The best companion dogs are loyal, affectionate, laid back, easy to train, and ready and willing to be your best furry friend for the rest of time.
Companion dogs are wonderful family pets that will guard the kids against intruders; they are the perfect companions for singles or couples, and they'll stay by your side as the children leave home and as you grow old!
From the ever-faithful Golden Retriever to the fearless Chihuahua, there's a companion dog with the right temperament (and size!) for your home. Here are the top 7 best companion dogs!
How to choose a companion dog
Traditionally, companion dogs were bred specifically to be at home - they were lapdogs, but lapdogs that could also guard the home they were in!
Companion dogs are affectionate and loving, yet easy to train and fiercely loyal if anyone gets in your way! Many different dog breeds have these qualities and more, but it's essential to consider other factors when you're deciding on the best companion dog breeds for your home.
The best running companion dogs for an athletic home will be very different from the best companion dogs for elderly homes, for example. If you have a small apartment, you'll need to be looking for the best small companion dogs. If you're lonely, you might be looking for the best companion dogs for anxiety problems.
When choosing a great companion, consider the size of the dog, their energy levels, the amount of care and grooming they require, and any potential health problems they could suffer as they grow older.
Let’s look at the best companion dog breeds!
The Chihuahua is a classic companion dog best known for its compact size and large pointy ears. The Chihuahua is small, but the pointy ears demonstrate that this companion dog is always alert and always ready to deal with trouble!
The Chihuahua is fiercely independent, but while they aren't the most easy-going of pets, they are going to stand by you for the rest of their lives - as long as you're ready to put in the effort for them.
They are well suited to independently-minded people and singles and couples with little space in their small homes or apartments. Make your Chihuahua's life more comfortable with a dog ramp for bed. They'll appreciate it, and they'll enjoy the fact they can spend more time with their best friend!
Average height: 6 inches
Average weight: 6 pounds
Physical characteristics: Bred with either short or long coats. Small in height and stature, but with distinct pointy ears.
#2 Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is one of the best large companion dogs, but you have to be prepared for regular exercise and have plenty of spare room for them in your home!
The Golden Retriever is loyal and affectionate, making them easy to train. Precisely where they got their name, they love retrieving toys! They often work as guide dogs, which lets them demonstrate their caring and loyal nature.
Golden Retrievers can be a handful, however, especially when they are young and bursting with energy. If you love large dogs, though, this is an excellent companion for you.
Average height: 23 inches
Average weight: 70 pounds
Physical characteristics: Distinct golden coat that can be slightly red or tan on top. Long legs and a long, kind face.
#3 Irish Setter
The Irish Setter was bred initially in Ireland to be a gundog, a task these faithful companions excelled at. Their inquisitive nature, easy-going personas, and ability to listen to commands made them perfect for the role.
Today, these qualities have all found themselves in high demand in family homes, where the Irish Setter's playful yet affectionate nature makes them a firm favorite among kids and adults alike.
They'll guard the home fiercely, but they'll also love cuddling up on the sofa with you or playing with the children throughout the day.
Average height: 26 inches
Average weight: 65 pounds
Physical characteristics: Fluffy brown coats with long fluffy ears. Large-sized dog with long legs and tail.
#4 Irish Wolfhound
As another Irish native, the Irish Wolfhound is a wonderfully loyal family companion dog. Irish Wolfhounds, however, are not for the inexperienced owner. These are enormous dogs - much larger than Golden Retrievers or Irish Setters - and they need plenty of room at home to be comfortable.
They also need space to run in the outdoors. They were initially bred to be fearsome hunting dogs, but owners soon determined they are far too kind and gentle in nature despite their large size!
The Irish Wolfhound will look after you and your family, making them an excellent choice if you have the know-how and the room to look after them.
Average height: 30 inches
Average weight: 100 pounds
Physical characteristics: Huge dogs with long legs and scruffy grey coats, but a charming outlook.
Papillon means butterfly in French, and the face and ears of this beautiful companion dog are said to look like the wings of a butterfly. Papillons have large, fluffy ears which stand tall and long luscious coats that are perfect for grooming and shaping.
Historically, they were the favored companion dogs of the European royalty - their small size and fluffy coats ensure they are fantastic lap dogs. They are easily one of the best companion dogs for seniors, although they do love bounding around the room as much as sitting on the sofa.
Average height: 9 inches
Average weight: 8 pounds
Physical characteristics: Toy-sized dogs with large fluffy ears and lovely long coats. Usually white, but with brown, beige, or black markings.
The lovable Pug is a tiny toy dog that makes for a great companion dog. Pugs are small but lovable, and they'll instantly captivate you as they stare up with their large pug eyes and wrinkled pug face.
Pugs look wise and old beyond their years, and they are marvelously smart dogs that are happy to be loved. Pugs make for excellent companions, no matter the size of your family or your home.
They'll fit in anywhere, and once you get to know them, pugs will leave you wondering how you ever lived a life without them!
Average height: 11 inches
Average weight: 15 pounds
Physical characteristics: Small, squat dogs with that unique pug nose, wrinkly forehead, and pug face.
#7 Shih Tzu
If you're looking for a miniature, toy dog companion for your small home, young family, or compact apartment, then look no further than the iconic Shih Tzu. The Shih Tzu is the original lapdog, having been bred centuries ago specifically for the royal courts of China.
They made their way to Europe in the 19th century, where again, they found their place as lapdogs of the wealthy. Today, they are more widespread, but they haven't lost their regal nature or fabulous coats.
Shih Tzus crave human attention and affection, and6 they'll reward your love with an endless love of their own.
Average height: 10 inches
Average weight: 12 pounds
Physical characteristics: Miniature companion dogs with a large, oblong face, and long coat.
Best companion dogs: which is your favorite?
The truth is that all dogs make for great companions, and so it's incredibly difficult to decide on which companion dog is the best. The companion dog breeds that made it onto our list, though, are all exceptionally loyal, fiercely protective, and wonderfully fun to be around.
From the small yet independent Chihuahua to the enormously loving Irish Wolfhound, they will all make excellent companions, no matter what life throws at you.
Know exactly what you’re getting into! Bookmark our list of the best companion dogs, and welcome a new furry companion into your home!