20 Best Dog Breeds For Companionship

helloBARK!
By helloBARK!
Updated on 25 October 2022

Are you looking for a companion dog?

If you’re thinking about adopting a dog to keep your company and join you on your daily adventures.

There are some breeds that are often considered the quintessential examples of lap dogs.

However, there are some big dogs that can also make excellent companion pets if you’re an active person.

In this article, we’ll hear from a number of experts, ranging from dog trainers to veterinarians, dog behaviorists and experienced pet owners, who share their suggestions for the best dog breeds for companionship.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Shih Tzu (Photo: Adobe Stock)

As a Shih Tzu owner, I can’t help but love the breed. Loyal to a fault, most breed members show obvious preference for one owner. This will usually be the person who feeds them and spends most time with them.

They will always choose to be in this person’s company and will trot around after them in the home. This is a dog who won’t want to sleep in a room if there owner is not in it!

Suggested by Dr Linda Simon, MVB, MRCVS, Consulting Veterinarian At Five Barks

German Shepherd

German Shepherd relaxing in the leaves (Photo: Adobe Stock)

German Shepherd relaxing in the leaves (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The German Shepherd is a versatile breed that is commonly used for professional tasks, including search and rescue, police work, and assistance dogs for the disabled.

They are selected for these tasks due to their strong attachments they create with their owners, and their desire to please. German shepherds are loyal, obedient, and protective, which makes them great companions.

They are also intelligent, making them easy to train. German shepherds need a lot of exercise and stimulation, so they are not the best breed for someone who is inactive or does not have a lot of space.A

Suggested by Jeff Netzley, Creator Of Dog Training Near You

American Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Photo: Adobe Stock)

One of the breeds that gets a lot of bad reputation. Yet, if you look behind that bad reputation, the American Staffordshire Terrier is one of the most loyal dogs in the world. He looks like he is perpetually smiling.

Smart, confident, he is a good-natured companion that will love nothing more than to spend time with you anywhere you go. Despite his bad reputation, the Staffy is a friendly puppy with a goofy and happy personality.

He will make a great dog friend. Fun fact: he is not aware of his size, and will even jump in your lap like a true toy dog. He definitely loves to cuddle.

Suggested by Aleksandar Mishkov, Editor-In-Chief Of The Daily Tail

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water dog (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Portuguese Water dog (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The not some common Portuguese Water Dog is such an incredible family dog that is not as common as some other breeds.

They are an excellent alternative to a Doodle, as they are hypoallergenic.

They are a medium size dog with great temperaments who are easy to please. They have stable genetics and make for an excellent family dog.

Suggested by Christos Philippou, Owner Of Delaware K9 Academy

Poodle

Poodle (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Poodle (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Poodles are intelligent, active dogs that come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. They are known for their hypoallergenic coats, which make them a good choice for people with allergies.

However, because they do not shed they require haircuts every 4-8 weeks. Poodles are easy to train and make great companions because of their loyalty and affectionate nature.

Poodles love to play, so dedicating time to play with your poodle every day is important to keep them well behaved.

Suggested by Jeff Netzley, Creator Of Dog Training Near You

Papillon

Papillon (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Papillon (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Papillon is one of the best dog breeds for companionship. They are active, always on alert, and friendly. They are small dogs that children also love for their playful nature.

Despite their small size, they are highly active and energetic and want to play around 2-3 hours a day. So you would need to give them a fair amount of exercise and mental stimulation.

Suggested by Leonardo Gomez, Founder of Try Runball

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Cocker Spaniel is an intelligent and gentle breed who makes for an amazing family pet.

They are a small to medium size dog that can travel well wherever life may take you. They are happy to cuddle and enjoy their quiet time around the house.

With that being said, they are eager to please and like to train, making them perfect for any family.

Suggested by Christos Philippou, Owner Of Delaware K9 Academy

Maltese

Maltese (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Maltese (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Maltese are small, toy-sized dogs that are known for their long, silky white coats. They are gentle, affectionate dogs that make great companion pets. Maltese are also very intelligent and respond quickly to training. Their small size also makes them easy to take care of and they adapt well to apartment living. Maltese are good with other dogs and children, although they are known to become jealous if they feel they are not receiving enough attention from their owners.

Suggested by Jeff Netzley, Creator Of Dog Training Near You

Boxer

Boxer puppy (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Boxer puppy (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The most notable personality trait of the Boxer is his desire for human affection. And that goes even higher when it comes to children. This puppy loves to play with small children and will act protective of them.

Goofy and fun to be around, the Boxer is intelligent, high-energy, playful dog. He loves to stay busy. He prefers to be in the company of his owner.

Yes, he loves to play around and exercise, but he is no stranger to the sofa as well.

Suggested by Aleksandar Mishkov, Editor-In-Chief Of The Daily Tail

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dogs running together (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Bichon Frise dogs running together (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Bichon Frise is an excellent family dog as it is affectionate, caring, and constantly eager to please its owners. Their hypoallergenic coat makes them ideal dogs for people suffering from allergies.

Bichon Frises love human companionship and are relatively easy to train due to their affectionate and attentive disposition.

They may be wary of people at first, but early socialization will help them develop into friendly, playful puppies.

Suggested by Aaron Rice, Expert Dog Trainer At Stayyy

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer (Photo: Adobe Stock)

German Shorthaired Pointer (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The German Shorthaired Pointer calls for a specific owner who is extremely active, loves to hike or hunt and be outdoors.

They are excellent dogs with extreme drive and intelligence, so they do require an owner who will put in the work.

They make for incredible companions for the outdoorsy type and can certainly keep up with any lifestyle.

Suggested by Christos Philippou, Owner Of Delaware K9 Academy

Beagle

Beagles sits down after run with owner (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Beagles sits down after run with owner (Photo: Adobe Stock)

For readers who are looking for companionship but aren’t weekend-warrior types, I’d like to suggest a beagle, as they are known for being very gentle, yet playful dogs, with a very even temperament.

We think they’re perfect for people who like to sleep in late in the mornings or who love a dog to snuggle up to for cozy naps on chilly autumn afternoons.

Our beagle Oliver loves to sleep in until 11AM, then has lunch and then is ready for his afternoon nap! You can see great examples of beagle behavior in two of our YouTube videos.

This first one, How My Beagle Wakes Me Up, has 9.5 million views on YouTube, and shows just how sleepy beagles can be in the morning.

This other one, Top 10 Reasons To Get a Beagle, has 1.8 million views, and has ten short vignettes showing how (adorably) lazy and snuggly beagles can be.

Suggested by Wayne Huang, Pet Influencer At Oliver The Beagle

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog in the nature on a sunny day (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog in the nature on a sunny day (Photo: Adobe Stock)

An often overlooked breed that excels at being a family companion is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These charming dogs are described by fans as Golden Retrievers but in a much smaller, quieter package.

Cavaliers are gentle, intelligent and have easy going personalities. They do well in apartments and houses with smaller yards and their lower exercise requirements make them suitable for older owners.

Suggested by Janice Gunn, Professional Dog Trainer, Obedience Competitor And Seminar Presenter At TNT Kennels

Labrador Retriever

Black Labrador (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Black Labrador (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Labrador Retrievers are an unfussy, playful, loyal dog breed. There’s little Labradors like more than a sunny day at the pond or a long game of fetch, and they’ll always be by your side.

Labs are fairly easy to train, low-maintenance dogs, which makes them great for families as well. All of the above applies to Golden Retrievers as well, and if you need a hypoallergenic option, consider their mixed-breed cousin, the Goldendoodle.

Suggested by Daniel Caughill, Co-Founder Of The Dog Tale

Rottweiler

The Rottweiler will protect you and your home, no questions asked. They make an excellent companion, always ‘checking in’ on you to ensure all is well.

They are an intelligent dog so benefit most from those interactions where they get something back; like a training session or long hike outdoors.

While some owners are pleased at the dog’s dedication to guarding them, others can find this instinct hard to deal with at times.

Suggested by Dr Linda Simon, MVB, MRCVS, Consulting Veterinarian At Five Barks

Vizsla

Vizsla (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Vizsla (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Those looking for a dog for companionship might consider looking into breeds with a reputation for being “velcro dogs.”

These are the breeds who will constantly be at your side, versus a more independent or aloof breed. Vizslas in particular are known for being velcro dogs who prefer to be around their person at all times, whether that’s cuddling on the couch or going on adventures together.

Vizslas are a Hungarian breed originally bred for hunting. They are an athletic breed who will also enjoy downtime inside with their people.

Suggested by Josh Snead, CEO Of Rainwalk Pet Insurance

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Irish Wolfhound (Photo: Adobe Stock)

This gentle giant is a great pet in the right household. The only downside is its sheer size, meaning he needs a lot of space to stretch.

But if you can provide the necessary space, the Irish Wolfhound has a heart as big as him. Gentle, noble, sensitive, and easygoing, this dog breed is a joy to be around.

He can run at high speed, making him a perfect hiking or jogging buddy and partner. And he is not a stranger to obedience training. A true model citizen.

Suggested by Aleksandar Mishkov, Editor-In-Chief Of The Daily Tail

Pug

Fawn Pug stretches (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Fawn Pug stretches (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Pugs are small dogs who were originally bred to be friendly and they continue in the same role today.

They are friendly, attentive, easygoing dogs who love to play with their human and stay with them. They do not need solid physical and mental exercise.

Suggested by Hilda Wong, Founder of Bark Posts

Chihuahua

Cream long haired chihuahua walks on embankment in big city (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cream long haired chihuahua walks on embankment in big city (Photo: Adobe Stock)

If you are not an active person, then chihuahuas are good for you as they prefer to cuddle in the lap of their owners. They are small and friendly dogs who love to spend time with their owners.

They are low in energy and can quickly adapt to life in a house. They can be alarmed around new people so you need to train them from the beginning.

Suggested by Leonardo Gomez, Founder of Try Runball

French Bulldog

French Bulldog (Photo: Adobe Stock)

French Bulldog (Photo: Adobe Stock)

French Bulldogs are easygoing and trendy, making them a perfect companion for humans.

Individuals who live in apartments can keep them as a pet as they do not require a big yard or room to roam.

Of course, you will need to take them out for two to three walks but they are not energetic dogs so two to three walks are enough for them.

Suggested by Erin Mastopietro At Dope Dog

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