Some breeds of the Working Group such as retrievers and Labradors are these days considered companion dogs for the simple reason that they are now more useful to their owners emotionally than practically. When choosing a good companion it is usually a bad idea to buy or adopt a dog you simply like the look of. Dogs that resemble teddy bears such as the Chow Chow and Akita are challenging animals that need a great deal of care and attention.
The cuteness and fluffiness of a dog may pluck at the heartstrings of children but it is the grown up who must step back from the sentiment of the moment in order to make the right choice for both the family and the dog. The temptation to buy on a cuddle should be resisted.
To help you to make the right choice here are our Top 10 best companion dogs:
#1: King Charles spaniel
The King Charles is known for its companionship. In fact, it is one of the best companion dogs around. Its loyalty, easy-going nature and friendliness make it an ideal choice of someone who is looking for a quiet dog to simply keep them company.
#2: Miniature schnauzer
This breed is known for its alertness, intelligence and friendliness. A miniature schnauzer very quickly becomes the loyal friend of her human owner and although she will be wary of strangers to begin with she is not too cautious to accept others into her ‘circle’.
#3: Standard poodle
Elegant and refined, this breed’s name evolved from the early 19th Century German ‘pudelhund’ or water dog. Now no longer called on to retrieve the spoils of the hunt, the standard poodle is one of the best dog breeds for companionship. Highly intelligent, eager to learn and possessing an insatiable desire to be cuddled, this dog is excellent company.
The Maltese is a toy dog that has been bred for centuries as a companion dog. She is affectionate and mild-mannered although she does have a tendency to snap at hands when she feels threatened or nervous. Of a loyal friend, the Maltese is the perfect choice.
#5: Bichon Frise
The Bichon breed is an old noble that started its life on board medieval Spanish merchant ships. The French adopted the breed as a lap dog and its reputation as a good companion has stuck ever since. This gentle and affectionate dog is quite sensitive and is made anxious by loud noises, flashing lights and busy traffic.
#6: Yorkshire terrier
As its name would suggest, this breed can be extremely determined when investigating hollows, holes and gaps in fences. The well-adapted Yorkie is friendly, confident and loyal, and she suitably takes her place among our other choices of best companion dogs.
#7: German Spitz
The German Spitz (which is also an umbrella term for the Group) is known to engage well with children but is not so keen on other dogs. Adequate socialisation at an early age is a good way to prevent her nervousness of other animals from becoming a bigger problem in later life.
Despite its fame as a racing dog the Greyhound is far happier at home and in the company of its family, and therefore makes an excellent companion dog. Exceptionally loyal, gentle, quiet and friendly she is not spooked easily and is not prone to excessive vocalisation.
The bulldog breed may have a murky history but it is know these days as one of the best companion breeds. The bulldog is gentle, friendly and loyal and her wish to live a quiet life would suit anyone who also searches for simple pleasures.
#10: Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is a Chinese toy breed that is affectionate, loyal and gentle and, of course, one that loves to be held. The breed is a trustful kind and although initially wary of strangers, they easily makes friends. A Shih Tzu is an adaptive animal capable of finding peace and comfort in any type of living space, especially where there is warmth and company.
Regardless of whether you want your new dog to be a companion, helper or guard, you must consider the fact that you will own her for the remainder of her life. So take some time to consider the pros and cons of the many dogs that are available. There are over 200 breeds in the UK each with their own individual traits and characteristics (and that isn’t including the crossbreeds).