The British writer James Herriot wrote, "If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans." If you've ever felt the heartbeat of a pup cuddled against your chest, then you know Herriot's words to be true.
It's why so many of us share the bed with our dogs even though our quality of sleep can be impacted. There is no love like the love of a dog, and even if they snore in your face, fart all night, or keep you up it's undeniably worth it.
In fact, it's even proven by science: Dogs make us happy—whether they're large dog breeds or small dog breeds! Studies show that interacting with dogs causes the release of oxytocin in the human brain. Oxytocin is a good-vibes hormone known for promoting feelings of trust and relaxation and decreasing stress. It's even known as the "cuddle chemical" or "love hormone."
While most dogs will cause your oxytocin levels to increase, not every breed is known for cuddling on the couch. If you're looking for a loving pup and a 24/7 snuggle-buddy, choosing a dog breed known for its affectionate nature will have you feeling loved, hugged, and snuggled for many nights to come.
Here are 15 of the most affectionate dog breeds known for offering emotional support, endless snuggles, and affection.
15 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds
Boxers are cuddle experts. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed is one of the most popular choices amongst families because boxers love to be around people and a huge part of their personality is often categorized by seeking out human affection. They're known to be especially good with children, too.
2. English Bulldog
Don't let that mug fool you. The English bulldog has a reputation of sweetness and laziness—which comes in handy if you're looking for a four-legged pal to curl up with. They have gentle, good-natured dispositions but with a snout like that, don't be surprised if you catch them snoring... constantly! According to Hill's Pet, bulldogs tend to be "people-oriented" and actually "actively solicit human attention." So, if you're the one craving affection, we guarantee that if you have an English Bulldog, the feeling is mutual.
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3. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
It's not just their cute little bums that have humans heart-eyed over corgis. The AKC considers this herding group of dogs as affectionate, loyal, and smart, and while they enjoy (and are perfectly designed for) moving cattle, they do well with kids and other pets, too.
4. Golden Retriever
The #1 personality trait of a Golden Retriever that tops all others is its inherent desire to please. There's a reason Goldens are often seeing-eye dogs or other kinds of therapy and service dogs. They respond very well and obediently to training very early on and more than anything, want to satisfy their master. With an even temperament and a high tolerance for activity, Retrievers need a decent amount of attention and social interaction and make for gentle, family-friendly pets.
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The pomsky—a hybrid of Pomeranian and Siberian Husky parents—is a newer breed, but as it becomes more and more popular, people are finding out that it's quite a family-oriented breed. By inheriting the watch-dog esque nature (and the miniature size) of the Pom and the playful, loyal nature of the Husky, pomskies are big cuddlers who love to lick, kiss, and work hard in training, and feel affection as much as they give it to you.
6. Brussels Griffon
Have you ever noticed that the smallest of pups have the biggest personalities? The same is true for the Brussels Griffon, which the AKC calls "loyal, alert, sociable, and easily trained." Weighing in at about 10 pounds, the Brussels Griffon doesn't do so hot being left alone. They bond to their humans, need and give a lot of attention, but because of their miniature size, prefer to show their playful side to adults—not children.
7. Labrador Retriever
The AKC gives Labrador Retrievers a glowing review, calling them "America's favorite dog." Known as friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited, Labradors tend to feel really rewarded with one family, so they have a lot of love to give and a desire to receive it back, too.
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Like the Labrador, Labradoodles—a mix between Labrador Retriever and poodle parents—are exceptionally trainable and sociable. They are a friendly breed that meshes well with families and children. Known to be people-oriented, Labradoodles tend to give a lot of affection and simply want to be played with.
Newfoundlands are by no means small—a standard female can weigh anywhere from 100 to 120 pounds, the male even more so—but that just means there's more of them to love. After all, Newfoundlands are an extremely affectionate breed that's known for having a docile, trustworthy personality.
Now Chihuahuas may not have the best track record but that's likely because they tend to bond to one person and one person only. Not an ideal pick for families with kids or those who constantly come in contact with strangers, the chihuahua is not above getting sassy with those he doesn't like. However, as long as a chihuahua loves and trusts his owner, he will be your best friend for life. They tend to fare better with older owners, particularly those with calmer dispositions than high-energy ones.
11. Old English Sheepdog
An Old English Sheepdog has high social and attention needs, so if you want affection from this big lug, you'll have to give it in return, too. Hill Pet also adds that Sheepdogs tend to have a sense of humor, but it should be dealt with carefully. Some Sheepdog owners report that their pups tend to find fun in causing a bit of chaos. Even still, the Old English Sheepdog above all else wants to be loved and give love, too, so as long as you socialize and train this dog early, you should feel rewarded from owning a Sheepdog.
12. Bichon Frisé
The Bichon Frisé makes for a loveable companion who's outgoing, energetic, and cheerful. They love to play and prefer not to be left alone too long. Best for pet owners who have a lot of time to dedicate to their pup (those who maybe work from home, for example), Dog Time says the Bichon tends to be kid-friendly, family-friendly, and friendly around other dogs, too.
13. Irish Wolfhound
You certainly don't need a tiny dog in order to have an affectionate dog. Irish Wolfounds are one of the biggest (at least the tallest) dog breeds out there and yet, they are also some of the most affectionate. Irish Wolfhounds—which generally grow to be anywhere from 105 to 150 pounds and more than 30 inches tall—were originally bred to course wolves and elk, but nowadays, if not working, they're known for their big, big hearts, too. Described by Hill Pet as "noble, sensitive, easygoing" and a breed of "pacifists," Irish Wolfhounds do well with other dogs, pets, and kids, but the biggest thing to consider is their size. They'll show you affection, love you, and cuddle you, but it's important to ask yourself: Do you have the space to accommodate that?
Just one look at that brachycephalic (AKA squashed) face and you can tell that the main reason pugs were bred is to be lapdogs. And lapdogs, they are! With high-maintenance needs when it comes to social interaction and attention, pugs can be stubborn at times, but ultimately, they find great reward in pleasing their owners. As their body type might suggest, however, they can be very lazy and cuddly, but it's important for owners to keep an eye on their diet and weight as they can become overweight somewhat easily.
15. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Truth be told, you might have a hard time getting this guy out of bed. Staffordshire Bull Terriers love to cuddle and definitely appreciate the warmth of a good, comfy bed, but they also appreciate snuggling up to their humans, too. This breed requires socialization and training early on, but they make wonderful family pets.
Next up, these 300 quotes about pets will warm your heart.