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There is something so special about coming home and opening the door to be greeted by your big smiling dog, and his wagging tail. Dogs truly are man’s best friend, and most dog owners are looking for just that: a friend!
A larger dog can be cuddly and caring and can keep up with you on long hikes or walks through town. Your ideal canine companion is affectionate, gentle, and enjoys being at your side. But what kind of dog is this ideal buddy?
Although the perfect dog differs for each person, we have put together a list of the 10 most affectionate large dog breeds to help you find a superb best friend!
Most Affectionate Large Dog Breeds
|Ranking||Name||Height||Weight||Life span||Breed size||Temperament||Origin|
|1||Labrador Retriever||26 to 28 inches||130 to 150 pounds||8 – 10 years||Large||sweet-tempered, gentle, watchful, friendly||Newfoundland|
|2||Golden Retriever||28.5 to 31.5 inches||65 to 75 pounds||10 – 12 years||Large||intelligent, reliable, trustworthy, friendly, kind, confident||United Kingdom|
|3||Irish Wolfhound||34 to 35 inches||140 to 180 pounds||6 – 10 years||Large||sweet-tempered, thoughtful, generous, patient||Ireland|
|4||Newfoundland||26 to 28 inches||130 to 150 pounds||8 – 10 years||Large||sweet-tempered, gentle, watchful, friendly||Newfoundland|
|5||Rough Collie||22 to 24 inches||55 to 70 pounds||10 – 18 years||Large||loyal, protective, friendly, gentle, alert||Scotland|
|6||Bloodhound||27 to 32 inches||90 to 130 pounds||10 – 12 years||Large||even tempered, stubborn, affectionate, gentle||Belgium|
|7||Bullmastiff||24 to 27 inches||100 to 130 pounds||8 – 10 years||Large||powerful, alert, calm, loving, loyal, protective||United Kingdom|
|8||Great Dane||28 to 32 inches||110 to 190 pounds||8 – 10 years||Large||friendly, reserved, loving, devoted, confident||Germany|
|9||Bernese Mountain Dog||64 to 70 cm||75 to 120 pounds||6 – 8 years||Large||Intelligent, Affectionate, Loyal, Faithful||Switzerland|
|10||Greyhound||27 to 30 inches||60 to 70 pounds||10 – 14 years||Large||affection, quite, gentle, athletic||England|
|11||Great Pyrenees||27 to 32 inches||100 to 120 pounds||10 – 12 years||Large||Strong Willed, Affectionate, Fearless, Confident, Patient, Gentle||France, Spain|
|12||Saint Bernard||27 to 35 inches||140 to 260 pounds||8 – 10 years||Large||Lively, Friendly, Watchful, Gentle, Calm||Switzerland|
|13||Scottish Deerhound||30 to 32 inches||85 to 110 pounds||8 – 11 years||Large||very sensitive, one-family dogs||Scotland|
|14||Leonberger||26 to 31 inches||110 to 170 pounds||8 – 9 years||Large||Companionable, Fearless, Loyal, Obedient, Loving, Adaptable||Germany|
|15||Anatolian Shepherd||27 to 29 inches||27 to 29 inches||10 – 13 years||Large||Steady, Intelligent, Bold, Confident, Independent, Proud||Turkey|
|16||Alaskan Malamute||23 to 25 inches||75 to 85 pounds||10 – 12 years||Large||Devoted, Friendly, Affectionate, Dignified, Loyal, Playful||Alaska|
|17||Samoyed||19 to 24 inches||35 to 60 pounds||12 – 14 years||Large||Lively, Friendly, Sociable, Stubborn, Alert, Playful||Northern Russia and Siberia|
|18||Kuvasz||26 to 30 inches||70 to 115 pounds||10 – 12 years||Large||Intelligent, Loyal, Independent, Patient, Clownish, Protective||Hungary|
|19||English Mastiff||27 to 30 inches||120 to 230 pounds||6 – 12 years||Large||Affectionate, Dignified, Good-natured, Protective, Courageous, Calm||England|
|20||Akita Inu||24 to 28 inches||70 to 130 pounds||10 – 12 years||Large||Akitas are quiet, fastidious dogs||Japan|
1. Labrador Retriever
The classic family dog, lovable labs are friendly, active, and outgoing. They are eager to please and attentive to their humans, and as a retriever, they would probably love to play a game of fetch.
Height: 21.5-24.5 inches
Weight: 55-80 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: Short, water repellent double coat sheds and requires occasional brushing and bathing.
Trainability: Labs are eager to please, love food, and are outgoing so they are highly trainable.
Exercise Needs: Needs lots of activity. Labs love to swim and play fetch!
Social Behavior: With proper socialization, most Labs will do well with adults, children, other dogs, other animals, and even strangers. They make a great family pet, but probably not the best guard dog.
Common Health Concerns: Labs have a genetic propensity towards hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, and eye issues. They can also tend towards obesity, but this is easily prevented with proper diet and plenty of exercise. Recommended health testing: hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, ophthalmologist evaluation, and EIC DNA test.
Things to Keep In Mind: The Labrador is America’s most popular dog for good reason, but owners must keep in mind that Labs can shed quite a bit, and are an energetic breed that requires more exercise than some families are able to provide.
2. Golden Retriever
A friendly, loving, dog with a sturdy build and a beautiful golden coat. Goldens are another popular American family pet and for good reason.
Height: 21.5-24 inches
Weight: 55-75 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: Long, water-repellent coat with a thick undercoat that sheds. Goldens require weekly brushing and occasional baths to keep their coat healthy and keep the shedding at bay.
Trainability: Golden Retrievers are friendly and eager to please, which makes them excellent learners.
Exercise Needs: Goldens need lots of exercise in order to remain happy and healthy.
Social Behavior: Goldens get on well with adults, children, and other animals alike when they have been properly socialized.
Common Health Concerns: Like Labs, Golden Retrievers are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, and eye issues. They can also suffer from certain heart diseases and allergic skin conditions. Recommended health testing: hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, cardiac exam, ophthalmologist evaluation, and EIC DNA test. Cancer is also extremely common in this breed.
Things to Keep In Mind: Goldens shed quite a bit, and owners need to remember that this large breed needs plenty of daily exercise. There are some lines of golden retrievers that are prone to resource aggression or cancer, so be sure to carefully research your chosen breeder!
3. Irish Wolfhound
Long-legged and tall, Irish Wolfhounds have a coarse, shaggy coat and a sweet, serene temperament. They are gentle, easygoing companions. Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest of all AKC breeds.
Height: 30-34 inches
Weight: 105-120 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: A rough, coarse outer coat covers a soft undercoat. Irish Wolfhounds shed moderately throughout the year, and weekly brushing should keep this at a minimum.
Trainability: Irish Wolfhounds are very intelligent and tuned into people, which makes them responsive learners.
Exercise Needs: Irish Wolfhounds need regular exercise to stretch their long legs.
Social Behavior: Despite their enormous size, Irish Wolfhounds are very gentle and get on well with people, children, and other dogs.
Common Health Concerns: Irish Wolfhounds can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, heart conditions, and eye issues. Recommended health testing: hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, cardiac exam, and ophthalmologist evaluation.
Things to Keep In Mind: Because this breed is so large, it needs ample space both inside and outside. Because Irish Wolfhounds are sighthounds and have a high prey drive, owners should keep their dogs leashed unless they are in a fenced-in area. Irish Wolfhounds tend to live only 6-8 years.
Newfoundlands were bred for water rescue and pulling fishing nets, but despite their massive size, they are patient, gentle, and devoted companions that get along very well with children. According to the American Kennel Club, “Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland,” and this characteristic is “the most important single characteristic of the breed.”
Height: 26-28 inches
Weight: 100-150 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: The Newfie’s thick, heavy coat sheds year round and requires at least weakly brushing in order to keep the coat healthy and the shedding to a minimum.
Trainability: Newfoundlands are highly intelligent, eager to please, and friendly, which makes them eager to learn new tricks.
Exercise Needs: This breed needs regular exercise in order to remain healthy. Newfies love to swim!
Social Behavior: Newfoundlands are incredibly gentle pets and, when properly socialized, are an ideal companion for children. They also tend to get on well with adults and other dogs and animals.
Common Health Concerns: Newfoundlands are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, cystinuria, cardiac issues, and eye issues. Recommended health testing: hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, cardiac exam, cystinuria DNA test, and ophthalmologist evaluation.
Things to Keep In Mind: Newfoundlands are huge dogs and need plenty of outdoor and indoor space. They do not do well in hot climates and tend to drool a lot, especially when panting.
5. Rough Collie
The Rough Collie has a charming energetic personality and a striking gorgeous coat. The classic Lassie dog makes a devoted companion and a great family pet. Other very similar affectionate dogs to consider are the Smooth Collie and the Bearded Collie.
Height: 22-26 inches
Weight: 50-75 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: The long, dense coat of the Collie requires brushing every few days to keep it from matting and to remove dead hair.
Trainability: Collies are very smart and people oriented, so they enjoy learning new tricks.
Exercise Needs: Collies need regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally healthy.
Social Behavior: With proper socialization, Rough Collies do well with people and other dogs. They are especially good with, and protective of, children.
Common Health Concerns: Collies have a propensity toward eye issues and sensitivities to certain drugs. Recommended health testing: PRA Optigen DNA test and MDR1 DNA test.
Things to Keep In Mind: Collies are incredibly smart, and a Collie who is bored or who isn’t getting enough exercise can become destructive or behave unacceptably. Collies also have a strong herding instinct which is more prevalent in some genetic lines than in others, so if you want a calm pet, it is important to find a breeder that breeds dogs who are good family pets, rather than competitive herders. Proper socialization is necessary to prevent shyness.
Bloodhounds are still commonly used as working dogs, where they use their incredible noses to find anything from illegal substances to missing people. They are devoted and loyal, which makes them excellent companions and deserving of one of the most affectionate large dog breeds.
Height: 23-27 inches
Weight: 80-110 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: The Bloodhound’s short, dense coat benefits from regular brushing. Bloodhounds should also be bathed regularly to keep them from “smelling like a dog.”
Trainability: It is important to start training your Bloodhound early; habits he develops will likely stay for life, so it is important to teach proper behavior from the beginning. While these dogs are very smart, they can be stubborn, and training your Bloodhound can be challenging.
Exercise Needs: Bloodhounds are an active breed and need regular exercise.
Social Behavior: Bloodhounds do well with people, children, and other dogs, but can be shy around strangers.
Common Health Concerns: Bloodhounds can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, and heart issues. Because of their loose skin and droopy ears, owners should regularly check skin folds and ears for irritation or infection. Recommended health testing: hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, and cardiac exam.
Things to Keep In Mind: Bloodhounds are prone to drooling excessively, and can be quite stubborn. As with all scenthounds, they may not be able to control their urge to follow a scent and should be walked on a leash or kept in a fenced-in area.
With their large form and masked faces, Bullmastiffs are a cross between Bulldogs and Mastiffs. They make excellent guard dogs, and gentle, affectionate companions. Similar breeds include English Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, and Pyrenean Mastiffs.
Height: 24-27 inches
Weight: 100-130 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: Bullmastiffs shed seasonally, but their short coat needs only occasional bathing and brushing.
Trainability: Bullmastiffs have a tendency towards stubbornness, so starting training early in the dog’s life is recommended. They’re not exactly known for their smarts or trainability!
Exercise Needs: Bullmastiffs are energetic and enjoy daily exercise, but can be quite lazy in their older years.
Social Behavior: Bullmastiffs are gentle and loyal companions and also do well with children. They can be protective, and behave aggressively towards strange humans and dogs.
Common Health Concerns: This breed is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, thyroid issues, cardiac issues, and eye problems. Recommended health testing: hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, cardiac exam, thyroid evaluation, and ophthalmologist evaluation.
Things to Keep In Mind: Bullmastiffs tend to drool quite a bit. It is also very important to establish good behavior early on in the dog’s life, as a large breed that is aggressive to strangers can be difficult to control when full grown.
8. Great Dane
The powerful, yet elegant Great Dane is a very distinctive breed, and makes a gentle, patient family companion.
Height: 28-32 inches
Weight: 110-175 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: Great Danes shed seasonally, but their short coat needs only occasional bathing and brushing.
Trainability: Great Danes tend to be responsive and agreeable learners. With a dog this size, obedience training is a must!
Exercise Needs: This is an energetic breed, and requires daily exercise.
Social Behavior: Great Danes are gentle companions that get on well with adults, children, and other pets and dogs. Without proper socialization, however, they can become extremely shy outside of the home.
Common Health Concerns: Great Danes are especially prone to gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, a potentially fatal enlarging and/or twisting of the stomach. Danes can also experience hip dysplasia, and issues with the eyes, heart, or thyroid. Recommended health testing: hip evaluation, cardiac exam, thyroid evaluation, and ophthalmologist evaluation.
Things to Keep In Mind: Prospective owners should keep in mind that proper training and socialization are a must in order to ensure that the dog is safe and manageable. Some lines of great danes are tragically short-lived and can be extremely shy, so finding a good breeder is a must!
9. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are strong, sturdy, working dogs that originate from the mountains of Switzerland. They make sweet, affectionate dogs that enjoy spending time with their humans.
Height: 23-27.5 inches
Weight: 70-115 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: Bernese Mountain Dogs have a long double coat that sheds quite a bit. Brushing a few times a week keeps shedding under control and keeps the coat from matting.
Trainability: Bernese Mountain Dogs are intelligent and eager to please, so they enjoy learning new tricks.
Exercise Needs: This breed is energetic and requires daily exercise.
Social Behavior: Bernese Mountain Dogs are friendly with adults, children, and other dogs. They enjoy activities with their family and do not do well when left alone for long periods of time.
Common Health Concerns: Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiac issues, blood issues, and eye problems. Recommended health testing: hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, cardiac exam, ophthalmologist evaluation, and Von Willebrand’s Disease DNA test.
Things to Keep In Mind: Bernese Mountain Dogs can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time, so proper training and socialization are very important from a young age.
The Greyhound’s tall, slender frame allows them to be one of the fastest animals on land. They also make gentle, sweet, stoic pets.
Height: 27-30 inches
Weight: 60-70 pounds
Coat Type and Grooming Needs: The short, smooth coat of the Greyhound needs very little attention; the occasional bath and brushing are all that is needed to get rid of dead hair.
Trainability: Greyhounds are eager to please, but can be independent and get bored easily. A gentle approach to training, with short sessions, is ideal for this breed.
Exercise Needs: While they are calm indoors, Greyhounds are energetic and require daily exercise, and regular opportunities to run full-out. They will chase anything that moves, so a game of fetch in a fenced-in area is ideal.
Social Behavior: When properly socialized, Greyhounds are loving friends, and enjoy the company of adults, children, and other dogs. Greyhounds can be reserved and shy around strangers, and usually don’t display exuberant happiness to the degree that some other breeds do.
Common Health Concerns: The Greyhound can be susceptible to cardiac and eye issues, as well as Greyhound neuropathy. Recommended health testing: cardiac exam, ophthalmologist evaluation, and Greyhound Polyneuropathy NDRG1 DNA test.
Things to Keep In Mind: Because of their high prey drive, Greyhounds will likely chase cats or other small animals. They should be kept on a leash unless they are in an enclosed area.
11. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is a huge and lively breed of dog with a thick, white coat and a devoted, friendly nature. They were initially used in the French Pyrenees to protect livestock.
Height: 27-32 inches
Weight: 100-120 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: The Great Pyrenees have a long, dense, double coat that is often white. They are protected from the elements by a long outer coat, and they are shielded from the cold by a thick undercoat. They shed a lot twice a year, and weekly care is necessary to maintain their healthy coat. Remember that regular grooming is essential to keeping them cozy and healthy. This includes routine brushing to get rid of tangles and stray hair, as well as occasional cutting or clipping to maintain the coat’s appearance.
Trainability: The Pyrenees are very trainable, yet they can be stubborn sometimes. They respond well to positive feedback training methods and require a constant, firm, and patient trainer.
Exercise needs: They have high exercise requirements and lots of space to run around daily, making them excellent running and trekking partners.
Social behavior: Great Pyrenees are well-known for their fierce protective instincts and make excellent watchdogs regarding social behavior. Although they can be cautious or distant from outsiders, they are often loving and devoted to their families.
Common health concerns: Hip dysplasia, bloating, and skin allergies are typical health issues. A nutritious diet and routine vet visits can help prevent or treat these conditions.
Things to keep in mind: Due to their size and strength, Great Pyrenees need a lot of space and exercise. They may need routine grooming because they have a strong protective instinct. Regular check-ups with a vet are essential since it may be vital to be informed of any health issues they may have.
12. Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard dog breed originated in the Swiss Alps as a large, strong rescue dog. They are renowned for their size and power, as well as for being kind and devoted. They have a striking, strong appearance due to their huge head and broad chest. They are powerful, quick, and have a warm, caring nature. They have a strong innate desire to look after and defend their family.
Height: 27-35 inches
Weight: 140-260 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: The thick, double coat of Saint Bernards is normally short to medium in length. Usually, their coat is a mixture of brown, red, and white. They shed a lot; therefore, regular brushing is necessary to keep their coat in good shape. This will help keep the coat healthy and lustrous by removing dead hair.
Trainability: Saint Bernards may express stubbornness. They can be independent and powerful, but they are smart and eager to please. They need a constant, firm, patient trainer and respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques. It is important to be consistent and patient when training these sensitive dogs because harsh training methods won’t work.
Exercise needs: Saint Bernards require regular walks and playtime to keep healthy and happy, and they have moderate activity needs. They thrive with some fun and light exercise because they are likely to overheat.
Social behavior: Saint Bernards are loving and compassionate animals. They are excellent family pets because they are renowned for being friendly and patient with kids. When socialized from an early age, they are also known to get along well with other animals, including dogs and cats.
Common health concerns: Hip dysplasia, bloating, and obesity is among the health issues that Saint Bernards frequently experience. A nutritious diet and routine vet visits can help prevent or treat these conditions. Additionally, due to their genetic susceptibility to problems like hip dysplasia, it’s critical to be aware of them and schedule routine veterinary check-ups.
Things to keep in mind: Although they are renowned for being kind and devoted and make wonderful family companions, they might not be the best choice for novice dog owners. To keep their thick coat in good condition, they need frequent grooming, so it’s crucial to budget the time and money necessary.
13. Scottish Deerhound
The Scottish Deerhound is a large, graceful breed of sighthound, also called the “Royal Dog of Scotland.” They have athletic physiques and lengthy, shaggy coats. They have a good sense of sight and are quick, and they were originally developed to hunt deer in the Scottish Highlands. They are renowned for their tranquility, independence, and steadfast dedication to their families.
Height: 30-32 inches
Weight: 85-110 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: The long, shaggy coat of a Scottish Deerhound can be blue-gray, white, brindled, or yellow. This entails weekly brushing to get rid of tangles and stray hair, as well as periodic clipping or trimming to maintain their coat’s appearance.
Trainability: Scottish Deerhounds are quite trainable. Although they have a strong will, they are also intelligent. They require a steady, firm, patient trainer and react well to training techniques that provide positive reinforcement. They have a natural tendency to chase small animals. If you don’t want them to pursue or hunt, it’s important to socialize and train them properly to curb this instinct.
Exercise needs: Due to their great need for exercise, they require a lot of daily movement and open areas to run. They need to be able to run and extend their legs because they were developed as hunting dogs. They should be exercised in a secure environment or while wearing a leash because they need a lot of room to run around. They enjoy being active and make excellent hiking and running companions.
Social behavior: They are peaceful, independent creatures. They are frequently devoted and loving toward their family, even though they can be reserved around strangers. They get along well with kids and other animals, but because they may be huge and rambunctious, they might not be the best choice for homes with young children. It’s crucial to socialize and teach them properly because they are known to have a strong hunting drive and may chase tiny animals.
Common health concerns: Hip dysplasia and cardiac conditions are among the health issues that Scottish Deerhounds frequently experience. A nutritious diet and routine vet visits can help prevent or treat these conditions.
Things to keep in mind: They have a lot of daily physical activity needs and need space to run around. They are prone to mating and need routine brushing to keep their thick coat in good condition.
he Leonberger is a huge dog breed that originated in Germany. They have a thick, double coat in lion-yellow, red, and black. They are physically fit and have gregarious, outgoing personalities.
They are renowned for their connection and family devotion.
Height: 26-31 inches
Weight: 110–170 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: Leonbergers have a thick, double coat that needs routine care to keep it looking good and healthy. Weekly brushing, regular bathing, and trimming/clipping are required for grooming. They shed a lot twice a year, so it’s crucial to be ready for routine cleaning when shedding season comes around.
Trainability: Leonbergers are extremely trainable but occasionally vulnerable. They have a sharp mind and a desire to please, yet they can also be independent and have a strong will. They respond well to rewards and compliments but poorly to severe or harsh training techniques. They naturally want to please their owners. With the right training and direction, they can excel in obedience, agility, and other training exercises.
Exercise needs: space to run. Due to their size and energy, they require constant exercise to remain healthy and content. They adore playing with their family and make excellent hiking and running partners.
Social behavior: The pleasant and outgoing personalities of Leonbergers are well-known, and they get along well with kids, other animals, and pets. They are adaptable and do well in a variety of conditions.
Common health concerns: Leonbergers are prone to many health issues, including kidney, liver, and heart disease as well as osteochondritis dissecans, panosteitis, eye issues, cancer, polyneuropathy, bloating, laryngeal paralysis, hip, and elbow dysplasia. Not every Leonberger will encounter these issues, which might vary from dog to dog.
Things to keep in mind: Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are essential since it may be vital to be informed of any health issues they may have. The right care, socialization, and training can result in a caring and devoted companion in a Leonberger.
15. Anatolian Shepherd
The Anatolian Shepherd is a strong and large dog breed that originated in Turkey. They were originally bred to guard flocks of sheep and goats against predators because of their strength, energy, and bravery. They are known for their protective nature.
Height: 27-29 inches
Weight: 80-150 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: The dog has a thick coat that is made to protect them from inclement weather. Their coat ranges from short to a bit longer around the neck. They moderately shed throughout the year, and regular grooming is necessary to maintain the health of their coat.
Trainability: They can be difficult to train, but if you give them the right direction, they can be excellent learners. They are very serious dogs and great at obedience and protection training.
Exercise needs: This dog has high exercise needs and requires daily physical activities.
Social behavior: They have a strong feeling of attachment to their family and have a reputation for being quiet and devoted. They also get along well with other animals.
Common health concerns: Anatolian Shepherds are usually a healthy breed, but their common concern is elbow dysplasia. They are also more susceptible to heart disorders like canine heart disease, which can be caused by environmental and hereditary reasons.
Things to keep in mind: These dogs are known to be protective and independent by nature, but sometimes they can behave stubbornly. That is why consistency and patience are essential when training them.
16. Alaskan Malamute
The powerfully built Alaskan Malamute is a Nordic breed dog created to pull big loads rather than run. This breed is heavy-boned and slightly shorter than tall. The Malamute walks with a firm and steady posture.
Height: 23-25 inches
Weight: 75-85 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: The dog has a fluffy and thick coat, usually white and black. Their thick coat needs regular grooming to maintain their appearance. They shed a lot, so it’s advised to brush them every day to reduce shedding.
Trainability: Due to their independence and strong-minded nature, this breed can be challenging. They need an instructor who can develop themselves as a strong leader and is patient and experienced. In order to train this breed in a proper manner, positive reinforcement and consistency are essential.
Exercise needs: Due to their high activity level, Alaskan Malamutes need daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being.
Social behavior: Although they are a gregarious and friendly breed, they can be cautious of strangers. They get along well with the dogs and other animals they were raised with. Still, they can be hostile to new and unfamiliar animals.
Common health concerns: Several conditions like bloating, cataracts, and hip dysplasia can affect them. Regular vet visits and the right care can prevent and manage their problems.
Things to keep in mind: Alaskan Malamutes need knowledgeable handlers who can provide them with the right instructions, exercise, and socializing. They also need a sizable space to run around in. They are not appropriate for apartment living.
The Samoyed is a breed of working dog that was developed in Siberia and utilized by the Nenets people for activities including herding animals, sledding, and companionship. They are well-built, with upright ears, almond-shaped black eyes, and smiling faces.
Height: 19-24 inches
Weight: 35-60 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: The Samoyed has thick hair with a double coat that must be groomed frequently to keep it looking good. You must brush them every day.
Trainability: The Samoyed is a smart and willing-to-obey breed, making training them quite simple. With this breed, regular training methods and verbal praise are most effective. They do well in training for agility and loyalty.
Exercise needs: These dogs like daily physical activity in the form of challenging games and long walks or hikes. They need a secure environment, such as a yard that is completely enclosed, because they always enjoy running and exploring. The dog excels in obedience and agility and usually avoids swimming.
Social behavior: The Samoyed is a social and friendly breed. They get along well with other dogs and pets and are good around kids. They might be wary of outsiders, but with the right socialization, they can become welcoming.
Common health concerns: Samoyeds generally suffer from hip dysplasia. Besides this, they can also be more susceptible to pulmonic stenosis and an atrial septal defect, which causes heart problems.
Things to keep in mind: As this is a large breed, it is not a good fit for apartments. They need routine grooming to maintain their thick coat and daily exercise to keep them in shape.
The Kuvasz is a big, strong dog that is longer in height than in length. It moves quickly and has robust bones. It is a light-footed, agile dog that does not carry much weight. The breed’s heritage as a guardian, hunter, and herder contributes to its power and agility.
Height: 26-30 inches
Weight: 70-115 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: The dog’s coat can be straight or wavy and has a medium texture. Their hair can grow up to 6 inches long and shed twice a year. To prevent tangles, which are visible quite often, they should ideally be brushed a few times per week. If the coat is already matted, thoroughly remove them with a large toothed comb.
Trainability: The Kuvasz is an independent, intellectual breed that needs an assertive trainer. They require constant and encouraging training because they have a strong will.
Exercise needs: The dog requires daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being due to their high activity level. They take pleasure in exercising and going on long runs. They can withstand frigid conditions very well and have a high level of endurance.
Social behavior: This dog breed is incredibly committed to its family and is loyal and protective.
Common health concerns: This breed might be susceptible to diseases including von Willebrand’s disease, hip dysplasia, and osteochondritis dissecans.
Things to keep in mind: It is important to note that they are not good for families with small kids as they are a bit aggressive.
19. English Mastiff
The English Mastiff is a giant, strong breed distinguished by its enormous size and prominent wrinkles. Its great sense of smell is still a significant characteristic of the breed today, as it was originally bred for hunting and tracking. They can be trained for searches and rescue, tracking, and detecting work because of their remarkable aptitude for identifying certain odors.
Height: 27-30 inches
Weight: 120-230 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: They have a short, thick coat that might be fawn, apricot, or brindle in color. Their short coat requires only periodic brushing to remove loose hair and is generally low maintenance. They don’t shed much, but they might need a bath from time to time. In order to avoid illness, their wrinkles should be brushed and dried frequently.
Trainability: The English Mastiff can occasionally be unyielding, although intelligent and eager to please. The English Mastiff can be trained, but one distinctive trait of their trainability is their high food incentive. It can be used to reward excellent behavior. Because of their great sense of scent and capacity to recognize and react to their owner’s emotions, they can be trained to perform various activities, including search and rescue, tracking, and detection work.
Exercise needs: Despite their enormous size, the English Mastiff does not require much exercise. They are renowned for being extremely lazy and happy, taking quick walks, and playing in a secure area. They are not appropriate for vigorous exercise like running.
Social behavior: The English Mastiff is a sociable and calm breed that gets along well with kids and other animals. They are reputed to be very laid-back and satisfied to spend most of their time relaxing at home.
Common health concerns: The English Mastiff is prone to conditions like hip dysplasia, bloating, and elbow dysplasia. They are more likely to develop specific cancers, including osteosarcoma and lymphosarcoma.
Things to keep in mind: The English Mastiff needs a sizable, securely enclosed space to run around. They need routine maintenance to keep their wrinkles and their coats healthy. They are perfect for families who have limited time for fitness because they are known to be rather lethargic.
20. Akita Inu
The Akita Inu is a Japanese dog breed. It is a large and strong breed renowned for its loyalty, bravery, and independence.
Height: 24-28 inches
Weight: 70-130 pounds
Coat type and grooming needs: Akita Inu need frequent grooming to preserve their thick and double coat that comes in brown, black, or brindle and white. They shed a lot twice a year, but routine brushing can reduce shedding.
Trainability: This dog breed is highly intelligent and independent but may be strong-willed and stubborn. They need early socialization and strict training.
Exercise needs: Akita Inus need regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically engaged. They are excellent running and trekking companions.
Social behavior: This breed might be aggressive and distant around strangers but is fiercely devoted to their families. To stop aggressive behavior, they should be socialized frequently and early on.
Common health concerns: Bloating, hip dysplasia, and autoimmune diseases are all common in Akita Inu. In addition to this, they are more likely to get certain cancers.
Things to keep in mind: The Akita Inu is not an ideal breed for new dog owners. They need a knowledgeable and committed owner who can handle them and give them regular training.
What Are You Looking For In a Dog?
When getting a dog, it is important to know what you are looking for in your new furry friend. The incredible number and variety of dog breeds mean that there is an equal variety in the type of companion you could bring into your home. Even for folks who want a large, affectionate dog, there is still a great number of options.
The type of affection that different breeds show can vary a lot. Some breeds, such as labs and retrievers, tend to be quite outgoing and love everyone. Other breeds, such as pit bulls or hounds, are very sweet and loyal with their family but may be protective, aggressive, or wary around strange people or dogs. Greyhounds are often reserved around strangers but love the company of their owners.
If you are looking for a super affectionate dog breed, there are a few breeds you will probably want to avoid. Although there is always individual temperament variance within dog breeds, breeds that are described as “aloof” or “independent” are not likely to be the outgoing, loving, cuddly friend that you are looking for.
“Primitive” breeds such as the Pharaoh Hound and the Basenji, and “northern/Asian” (Spitz) breeds such as the Chow Chow, Akita, or Alaskan Malamute, often fall into this category, and are usually more independent and less people-oriented than the exuberantly affectionate Labrador.
While most owners want their dog to show affection, affection alone is not the only thing to consider when bringing home a dog. In order for both you and your dog to enjoy life, your dog needs to fit into your lifestyle.
Because there are so many different breeds, you are likely to find one that works well in your house. Here are some things to carefully consider before bringing a dog home:
1. Exercise needs
If you live in an active household, you probably want a dog that can keep up with you on runs or hikes, while a less active family will want to avoid bringing home a dog that could become destructive if not properly exercised.
Keep in mind that a dog who is not given the activity they need will likely become bored and restless, which could lead to destructive or inappropriate behavior. Exercise needs are important both for your dog’s physical and mental health.
2. Energy level
While many dogs enjoy high energy play like fetch or tug, it is important to consider how well your dog will calm down when playtime is over. Most owners will get frustrated with a dog who continually brings you items to play fetch, or constantly tries to chase you around the house.
Some breeds are prone to barking a lot if they are excited (such as when someone knocks on the door) or bored (if they are left home alone for long periods of time). If you have neighbors close by, or a low tolerance for barking, a loud dog is probably something you want to avoid.
Some breeds are known for their gentleness, such as Newfoundlands, which have been popularized as nanny dogs. Some breeds tend to be more exuberant and can engage in rough play.
5. Living situation
Make sure that your dog will be comfortable in your house. If you live in an apartment it is important that you take your large dog outside for plenty of activity. If you need to leave your dog home alone for long periods of time, it would be helpful to have a yard that she could enjoy while you’re away.
Remember, most dogs won’t just run around a yard to get all the exercise they need; you still need to walk, run, or play fetch with your dog every day.
Certain dog breeds are notorious for shedding either seasonally or year round, while others, like Poodles, are hypoallergenic and hardly shed at all. Keep this in mind if you don’t want dog hair covering your carpet!
7. Grooming needs
Before bringing a dog home, consider the amount of time or money you are willing to put into caring for your dog’s coat. A Greyhound needs minimal grooming, perhaps just an occasional bath, but an Old English Sheepdog will need frequent brushing to keep his coat from getting matted, while the Poodle likely needs to be taken care of by a professional dog groomer.
When searching for the right breed of dog for you consider where you live! A short-haired Boxer will not do very well in a cold climate, and likewise, a thick-coated black Newfoundland would suffer living in Arizona.
Can I Help Teach My Dog to be Affectionate?
A dog’s temperament is dependent on genetics, early life experiences, and training. Learning about and combining these aspects can help you choose an affectionate dog and teach it to let these qualities shine.
Genetics, in this case, doesn’t just refer to the breed of dog; all the breeds mentioned here are well known for being affectionate companions. There are genetic variations even within breeds. It is important to find a breeder who breeds for good temperament.
Many of the breeds listed here are working dogs, so look for a breeder who emphasizes gentleness and affection in their dogs, not working skills or instincts.
A puppy’s early life experiences play a large role in shaping its temperament later in life. Find out from breeders how they raise their pups and what kind of socialization they have been introduced to before you bring them home. A well-socialized puppy should be curious and social, not nervous or aggressive.
Socialization does not stop once you bring home your puppy. It is extremely important to introduce a puppy to new people, dogs, other animals, and a variety of situations during their first four months.
This training should also include introducing a puppy to new environments, sounds, surfaces to stand on, and handling your puppy in a variety of ways. Always remember to reward your puppy for friendly interactions!
While training puppies and adult dogs alike, it is important to remember to listen to your dog and respect his needs. Learn about dog body language and recognize when your dog is uncomfortable, and respect his space when he is.
For example, follow a pat-pet-pause routine to train a hand-shy dog to enjoy getting a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears.
This approach can also be used to teach your dog about other new and possibly uncomfortable experiences:
- Invite your dog over and introduce him to new stimuli, but don’t force unwanted experiences on him.
- Pause after a moment, and allow your dog to choose to remain in the situation, or to leave the situation if it makes him uncomfortable.
- Respecting your dog’s wishes in this way creates an important bond of trust between you and your dog.
Proper training and socialization are especially important for large dog breeds. Many of these dogs could outweigh their owners, so it is essential that they are well behaved and under control.
If a massive Mastiff becomes aggressive, it will be frightening at the least, and the situation could easily become dangerous. A well-trained dog that has been exposed to a variety of situations and environments will likely be confident and not exhibit fearful, stubborn, or aggressive behaviors.
Finally, remember that, like humans, dogs are all individuals. Training techniques or rewards that work for one dog may not work for another. How affectionate your dog is is not solely dependent on how you raise her.
Well-socialized dogs can still develop unwanted behaviors or become aggressive, and dogs who were raised in terrible and abusive situations can make incredible, affectionate companions. Proper socialization, using gentle and consistent training methods, and rewarding good behavior will all give your dog the best chance at being your ideal affectionate companion.
READ MORE: Puppy Socialization Checklist: Important First Steps for Dog Owners
Wrapping Up The Most Affectionate Large Dog Breeds
There is a lot to consider before bringing home a dog, and large breeds present unique challenges, but the rewards of living with your big furry friend are unparalleled.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of affectionate large dog breeds, and there are also many mixed-breed dogs that could be as sweet as a Newfoundland, but these breeds are a good place to start your search for the perfect big affectionate buddy.
Being able to romp and play and then cuddle up with a big furry companion is a joy that large dog owners know to be one of the best. What do you love most about living with your big dog? Let us know in the comments!
The Labrador Retriever is well known for its affectionate and sociable nature. They are famous for their affection for their owners, devotion, and energetic nature, making them one of the best-liked dog breeds in the world. Some other breeds that are considered to be very affectionate include Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Redbone Coonhounds.
The most affectionate dog breeds include the Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Beagle, Brussels Griffon, and Chihuahua. These breeds are famous for their loyalty to owners and for being loving and playful.
Some large breeds that are easiest to own include Golden Retrievers, Standard Poodles, and Bernese Mountain Dogs. These breeds are renowned for their trainability, versatility, and friendly, laid-back personalities. Regardless of the breed, it is crucial to remember that keeping a large dog entails providing for their care, training, and exercise requirements.
It is difficult to choose the most loyal breed. But some breeds reputed for being obedient and devoted to their owners are the Golden Retriever and German Shepherd. But because each dog is entirely different, their training, socialization, and relationship with their owner can all have an impact on how loyal they are.
Labrador Retriever, Irish Setter, Bulldog, and Boxer are a few dog breeds that are usually regarded as being nice with families and kids. It’s crucial to remember that a dog’s safety also depends on its behavior and training, so it’s always best to get to know a dog before bringing it home to make sure it’s a good fit for your family.
It is important to note that each dog breed has unique strengths and skills, making it difficult to pick out one breed as being the greatest for protection. On the other hand, some breeds, such as the Bullmastiff, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, and German Shepherd, are renowned for their innate protective qualities.
German Shepherds, Poodles, and Border Collies are the best breeds of canine intellect. However, it’s important to keep in mind that intelligence may be assessed in various ways, and some breeds may perform better than others at particular jobs or skills.
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