From big dogs to small dogs, the most affectionate dog breeds run the gamut from popular dogs to more lesser-known breeds. While all dogs make great companion animals, there’s something about those that love to cuddle that makes them irresistible.
Every dog has their individual personality and temperament, so while it’s impossible to say that every pooch that falls within a certain breed will be highly affectionate, if you’re keen on a smoocher, selecting your furkid based on breed is a good place to start.
Many of the most popular small dog breeds are known for being cute and cuddly, but you might be surprised to learn that many of the canines we selected for our guide on the most obedient large dog breeds are serious softies at heart.
Some dogs are naturally more independent and need a little less snuggle time, while others are prone to sticking to their humans like velcro. Whatever the case, dogs crave connection just as much as we do and they need plenty of love and affection in order to thrive.
But with so many dog breeds to choose from, how can you tell which ones are more free-spirited and which ones are more likely to become like your second shadow? We’ve done some digging to find out which are the most affectionate dog breeds and the good news is that many of them make the best dog breeds for first time owners.Best dry dog food: Which brand of dry food is king of the kibble?Best dog shampoo: Keep your best friend clean, healthy and smelling greatPetsRadar’s most affectionate dog breeds1. Pug
Pugs love their owners and can be very needy. They’ll often follow you around and want to sprawl out on the bed or in your lap. They love the attention and like to spend lots of time with their owners. They enjoy belly rubs, kisses, and cuddles and are the perfect snuggle buddy whenever you need a pick me up!2. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are by far one of the most affectionate dog breeds out there, which makes them excellent family dogs. They’re great with children, they’re gentle, loving and kind and will never say no to a belly rub. They love to lay down and cuddle with you, and they’ll give you just as much affection as you give them. They’re loyal dogs that are loving and trustful.3. Brussels Griffon
With funny faces and bags of personality, the pint-sized Brussels Griffon manages to pack a whole lot of love and devotion into their tiny frames. Smart and sensitive, alert and curious, the loyal and sociable Brussels Griffon has eyes that will make you melt.
Playful and rambunctious, this is a spirited breed who can’t get enough of those close to him. While they appear to be brimming with self-confidence, their bravado masks a tender heart that is unable to tolerate solitude or loneliness.
Their stubborn and mischievous natures can make them a handful at times and they can become terribly anxious when they don’t know where their humans are, but if you have the patience for training and you can tolerate having a second shadow, this breed will reward you with bucket loads of love.4. Newfoundland
These big chunks love to laze around with you. The Newfoundland is calm and friendly, and while they need a lot of exercise, they also enjoy snuggling up with you at the end of a long day. Their fur makes them just like a giant teddy bear so they're perfect for cuddling, and they’re incredibly sensitive around children too.5. American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terriers are cuddly little meatballs! They may look muscular and strong, but they're naturally affectionate and sociable, and can be loyal companions in any home. In fact, the Little Rascals dog, Pete the Pup, is an AmStaff, and he was clearly great with kids. These stocky little pups are fantastic cuddlers, and with a short cut you won't be pulling a ton of fur out of your mouth!6. Bichon Frise
This smaller breed of dog is too cute not to cuddle, and lucky for you, they love the attention. Their fluffy coat makes them the perfect little lap dog, and they will happily curl up in a ball on your lap or on the sofa next to you. They feel safe with their owners and enjoy the company, so you’ll often find them making themselves at home at the end of your bed.7. Bulldog
Bulldogs are exceptionally cuddly and can often be big sleepyheads. They love attention and only get more relaxed as they get older, so if you bond with them when they're young expect a constant cuddle companion. They can be incredibly gentle and affectionate, and their short stature makes them especially cuddly.8. Great Dane
Don't be fooled by their size, Great Danes are exceptional cuddlers. They aren't incredibly high-energy dogs, so expect to find a Great Dane taking up the entire couch during a nap. If you're looking for a dog that can double as a body pillow, the Great Dane is a great option for you.9. Alaskan Klee Kai
The gorgeous Alaskan Klee Kai may be small but their large personalities and huge hearts make them the most loyal and affectionate of companions. Bonding deeply with their humans, this breed attaches quickly and will remain by your side for life.
Aside from their loving natures, this breed is also highly intelligent, picking up commands quickly and excelling in obedience and agility classes. They’re also a highly verbal breed who enjoys conversing with their humans.
The Alaskan Klee Kai makes the most wonderful companion animal, but they don’t do well with being left alone. Although there are steps you can take to reduce separation anxiety in dogs, this breed doesn’t enjoy being alone so they’re best adopted by people who can keep their new furkid with them 24/7.10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
As cuddly as they look, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a calm dog that is very patient and makes a lovely companion. They’re highly adaptable and are great dogs to be around for people of all ages, and their sociable side makes them one of the most affectionate dog breeds you can get. They enjoy snuggling up in the warm and will show their owners a lot of love.11. Boxer
Another frequently misunderstood dog breed, Boxers are big bundles of joy who love nothing more than to show their owners some love. They’re loyal and like to stay by their owner's side, so you may notice your boxer following you wherever you go. They need a lot of reassurance in the form of cuddles and positive reinforcement but Boxers are friends for life.12. Great Dane
Another gentle giant, the Great Dane adores humans. While they may seem intimidating to some, a Great Dane enjoys nothing more than a kiss and a cuddle to show them you care. They’re a great companion for chilling in bed or on the sofa watching Netflix, and they’ll watch over you while you sleep, keeping you safe and sound.13. Labradoodle
Warm, loving, and loyal, Labradoodles make great family dogs. Happy and easy to train, their delightful natures and love of humans often see them being used in pet therapy settings and they do well around both adults and children.
High-energy, this is a bundle of joy that needs plenty of exercise, but they'll happily reward you for all that running around with endless affection. They're people-pleasers at heart and love nothing more than a good snuggle at the end of the day when they're all tuckered out from play.Sarah Butcher
Sarah is a freelance writer and marketer, covering a variety of topics from lifestyle and fitness to sustainability and travel. When she’s not writing, she can be found relaxing with a cuppa and a cute doggo snoozing on her lap!
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