The Most Affectionate Canines
Dogs are naturally companion animals, and most enjoy receiving attention. While some breeds are aloof, more independent, and less likely to want cuddles, others seek constant companionship and seem to need affection to thrive. While the following dog breeds are known for their cuddly tendencies, every dog has an individual personalityódespite its breedóand some may not want showers of affection.
Here are 10 of the cuddliest breeds in the canine world.
Be respectful of your dog’s space, and only offer a cuddle if your dog is relaxed and seeking attention. Learn how to read dog body language so that you can tell if your dog is feeling uncomfortable. They should not just tolerate being hugged but actively enjoy it.
1. Golden Retriever
The golden retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the United States since they tend to be very affectionate, gentle, fun-loving, and smart. They are often a top choice as a family pet. Goldens enjoy playing with kids, although they can get easily excited, and their playful energy can overwhelm smaller kids. Their intelligence and eagerness to please also make this breed easier to train than most. This breed remains happy and content when they get plenty of exercise and enrichment. If you’re the type of person who likes to have a dog sleep with you, a golden might just take you up on the offer.
GROUP: Sporting (AKC)
HEIGHT: 21 to 24 inches
WEIGHT: 55 to 75 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Lustrous gold, medium-length double coat
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 12 years
2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a popular companion breed with a loving and peaceful temperament that has endeared them to dog lovers since the 17th century. They were beloved by royalty and nobility for curling up in their laps. Although they are less busy than their cocker or springer spaniel relatives, they are not couch potatoes. They will fit in well with an active family lifestyle, usually enjoying the company of other dogs and living in a multi-pet household.
GROUP: Toy (AKC)
HEIGHT: 12 to 13 inches
WEIGHT: 13 to 18 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Medium-length silky, wavy coat; adults have feathering on their ears, chest, legs, feet, and tail; primary coat color is white with ruby, chestnut, and black and tan varieties
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 9 to 14 years
Pomeranians are known for being incredibly loyal, brave, and affectionate with their owners, making them a top cuddly choice. Historically, these small dogs traveled in packs and would need to cuddle with their pack to keep warm. Accustomed to handling, they will likely paw at you, asking for hugs, tickles, or neck scratches.
Poms are smart little dogs, and, with the right training, they are up for most challenges. They can be sassy and vocal and like to be the boss. Because they often demand to be the center of attention, you would need to make careful introductions if they were to live with another dog or young children.
GROUP: Toy (AKC)
HEIGHT: 6 to 7 inches
WEIGHT: 3 to 7 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Double long-haired coat; foxy face, pointy erect ears, and curled tail; it comes in more than a dozen colors, including black, brown, red, orange, cream, gray, brindle, and more
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 16 years
4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Because of their legacy as dogs bred for fighting, breeds like the Staffordshire bull terrier (and close relative, American pit bull terrier) have garnered unfair reputations. In the right home, they make genuinely wonderful family pets that are partial to cuddles. The Staffie is generally an extremely affectionate breed devoted to its owners. A medium-sized, barrel-chested muscular dog, they are known for seeking out a spot on your lap despite their size. They are patient and gentle with children and enjoy a belly rub from their human family.
This breed does best when they have company for most of the day. They tend to be people-focused dogs and suit being in a one-pet household. Staffies get along with other dogs, but you should do initial Introductions carefully.
GROUP: Terrier (AKC)
HEIGHT: 14 to 16 inches
WEIGHT: 24 to 38 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Short, smooth coat in solid red, fawn, white, black, blue, or brindle
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 14 years
The Newfoundland is a beautiful giant breed that is known for its calm, gentle, and loving disposition. They are often called the “nanny” dog, as they are exceptionally loyal and devoted to their family, notably children. This dog is known for giving and getting hugs, although not all Newfies want hands-on attention. Most require your company throughout the day and tend to get separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Although their size and working heritage translate to needing a lot of exercise to prevent boredom and problem behaviors from surfacing, the breed is docile overall. If you plan to own a Newfoundland, you will need plenty of space and a large yard.
GROUP: Working (AKC)
HEIGHT: 26 to 28 inches
WEIGHT: 100 to 150 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Large, heavy-coated in gray, brown, black, and black-and-white
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 8 to 10 years
They may be known as the fastest breed in the world, but greyhounds are often actually big, goofy, and placid couch potatoes. This sensitive breed often loves nothing more than to snuggle up beside their owners for a cuddle, and they will actively seek out contact. Watch out for their bony limbs jabbing you as they try to clamber on top of you. While known for being very gentle, they can often have a high prey drive. Care should be taken if introducing them to other small dogs or cats.
GROUP: Hound (AKC)
HEIGHT: 25 to 30 inches
WEIGHT: 60 to 80 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Short, smooth coat in black, white, brindle, fawn, red, or a combination of these colors
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 14 years
Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds, and they often have some of the biggest personalities. Their sassy character often turns people into fans of the breed. They develop strong bonds with their owners, often loving nothing more than a lap snuggle after a busy day. Although they’re tiny dogs, they need a decent amount of exercise, and carrying them too much will prevent them from keeping fit. Too much carrying can also teach them to become fearful if they do not acclimate to people and places at their level. With the right training and socialization, these little dogs can prove to be fantastic little companions.
GROUP: Toy (AKC)
HEIGHT: 6 to 9 inches
WEIGHT: 2 to 6 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Smooth or long coats in black, tan, fawn, cream, white, blue, silver, chocolate, and red
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 15 to 20 years
Pugs are full of character and fun with a surprising amount of energy and an even-temper. They are a sought-after choice as a family pet that tends to get on well with children and other animals. Most pugs will snuggle by getting on your lap or laying right next to you, often touching you, even if it’s just a paw. Not timid about asking for attention, often they will nudge your hand when they want to be petted.
GROUP: Toy (AKC)
HEIGHT: 10 to 13 inches
WEIGHT: 14 to 18 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Smooth, short double coat in fawn or black
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 15 years
9. Bichon Frise
A lot of people like the bichon frise breed because of their adorable, cotton-ball appearance. Despite their sweet look, this multidimensional dog is full of vim and vigor and best suited to an active household where they will get plenty of enrichment and exercise. They love to play and are a popular choice for families with children. They often crave attention and love to snuggle with their owners. Because they are people-oriented, they need to live in a home where they will have company for most of the day.
GROUP: Non-Sporting (AKC)
HEIGHT: 9 to 12 inches
WEIGHT: 7 to 12 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Fluffy and curly white hair (may have traces of apricot, buff, or cream), resembles a cotton ball or powder-puff
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 15 years
10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are intelligent and energetic creatures that bond well with their family and are easy to train. These fearless cattle-herding dogs are accustomed to traveling with a herd or pack and crave closeness and security. Corgis tend to enjoy cuddling, considering their human parents as part of the pack. Corgis snuggle to show love and affection, and, on cold days, cuddling keeps them warm. These dogs tend to get clingy, and, if you’re not careful, they may get too used to being carried. These lovable dogs are a trusting, loyal breed.
GROUP: Herding (AKC)
HEIGHT: 10 to 12 inches
WEIGHT: 24 to 30 pounds
COAT AND COLOR: Medium-length double coat in black and tan, red, sable, or fawn (all colors are typically seen with white markings)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 13 years
Breeds to Avoid
Less affectionate dog breeds tend to be more intelligent, independent, or stubborn. Examples of breeds to avoid if you like to cuddle with your pup are shar-peis, chow chows, and Afghan hounds. Each of these breeds likes hanging out with their humansóthe difference is that they are not likely to give or accept affection from just anyone and are often wary of strangers. In general, for nearly all dogs, once a particular dog bonds with a human or family, they are loyal for life.
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