A companion according to the dictionary is: a person who is frequently in the company of; a person employed to accompany, assist or live with another in the capacity of a helpful friend; a mate or match. Many people have a pet that fills this role. What exactly is a companion dog?
A companion dog according to Wikipedia is a non-working dog providing companionship as a pet rather than usefulness by doing specific tasks. Any dog can be a companion dog, however we often think of the small toy breed of dogs as dogs that are specifically chosen for their company alone. However, many dog breeds are known for their friendly nature and can be chosen as a companion dog regardless of their size.
What characteristics make a good companion dog?
- Loyal – Have their person or family group and are very bonded to that group.
- Friendly- Welcoming
- Eager To Please – Live to make you happy.
- Loving & Affectionate – enjoy petting and cuddling.
When choosing a companion dog or any breed of dog it is important to match the strong traits of the breed to your lifestyle. If you live in an apartment or urban setting a dog that needs tons of room to run and play everyday might not be a good fit. If you want a dog that accompanies you while you jog make sure you pick a breed that can keep up with your activity level. If you just want a dog to cuddle on your lap while you read or watch TV pick a breed that does not require exercise and likes to cuddle. Aloof and independent natured dogs do not generally make good companion dogs.
What are some good companion dog breeds?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – This dog breed was bred for nobleman in England and France to be a companion lap dog. This little dog can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone to often or too long. Average height for this breed is 12 to 13 inches and average weight is 13 to 18 pounds. To learn more about this breed click here.
Chihuahua – This tiny breed has a height of 5 to 8 inches and weighs under 6 pounds. Generally loyal to one person. They like to cuddle and do not require much exercise.
Dachshund – This happy little small breed dog will definitely keep you entertained with their antics. Dachshunds love to snuggle and you should expect to be followed from room to room. Average height is 5 to 9 inches and they weigh on average 11 to 32 pounds. They come in a variety of colors and have a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years.
Maltese – If you are looking for a sweet toy breed that you don’t mind carrying, look no further than the Maltese. This little breed is like snuggling a child’s small stuffed toy. Average height is 8 to 10 inches and weight is 4 to 7 pounds.
Papillon – This is a toy spaniel breed that is intelligent and energetic. Average height is 8 to 11 inches and weight is 6 to 10 pounds. This is a sweet breed that will want to please you but does require exercise.
Pomeranian – This little happy dog will want to go everywhere you go. This is a lovey-dovey breed that never thinks there is too much affection. This little breeds average height is 6 to 7 inches and average weight is 3 to 7 pounds.
Poodle – Poodles are one of the most intelligent dogs around. They come in 3 sizes: standard, miniature and toy. All sizes love to cuddle but they are also energetic and need physical and mental exercise. Average heights are: Standard – 15 inches; Miniature 10-15 inches; Toy – under 10 inches. You can learn more about this breed by clicking here.
Pug – The Pug is a low energy great pet for the elderly. They are easy going and will enjoy sitting on your lap. Average height is 10 to 13 inches and average weight is 14 to 18 pounds.
Shih Tzu – Average height for this breed is 8 to 11 inches and their weight is 9 to 16 pounds. This little dog is loyal for a life time. They bond with their owner and will love to be on your lap. They do tend to bark.
American Staffordshire Terrier – This is the companion dog for you if you like to exercise by biking, hiking or jogging and want some company while you do these activities. This is a medium sized dog that will desire to sit on your lap. Average height is 17 to 19 inches and average weight is 40 to 70 pounds.
Boston Terrier – Loves to cuddle and is very adaptable to a variety of home situations. Average height is 15 to 17 inches and average weight is 12 to 25 pounds.
Yorkshire Terrier – This little breed does not require much exercise. They will bond with one or two people and will bond for their lifetime. You can not find a more devoted little dog. They do not require lots of exercise and can be quite content in an apartment. They do tend to bark. Average height is 8 to 9 inches and average weight is 4 to 6 pounds. This is one of the most popular breeds in America.
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Some Larger Breeds that are Very Affectionate and Loyal:
- American Eskimo Dog
- Border Collie
- English Springer Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
- Irish Wolfhound
- Labrador Retriever
Companion dogs can help those that suffer with depression and anxiety. These type of companion dogs can be any breed or size. Any dog that is intelligent obedient and affectionate can be a source of comfort and security to someone struggling emotionally.
Companion dogs are not service dogs. Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for someone living with a disability.
People who have a pet are generally happier, healthier and live longer. Do not let the responsibility of pet ownership stop you from finding your perfect dog match!