Oooh, boy! Great topic! While a Golden always was and will be first on my list, the list ain't exactly short. Here I go:
2. Newfoundland - working dog, strong dog/human bond, calm, smart, amazingly loyal, a Canuck (!!!) and (yes) furry. Free condiments with every meal!
They are so beautiful!
3. Great Pyrenees - see above, minus the Canuck part. Plus, when we lived in France when I was a little kid, a neighbour had a Pyr puppy and he was the sweetest, most playful, adorable little... err... big
guy ever. He was my buddy.
4. Bernese Mountain Dog - again, the working group and a wonderful dog/human bond. Plus lots of fluffy fur, smarts and incredible beauty.
5. St. Bernard - do you see a pattern developing here?
Big, strong, loyal, human-focused and beautiful. And again, my nomadic European childhood brought me into contact with several St. Bernards (as well as Bernese), and I loved them dearly.
6. Rough Collie - there's that herding/working group again. Beauty, amazing smarts and a coat to die for. What more could you ask for (even if it's on your dinner)?
7. Labrador Retriever - a sporting breed at last! Amazing that between my first choice (the GR) and the next sporting dog there should be such a gap, but there you have it. I love the Labs' disposition, loyalty, joie de vivre, etc., but I do so wish they had more fur. Obviously, I like fur!