5 Best Dog Breeds for College Students


For millions of people, their best friends aren’t of the human variety. Instead, they are four-legged, furry creatures that drool and shed. That’s right – dogs are many human’s best friend!

College students moving into their own place for the first time often get dogs to ease the transition. Having a best friend waiting at home for you every day helps relieve loneliness and stress that come hand-in-hand with the start of independence and official adulthood.

But why are dogs such popular companions for the college-aged?

Studies Show Dogs Relieve Stress

People get lonely. In fact, the need for companionship likely played a small role in the original connection our ancestors formed with wolves.

The loyalty and eagerness to please that dogs shown to its owners are unparalleled by any other animal. Cats are great pets, too, but their affection is on THEIR terms, period.

Endless studies reveal that petting dogs and even just seeing a dog can reduce stress, anxiety and minor depression. There’s a reason more airports and other public places are introducing the idea of a therapy dog to lift the mood of patrons.

Dogs are amazing, but they are also amazingly a lot of work. They need to be fed, bathed, groomed, etc. And that’s not even accounting for the time spent taking them out and in, out and in, out and in, ad nauseam.

If you’re a college student well beyond the days of sleeping through your morning classes, it may be the right time to consider getting a dog.

5 Dog Breeds for College Students to Consider

Most colleges require students to live in dorms on campus for at least their freshman year. Unless a dog is a service dog or emotional support animal, pets aren’t allowed in most dorm rooms.

If you’re moving to off-campus housing with the hope of getting a dog, ensure that pets are allowed so that you’re not unceremoniously separated from your pet in the future.

Let’s say you’ve secured off-campus housing and gotten the okay for a dog. You will still (hopefully) be spending your days in classes with little time to tend to your new friend.

Some breeds require extensive exercise and training while other breeds are more suited for apartment living and short separations. Consider these dog breeds for college living:

1. Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers are consistently ranked as one of the most popular dog breeds for a reason. Their loyalty and devotion are unmatched by other breeds. Labs are in a constant state of happiness, making it virtually impossible to be down when they’re around.

While Labs offer tremendous companionship, they have high levels of energy that require plenty of exercises. Since they are a larger breed, they also need a high-quality diet to keep them healthy.

2. Basset Hound

Who can resist the floppy ears and short legs of the Basset Hound? Despite their constant sad expression, the breed is actually very happy and outgoing.

As part of their hound dog pedigree, Bassets are notoriously vocal. They are known to howl excessively, especially when left alone.

Basset Hounds are compact enough for apartment living, as long as your walls are thick enough to absorb the howling or your neighbors don’t mind.

Bassets also have a low level of energy, so they are likely to nap while you’re in class.

3. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu dogs are the perfect size for small spaces. Their laid-back temperament gives them the confidence to be alone for a few hours a day without problems. Their long fur does need to be groomed regularly, which can be pricey for a college student.

The small breed does require a moderate amount of exercise to maintain a healthy figure. Feeding them a proper diet can prevent obesity issues.

4. Pug

Pugs have one of the cutest canine faces, paws down. The smushed-in nose and overly expressive eyes just lure you in. And it’s okay to be lured in!

Pugs are great companions for first-time dog owners. They are affectionate, friendly and trainable.

There is one precaution Pug owners need to be aware of, however. That cute, button nose is actually problematic in some ways.

Pugs are notoriously prone to breathing issues and shouldn’t be overexerted. As long you’re mindful of potential complications and can afford regular vet care, a Pug may be your new furry roommate.

5. English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are another breed with deceptively cute faces. Their shortened noses are also prone to trouble breathing, especially in warm weather.

But they make great companions for college students and can handle living in small apartments.

Dogs Are a Prelude to Adulthood

Choosing the right dog breed is as complicated as choosing your desired college. There are many things that go into the decision.

Many people say that having dogs is a great way to get ready for the responsibilities of adulthood. Getting a dog isn’t a choice you make lightly – there are consequences and a lot of work involved, but so many rewards!

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