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15 Cuddly Dog Breeds: Pictures & Facts

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman cuddling with her pet golden retriever

15 Cuddly Dog Breeds: Pictures & Facts

If you’re looking for a canine to cuddle, you’re in luck! There are tons of cuddly dogs out there, so you should have no problem finding something that works well in your home. There are very large, cuddly dogs (that probably have no business trying to crawl in someone’s lap), as well as very small dogs that are far more “lap-sized.”

Let’s take a look at some of the cuddliest dog breeds:

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The 15 Cuddly Dog Breeds

1. Golden Retriever

two golden retriever dogs lying on grass
Image Credit: Standret, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 10–13 years
Height: 21–24 inches

Golden Retrievers are easily one of the friendliest dog breeds out there. They’re often considered one of the best family dogs in the world—due to their loyalty and cheerfulness. They’re patient with children and very forgiving of mistakes. Therefore, they make great dogs for first-time owners.

However, this breed does need a lot of walking and interactive playtime. They absolutely require two brisk walks each day, on top of games of fetch in the yard. If you can take these dogs running, even better.

Many Golden Retrievers like to carry things in their mouths. We recommend having a small basket of mouth-sized toys available so that they can carry things around as they see fit.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on its dog bed
Image Credit: Izabelly Marques, Unsplash
Origin: United Kingdom
Lifespan: 9–14 years
Height: 12–13 inches

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are toy dogs, so they’re on the smaller side. However, they share many traits with the larger spaniel breeds. They tend to be very sweet-tempered and gentle, making them great cuddle-buddies.

This breed is exceptionally dependent on humans. They require plenty of companionship each day, and they can quickly become stressed if you leave them alone for a long period. In many cases, they suffer from separation anxiety, so we recommend investing in crate training as early as possible.

Cavaliers tend to be very laidback, sometimes to their own detriment. Without the right amount of exercise, these dogs can quickly become overweight.

3. Pug

pug under the blanket
Image Credit: 220 Selfmade studio, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Lifespan: 11–13 years
Height: 10–13 inches

Pugs were bred for companionship, so it is no surprise that these dogs are also very cuddly. These dogs are often gentle and amiable. They love just about anyone, including other animals and strangers. Pugs always want to be with their owners.

These dogs really aren’t made for training. They are stubborn (and not all that smart, to be honest). However, they rarely get into real trouble, as adults will spend most of the day sleeping.

Pugs are prone to many health problems, though. They’re brachycephalic, which means that their facial anatomy is so squished that they have a hard time breathing. They’re prone to unusual sounds like snorting. While this may be cute, it’s largely because these dogs literally cannot breathe.

4. Newfoundland

newfoundland dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: PH888, Shutterstock
Origin: Canada
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 26–28 inches

Despite being absolutely massive, Newfoundlands are also very cuddly. Many don’t seem to recognize just how big they are, and many may mistakenly try to crawl into their owners’ laps.

Because of their gentle nature, these dogs are very good with children. They do need companionship more than most other breeds, though. They don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time, and they can make a huge mess if they start being destructive because of their loneliness.

Newfoundlands have to learn how to behave, as they are incredibly large. They can be exceedingly independent, and training them can be challenging. Luckily, these dogs are very food-driven and love attention. Draw on these two loves during training.

5. Saint Bernard

saint bernard dog
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock
Origin: Switzerland
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Height: 26–28 inches

Saint Bernards can be relaxed and laidback—as adults, at least. Just like any dog breed, these dogs can be exceptionally boisterous when they’re younger. Because they’re so big, this can be a huge problem. They can do a lot of damage to your house and you if they aren’t controlled properly. It’s important that you teach them inside manners, as most won’t pick up on them naturally.

When properly cared for, these dogs can be very cuddly, and their larger size won’t be too much of a detriment to your home.

These dogs aren’t always bred well, though. Sadly, some bad temperament traits have become more and more common in this breed. Sometimes, these dogs can be timid and suspicious.

6. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever
Image Credit: Angel Luciano, Unsplash
Origin: Canada
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 21–24 inches

Labrador Retrievers are incredibly popular. In fact, they were the most popular dog for several years. Much of their popularity comes from their tendency to be terrific family dogs. They’re friendly with just about everyone, though they aren’t as friendly as Golden Retrievers. Labs are also a bit more independent than other breeds on this list, though they are still very cuddly.

Like many retrievers, Labs will pick things up and carry them around, including your shoes. You’ll need to redirect them to their own toys. These dogs are also very trainable. They’re obedient and pick up on commands fairly quickly.

That said, we only recommend them for more active families. They need plenty of exercise and are prone to destructive chewing if left confined for too long.

7. Bichon Frise

bichon-frise-dog-sitting-on-a-wooden-surface_bichon frise dog sitting on a wooden surface
Image Credit: Spill Photography, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 9–11 inches

If you want a tiny, fluffy dog to cuddle, you can’t get much better than a Bichon Frise. These tiny dogs are great house dogs that enjoy snuggling on couches. Plus, many people love their white, fluffy fur. They look a bit like a marshmallow when well-groomed.

They do have some exercise needs, but a short walk a day is often plenty to keep them happy. They’ll enjoy doing just about anything with their people, though. If you’re more active, your Bichon Frise may be able to keep up.

While these dogs aren’t prone to many health problems, they are prone to some behavioral problems. For instance, they often have problems with housebreaking and separation anxiety.

8. Shih Tzu

A very cute Shih Tzu puppy posing on a warm summer day
Image Credit: Duncan Woodhouse, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Lifespan: 11–14 years
Height: 8–10 inches

Shih Tzus are sweet-natured house dogs that tend to be far less attention-seeking than other breeds. They’re more sturdy dogs despite having very short snouts and long backs that leave them open to injury. They’re often friendly with strangers, though socialization is still recommended. Poorly bred Shih Tzus are often prone to trust issues, so the breeder you choose is important.

This breed has no prey drive or guarding instincts. They tend to get along with just about anyone, including other dogs and even cats.

While these dogs can be stubborn, they’re often very well-behaved indoors. They may not be the most obedient dogs, but they’re food-driven enough to be trainable.

9. English Bulldog

english bulldog at the park
Image Credit: chanee indy, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 8–12 years
Height: 14–15 inches

Bulldogs are very different from the other breeds on this list. They weren’t originally bred to be cuddly house dogs or even very friendly. However, this breed has done a 180 in the last decade. They’re primarily bred as family dogs today, and it shows through their temperament.

They’re extremely friendly and love their people. Puppies can be a bit hyperactive, but they calm down very quickly. Adults may be large, but they’ll spend much of their time lying around. The vast majority are very friendly with strangers, though training is important. Otherwise, they may be a bit too friendly and end up knocking people down!

While these dogs aren’t guard dogs (they’re far too friendly), they do look rather imposing through a doorway.

10. French Bulldog

french bulldog lying on grass at the park
Image Credit: yhelfman, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Lifespan: 9–11 years
Height: 11–13 inches

Frenchies are now the most popular dog breed around. They’re the smaller cousin of the English Bulldog. Once upon a time, both breeds were the same breed. However, breeders in England preferred the larger dogs and sent all the small ones to France. Eventually, that led to the creation of two different breeds.

Frenchies are exceptionally friendly, though some can be a bit more aloof. They’re not as yappy as other dogs and are adaptable enough to live just about anywhere.

Sadly, their explosion in popularity has led to two problems. One, they’re exceptionally expensive. We’re talking thousands of dollars. Two, many poor characteristics are becoming more common. Health issues and temperament problems like stubbornness are now more of a worry than they were a decade ago.

11. Basset Hound

Basset Hound lying down on the grass
Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock
Origin: United Kingdom
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Height: 13–14 inches

Basset Hounds are stereotypically one of the most easygoing breeds around. They’re very laidback and gentle. While active levels can vary from dog to dog, the vast majority are friendly and good-natured. They aren’t as excitable as the other dogs on this list, nor do they demand attention quite as much. However, they’ll be happy to crawl up next to you on the couch.

That said, this breed isn’t always easy, like some breeders may have you think. This breed is surprisingly heavy. They can weigh 50 to 60 pounds easily, despite their very short stature. Most dog owners don’t realize how hefty they are. Despite being very laid back, they also require plenty of exercise to stay fit.

Like most hounds, Basset Hounds will run off. They have a powerful nose that they will follow at the first opportunity.

12. Beagles

beagle dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: Artyom Gantsev, Shutterstock
Origin: United Kingdom
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Height: Under 15 inches

Beagles are an overlooked dog breed that can potentially make a great cuddle buddy. They’re very friendly and get along with just about everyone. With enough exercise, they can be kept in smaller apartments thanks to their smaller size. They do need quite a bit of exercise, though, combined with plenty of time to sniff around.

This breed is also prone to getting lost, as they’re just as keen to follow their nose as a Basset Hound. Beagles come in two sizes. If you’re looking for a cuddle buddy, you may think the smaller size would be best. However, the larger size tends to be calmer and less hyperactive.

13. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Imageman, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 13–16 years
Height: 7–8 inches

We can’t write a post about cuddly dog breeds without taking a look at the Yorkie. Yorkshire Terriers are terriers. They act like terriers to some extent. However, they’re also toy dogs, and that influences their temperament quite a bit, too.

These dogs are very small, and they love to sit in laps. They’re conveniently sized to carry around if that’s what you want to do.

However, they are very active and have serious chasing instincts—like a terrier. Their smaller size makes it pretty easy to give them the exercise they need, but you can’t expect them to spend all day lying around!

14. Dachshund

Image Credit: JeebyJeeby, Pixabay
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 8–9 inches

Dachshunds may be small dogs, but they are not your average small dog. They do like to cuddle in most instances, especially once they calm down as adults. However, they’re also very lively and curious. They tend to spend much of their day exploring or playing, especially when they are younger. Many do calm down as they age, but don’t count on it!

Sadly, these dogs are prone to many health issues related to their back. One particularly serious health problem is intervertebral disc disease, which can cause paralysis. These dogs don’t live very long, and they’re very likely to end up with some health problems beforehand.

15. Toy Poodle

brown toy poodle on couch
Image Credit: Servando Juvera, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Lifespan: 14–17 years
Height: 10–15 inches

When some people want a cuddly dog, they want a more laid-back dog. However, toy Poodles are very cuddly and active. They like to run around and excel in competitions. They’re also low-shedding and pretty hypoallergenic, which is great for people who don’t like dog hair.

You don’t have to give them one of the silly show cuts, either. Many people keep their Poodle cut short, which helps reduce the amount of grooming they need.

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Final Thoughts

Most dog breeds today are bred to be family dogs. Therefore, they tend to be pretty cuddly and people-oriented. However, some breeds are more cuddly than others.

That said, how the dog is raised also has a huge impact on how cuddly they are. Some dog breeds won’t want to cuddle no matter what you do, while others may cuddle almost constantly. In most cases, though, the more you cuddle your dog while they’re a puppy, the more cuddly they will be as an adult.

Any of the breeds listed above can make great, cuddly companions. However, be sure to choose the dog that fits best into your lifestyle—not solely which dog is the cutest.

Featured Image Credit: ViDI Studio, Shutterstock

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