I was very surprised and a bit confused about how a wizard's familiar seems to have more autonomy than a ranger's animal companion. According to the PHB page 93:
The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative, though it doesn't take an action unless you command it to.
Conversely the Find Familiar spell, PHB page 240:
Your familiar acts independently of you, but it always obeys your commands. In combat, it rolls its own initiative and acts on its own turn. A familiar can't attack, but it can take other actions as normal.
I have two issues with how this works. First is just conceptual: Why would an independent animal have less independence than a familiar? This seems backwards to me. The second is more practical: If the character get knocked unconscious, the PHB seems to imply that the animal companion would sit around waiting, while the familiar would still go around doing stuff.
Why is this the way it is, and how do I practically work with it?