Five Affectionate Dog Breeds
A lot of dogs are affectionate, and will enjoy all the attention you are able to give them. No matter what the breed, though, there are always exceptions.
The five breeds listed here are well known for their willingness to “snuggle” almost all of the time.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This little toy really is the King of affectionate dogs. They are popular in the UK and are becoming more popular every year in the US. Their sweet personalities are just part of the reason.
Cavs are also good with kids, get along with other dogs, and are even okay with strangers, since they think almost everyone is their friend. They only weigh about four to eight kilos (10 to 18 pounds) so are the perfect weight for sitting on a lap. They are also quiet enough to do so, and make good pets for someone who cannot get around much.
These dogs are all descended from only six animals left after World War II so they have a lot of health issues that new owners should be aware of. Almost all of them are prone to heart disease which may lead to heart failure and sudden death. Other dogs may have hip dysplasia, luxating patella (trick knee), and some are affected with a neurological diseases like episodic falling or another that affects the spinal cord (syringomyelia).
Since these problems are inherited, buying a dog from healthy parents who have been properly evaluated is very important. The parents should be at least two to three years old and have a certificate from their veterinarian stating that they are not affected by heart murmurs, blood diseases like thrombocytopenia, and, since about a third of the dogs are affected by eye diseases, they should also have certificates from a veterinary ophthalmologist. Breeding dogs should also have their hips certified by the OFA.
Given all this, it may not be a surprise that Cavalier King Charles spaniels are one of the most expensive dog breeds. At their first visit to the veterinarian, when they are being checked for murmurs and luxating patellas, they should also be checked for deafness; this condition may come about slowly and not even be evident in small puppies.
If you can handle all of the health issues, and can afford good health care for your Cavalier, this is a really affectionate dog breed and a playful small companion.
This is a happy really cute white dog breed, almost always affectionate and glad to jump up on a lap and make themselves comfortable.
They usually weigh only about 5 to 10 kilos (around 12 to 22 pounds). Bichons do not shed much. In fact, if they are groomed regularly the bathing and brushing keep the dander under control and makes them almost hypoallergenic.
Bichon frisé are almost ideal for a lap and are ideal for someone who wants an affectionate dog but is afraid to get too close because of allergies.
Like most purebred dogs, they do have some health issues, but most of them live for about 13 years and stay pretty healthy. Some dogs are prone to liver shunts, and others may end up developing an autoimmune blood disease.
Obedient, cheerful, sociable…these little dogs sound like ideal boy scouts!
This little wooly dog from Tibet is not the nicest to strangers, but he is one of the most affectionate dogs for his owner. They are actually one of the best small watchdogs, but usually prefer to do their job sitting on their owner's lap or at his feet.
Lhasa apso are small but definitely not tiny. They usually weigh 6 to 8 kilos (about 14 to 18 pounds), and some even look larger with their full coats that can reach the ground.
If nothing is going on Lhasa are relaxed and like to roll around with their owners, rub their ears and faces until they are scratched, and act like a little affectionate puppy.
Things change as soon as a Lhasa becomes aware of an intruder, though!
These dogs have a few health problems. Some of them are prone to a skin disease (sebaceous adenitis) and a few may have retinal atrophy (PRA), dry eye, or cherry eye.
Lhasa are a long-living breed and their life expectancy is usually over 14 years! If you are looking for a small dog that will love you but jump in your lap whenever you have a visitor, a Lhasa apso is a good choice.
This medium-sized gun dog from France is a little big for most laps but they are still known for trying. Looking at them, athletic and solid; they do not look like most of the other affectionate dog breeds.
Brittanys are about 20 kilos (about 45 pounds), with a short tail and floppy ears. They are usually healthy, but a few are affected by hip dysplasia and some are prone to epilepsy.
They live for about 13 years.
Most of these dogs are sensitive but still energetic and in need of long walks. They love to play with kids, and the more active, the better.
Besides being affectionate, Brittanys are also low maintenance. They do not have an undercoat like most breeds, so do not shed all the time, do not need to be brushed as often, and only need to be bathed when really muddy after tramping through the woods.
Since these dogs are so popular, most people are now familiar with their affectionate demeanor.
They were originally bred to retrieve game without damaging it. Their great personalities just seem to be one of those happy accidents of nature! They are friendly, great with kids, get along with horses, are intelligent and easy to train, and seem to fall into the role of guide dog, search and rescue dog, or therapy dog quite easily.
About one-fifth of all goldens are affected with hip dysplasia, and eye diseases like cataracts and retinal atrophy (PRA) are also common. Over half of them end up dying from cancer like hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, and osteosarcoma.
They are also prone to arthritis when they get older, and many become obese so their joint problems become much worse.
Goldens usually live for about 11 years, and if you choose one of these dogs you should make sure that the parents' hips have been certified and the eyes have been certified by a veterinary ophthalmologist.
Be prepared, this dog will almost always deliver a lot of affection!
More About Dogs....
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- Five Dog Breeds With the Longest Life Expectancy
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- Tips on How to Choose and Name Your Next Dog
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If you are looking for an affectionate dog, the first place to check is your local animal shelter. They have plenty of dogs who have lost their homes for various reasons. Maybe you will find an affectionate dog there who has been left after his previous owner had to move.
You can also check Petfinder.comand check animal shelters in nearby cities. If you are looking for a specific breed, just open up your search engine. Type in the word “rescue”, the dog breed you want to find, and then add your city. You might find just what you are looking for.
Just do not buy from a pet shop or an Internet dog wholesaler. You may end up with a dog who looks affectionate but he is really not; dogs produced in puppy mills commonly have behavioral and housebreaking problems.
Good luck on finding that perfect affectionate dog!
© 2013 Dr Mark