Who’s up for a cuddle? Most and least affectionate dog breeds

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Who’s up for a cuddle? Most and least affectionate dog breeds

You dog’s breed can play a huge role in how sociable they are, along with their individual personality traits. Not everyone wants an affectionate dog. Sometimes those sloppy kisses or a 'shadow' pooch that follows you to the toilet can be a bit too much. Some of us prefer an aloof companion who enjoys their own company and is not desperately trying to get under your duvet or jump on your lap whilst you are driving. If that sounds like the dog, for you…read on!

The 6 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds

We’ll start with the most affectionate breeds, for those who crave connection and like a dog that will keep you warm at night and listen when you tell them how your day has been.

Retriever photo by Barnabas Davoti on PexelsRetriever photo by Barnabas Davoti on Pexels


The obvious choice and a pretty popular all-round hound. Both Golden and Labrador Retrievers love to cuddle and are well known to be one of the most loving dog breeds. Recommended for families as they also adore children, just make sure that if you are buying a Labrador you get one from a domestic rather than a working strain as they need much more mental stimulation and exercise than one that has been bred as a pet.

Great Dane

We always loved Scooby Doo but did you know that he’s a Great Dane and that despite their huge size, Great Danes really love to cuddle! These gentle giants really love to snuggle up to their owners and be close by.


Pugs follow their owners from room to room and apparently have no concept of personal space. Unlike Great Danes they are small enough to get on your lap and will keep trying to do so every time you sit down. They were originally bred as lap dogs, so if you don’t want a dog on your lap, don’t get a pug!

Dachshunds Photo by Tatiana LM on PexelsDachshunds Photo by Tatiana LM on Pexels


Unlike the pug who was bred for cuddles, dachshunds were bred to kill badgers but in the absence of those black and white critters they have become the ultimate snugglehound and really love to nestle up on the sofa with their favourite humans. They also enjoy burrowing under the duvet too so if you don’t want to wake up spooning with your dog then they’re probably not the pet for you.


Whilst not quite as ‘in your face’ as some of the breeds we’ve just mentioned, boxers are very loyal and love to cuddle with their owners and will come and often come place their head on your lap when you're sitting down. 

Boxers photo by Nancy Guth on PexelsBoxers photo by Nancy Guth on Pexels

Bichon Frise

Like the Pug, Bichon Frise were bred as lap dogs and just love to snuggle with their owners. They thrive in households where they have company most of the time and don’t do well being left for long periods which means that they make good pets for families or retired folk. They can make good office dogs if you are allowed to take them to work with you and are very friendly with strangers.

The 6 Least Affectionate Dog Breeds

When talking about the least affectionate breeds, we are not taking about aggressive breeds or working strains like the Belgian Malinois that don’t always make great pets, but rather those anti-social types of dog that can take you or leave you and don’t insist on getting under the covers with you or whine and scratch outside the bathroom door when you’re taking a pee. These dogs are not nasty at all, but if you’re looking for a snuggly pooch who loves talking to strangers, they may not be a perfect match.

Tibetan Mastiff

It’s always worth looking to see what your dog was bred for before choosing them as a pet, some people love the look of Huskies but they are bred to pull a sleigh in arctic conditions and may not do well living in the city. Likewise, the Tibetan Mastiff looks like an adorable teddy bear but they were bred to guard monasteries against bears and wolves and they value being in control – not necessarily a great trait for a pet and however snuggly they may look they really don’t necessarily want a cuddle!

Tibetan Mastiff photo by Grisha Grishkoff on PexelsTibetan Mastiff photo by Grisha Grishkoff on Pexels

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso aka the Italian Mastiff is very loyal but can be distrustful of strangers. They can make good family pets if well trained but can cause problems if not. They can weigh up to 45kg (100lbs), which also makes them somewhat intimidating for inexperienced dog owners. 


A little surprising to see this on the list as Poodles have been used for lots of very, very popular family-friendly crossbreeds (Labrdoodle, Golden Doodle, Cockerpoo, Cavapoo, Jackapoo, you get the idea) which are friendly and cuddly! But purebred Poodles? Not so much. They are super-intelligent, demanding and need a lot of exercise and attention which can put some owners off.

German Shepherds photo by Jozef Fehér on PexelsGerman Shepherds photo by Jozef Fehér on Pexels

German Shepherd

A popular choice for the police, military and other agencies, German Shepherds are great working dogs but may not always make the cuddliest pet. They can be hyper vigilant and nervous around new people as they are bred for working, not partying. This doesn’t mean they don’t make great pets, with the right kind of training and socialisation.

Shetland Sheepdog 

These super-cute lassie lookalikes are bred to work in extreme conditions on the Scottish islands. There isn’t a lot going on in the Shetland Isles apart from sheep herding so due to their breeding they can be shy and struggle with confidence in certain situations. 

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hounds are affectionate, but they prefer to do it from a distance! Glamorous, aloof, and high-maintenance, their love and devotion is not always clearly demonstrated, as they are very independent, free spirited dogs. This makes them more suitable for experienced owners, rather than a general pet.

That’s the end of our breed round-up. Have we missed anything from our list that you think needs to go on there? Perhaps you think we’ve been unfair and you have a snuggly Afghan Hound at home that will prove us wrong! As always, let us know in the comments, we love to hear about your experiences with your own dogs if you’re happy to share!

Main photo by Cottonbro Studio on Pexels

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