20 Most Loyal Dog Breeds That Attach To One Person


Some dogs display very little loyalty to their owners and will give affection to almost anyone. This is not a bad trait (unless you were hoping for a good guard dog). These types of dogs just rate loyalty lower than widespread friendliness.

In contrast, some dogs are friendly to most people but loyal only to their particular human families, and others are only loyal and friendly only to their family, disliking strangers entirely.

Then there are certain breeds of dogs who are renowned for the strength of their loyalty toward and their preference for one person above all others. These dogs are the subject of this article.

20 most loyal dog breeds that attach to one person:

  1. Afghan Hound
  2. Akita
  3. Australian Shepherd
  4. Border Collie
  5. Brussels Griffon
  6. Chihuahua
  7. Chow Chow
  8. Doberman Pinscher
  9. Estrela Mountain Dog
  10. German Shepherd
  11. Havanese
  12. Maltese
  13. Norwich Terrier
  14. Pekingese
  15. Pomeranian
  16. Pug
  17. Shetland Sheepdog
  18. Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
  19. Vizsla
  20. Yorkshire Terrier

Read on to learn all about loyal dog breeds that you can be assured will attach most strongly to only you!

Factors To Remember When Choosing A Loyal One-Person Dog

The Responsibility:

Desiring these qualities in your canine friend is great, as long as you are aware of the responsibility of owning these dogs.

These dogs breeds will rely heavily on you for their comfort and well-being and may suffer from separation anxiety and other behavioral disorders if not properly cared for and attended to.

For example, a Labrador could most likely be left with a group of unfamiliar people be perfectly happy. However, if you do this on a regular basis with a German Shepherd, there is a very real chance that the dog will suffer separation anxiety or even depression.

Individual Characteristics:

You also need to be aware that each of these breeds have other characteristics that don’t always match with every person. For example, some breeds are more affectionate, while some may be more independent and a little rough.

Because of this, you can’t just consider loyalty and one-person preference when choosing the right loyal dog for you. It is important that you truly assess whether a particular breed’s characteristics fit well with your own likes and tolerances.

No need to worry though – there are plenty dog breeds that are typically loyal and attach to one person, so, with due diligence, you should be able to find the perfect match for you.

Individual Personality:

Another factor you need to consider is the personality of each individual dog.

It is important to research any breed that interests you and see if their personality suits yours. This is because dogs in many ways are like people – and you can’t get along with everyone!

For example, if you tend to have a stubborn personality, then you will want to avoid a dog that also has a stubborn streak, otherwise you may find training and just day to day life with the dog very frustrating!

Training and Socialization:

A dog that typically attaches to one person can and should be well trained and socialized.

Never refrain from socializing your dog in an effort to make them more loyal or attached to you; the resulting behavior will be distressing to both you and your dog.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Afghan Hounds are extremely loyal and tend to attach themselves to only one person. Adult Afghans are very difficult to re-home due to their attachment to this one person.

You will need to work to earn your Afghan’s loyalty and affection as they tend to be aloof dogs. However, once you have earned it, they will be yours completely, although not all Afghans are outwardly demonstrative of their affection for their owners.

An Afghan hound will not be friendly with your guests, which can be difficult to manage because they are such attractive dogs so that everyone will want to pet them.

Other considerations for Afghan Hounds:

  • They require large amounts of exercise and grooming.
  • Off-leash walks or runs are not recommended due to their strong hunting instincts.
  • Without socialization, they can become quite intolerant of all human company, even that of their owners.
  • They are stubborn and difficult to train.

Ideal homes for Afghan Hounds:

  • Adult-only homes.
  • One-dog homes.
  • Single-person homes.
  • Homes without small pets.

The right owner:

Afghan Hounds require a confident, gentle owner who is committed to providing them with adequate exercise and the right amount of attention.

Akita

Akita

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Akitas are extremely loyal and can attach either to one person (especially in a single-person household) or to a family, but they are intolerant of strangers. Akitas will show their person or family lots of affection and are extremely protective of them.

The famously loyal dog Hachikö was an Akita if that gives you an indication of the level of attachment of which these dogs are capable.

Other considerations for Akitas:

  • They are very intolerant of other dogs.
  • They are meticulous in their cleaning habits and tend to be odorless dogs.
  • Without socialization, they can become overprotective and difficult to handle. As they reach an average weight of 100 lbs, this would be a problem.  
  • They are smart and independent, requiring patient and creative training.
  • Never take them off the leash when you are out. Their protectiveness, aggression towards other dogs, and strong hunting instincts make off-leash practices unwise and potentially dangerous.

Ideal homes for Akitas:

  • One-dog homes.
  • Single-person homes.
  • Homes without small pets.
  • Family homes.

The right owner:

Akitas are extremely large and powerful dogs. They need a strong but even-tempered owner who will naturally and comfortably take the role of alpha in the house. If the owner does not, this very dominant dog will, causing all sorts of problems.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Australian Shepherds are adapted to work and live closely with one person. These Shepherds are extremely devoted and affectionate to their chosen person.

Australian Shepherds have obsessive natures and can become obsessed with their owners. If this behavior is not managed properly, it can become problematic.

Other considerations for Australian Shepherds:

  • They need lots of exercise and space at home.
  • They are suited to a working lifestyle.  
  • Without socialization, they can become overprotective and maladjusted to handling new people, animals, and situations.
  • They need lots of training to make them manageable, but they are very intelligent and eager to please their owner, so this training is not usually difficult.
  • They require a lot of attention, don’t do well being left alone, and can become destructive if bored or lonely.

Ideal homes for Australian Shepherds:

  • Working farms, ranches, etc.
  • Country homes with lots of open space.
  • Family homes (although small children might find them overwhelming).

The right owner:

Australian Shepherds are extremely active and intelligent dogs, requiring a devoted, patient, and active owner.

Border Collie

Border Collie

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Border Collies are adapted to work and live closely with one person. They are deeply devoted and affectionate to their chosen person, sticking to them closely throughout the day.

Border Collies have obsessive and relatively insecure natures and may become obsessed with their owners. If this behavior is not managed properly, it can become problematic.

Other considerations for Border Collies:

  • They require lots of exercise and space.
  • They are suited to a working lifestyle.
  • Without proper attention, exercise, and stimulation, a Border Collie will become unhappy and destructive.
  • Socialization is important to help them overcome their shyness, social anxiety, and nippy behavior.
  • They need lots of training to be manageable, but they are very intelligent and eager to please their owner, so this training is not usually difficult.
  • They don’t respond well to harsh corrections.

Ideal homes for Border Collies:

  • Working farms, ranches, etc.
  • Country homes with lots of open space.
  • Family homes (although they may take to herding small children and pets).
  • Multi-dog homes.

The right owner:

Border Collies are extremely active and intelligent dogs, requiring a devoted, patient, and active owner.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Brussels Griffons attach strongly to one person and will be loyal to that person alone. They will follow their particular person from room to room. The Brussels Griffon cannot be left alone for too long as they become distressed without their special human.

Other considerations for Brussels Griffons:

  • They are smart little dogs who love to please their owners, making them relatively easy to train.
  • They require gentle and positive-reinforcement training techniques, or else they can become upset.

Ideal homes for Brussels Griffons:

  • Apartments and small homes.
  • Single-person homes as long as their particular person is not away for too long.
  • Adult-only homes.

The right owner:

A home-based, patient, and affectionate owner is best for these dogs.  

Chihuahua

Chihuahua

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Chihuahuas are loyal and strongly attached to one person only. Their preference for this person can extend to the point where they become aggressive to other people. This behavior will need to be corrected.

Other considerations for Chihuahuas:

  • They will try to rule the household if their owners let them.
  • They are delicate and require gentle care and exercise.

Ideal homes for Chihuahuas:

  • Apartment and city homes.
  • Adult-only homes.

The right owner:

A strong-minded and affectionate owner is best for Chihuahuas.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Chow Chows are loyal and strongly attached to one or two people only. They will also be very protective of these special people, but an over-protective Chow Chow is not a good representation of the breed. They are reserved with strangers but aloof and dignified in their manner as opposed to aggressive.

Other considerations for Chow Chows:

  • They are meticulous in their cleaning habits and tend to be odorless dogs.
  • They need socialization to ensure that they grow up to be mannered and well-adjusted.

Ideal homes for Chow Chows:

  • Apartment and city homes (provided they are exercised daily).
  • Adult-only homes.

The right owner:

A strong-minded and affectionate owner is best for Chow Chows.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Doberman Pinschers are naturally loyal. They strongly attach to one person and are protective of that person.

They are needy dogs, requiring lots of attention and affection from their special person, and will climb onto your lap at the first opportunity offered. They can become distressed and destructive if left alone for too long.

Other considerations for Doberman Pinschers:

  • They are very clever and very active, requiring intensive training and exercise to be satisfied.
  • They need socialization to ensure that they don’t become insecure and over-protective.

Ideal homes for Doberman Pinschers:

  • Homes with a relatively large yard.  
  • Service dog homes.
  • Family homes (need socialization with children).

The right owner:

Doberman Pinschers require an owner as loyal as they are. They need someone who is willing to put in the effort to train and spend quality time with them. They also need a confident, strong, even-tempered owner.

Estrela Mountain Dog

Estrela Mountain Dog

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Estrela Mountain Dogs are loyal, loving, and protective of the whole family, but they bond strongly with one specific family member. They are not friendly with people they do not know.

Other considerations for Estrela Mountain Dog:

  • They are calm giants with minimal exercise requirements, although they need space to roam.
  • They need socialization to ensure good dog-dog interactions and to prevent them from becoming over-protective.

Ideal homes for Estrela Mountain Dog:

  • Homes with a large yard. 
  • Country homes with lots of open space.
  • Family homes (need socialization with children).

The right owner:

Estrela Mountain Dogs require a strong owner (both physically and in terms of leadership), or they will take the lead role.  

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

Level of loyalty and attachment:

German Shepherds are naturally loyal, strongly attached to, and fiercely protective of their one person. They love to please their owners. They are slightly aloof compared to a breed like the Doberman Pinscher, so they might not want to sleep on your lap, but they will definitely be happiest when in your presence. They can become distressed and destructive if left alone for too long.

Other considerations for German Shepherds:

  • They are very clever and very active, requiring intensive training and exercise to be satisfied. Training provides great bonding opportunities and a chance to please their owners.
  • They need socialization to ensure that they don’t become insecure and over-protective and provide them with the necessary skills to cope with other dogs, pets, and people.

Ideal homes for German Shepherds:

  • Homes with a relatively large yard. 
  • Service dog homes.
  • Family homes (need socialization with children).

The right owner:

German Shepherds require an owner as loyal as they are. They need someone who is willing to put in the effort to train and spend quality time with them. They also need a confident, strong, even-tempered owner.

Havanese

Havanese

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Havaneses are vivacious creatures and true companions. They are sociable and adaptable, friendly to all people, but they tend to attach themselves particularly to one person, who they will follow everywhere. They are also eager to please.

Other considerations for Havaneses:

  • They require little purposeful exercise, but they have bundles of energy that they enjoy burning off through play and training.
  • They can be stubborn.
  • They need socialization to overcome the typical small-dog behavioral problems.

Ideal homes for Havaneses:

  • City homes or apartments.
  • Single-person homes.
  • Family homes.

The right owner:

Havaneses need loving owners who delight in their antics and affection and who can manage their stubborn streak.

Maltese

Maltese

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Malteses are true companions. They are amiable and adaptable. While they are friendly to the whole family, they tend to be more loyal and attached to one person. They will follow this person around the house and actively seek out their company.

Other considerations for Malteses:

  • They require little purposeful exercise, but they have bundles of energy that they enjoy burning off through play and training.
  • They can be stubborn.
  • They need socialization to overcome the typical small-dog behavioral problems.

Ideal homes for Malteses:

  • Apartments.
  • Family homes (if the children are older).
  • Single-person homes.

The right owner:

Malteses need loving owners who delight in their antics and affection but who are strong enough to draw the lines that need to be drawn.

Norwich Terrier

Norwich Terrier

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Norwich Terriers are affectionate and deeply devoted to their particular human, craving their companionship and special lap time. They don’t cope well with being left alone for too long. They will be leery of strangers until these people have proved themselves to be non-threatening, after which Norwich Terriers are very friendly.

Other considerations for Norwich Terriers:

  • Although they are small and love lap time, they are very active and intelligent, requiring physical and mental stimulation.
  • They have strong hunting instincts, and so they should not be let off the leash when out for walks.
  • They are sensitive to harsh correction, but they can be stubborn and bossy, requiring a firm but kind approach to training.
  • They need socialization to overcome the typical small-dog behavioral problems.

Ideal homes for Norwich Terriers:

  • Home-based, single-person homes.
  • Family homes.
  • Homes with yards (although the yards don’t have to be large).

The right owner:

Norwich Terriers need a kind but confident owner who will spend time training, playing, and cuddling with them.

Pekingese

Pekingese

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Pekingese are aloof to strangers, friendly to their family, and completely devoted to one person in the family.

They are confident and independent, but they require lots of attention from their person to be happy.

Pekingese also love lap time cuddles and will follow their favorite human around the house. They will be vocally protective of their families.

Other considerations for Pekingese:

  • They require weekly grooming and an occasional bath to keep their long, thick double coats in good order.
  • They need socialization to overcome the typical small-dog behavioral problems.

Ideal homes for Pekingese:

  • Home-based, single-person homes.
  • Family homes (no small children).
  • Suburban homes.
  • City homes and apartments.

The right owner:

Pekingese need a home-based, loving, kind, and loyal owner.

Pomeranian

Pomeranian

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Pomeranians are excellent family companions, but they bond particularly strongly to one person in the family.

They are alert and vocal watchdogs for their families. They love lap time cuddles and will follow their favorite human around the house.

Other considerations for Pomeranians:

  • They require weekly grooming and an occasional bath to keep their long, thick double coats in good order.
  • They need socialization to overcome the typical small-dog behavioral problems.
  • They are escape artists, so you need to watch them closely.
  • They are small enough to be potential prey to various animals and birds of prey, so you should watch them they are outside.
  • They are easily triggered to bark persistently in response to sudden, unfamiliar, or loud noises.

Ideal homes for Pomeranians:

  • Home-based, single-person homes.
  • Suburban homes.
  • Family homes (no small children).
  • City homes and apartments.

The right owner:

Pomeranians need a home-based, loving, kind, and loyal owner.

Pug

Pug

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Pugs are friendly little creatures, but they attach strongly to one person in the family.

This is the person whose lap they will seek out, who they will follow tirelessly, and to whom they will show undying and unconditional love. They are also often perceptive of their human’s emotional state.

Other considerations for Pugs:

  • They have many health issues due to their flattened faces and bulbous eyes.
  • They have a tendency towards becoming overweight. They need diet control and mild exercise to stave off excess weight.

Ideal homes for Pugs:

  • Single-person homes.
  • Suburban homes.
  • Family homes.
  • City homes and apartments.

The right owner:

Pugs need a home-based, loving, kind, and loyal owner.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Shetland Sheepdogs are adapted to work and live closely with one person. They are deeply devoted and affectionate to their chosen person to the point that they are in tune with their human’s emotional state.

They are cautious about strangers, so they make excellent watchdogs. They just love to please their human and shadow them wherever they go.

Other considerations for Shetland Sheepdogs:

  • They need regular exercise, particularly enjoying any activity that involves their person.
  • Without socialization, they can become socially maladjusted to handling new people, animals, and situations.
  • They need obedience training, but they are very intelligent and eager to please their owner, so this is not difficult.
  • They require a lot of attention, don’t do well being left alone, and can become destructive if bored or lonely.

Ideal homes for Shetland Sheepdogs:

  • Working farms, ranches, etc.
  • Country homes with lots of open space.
  • Suburban or city homes (with dedicated exercise times each day).
  • Family homes (although they may take to herding small children and pets).

The right owner: Shetland Sheepdogs are extremely active and intelligent dogs, requiring a devoted, patient, and active owner.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Teddy Roosevelt Terriers are loyal, friendly, adaptable, and well-balanced one-person dogs.

They are true companions, anxious to please and wish to be part of all their human’s activities.

They do not like to be separated from their human companions and need to be part of the household, not kept outside or isolated.

Other considerations for Teddy Roosevelt Terriers:

  • These little terriers are intelligent and have high energy levels, making them ideal candidates for many forms of training.

Ideal homes for Teddy Roosevelt Terriers:

  • Any home from farm to apartment (as long as they are taken for walks, etc.).
  • Multi-dog homes.
  • Family homes (when raised with the children).

The right owner:

Teddy Roosevelt Terriers need relatively active and loving owners who value time with their special companion dogs. 

Vizsla

Vizsla

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Vizslas are gentle, affectionate, and loyal dogs who love their human companions, bonding particularly strongly with one person.

They shadow their chosen human as much as possible and can become vocally distressed when separated from them.

Other considerations for Vizslas:

  • They need proper socialization to prevent them from becoming insecure and maladjusted.
  • They need training to make them manageable, but they are really smart and love to please their person, so training is not difficult.
  • They don’t respond well to negative-reinforcement or harsh training methods.
  • Their athleticism makes them excellent companions for joggers or cyclists, so if you have a smaller yard but often go for a run or ride, make sure you take your Vizsla with you.

Ideal homes for Vizslas:

  • Homes with access to large fenced-off areas.
  • Homes with small yards (if they are taken for daily walks or runs).
  • Family homes.

The right owner:

Vizslas require a gentle but confident and active owner who is willing to spend time exercising, training, and loving their canine companion.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Level of loyalty and attachment:

Yorkshire Terriers have been bred as companion dogs for hundreds of years. They are fierce protectors and loyal companions, happy to defend you from strangers and then curl up in your lap.

Yorkshire Terriers are content to be carried around and cuddled (although they still need a good amount of exercise).

Other considerations for Yorkshire Terriers:

  • They need socialization to overcome the typical small-dog behavioral problems.
  • They are intelligent and relatively energetic, making them ideal candidates for many forms of training.
  • Their coats are like human hair and are hypoallergenic.

Ideal homes for Yorkshire Terriers:

  • Suburban homes with a yard.
  • City homes or apartments.
  • Family homes (when raised with the children).

The right owner:

Yorkshire Terriers need devoted and kind owners. They can rule the house if not kept in check, but they are still great for gentle owners.

Final Thoughts

Loyal, one-person dogs are easy to find. There are so many breeds that fit this bill and so many more individual dogs beyond this.

If you are looking for a loyal, one-person dog, you also have to consider the other characteristics and requirements of that breed, such as their energy levels, size, and compatibility with you and other animals.

But don’t worry, there are so many different types of dogs who display loyalty and regard for a particular human.  

A loyal, one-person dog requires a loyal owner, devoted bonding time, and lots of affection. Without this, they can become distressed, turning to destructive behavior.

They may also develop separation disorders. Having a loyal and attached dog is an honor and a privilege that comes with great reward and great responsibility.

Hunter Reed

I've owned and trained German Shepherds and a variety of other large and medium breed dogs for over 20 years now - Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pit Bull Terriers - just to name a few. Myself, along with my team of highly experienced canine professionals, strive to bring you the best and most useful information to help you raise your dog the right way. Read my story here.

Recent Posts