Dog Care Tips Dog Behavior

30 Affectionate Best Dog Breeds for Cuddling

Dogs are naturally inclined toward humans. They are called best friends for some reason after all.

Throughout my experience as a dog trainer, I have met some amazing cuddlers regardless of their breed.

That’s to say, each dog has its own personality. So, irrespective of its breed, it may want to cuddle or not. That includes Huskies as well.

It’s important to give your pet the space it needs to grow healthy. Forcing it to cuddle or show behaviors, not in its basket of behaviors may lead to mental harm.

You can still use positive reinforcement as your tool to teach your dog cuddling, but it’s not a hard and fast, proven way.

That said, here are the best dog breeds for cuddling that I have come across and trained over the years.

Best Dog Breeds for Cuddling – A Personal List

Let’s get on with the list of 30 dog breeds.

1. Alaskan Klee Kai

Score: ⅘ 

Derived from the same ancestors as Huskies, the Alaskan Klee Kai is a breed retaining their signature vigor with key differences in behavior.

For one, they are affectionate companions that won’t shy away from showing their love with puppy kisses and lots of cuddles.

2. Golden Retriever

Score: 5/5 

Goldies are known for their tolerant attitude towards their human family members. They will obey you at great lengths to fetch games, sniff out things, or play for endless hours.

That also includes cuddling with their favorite human for no reason.

3. Labrador Retriever

Score: 5/5

Labradors have certain characteristics in common with Goldies. They are both working and companion dogs.

They both love cuddling with their humans. Leaving them alone for long hours bears foul fruit as their hyper-attachment can lead to separation anxiety.

4. Irish Setter

Score: 5/5 

They are energetic, enthusiast hunters, but also keen family members who don’t shy away from showing their affection.

They will cuddle with you but for not long because of their inner calling to get up and release all the pent-up energy. You may see them afterward inquiring about things or asking you to play fetch.

5. Akita

Score: 5/5 

Akitas once guarded royalties, but these days they are fearless companion dogs that switch roles from cuddlers to guard dogs in no time.

Before cuddling with them, bear in mind that their shedding tendency is high. A session of love will leave its remnants behind in the form of hair.

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Score: 5/5

A true spaniel at its heart, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is still a cuddler. It loves belly rubs and lounging on its owner’s lap for hours. But every now and then, it will want to chase birds to satisfy its true nature.

7. Pomeranian

Score: 5/5

Pomeranians blossom to their fullest when they are loved and cared for the way they deserve. But behind that lovey-dovey nature is a fearless dog that takes on bigger canines also.

Their barking is infamous. When it comes to cuddling, however, you’ll see how they ease out into the most affectionate companions.

8. Maltese

Score: 5/5

Another small dog, the Maltese are also known to take challenges on challenges head-on. When they are not doing that, they’ll soothe your nerves with their love-filled cuddles.

As a therapy dog, this takes Maltese from the ordinary list to the extraordinary one where other dogs with big hearts are listed.

9. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Score: 5/5

Staffordshire Terriers may have imposing looks that are reminiscent of their ancestors, but they are true companions. They love their family members, especially the children in it.

However, to be able to reap the full benefits of its companionship, training them from their puppyhood is a must. The training shouldn’t stop in adulthood, though.

10. Labradoodle

Score: 5/5

Labradoodles, a mixed breed between Poodles and Labrador Retrievers, retain the cuddling characteristics of both.

They aren’t serious shedders, so your clothes will be saved from dog hair. Do buy it from a trusted breeder because breeding inconsistencies may lead to a different coat-shedding behavior.

11. Old English Sheepdogs

Score: 5/5

OES, as dog enthusiasts call them, are gentle creators with lovely coats. They were drovers in the past, but now, they can be seen lounging in apartments and big houses alike.

For large dogs, they are quite okay with small spaces as long as you shower them with your love and attention, and take them out for walks.

12. German Shepherd

Score: 5/5

GSDs need no introduction when it comes to cuddling. They shed their aloofness for the persons they bond with the most. Their loyalty to them exceeds anything.

As a multi-talented breed, it can learn almost anything you teach it – be it guarding, rescuing, therapy, or whatnot. 

13. Bulldogs

Score: 5/5 

Bulldogs were the life of a bloody sport called bull baiting in the past. But those days are long gone. They are now perfect companion dogs for people living in apartments.

Besides love, their main reason to cuddle is poor weather tolerance. They also tend to rest more than walk or go out. It may take some encouragement on your part to get the dog moving.

14. Doberman Pinscher

Score: 5/5

A little big for cuddling, the Doberman Pinscher will not leave a single lapse in showing you its love for you. The breed has a bad reputation for being aggressive, which is only true when they are guarding something.

But in all fairness, they are gentle, loving, kind, and forgiving. Just make sure you take it out for a walk daily to tone down its energy reserves.

15. Brussels Griffon

Score: 5/5

Brussels Griffons are active and energetic. Looking into their origin story reveals the cause for it. They were bred to hunt rats. The energy they have may sometimes seem too big for a small dog. That’s what doesn’t let them sit in your lap for long.

However, with the right treatment, love, and attention, you can expect a companion ready to get out of its comfort zone for you.

16. Bedlington Terrier

Score: 5/5

Bedlington Terriers are awesome watchdogs; their keen sense of smell evolved from assisting hunters in the past. There’s another side to their personality than just being a watchdog or a hunting dog – they love attention.

So much so that their hunger for your love makes them intolerant of other pets. Cuddling is, of course, a product of that possessive love for you.

17. Boston Terrier

Score: ⅘

The American Gentlemen, Boston Terriers have made a name for themselves by sporting a tuxedo-like coat. They are sometimes confused with French Bulldogs because there’s some similarity in looks but unlike them, they are not couch potatoes.

As owners of Boston Terriers, you’ll have to take out some time to walk them around, play games, or let them exercise well. In between those sessions, cuddling won’t stop. 

18. Jack Russel Terrier

Score: 5/5

Small but imposing, the Jack Russel Terriers will demand attention and plenty of exercises because that’s how they roll. Yes, they are highly affectionate, cuddling won’t be a problem. But considering their high-energy selves, doing that for long will not be possible.

Also, they need consistent training to be bent at your will. Keeping Russel Terriers is like having a rowdy kid around the house.

19. Boxer

Score: 5/5

The Peter Pan of the dog world, Boxers are mischievous. They almost have a child-like demeanor, wanting attention, play, appreciation, and warm hugs.

Using harsh training methods with them is futile because, with all the goodness of being a companion dog, they are still pretty headstrong. You’ll need to be gentle with them.

20. Bernese Mountain Dog

Score: 5/5

Bernese Mountain Dogs won’t shy away from cuddling you if you’re ready to accept the by-products such as drooling and fur. Whatever they do, they do with intensity.

You’ll be bombarded with love and affection, but at the same time, your neighbor with excessively barking. These aren’t dogs for the apartment, so make sure you provide them with a bigger space and big opportunities to exercise.

21. Newfoundland

Score: 5/5

Newfoundland from Newfoundland is a strong breed that is used to pull carts, help fishermen with nets loaded with fish, and lunge logs from the water.

Their close association with humans transformed them into one of the most loving breeds out there. They don’t mind cuddling at all, but good luck cuddling this huge fur ball.

22. Great Dane

Score: 5/5

Called the Apollo of dogs, Great Danes are noble and gentle – characteristics that may not complement their large sizes. From afar they look ferocious, but for those who judge a book by its cover.

This highly sensitive dog can be a loving family member ready to curl up by your side in your bed.

23. German Shorthaired Pointer

Score: 5/5

German Shorthaired Pointers are generally affectionate. But there’s a reason why they aren’t for novice owners: their physical and mental capacities exceed many breeds.

They require attention, mental stimulation, and exercise. Cuddling may come and go in between but their need to stay active stays ripe always. 

24. Mastiff

Score: 5/5 

They may have problems with other dogs, but when it comes to their humans, they will shower every ounce of love on them. This breed is for anyone who wants love from a big dog and knows how to cuddle one. It won’t say no.

However, make sure you do prior puppy socialization to help it understand how to behave around you and other family members.

25. Greyhound

Score: 5/5

They are super fast. Call them the Ferrari of the dog world and you won’t be wrong.

But they aren’t for owners who want a resilient dog that can be left home alone for hours because they are quite sensitive. They develop separation anxiety that will affect their general abilities.

However, give them the right attention and love, and you’ll have a cuddling cheetah in your house.

26. Chihuahua

Score: 5/5 

A Chihuahua will guard you with its life. That’s how much this breed loves their human families. Cuddling is just one of the many ways they show it.

However, these dogs can be feisty and moody at the same time. So watch out for its triggers and respect its boundaries. They pack a lot of guile and aggression in a small body.

27. Brittany

Score: 5/5 

Being a hunting dog, Brittany checks every box of being loyal, affectionate, and close-knit to the family.

Make sure you fulfill their daily needs for exercise, otherwise, things could go south. About cuddling, it’s not a problem with them as long as their individual personality allows.

28. Collie

Score: 5/5

Collies have one leg in the future. They can predict your next need, for their intelligence makes them capable of doing so. That also makes them highly affectionate with their family members.

Their high sense of loyalty makes them perfect companion dogs on a farm with a vacancy for a herding dog. When they’re done with their jobs, they’ll come for a snuggle, giving you back the love you give them by manifolds.

29. Shih Tzu

Score: 5/5

Shih Tzu can adapt to apartment life better than many breeds. It’s small, not very demanding, and a furball of love that will stay in your lap for a long time.

All of its love-giving gimmicks betray the meaning of its name: little lion. It’s not a fierce feline but a cute miniature toy dog wanting to stay close to you at all costs. Snuggle and cuddle with it all you want.

30. Dachshund

Score: ⅘ 

Dachshund is a bold breed. If you see even a bit of shyness in yours, take it to a vet. During normal days, it will help you do things, stay close to you, trust you blindly, and cuddle, given you’re doing what pleases it.

For example, letting it participate in your activities, giving it apt attention, and making efforts to release its pent-up energy. 

Besides the 30 breeds, you can also count on Vizsla, Whippet, Pug, Bichon Frise, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Beagles, and Poodles for cuddling

Why Doesn’t My Dog Cuddle?

Dogs have individual personalities. While some are inclined to allow cuddling, the dogs of the same breed may not like it at all! Whether your dog cuddles or not depends on factors such as its training, brought up, history, physical and mental conditions, and general breed disposition. 

If your dog doesn’t cuddle, refrain from forcing it. Remember that it’s a being and it requires its space uninvaded even by unnecessary love. Wait for the right moment to get their attention.

In the meanwhile, focus on pampering them with treats to strengthen the bond further. 

Best Dog Breeds for Cuddling – Conclusion

Dog breeds cuddle because they want to shower their love on you. But they may also cuddle because of cold weather, fear, anxiety, and many other physical and mental reasons. A dog cuddling more than usual should be checked thoroughly.

Similarly, a dog avoiding any form of physical touch along with showing slight aggression should also be checked for problems. Lastly, the breeds that I’ve mentioned above have a general tendency to be more affectionate and cuddle.

However, whether or not your pet will follow the same road depends on its individual personality as well.

About the author

Linda Michaels

Linda Michaels is a proud owner of a Labradoodle named Mylo. She is a trainer who posts about dog training and behavior.
🎓: University of California, Davis
📍: Washington Boulevard Animal Hospital