The 10 most loyal dog breeds

The 10 most loyal dog breeds

Are you looking for a canine companion who will stick by your side no matter what? You won’t find a better ally than these loyal dog breeds!

There’s no better feeling than the unconditional love your dear pooch so endearingly shows you day after day. Dogs have long been man’s best friend – since around 20,000 years ago – and have come to be fully integrated family members worldwide.

Despite all dogs likely descending from the fierce wolf – hard to imagine with a Yorkie, we know! – not every breed is the same, and some playful pups will pledge allegiance to whoever’s holding the treats.

If you’re on the lookout for a furry addition to your family who will only have eyes for you, you’ve come to the right place.

To narrow down your search for the ultimate bond-building pup, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most loyal breeds in existence – nothing will come between you and your steadfast pooch.

Don’t forget; whichever breed you choose to join your household, make sure you reward their never-ending loyalty with to protect them when they need it most.

Yorkshire Terrier

  • Average height: 7-8 inches
  • Average weight: 3-4 kg
  • Average lifespan: 12+ years

Guess where this breed comes from? Hint - it’s not Yorkshire! According to the Kennel Club, it’s likely that Scottish labourers brought them down when they came to work in mines and mills of northern England.

This little breed might be small, but they have a humongous heart ready to love their pet parent with all they have.

Yes, we know Yorkies can be a bit yappy, but they’re only putting their superior guard dog skills to work!

These tiny pups make excellent family pets with older kids around and are playful and full of energy, so make sure you have what it takes to keep up with them when out and about!

Every breed has different needs when it comes to exercise. See how active your pet should be in our comprehensive guide.

Labrador Retriever

  • Average height: 21-23 inches
  • Average weight: 25-35 kg
  • Average lifespan: 10+ years

We’re back to big with this breed who want to be a part of everything you do. If you’re on the hunt for a pup who will love every member of your family, you can’t go wrong with these high-spirited companions.

They’re just about as cute as they come, too! Who can forget the outrageously adorable Andrex puppy? That little bundle of yellow cuteness grew up into a loving and loyal dog, just like all its black and chocolate counterparts.

These patient pups are the perfect fit for families with children, bonding during playtime and enjoying plenty of cuddles on the sofa. Got other pets? They’ll love them, too!

Their easy-going nature doesn’t mean they are always chilled and laid-back, though.

In fact, they are a bundle of energy when given the chance to exercise, and love to show off their athletic abilities with a game of fetch or their swimming skills by jumping into the nearest lake. Just be aware of their excellent ability to soak you through as they shake themselves dry!

With such an outgoing and energetic personality, it’s a good idea to cover them with pet insurance for dogs in case they get into one scrape too many!


  • Average height: 21-25 inches
  • Average weight: 25-32 kg
  • Average lifespan: 10+ years

Everyone loves a good laugh, and the clownish nature of this lovable breed will win the hearts of all your family, friends, and even strangers at the park. Not only are they handsome dogs (camera at the ready!), they can’t get enough of showing you how much they adore you.

Despite their fair share of silliness – well, quite a big share to be truthful – boxers take their guard dog duties seriously and will protect their owners till their last breath.

They’re a super intelligent breed, too, and love learning new tricks to show off their skills. Got small kids at home? Your boxer and small humans will get on like a house on fire and could quickly become the next best double act in town!

You’ll need plenty of time to devote to this high-energy breed. Boxers adore being out and about and love a good chance to sniff, so this isn’t really the best breed to be cooped up in a flat.

As with all dogs, there is a list of common boxer health concerns, so protect them with pet insurance for dogs in case a sudden trip to the vets is needed.


  • Average height: 13-16 inches
  • Average weight: 9-11 kg
  • Average lifespan: 12+ years

Do you ever suffer from FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out)? Beagles do too! They’re highly sociable animals and love to be involved with whatever’s going on around them.

Worried your beloved beagle might be suffering from separation anxiety? Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Purely Pets go-to expert Rosie Bescoby says you should never leave them alone for more than 4 hours at a time. 

Got kids? Beagles can easily fit into family life and you can expect your doggo and child to form a deep bond.

You won’t need to worry about hitting the gym when you’ve got one of these pups to chase around all day! Beagles are high energy pups so be prepared for hours of playtime - you have been warned!

German Shepherd

german shepherd puppy laying on ground

  • Average height: 23-25 inches
  • Average weight: 35-43 kg
  • Average lifespan: 10+ years

Think Army dogs and Police dogs and the German Shepherd will spring to mind. And rightly so!

Their loyal and dedicated nature has earned them this high position where they will do just about anything to put their life on the line for their pet parent. Incredible, right?

With such a range of skills and the fact that they were originally bred to work and guard sheep, it’s no surprise that German Shepherds need a lot of exercise. There’s no better excuse to strap on your hiking boots and head out on a beautiful walk in the country with your best friend.

Whenever you buy a pedigree dog like this steadfast companion, you need to do your homework and shop around for a reputable breeder.

The RSPCA says that German Shepherd pups can suffer from a number of inherited conditions, especially when the breeder isn’t concerned about their health and wellbeing – and that’s the last thing you want for your beloved Rover!

Hips and eyes are potential problem areas for these amazing canines so make sure you have  in place as soon as you bring them home.

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Rough Collie

  • Average height: 22-26 inches
  • Average weight: 23-34 kg
  • Average lifespan: 14+ years

Do you remember Lassie? Perhaps one of the most famous and bravest dogs of all time, this collie would come to the rescue whether her owner Timmy had fallen into a well or got trapped in an old mine.

With such a high number of rescues under her belt, we’re surprised she didn’t get into an accident herself! We just hope Timmy and his family had pet insurance for dogs – just in case!

What you thought was just fiction is actually very close to how the breed treats their beloved pet parents in real life. A collie’s loyalty is hard to match, they’re super brainy, and have an excellent instinct for knowing when something isn’t quite right.

Got kids at home? Your collie will be a great family memb! Could you ask for a better friend for your little ones?

This breed is easy to train and makes a great watchdog – they might bark but aren’t usually aggressive when they’ve had the right socialisation as a pup. Your collie will need plenty of time to run around and play but will also enjoy chilling out when you get back indoors.


  • Average height: 4-8 inches
  • Average weight: 2-3 kg
  • Average lifespan: 12+ years

Now, let’s head over to Mexico and say ‘hola!’ to the tiniest dog breed in the world! Did you know the smallest Chihuahua ever to grace this planet was a miniscule 9.65 cm (3.8 in) tall? That’s about as tall as a roll of toilet paper!

Miracle Milly appeared in the Guinness Book of Records back in 2013 and had to be fed milk through an eyedropper as a baby – her mouth was too teeny to nurse from her mum. How cute!

In addition to being spectacularly small, chihuahuas are some of the most loyal dogs around and have a huge personality to boot.

If you’ve ever seen one of these mini pups sitting happily in someone's handbag, it’s probably because they’re feeling more than content with life.

These compact companions are more than happy to follow you around all day long and don’t particularly like being left alone – luckily their small size means you can easily carry them around wherever you go!


  • Average height: 21-27 inches
  • Average weight: 35-60 kg
  • Average lifespan: 10+ years

As one of the gentle giants of the dog world, rottweilers will adore having you as their strong pack leader. Put in the effort when they’re young by being firm but calm with training, and they will be your bestie forever.

Just watch out with the smaller members of your family – despite their rather large build, Rotties see themselves as a little lapdog and don’t hesitate at the chance to jump up for a snuggle!

This breed will be the best playmate you ever had and loves getting out and about with the family to enjoy some walking, cross country running, and swimming. Don’t forget to take a towel!

Bring home a rottweiler, and you’ll have a loyal dog who will protect you through and through. Whilst all dogs have the potential to be aggressive, these big softies are usually the complete opposite.

Now the potentially bad news. According to an academic journal, rottweilers are prone to (expensive) heart issues, cruciate ligament damage, hip and elbow dysplasia, and certain cancers. We’d say that makes pet insurance for dogs a must.

Great Pyrenees

  • Average height: 25-28 inches
  • Average weight: 40-50 kg
  • Average lifespan: Less than 10 years

Also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, this gigantic hound is loyal and courageous. They hail from the mountains that border France and Spain and were originally bred to keep an eye out for anything suspicious while sheep and shepherds slept.

Their original night watcher skills have meant that they still like to be up at night, so don’t be surprised if your Great Pyrenees likes to snooze a lot during the day, too!

Another affectionate and gentle giant, these dogs are patient and tolerant, which means they make wonderful cuddle companions for the smaller members of your household.

Their fearless nature means they will look out for you wherever you venture – just be careful when out for a walkie as their curious nature can lead them to wander quite far. The last thing you want is for your Pyrenees pup to go missing. But on the plus side, they won’t be hard to spot!

Make sure your humongous hound has plenty of space to stretch out at home and give them at least an hour of exercise a day and they’ll be as happy as can be.

Building a bond with your dog

By choosing one of the gorgeous and devoted breeds above, you know your canine companion is already going to be loving and loyal.

But how can you strengthen that bond even further and form the greatest friendship there ever was? For the ultimate inseparable tie, try out these helpful tips.

Show them you care

The moment you make your dog a part of your family, they will reward you with unconditional love filled with plenty of cuddles, kisses, and excitement all around. How can you repay their undying affection? Give it right back!

  • Spend lots of time with your huggable hound and go on lots of adventures together.
  • Make time in the evenings for a snuggle on the sofa and provide lots of fuss whenever you can – it can make you happy too!
  • Look out for their health by providing a highly nutritional diet and protection with pet insurance for dogs.

Train your pup

If the thought of going back to school sends shivers down your spine, you might be reluctant to put your faithful friend through rigorous training.

Dogs, however, love to learn new tricks, and many breeds enjoy training with their pet parents and the rewards that come with it.

Proper training equals an easier life for both of you, so put in the time and effort when they’re young.

Dog expert Rosie Bescoby says it’s important to always reward good behaviour. You can find lots of other great tips from Rosie in our Good Behaviour Series – watch it today and become the best pet parent you can be!

Make time for playdates and grooming

Play together, stay together – this saying is 100% correct when it comes to owners and their canine companions. The more time you make to enjoy a game of fetch or hide and seek with your hound, the stronger your bond will become.

Grooming your hound is another way to check their health whilst building your bond. Never brushed your dog’s teeth? What are you waiting for?

Understand their likes and dislikes

Isn’t it wonderful when someone knows you so well that they give you a hug when you most need it or surprise you with your favourite food for dinner? Your four-legged family member will be just as pleased if you treat them the same.

Keep an eye out for things you do that your pooch isn’t a fan of. Does yours find it difficult to sleep with the street lights on? Get them blackout curtains! Hate being patted on the head? Rub their tummy instead!

The more you tend to your pup’s tastes, the happier they’ll be – and the more slobbery kisses and furry hugs you get to enjoy!

Learn to read their body language

Is your dog yawning a lot? If you think they’re just tired, think again! Learning to read your dog’s body language is essential if you want to avoid sticky situations in future.

Get up to speed now with this quick video from Rosie.

Has your pup started acting out of the ordinary? Purely Pets customers can use our 24/7 vet video service and get an answer from the pros in an instant.

Protect your loyal dog with pet insurance

white great pyrenees laying on grass

Your best friend deserves the very best in life, wouldn’t you agree? That means being the most responsible pet parent you can be by looking out for their health and wellbeing.

Perhaps you are considering breeding your dog? Read our recent blog on how to safely do this.

From the moment you bring your canine companion home, whether they are a tiny puppy or golden oldie, they rely on you for all their wants and needs.

Not only do they need a diet full of nutritional goodness and plenty of walkies; they also need protection in case they get into an accident or suddenly fall ill.

Pet insurance for dogs from Purely Pets can cover your darling doggo in an emergency and could save you from a pile of unexpected vet bills.

We can insure tiny pups from 8 weeks old right through to old age, so don’t wait to get your friend the cover they deserve.

Get a quick quote for pet insurance for dogs today.

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  • 98% claims paid *
  • Claims paid directly to vets
  • 24/7 vet video consultations
  • Interest free monthly payments