There’s an undeniable bond between humans and dogs. There’s no other animal that we treat with such esteem as the most loyal dog breeds in the world because these faithful pets truly are man’s best friend!
Whether they’re cuddling up on the sofa with you, waiting patiently for your return from work, or tenaciously guarding your family against intruders - dogs are unquestionably loyal towards their human owners.
In this article, we list the most loyal dog breeds in the world. These are the dogs that will never, ever, let you down!
Loyal dog breeds: why do dogs show so much loyalty?
Before we list the best loyal dog breeds, let’s take a moment to ask why dogs are so loyal? Admittedly, not all dogs show the same level of affection to humans. Some are apathetic, some are just in it for the food, but their love is unconditional for the vast majority of dogs.
It’s this unconditional love that sets dogs apart from other animals and apart from humans, too. Dogs will love you until the day they die, and all they want in return is your affection (okay, and maybe a few treats!).
Dogs have been hardwired and conditioned over centuries through living in such close quarters with human beings. Humans have selectively bred dogs over the centuries, too, choosing those that show the most love and loyalty over those that don’t.
Loyalty, then, is in the genes. It’s built into a dog’s character, and it needs to be nurtured and embraced by owners.
The most loyal dog breeds
Of course, while all dogs have loyalty, some show their loyalty more than others - these are the most loyal dog breeds in the world, and it’s these dogs that have made it onto our list below!
If you’re preparing for a puppy, then any of the loyal dogs below will be faithful, lifelong companions!
#1 Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are one of the most affectionate dog breeds on the planet. These large loyal dogs are affectionate, full of love, and utterly caring towards family and friends. They’ll step in instantly to save you and your kids from harm, and they make for excellent family dogs.
A Golden Retriever is full of energy, but they respond well to training and commands, and they’ll be a lifelong companion when treated with respect. A Golden Retriever loves to run, so you’ll need a large enough garden and plenty of time to spend playing fetch with them!
Akitas are one of the most famous of the large loyal dog breeds. These proud pups originated in Japan, where they have fearlessly protected their masters for centuries!
The most famous Akita is Hachiko (Hacihko’s life has been turned into many feature films). Hachiko waited patiently outside the train station for their master to return. Nine years later, and Hachiko was still waiting patiently, day after day. Sadly, their master had been killed and would never return again.
If it’s loyalty you’re looking for, an Akita will literally stand by you until the end.
#3 Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most loyal small dog breeds you could invite into your home. As they are affectionately known, Yorkies stand just 7 inches tall on average, but this won’t stop them from tenaciously barking away any larger would-be attackers!
Yorkies are famously adorable, and when properly groomed and styled, this could even be the cutest dog in the world. But while they are certainly loyal, they can be a real handful to train. They are marvelously intelligent but also rather stubborn, and they’ll seriously appreciate a bed ramp for dogs to get around the home!
The Chihuahua is the sort of dog that you either love or you hate, and when it comes to loyalty, it’s one extreme or the other too. Chihuahuas are fiercely independent, notoriously stubborn, yet surprisingly smart.
These little pups aren’t necessarily the friendliest dog breeds, but once you get to know them, and treat them with respect and give them the attention they crave, and Chihuahuas are loyal to a fault. Disrespect a Chihuahua, though, and this dog instantly becomes one of the least loyal dog breeds in the world!
#5 German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is easily one of the most loyal and protective dog breeds in the world. These large working dogs are famously intelligent, and their loyalty to their handlers ensures that the military or police often employ them.
German Shepherds are loyal guard dogs, search and rescue dogs, and even bomb disposal dogs. These pups will literally give their lives for their owners, but they need a lot of respect, discipline, and training to reach their full potential.
#6 Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is a classic, large family dog full of boundless energy, affection, and loyalty. These dogs can spend all day chasing down sticks in the park, and they’ll happily spend all evening trying to cuddle up on the sofa.
Labrador Retrievers are a handful, that’s for sure, but their energy is perfect for a young family with curious kids that want to play all day too. In a tight pinch, a Labrador Retriever will stick up for their friends and family, too - with no hesitation!
#7 Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees was bred to be a protector, and consequently, these giant dogs are some of the most loyal known to humanity. Hailing from the Pyrenees’ high mountains, these dogs were originally bred to herd sheep and cattle to protect them from bandits, wolves, and any other predator that might try to harm their master’s animals.
Today, the Great Pyrenees is a favored family dog. They are enormous (standing over 30 inches tall!), but they are as fluffy as they are loyal and just want to be shown love and affection in exchange for their service!
You need a lot of space for this big lovable pet, but provide them with the love they crave, and you’ll have a behemoth of a dog ready to defend you and your family whenever necessary.
Collies were originally bred to be working dogs in the wilderness of the Scottish isles and highlands. Their thick, beautiful coats are not only fluffy and cuddly but practical, too. Their intelligence and ability to follow commands make them great for life on the farm, but it’s their loyalty that’s prized above all else.
One of the most famous fictional dogs in the world was a Collie. Every dog lover has heard of Lassie, the Collie who just doesn’t give up. Lassie’s story was inspired by a true-life story, too, of a loyal Collie who saved sailors from drowning.
#9 St Bernard
Another famous fictional dog is Beethoven, a loyal dog that made it into at least five feature films. Beethoven was known for protecting the family in his care, and his loving character is based on the St Bernard breeds’ real-life personalities.
These large, cuddly, friendly dogs are absolutely enormous, but all they really want is a loving family to care for. St Bernards are big and cuddly but protective and loyal when they are called upon.
If you’re looking for a bear-like dog with unquestionable loyalty, a St Bernard is for you!
Loyal dog breeds: the final say
All dogs are loyal, but some dogs just go that extra mile when it comes to loyalty. If this is the type of character you’re looking for in a four-legged pup, then any of the faithful pups in the list above will prove to be lifelong companions!
Remember, though, that while dogs have love and loyalty to give, you often need to earn their respect and loyalty. Treat your dog well from the start, and they’ll be loyal to the end.
If you’re planning to raise a pup, then why not bookmark our guide to loyal dog breeds for future inspiration?