15 Affectionate Dog Breeds

15 Affectionate Dog Breeds

Most dog lovers will argue that almost every dog can be entered into the award category for the most affectionate dog breed. However, if you’re interested in finding out about what breeds we chose to feature in our top 15 and what makes them excellent companions, read on to learn more.

Common Traits Of Affectionate Dogs

There are a lot of obvious signs that can tell owners that their dogs love them but there are some that aren’t so apparent.

First of all, when you get home after a long day at work your dog may greet you with excitable body language such as tail wagging, darting around, or even vocalizing their greeting to you with a few woofs. However, when it’s a quiet day at home your dog may show affection in more subtle ways. For example, they may make frequent eye contact with you, follow you around like a baby duckling, lean against or closely sit next to you, and even gently lick you on occasion.

Small Affectionate Dog Breeds

Bichon Frise

Bichon frize dog close up portrait.

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
14 - 15 years9 - 12 inches12 - 18 pounds

There are several reasons why the Bichon Frise comes up in any post related to affectionate dogs. They can be described as adorable, little fluff-balls packed with love and other adoring traits. Due to their high energy levels and intelligence, Bichon Frise dogs make great family members and can be trained relatively easily.

Not only do they dote on their owners but they are also very accepting and playful with children and other pets. The only drawback is that they can perhaps be a little too friendly as they can also be extremely accepting of strangers.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cute cavalier king charles spaniel joyfully running along the path against the backdrop of a summer sunset forest

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
12 - 15 years12 - 13 inches13 - 18 pounds

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is another dog breed that has stolen the hearts of many over the years. This spaniel is considered to be one of the most loving dogs and is perfectly suited to most homes, especially ones with kids and other dogs.

These dogs are known to have moderate energy levels and are highly intelligent which can make training a lot easier. You may need to invest in some interactive doggie toys on occasion to help keep them mentally stimulated but overall many have stated that the Cavalier King Charles is a joy to have in your home.


Two chihuahua dogs standing together on a rock in a forest

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
14 - 16 years5 - 8 inchesup to 6 pounds

Admittedly the Chihuahua may not be as kind towards other pets and kids the way the previous two breeds have been described but there is a reason we’ve chosen to include them in our list. These tiny, sassy pups will form strong bonds with their favorite humans and will remain loyal to them for as long as they live.

Overall, these tiny pups are considered a challenge for pet lovers, but the payoff will be significant. It may take some time and patience to get them fully trained but once you have bonded with this breed, you’ll be left with a devoted and affectionate companion.

Italian Greyhound

Italian greyhound

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
14 - 15 years13 - 15 inches7 - 14 pounds

These affectionate pooches are tiny and slender in appearance but come with big hearts. These miniature Greyhounds love nothing more than to frolic and play with their families but enjoy snuggling up to them in the evenings just as much.

Italian Greyhounds are incredibly affectionate dogs that will always want to accompany you no matter where you go. However, as their bonds with their humans can be strong, this means that they can be prone to separation anxiety. So if you’re leaning towards getting yourself one of these pups, take into account that you may have to find ways of keeping them busy when you’re not around.

Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus dog

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
10 - 18 years9 - 11 inches9 - 16 pounds

Shih Tzus have a wealthy history behind them dating back to ancient China. For hundreds of years, these well-loved pooches have been the lapdogs of emperors and now: modern families. There are a number of reasons the Shih Tzu has been adored for centuries but the most popular feature is their incredibly loveable personality.

Not only are they great family dogs but they are also the perfect companion if you live in a smaller household. They can get on well with other dogs, pets, and they especially love playing with children. Having said that, they may be a little wary of strangers but that doesn’t mean they won’t warm up to them with a little encouragement from their parents.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

the Corgi dog sitting on the grass

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
12 - 13 years10 - 12 inchesUp to 30 pounds (dependant on gender)

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are an ideal fit for a lot of homes. They are typically easier to train than some dog breeds due to their high intelligence and working-canine history. These adorably, small dogs are said to have moderate to high energy levels which can make them an excellent companion for kids as well as outdoor excursion partners.

It has to be said that these Corgis can take a lot of work when tending to their grooming needs and keeping them physically and mentally occupied. However, the rewards are noteworthy as these charming pups will give you nothing but love and affection in return.

Medium Affectionate Dog Breeds



Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
10 - 12 years21 - 15 inches (depending on gender)50 - 80 pounds (depending on gender)

Boxers have a look that makes them appear as if they are permanently concerned or anxious about something. Don’t let this fool you, the Boxer is one of the most affectionate dogs around especially when it comes to their family. Not only will they treasure moments spent following you from room to room but they will jump at any opportunity to play and spend time outdoors with their humans.

To top it off, Boxers are intelligent and brave. They are also very active dogs, having a strong and muscular build. This may mean that they will need a good amount of mental stimulation throughout their life as well as sufficient training. They may not be generally regarded as destructive but if they are not trained well they could develop bad habits.



Beautiful Collie dog is lying down on the bed.

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
12 -14 years22 - 26 inches (dependant on gender)50 - 75 pounds (dependant on gender)

Collies are renowned for being elegant and intelligent dogs that are also highly adaptable. Those who have owned Collies will agree that they are also incredibly loyal companions that adore exploring the great outdoors. Not to mention, this particular canine can be one of the most affectionate dog breeds and love nothing more than to be in your company and enjoy a head scratch and cuddle.

As previously mentioned, the Collie is clever so they can pick up on training easily. Not only this, but Collies can also be protective, meaning that they will keep a watchful eye on their families.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever in the field with yellow flowers.

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
10 - 12 years21 - 24 inches (dependant on gender)55 - 75 pounds (dependant on gender)

Here we have one of the most lovable dog breeds and perhaps one of the most popular. These beautiful, intelligent dogs are immensely loving. Golden Retrievers are also patient and calm dogs that get along with most living beings. As they are extremely fun-loving they make excellent play pals for kids and other canines but they are also very tame when it comes to those that are less active.

You can surely expect the Golden Retriever to enjoy accompanying you on walks and trips. You can also guarantee that they will be more than content with some cuddles on the couch when it’s time to settle down for the evening.

Labrador Retriever

Active, smile and happy labrador yellow dog shows withers in park on

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
10 - 12 years21 - 25 inches (dependant on gender)55 - 80 pounds (dependant on gender)

The Labrador Retriever is regarded as America’s most popular dog breed across many sources and we’re not going to argue. The Lab is without a doubt one of the most affectionate breeds and has a plethora of other traits that make them even more appealing. They have exceptionally loving natures and greet everybody with a good tail wag.

Labs get along with almost anyone but especially adore kids and other pooches. Compared to a lot of other breeds they are also very easy going but that doesn’t mean they won’t leap at the chance to partake in exciting activities with their humans.

Pit Bulls

Pit bull dog playing in an open field at sunset.

Height, Weight, And Life Expectancies
The weight, height, and life expectancy depend on the breed of Pitt you have. Fortunately, the differences don't tend to vary massively in range. Also, if you want to learn more about the individual Pit Bull breeds, we have broken them down into separate articles so you can find out everything you want to know in one convenient place.

What some people aren’t aware of is that ‘Pit Bull’ is a blanket term used for four different dog breeds. In addition to this, there are many that still believe that these beautiful, muscular dogs are volatile and unpredictable when this simply isn’t the case. In fact, these strong, courageous dogs are all considered loving dog breeds that would suit an array of different homes.

Each type of Pit Bull has something wonderful to bring to the table but they all have one thing in common: they are extraordinarily affectionate towards their family members. They are highly regarded to be the best cuddling dogs and more intelligent than you may think. Below is a handy link explaining all of the wonderful things about each breed of Pit Bull, if you’re interested in one of these gentle dogs, take the time to have a read.

To learn all about the types of Pit bulls and their personalities, take a look through our handy guide featured here.

Large Affectionate Dog Breeds

Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dog in evening sun

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
7 - 10 years (dependant on gender)23 - 28 inches (dependant on gender)70 - 115 pounds (dependant on gender)

The Bernese Mountain Dog is another well-loved and cherished breed that many homes have happily accepted as part of the family. They may be strong and powerful in stature but they will take any opportunity to join you on the couch and shower you in loving, sloppy-wet, puppy kisses.

These gentle giants are known to be extremely caring of their humans and will get along with everybody, including children and other animals. They are also exceptionally good-natured, patient, and generally one of the sweetest dog breeds around.

Great Danes

Great dane in beautiful landscapes

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
7 - 10 years28 - 32 inches (dependant on gender)10 - 175 pounds (dependant on gender)

Much like the Boxer, Great Danes carry the look of a dog that won’t tolerate a lot of things. They will certainly make home intruders rethink their life choices upon interaction (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). However, it has to be said that a Great Dane is another example of a gentle giant.

They are not only smart, faithful, and patient pooches but they are also one of the most cuddly dogs. At times, the Great Dane may not know his own weight and try his best to be a good lap dog because after all: they are enormous fans of affection and will take any opportunity to get snuggled up with their family.


Amazing newfoundland dogs in autumn

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
9 - 10 years26 - 28 inches (dependant on gender)100 - 150 pounds (dependant on gender)

The Newfie is another large breed that is famously friendly and affectionate towards its family members. To put things into perspective, the Newfie is also referred to as a ‘Nanny dog’ due to its sweet nature and affection for children. They may not be the most lively but they are incredibly loving and protective of their family making them great guard dogs.

Overall, unless you’re specifically looking for a small dog breed, the Newfie is a great addition to any home. They may need a little extra grooming and exercise to keep them happy and healthy but they are well worth the time and effort.

Old English Sheepdog

old english sheepdog bobtail

Life ExpectancyHeightWeight
10 - 12 yearsUp to 22 inches (dependant on gender)60 - 100 pounds

These large, fluffy dogs are great if you also enjoy spending time alone as they can also be very independent in nature. However, don’t let this put off. The Old English Sheepdog is an avid cuddler and loyal dog overall. They are incredibly adaptable and versatile which can also mean that they can be easygoing.

Although these dogs are social and are brilliant playmates for children, they can be very watchful towards strangers which isn’t unusual in the canine world. Considered to be high maintenance in terms of grooming, this breed is without a doubt one of the most affectionate and mustn’t be scratched off our list if you’re looking into a larger dog breed.

Other Affectionate Breeds To Consider

Above are some of the most popular breeds if you’re looking for a new furry friend. However, the canines below are also known to be great dogs to consider if you’re looking for a friendly dog:

  • Pug
  • Labradoodle
  • Brittany
  • Alaskan Klee Kai
  • German Shepherd
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Mastiffs

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