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The Top 15 Affectionate Dog Breeds

Human’s best friend.  Loyal, loving, affectionate dogs.  Who doesn’t love dogs? I don’t know about you,  but I sure do love dogs and am very happy to have one in my life.  They love you unconditionally and even know when you are sad or upset and try to comfort you with their snuggles, kisses, and affection.

Are you in the market for a dog and looking for the specific characteristic of affection? 

We will review the top 15 most affectionate dog breeds in this article. These dogs range from the Bichon Frise to the Golden Retriever, and more. With extensive research on these breeds, there are several breeds on this list that you probably did not think would make this list!

Take a look at our list and. You be the judge on which dog breed will be best for you and your family.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are very affectionate dogs.
Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is smart, work-oriented, and exuberant.   Australian Shepherds are extremely loyal to their families and very affectionate dog, which makes them a great breed for families with children, and excellent guard dogs.  They require a lot of exercise and playtime, so they would be perfect for the active outdoors family.

The life expectancy of an Australian Shepherd is 12-15 years.  They weigh between 40 and 60 Lbs and are generally healthy. For the coat to look its best, it is suggested to brush their double layer coat weekly.  Of course, during shedding season this will have to be done every two days to remove the dead hair. 

Basset Hound

A basset-hound taking a stroll
Basset hounds are a very affectionate dog breed.

“Oh, just one more thing”  Sound familiar? Well, it should if you were around in the ’70s and ’80s.  That, my friends, is a Columbo reference. Why do I make a Columbo reference? Let me tell you why.

1. I love the show to bits. Thanks to mom and dad for introducing it to me in the late ’80s and

2.  In season 2 of Columbo, we were introduced to his pet dog a Basset Hound and everyone loved this dog, even though he didn’t have a name.  My brother and I would take turns naming him haha!

Anyway, back to the reason why this dog is on the list. They are very affectionate and a perfect pet for a family.  They are not aggressive at all and are extremely friendly and most easy-going of all dog breeds.

The life expectancy of a Basset Hound is 12-13 years.  They weigh between 40-65 Lbs. They have really long ears and are prone to getting ear infections. 

Make sure to clean the ears at least once a week. This breed will require 2-3 brushings a week and they shed a lot.  By brushing them frequently you will be getting rid of any dead hair.

Bichon Frise

A Bichon Frise affectionately playing in a field.
Bichon Frise in a field having fun with apples.

The Bichon Frise is playful, curious and peppy.  And not to mention super-duper affectionate to its family and absolutely adorable!   This dog is great for families with small children being it is quite small itself.

The Bichon Frise loves its family so much that if it is left alone for a long period of time it will suffer from separation anxiety.  So it is best to take your furry friend with you when going on vacation or have another family member that it is familiar with to take care of it while you are away.

The life expectancy of a Bichon is 14-15 years.  They weigh between 12 and 18 Lbs and are generally healthy.  This dog does not shed a lot and is considered hypoallergenic, but they should be brushed every day to get rid of dead hair to avoid any matting.


Another affectionate dog, the Boxer.

Boxers are bright, fun-loving and active.  They have a protective nature that has earned them a reputation as an excellent dog with Children.  They are great watchdogs and are fearless.

The boxer is a very affectionate dog and friendly to almost anyone they meet. They are very active and will fit best with a family that is active and high energy.

The life expectancy of a Boxer is 10-12 years.  They weigh between 65-80 Lbs and are generally healthy.  The boxer does not do well in extreme heat or cold and should always be kept in the house. They have a shiny coat that does not require a lot of grooming.

Brushing him/her with a rubber curry-brush or hound glove once or twice a week is good.  Boxers are generally clean and should only be bathed occasionally. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Sweet and Affectionate Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is affectionate, gentle, and graceful. These sweet pups are very playful and make a great match for families with small children.  They are also very intelligent.

If you are looking for an affectionate dog that is in the small breed category, then the Cavalier is definitely worth looking into. 

The life expectancy of a Cavalier is 12 – 15 years.  They weigh between 13 and 18 Lbs. Weekly brushing is required to keep their coat silky and shiny, and occasional baths. 

This breed has quite a few health issues including hip dysplasia, middle ear infections, mitral valve heart disease, and a neurological condition called syringomyelia.  They can also get certain eye infections.

Please do your research on a reputable breeder that will screen their breeding stock for these health conditions. 


Sweet faced Chihuahua.

The Chihuahua is charming, graceful and sassy.  A tiny dog with a huge personality, the chihuahua has a terrier-like demeanor.  They come in many colors and can have long or short hair.

This breed loves to be close to their family and are very affectionate dogs.  They are good with children, but since they are a small breed they cannot take any horsing around.

If you are looking for a small affectionate breed, then you may want to look into getting a Chihuahua. 

The life expectancy of a Chihuahua is 14-16 years.  They weigh up to 6Lbs. Not a huge shedding breed.

There are two different types of coats and they are:

Smooth Coat:  Which only needs occasional brushing

Long Coat:  Brushing at least once a week to avoid tangling and matting.


Daschund sitting on the couch
Daschunds are known to be affectionate.

The Dachshund is friendly, curious, and spunky.  AKA the “Wiener-Dog”, this fun-loving breed is also known for its short stubby legs and long torso. The Dachshund is truly affectionate and always ready for snuggles.  They are very protective of their family and will even go up against a bigger dog if he/she thinks the family is in danger.

If you are looking for a smaller affectionate dog breed that is playful, smart and keeps you warm at night, then the Dachshund is the way to go for you and your family.

The Dachshund has a life expectancy of 12-16 years, weighs 11Lbs or under for mini breed, and 16-32 Lbs for standard. They are a moderate shedder and generally healthy breed.

There are three different coats for this breed.

  1. Smooth coat:  Most easy to deal with as you do not need to brush them and you can just wash and let air dry.
  2. Longhaired:  Needs weekly brushing.
  3. Wirehaired: Needs to be brushed at least twice a week, as well as having the coat 
  4. plucked or hand-stripped several times a year

 Golden Retriever 

America's favorite dog- the Golden Retriever is a very affectionate dog.
Golden Retriever having a rest out in the park.

Another of America’s favorite, the Golden Retriever is friendly, intelligent and outgoing.  They are not very different from the Lab, except for the long thick coats they have.  They have an impeccable temperate and love to be cuddled up next to their owners, being it on the floor or on your favorite recliner. 

Golden Retrievers are extremely affectionate and gentle, making them a great choice for a family with young children. They are not aggressive, but very protective of their family and will keep a lookout for strangers. 

The Golden Retriever has a life expectancy of 10-12 years, weighs between 55 and 75 Lbs.  This breed is a generally healthy dog. Their coat is a heavy water-repellant double coat that sheds like crazy twice a year, but they also shed moderately on a daily basis. 

Brushing twice a week with a slicker brush will remove most of the dead hair before it lands on your furniture.

Great Dane

Great Danes are affectionate dogs.
Great Dane

The Great Dane is friendly, patient and dependable.  These giant but gentle beasts are very affectionate and always looking for a lap to take over literally. 

Can you think of a famous Great Dane?…No? Here’s a hint- he could kinda talk, and is a cartoon. Ringing any bells?… No? Okay, here it is.  Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane! Who knew?

This breed will protect its family if it feels they are in danger and are great around children.  If you are seeking a large affectionate dog, then begin your research on the mighty Great Dane.

The life expectancy of a Great Dane is 7-10 years.  They weigh between 110 and 170 Lbs. Bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is the number-one killer of Danes.  Do your research on reputable breeders who screen their breeding stock for health issues in this breed.

They do not shed a lot so weekly brushing will suffice.  Use a medium brittle rush. Of course, when shedding season comes, brushing will have to be more frequent.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound- This gentle giant is a very affectionate dog.
Irish Wolfhound

The Wolfhound is courageous, dignified, and calm.  They are also very gentle, affectionate, and get along just fine with adults and children. They are quick learners and love to be loved.  

If you are looking for a VERY large affectionate dog, then this gentle giant is just for you. 

The life expectancy of an Irish Wolfhound is 6-8 years.  They weigh between 105 and 120 Lbs and are generally healthy although they can experience bloat. Make sure you know the symptoms and what to do if your wolfhound gets bloat.

Give them a good brushing at least once a week.  They shed through-out the year, but do not have seasonal blowouts where they shed like crazy.  

Labrador Retriever 

Another of America's favorite dog, the Labrador Retriever.
Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is America’s favorite dog breed.  They are friendly, outgoing, and active, and most certainly have enough affection for the entire family.  If you are looking for a medium – to – large affectionate dog, then look no further.

The lab has a life expectancy of 10-12 years, weighs between 55 and 80 Lbs, and is a generally healthy breed. They have a thick, water-repellant double coat that sheds. Occasional bathing is required to keep them clean as well as weekly coat brushing.


Cute affectionate Maltese pup.

The Maltese are gentle, playful, and charming.  Oh, and did I mention adorably cute!? Who wouldn’t want one of these sweet gentle creatures? They are very affectionate dogs and love their families and are very playful which makes them a great toy breed for a family with young children.

The life expectancy of a Maltese is 12-15 years.  They weigh under 7 Lbs and are generally healthy. Daily gentle brushing is essential to keep them clean and avoid any matting.

They should also have regular baths to keep their coat nice and shiny as they are known for their beautiful coats. 

Newfoundland Dog

Newfoundland Dogs are affectionate
Newfoundland Dog

The Newfoundland Dog is sweet, patient, and devoted.  This breed is extremely energetic and always affectionate to their family. They are a fairly large dog, but sweet and gentle at the same time. 

The Newfie is an excellent companion and has earned the name “Nanny Dog” for children. The Newfoundland Dog would be a great choice for you and your family.

The Newfoundland dog has a life expectancy of 9-10 years.  They weigh between 100 and 150 Lbs. They have a heavy coat that needs brushing at least once a week. 

A good going over with a slicker brush and long-toothed comb will remove the dead hair and prevent matting from happening.  During shedding season (typically twice a year) this will have to be done daily.


Papillon waiting for treats.
A Papillon waiting for a treat of blueberries.

The Papillion is friendly, alert and happy.  They are extremely affectionate dogs and are not aggressive in nature. They make a great toy breed for families with small children.

The life expectancy of a Papillion is 14-16 years.  They weigh between 5 and 10 Lbs and generally healthy.  But, due to their small size, one must be careful with them especially when they are puppies as they can get hurt easily.  Be mindful when around this breed. 


Pug biting a bone.

The Pug is charming, loving, and mischievous.  Remember Frank from Men in Black? Well, he was a Pug! And a cute one at that.  Not that all pugs aren’t cute though. This breed is very affectionate to its family and owners.  You really can’t go wrong with a pug.

The life expectancy of a Pug is 13-15 years.  They weigh between 14 and 18 Lbs. They do not do well in humid, hot, or sunny days.  Pugs can experience breathing problems like all flat-faced breeds, and they are known to get corneal ulcers and dry eye.  


There you have it, folks.  A list of the Top 15 Most Affectionate Dogs.  As you can see, dogs come in all different shapes and sizes.  It all comes down to what you are looking for and which breed meets your requirements. 

Choosing a dog is not something to take lightly. Make sure you do your research before purchasing a dog for you and your family, especially on breeders. You want to find a reputable breeder that will screen for health conditions.

So you don’t want to go with just anyone that says they are a breeder.   That being said, I wish you all great success in finding your new furry family member.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my cat get along with a Golden Retriever? Yes. They get along very well with cats of all ages and sizes. The retriever will consider the cat a part of the family. They will not be rough with cats and they could become BFFs.

Can I trust my child around a Newfoundland dog? Yes. Newfoundland dogs are considered the Nanny dog. They are very affectionate and protective of their family members.

Are Irish Wolfhounds affectionate? Irish Wolfhounds are very affectionate. They even try to sit on laps with their huge bodies. They are great with children as well.

Is the Great Dane a good dog for families? A Great Dane gets along just fine with children and is very protective of their family. Yes, a Great Dane is a good choice for a family.


  • Wikipedia-
  • Canada Kennel Club-
  • The Kennel Club UK-
  • Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds- D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
  • American Kennel Club-

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