If lockdown taught us anything, it's the importance of companionship. As more and more people faced months of isolation alone, over 3 million households in the UK became pet owners since March last year.
READ: 5 naughtiest dog breeds most likely to wreak havoc at home
It's no secret that dogs make the perfect four-legged companion – and their love goes beyond just keeping you company. From keeping you comforted at night to encouraging you to get outdoors, giving you cuddles and being the *best* secret keepers, dogs that are treated with love and respect can easily become lifelong friends.
WATCH: Rare video of the Queen playing with her dogs in the 1950s
Making the decision to introduce a fluffy friend into your home is not one you should take lightly – it's a long-term commitment. So when it comes to breeds, which one should you choose if companionship is one of your top priorities?
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Thanks to the latest research from Perfect-Pet Books, whose Essential Guides cover the 'essentials' for first-time dog owners, we now know the public's most favourite dog breeds for companionship…
If you want a dog that takes the phrase “man’s best friend” to a whole new level, you need a companion breed. These are the dogs that thrive in a human pack. Whatever activity you’re doing, a companion dog is less interested in herding and guarding and more interested in sitting with you. They’re exceptionally loving, eager to please and highly companionable.
A companion dog will stay by your side whether you’re working around the house, watching TV or going for a walk – the perfect pet for those living alone.
Best dog breeds for companionship
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This delightful dog breed is loved for its calming nature and warm temperament, making them a trustworthy companion for any pet owner. Key to caring for your King Charles, this pup hates being alone for long periods, needing a great deal of companionship from their owners to thrive.
The Maltese is considered one of the most gentle of the small dog breeds, and are particularly known for their ability to slot into a family with children. Intelligent, obedient and affectionate, the Maltese can quickly become used to lots of attention - and knows exactly how to give it back. Perfect for a needy owner craving companionship.
Although these petite pups might have a reputation for being a bit fiery, Chihuahua's actually have a very sedated temperament. Happiest curled up in their human’s lap, chihuahuas tend to develop a strong bond with their owners and enjoy spending time with them.
This breed adapts to life in a house or an apartment equally well, but is quick to sound the alarm if someone new comes onto their turf. Chihuahuas can be wary of strangers, so be sure to socialise them from an early age to help develop a friendly demeanour.
The French Bulldog makes an ideal companion thanks to its easy-going and friendly temperament. Given their size, these pups don’t need room to roam or a big garden, which makes them very popular with those of us living in flats. Frenchies have an even-tempered personality, which makes them the perfect choice for anyone looking for an affectionate companion dog.
A historical favourite of Chinese emperors, Shih Tzus are believed to have originated in Tibet. Potential intruders were foiled when these small dogs sounded the alarms, and they also made very successful lap warmers. Human companions are an absolute must for Shih Tzus today – did we mention they love to be cuddled?
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