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13 Most Loyal Dogs in History: With Pictures & Facts

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

male owner petting Boerboel dog

13 Most Loyal Dogs in History: With Pictures & Facts

Dogs are known for their loyalty, and it is one of the reasons that they have become so entrenched in human life and that they are referred to as man’s best friend. While many of us think that we have loyal dogs, some pups have gone above and beyond waiting at home for their master to return from work.

Here are 13 of the most loyal dogs in history, from Hachiko, who has had films made about him, to Fido, who had the honor of having Rin Tin Tin lay a wreath for him after his passing.

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The 13 Most Loyal Dogs in History

1. Hachiko

Hachiko
Image Credit: Nick115, PIxabay
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Breed: Akita

Hachiko isn’t necessarily the most loyal dog, though we certainly wouldn’t argue with him being given the title. But he is one of the most famous and widely celebrated loyal dogs, with two feature films made of his story and five statues celebrating him.

Hachiko was a Japanese Akita that belonged to a professor at the University of Tokyo. Every day, when Hidesaburo Ueno went to work, Hachi would wait at the train station for his master to return. When Ueneo died, Hachiko continued this vigil of waiting at the train station for 10 years, until he died himself.

The story was first turned into a feature film in Japan before getting the Hollywood treatment with a movie starring Richard Gere. There are five statues of Hachi in Japan.


2. Bobbie the Wonder Dog

Location: Oregon, U.S.A.
Breed: Collie

Bobbie, the Scotch Collie, was lost in Indiana after a family vacation. Six months after the family returned home to Oregon, some 2,800 miles away, Bobbie returned to his family’s door.

It’s not entirely clear how Bobbie found his way across 2/3 of the U.S. over territory and land he had never crossed, but his accomplishment is honored with a statue and a replica of his house.


3. Gelert

Location: Beddgelert, Wales
Breed: Wolfhound

Gelert’s story is a sad but truly honorable one. Prince Llewellyn of Wales had a trusted hunting dog: a Wolfhound called Gelert. Although Gelert would typically be at his master’s side while hunting, one day, the dog was absent, and Llewellyn went hunting without him. When he returned, his Wolfhound greeted him, covered in blood. Concerned, his master went to check on his infant son and found the cot empty.

Suspecting the dog of having killed his child, Llewellyn killed him with his sword. As the dog gave out a final cry, Llewellyn’s son cried. He was nearby, unharmed, next to the body of a wolf that Gelert had slayed to protect the child. According to legend, Llewellyn is said to have never smiled again.


4. Shep

Border Collie dog running in the meadow
Image Credit: thka, Shutterstock
Location: Montana, U.S.A.
Breed: Collie

Shep, the Collie, watched his master’s remains loaded onto a train at a station in Montana. Having seen this, the dog returned to the station every day for years. He became close to those who worked and visited the station, and he continued the visits until he was killed by a train 7 years later.


5. Fido

©stonena7 | Getty Images
Location: Florence, Italy
Breed: Mixed

Fido was rescued as a pup by Carlo Soriani in Florence, Italy, and the dog and his master became almost inseparable. Fido would follow Soriani to the bus stop every morning when he went to work until he was killed by Axis bombs. For 15 years, Fido would return to the bus stop every morning and every evening until he died. He now has a monument recognizing his loyalty and love.


6. Kostya

Location: Tolyatti, Russia
Breed: German Shepherd

In Tolyatti, Russia, a German Shepherd named Kostya survived a car crash in which his owners were killed. Rather than leave the scene, Kostya remained and waited, hoping for his owners to return. Despite the efforts of locals who tried to rescue and adopt him, he stayed in the area of the crash for 7 years before he died.

Locals erected a billboard before a statue was officially put up.


7. Capitan

Location: Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina
Breed: German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and loyalty, and Capitan displayed both of these traits in buckets. Capitan’s owner, Miguel Guzman, died in 2006, and his dog disappeared shortly after. Although Capitan never saw where his master was buried, he found the cemetery and subsequently, his owner’s grave, and kept vigil.

In 2017, 11 years after Guzman’s death, Capitan was still seen at the graveside but was reported to be blind and virtually unable to walk.


8. Zander

Siberian Husky with heterochromia
Image Credit: travelarium.ph, Shutterstock
Location: New York, U.S.A.
Breed: Husky

Zander’s owner, John Dolan, was admitted to the Good Samaritan Medical Center in New York, 2 miles away from his home. After several days of being depressed at home, the dog made the 2-mile journey, passing under a park, over a four-lane road, and through several busy New York neighborhoods to find the hospital.

A member of staff checked the dog’s collar and saw Dolan’s name. The two were reunited, and Dolan soon returned home with Zander.


9. Ruswarp

Location: Garsdale, England
Breed: Border Collie

Ruswarp was a Border Collie belonging to Graham Nuttall. One day, Nuttall went walking and took Ruswarp with him, but he didn’t return. Nuttall’s body was found 11 weeks later and by his side, was Ruswarp. He was still alive and was guarding his master’s body. There is a statue of Ruswarp at Garsdale train station.


10. Waghya

Location: Maratha, India
Breed: Mixed

Waghya was the loyal dog of the Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji, and it is claimed that when the king died, Waghya jumped into the king’s funeral pyre and burned to death, such was his devotion to his master. The story is contested, and in 2011, the Sambhaji Brigade tore down a statue of the dog claiming that he wasn’t real. The statue has now been restored.


11. Dzok

Location: Krakow, Poland
Breed: Mixed

Dzok, which means Jock in Polish, was with his owner when the owner died in a car crash. The dog survived and stayed at the spot of the accident for a year after the crash. Eventually, he went home with a local woman who had been feeding him, but it wasn’t long before she died. Dzok was taken to a dog shelter, escaped, and was killed by a train.


12. Greyfriars Bobby

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Breed: Skye Terrier

Bobby was a Skye Terrier that belonged to a night watchman. When the night watchman died, he was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard, where Bobby kept vigil over the grave for 14 years until he died. There is a statue of Bobby, who got his name for his presence in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, at the entrance to the kirkyard, which is the area surrounding a church that typically contains graves.


13. Canelo

Location: Cadiz, Spain
Breed: Mixed

Canelo used to accompany his master everywhere he went, even to the hospital while his human was having dialysis. During one treatment, Canelo’s owner experienced complications and didn’t survive. For the next 12 years, Canelo waited outside the door of the hospital until, in 2002, he was run over and killed by a car outside the hospital.

Not only does Canelo have a statue in his honor, but there is also a street named after him.

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Conclusion

Some dogs are very loyal. They will wait by the door while their owners go out, eagerly anticipating their return. But that loyalty is nothing compared to dogs that wait years for the return of their owner or that travel thousands of miles to get back home after being lost during a family vacation. This list has some of the most loyal dogs in history.


Featured Image Credit: ALEX S, Shutterstock

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