The 10 Most Loyal Dog Breeds

Posted by Christy Caplan
Labrador Retriever

How do you define loyalty? What loyalty traits do you look for in our dogs? We researched a long list of 'loyalty' characteristics and agree with Canine Weekly. 

Loyalty is best defined as:

  • Protective instincts - While dogs may not outright attack anybody who gets near you, they may bark to alert you to strangers or stand between you and others. They want to keep their family safe from danger.
  • Intelligence - It's no coincidence that the most loyal dogs are often the easiest to train. Intelligent breeds were bred to work closely with humans, and that closeness required loyalty.
  • Sensitivity - Since loyal dogs are eager to please, they don't need a heavy hand during training. They need little encouragement to do what their people want.

What are the most loyal dog breeds?

What dog breeds have all three of these? We found ten with powerful loyalty stories, so consider these breeds if loyalty is the most important trait for your family. My fave breed didn't make the list as our doxie doesn't always listen to me when he should!

10. Labrador Retriever 

Labrador dogWhilst Labradors have a lot of love to give, they are also loyal to their families. Your Lab might want to say hello to everyone and everything in the park, but he will always want to come back home with you at the end of the day.

9. Akita

Akita DogThe Akita is known for his loyalty and devotion. When well-socialized from a young age, this breed can be very loving and friendly with his family members. That said, he may never be extremely friendly with strangers, and aggression is reportedly not uncommon with other dogs.

8. Boxer

BoxerBoxers are intelligent, high-energy, playful dogs that like to stay busy. Their temperament reflects their breeding. They prefer to be in the company of their owners and are loyal pets that will fiercely guard their family and home against strangers.

7. Golden Retriever

Golden RetrieverGolden Retrievers make a perfect family companion. They are very obedient, playful, loyal, intelligent, well-mannered, great with kids and even to strangers (as long as they don't sense danger). Furthermore, they're also great watchdogs, but you can't expect much from them if you want a guard dog.

6. Beagle

BeagleThe temperament of a Beagle is notoriously friendly and gentle. Other Beagle traits are "happy-go-lucky" and loyal. They also are known for their soulful expressions. The breed was meant to work together in packs, and consequently, Beagles get along very well with other dogs and prefer companionship.

5. St. Bernard

These dogs are exceptionally loyal to their masters, and will even defend them if they are being threatened. The St. Bernard's loyalty for his family and his master will supersede his natural wiring as a docile animal. This is very unusual for such a temperament, and it is one of the most remarkable characteristics of the St. Bernard.

4. German Shepherd

German ShepherdGerman Shepherds are not born any more loyal than any other breed. Their temperament simply makes them the type of breed that is likely to become very loyal with proper guidance. This type of relationship will create a dog who is very emotionally stable, loyal and happy.

3. Rottweiler

RottweilerRottweilers have a reputation for being intimidating and aggressive because they are natural guard dogs and can be protective of their home and family. However, they thrive on attention and being with their people, and the more time they spend with their family the happier they'll be.

2. Collie

CollieBorder Collies are known for their unwavering devotion to their owners, They are affectionate, loving, and loyal creatures, sometimes to a fault. They are also bred to be working dogs and to look to their owners for directions.

1. Great Pyrenees 

Sheeps and Pyrenean Mountain Dog, known as the Great Pyrenees inA Great Pyrenees is fiercely loyal to his flock, both human and animal. He feels responsible for you and your family and your property. He is your friend and not your slave. This characteristic makes for a dog that is very protective of his territory and everything that is in it.

We did leave off the famous doxie, but based on my experience I wouldn't categorize ours as 'loyal' all the time!

Other breeds you may want to be added to the list based on the research includes Terriers, Brittany, Lassie, Shelties, Chihuahuas, Doberman Pinscher, Newfoundland, Mastiffs, Yorkies, and Dachshunds.

So many of these breeds are therapy dogs, search and rescue, and military dogs!

Don't forget one of the most loyal dogs ever written about, Hachiko!

Any dogs we're missing? Please leave a comment below!

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The 10 Most Loyal Dog Breeds