Top 10 Affectionate Dog Breeds


There’s nothing quite like getting a love job from an affectionate dog. Sometimes that simple act of kindness … a nuzzle, a lick on the hand, the look of caring in a dog’s eyes … is enough to lift dark clouds from anyone’s day.

But here’s the question we recently asked our staff: What are the most affectionate dog breeds around? Here’s what we came up with – and you might be surprised at some of the results.

  • Bichon Frisé – What puts this breed at the top of the list – you were expecting a retriever, right? – is their happy and clownish nature. They just love to be with people and have the extra benefit of being one of the breeds that do not shed. If you suffer from allergies, this dog could be perfect for you

bichon frise

  • Labrador Retriever – Yes, here’s one of the most lovable and favored breeds in America. Yellow, chocolate and black labs are known for their gentle dispositions and affectionate natures as are their kissin’ cousins the Golden retriever. They are every bit as happy to be riding in the car with you as they are curled up next to you on the couch.
labrador retrievers
Labrador Retrievers – black, chocolate, yellow
  • Bulldogs – While they may not look like a breed that would be an instant family favorite, bulldogs are known for their loving nature especially how well they get along with kids and other pets.
english bulldog puppy
English bulldog puppy
  • Brussels Griffon – There’s a good reason why these little balls of fur are nicknamed “Velcro dogs”. They stick to you like fur to a pants roller and will always be right by your side ready for hugs and kisses any time of the day or night.

Griffon Bruxellois

  • Vizsla – These dogs love kids. If you live in the woods or enjoy hunting, a Vizsla will accompany you on the hunt and then will curl up with you in front of a roaring fire at night.


  • Golden Retriever – Even though this breed is known for high energy and activity, they are also one of the most affectionate breeds around. Because they have very stable and even personalities, they make great family pets. Just gazing into the eyes of an Golden Retriever will make you smile … then they’ll lick you!
golden retriever
Golden Retriever


  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – If you’re in the market for a love bug that’s also a small dog, the Cavalier King Charles should be on your short list. They are well known for being excellent therapy dogs and they’re perfect for someone who has down-sized and is living in a smaller home or apartment.
cavalier king charles spaniels
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Pug – Here’s another small breed that does quite well in a smaller living space like a condo or apartment. Their fun loving nature and playfulness brings smiles to faces everywhere. They bond tightly with their families and love to be on your lap if that’s what you also want.
  • Irish Wolfhound – If you’re a giant breed lover, this one is for you. The issue some families face is that the Irish wolfhound forgets they aren’t the size of a teacup poodle. They love to be hugged and will shower you with affection.
Irish Wolfhound
Gray Irish Wolfhound
  • Mutt – Okay, we realize this isn’t a purebred. But mutts can be absolutely wonderful dogs that love nothing better than to be held by their humans. Some say that a rescued mutt is very appreciative of their second chance and they repay you with loyalty.  They’ll never leave your side.


There you have it: Our top 10 affectionate dog breed list and there may be some surprises you hadn’t thought about.

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Images: iStock


WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.