Skip to main content

7 affectionate and cute dog breeds for owners who love to cuddle

Different dog breeds that are cuddly, cute, and extra affectionate

A woman lies in bed hugging her miniature poodle
Rasulov / Adobe Stock

Sometimes, a dog simply falls into your life with no notice. Other times, however, you have the opportunity to plan for welcoming your new furry friend. You might even want to research different dog breeds to decide the kind of pet you’re looking for. Do you want an athletic canine bestie? Or would you prefer a buddy who wants to hang out on the couch?

Affection is just one important quality that many look for in a pet. After all, nothing beats a good cuddle with your pup after a long day. Luckily, all the cute dog breeds on this list are known for their affectionate natures, so they’ll be just as happy for a snuggle session as you will. Take a look!

Side profile of a Great Dane
leonides ruvalcabar / Unsplash

Great Danes are the true definition of a “Gentle Giant”

Although a lot of people think of small dogs as the cuddliest, that’s not always the case. The American Kennel Club (AKC) explains that this breed “need[s] lots of affection and socialization with people and other animals, making them great family pets.” They are called ‘Gentle Giants,’ after all.

These massive dogs are also known for being great with children, though the AKC advises that all child-dog playtime be supervised. Gigantic Great Danes are gentle but still large and heavy dogs. Luckily, they also tend to be eager to please, so as long as you stay consistent with training, so will they! With a little work and a lot of consistency, you’ll have a well-behaved best buddy on your hands.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel stands on a garden path and looks into the camera
Courtney Mihaka / Unsplash

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will love going for a run or cuddling up for a nap

These sweet dogs are known for their devotion to loved ones, which they show in a number of ways, including affection. They enjoy taking walks with their owners just as much as they love some sofa snuggles, so that’s why the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club recommends this breed for families. Don’t be fooled by that cute face and floppy ears, though–these pups can be smart as a whip, too!

Here’s the thing: This breed can be susceptible to a number of health issues due to poor breeding, so be sure to do your research before bringing home a new friend. This is a great rule to remember no matter what breed you’re looking into, as no one can predict future health concerns with perfect accuracy.

A black and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier lies in the grass, tilting their head
Gary Ellis Photo / Adobe Stock

With training and love, Staffordshire bull terriers are some of the best dogs

Pit bull breeds, which include the Staffordshire bull terrier, have gotten a bad reputation over time. In reality, these dogs are some of the most loving pups out there. Canine behaviorist Kamal Fernandez told DailyMail that, “with a little patience and love, they can be some of the most affectionate dogs.”

Like most breeds, a great way to ensure you’re raising a loving dog is to begin socialization and positive reinforcement training as soon as possible. When you show dogs care and affection, they’re likelier to show it back. Of course, some individual dogs won’t follow their breed standard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find your own way to show love.

A fluffy Bichon Frise stands in a field of grass and flowers
Eudyptula / Adobe Stock

Bichon Frises are some of the smallest companion dogs out there

Small, cute dog breeds like the Bichon Frise (French for curly-haired lap dog) are also the perfect example of an affectionate dog breed. They’re friendly, outgoing, and oh-so-funny! And although these little comedians make friends wherever they go, they’re the perfect companion for their owners — cuddles and all. The AKC calls them “adaptable companions,” which means they’re happy to go with you wherever your life takes you. They’re even great apartment dogs when given enough exercise and mental stimulation!

Light brown miniature poodle sitting and looking at the camera
Tra Tran / Unsplash

Poodles and poodle mixes are popular for very good reasons

There are oodles of poodle mixes making headlines and going viral on social media, but they all share their ancestors’ affinity for companionship (and their hypoallergenic fur). According to the AKC, Poodles are equally outgoing and smart, so they’re happy to bond with their owners through anything from obedience training to affection.

When it comes to poodle mixes, though, different dog breeds have some of their own unique characteristics. Here’s the catch: Many breeds poodles are typically bred with are just as loving and friendly, and some are even on this list. Keep on reading!

A man hugs a Golden Retriever, facing away from the camera
Eric Ward/Unsplash / Unsplash

Golden retrievers are famous for their loving, affectionate natures

Whether a dog is mixed or purebred, having golden retriever genes almost always means lots of love. In fact, Fernandez told DailyMail that “Nothing makes them happier than cuddling their loved ones. Golden retrievers are one of the most affectionate, gentle, and soft-natured breeds.” How sweet.

Of course, a golden’s loving demeanor is easy to see. This breed is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world for a very good reason. From their gentle cuddles to joyful zoomies, almost everything they do can make you smile.

A rough-coated Brussels Griffon dog sits in the center of several people, being held by one person
Abbie Love / Unsplash

Brussels Griffon dogs have earned themselves the nickname “Velcro dogs” for a reason

This breed is equally smart, silly, and family-oriented. They make great companion dogs for individuals, couples, and even families. Both the smooth-coated and rough-coated varieties love to spend time with their loved ones, though the rough-coated Brussels griffon will need frequent brushing, too. Just think of it as another way to bond!

These companion dogs are happiest as the center of attention, and their medium energy level will allow you to bond through both activities and affection. Because these pups are so people-oriented, they tend to be eager to please and receptive to training. Like with many breeds, you could run into behavior problems if a Grif is restless, understimulated, or left alone for too long.

Although these seven affectionate dog breeds are known for cuddles and companionship, so many more could make the list. And let’s not forget the mutts! What breeds have you found to be the most affectionate? Remember — it’s important to keep in mind that any breed of dog has the potential to be affectionate. Genetics aren’t the only factors that determine a dog’s demeanor — a little love can go a long way. And just because your pup isn’t a cuddler now doesn’t mean they never will be. Besides, there’s a myriad of ways to show your dog how much you love them!

Editors' Recommendations

Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
Gentle giants: 5 big dog breeds that make great family pets
Family dogs: Large dog breeds perfect for families with children
A Bernese mountain dog stands in the middle of a wooded trail

Large dogs can be intimidating to some, but the truth is that many of them are as sweet as can be -- especially with children! Although it may sound surprising, we've all heard the term "gentle giant" used to describe large dog breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards. It should come as no surprise that they can be great with kids with a reputation like that, but they're not the only family dogs out there!
These five big dog breeds make wonderful pets for anyone with kids. They have a history of being patient and gentle with children, and they all respond well to positive reinforcement training. With the right amount of attention and love, any of these dogs can be your child's best friend.

Great Danes are famous for their 'gentle giant' nature
Great Dane dogs are known for being the largest dog breed in existence -- but they're also one of the sweetest. Though they'll happily watch over their homes, Hill's Pet notes that Danes are "moderately playful" and "affectionate." Their energy level is somewhat limited, so they will be happy with a backyard and about 30 minutes of daily exercise. The only downside is that this breed only lives for about 6 to 8 years, on average. Losing a family pet can be difficult for a young child, and for their parents, too.

Read more
How should you choose the perfect pup out of all the dog breeds? Go through this checklist
Here are a few tips to help you pick the exact right dog for your family
Cute Pomeranian sitting on a couch with a purse

We love dogs, and at least according to us, they are all the best boys and girls. But not all dog breeds will suit your family. Choosing the perfect pup means doing some research and also deciding based on your instinct. When you look at the 200 breeds, not to mention nearly unlimited combinations of mutts, you might get a little overwhelmed. We don't recommend picking out of a hat or spinning a puppy prize wheel. Instead, go through these five steps before selecting your pet.

Make a list of the characteristics you want
When you imagine your future pooch, what immediately springs to mind? Ultimately, every dog personality is different, but there are some characteristics that commonly present in certain breeds. If you need anything special, like a hypoallergenic canine, that needs to go to the top of your list. Don't forget to include some behavioral things like good in the crate or wants lots of attention.
Narrow it by breed group
Because there are a couple hundred breeds out there, it might help to think about the groups first. For example, do you want a herding dog or a toy dog? Those are very different and will help you shorten your list. If you don't think an animal that requires two hours of exercise per day fits your day-to-day lifestyle, you should cut some of the hunting and herding beasties off the list.
Do your research
Now you can cross-reference your needs with the breeds that didn't get eliminated on the last step. Look up both the official characteristics from a credible source, like the American Kennel Club, and the opinions of pet parents. Try following a few TikToks or Instagrams to get some first-hand info on different breeds. If one jumps out at you, that's a type of dog you should follow up on.
Find a rescue group
We're always going to champion adopt, not shop. The good news is that many groups specialize in one particular type of dog and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the process. Others, like the ASPCA, will give you a whole host of beasties to choose from. Keep an eye out for adoption events in your area as well, which can be hosted just about anywhere.

Read more
Everything to know about the adorable Yorkie
Do Yorkie dogs make good pets? The answer might surprise you
A cute Yorkie on the floor

Yorkies are one of the more recognizable dog breeds. Maybe it’s their teeny-tiny size or the numerous celebs like Kristin Cavallari and Giselle who have allowed their Yorkies to ride in their designer handbags, perhaps on top of some fancy lipstick.

Parenting a Yorkie dog can be a rewarding experience. Small in stature, this breed boasts a massive personality. However, Yorkies, short for the breed’s proper name of Yorkshire terrier, also have a big (and sometimes bad) reputation. Despite their tiny size, they’re known as rather vocal dogs and thought of as high-maintenance pets. Some of these claims are unfair — perhaps due to the reputations of some of their famous best friends — but others have some truth.

Read more