19 Loyal Dog Breeds That Make True Best Friends

brown and black german shepherd
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We call dogs man’s best friend because they’re super loyal and love us no matter what. But are some types of dogs friendlier than others? Each dog is unique, even if it’s the same breed. Picking the right dog for your family can be very hard, but choosing one known for being loyal can make sure they love everyone in your family. If you want a dog that’ll make you feel very special, here are the most loyal dog breeds that make true best friends!

Labrador Retriever

black labrador retriever on green grass field during daytime
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Labradors are super famous dogs in the U.S. They’re friendly and love meeting new people. Experts say they’re easy to get along with and affectionate. Because they’re so loyal—they learn stuff quickly. That’s why you often see them working as service dogs, helping in search-and-rescue missions, and even doing therapy work. They’re just great at being there for people!

German Shepherd

black and tan german shepherd on green grass field during daytime
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German Shepherds are commonly spotted working alongside the police and military because they’re brilliant, brave, and loyal. They get very attached to their owners and are always ready to protect their families. They’re easy to train and love making their handlers happy—which is why they’re great for all sorts of jobs, like helping people with disabilities or serving in important roles.

Golden Retriever

golden retriever puppy on grey wooden fence during daytime
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Golden Retrievers are famous for being really friendly and easygoing. They’re perfect for families because they’re so tolerant and nice to be around. Plus, they’re smart and always want to make their owners happy, which means they’re easy to teach new tricks. They’re good at jobs where they help people—like in service roles or finding people in search-and-rescue missions. 


beagle leap on grass field
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The American Kennel Club says that Beagles are not only great at hunting and loyal pets, but they’re also really cheerful, funny, and—thanks to their adorable faces—totally cute! They’re always curious about everything around them, which makes them excellent pets for families and folks who love to be on the move. And even as they grow up, they still have that playful energy.


short-coated brown and black dog in close-up photo
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Boxers are full of energy and love to play around. They’re devoted to their family—especially kids, and they become best buds with them fast. You’ll often see them doing their special “Boxer bounce,” which shows how much they love having fun! They’re not only awesome as pets but also make great guard dogs, helpers for people with disabilities, and bring comfort as therapy dogs.


white, black, and brown dog
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Hachiko, an Akita, might just be the most loyal dog ever. Every day, he’d wait at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo for his owner to come home from work. This breed can be protective and might not get along with other pets. Because they’re quite independent and like doing their own thing, it’s super important to teach them how to be social early on and to train them with kindness and consistency.

Cocker Spaniel

black and brown long coated dog on green grass during daytime
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Cocker Spaniels were originally hunting dogs—showing their loyalty in the field. But they’re also superstars in sports like agility, tracking, and even learning fun tricks! With their floppy ears and gorgeous coats, they’re quite the lookers, though keeping them groomed takes some effort. Still, the American Kennel Club says they’re one of the most adored breeds in the world!


adult mouse gray Weimaraner on plant field
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Pointers were originally bred to help hunters find game birds by pointing at them. But don’t let their hunting background fool you! They’re sweet and affectionate—making them awesome pets to have around the house. They’re friendly with other dogs and usually do great with well-behaved kids. Just remember, these pups have loads of energy and need plenty of exercise and playtime!

Norfolk Terrier

Norbert’ the Norfolk terrier” by pete. #hwcp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Norfolk Terriers might be small, but they’re tough little guys who love chasing after vermin. Yet, when they’re home with you, they transform into loving lap dogs. They fit right in with families and enjoy hanging out with kids. Plus, let’s not forget how adorable and cuddly they can be! They’re known for their spirited nature and tendency to bark—adding a bit of spunk to your household.


black and brown Dachshund standing in box
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Dachshunds, with their unique shape, were initially bred to hunt animals like badgers and rabbits, even underground! So, they might not be the best buddies for jogging or swimming adventures. But they’re super loyal pets nonetheless. Dachshunds come in different sizes and coat types, but no matter which one you choose, keep them entertained by playing games that satisfy their natural hunting instincts, like fetching a tennis ball every day.

Yorkshire Terrier

adult tan Yorkshire terrier
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Even though they’re tiny, Yorkshire Terriers have huge personalities and are super protective of their families because they’re so loyal. They’re affectionate and tend to get really close to their owners—sticking with them wherever they go around the house. These little guys are pretty intelligent and easy to teach, and they’re great at sports for dogs.


black and tan rottweiler puppy
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Rottweilers are known for their loyalty and confidence, which is why they’re often chosen as guard dogs or for jobs in law enforcement. They’re really smart and learn quickly, especially if you start training them when they’re young. Despite their tough reputation, they’re also very affectionate with their family and like to stick close by—following their owners around the house.


brown poodle puppy on blue carpet
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Despite the misconception that Poodles are snobby or distant, they’re actually quite the opposite! These cuddly dogs are incredibly loving and thrive on spending time with their owners. They’re also smart and are excellent companions for any family. Plus, their hypoallergenic coat makes them an ideal choice for those with allergies who want a furry friend in their life.


white and brown short coated dog on green grass during daytime
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Even though Bulldogs seem tough on the outside, they’re really calm and friendly and make wonderful, loyal companions. However, because they have flat faces—known as brachycephalic breeds, it’s super important to know that they can have breathing problems and other health issues, which might mean they have a shorter life span.

Australian Shepherd

short-coated white and brown puppy lying indoors
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Australian Shepherds are champs in dog sports and agility because they’re super loyal, smart, and full of energy. These qualities also make them great at all sorts of jobs—from herding animals to providing comfort as therapy pups. They’re known as the “cowboy’s herding dog of choice” because they’re so good at what they do. Once they’ve bonded with someone, their loyalty knows no bounds.

Shetland Sheepdog

black white and brown long coated dog
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Shetland Sheepdogs are super smart, loyal, and easy to train—which helps them get really close to their family. They excel in obedience and agility training and love learning new tricks from their handler. Plus, they’re great at keeping an eye out as watchdogs and aren’t shy about barking to let their owners know if something seems off.


white brown and black rough collie
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No list of the most loyal dog breeds would be complete without mentioning the Collie. Remember Lassie? That famous TV and movie character was the epitome of loyalty, always rescuing her best friend—Timmy. It’s no wonder Collies are considered one of the best breeds for kids. The loyalty of Lassie, the beloved character, reflects the true nature of the Collie breed.

Siberian Husky

white and black siberian husky on green grass during daytime
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Siberian Huskies are super loyal to their families—just like they are to their pack. They’ve got loads of energy, so they’re perfect for families and folks who love staying active and enjoy regular exercise. Because they’re smart and like doing their own thing, they need regular training to be well-behaved and cooperative pets. And despite their big size, they’re really loving and friendly.

Doberman Pinscher

black and tan short coat medium dog lying on floor
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The Doberman Pinscher is famous for being a top-notch guard dog because it’s big, strong, loyal, and brave. The Doberman Pinscher Club of America even suggests cropping their ears and docking their tails to make them more effective at protecting. They’re also commonly seen working with the police and military—showcasing their skills and loyalty in important roles.