Finding the right companion is a very individualized process. Every person is unique and has different needs and desires. The same can be said for every breed and individuals within that breed. The best companion dog for an outdoorsy trail runner won’t necessarily be the best companion dog for an avid reader that loves to cozy up with a good book inside. Because everyone’s needs are so different, we’re going to focus on the dogs that make the best general companions. There are many breeds that were originally used for hunting and guarding, but many breeds were also developed for the sole purpose of being lapdogs. In this list, outside of a few exceptions, we’re going to focus on the dogs that were bred to stay by their owners’ sides, keep their laps warm and sit at their feet all day.
#1 – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the smallest of the spaniels and has been bred to be a loyal companion for generations. They are very affectionate, gentle dogs that do well with little exercise and enjoy relaxing on the couch.
#2 – Basset Hound
The Basset Hound was originally a hunting dog but has evolved into a goofy, loyal companion. They do well in homes with children and require relatively little exercise despite their size.
#3 – Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the sighthounds and makes an excellent lapdog and companion. They are very low maintenance but do not do well in cold weather, so should either be clothed in sweaters or kept inside. They are very sweet dogs that are ideal for someone looking for an easily managed breed.
#4 – Bullmastiff
Despite its size and original purpose as a guard dog, the Bullmastiff is a gentle giant that makes an excellent family companion. They are a very lazy breed that requires little exercise and even does well in apartment life.
#5 – Pekingese
The Pekingese is a toy breed from China originally created for the sole purpose of companionship. They were favored by Chinese royalty and were the most common breed found in the Chinese Imperial Court.
#6 – Yorkshire Terrier
Although the Yorkshire Terrier was once a rat-baiting dog, it has long been bred as a lapdog and companion. Most often seen in purses now, they are moderately active but enjoy ample time relaxing at home with their owners.
#7 – Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso comes from Tibet and they were kept by Buddhist monks in monasteries. They make great watchdogs, alerting their owners to strangers on the property. They are relatively lazy dogs, however, that prefer to spend their time on couches and beds with their families.
#8 – Greyhound
The Greyhound is an ancient breed used for hunting and chasing prey. Although capable of running great speeds and used as a racing and lure coursing dog today, they are known for being gentle couch potatoes that do well with apartment life given adequate exercise.
#9 – Bulldog
The Bulldog was originally bred for bull-baiting, but once the blood sport was outlawed they became the clownish companions they are today. They are a lazy breed, require minimal exercise and have wonderful personalities.
#10 – Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is a Chinese toy breed that is affectionate, alert and loyal. They are very friendly, even toward strangers, and make excellent lapdogs and companions. The breed is even known for its friendliness towards other animals and children.