There are a lot of myths about dogs, and loyalty being a trait of only certain breeds of dogs is one of them. Being loyal is a characteristic of individual dogs, and not an entire breed; however, there are some breeds of dog which have a tendency to develop more intense loyalty than others, but that can vary from dog to dog within the same breed.
A dog’s loyalty develops based on the trust and respect a dog owner earns from his canine pal, and only grows as long as the relationship between dog and man is kept vital through continued nurturing.
To earn a dog’s loyalty, a dog owner must first and foremost become its pack leader, the alpha. This does not mean ordering the dog around, and teaching it tricks, but to act, and exude leadership, and provide guidance, and protection for the dog, and let it know in no uncertain terms that the reward for his loyalty will be returned in kind. So as you can see, the loyalty can come from any dog breed, big or small, young or old, male or female. Since the loyalty of the dog is earned by giving it guidance and protection, the fundamental for earning the respect rest within a good training relationship with the dog. You can earn the trust by providing your dog what it needs (and sometimes craves, depending on the breed), which is exercise, food, and play, and earn her respect by giving her boundaries and limits with which she is required to conform. Once this is established, then your dog will trust you with its well-being, and be loyal to you as its leader.
With this in mind, it is easy to why certain dogs may seem more loyal than others. Smart dog that are easy to train will pick up the rules and limits more quickly, and also learn commands at a more rapid pace, understanding your place as their leader/alpha. This may get them to a point of trust and loyalty more quickly than other dogs, and give the impression of being a loyal breed. But earning loyalty is not a test of speed, and how quickly someone can earn a dog’s loyalty, but rather a test of strength and how strong a bond a dog owner can built with her dog. The stronger the sense of security, and trust the dog has, the more intensely loyal it will be.
This list is in no particular order; as stated above, there is no one breed that is intrinsically more loyal than another; however, the trait of loyalty is more often earned from these (and similar) dog breeds. It is worth noting that these are all working or gun dogs.
- Great Pyrenees
- German Shepherd
- Mastiff breeds
- Labrador & Golden Retrievers
These breeds require a close relationship with their owner, and one that knows how to properly train a dog, and earn its respect and affection. So when done properly, these breeds of dog, and others similar to them, can show incredible loyalty towards their owners. But if you have a dog that is not on this list or not a working breed or gun dog, it does not mean that you cannot earn its loyalty by providing strong but fair leadership, and affection (once you have earned, in the dog’s mind, your position as the leader).