15 Most Loyal Dog Breeds

most loyal dog breeds

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Everyone likes to say that their family dog stands out above all others, and the Drummonds are no exception. Ree Drummond recently shared a cute Instagram video of her daily ranch walk with the dogs, which revealed a bit about one pup that’s her true ride-or-die: Lucy, the Labrador retriever, stays close to Ree as she walks in the light of a beautiful Oklahoma sunset. “The other dogs are several paces ahead, flopping around and running to and fro,” Ree said on Instagram. “But Lucy never ever leaves my side.”

To put an end to the age-old debate, we spoke to the American Kennel Club to find out the most loyal dog breeds. “Dog breeds that are more loyal usually go hand-in-hand with the best dogs for families,” says Brandi Hunter Munden, the AKC vice president of communications. “Some dogs are more protective of their owners, but dogs show their devotion in different ways.” That means they’re friendly with other people, but have a soft spot for their owners. Dogs with a history of working closely with humans—either as guard dogs or working ranch dogs—have a stronger bond with them, which is passed down from generation to generation. And don’t let size fool you: small dogs make loyal companions, too! So, when you’re on the hunt for a new furry friend like Lucy, consider these loyal dog breeds.

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Labrador Retriever

There’s a reason Lucy is so loyal! “A great choice for families with young kids or other dogs, Labs get along with everyone and love their owners endlessly,” Munden says. According to the AKC, they are the number one most popular breed and are as high in happy energy as they are loyal.

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Despite their sometimes gruff appearance, bulldogs are a friendly and calm breed that makes for a great companion. I mean, who doesn’t love that squishy face? They make a popular lap dog, despite their 50-pound size!

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Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are probably at the top of your list when you think of friendly and devoted family dogs. Throughout history, these dogs have been known to be outgoing, powerful hunting companions with endless energy and loyalty.

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German Shepherds

You may recognize Rin Tin Tin from TV shows, but the original German shepherds were bred to be the perfect work dog for their human companions. These intelligent, well-trained, and confident pups are huge family dogs (great with kids!), and their loyalty definitely lies with their humans over other dogs.

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If you think this cutie looks like some of the Drummond dogs, you’re spot on—the beagle and Ree’s beloved basset hounds both descend from the St. Hubert hound. Used as hunting dogs throughout history, beagles are incredibly loyal, funny, and expressive little dogs!

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According to the AKC, pugs “live to love and be loved in return,” making their sparkling eyes and expressive faces irresistible for pet lovers. Pugs are tiny, fantastic family dogs and very adaptable too, happy to live just about anywhere as long as it’s with their person.

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Irish Setter

Another dog bred to help humans hunt, Irish Setters are very lovey-dovey with their humans. Their outgoing and sweet nature makes them friendly, happy to play fetch with young children, and eager to please adults. Plus, they’re particularly famous for their soft, reddish coats.

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Brussels Griffon

This guy might look like a little monkey, but it’s actually a tiny toy-group dog! Brussels Griffons are intelligent and alert but wary of strangers, so they’ll stick by you because they trust you so much. Just note that they aren’t the best with very young children or other dogs.

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Beneath the Newfoundland’s bear-like features and fluffy coat is an extremely patient and devoted pup. Friendly is an understatement—they love to cuddle with families and are super gentle. Just don’t underestimate their size: They were originally bred to help fishermen pull up nets and haul wood.

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French Bulldog

Families really love their Frenchies! These are charming dogs and surprisingly also make excellent watchdogs. While they love making new human friends, their loyalty will always lie with their owners first.

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The first word that the American Kennel Club uses to describe collies is “devoted.” Remember the classic novel Lassie Come-Home? In the story, Lassie the collie treks several miles to reunite with the boy she loves, making this breed’s famous for being playful, protective, and affectionate with the kids in the family.

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Australian Shepherd

We may have found the Drummond’s next dog! These beautiful pups have been called the “cowboy’s herding dog of choice.” They are trainable, tireless, and remarkably intelligent, and when they’ve bonded with someone, their loyalty is unwavering.

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Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Retrievers are often among the more loyal dogs, and Chesapeake Bay retrievers are no exception. Go hunting with these dogs or partake in a similar bonding activity, and they will feel very close to you and make great outdoor companions. Fittingly for their namesake, they love the water.

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Great Pyrenees

Majestic and vigilant guardians of families, Great Pyrenees dogs are often over 100 pounds! They are generally described as mellow but very protective despite their calm nature. They’re dedicated to their humans and their safety and may do better with older children and adults.

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Saint Bernard

Talk about a gentle giant! Saint Bernards are actually known for being nanny dogs because they’re watchful and patient with children. They are pretty open to strangers and other dogs but are mainly committed to their humans.

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