GENERAL BREED INFO

Most Loyal Dog Breeds: 10 Amazing Breeds to Count On

Loyal dog with his owner
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Dogs are generally man’s best friends as they are among the most faithful and most trusted companions. They offer unconditional love to their owners and to their entire family as well. We all know that the dog was the first domesticated animal by man. It protects people, offers companionship and affection for more than 15 thousand years. Sociability, attachment, defense and loyalty are just some of this quadruped’s qualities. At present, there are around 500 dog breeds in the entire world, and their evolution is still in progress.

Today we’re going to talk about most loyal dog breeds out there so you know what sort of companion you’ll get in your house. Among the most loyal breeds there are dogs like Akita Inu, Rough Collie, Kuvasz, Beagle, Yorkshire Terrier, German Shepherd, Saint Bernard, Brittany, Golden Retriever and American Staffordshire Terrier.

Dog love

The particular types of dogs listed here are always ready to go to the end of the world and back for their owners. They are always willing to help and they offer unconditional love. Their purpose is to protect the persons who take care of them and stand by their side regardless of how inconvenient it might be. Besides being loyal, these canine specimens are also obedient and intelligent. It is even said that they have an extraordinary ability when it comes to understanding their owners. But we shouldn’t generalize things as each breed is impressive in its own way.

Dog breeds that offer unconditional love

Even if dogs are usually loyal, there are 10 most loyal breeds worthy of your attention. As it follows, you will learn more about each breed and in case you don’t have a dog, you can think of getting one according to their most compatible features. These dogs’ high level of loyalty is a result of the many changes they went through over time. There are countless stories involving representatives of any of these 10 dog breeds that make amazing things for their owners. Akita Inu is especially known thanks to the highly emotional movie “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”.

Akita Inu

History and origins: Japanese history describes the ancestors of Akita Inu as one of the oldest breeds in the area. They are the Matagi breed. The Akita dogs from our days are originated from the island of Honshu that encompasses a region called Akita, thus the name of the breed. DNA tests have shown that this breed is one of the oldest domesticated one.

They are, genetically speaking, the closest ones to wolves. During World War II, a considerable amount of Akita dogs were murdered for their fur (it was used for making military clothes) and some of them died of hunger. However, during the years after the war, several dedicated breeders have contributed to their multiplication.

Some American soldiers who fell in love with this type of dog breed brought a few specimens back in the US. Of course, there is a difference between Akita Inu and American Akita. Those born and raised in America have suffered some modifications due to several crossings with other dog breeds.

Akita Inu

Personality traits: Dogs belonging to the Akita breed are very intelligent, fearless and spontaneous. They are very loyal to their owners and quite aloof and wary of strangers. They are sometimes aggressive with people they do not know.

Moreover, they are very protective when it comes to family, territory and their food. If they are not familiarized with other dogs and other pets in general, they tend to react aggressively towards them when they grow up. Even if they don’t bark a lot, they are very good guard dogs. Not recommended for inactive people, Akita dogs get bored easily and can produce damage if they are not kept busy.

Rough Collie

History and origins: Rough Collie is originated from the border area of England and Scotland. The “collie” denomination is usually used for dogs that come from Scotland, but this particular breed is more spread in England than it is in Scotland.

They were made for guarding and guiding flocks, but in time they were domesticated further and they became much more than useful for just one purpose. During the last 2 or 3 centuries, this dog breed went through numerous transformations that are different depending on the area where they were born and where they had to adapt in order to live.

Rough Collie

Personality traits: Rough Collie is a dog with a high intelligence level, sensitivity, gentleness, sweetness and, above all, loyalty. It gets along just fine with other pets and it is friendly with other dogs too. This canine specimen was used for guiding flocks, so it needs to be properly trained in order to ameliorate their leadership instincts.

Faithful, playful, obedient and protective of family members, the representatives of this breed behave really well around children. They have a peculiar sense of direction and they are full of energy. Moreover, they are not aggressive, but they can feel people who emanate negative energy. The importance of having a single owner is mandatory in the case of a Rough Collie. Otherwise, it tends to become stubborn and indolent. They adapt easily when there is an authoritative figure in their lives.

Kuvasz

History and origins: Kuvasz is not a well-known dog breed, but it is a very loyal one. In Hungary, they are renowned for being exceptional guard dogs. However, their origins are not well-established. Specialists who have conducted researches about Kuvasz dogs think they were brought from Asia by the nomadic tribes.

During the time when King Mathias I was in charge, he had a loft of Kuvasz dogs. This is how appreciated they were back then. Things have not changed too much since. This dog breed is not as popular as the others, but it is mentioned on every list containing loyal dogs.

Kuvasz puppy

Personality traits: The dogs from the Kuvasz breed are intelligent, lively, balanced and sensitive. They only bark when they are forced by circumstances. Strong and brave too, they used to defend flocks from wolves and bears. In general, their most striking feature is loyalty.

They only become violent if a kid is attacked or if something happens to children that they like to be around and play with. A Kuvasz dog might develop a dominant character towards other dogs or other pets if it is kept away from them during its early years of life. Its devotion to family is indisputable and it is reserved towards strangers.

Beagle

History and origins: Dogs of the same size and with the same role as the modern Beagle were found in ancient Greece, during the 5th century BC. They were brought to Rome and then imported to the British Isles. During the 18th century, 2 breeds were used for hunting rabbits, namely the Southern Hound and the North Country Beagle. As soon as fox hunting became more popular, the aforementioned breeds had to be replaced with a faster one.

Therefore, in 1830, a priest founded the first group of modern Beagles in Essex, Britain. The Beagle Club was founded 60 years later, when the Royal family was interested in improving this breed. The middle of the 19th century marks the time when the first Beagle puppies were sent to the US. In 1884, the American Kennel Club didn’t hesitate to recognize this dog breed. In Old English, the word “beag” meant “small”, so that’s why this small sized dog is called like this.

Beagle loyal dog

Personality traits: Beagle dogs have a balanced temperament and disposition. They are rarely aggressive or timid. They become friends with strangers fairly easy and they begin to enjoy their company fast. This is why some Beagle dogs are not so great at keeping a household safe.

However, nothing can beat their loyalty, especially if they are trained properly and their stubbornness and determination are eliminated. They cannot stay focused for too long, but when they receive treats, they seem to get better at it. The fact that they are really friendly with children makes this dog breed to be so popular. A Beagle can get strongly attached to a person and it can suffer immensely if something happens to that person, it goes away or dies.

Yorkshire Terrier

History and origins: In the mid-1800s, numerous workers from Scotland migrated in the north part of England and they brought with them several varieties of terriers to hunt rats. There is few data about the first Yorkshire Terrier. It is said that this breed has appeared thanks to a selective mating with the ones brought from Scotland.

In time, the breeders of Yorkshire Terriers began to participate in different contests with these special dogs. The first star of this breed was a male named Huddersfiel Ben. Most of the current breed standards were established with Ben as an ideal example.

Yorkshire Terrier

Personality traits: This little quadruped is very smart and snappy. Part of a big family of terriers, a Yorkshire is fearless, fact which makes it prone to becoming aggressive with other dogs regardless of their size. Since its intelligence level is situated above average, it can be easily trained.

However, it does not lack a fair share of stubbornness and disobedience. Very good for guarding their owners, it is alert and always ready to announce the fact that a stranger is approaching. When it is threated or disturbed, it tends to bite. This habit can be repressed with just a few training sessions. Although they are loyal and affectionate, Yorkshire terriers are not recommended for families with small children.

German Shepherd

History and origins: This is a dog breed among the best known and widespread dog breeds in the world. It is Germany’s national dog breed. It dates thousands of years ago and it has a long line of ancestors, starting with the Persian Shepherd. Based on its vague similarity with a wolf, it is also known as a wolf dog.

This breed was brought to its current shape at the end of the 19th century. It is the only dog breed that has an organization in Germany, called WUSV with over half a million members from 60 different countries. They try to deal with the health and personality problems that a German Shepherd might develop.

German Shepherd

Personality traits: A German Shepherd is an active dog with a lively temperament. It is mentally balanced, intelligent, agile and watchful. Particularly brave, it is firm, strong and resistant. Its sense of smell is really good and it is always ready to fight.

It adapts easily to any unforeseen circumstances thanks to its responsible and independent nature. Faithful, affectionate and playful with its owner and the owner’s family, a German Shepherd loves children and gets along well with them. It treats other animals and people it doesn’t know with indifference for as long as they show no signs of aggression.

Saint Bernard

History and origins: Saint Bernard is one of the most popular dog breeds too. Its ancestors are the Tibetan Mastiffs. It was brought to Switzerland by Roman colonists who used it to guard property. The Saint Bernard known today was obtained by several crosses with dogs from the Alps. In the 18th century it was trained and taught to rescue people from avalanches. The monks from the Saint Bernard shelter were the ones who trained it, thus its name.

There are records of over 2 thousand people that were rescued by these dogs. For example, there was a dog named Barry, who has saved no less than 40 lives during its 12 years of life. As a sign of respect, a statue of Barry is now on display in the National Museum of Science and History in Bern. It is a dog breed prevalent in both Europe and North America.

Saint Bernard

Personality traits: A Saint Bernard is an intelligent canine specimen with a strong sense of direction and sense of smell. It is also quiet, calm and playful. It does not bark much. Devoted and affectionate with family, friendly with children and strangers, a Saint Bernard will only bark to announce someone’s arrival, not in an aggressive way. It has no trouble with other animals from a household or with other dogs for that matter. It is known to be loyal to just one master, but to also help members of the family if and when they are in need.

Brittany

History and origins: Once called Brittany Spaniel, Brittany is a dog breed named after a region from France. The history of Brittany is not known entirely. It is believed to date back more than one thousand years. The first evidence of its existence appeared sometime during the 17th century, in a painting. The main purpose for creating this canine specimen was most probably hunting.

The French peasants needed a dog that could bring them the hunted birds that fell on the ground. Therefore, it needed to be very agile. In 1934, Brittany was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

Brittany with owner

Personality traits: Brittany is a very energetic and athletic dog of medium size that is known for its enthusiasm and joy. It can be considered hyperactive by some people who don’t have a high level of energy. It is a great family friend and loyal too. Moreover, it can be easily trained because it is very sensitive and if its owner just gives it a stern look, it will most probably obey. Dogs from this breed kept their hunting instincts, so they are great to play with when it comes to bringing something back to their owner such as a toy or a real hunted prey.

Golden Retriever

History and origins: Golden Retrievers were bred for the first time in a town called Cannich, located near Lake Affric, in Scotland. For many years there has been a controversy regarding the breeds that were crossed in order to obtain the Golden Retriever as we know it. Among the top myths about the origin of these amazing dogs is referring to the fact that Golden Retrievers come from a mix of sheepdogs that were introduced in Britain by a Russian circus troupe.

The development of firearms from the 19th century also required the services of dogs that would bring the gunned prey. After training the representatives of this breed to recover birds, they were also trained to hunt rabbits and foxes too. The first Golden Retriever puppies resulted from crossing a yellow, long-haired, male retriever with a short-haired Tweed Water Spaniel female. In our days, the Tweed Water Spaniel is extinct, but it was very popular in the mid-1800s.

The modern Golden Retriever has evolved from a crossbreeding program, which also included dogs belonging to breeds such as Irish Setter, Bloodhound and Newfoundland. The British Kennel Club accepted this breed in 1903.

Golden Retriever

Personality traits: The temperament of a Golden Retriever is exactly what made this dog breed so popular. They don’t get attached to just one person and they get along well with family members and strangers as well. This feature makes them less recommended for security purposes. Manifestations of violence against people or animals are unacceptable for Golden Retrievers. It is not at all characteristic to them.

They are shy or nervous, but never violent. They constantly seek the contentment of their owners. In addition, they are known for their patience with children. A Golden Retriever can focus well on various tasks, working to exhaustion. So, the owners of these dogs should be careful not to abuse them by giving them too many chores.

American Staffordshire Terrier

History and origins: The American Staffordshire Terrier is a dog breed with ancestors in England, but which was developed independently on the American continent for more than 60 years until the American Kennel Club changed its name. It has the same descendent as the American Pit Bull Terrier. It is the result of crosses between Bulldogs and various Terriers, such as the White English Terrier, the Black and Tan Terrier and the Fox Terrier.

At the end of the 19th century, Staffordshire Bull Terriers were brought to the US by colonists. The American Staffordshire Terrier from our days is heavier and it has a more massive body than the English one.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Personality traits: The American Staffordshire Terrier is energetic, brave, loyal, attentive, noisy, stubborn and dominant. It is very devoted to its owner and the owner’s family. Moreover, it is friendly and gentle with children and can be a good family member. It is aggressive with other dogs of the same sex. In fact, most dogs from this breed get along just with specimens of the opposite sex. It accepts cats and other animals that usually live in a household, but only if they are introduced to them at a young age. Training an American Staffordshire Terrier is not very complicated.

As seen, these dogs belonging to different breeds went through numerous changes over time. A result of crossbreeding, all these 10 breeds are considered to be the most loyal ones. There are countless reasons that determined them to develop in such a positive way and perceive their owners as the most important persons in their lives.

Some of these pooches really need an owner because otherwise they would become hard to manage and they would have no one to please and no one to care for them deeply. If loyalty is what you are looking for in a dog, you can just take a look at the other characteristics these 10 canine specimens have and choose one accordingly.

Getting an Akita Inu just because you liked the movie is not a good idea unless you think your personality and lifestyle matches the one this dog has. However, if you have a kid who really wants a specific dog from this list, you should not hesitate to fulfill his or her wish if you can take care of it properly, ensuring enough space, attention and healthy food for it. Dogs have a lot to offer to people, but people should keep in mind that dogs have special needs too that must be fulfilled.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

  • Winona Matthews

    My husband is thinking of adopting a dog, a Collie or a Great Dane. Since we have 2 other dogs, do you think the breed we are getting is going to be loyal to our family? We are an active-outdoorsy kind and we love loyal doggy companions. Any thoughts?

    • I’d like to know more about the other dogs. But between the Collie and the Great Dane, your lifestyle calls for a Collie. Great Danes are great, but they are more of an indoor fur baby.

  • Missy Carter

    Wow! I love this article since I’m thinking of getting a Beagle. It’s surprising that this breed is so loyal. I just thought that they’re just hound dogs who are so active and frisky. Are they also great with the elderly and those who have disabilities?

    • Appreciate your comment, Missy! These dogs are great for elderly and also those with disabilities because they are generally mild-mannered and with good temperament.

  • James Felicien

    Unconditionally?? You feed the dog, walk them, bath them, etc. Is that unconditional? What if your wife or husband does the samething (he sits down, you take him out, you cook for him, shower him, etc), are you going to tell people that your husband loves you unconditionally? I doubt that. Divorce papers would be on his table ASAP

    • Great thoughts, James! Although of course, love of dogs is different from love of humans.

  • Mickey

    Of course everybody saw the movie about Hachi and eveybody loves Akita Inu :)This breed is a sample trust and loyalty to his master in any situation that would not have happened.

  • ShilohWolves 23

    What about the Doberman Pinscher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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