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Close up, a young woman and a puppy are having fun cuddling© DRAKULA IMAGES

7 best dog breeds that make the best companions for lonely people

From the Golden Retriever to the Chihuahua, these are the breeds that have the most loyal temperament

Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
May 30, 2024
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The bond between a pet and their owner can be a profound form of companionship. For many, caring for an animal brings about great joy and a sense of purpose that, in turn, can combat loneliness and promote better mental health

Dogs have long been considered an antidote for loneliness. Dianne James of Blue Cross Pet Loss Support explains: "Some pet owners only have their pet for company and their pet is the reason they get up every day, as pets are totally reliant on their owners to care for them," she told Marmalade Trust.

"Dogs help because they need to be taken on walks, which is great for the mental health of their owners too. The physical exercise of walking and playing with pets, as well as stroking them, helps create stress relieving endorphins."

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, being affectionate and being the *best* secret keepers, dogs that are treated with love and respect can easily become lifelong friends. 

If you're considering adopting a dog for companionship, it's important to note that not all breeds have the same temperament. A companion dog is usually less interested in herding and guarding and more interested in sitting with you. They’re exceptionally loving, eager to please and highly companionable - the perfect pet for those living alone.

Best dog breeds for companionship


paris hilton pet chihuahua harajuku bitch riding in pink car© Instagram


Although these petite pubs 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.


dog maltese© Photo: iStock


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.


cavalier king charles spaniel

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.


Golden retriever pet sitting in green meadow© Getty

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the UK's most popular breeds for a reason. 

They are an extremely docile, friendly, and eager-to-please canine that tend to thrive with human attention. They make excellent family dogs and loyal companions, as long as they're given enough attention and exercise.


A French Bulldog stands in flowers outdoors and looks happily at the camera.© Getty

French Bulldog

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.


shih tzu

Shih Tzu

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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