Finding the right companion dog is a very individualized process. Every person is unique and has different needs and desires. The same can be said for every breed and individual within that breed. The best companion dog for an outdoorsy trail runner will need to be active. But the best companion for an avid reader will be happy cozied up on the couch.
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 humans’ 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 affectionate, gentle dogs. Plus, they 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 need 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, they 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 their size and original purpose as a guard dog, the Bullmastiff is a gentle giant that makes an excellent family companion dog. They are a lazy breed that requires little exercise and even does well in apartment life.
#5 – Pekingese
The Pekingese is a toy breed from China created for the sole purpose of companionship. Chinese royalty favored them, and they were the most common breed found to be companions in the Chinese Imperial Court.
#6 – Yorkshire Terrier
Although the Yorkshire Terrier was once a rat-baiting dog, they have long been bred as lapdogs and companions. For that reason, they’re often seen in purses. They are moderately active but enjoy ample time relaxing at home with their humans.
#7 – Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso comes from Tibet and they were a favorite companion to Buddhist monks in monasteries. They make great watchdogs, alerting their humans to strangers on the property. They are relatively lazy dogs 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. They are capable of running great speeds and were used for racing before it was banned. Yet, they are still known for being a gentle companion that does well with apartment life if given adequate exercise.
#9 – English Bulldog
The Bulldog was bred for bull-baiting, but once the blood sport was outlawed, they became the clownish companions they are today. They are a lazy breed, need 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.
Any dog can make the best companion, depending on the family. So, meet with lots of adoptable dogs before settling on the one that’s best for your family. These breeds are worth considering, but there are lots of other loving dogs looking for forever homes too!