The Top 13 Breeds for Companion Dogs

Pug lying in meadow with dandelions

The phrase "man's best friend" is elevated to a whole new level with companion dogs. The majority of the time, these dogs are happiest when they are with their human group. While certain breeds are built for specific duties like herding animals or protecting property, companion dogs are more likely to enjoy spending time with you and participating in whatever activity you're up to. They frequently strive to please others and are kind and incredibly loving.

Here are 13 dog breeds that make excellent companion dogs.

Breed Characteristics

The American Kennel Club's toy category includes several of the most popular companion dog breeds. However, there are other breeds from the sports, hound, and terrier categories. They allow you to pick the ideal companion for your lifestyle because they come in some of the biggest and smallest dog breeds as well as canines with different degrees of energy.


Even while some breeds are renowned for their friendliness and desire to please, all dogs require thorough socialization and training in order to make good companions. Additionally, it's critical to keep in mind that traits within a breed might vary greatly.

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    Papillon dog smiling

    The papillon has an animated countenance and perceptive ears, and it never misses an opportunity to have fun. The lively temperament of these little companion dogs makes them a favorite of youngsters as well as European nobility. The papillon is small enough to be classified as a toy spaniel. It needs some daily exercise and mental stimulation, but it is still fairly clever and lively.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 11 inches 

    Weight: 6 to 10 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long, straight coat with feathering; white with markings in red, sable, black, or lemon; prominent ears

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    Chihuahuas typically form close relationships with their owners and savor their company, especially while snuggled up in their laps. They are generally low energy and may live comfortably in either an apartment or a house. But because they are constantly on guard, if they encounter any strange animals or humans on their property, they will alarm. This breed can be apprehensive of strangers, so it's important to socialize the dog from an early age to help establish a pleasant disposition.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 5 to 8 inches

    Weight: Up to 6 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Prominent ears and alert expression; short or long coat in many different colors, including black, white, fawn, blue, and more

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    French Bulldog

    The French bulldog is a calm, amiable dog that makes a great companion. The Frenchie is well-liked by apartment dwellers since it doesn't need a large yard or lots of space to run around. The breed is regarded to be placid and quiet, yet it will benefit from one or two good walks every day. Anyone searching for a loving companion dog would appreciate this little bulldog's calm disposition.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 11 to 13 inches

    Weight: 19 to 28 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Compact with a large head and short snout; ears stand erect; smooth coat in a number of solid colors or brindle

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    The loving and amicable golden retriever has never met a stranger. This companion dog is ideal for anyone looking for a very sociable, laid-back, and eager-to-please canine. The golden retriever is a great candidate for service or therapeutic work due to its pleasant temperament and sensitivity to human needs.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 23 to 24 inches (male); 21.5 to 22.5 inches (female)

    Weight: 65 to 75 pounds (male); 55 to 65 pounds (female)

    Physical Characteristics: Large head with expressive eyes; coat is medium length and ranges in shades from light golden to red

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    Shih Tzu

    These little dogs, which are thought to have their origins in Tibet, were a favorite pet of Chinese emperors. When possible attackers got close, they would raise the alarm. The Shih Tzu's primary job appears to have been serving as a lap warmer aside from that. The Shih Tzu flourishes nowadays when given the opportunity to interact with its human friends. The breed is often calm-natured, making it amenable to live in a home or an apartment.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 11 inches

    Weight: 9 to 16 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Petite but sturdy; round face with short snout; long double coat in many different colors

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    The Irish wolfhound is a calm and devoted dog that makes a terrific companion if you're seeking for a large dog. This enormous breed of dog has a heart to match. The breed is renowned for being a wonderful family pet that is watchful and devoted. Just be sure to give these dogs a good walk every day and some space to run about. Otherwise, they usually like relaxing with their owners and are amicable toward both familiar and unfamiliar people.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 30 to 32 inches

    Weight: 120+ pounds (male); 100+ pounds (female)

    Physical Characteristics: Tall and lanky; wiry double coat in black, gray, white, brindle, and more

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    American Staffordshire terriers have a permanent grin, which is in keeping with their jovial, silly personality. Despite being of average size, they frequently attempt to sit on someone's lap. These dogs enjoy cuddling, but they also require a lot of cerebral and physical stimulation. For individuals who seek a jogging, hiking, or bicycling partner, they make the perfect companion dog.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 17 to 19 inches

    Weight: 40 to 70 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Muscular build; square head; short, smooth coat in many different colors

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    Your face will undoubtedly light up when you see a pug's distinctive mug. These little dogs were meant to be amiable companions, and they still fulfill that function today. They enjoy cuddling up on their human's lap or by their side. Pugs are typically calm, small-space requirements dogs. But in order to avoid boredom and maintain their health, they do require some serious physical and mental exercise each day.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 13 inches

    Weight: 14 to 18 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Square body with some wrinkles; short legs and smooshed face; short, smooth coat in colors including black and fawn

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    German shorthaired pointers don't exactly make the cutest little lap dog, but they do make excellent jogging, hiking, or hunting partners. They also perform well in almost every canine athletic competition, making them a fantastic choice if you want to try agility, fly ball, dock diving, and other sports. They were selected for their capacity for cooperation with humans as well as their propensity for hunting, and are well recognized for being amiable, energetic, and loving.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 23 to 25 inches (male); 21 to 23 inches (female)

    Weight: 55 to 70 pounds (male); 45 to 60 pounds (female)

    Physical Characteristics: Athletic build; long legs; short coat in solid liver or liver and white

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    The adorable Maltese, a long-established companion dog breed, originates from the Mediterranean. According to legend, Roman aristocratic ladies frequently tucked one of these canines into their robes. The Maltese still enjoys being held and cuddled nowadays. These dogs are watchful and bark at strangers. However, other from that, they are typically calm, friendly, and little canines.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 4 to 7 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Petite body; solid white fur that is long and silky; dark, alert eyes; black nose

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    Dachshunds, also referred to as "Velcro dogs," can develop strong attachments to their owners. Today's dachshunds, who were originally raised to hunt tiny animals, are better renowned for tunneling deeply beneath a blanket than into a rabbit hole. The dachshund, which comes in both regular and tiny sizes, has an energetic disposition and enjoys keeping watch for intruders on its territory. Additionally, it frequently follows its favorite person from room to room and waits impatiently for them to cuddle up.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 9 inches (standard); 5 to 6 inches (miniature)

    Weight: 16 to 32 pounds (standard); up to 11 pounds (miniature)

    Short legs and a long body make up their physical characteristics. They can have a smooth (shorthaired), longhaired, or wire-haired coat in a variety of colors and patterns, such as dapple and brindle.

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    One of the most well-known dog breeds is the poodle, which is intelligent, sociable, and adaptable. Poodles come in regular, miniature, and toy sizes, and all three make wonderful companion animals. All of them are rather active, however the standard poodle requires more activity than its smaller cousins. Because of this, larger poodles usually make better companions for those who lead busy lifestyles, while smaller poodles usually make a fantastic match for people who prefer taking neighborhood strolls.

    Breed Overview

    Height: Standard: 15 inches; miniature: 10 to 15 inches; toy: 10 inches and under

    Weight: Standard: 45 to 70 pounds; miniature: 15 to 18 pounds; toy: 5 to 9 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Curly coat in many different colors; alert expression; fluffy ears

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    A cheerful and versatile companion dog, the Boston terrier. These little dogs are ideally adapted to city living in flats or condominiums since they don't require a lot of space to burn off energy and have a tendency to remain calm even in the presence of noise. They'll be prepared to lie on the sofa with you after a few daily walks and fun.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 15 to 17 inches

    Weight 12 to 25 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Compact but sturdy build; round face; upright ears; smooth coat in solid colors or accented with white

Breeds to Avoid

Some dog breeds are naturally independent and distant. They still make wonderful pets, but they might not provide the warm company you're seeking for. These breeds include the Shiba Inu, Akita, and Chow Chow, as examples.