Top 17 Most Loyal Dog Breeds

You might be wondering, What are the most loyal dog breeds?

Indeed all dogs are loyal, but some are more loyal than others.

As far back as anyone can remember, dogs have always been tagged “Man’s best friend.” But, while all dogs have that inbuilt ability to be loyal, the degree of loyalty depends to a large extent on the breed.

Dogs are pack animals – and so exhibit a certain level of loyalty to their pack. And because they have a need for love, security (surprised?), friendship and companionship – just like humans, there’s been this human-dog symbiosis that has made dogs see humans as belonging to the same pack – hence the single-minded dedication and loyalty.

You’d be amazed at the extent some dog breeds are willing to go just to be with or save their owners from danger. Based on history, breeding, temperament and owner testimonials, the following 17 dog breeds – in no particular order – have proven over time to be loyal and audacious.

Rottweiler

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Rottweilers are self-assured, perhaps a little too confident of themselves? They are calm, brave, and you could say, proud – because they take their time before making friends with people. But once they get over the initial resistance and accept you as a friend, they’re willing to go the whole nine yards just to prove their dedication.

Rottweilers are stable, smart and serious-minded, and have this laid-back attitude to changes in their environment. And like the Greek hero, Hercules, they are bold on the outside but have a soft affectionate heart. Fondly called Rotties or Rotts, this dog breed originated in Germany where it did a lot of farm and domestic work for their masters.

Border Collie

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Border Collies are arguably the smartest domestic dog breeds around. They also tend to be habitual ‘men-pleasers’ eager to satisfy their owners. Perfectionist by nature, they can be so much fun to be with.

Typically, they expect so much care and attention in return for their loyalty. So if you’re the type who won’t spend a lot of time bonding with them, you’d most probably hurt them by your non-committal attitude.

But don’t expect a Border Collie to lie around all day doing nothing. If you aren’t forthcoming as a companion, they’d usually create their own entertainment – something you’d most times disapprove of.

Golden Retriever

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Golden Retrievers were originally bred by their owners as gun dogs in that they were used mostly to retrieve waterfowl at hunting or shooting parties – and that’s where they got the name, ‘retriever’ from.

They are by nature calm and patient; and also very friendly, kind and confident. If you’re looking for a great family pet that’s patient with the kids, the golden retriever will not disappoint. While they may not be the best guard dogs due to their overly good-natured temperament, they are intelligent and are eager to please.

Golden Retrievers naturally love to swim and won’t pass up bond time with family through a game of fetch in the lake. They have a very keen sense of smell and impressive tracking ability, which explains why they are often used on search and rescue missions. It’s no wonder they are considered the 4th smartest dog breed and the 3rd most popular in America.

Basset Hounds

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Basset Hounds are peace loving dog breeds. They’re gentle, dedicated, and generally well-behaved dogs. They are ‘foodies’ who would do tricks for treats. As if made for entertainment, they have a deep and sweet musical bark. While housebreaking can be such a hurdle, with a patient and gentle approach, they do well over time.

Their names refer to their size and were bred to hunt. It’s interesting to note that they are the 2nd best sniffers in the Canine kingdom. They also have overly long ears that serve a great purpose – think of the popular phrase “Having your ears to the ground.”

Basset Hounds are among the most good-natured and pleasant of all dog breeds. While some are dignified, others can be quite clownish. This dog breed are sociable and play well with children, strangers, and other pets. But don’t expect them to obey the simple command, “Come” so easily.

Old English Sheepdog

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Old English Sheepdogs are nice and fun to be with. They are also devoted, protective and smart. If you’re looking for a great family companion you’d find that they’re extremely calm, loving and great around the kids.

They belong to the class of herding dogs and can be seen to herd their people by gently bumping them. But when it comes to temperament, while some Sheepdogs are sociable, others are introvertish; and while some are silly, others are downright serious.

However, all Old English Sheepdogs are loyal family dogs, loving, and lovable. They make great watchdogs too as they can quickly sound the alarm of an approaching visitor. For experienced dog owners who have active lifestyles, they’d enjoy having an Old English Sheepdog around.

American Pit Bull Terrier

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One quality that stands out as far as American Pit Bull Terriers are concerned is that they’re very protective. They’re also kind, fun to be with, loving and great companion for kids and adults alike.

Aside the fact that American Pit Bull Terriers are extremely loyal to their owners; they are also very brave, intelligent, and great guard dogs – ready to go to any length to protect their master and his property.

If you want your Pit Bull to do well as a balanced family companion, then socialization and proper training at their early stages are crucial.

Jack Russell Terrier

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Jack Russell Terriers are not afraid of danger. They are intelligent, clever and natural go-getters. There is nothing that goes on around them without them noticing. This athletic breed exudes so much confidence and is generally on top of things.

The Jack Russell is well-known to be fun-loving, cheerful and loyal to their master. However, they need a high level of physical exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. So if you’re not the type who likes to take your dog on regular exercise, you probably may not get the best out of this dog breed.

Beagle

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Beagles love to socialize. They’re quick to get your attention with a wagging tail as if to say, “Let’s go have fun, master.”  The classic Beagle has so many adorable characteristics: They’re caring, fun to be with, gentle, happy-go-lucky, and quick to warm up to everyone.

They’re also gregarious, smart and exceptionally loyal to their families. One thing though – Beagles have a mind of their own, making them self-willed and stubborn at times. They’re go-getters, keen about what goes on in their environment and require a mix of patient, firm handling.

Welsh Corgi

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Welsh Corgis are simply adorable and a beauty to behold. They’re also very intelligent, dependable and eager to please their master. They belong to the class of herding animals and are therefore extremely active and great with the kids.

Welsh Corgis are naturally protective and rugged, making them a perfect watchdog as well as outstanding show and obedience dogs. There must be something very unique about Corgis, considering Queen Elizabeth has owned well over 30 of them in her lifetime.

Labrador Retriever

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Everyone seems to love a Labrador Retriever (what’s not to love anyway?) Around the house, Labradors are usually in high spirits and very accommodating, and are often seen having fun with either the children or other dogs.

In between all that playfulness though, Labs are very smart and quite focused. In fact you’d be amazed at how single-minded they can get once you’re able to engage or motivate them. The Labrador Retriever is very sociable and love to participate in family occasions or get involved in social events in a very natural and pleasant way.

Irish Wolfhound

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Forget how scary their names sound – Irish Wolfhounds are very loving and lovable. In fact, they’re everyone’s buddy. Irish Wolfhounds are cool-tempered, patient and very bright. You can leave your kids with them knowing they’d be in safe hands, thanks to their easy-going nature.

This is one dog breed that doesn’t joke with loyalty. Thing is they are highly devoted to their owner and family and are quite eager to please. As far as they are concerned, everyone is a friend and they demonstrate that by greeting anyone they come in contact with.

If you’re looking for a homely dog and guard dog in one package, then this is one of those times when the saying, “You can’t eat your cake and have it” applies. In other words, don’t count on them to get hostile with your perceived enemies. Although their size can easily deceive and scare off intruders who take large size for meanness.

West Highland White Terrier

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West Highland White Terriers, also known simply as Westies, are a dog breed from Scotland once used to hunt down rodents. They are unique breeds who are quick to form a strong bond with their masters.

Incidentally, Westies are very independent-minded, are often self-assured, and overly confident. Hence they make great guard dogs, thanks to their no-nonsense disposition. But they are also known for being highly social – in fact they’re rated as the most friendly and happy-go-lucky of all the Scottish breeds of terriers.

Great Pyrenees

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The great Pyrenees is known as Shepherd’s helper. They’re proud, independent-minded and introvertish by nature. But at the same time, they are fearless and committed to their charges. The Great Pyrenees is specially bred to assist shepherds and so they are usually patient, affectionate and gentle.

Their imposing look and deep bark make them a natural, impressive guardian. They never seem to tire of reaching out and giving unconditional love. Great Pyrenees have this natural charm that makes almost everyone fall in love with them at first sight.

But what’s not to like? With a strong physique, beautiful rich coat, and the elegance and majesty they exude effortlessly, it’s not that hard to be enamored.

Great Dane

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Great Danes are unmistakable for their intimidating height. Standing as tall as 32 inches at the shoulder, Danes tower above most dogs, and are taller than many people once they stand on their hind legs. The very thought of this can run jitters down most people’s spine.

But behind all that hard-to-ignore appearance, they’re very good-natured. The Great Dane is a very loving dog breed that’s good around the kids, especially if they grew up together.

Akita

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The Akita is a very large and powerful dog breed with an intimidating appearance. Originating from the mountainous regions of northern Japan, they’re typically docile, independent, composed and often dignified.

In the past, the Akita’s main function was to guard royalty and the nobility in feudal Japan. Aside that, they also went after and hunted down wild boars, black bears and so on. Akitas are naturally fearless and very loyal guardians of their masters and family.

One distinctive quality of the Akita is that they never back down from challenges and do not scare easily. And yet they can be quite loving, respectful, and fun to be with – if properly guided, socialized and trained by their owners.

Overall, they’re one of the most loyal dog breed, have a high sensitivity level, can tolerate cold weather and are quite affectionate with family.

German Shepherd

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German Shepherds are specially bred to be working dogs, and are known to be an extremely loyal dog breed. They are easy to train judging from how eager they are to learn and adapt. German Shepherds are very purposeful animals and their curiosity makes them exceptional guard dogs.

They are very versatile as they are suitable for different kinds of work. They’re also very intelligent, docile, and can go to impressive lengths to protect family.

Irish Setters

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Irish Setters were originally bred to be bird dogs – tracking, pointing and retrieving birds in the field. Modern day – they have no place in the field. Maintaining a high energy level and stamina, Irish Setters are devoted family dogs ideal for families with a very active lifestyle.

They are sociable; get along well with children, people, and even other pets in the family. If an activity is ongoing around them, they want to be part of it with no exception. Although Irish Setters are usually well-behaved dogs, their high-energy lifestyle puts a scare on people as they tend to harmlessly leap and jump on everyone – including first time guests.

Irish Setters are good watchdogs, considering they’d fill you in on when someone is approaching – but don’t count on their being guard dogs, as they may play with a situation they are meant to be firm with.

Sanguine in nature, strangers and visitors may be welcomed into your house by an Irish Setter the same way they would warmly welcome an old buddy. And prepare to spend at least an hour a day catering to their high-level physical activity requirements.

In conclusion, and as you must have seen up close, different dog breeds exhibit varying characteristics that make them more or less loyal. And to add a little twist from George Orwell’s classic – the Animal Farm, “All dogs are loyal, but some are more loyal than others.”

No two dog breed have the same qualities – which means you should choose your dog based on your own unique preferences and needs.

If you have a young family with babies/kids around, you’d want to favor a dog breed that’s great with children. If on the other hand you’re looking for a dog to protect your home from intruders, then a no-nonsense dog (who may forget how to play well with the kids) may be a better fit for this specific need.

Or you could do a hybrid of ‘sociable-scary’ attempting to eat your cake and still have it. You’d like that right?