8 Best Companion Dog Breeds

Companion dogs are highly saught after as friends that give and demand affection and adapt happily to family activities.

There’s a reason dogs are called man’s best friend. We’ve put together a list of eight of the best dog breeds based on qualities like loyalty, affection, happy to please, and gentle.

Brief History of Companion Dogs

Chinese Dog c 300 BC, Han Epoch (Cernuschi Museum)

Before we dive into our list, let’s explore the history of companion dogs. According to History of Civilization by Bamber Gascoigne, it was around 3,000 BC when humans evolved to live in semi-permanent dwellings instead of leading a nomadic lifestyle that the role of dogs as companions was created. This occurred simultaneously across the world in a number of different early civilizations. The first documented companion dogs originate from China and Tibet. It was thanks to sea trade that the concept of companion dogs spread across the civilized world.

Companion dog breeds origins come from China where thousands of years ago the were kept in the imperial courts as both an ornament and a source of comfort. It wasn’t for hundreds of years in the 1900s that companion dogs became the de facto pampered pet of the wealthy elite.

To better understand what traits are desired in a companion dog, you must understand their history. According to Wayne Furgusen, president of the American Kennel Association (AKC), “They’ve all been around for centuries and are bred for only one purpose: to be companions for their humans. They’re affectionate, calm, happy, and gentle and, above all, they want to please. Perfect ingredients for a laid-back lap dog.”

File:French bulldog on the grass.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikipedia

Laid back, patient and sociable, the French Bulldog makes for an ideal companion dog. They’re especially popular among those who live in apartments or don’t have a big yard for them to roam around in. While they are quite relaxed, they still benefit from one or two walks each day. If you’re looking for an affectionate companion dog, you will love the petite French Bulldog’s

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is by far one of the most popular dogs and has been for at least two decades. These dogs are incredibly loving, very easy to train, reliable with children and other pets, and are anxious to please. As long as your Labrador Retriever is well-fed and exercised, it will be your loyal companion for life.

Lhasa Apso Dog Breed

The lavishly coated Lhasa Apso breed dates back over a thousand years ago in Tibet. Originally they were bred to keep watch over palaces and monasteries high up in the Himalayas. These dogs are smart, confident, and have complex personalities which make for endless entertainment.

Adult tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a dog named in honor of King Charles II behaves like absolute royalty. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small silky terriers are classified as a Toy dog by the AKC and have been bred as companions since the 17th century. This breed is highly affectionate, playful, patient, and always eager to please… especially from the comfort of your lap.

Maltese

With their small, delicate frame coated in white hair which requires regular grooming, the Maltese is a playful, confident and loving companion. If you’re looking to take a nap undisturbed, be aware that they usually bark at both strangers and other dogs. Their small size makes the Maltese a popular breed in both city and rural dwellings.

Rupert, miniature poodle | The poodle is a group of formal d… | Flickr

Toy Poodles are high energy household dogs which are known for being very intelligent. Don’t be surprised if they’re already outwitting you as a puppy. These hypogenic dogs are eager to please, loving, and play well with both people and other dogs. The Toy Poodle is the smallest of the three sizes, making it the ideal companion dog.

Cocker Spaniel English - Free photo on Pixabay

The English Cocker Spaniel is slightly larger in size than its American counterpart, however their coat is less thick. The English Cocker is devoted, highly affectionate, clever and often has a quirky, goofy personality. Their size, reliable temperament and coat make them a great companion dog.

File:Miniature Schnauzer R 02.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Miniature Schnauzers are generally well-mannered and fun-loving dogs that make great additions to most families. They are loyal companions who are playful, curious, and alert, and love to be the center of attention. If you’re looking for a dog that needs your undivided attention, then the Miniature Schnauzer is perfect for you.


Dogs truly do make for the best companions. Whether it’s for an elderly relative, someone living on their own for their first time, or for the entire family to enjoy, these dogs listed above will fill any void.

9Best Dog Breeds To Combat Loneliness

Studies have shown that owning a dog improves our physical health, by reducing blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health and increasing the amount of physical activity their owners perform. Another study found people have fewer psychiatric disorders after acquiring a dog.

We’ve put together a list of the best dog breeds for anyone combatting loneliness.