Best Dog Breeds for Cuddling

The Most Affectionate Canines

Pit Bull Type Dog Giving a Cuddle

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Dogs are naturally companion animals, and they often enjoy receiving attention, too. While some breeds are aloof, more independent, and less likely to want cuddles, others seek out constant companionship and seem to need affection to thrive.

Tip

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 instead, actively enjoy it.

While the dog breeds on this list are known for their cuddly tendencies, every dog has an individual personality (despite its breed) and may not want to be showered with affection often or much at all. Take a look at nine of the most cuddliest breeds in the canine world.

  • 01 of 09

    Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Puppy

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    The golden retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the United States, and for good reason. They tend to be very affectionate, gentle, fun-loving, and smart. They are often a top choice as a family pet. Goldens enjoy the company of respectful children. Their intelligence and eagerness to please also make this breed easier to train than most. These dogs do have a lot of energy, so to keep them happy and content, help them get plenty of exercise and enrichment.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 21 to 24 inches

    Weight: 55 to 75 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Sturdy, muscular, medium-sized dog with a lustrous gold coat, a broad head, friendly and intelligent eyes, and short ears

  • 02 of 09

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    cavalier king charles spaniel

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    The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a popular breed. Their loving and placid temperaments have endeared them to dog lovers since the 17th century when they were much beloved by royalty and noble gentry. Although they are less busy than their cocker or springer spaniel relatives, they are certainly not couch potatoes. They will fit in well with an active family lifestyle, usually enjoy the company of other dogs and can do well in a multi-pet household.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 12 to 13 inches

    Weight: 13 to 18 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Medium-length silky, wavy coat; adults have feathering on their ears, chest, legs, feet, and tail

  • 03 of 09

    Pomeranian

    pomeranian on owner's lap

     

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    Pomeranians are known for being incredibly loyal, brave, and affectionate with their owners, making them a top cuddly choice. They can be very sassy and vocal, and they like to be the boss. Poms can also be stubborn if they are not getting what they want. But they are smart little dogs too, and with the right training, they will be up for most challenges. Their feisty nature means they are probably not the best choice for a household with young children. Because they often demand to be the center of attention, careful introductions would also be needed if they were to live with another dog.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 6 to 7 inches

    Weight: 3 to 7 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Double-coated, long-haired miniature spitz breed with a foxy face, pointy, erect ears, and curled tail

  • 04 of 09

    Staffordshire Bull Terrier

    Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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    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 truly wonderful family pets that are partial to cuddles. The Staffie is generally an extremely affectionate breed devoted to their owners. Despite their size, it is not uncommon for them to seek out a spot on your lap. They are known for being very patient and gentle with children, too.

    Their love for their family means that they are a breed that 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. Of course, some Staffies love other dogs, but initial Introductions should be done carefully.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 14 to 16 inches

    Weight: 24 to 38 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized powerful-looking; short, smooth coat in solid red, fawn, white, black, blue or brindle; broad head set on a short, muscular neck

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Newfoundland

    newfoundland puppy cuddling

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    The Newfoundland is a beautiful giant breed that is known for its calm, gentle and loving disposition. They are often referred to as the "nanny" dog, as they are exceptionally loyal and devoted to their family, including children. The breed is known for being pretty docile. Their size and working heritage, however, mean they still need a lot of exercise to prevent boredom and problem behaviors from surfacing. If you plan to own a Newfoundland, you will need plenty of space and a large yard.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 26 to 28 inches

    Weight: 100 to 150 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Large, heavy-coated powerful body with a broad, massive head and small ears that lie close to the head

  • 06 of 09

    Greyhound

    A lounging Greyhound

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    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. Just watch out for a bony limb 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.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 25 to 30 inches

    Weight: 60 to 80 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long legs and narrow, streamlined bodies; its head is long, narrow, and its muzzle tapers to a point at its nose

  • 07 of 09

    Chihuahua

    chihuahua puppy sleeping

     

    Kelly Sillaste / Getty Images

    Chihuahuas may be one of the smallest dog breeds, but it is fair to say that they often have some of the biggest personalities. Their sassy character often turns people into fans of the breed. They need a decent amount of exercise and carrying them too much will prevent them from keeping fit. It can also teach them to become more fearful if they are not being exposed to people and places properly. With the right training and socialization, these little dogs can prove to be fantastic little companions. They develop strong bonds with their owners, often loving nothing more than a lap snuggle after a busy day.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 6 to 9 inches

    Weight: 2 to 6 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Apple-shaped heads and pointed muzzles; smooth or long coats; come in black, tan, fawn, cream, white, blue, silver, chocolate, and red

  • 08 of 09

    Pug

    Two pugs sleeping together

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    Pugs have grown in popularity over the last decade. They are a breed that is full of character and fun with a surprising amount of energy and an even-temper. This makes them a sought-after choice as a family pet that tends to get on well with children and other animals. They are known for enjoying a snuggle and often actively seek out attention.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 13 inches

    Weight: 14 to 18 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Stocky and square-proportioned; flat face; smooth, short double coat in fawn or black

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Bichon Frise

    bichon frise in the woods

     

    Apeloga AB / Getty Images

    A lot of people are drawn to the bichon frise because of their adorable, cotton-ball, appearance. The breed is so much more than just sweet to look at. They are full of vim and vigor, and best suited in an active household where they will get plenty of enrichment and exercise.

    They love to play and thus are a popular choice for households with children. They often crave attention and love to snuggle with their owners. Because they are people-orientated, they need to live in a home where they will have company for most of the day.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 12 inches

    Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Fluffy and curly white hair (may have traces of apricot, buff, or cream), resembles a cotton ball or powder puff

Breeds to Avoid

Less affectionate dog breeds tend to be more intelligent, independent, or stubborn. Examples of breeds to avoid include shar-peis, chow chows, and Afghan hounds. Each of these breeds like hanging out with their humans—the 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.