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20 Companion Dog Breeds

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

man and dog walking

In the modern world, as we see rapid changes in how we can socialize and interact with other people, mental health is a growing issue. It has become more challenging to get out and enjoy time with people safely.

Many people’s response to this has been getting a dog, and more than 80% of people claim that they feel less lonely within a single month of ownership.

Dogs are one of the best pets for companionship because they are so relatable. They are also one of the most emotionally sensitive animals around. It means they connect better to people’s emotions and seem non-judgmental.

Companion dogs are not just pups that have a sensitive side. To be the best companion, they also need to match your lifestyle. As you read through the list, think about how active you are and what you enjoy doing. Compare this to the characteristics given for each dog to find your best match. Here are the best companion dogs you should know:

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The 20 Best Companion Dog Breeds:

1. Papillon

Image Credit: Fayzulin Serg, Shutterstock

Papillons are small dogs that are both adorable in appearance and personality. They are always happy and friendly and should not ever be aggressive and are rarely shy. They are smart and love to engage in fun, little activities. Papillon means butterfly in Spanish and describes the way the hair grows from their ears. This is an excellent companion dog!

2. Chihuahua

squinting chihuahua
Image Credit: Peakpx

Chihuahuas are a tiny dog breed, a dog with a big personality in a small package. They make great companion dogs because they tend to develop a strong bond with their owners. They enjoy spending as much time with them as possible. This preference makes them a wonderful dog that you can carry around with you or keep in a smaller apartment setting.

3. French Bulldog

french bulldog sleeping on grass
Image Credit: Mylene2401, Pixabay

A French Bulldog is a sweet-natured pup that doesn’t require much more than love from their family. They are generally lively yet relaxed dogs and affectionate. These pups are highly adaptable and get along well in almost any scenario. Their agreeability makes them a nearly stress-free pet, an excellent characteristic in companion dogs.

4. Golden Retriever

fat golden retriever lying on grass
Image Credit: danbar44, Pixabay

Golden Retrievers are well-known for their work as an emotional support animal, or an ESA. They have personalities that abound in patience and gentility, yet they love getting out for family-centric activities. If you need a pup that will be able to support you through a difficult period or you want a running buddy, a Golden Retriever can satisfy either way.

5. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu
Image Credit: 12122, Pixabay

The Shih Tzu is a pup that tends to form a powerful bond with their owner that lasts for their entire lifetime. The Shih Tzu is not the best choice for a family with small kids. They do make excellent lap dogs and thrive off of human attention and companionship. They are a small to medium, low-maintenance dog with a calm disposition.

6. Pug

maltipug puppy
Image Credit: Andi Berger, shutterstock

Pugs are a pleasant, quirky dog that amazes and amuses their family with their antics day after day. They are a brachycephalic pup, meaning they have a face that isn’t as long as a typical dog’s. This can make it more difficult for them to breathe normally, and they can’t exercise heavily. A Pug is a perfect companion in a lower-energy household or for the elderly.

7. Maltese

Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

These adorable snow-white dogs hail from the Mediterranean and are accustomed to living like kings and queens. They have silk coats and a cuddly personality. They love being carried around and being around people as much as possible. They are always alert and have no issues vocalizing their displeasure. This tendency makes them a good watchdog, but they are not effective protectors.

8. Dachshund

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Dachshunds are a dog with a rather amusing appearance. Their personalities follow suit as they bounce around. They are sometimes called the “Velcro” dog because they become so attached to their family. They love a good cuddle under a fuzzy blanket as well. They only require a minimal amount of exercise to stay healthy but are always being game to explore somewhere new.

9. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard
Image Credit: Jean-Alain Passard, Pixabay

The Saint Bernard is a giant breed that gained immense popularity in the early 2000s when they became movie stars. They are one of the breeds nicknamed a “gentle giant.” Saint Bernards tend to get along well with children and are quite adaptable. You will always know where they have been around the home because they leave a trail of drool almost everywhere they go.

10. Border Collie

Image Credit: James Hime, Shutterstock

Border Collies are excellent companion dogs for active singles or families. They have quite a bit of energy when they are outside, but tend to be more laidback within the home. When they are puppies, though, this is not always true.

Border Collies have a reputation as being one of the more intelligent breeds. They train reasonably well and happily accompany you everywhere or sit at your feet for hours of companionship.

11. Bulldog

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English Bulldogs make excellent companions for people who need a low-key dog waddling around the home. They do not like to get out often. Instead, these pups prefer to spend their days snuggled into a corner of the couch. If you need a dog that can be left alone for hours, English Bulldogs are a good option.

12. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier lying outdoor
Image Credit: Kokaleinen, Pixabay

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are small dogs that bond quickly to their family. They get along best with one or two people, choosing a favorite and sticking with them for life. Yorkies are a toy breed and do not require much more exercise than they can get playing around in the home.

13. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on grass
Image Credit: ErikaWittlieb, Pixabay

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a dog practically bred to be a companion. They were royal lapdogs in France and England, remaining a nobleman’s favorite for many centuries. They have huge, gentle hearts, and they really want someone to be around as much as possible. They can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

14. Basset Hound

basset hound
Image Credit: Ernest_Roy, Pixabay

Basset Hounds are a dog breed that is good for low-maintenance situations. They can be left alone for quite a while and will be happy to sleep the entire time. With their sad-looking faces, they always appear to need comfort. They do not need much activity either, content to spend long days on the couch.

15. Lhasa Apso

long hair lhasa apso
Image Credit: Needpix

Lhasa Apsos are one of the oldest breeds that we have currently recorded. They have a fearless spirit due to being bred to be watchdogs for Tibetan monks. Beyond courageousness, they are a devoted pet with a lively countenance. They are adaptable to your lifestyle. Just make sure they get enough activity to stay healthy.

16. Italian Greyhound

italian greyhound
Image Credit: JeebyJeeby, Pixabay

The Italian Greyhound is an adorable, skinny breed that was initially bred for racing. They love a good sprint out and will need plenty of time to run around. It is not advised to let them off-leash because they have a strong prey drive. However, once you come back home, they are bound to find their favorite blanket and spend the rest of the day in a snuggle position.

17. Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terrier in winter
Image Credit: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock

Tibetan Terriers are not as popular as some of the other more commonly found dogs on this list, but that doesn’t make them any less suited for companionship. They have a devoted, lively personality, always happily bouncing around. These Terriers have an average amount of energy, making them a more adaptable breed and an affectionate one.

18. Poodle

poodle outdoors
Image Credit: chili71, Pixabay

Poodles come in three different sizes: the Standard, which is quite large, the Miniature, and the Toy Poodle. They are all regal and carry themselves with elegance. They are also known for their intelligence and stubbornly strive after what they want. Something that most people don’t attribute to the Poodle is their steadfast loyalty, which manifests as a deep well of love.

19. Pomeranian

pomeranian dog with tongue out
Image Credit: funeyes, Pixabay

Pomeranians are one of the happiest little dogs you can find. If you need a pup who helps pull you out of a slump, these could well be your best option. They are a puff of tan and cream fur with foxlike faces. They always seem to be smiley and bouncy wherever they go. They do not need much exercise, but they still want to go with you everywhere.

20. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog lying on the grass
Image Credit: Carlos Amarillo, Shutterstock

An ancient breed, the Bichon Frise, has a cheerful attitude combined with a feisty personality. They have a fascinating history of being beloved by the nobility, to becoming a circus performer and back again. It makes sense, then, that they love to be the center of attention and are sensitive to the emotions of people around them.

Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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