While many dogs will adore every human who crosses their path, other four-legged friends will remain forever faithful to their core family.
Gina DiNardo, American Kennel Club’s (AKC) executive secretary, says some dog breeds are more devoted to their owners than others.
She told Newsweek: “Every dog is different, but there are certain breeds that are known to be reserved with strangers and stick close to their family.
“Some may even have one special person in the family that it prefers over everyone else.
“As with any breed, socialization is important for a well-rounded companion. Always do your research before adding a dog to your life.”
Here’s a roundup of the dog breeds the AKC considers the most loyal to their owners.
The Akita is a large and powerful dog breed originally tasked with guarding royalty in feudal Japan.
As a result, this dog breed are faithful companions that will be attached to the right human for life, with the AKC describing Akitas as “wary of strangers, but silly and affectionate with family.”
Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is an extremely hardy dog breed developed, as its name suggests, by settlers to handle huge herds of bovines on vast ranches, where these canines are still used today.
Although reportedly a little wary of outsiders, this breed of dog is known to be particularly protective of loved ones, with the AKC noting it is “extremely loyal to its family.”
The Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed was developed in southern Italy as a loyal guardian of family and property.
This imposing breed is these days dubbed the “gentle giant,” with the AKC describing the dog as a “massive guardian that is wary of strangers, but very sweet and protective of loved ones.”
The Chihuahua dog breed’s charms include its petite size, larger-than-life personality, and impressive agility and obedience.
The AKC describe the Chihuahua breed as: “Loyal dogs that love quality time in their favorite person’s lap.”
Originating where Europe meets Asia, this most elegant breed with a unique appearance is considered one of the oldest varieties of dog.
But while some Afghan enthusiasts describe the Afghan Hound as both aloof and comical, the AKC notes “this breed is profoundly loyal to and loves its family.”
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Anatolian Shepherd Dogs originate from Turkey, where they were bred as shepherds’ companions and guardians of livestock.
Also known as the Anatolian Karabash Dog or the Kangal, the AKC tells Newsweek: “These dogs are very devoted to their family and protective of anything they call their own—family, livestock, other pets.”
Although originally bred to guard, hunt, herd and fight, the Chinese Shar-Pei dog breed is nowadays known for its characteristically cute wrinkled skin and devotion to its adoptive family.
The AKC states: “They are intensely loyal to their family and tend to be standoffish with strangers.”
This historic Italian breed of dog was first developed to protect people’s property and hunt big game such as wild boar.
And although these powerful purebred dogs are best suited to experienced pet parents, the AKC notes “this breed is extremely loyal to its humans.”
Beneath the purebred Briard dog breed’s long, shaggy coat resides an adventurous spirit and impressive intelligence.
The AKC says: “The Briard is wary of strangers and very protective of its family, especially kids. They think of children as their flock.”
Originally bred to hunt down vermin, these small yet lively purebred dogs are as energetic as they are intelligent.
The AKC writes: “These human-like little dogs do not like to be alone and stick close to their special human.”
The Mastiff is one of the most ancient types of dog breeds and although the variety was originally used in battle, the modern-day purebreds possess a far calmer personality.
The AKC notes: “Eternally loyal guardians, this breed is a loveable, protective companion that is wary of strangers.”
The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed originates from Africa where these handsome hounds were used as versatile hunters and protectors of property.
The AKC states: “The Rhodesian Ridgeback is very protective of its loved ones and affectionate with those it trusts.”
Dalmatian has a history stretching back several hundred years and this black and white dog breed has been used in numerous roles, including as a hunter and circus performer.
The AKC writes: “Dalmatians are reserved and can be aloof with strangers. They are loyal and loving to their preferred humans.”
Doberman Pinschers originated in Germany during the late 19th century, where this mixed breed was primarily used as guard dogs.
The AKC tells Newsweek: “Dobermans are extremely loyal and protective of their people. They thrive being part of a family.”
Despite their rather imposing proportions, Great Danes are in reality widely recognized as one of the best-natured dog breeds around.
The AKC describe these dogs as sweet-natured, writing: “These gentle giants are affectionate and need human companionship.”