23 Loyal Dog Breeds That Will Always Stay By Your Side

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There’s something truly magical about the bond between a dog and their owner. The unspoken understanding, the unwavering loyalty, and the endless supply of tail wags can light up even the darkest days.

Look no further if you’re searching for a four-legged companion who will always stay by your side. 

German Shepherd

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German Shepherds are renowned for their steadfast loyalty. They’re always eager to please and go above and beyond to stay by their owner’s side. Their ability to ‘read’ human emotions and react appropriately ranks them as the third most intelligent dog.

This breed is often employed in police work, military roles, and search and rescue missions, thanks to its sharp instincts and unwavering commitment. Its protective instincts make it an excellent family guardian, capable of sensing and reacting to potential threats.

Labrador Retriever

Photo by Yan Krukau

Labs are not just a popular breed—they have been ranked the number one dog in America by the American Kennel Club (AKC) for over 30 years straight! Labs are known for their “Velcro dog” tendencies, meaning they love to stick close to their owners, often following them from room to room.

Labs are also brilliant and trainable, making them perfect for roles requiring high reliability and trust, such as service dogs, guide dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs. They have a natural affinity for humans, rooted in their history as fishing and hunting companions.

Golden Retriever

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Known for their friendly and tolerant attitudes, Golden Retrievers have long been celebrated for their unwavering dedication to their owners. Their keen ability to sense human emotions and respond affectionately means they often provide therapeutic support in hospitals and care facilities.

Their eagerness to please and high intelligence make training sessions a breeze, fostering trust and mutual respect. Though not as aggressive as some guardian breeds, Golden Retrievers are known to be watchful and alert their owners to potential threats.


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Beagles are incredibly adaptable, making them perfect for families, singles, and seniors. Their affectionate demeanor means they’re always ready to cuddle up with their owners, providing comfort and company.

 Initially bred for hunting, Beagles possess an extraordinary sense of smell and determination that ensures their owners’ happiness and safety.


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Known for their playful nature and unwavering devotion, Boxers are often described as “Peter Pan” dogs. They never truly grow out of their puppy-like enthusiasm. Their high energy levels mean they love engaging in everything from brisk walks to spirited games of fetch. 

Not only does this make for great exercise, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. Boxers have been used as guard dogs due to their strong protective instincts. 


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Often affectionately called “sausage dogs” or “wiener dogs,” Dachshunds have a history as fierce hunters. They were initially bred in Germany to hunt badgers. Their courageous and determined nature makes them one of the most loyal breeds ever.

Their small size makes them perfect for snuggling on the couch, but don’t think for a minute that they’re couch potatoes! In “The Dachshund Handbook” by D. Caroline Coile, it’s mentioned that their keen sense of smell and awareness make them excellent watchdogs.

Siberian Husky

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Known for their endurance, strength, and friendly demeanor, these dogs have roots in the Chukchi people of Siberia, who bred them to pull sleds over long distances in harsh conditions. 

Due to their pack-oriented nature, Siberian Huskies will always stay by your side. When separated from their owners, these dogs show distress.

Great Dane

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Great Danes, affectionately known as “gentle giants,” may intimidate with their towering stature, but make no mistake—they are some of the most loyal companions you can find. 

Originally bred as hunters and guardians, these magnificent dogs are particularly adept at reading human emotions, strengthening their ability to provide comfort and companionship. They are known to be gentle with children and small pets while displaying formidable guarding instincts.


Photo by Keira Burton

These pint-sized powerhouses are known for their fierce devotion to their owners, often attaching themselves to one or two special humans. They are also incredibly alert and quick to tell you if something’s amiss, making them excellent tiny watchdogs.

Their small size means they’re easy to carry around, and many Chihuahua owners find their little friends enjoy being toted along on errands, adventures, and even vacations.


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Originating from Germany, these powerful and confident dogs were initially bred to herd livestock and pulled carts laden with butchered meat to market — a role that demanded incredible trust and endurance. 

The breed’s loyalty manifests in its vigilant nature. Rottweilers are always keeping an eye out to protect their loved ones. The American Kennel Club notes They are “confident guardians of home and family.”

Border Collie

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Known for their herding prowess, these dogs naturally tend to stay close to their ‘flock,’ which, in a modern household, often translates to their human family members. 

Their acute intelligence means they quickly learn and respond to commands, creating an unbreakable bond with their trainers. This intelligence also goes hand-in-hand with their strong desire to please their owners—a key component of their loyalty.

Shih Tzu

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Originating from ancient China and beloved by Chinese royalty, these little fluff balls were explicitly bred for companionship—and boy, do they excel at it! It’s not uncommon for Shih Tzus to follow their owners from room to room, ensuring they are always within arm’s reach.

Shih Tzu is among the most popular toy breeds in the United States, ranking 20th in AKC’s popularity charts. Their gentle nature and love for human interaction make these dogs ideal for apartment living, where their primary role as lovable lap dogs shines.


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The Akita was initially bred to guard nobility and hunt wild boar in the mountainous regions of Japan. This noble lineage plays a huge part in their steadfastness and fierce loyalty.

Hachiko, an Akita from Japan, became a national symbol of loyalty after waiting for his deceased owner at a train station every day for nearly 10 years until his passing. This moving tale, which has inspired books, movies, and even a statue in Tokyo, encapsulates the essence of the Akita’s devotion.


Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Meet the Pug, a small yet robust breed that captures hearts with expressive eyes and charming snorts. Don’t let their cute, squished faces fool you; Pugs have protective instincts. 

Although delivered via adorable barks rather than ferocious growls, this protective nature is a testament to their devotion. Pugs can smell changes in human body chemistry, making them particularly attuned to emotional shifts. This makes Pugs perfect for providing comfort during stressful times. 

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier, affectionately known as the “American Gentleman” due to its tuxedo-like coat, is a delightful and loyal breed. Known for its friendly disposition and boundless energy, this small but sturdy dog is a fantastic companion for individuals and families alike (perfect for city and country living). 

Weighing between 12 to 25 pounds, the Boston Terrier is packed with personality and a heart full of love for its human friends. Their eagerness to please means they always look for ways to make you happy.


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Maltese dogs were favored by royalty and aristocracy, often seen snuggling on the laps of European nobility. Their consistent role as lapdogs underscores their innate need to be close to their owners. Maltese exhibit significant emotional sensitivity and can respond empathetically to their owner’s emotions. 

Your Maltese will offer comfort and joy when you need it most. When left alone, Maltese often experience separation anxiety. Their need for closeness translates into a loyal shadow that seldom leaves your side.

American Staffordshire Terrier

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The AmStaff is the epitome of loyalty in the canine world. Known for their sturdy build and powerful presence, these dogs are big-hearted companions who thrive on human interaction. 

They are known to form powerful bonds with their owners, partly thanks to their heritage as working dogs. These dogs were historically bred for farm work and guarding duties – roles that required a deep connection with their human counterparts.

Cocker Spaniel

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The Cocker Spaniel, known for its silky fur and soulful eyes, stands out as one of the most loyal canine companions you could ever have. Their eagerness to please makes them incredibly responsive to training and affectionate interactions.

Often referred to as “Velcro dogs,” Cocker Spaniels tend to stick close by your side, whether you’re lounging at home or out for a walk. This behavior is a testament to their deep-rooted need for companionship.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Photo by Timur Weber

The Bernese Mountain Dog’s striking tricolor coat and gentle demeanor are prime examples of canine loyalty. Originating from the Swiss Alps, these majestic dogs were initially bred as working dogs, specifically for herding cattle, pulling carts, and acting as watchdogs. 

Their gentle and patient demeanor makes them especially great with children. They are often seen as “nanny dogs” due to their protective instincts and nurturing personality.


Photo by Jep Gambardella

it’s hard not to picture those adorable spots and a fiery spirit that seems to leap off the screen, ala those classic firefighter tales! Used as carriage dogs in the 1800s, they were trusted to guard horses and coaches. 

Their loyalty in high-pressure situations undoubtedly spills into their everyday interactions with their families. With an energy level through the roof, Dalmatians thrive in active households where they can participate in family activities. Their intelligence enables them to read human emotions and react accordingly. 

Saint Bernard

Photo by Timur Weber

Saint Bernards are synonymous with loyalty. They are often pictured as gentle giants with a barrel of brandy around their necks, ready to rescue the lost and stranded. Monks in the Swiss Alps originally bred Saint Bernards to rescue travelers from snow drifts and avalanches. 

This ingrained sense of duty and affection translates seamlessly into their role as household pets. Their calm demeanor and empathetic nature mean they are often used as therapy dogs to provide emotional support.

Shetland Sheepdog

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This little bundle of joy is renowned for its devotion and unyielding loyalty. Originating from the rugged Shetland Islands, Shelties were initially bred to herd sheep and guard them from predators. 

Their herding heritage has ingrained in them a constant need to be close to their “flock,” which, in this case, is you! Their high intellect means they quickly follow household routines and commands, fostering a stronger bond with their owners. 


Photo by Timur Weber

Often nicknamed the “Velcro Dog,” the Vizsla is renowned for its deep attachment to its owners. This medium-sized dog, originating from Hungary, is gorgeous with its sleek golden-rust coat and incredibly affectionate and loyal. 

Vizslas need lots of exercise, so they will likely join you on every hike, run, or adventure, ensuring they are always by your side.

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