Top 10 Clingy Dog Breeds

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson

Just call them Velcro dogs! Here's a list of 10 clingy dog breeds that will never want to leave your side.

While one could argue that most dogs like to hang out with their family and that all love nothing more than following their favorite peeps around throughout the day, some breeds are a little more resolute in their need to stay close. Sometimes referred to as “Velcro” dogs – no explanation needed there – these determined little pooches don’t just want your undivided attention, they demand it.

And when we talk attention, we’re not referring to a snuggle on the sofa at the end of the day. These pooches plan their day around you and want to be engaged in everything you’re up to. Their take on the situ is “why wouldn’t you want me riding shotgun?” So, who are these mini shadows? Let’s take a peek at 10 of the most endearing clingers.


Labrador Retriever

Anyone who has ever lived with a Lab is likely reading this and nodding their head in agreement. Because they know this loving pooch is at his happiest when he’s close to his people. I used to think it was in the hopes of food being dropped or treats being tossed (these dogs just love their nibblies) but the need to cling seems to run deeper than that. Remember, this is a working breed that is often used for hunting. As a result, it’s in their DNA to stay close and wait for instruction. Which is likely why they have such an eager-to-please personality. Labs are just a super-friendly family pooch that are loyal, great with kids and ready to be included in all family activities. And I mean, all!



If your mind instantly wanders to Cuban beaches and killer rum, you’re not wrong. The wee Havanese is actually the national dog of Cuba and is related to the Bichon Frise. But this goofy mini-mutt is so much more than a clingy little lap dog. Because they are so easy to train, you’ll often find them used as therapy dogs (in the UK, they’re even employed as Hearing Ear Dogs). The kicker to this clever little canine is that because he’s so uber-smart he needs the mental stimulation that comes from being busy and continually around his favorite peeps. In fact, this little guy can suffer from separation anxiety if left on his own for too long. So, plan to include him in your day’s activities and get ready to be seriously entertained.

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This breed is the Velcro poster child. Truth is, it would be hard to google anything about this particular pooch and not see that moniker crop up. Now, he’s a Pointer which means he’s bred for the hunt so, you might think he’s outdoorsy and keen to engage in the chase. That would be a big nope. He prefers to be that quiet, little shadow that follows you around all day. Seriously! Like most hunting breeds, his instinct to stay close may be a survival tactic that keeps him feeling safe when guns are in use. But while this Hungarian native still needs loads of exercise, he’s in equal need of constant human interaction. And that can include just hanging out together, heading out on hikes, or just enjoying evening cuddles.

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Great Dane

If the thought of a 100-plus pound Great Dane trying to curl up on your lap has you rethinking your decision to adopt this breed, be aware that a side-by-side snuggle on the sofa is probably sufficient to keep this gentle giant happy. Seriously, you’d never know these big boys are a working breed of mastiff and can be surprisingly athletic… when they choose to be. But this friendly fellow with the extra long legs and slow, measured gait loves nothing more than hanging out with his people. Whether that translates into a leisurely walk around the block or settling in for a night of binge-watching Netflix, they want to be wherever you are.

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German Shepherd

There’s a reason this breed is commonly used in policing and military situations – they’re highly loyal and fiercely focused on the task at hand. And sometimes that task is going to be you, their favorite person. You see, his instinct – therefore goal - is to always be by your side, ready to protect and waiting to take instruction. But, this clingy devotion to his family can be exacerbated by your behaviors. This super-smart breed needs mental stimulation and vigorous daily exercise. Without that, they can become bored and start looking for something to do. And that something to do can easily become you and the need to stay as close as possible, just in case something interesting happens.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi

No wonder the Queen adored these vertically challenged pooches. They’re the quintessential love-bug breed and want nothing more than to hang out with their families. And because this happy, loyal little dog was traditionally used for herding, his working breed instinct means he needs to keep busy. Failing this, he becomes easily bored if the tasks and attention he craves, don’t come his way. The result is a clingy canine that follows you around all day and immediately sits shotgun on the sofa in the hopes of a belly rub or head scratch. Of course, this pooch tends to designate himself as the people protector and chief watchdog of the household. But this self-confident little dog can also suffer separation anxiety when left on his own for long periods.


Cocker Spaniel

While this clever little pooch does come from hunting stock – making him active and a tad predatory around small animals – he’s also renowned for being highly sensitive to the needs of his human pack. Yes, he readily picks up on your emotions and it’s been suggested that this is just one of the reasons this fun-loving family dog tends to be clingy. If he thinks you’re happy, upset, or angry…, he simply feels he must step in and help out. Which may require tailing you throughout the house. But this highly social breed is also a slave to your undivided attention. So, when he isn’t shadowing you around the house to act as a therapist, he’s totally down for a little one-on-one time on the sofa.


Shetland Sheepdog

When you’re talking about any dog with an eager-to-please personality, clingy just seems to be part of the conversation. While some may be lap-dog material, this super-smart, sensitive breed simply prefers to hang out and interact with his favorite person in the world – you. And we’re talking 24/7. Yes, these fun-loving mini-Lassies are renowned for their gentle, affectionate nature and their love of taking center stage when it comes to entertaining their human pack. From agility exercises, herding, and even performing tricks. If they can capture your undivided attention, life is good. Of course, once done, you just have to reward him with the praise and attention he has just earned. But that’s just part of the fun, right?

Best dog photo/Shutterstock

Doberman Pinscher

If you’re envisioning a snarling guard dog cornering you in the kitchen, never fear, this big boy is clingy in a gentle, loving way. Anyone who has lived with a Dobie knows just how gentle this sweet-natured pooch can be and that he’s not only devoted to his human pack but quite affectionate with them as well. But just like many of those small breeds, he can bond with and show greater affection to one household member over all others. And for that individual, the Dobie can become a tad “needy” or clingy as he directs his quest for attention to them alone. But, despite his size and active nature, this big boy loves nothing better than to settle into a one-on-one snuggle on the sofa.



This super-friendly little pooch just won’t take no for an answer when it comes to lap-surfing with those who enter your home and dare to sit down. Seriously, they’re cool with new faces, happy to welcome friends and always up for socializing. So, why clinginess if they’re content to share the love with everyone they meet? Because these people-pleasing pooches absolutely adore their humans and crave non-stop interaction. Whether it's on your lap, beside you in bed, or encircling your feet while you walk around the house. Yes, it should come as no surprise that when their human pack is off to work for hours at a time, these pint-sized pooches are likely candidates for separation anxiety and the barking, whining and misbehaving that comes with it.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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