Most dogs truly are a human’s best friend and they soon become a valued member of our families. They share our homes and have a special place in our hearts. In turn, we truly believe that dogs have feelings for us too. As pack animals, dogs value being a part of our ‘pack’ and form great attachments to us. Some dogs can be a little fickle and will love the last person that took them for a walk or fed them. However, other breeds are incredibly loyal and become the devoted companion of just one or two humans for the whole of their lives. We’ve all read touching stories of dogs grieving for humans who have gone missing or who have passed away.
Taking on a dog of any age is a big commitment and it is important that you get the breed that suits your personality and lifestyle best. If you are looking for a totally devoted and loyal four-legged friend, these are the breeds that would suit you.
On any list of loyal dogs that you may come across, one particular breed is always present and that is the German Shepherd. They are a strong and agile dog who can grow up to 80 pounds. As their name indicates, the German Shepherds were originally bred to guard herds of sheep in Germany hundreds of years ago. They were prized for their sharp minds and a willingness to work for their human masters. These attributes have been further valued by human societies right up to modern times. Today, you will see German Shepherds working as police dogs, guide dogs, guard dogs, and military dogs. They are also used to sniff out explosives and narcotics and are widely used as mountain rescue dogs. German Shepherds work hard for us!
If you have a German Shepherd as a pet and not as a working dog, you will have to give them plenty of opportunities to exercise their brain and their bodies or they will get bored and behavioral issues could emerge. As well as being highly intelligent, a German Shepherd is very diligent when it comes to protecting their family. They will be utterly devoted to you and completely loyal so strangers are likely to find them suspicious and aloof. You are their number one human and nothing can change that! However, their urge to keep you safe can spill over into inappropriate behavior if you are not firm with them. To make sure that they don’t bark at your friends or your relatives when they visit you, it is important that you socialize your German Shepherd pup from a young age.
You may also like our article on Dog Food for German Shepherds.
Beagles are compact little dogs who always look alert and are willing to get fully involved in anything that your family is up to. They are thought to share ancestry with the hound family and have a proud history as loyal hunting dogs who were devoted to their masters. They are the sixth most popular breed of companion dogs in the US and live for around 15 years. Even though they were bred as hunting dogs, they will not be particularly pleased about living outside in a kennel. They will expect to be inside as a member of the family should be!
The best way to describe a Beagle is ‘happy go lucky’. They are not aggressive but they are not timid either. The Beagle is loving, happy and great company. They will even tolerate the attention of your children (with supervision) and that cannot be said of many breeds! This breed will be totally loyal and devoted to their human family and will want to spend every second of the day with you. They are a perfect dog for novice owners because they will be so eager to please you.
They will adapt to living in any house or apartment. However, they do like the sound of their own voice so be prepared for some howling when they hear voices or sirens outside. Also, make sure that you teach them the recall command before letting them off the leash in a public area. Remember, they are hunting dogs and once they detect a scent, they will soon disappear to follow it!
Take a look at our review of Dog Food for Beagles.
The Collie is another very popular breed in the US and they are easily recognizable from their long, thick coats and upright heads. They are both sensitive and intelligent and are a perfect choice for any family that enjoys an outdoor lifestyle. The ancestors of the Collies were herding dogs in the UK but are now firmly established as a companion dog in the US.
Your Collie will be desperate to please you and this makes them easy to train. However, a few individuals can be a little stubborn. They will be very quick to house train and excel at agility competitions in dog shows. The Collie will be very aware of what is going on in the family and will pick up on ill feeling and family tensions. Not only will they understand that something is wrong but they will also be upset by it. Collies have been known to suffer from upset stomachs when there has been a family row. They also hate to be told off. A Collie that has been spoken to harshly by the humans they adore can be upset for days! This tendency towards sensitivity can develop into shyness and a fear of strangers. Therefore, it is important to socialize pups with lots of other humans from a young age.
They need a lot of physical and mental exercise to keep them happy and healthy and they live for around 12 years. They will need regular grooming to keep that gorgeous coat in order.
These powerful descendants of the fierce Roman Mastiff breeds have a rather frightening appearance but don’t let that put you off. They may have been originally bred as war dogs but with the correct training and socialization, they become a truly loyal human companion that is devoted to their family. When it comes to physical appearance, the Rottweiler is very impressive! A fully-grown male can stand 27 inches tall and weigh in at 135 pounds. They have a thickly muscled, powerful body and a confident gait.
They may look scary but if you train them correctly from birth, they are just a big softy at heart! They are calm and confident dogs and are not aggressive. They can be very aloof with strangers but are truly loyal to their human family. Rottweilers like nothing more than being playful and silly with their human companions. They may also want to sit on you, which can get quite uncomfortable given their stature! If you are out of the house a lot, this could be a problem because your Rottie will miss you terribly. They can develop a complaint called separation anxiety which can lead to behavioral issues. The Rottweiler does best if they are constantly with their human companions. Because they are quite a demanding breed, they are not the best choice for first-time dog owners.
The gorgeous Labrador Retriever is the single most popular companion dog in the US and it is not hard to see why. They are quite a large breed and an adult male can reach 25 inches and weigh 80 pounds. They have a sweet face that you can’t help falling in love with and a sturdy, well-balanced body.
The Labrador Retriever personality is legendary. They are superbly friendly and sweet-natured and will get on with all the members of your family – young and old. They are gentle, intelligent and very adaptable. Originally a hunting dog who was used as a ‘duck retriever’ by hunters, many are now used as guide dogs and rescue dogs and the breed has served their human masters loyally over many years. They do shed so be prepared for some grooming and some vacuuming.
When you get a Lab, you get a loyal companion. They rarely show aggression and thrive within a home environment with a single person or a family with children. Even in a confrontation situation, most Labs will choose to flee rather than fight. They are an ideal choice of first dog because they are so affectionate and loyal. Labs have an extremely strong ‘food drive’ and are likely to be obsessed with what they can put in their mouths. This can lead to obesity if you do not keep an eye on it. The Labrador Retriever is easy to train because they are so keen to please you and will do almost anything for a tasty treat!
Check out our guide on Dog Food for Labs.
So, there are the five most loyal breeds of dogs. Whether you are an experienced dog owner or a first timer, if you welcome one of these dogs into your home you will have a friend for life.