With their unconditional love, affectionate character, and fierce loyalty, no wonder dogs are man’s best friend. There are always pups that you can easily tag along to go hiking, jogging, or go on road trips with you. But what are the best companion dog breeds out there?
They may look like high-maintenance pups, but Poodles are actually rugged pooches that will gladly join you on any activity you fancy. The ever-cheery Golden Retriever is always game for anything, and the adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is such a compact cuddle bug!
If a four-legged BFF is what you’re looking for, these companion dog breeds fit the bill. Whether you’re up for adventures, a cozy time at home, or you simply long for an emotional support, you’ll find these pups a great match for your unique needs.
Versatile and surprisingly rugged, the Poodle is one of the best companion dog breeds on the planet today. They learn commands and tricks easily, so you can count on these pups to behave themselves well.
For a more active and hardy Poodle variety, the Standard Poodle is a great choice. They are great buddies for outdoor adventures, sports, and even hunting trips.
52. Golden Retriever
The face of many dog advertisement posters, dog food, and treats, the Golden Retriever is a companion dog in every single way. They are easy-going and fun-loving, and you can take them to the beach, the mountain, the woods, and the mall without any problem. No matter where they go with you, these pups are content just having some quality time.
As these pups are always pleasant and agreeable, they also make great therapy or service dogs. And who can resist that super cute Golden Retriever smile?!
51. Norwich Terrier
Norwich Terriers are loving to all, whether quadrupeds or bipeds. They enjoy a good cuddle just as much as playtime with the family.
Shower this pooch with plenty of TLC, and you can expect to be reciprocated for your kindness. These pups endeavor to keep you safe and will not hold back to bark an alarm at the slightest suspicion of threats near your home.
50. Mexican Hairless Dog
Being naturally pack animals, the Mexican Hairless dog or Xoloitzcuintli thrive on human companionship. They are known to bond closely with their favorite human but love everyone, as well.
But when it comes to strangers, these doggos can be quite aloof and reserved. Although they are not aggressive, you can’t expect them to warm up easily to an unfamiliar face.
49. Bergamasco Shepherd
A highly social pooch, the Bergamasco Shepherd is a genuine companion dog. These pups would never pass up an opportunity to socialize and discover something new with you.
As these are low-maintenance dogs, even novice owners should have an easy time training and getting along with these pups. Their eagerness to please and dedication to their families make them a great addition in your life.
48. Manchester Terrier
If you love sports and activity, the Manchester Terrier is a perfect companion dog for you. They are fun-loving canines that are always up for a day of frolicking or snuggling up with their owners.
Because of their minimal grooming needs, compact size, and sunny disposition, Manchester Terriers make an amazing pet for everyone. These dogs can be prone to separation anxiety, though, so it would be best to avoid leaving them alone for an extended period.
47. Biewer Terrier
The Biewer Terrier is another outstanding companion dog breed for newbie and experienced owners. These social butterflies get along easily with everyone in the family but are wary of animals and people outside of their home.
Early training and socialization is a must for these pups. When well-trained, it should be easy to curb the constant barking they are prone to when faced with strangers.
46. Toy Fox Terrier
If you fancy a smaller companion pooch, the Toy Fox Terrier has the build and personality to match what you need. Loyalty is their strongest suit, so you’ll feel safe having this protective fellow near you.
While they are great for families and solo owners, they are not quite perfect for young kids. With their miniscule physique and delicate bodies, they need to be handled with great care.
45. German Spitz
They may be tiny pups but the German Spitz is packed with a huge personality! They are playful creatures with a penchant for fun and games. Take them outdoors or on a road trip with you and these little darlings are a happy camper.
At the end of a busy, active day, these fluffy pups love some quality cuddle time. You can count on them to shower you with kisses and snuggles – potent stress busters that never fail to work!
44. Tibetan Terrier
Tibetan terriers are amazing therapy and companion dogs. They may not be super active but they do enjoy going on leisure walks with you.
With their mild personality, their presence is soothing and calming. They are also adaptable creatures who can live comfortably in the countryside or the city.
Always devoted to their family, the Schipperke is one of the best companion dog breeds out there. These pups enjoy spending quality time with you whether out and about or lounging at home.
A plus point to owning a Schipperke is their agreeable nature. They do well with kids and even cats! But they do tend to bark often, which is something you can address with proper training.
42. Shar Pei
Shar Peis are highly devoted to their owners. They do their best to make you feel safe, which is another reason why they are great companion pups. You can tag them along anywhere and feel protected at the same time.
Just one thing to note, though – these pooches require early training to curb undesirable behaviors and constant barking. So, if you’re up to the challenge, owning a Shar Pei is absolutely worth it!
As extroverts, no wonder a Keeshond lands on our list of the best companion dog breeds. They love people and animals, so it should not be an issue owning them when you have a multi-pet household.
Keeshonds are obedient fellows that love anyone openly. This is why not only are they great companion pups but they make the best therapy dogs, too!
40. Cairn Terrier
Don’t be deceived by their small stature. Cairn Terriers are actually rugged little pups that are game for physical activities and adventure, whatever tickles your fancy!
They are known for their comedic skills and high energy level. But if you need some chill moments and down time, they can be perfect cuddle bugs for those lazy weekends at home, too.
39. Bedlington Terrier
Known for their unique haircut, there’s another thing Bedlington Terriers are famous for – their well-balanced and gentle temperament. This is why they do well as companion dogs because of their lovable personality.
If you need a watchdog, however, they are not quite the best candidate. These pups can be friendly towards strangers, so they are not one to ward off threats with constant barking.
38. Little Lion Dog
A friend to all, the Little Lion Dog enjoys the company of people and other pets. These canines are social creatures that simply love to spend quality time with you.
Little Lion Dogs are also gentle fellows. They are never aggressive to anyone, not even to strangers, just so long that these pups are treated kindly and with respect.
One of the best companion dog breeds on the planet, Cockapoos are gentle and fun-loving pups. They are fairly easy to train, so long as they are given positive reinforcement.
If you’re an allergy sufferer who needs a four-legged buddy, the Cockapoo is a solid candidate. They don’t shed as much and are easy to maintain, so they are a great addition to your household.
36. Coton De Tulear
Closely resembling the Maltese and the Bichon Frise, the fluffy Coton De Tulear makes it easy owning a pooch. They are affectionate pups that simply want to be around their favorite humans.
They may seem delicate but Cotons are actually hardy pups. Whether you live in an urban or countryside setting, they should do perfectly well no matter what.
35. Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Spaniels just want to have fun… With you! They like adventures and leisure walks at the dog park. Cuddle time is another favorite pastime, so you should expect lots of kisses from these guys.
They are alert dogs but definitely not yappy. But they will not hesitate to alert you when they sense that real dangers are lurking behind.
34. Japanese Chin
Intelligent and loving albeit occasionally aloof, the Japanese Chin is a companion pooch for first-time and seasoned owners. They are affectionate to their favorite humans, yet reserved towards strangers.
Just as perky as other toy breeds but less vocal, these canines possess quite an endearing personality. They also love to snuggle up with you or stay on your lap when you want some cuddle time with these little sweethearts.
These mustached little devils (at least what the French would describe these pups) may look the part but their personality is definitely not devilish in every single way. These are affectionate and sweet pups that love to shower their owners with love.
They are delightful companions for folks of all ages. As a bonus, they are hypoallergenic pups that shed only minimally, which is good for folks with allergies.
32. Miniature Pinscher
They may be small and delicate but Miniature Pinschers are excellent companion pups. They do well in apartments or the countryside, so you should not have any problem towing them around.
Most importantly, they are protective of their favorite humans. You can count on them to make you feel safe and have a ton of good time with their comedic talents.
Shelties have spunky personalities, making them a fun companion even for young kiddos. They love to play fetch, tug of war, or any activity that involves running around.
Do take note that they are originally herding dogs with a natural tendency to nip or chase. Other than that, they are great pets for singles, elderly folks, and families.
30. Chow Chow
These adorable fluff balls have a reputation for being independent pups but that doesn’t mean they would rather be alone. In fact, they enjoy being with their owners whether for some cuddle time or a relaxing stroll at the park.
Chow Chows are devoted to their families. With proper training and socialization, they should do well with all family members including kids and other pets.
Labradoodles are among the easiest dogs to train and get along with, making them one of the best companion dog breeds. They are sociable canines, and you can count on them to be fun buddies outdoors or indoors.
These pups develop a tight bond with their owners pretty quickly. It is best to not leave them without any company for long hours, or they can develop separation anxiety.
Another Poodle mix that’s a friend to all, the Goldendoodle is a highly affectionate and friendly breed. They are also intelligent, so training them should be relatively easy.
Active folks looking for a great four-legged companion would find this pooch a suitable match for their needs. They will hike, run, play, and go on adventures with you for hours on end!
27. Bolognese Dog
Mild and mellow, the Bolognese dog is a loving pup companion for families and elderly people. Basic training and socialization at a young age are all they need to develop positive behaviors and habits that make them easier to get along with.
They may be small canines but they are a ton of fun to be with. Adult supervision, however, is required when letting young kids play with these delicate pups.
26. American Eskimo Dog
Eskies are outgoing fluffy pooches also known for their love for human companionship and attention. If you like hanging out with your four-legged BFF, this pooch is the perfect choice for you.
Another cool thing about Eskies is their impressive comedic talents. They can learn tricks quickly and perform circus acts. With these pups around, expect rounds of laughter from these clownish fluff balls!
25. Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffon are social creatures that simply adore their families. With their compact bodies, you should be able to tow them along easily for your outdoor trips and adventures.
Although they love their favorite humans so much, they don’t share the same affection for other pets in the house unless they have been acquainted for quite some time. So, it’s best to keep smaller animals out of their sight to avoid any problems.
Energetic, yet sensitive, Dalmatians are a good mix of fun and mellow. They love to romp around just as much as they enjoy cuddling up with their owners.
In addition to being excellent companion dogs, these spotted pups are also great watchdogs. With their inherent smarts and obedience, training them should be fairly easy.
23. Silky Terrier
Silky Terriers are a delightful playmate for kids and company for anyone. These high-energy canines enjoy fun and games, so they need their daily exercise to stay healthy.
Although they are affectionate, they are not exactly big fans of cuddling. But they have their unique way to express love by displaying their silly antics and making you smile.
22. Lhasa Apso
Throughout history, the Lhasa Apso has been known to be amazing companions. They are helpful, jolly, and affectionate creatures that know how to have a good time with you.
With a Lhasa Apso, you not only have a wonderful companion but also a guard dog. Their protective nature triggers them to bark at perceived threats and strangers.
21. King Charles Spaniel
Another affectionate and charming pooch, the King Charles Spaniel makes for a genuine companion dog in every single way. They are clever pups that even novice owners can train easily.
Whether you take them out for a walk or spend a lazy afternoon watching TV, these canines are always up for any activity spent with you. And they’re pretty compact, too, so they’re travel-friendly buddies.
20. Italian Greyhound
If you’re the type who loves to dote on your pooch a lot, the Italian Greyhound is the perfect recipient of such love and affection. They crave attention from you, so it’s best to include them in every activity.
Since they are quite compact and with low-shedding coats, these canines are perfect for apartment dwellers or allergy sufferers. Be sure to keep them warm because of their low body fat ratio, which means lots of cuddle time for this sweet guy or gal.
Bred as royalty companion dogs, Pekingese pups are affectionate and charming pups. They quickly form a solid bond with humans, so you can count on them as being your BFF since day one.
Interestingly, these doggos choose to be close to only one person in the family. And once they have decided they love you, expect it to last for years and years to come!
The cheery Papillon always craves fun and excitement. They are a bundle of energy and need quality time with you to stay happy and healthy.
Additionally, these pups are intelligent, which makes training a breeze. Teach them tricks and commands, and you can expect them to master these fairly quickly.
17. Chinese Crested Dog
The Chinese Crested Dog is among the best companion dog breeds and an absolute keeper. They are versatile and adaptable; these pups should have no problem in an apartment, big house, or any type of home.
Always seeking your attention, the Chinese Crested simply enjoys lots of snuggles. Give them the affection they yearn for, and these pooches will remain a loyal friend to you.
16. Miniature Schnauzer
Well-mannered and playful, the Miniature Schnauzer enjoys going on outdoor adventures or a trip to the dog park with you. They are devoted companions who just want to spend time with their families.
These pups are also quite alert and vigilant. Small as they may be, these canines will never back down a threat to protect their loved ones.
With a reputation as “Velcro dogs”, no wonder the Dachshund makes it on our list. These wiener pups bond easily with their owners, as well as other members of the household.
Doxies are animated creatures with a passion for life. They enjoy snuggling up with you or running around the yard just as much.
Havanese pups want nothing more than to be with their favorite humans. They are active and agile fellows that prefer to join you in any activity – hikes, road trips, you name it, they’re always game for it!
But one word of caution- they are small pups with delicate bodies. It is best to handle them with care and supervise young kids when playing with these pups.
If your idea of a companion dog is one that’s eager to join you anytime and anywhere, a Pomeranian is for you! They do love spending time with their owners but are also not very dependent. These canines also enjoy their alone time as much as they delight in being with you.
Poms, however, can be quite vocal. It is best to train them at a young age to help curb this tendency to bark too often, especially if you live in an apartment.
12. Boston Terrier
Adaptable and sociable, the Boston Terrier has all the qualities of the best companion dog breed. They do well whether you live in the city or the countryside. A leisurely stroll each day or a couple of hours of playtime are all they need to be happy.
As these pups are generally calm and mellow, they don’t get stressed easily when commotions happen around them. They are easy-going and would rather enjoy a quiet time with their favorite human when not romping around outdoors.
11. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is another excellent pup buddy for active and sedentary folks alike. These are good-natured dogs that simply enjoy being with their owners.
With their compact build and mild personality, they are more than happy spending time at home. They make suitable apartment dogs and delightful companions for families, singles, and elderly individuals.
10. Yorkshire Terrier
Devoted to their families, Yorkshire Terriers are popular options for companion dogs in a petite package. They love to snuggle up and play games, plus they are easy to train too.
With their hypoallergenic coats, these pups are great choices for allergy sufferers. They also get along with kids and other pets, although adult supervision is required.
9. Shih Tzu
Hailing from Tibet, Shih Tzus were favorite companion dogs of Chinese royals. These pups are amazing lap dogs because of their compact size and affectionate character.
If you live in a modest home or apartment, it should be perfectly fine for a Shih Tzu. They are compact and balance-tempered, so you won’t have to worry about having an unruly pet in the house.
8. Maltese Dog
Dainty and sweet, the Maltese dog is another popular companion dog throughout history. In fact, this breed was a favorite of the Roman nobility because of its affectionate personality.
Maltese dogs are cuddle bugs that love to be carried and doted on. They do tend to bark at strangers and intruders, which is just their way of protecting you from threats.
A Chihuahua can instantly form a solid bond with its favorite humans. Once this happens, you know that you have a loyal companion for years to come.
Their idea of a relaxing time involves curling up on your lap or being carried by their fur mom/ dad while out and about. Running around in the yard or at home is another favorite pastime of these delightful toy-sized pups.
6. Bichon Frise
Apartment dwellers in search of a great companion dog breed will find the Bichon Frise a fine match for them. These are compact, fluffballs in thick and soft white coats. Because of their energy level, they require daily exercise and playtime.
Intelligent and obedient, training a Bichon is quite easy. They respond best to positive reinforcement, so be sure to catch them doing good and let them know it.
Beagles are hungry for human love and affection. This is why they are one of the best companion dog breeds to consider when you want a loyal buddy who will be there for you no matter what.
These pups love to cuddle, play, and socialize with other dogs and people. Plus, they are good-looking pooches with an endearing personality that you can never resist.
Not only are Pugs amazing companions but they are also brilliant entertainers. They thrive on human companionship and can easily draw a smile on your face with their funny antics.
These are your easy-going canines who love to be with people more than anything. Their compact size also makes them suitable for apartments, just so long as they still get their daily exercise.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Sweet and mellow, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is least likely to turn your home upside down. They are mild-mannered and with a low prey drive, making them quite adaptable fellows.
If you look for a companion dog that will never say no to snuggle time, these pups fit the bill. They are also compact, so you can easily put them on your lap for cuddles.
2. American Hairless Terrier
Always curious and alert, the American Hairless Terrier is another great companion dog breed. They get along well with everyone – kids, the elderly, and other pets in the house. With their agreeable character, it is easy to fall in love with these canines.
As a bonus, these pups also make amazing great watchdogs. American Hairless Terriers are naturally protective of their families and will do their best to keep you safe from danger.
1. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are go-to service dogs because of their inherent obedience and loyalty to their owners. They are active fellows that are always eager to do as you command.
With a Lab, it’s hard to feel blue and alone. Their sole purpose in life is to give you lots of love and affection but would be even better if you could return the favor by spending time with these energetic and sunny pups.
Do Dogs Care If You Cry? Many dog owners claim to receive comfort from their pets whenever their four-legged pals find them crying. This leads experts to believe that dogs respond to tears as a way of expressing empathy. However, it is still unclear if canines have empathy for owners who are in pain.
What Do Emotional Support Dogs Do? Dogs offer different forms of emotional support, including cuddles and kisses in the form of licks. They are also companion dog breeds that will stay on your lap or by your side to keep you company when you are feeling lonesome.
Can Any Dog Be A Therapy Dog? Absolutely. Any breed of dog, as long as provided with proper training, can become a therapy dog. However, they need to be a minimum of one-year-old before they can serve as therapy dogs, whether in retirement homes, mental health institutions, and other settings.