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5 Dog Breeds Who Are Surprising Snugglers

Greats Dane and Boxers might not seem like dogs who crave physical attention, but they're all about family love fests and slobbery kisses.

Lynn M. Hayner  |  Apr 29th 2016


Some dogs like an occasional pat on the head. Others crave a heaping serving of physical attention. Let’s hear from some breeds that nuzzled their way, quite literally, onto my cozy category.

Be prepared for some surprises — I left the list choices up to the dog breeds. They voted some oft-named “top affectionate breeds,” such as the Labrador Retriever, off the island. Guess it’s time we humans gave these breeds a chance to corral cuddle credits for themselves.

1. Vizsla

Vizsla courtesy Olympic Trials Qualifier, Nichole Porath

Vizsla courtesy Olympic Trials qualifier Nichole Porath.

First of all, we Vizslas are not clingy, dependent, or needy. What we are is passionate about people. We were bred to hunt and retrieve in forest, field, and water. But while we’re true athletes, what we most want at the finish line is affection, and lots of it. But don’t roll your eyes. After all, I bet human Olympians revive themselves by hugging loved ones, too. And I don’t think we’re too big to be lapdogs, either. We only weigh about 50 pounds, and we can twist into one heckuva tight ball.

As for me, I like to sit on my human’s lap with my front legs up on his shoulders. At minimum, I rest my head on a family member’s feet. But yes, people who crave personal space may be overwhelmed by us. Apparently the Hungarian aristocracy was not. They developed us for affection as well as hunting, and we excel at both.

2. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier courtesy Cindy Jones

Boston Terrier courtesy Cindy Jones.

Now, despite my misleading name, I’m not technically in the Terrier group. I was, however, bred from Terrier lines, and I’d like to see more Terrier-types getting on the super-duper affectionate list. I’m bursting with fondness for my family. I cuddle and snuggle with the best of ’em. And not to toot my own horn, but I’m outgoing, amiable, funny, gentle, and generous with kisses.

Bred almost solely for companionship, I’m called the American gentleman, partly because my coloring apparently looks like a human tuxedo. That’s flattering, but how about we change that up? From now on, could you call me the affectionate aristocratic?

3. Great Dane

Great Dane courtesy Georgia Hymmen and Great Dane Club of America Rescue

Great Dane courtesy Georgia Hymmen, Great Dane Club of America Rescue.

I happily admit that all the cartoons and photos of us snuggling with family on couches are accurate (although, yes, sometimes comical) illustrations of our loving temperament. Weighing some 150 pounds, we’re a giant breed with a giant yearning for family love fests.

As for our heritage, we were developed in Germany (not Denmark, by the way) to hunt boar and protect estates. Today, we’ll still alert you to newcomers in general, but our main occupation is camaraderie. We bond closely with families who appreciate a hefty dose of affection and who at least humor us when we pretend we’re lapdogs now and then.

4. Greyhound

Greyhound courtesy Patti Clark

Greyhound courtesy Patti Clark.

So, I’m guessing when you walk up the steps of a home with a Greyhound, you’re expecting to find an active breed racing around. Well, that might be the case if you stop in during the short session a day we want to run. But more often than not, you’ll find me curled up in a ball, peacefully asleep next to my favorite human. I’m not overly needy (I can actually rest by myself during the day rather well), but I delight in sharing warmth and physical affection with my special humans.

While we’re an ancient breed well known for remarkable speed, we’re also renowned for our gentle spirit. Ah yes, but one last comment: Keep in mind that as a consequence of centuries of breeding, I have an innate instinct to chase small animals. So if I’m burrowing comfortably with you in the hammock, you might want to make sure the yard gate is closed!

5. Boxer

Boxer courtesy Melissa Judith Rios (Penny's Boxers)

Boxer courtesy Melissa Judith Rios (Penny’s Boxers).

Thriving on human interaction, we’ve been working beside man for ages. You humans seem to enjoy the image of us up on our hind legs sparring, but odds are that’s more fiction than fact. We are, however, notorious athletes, developed long ago to hunt and hold prey. We worked hard in the world wars, too.

So, yes, we’re powerful and sporty. But as the Vizsla so aptly explained, athletes crave affection, too. We have a silly gene and will do just about anything for a chuckle from our family. Plus, we love enjoy everyone in the family, but children especially. We enjoy little ones’ slobbery kisses as readily as we give them.