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10 Dogs Bred for Companionship: With Pictures & Facts

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

10 Dogs Bred for Companionship: With Pictures & Facts

As a dog lover, you are probably familiar with many different breeds, and you likely know that most were developed with a single purpose in mind, whether it be herding sheep over long distances, retrieving ducks from cold water, or tracking a scent. However, as time passed and many of these jobs became less common, breeders started selectively breeding many dogs so they would be more friendly.

Keep reading for a list of dog breeds that were bred specifically for companionship, so you can see if one would be a good addition to your home!

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How Are Companion Dogs Classified?

Many people also call companion dogs “lap dogs,” and they are classified based on their role of providing company, affection, and comfort to their human companions; other breeds’ jobs may be to retrieve, herd, point, etc. Many companion dogs are small in size, which makes them suitable for most living environments, including apartments, and an outgoing personality that’s friendly toward people and pets.

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The 10 Companion Dog Breeds

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog with collar standin on grass
Image Credit: dean bertoncelj, Shutterstock
Origin: United Kingdom
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 12–13 inches

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an attractive dog with plenty of energy. They don’t shed much or require much grooming, but some might be chatterboxes, depending on their personality.

2. French Bulldog

french bulldog walking outdoor
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 11–12 inches

The French Bulldog is a great companion pet that loves spending time with their owner, especially when watching TV. They have a short coat that only requires occasional brushing, they come in many colors, and they seldom bark. However, they are a brachycephalic breed, so you will need to monitor their temperature and ensure that they don’t get too excited.

3. Golden Retriever

golden retriever dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Mohammad_Hamza7393, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 20–24 inches

The Golden Retriever is a large dog, so they are perfect for someone with a bit more room in their home. They love to swim, and although they can shed frequently, they don’t need much brushing, so they are easy to maintain. They also don’t bark excessively, so they can be a good choice if you have neighbors.

4. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever dog standing on the lawn
Image Credit: Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock
Origin: Canada
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 21–25 inches

The Labrador Retriever is a large dog that’s extremely popular due to their friendly and intelligent nature. They are always ready to play and love people, even strangers, so they won’t make the best watchdog. They are easy to maintain and get along well with other pets.

5. Pug

pug dog standing on grass at the park
Image Credit: MVolodymyr, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Lifespan: 13–15 years
Height: 10–13 inches

Pugs are adorable dogs that love to follow you around the house and sit on your lap. They don’t need much exercise, don’t bark excessively, and have a short coat that’s easy to maintain. They are also one of the oldest dog breeds, with ancestors dating back more than 2,000 years.

6. Shih Tzu

Cute Shih Tzu puppy in the park
Image Credit: sanjagrujic, Shutterstock
Origin: Tibet
Lifespan: 10–16 years
Height: 9–10.5 inches

The Shih Tzu is an amazing dog with long fur that is available in many colors. They shed little but require plenty of grooming to prevent tangles and knots. They aren’t as open to strangers as some other dogs on this list, so they will need to be properly socialized. They will also demand your constant attention, but they make wonderful companions that you can usually carry around with you.

7. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog with a stylish haircut standing on the stairs in autumn park
Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock
Origin: Spain/France
Lifespan: 14–15 years
Height: 9.5–11.5 inches

The Bichon Frise is an attractive white dog that is popular in many areas of the country, especially in cities and other places where living space is limited. They don’t shed much and may not trigger allergies. They also get along well with children and other pets but require frequent grooming to keep them looking their best.

8. Pomeranian

portrait of pomeranian dog standing
Image Credit: SubertT, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany/Poland
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 6–7 inches

The Pomeranian is a small dog that you can likely carry around with you. They have long fur that doesn’t shed much and is available in several colors. They form strong bonds with their primary caregiver, but they demand constant attention and may not get along with children and other pets as well as some other dogs on this list, so they are a better choice for single or couples that have plenty of time to spend on an only pet. Proper socialization is also recommended.

9. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Imageman, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Height: 7–8 inches

The Yorkshire Terrier is a long-haired dog that looks absolutely adorable and is sure to attract plenty of attention on your adventures. They shed little and are considered hypoallergenic, so they are less likely to trigger allergies. They are also a good choice for apartment buildings and other areas with close neighbors. They require a great deal of brushing and trimming, but it can be fun to change their appearance slightly from time to time.

10. Maltese

Maltese dog sitting on a picnic blanket
Image Credit: Tanya Dol, Shutterstock
Origin: Mediterranean Basin
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 7–9 inches

The Maltese have long, silky white hair and dark eyes that stand out in any crowd. They are fearless yet gentle and always playful. They don’t shed much, but like other long-haired breeds, they require frequent brushing to prevent tangles. Early socialization can help them be more outgoing and friendly toward other animals, but they often prefer a single owner who will spend most of their time with them.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Companion Dog Breeds for Apartment Living?

Breeds like French Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pugs, and Shih Tzus can be a good choice for apartment living due to their small size and limited exercise needs.

Do Companion Dogs Make Good Pets for Seniors?

Many companion dog breeds would make great pets for older people, as they are often quite intelligent and can learn tricks and help with tasks, much like a service dog might with the right training. They can also help keep them entertained and alert others if there are any problems concerning the senior’s health.

How Do I Deal With Separation Anxiety in Companion Dogs?

If your pet is suffering from separation anxiety when you leave for work or to complete tasks, you can try to desensitize them by leaving for short durations and gradually increasing them as your pet gets comfortable being alone. Plenty of positive reinforcement in the form of praise, treats, and petting can help them know that they are reacting in the desired manner. Also, ensure that there are plenty of toys, a comfortable resting place, and food and water available, to help them feel more relaxed while you are gone.

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Many breeders have started using selective breeding to make dogs more friendly and suited for companionship, and some are quite well suited to it. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, French Bulldog, Pug, and Labrador Retriever are wonderful family dogs, while the Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, and Maltese are better suited to a single owner or a couple. If you suffer from allergies, the Yorkshire Terrier and Bichon Frise can be good choices, and if you like to spend time outdoors, it’s hard to beat the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever.

Featured Image Credit: brickrena, Shutterstock

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