Companion dogs are the most common pets reared by homeowners these days. They are liked for their adaptability to home environments and friendly nature.

There are different breeds of companion dogs that you can get for your household.

How We Chose Our Ratings

This review took into account the diverse dog breeds reared as pets across the globe. It focuses on factors that make the dogs suitable for companionship.

The review also looked at the pet’s size, looks, weight, fur, strength, lifespan, trainability, and susceptibility to diseases. It aims at informing potential and existing dog owners about the best companion dogs to have at home.

Top 20 Best Companion Dogs

Here’s a comprehensive list of 20 of the best companion dogs you’ll likely come across. The list is in ascending order. The descriptions give you a brief idea of where the dog originated from and other features that make it a reliable pet.

 

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (4.8 stars)

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the gentlest and most affectionate breeds on the planet. It was specifically bred to provide loyal companionship to multiple generations.

Cavalier King Charles has been the ultimate symbol of a royal pet for many decades now. The modern breeds continue to maintain this symbolism. It, however, sheds a lot and requires high maintenance.

 

2. Italian Greyhound (4.8 stars)

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the gentlest and most affectionate breeds on the planet. It was specifically bred to provide loyal companionship to multiple generations.

Cavalier King Charles has been the ultimate symbol of a royal pet for many decades now. The modern breeds continue to maintain this symbolism. It, however, sheds a lot and requires high maintenance.

3. Basset Hound (4.8 stars)

3. Basset Hound (4.8 stars)

Centuries ago, people used the Basset Hound for hunting. Thanks to this old bond, the animal has evolved to become the perfect companion. People rarely use it for hunting these days.

The Basset Hound may be goofy in nature, but it can be trained to behave well at home and with kids. Despite its size, the dog requires relatively little physical exercise and maintenance.

4. Bullmastiff (4.7 stars)

4. Bullmastiff (4.7 stars)

Bullmastiff dogs were initially used as guard dogs. However, they have evolved to become gentle and passionate family companions regardless of their gigantic size. They can comfortably live in apartments and other residential facilities. They are also quite lazy in nature and require little maintenance.

5. Yorkshire Terrier (4.7 stars)

5. Yorkshire Terrier (4.7 stars)

It is amazing how a dog that was once used for rat-baiting is now a companion to many homeowners.

Besides being a great companion, the Yorkshire Terrier also fits the description of a lap dog thanks to its light weight and soft fur. It can easily fit in your purse. The dog is moderately active and likes staying indoors with its owner.

6. Pekingese (4.7 stars)

6. Pekingese (4.7 stars)

Pekingese is one of the best companion dogs to have originated from Asia – China to be specific. Because of its friendliness and affectionate nature, it was reared by the ancient Chinese royalty who used it as an accessory to signify luxury.

Its favorable characteristics influenced the breeding of chic crossbreeds such as the Peke-a-tese (Pekingese crossed with Maltese) and Peekapoo (Pekingese crossed with Poodle).

7. Lhasa Apso (4.7 stars)

7. Lhasa Apso (4.7 stars)

The Lhasa Apso was one of the few dog breeds used for spiritual nourishment in the past. It was particularly a favorite of Buddhist monks who lived in monasteries.

Today, it is one of the best companion dogs to spend time at home. It is also a good watchdog – it’ll alert you in case trespassers try to get into your residential property.

8. Bulldog (4.7 stars)

8. Bulldog (4.7 stars)

Bulldogs were first used as baits for bulls. They eventually become one of the most loyal companion dogs after the bull-baiting sport was outlawed.

The modern breeds have wonderful personalities, require minimal exercise, and quite lazy in nature. They are also muscular in appearance with a unique pushed-in nose and a wrinkled face.

Shih Tzu

9. Shih Tzu (4.6 stars)

The Shih Tzu also originated from China. This toy breed is loyal, alert, and affectionate. With its small size and soft fur, it can be used as a lap dog. The dog is also friendly towards strangers, kids, and other animals including cats.

10. Greyhound (4.6 stars)

10. Greyhound (4.6 stars)

Greyhound is one of the oldest dog breeds to ever exist. It was used for hunting and racing in the past. Today, they still have their athletic abilities and are loved by a lot of people for the companionship they provide.

For them to thrive, you need to allow them to indulge in physical exercises regularly.

11. Portuguese Water Dog (4.6 stars)

11. Portuguese Water Dog (4.6 stars)

The Portuguese water dogs were originally bred for retrieving lost items from the sea and herding fish. They make good watchdogs, but their size disqualifies them from being capable guard dogs.

These dogs do not shed, making them suitable for people with allergies. They are also intelligent, loving, easy to train, independent, as well as friendly with strangers and children.

12. Maltese (4.6 stars)

12. Maltese (4.6 stars)

Maltese dogs are some of the oldest companion dogs.

The ancient Greeks used to build tombs for these pets when they died as they were considered magnificent and powerful creatures. They were believed to cure illnesses and relieve different types of pain.

Today, the Maltese can live in different types of home settings. Their small size and loving nature make them good companions. They are mostly used as emotional support pets.

3. Newfoundland Dog (4.5 stars)

3. Newfoundland Dog (4.5 stars)

Also known as “nature’s babysitters”, Newfoundland Dogs are loyal and intelligent pets known for being extra friendly to children. They are also good swimmers as they were originally bred for water rescue operations. In fact, there are claims that a Newfoundland dog once rescued Napoleon Bonaparte from drowning.

14. Huskies (4.5 stars)

14. Huskies (4.5 stars)

Originally from Siberia, Huskies are known for their piercing eyes and thick fur. People like them for their impeccable beauty. They also love attention and staying close to their owners. They are light to carry and require very little exercise.

15. Golden Retrievers (4.5 stars)

15. Golden Retrievers (4.5 stars)

Golden Retrievers are the most loyal and sweetest companion dogs you’ll ever find. They prefer staying close to their owners instead of playing outside by themselves. They are also friendly and tolerant of kids and strangers. If you want to play fetch with your pet, consider getting a Golden Retriever.

Poodles

16. Poodles (4.5 stars)

Poodles are loyal, intelligent, fun-loving, and lively family dogs. They can be attention seekers at times depending on how you care for them. They don’t like strangers or other animals. If you choose to rear them, you should familiarize your guests with them.

17. German Shepherds (4.4 stars)

17. German Shepherds (4.4 stars)

Since 1899, German Shepherds have been known to be one of the best companion dogs in the world. They are always eager to learn, incredibly loyal, obedient, and courageous. They can perfectly accomplish basic dog tasks and do tricks. Other than being used as pets at home, they can be used as guard dogs or detection dogs.

18. Pembroke Welsh Corgis (4.4 stars)

18. Pembroke Welsh Corgis (4.4 stars)

The Pembroke Welsh Corgis has a sweet and playful personality. The Welsh people believe that this breed was used by fairies for transportation. Corgi dogs can be shy with strangers but are very kind to little children. They are also committed to pleasing their owners.

With their big behind, long torso, and huge ears, they are quite unique for the average toy dog. Since they are susceptible to overfeeding, you should monitor their food intake at all times.

Beagles

19. Beagles (4.4 stars)

Beagles are commonly used at airports by law enforcement officers to sniff out contraband. Their size and alertness make them good watchdogs. They also do well in homes with kids and are less susceptible to illnesses. They can also be trained and tweaked to your liking.

Labrador Retrievers

20. Labrador Retrievers (4.3 stars)

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular pets in the U.S., the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. They are loved for being obedient, devoted to their owners, and easy to train. They are never aggressive with children, guests, or other animals.

Though they were originally bred as service dogs or guide dogs for autistic and blind individuals, they are also ideal for teenagers, adults, and elderly individuals. They are playful, charming, and resourceful when it comes to detection – a trait that has made them popular for law enforcement services.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Companion Dog

Dog breeds are constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of humans thanks to selective breeding. When you adopt a dog as a pet, it can help you cope with depression, stay active, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some major factors to look out for when selecting the best companion dog for your home.

 

1. Size and Strength

The best companion dogs tend to have small bodies, making them easy to carry around or play with. However, some people may want a pet with a large body and more muscles to not only keep them company at home but also protect them.

Since people have different tastes and preferences when it comes to pets, it’s recommended you know the size of pet you are comfortable with. You can also check the dog’s weight to see if it is within your pet weight preferences.

 

2. Trainability

Before a dog fully adapts to your home, it may require some form of training. The training makes it more friendly and intelligent. You should, therefore, get a dog that is easy to train and can easily adapt to different environments.

Some easily trainable breeds include the Shetland Sheepdogs, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Poodles, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, as well as Papillon.

 

3. Health

As you’re planning to adopt a companion dog, another important factor to consider is its health. You need to know its genetic predisposition to certain illnesses or disorders before taking it home.

With selective breeding, breeders can detect and reduce the chances of abnormalities being passed from one breed to the other. You can also ask for a medical examination report for the pet you want to adopt.

 

4. Age

Senior or middle-aged dogs don’t require much attention as the younger ones. They are the best companion dogs you can buy if you are a busy person. Most mature dogs have gone through the relevant dog training and can thrive well in different types of households.

Nonetheless, remember to ask the veterinarian about the age-specific supplements and vitamins your dog requires. Keep in mind that some breeds have a shorter lifespan than others.

 

5. Exercise Requirements

Most companion dogs are known to be less active in nature and require little exercise.

If you have a tight work schedule and you don’t have anyone to watch over your dog at home, consider getting one that needs as little play as possible. On the other hand, if you enjoy running and walking your dog, get a more active and energetic pet.

 

6. Have a Backup Plan

At times, you may find it difficult to travel with your companion dog due to one reason or another.

Choosing a companion dog goes beyond looking at the pet’s unique details. It also entails having well-thought-out plans of ensuring that the pet is safe, clean, and well-fed when you’re not present.

If you don’t have family or friends who will be able to take care of your pet, consider living in an area with a dog daycare. This will mean that you have to get a dog that is well-mannered even with strangers.

 

7. Price

Even though this is a non-issue for many pet lovers, you may fail to find the right dog on your budget. In this case, ensure that you are aware of the current prices for the best companion dogs before going to buy them. Do your research extensively and determine how your finances can get you a good pet.

What’s Your Best Companion Dog?

Companion dogs have been in the market for several decades.

Finding one for your househ old shouldn’t be a daunting task. You just need to understand the different breeds of dogs out there and consider factors above.

Go get your dream companion dog today!