Many dog lovers will argue that any dog is a good companion. Indeed dogs by their friendly nature are good companion dogs. In the strict sense though and for differentiation, dogs that do not work and do not particularly excel at any task other than companionship is a companion dog. When the decision for adopting a dog is to have a companion, the choices will be limited generally to smaller dog breeds that are expected to serve no particular task other than as a pet and as a comforter.
This tradition of having small dogs for decoration dates back thousands of years to Chinese nobility where the Pug and the Pekingese were favorites. In Europe, lap dogs are also popular with royalty and the wealthy throughout history and are still used as gifts today. In fact because of their generally small breed, companion dogs loves to sit on their owner’s lap that earned them the term of lap dogs aside from their comforting warmth.
Several companion dogs for example the Maltese, terriers and spaniels were bred with the intention of serving good company for refined ladies and gentlemen during the 19th century. Children and dogs though have this natural affinity to each other that popularity of companion dog breeds increased. In the 20th century, middle and lower classes began having companion dogs to chum up with their children. In fact, the parameter by which a good dog breed is measured on is in the dogs being a good family pet. By that it means that the dog is friendly to both man and other smaller animals and gentle.
Companion dogs have a life expectancy of up to 16 years. They weigh, depending on the breed, from 4 to 16 pounds and are prone to ailments that are related to their size. Before adopting a dog for a companionship, it would be well to do a little research regarding health, ailments, and other breed specific issues on health.
Companion dogs being generally small dogs are energetic and rambunctious. While they are not ideal around children because they move very fast, they are good company to older people who could use extra cheer around the house. One of the downside to having a companion dog is that because of their size, they are vulnerable to larger animals. When you are located in areas where winters could be very cold, you would want to consider companion dog breeds that are fluffy or are longhaired.
The benefits far outweighs the risk though as these dogs are content to follow wherever their owners go, are very easy going, and are content to sit with their owners for long periods of time. They are excellent pets for people living in small apartments, they also cost less to maintain and are excellent for people that are less active since the running around the house is exercise enough for them.
Some of the most popular companion breed dogs are the Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs, Dachshunds, and Shih-Tzus.