the reason it has topped the list of the most popular dog breeds since 1991.

Initially bred to be loyal pups and for retrieval purposes, Labs can naturally bond with humans and 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

great pyrenees in the mountain
Image Credit: Paolo Seimandi, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Protective, confident, strong-willed, fearless, affectionate, patient, loyal
  • Color: White, red, badger, grey, tan
  • Height: 26-35 inches
  • Weight: 80-160 pounds

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 this large, densely coated, and powerful dogs are inherent guard dogs committed to protecting sheep, livestock, goats, children, and their favorite humans against any real or imaginary predator.

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.

He likes to stay active, and just like other herding breeds, be sure to provide him lots of physical and mental stimulation. Pyrs, as they are also known, are hard-core barkers, though!


3. Akita

Akita dog
Image Credit: Anaite, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Temperament: Quiet, affectionate, intolerant to strangers and other pets, independent, courageous, alert, loyal, protective
  • Color: Black, white, chocolate, other colors & white, or brindle
  • Height: 24-28 inches
  • Weight: 70-130 pounds

Akitas, Japanese national treasures, are large, dignified dogs that enjoy close family companionship and stay aloof to strangers. These dogs are alert, courageous, and fiercely loyal to their family members.

Initially used as working breeds, Akita dog breeds can be formidable guard dogs as well. Puppy Akitas are all cuddles and play and resemble bears.

An Akita dog breed known as Hachiko remains Japan’s symbol of loyalty and love, and it’s the world’s most loyal dog breed. The legendary Hachiko displayed commitment by accompanying his owner to the train station daily.

And when the owner passed on, the dog held a vigil at the train station every day for ten years, waiting for him to come back before dying later in 1935. Who wouldn’t want such loyalty?


4. Rough Collie

rough collie
Image Credit: Grigorita Ko, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 14-16 years
  • Temperament: Sensitive, intelligent, protective, loyal, good-natured, active
  • Color: Tri-color, sable, white, blue merle, sable merle, sable & white
  • Height: 22-26 inches
  • Weight: 50-70 pounds

A list without a Collie, no way! The roughly long-haired Collie is a herding dog breed with Scottish origins. The AKC suggests that 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, intelligent, and can foresee their owner’s needs, makes them excellent working and therapy dogs, even though they also love staying at home with their families.

Rough Collies are good-natured, friendly, but suspicious to strangers.


5. German Shepherd

german shepherd dog_Hans Kemperman, Pixabay
Image Credit: Hans Kemperman, Pixabay
  • Lifespan: 9-13 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, curious, hardworking, watchful, alert, obedient, confident, loyal
  • Color: Grey, black, sable,
  • Height: 23-25 inches
  • Weight: 75-95 pounds

You must have seen this one coming, right? While you may know German Shepherds as intimidating hounds, these dogs are loyal to their pack and anyone they love.

The AKC describes German Shepherds as ‘gentle, caring, and loving towards their humans, noting that they’d love nothing more than their owner’s company.

These pups are so active, intelligent, and employable that they remain a favorite for the military and the police force or service dogs to their families. Besides being loyal pups, German Shepherds are also among the dogs with the most ‘followers’, with most owners tending to commit to this breed for life.


6. Brittany

Brittany-Spaniel
Image Credit: Keith Bell, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Temperament: Sweet-natured, obedient, active, intelligent, attentive, trainable, loyal, happy
  • Color: Roan, piebald, tri-color, liver & white, orange & white, black & white
  • Height: 18-19 inches
  • Weight: 30-40 pounds

Brittany, an enthusiastic worker, is a loyal and family-oriented pup that would do anything you’d tell them to do.

Brittany dog breeds love staying active and may need daily exercises for mental and physical well-being. Brittany dogs would 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 their size.


7. St. Bernard

saint bernard outside_Artush, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Artush, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Temperament: Protective, watchful, calm, lively, loyal, eager to please
  • Color: Red & white, brindle & white
  • Height: 25-27 inches
  • Weight: 120-200 pounds

Anyone looking for a loyal and devoted dog can’t go wrong with a St. Bernard. And if there are things dog enthusiasts learned from the “Beethoven” movie, it is that St. Bernards are by far the most loyal, caring, and loving family dogs.

Raised initially as rescue dogs in the Swiss Alps, this imposing breed could keep their owners trapped by avalanches warm and pull them to safety thanks to their vast size.

All St. Bernard’s tend to serve generously is 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.


8. Rottweiler

rottweiler dog walking on sand beach
Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Temperament: Obedient, protective, fearless, alert, confident, devoted, energetic, good-natured, loyal
  • Color: Mahogany, black & tan
  • Height: 24-26 inches
  • Weight: 80-135 pounds

Rottweilers are honest and deeply devoted to their humans. The AKC describes these dogs as “powerful, protective, and loyal” and instinctual guardians.

They are hugely territorial of their surroundings and the people that inhabit it-and it is an innate trait. These sturdy guardians were initially used as herding and working dogs and will show up for your job to display loyalty. Their loyalty is a matter of inborn personality and how you raise it.

A Rottweiler will stay by your side and protect you to bits as long as you are committed, loving, and give them attention. Despite being a feared breed, these dogs are sensitive and susceptible to separation anxiety if you leave them alone for long.


9. Dachshunds

Dachshund
Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Temperament: Playful, devoted, courageous,
  • Color: Black, brindle, chocolate, wild boar, fawn & tan, gray
  • Height: 8-9 inches
  • Weight: 16-32 pounds

Dachshunds trace their origins back to Germany and are widely known as one of the most loyal and amusing dog breeds. People often refer to them as a wiener hound, sausage dog, or hot dog due to their small but long body.

They have stubby legs and huge digging paws suitable for hunting badgers, rabbits, and other rodents.

Dachshunds are reputable 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.


10. Chihuahua

Chihuahua portrait
Image Credit: liggraphy, Pixabay
  • Lifespan: 12-20 years
  • Temperament: Devoted, quick, alert, playful, protective, courageous, loyal
  • Color: Black, tan, fawn, cream, blue, silver, chocolate, red, white
  • Height: 6-9 inches
  • Weight: 2-6 pounds

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 on this list, they are immensely loyal and have a big personality, 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 being mean to strangers stems from their inborn traits to protect their humans.


11. Kuvasz

Kuvasz sitting in the snow
Image Credit: La Su, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Clownish, protective, loyal, independent, suspicious to strangers, humorous, intelligent, patient
  • Color: White
  • Height: 25-30 inches
  • Weight: 70-115 pounds

Kuvasz dog breeds have 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 the attention, even though they display aloofness and independence too. Kuvasz dog breeds blend their large sizes, intelligence, strength, and loyal traits 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. Dobermann Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shuttersrock
  • Lifespan: 10-13 years
  • Temperament: Energetic, alert, fearless, obedient, confident, intelligent, loyal, protective
  • Color: Black, blue, red, white, fawn, black & rust, fawn & rust, blue & rust
  • Height: 24-28 inches
  • Weight: 60-80 pounds

One man called Karl Friedrich Dobermann from Germany developed the Dobermann 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 the Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier, and the German Pinscher’s 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 a natural protector to kind family members.

divider-paw

Summary

As a dog-fancier, all you want is a dog that loves them right back. If you have an Akita, a chihuahua, or a German Shepherd, chances are you have the for-better-for-worse dog in your midst.

This doesn’t mean that pups missing on the list aren’t 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

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

Did you know: an average of 18 dog foods are recalled every year?

Get FREE Dog Food Recall Alerts by email whenever there's a recall.