Last Updated on March 22, 2021 by Dogs Vets
Best Companion Dogs
These well known companion dogs will love to keep you company, regardless of the activity. Whether you’re working around the house, watching TV or going for a walk, these breeds will stay by your side. Companion dogs are known to be perfect for households with one or more children, while others make ideal companions for seniors. Browse the list below to find the best companion dog breed for your situation.
What is a companion dog?
A companion dog is a dog that does not function and only provides companionship as a pet, rather than being useful by performing specific tasks. Many of the toy dog breeds are only used for the pleasure of their company, not as workers.
How do I make my dog a companion dog?
The only legitimate way to qualify your dog as an emotional support animal is to obtain a letter of recommendation from a licensed psychologist. If you don’t have a therapist or are having trouble finding one, you can contact a psychologist through an online platform.
Companion dogs take the idea of “man’s best friend” to a whole new level. These dogs are generally happiest when they are with their human pack. While some breeds were born for occupations like herding livestock or guarding property, companion dogs usually enjoy sitting with you and performing whatever activity you do. They tend to be content, friendly and exceptionally loving.
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Companion dogs will love to keep you company, regardless of the activity. Whether you’re working around the house, watching TV or going for a walk, these breeds will stay by your side. Some are perfect for households with one or more children, while others make ideal companions for seniors. Browse the list below to find the best companion dog breed for your situation.
Here are the top 15 best companion dogs breeds that make excellent companion dogs.
Best Companion Dogs Breed and Characteristics
Many of the most popular companion dog breeds belong to the American Kennel Club toy group. However, breeds from the sporting, hunting dog and terrier groups are also represented. Included are some of the largest and smallest dog breeds, as well as dogs with different energy levels, so you can find the right companion for your lifestyle.
While certain breeds are known for being friendly and content, all dogs still need sufficient training and socialization to make them suitable companions. It’s also important to remember that individual personalities within a breed can vary greatly.
The papillon dog breed is a delightful, easy-to-care-for companion. These dogs need very little exercise, although they do enjoy running around. Considering Being a small dog, they require less food compared to larger dogs.
With a lively expression and alert ears, the Papillon is always looking for fun. These small companion dogs were a favorite of European royalty and are also loved by children for their playful nature. The Papillon is considered a toy spaniel and is small in size. But it is still quite energetic and intelligent and requires a fair amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation.
HEIGHT: 8 to 11 inches
WEIGHT: 6 to 10 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Long, straight coat with feathers; white with markings of red, sable, black or lemon; prominent ears.
Chihuahua tend to form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy spending time with them, especially when curled up in their laps. They have relatively low energy and adapt equally well to living in a house or apartment. But always alert, they will sound the alarm if they see unknown people or animals on their lawn. Make sure you get to know this breed at a young age to develop a friendly demeanor, as the dog can be wary of strangers.
HEIGHT: 5 to 8 inches
WEIGHT: Up to 6 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Excellent ears and alert expression; short or long coat in many different colors, including black, white, fawn, blue and more.
3. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is easy-going and friendly and an ideal companion. The Frenchie is popular with apartment dwellers and does not require a large yard or space to roam. Of course, it will benefit from one or two solid walks per day, but the breed is otherwise known for being calm and relaxed. Anyone looking for a loving companion dog will enjoy the even-tempered personality of this petite bulldog.
HEIGHT: 11 to 13 inches
WEIGHT: 19 to 28 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Compact with a large head and short muzzle; ears stand erect; smooth coat in a range of solid colors or brindled.
4. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is sweet and loving and has never known a stranger. This companion dog is suitable for those looking for an extremely friendly, easy-going and polite dog. The Golden Retriever’s pleasant disposition and attentiveness to human needs also make it an ideal choice for a service dog or therapy work.
HEIGHT: 23 to 24 inches (male); 21.5 to 22.5 inches (female).
WEIGHT: 65 to 75 pounds (male); 55 to 65 pounds (female).
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Large head with expressive eyes; Coat is medium length and ranges from light gold to red.
5. Shih Tzu
These toy dogs are believed to have originated in Tibet and became a favorite companion of The Chinese Emperors. They would sound the alarm when potential intruders approached. That being said, the Shih Tzu’s main occupation seems to have been a just a friendly cute lap warmer. Today, the Shih Tzu dog breed thrives when it can spend time with its human companions. The breed tends to have a calm disposition, which makes it adaptable to living in an apartment or house.
HEIGHT: 8 to 11 inches
WEIGHT: 9 to 16 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Petite but sturdy; round face with short muzzle; long double coat in a wide variety of colors
6. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound dog breed was originally used in war to pull men from horses and chariots. They also hunted big animals such as deer, boar and wolves. Today, this adaptable dog breeds is a family companion that also competes in obedience, tracking and baiting.
If you are looking for a large dog that makes a great companion, the Irish Wolfhound is a calm and loyal dog. This oversized dog breed has a heart to match.
See also: Top 10 best dog breeds for seniors
The Wolfhound dog breed is known as an excellent family dog that is attentive and loyal. Make sure these dogs go for a long walk every day and have enough space to stretch their legs. Otherwise, they are generally happy to lounge around with their owners and are friendly to both familiar faces and strangers.
HEIGHT: 30 to 32 inches
WEIGHT: 120+ pounds (male); 100+ pounds (female).
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Tall and lanky; wiry double coat in black, gray, white, brindle and more.
7. American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terriers look like they are constantly smiling, which fits their happy, goofy personality. Despite their medium size, they often try to sit on another person’s lap. These dogs love to cuddle, but they also need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are an ideal companion dog for those looking for a jogging, hiking or biking partner.
HEIGHT: 17 to 19 inches
WEIGHT: 40 to 70 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Muscular build; square head; short, smooth coat in a wide variety of colors.
The distinctive mug of a pug is sure to put a smile on your face. These little dogs were originally bred to be friendly companions and continue to play that role today. They love to be by their human’s owner’s side and preferably on that person’s lap. Pugs are generally know to be easygoing dogs that don’t need a lot of space. But they do need solid physical and mental exercise every day to avoid boredom and it helps to keep them healthy.
HEIGHT: 10 to 13 inches
WEIGHT: 14 to 18 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Square body with some wrinkles; short legs and smooth face; short, smooth coat in colors like black and fawn.
9. German Shorthair Pointer
While the German Shorthair Pointer are not a typical small lap dog, they make excellent companion dogs for those looking for a running, hiking or hunting partner. They are also great for almost any canine sporting events. Therefore, they are a great choice if you are really interested in a dog’s agility, flyball, dock diving and more.
They are known to be very friendly, energetic and loving, and were bred not only for their hunting abilities, but also for their willingness to work with people.
HEIGHT: 23 to 25 inches (male); 21 to 23 inches (female).
WEIGHT: 55 to 70 pounds (male); 45 to 60 pounds (female).
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Athletic build; long legs; short coat in solid liver or liver and white.
The Maltese is one of the best companion dogs. These dog breeds originating from the Mediterranean region, the petite Maltese is a popular dog breed that has been around for centuries. It is believed that women of Roman nobility often put one of these dogs in their dresses. Even today, Maltese dogs love to be cuddled and carried. These dogs are alert and bark at intruders. Otherwise, they are generally very sweet and even-tempered little dogs.
HEIGHT: 8 to 10 inches
WEIGHT: 4 to 7 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: petite body; firm white coat that is long and silky; dark, watchful eyes; black nose.
Sometimes referred to as “Velcro dogs,” Dachshunds are often very attached to their humans. Originally bred to hunt small game, today’s Dachshunds are better known for digging deep under a blanket than down a rabbit hole. The Dachshund is know to be one of the best companion dogs breeds. This dog comes in both standard and miniature sizes. It has a lively personality and loves to keep an eye out for intruders on its lawn. It also often follows its favorite person from room to room and can’t wait for them to sit down and snuggle up.
HEIGHT: 8 to 9 inches (standard); 5 to 6 inches (miniature).
WEIGHT: 16 to 32 pounds (standard); up to 11 pounds (miniature).
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Long body with short legs; Coat varieties include smooth (short haired), long haired, and wire haired in many different colors with various markings, including apple and brindle.
Intelligent, friendly and versatile, the Poodle is one of the best-known dog breeds. All three sizes of Poodle – standard, miniature and toy – make excellent companion dogs. They are all quite energetic, with the Standard Poodle requiring more exercise than its smaller counterparts. As a result, the larger Poodles tend to be better companions for people who lead active lifestyles, while the smaller Poodles are more suitable for those who enjoy walking around the neighborhood.
HEIGHT: Standard: 15 inches; Miniature: 10 to 15 inches; Toy: 10 inches and under.
WEIGHT: Standard: 45 to 70 pounds; Miniature: 15 to 18 pounds; Toy: 5 to 9 pounds.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Curly coat in a wide variety of colors; alert expression; fluffy ears.
13. Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is a friendly and adaptable companion dog. These small dogs are well suited to city life in apartments or condos, as they don’t need much space to expend their energy and tend to be calm, even when there is commotion around them. With a few walks and some playtime each day, they are ready to snuggle up on the couch with you.
HEIGHT 15 to 17 inches
WEIGHT 12 to 25 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Compact but sturdy build; round face; erect ears; smooth coat in solid colors or accented with white.
14. Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire Terriers is know to be one of the best companion dogs out there. The Yorkshire Terriers need a complete and balanced dog food or puppy food. Since they have smaller mouths, they may prefer a small breed dog food with smaller nibbles.
Yorkies have a long, floor-length coat that covers their small, compact bodies. The hair around their eyes is either cut short or pulled into a “topknot” that is often accented with a bow. The long hair is parted down the middle from the back of the head to the tail. It hangs directly on either side of the body.
Training and socializing a Yorkshire Terrier puppy should always begin at an early age.
Even though they are small, Yorkies still need some exercise. A few short walks a day and occasional fetch games will help keep them physically and mentally fit.
Size : Toy
Height: 6 to 9 inches
Weight: Up to 7 pounds
Lifespan: 11 to 15 years
Activities: Agility, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking, Conformation
15. Cocker Spaniel
As a highly intelligent and cheerful dog breed, the Cocker Spaniel has a unique ability to connect with people and makes an excellent companion. His gentle, loving and playful nature makes him especially good with children.
He needs daily exercise in the form of a brisk walk or playtime with his favorite people. He is a people lover, so he is relatively easy to train.
Cocker Spaniels are the smallest of the sporting breeds. Their small bodies are sturdy and they move with ease. They have large eyes and a long, silky coat.
The origins of the Cocker Spaniel go back to Spain, where the breed began as bird hunters. For hundreds of years, the only difference in categorizing the many breeds of spaniels was whether they hunted on land or water.
In the 19th century, however, this changed. The Cocker Spaniel was called its own breed, named after the woodcock it hunted and its Spanish origin. In the United States, the Cocker was developed into two distinct varieties: American and English.
Height: Male: 14.5 to 15.5 inches; Female: 13.5 to 14.5 inches
Weight: Male: 25 to 30 pounds; Female: 20 to 25 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 14 years
Activities : Agility, Conformation, Field Trials, Obedience, Rally Obedience
Dog Breeds to avoid.
Some dog breeds are independent and aloof by nature. While they still make great pets, they may not give you the cuddly companionship you are looking for. Examples of such breeds include Shiba Inu, Akita, and Chow-Chow.
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