Helpful Tips

Best Dog Breeds for College Students

girl and dog

Your college years are certainly an exciting time. When you’re off to college, you’re bound to meet new people and enjoy new experiences. But college can also be a lonely time for many students, which is why some will turn to dog ownership as a way to enjoy all the benefits that come with owning a dog such as reduced stress, companionship, and even a more active lifestyle. This is often the case for many students that have grown up in a home full of pets since this gives them the opportunity to have their own pet.

However, you’ll need to take into consideration some factors such as your monthly budget, space, how often you’ll be home, and what type of breed will best suit your personality. Because carefully choosing the right breed is so important, I’ve decided to create a guide for the best dog breeds for college students. Here, you’ll find an extensive list of all the breeds that are perfect for a college student’s lifestyle.

The Right Personality

Obviously, if you have experience with dogs, then you’re aware that each dog will have a unique personality and different traits. While there are some breeds that are best suited for college life, other breeds of dogs will not enjoy this type of situation. Some dogs are very high energy and love hanging around large groups of people. These social dogs will be perfect for college life. However, some dogs are not exactly what you’d call social and loud noises and large groups of people can be very frightening to them.

House Training

If you are partying it up and living the college life hanging out with a large group of people then you’re going to want to take that into consideration and find a breed that has a very social disposition, instead of one that’s prone to anxiety and afraid of loud noise or large groups of people. You’ll also want a dog that is very easy going and easy to house train. House training is never a fun or easy process, however, there are some breeds that are easier to train than others. Stubborn dog breeds can be very difficult to train and it will be a very time-consuming process. Other dogs will quickly catch onto the fact that they can only urinate or defecate in certain spots outside or on a puppy pad.

Obviously, you want a dog that’s pretty easy to train and one that won’t be a struggle. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with cleaning up plenty of messes around the home which can be very stressful and frustrating.

Frame with a beautiful

Of course, most dogs will require basic obedience training in the beginning. If you’re relatively new to dog ownership then I recommend meeting with a certified dog trainer. However, those with some experience may be able to do this part of the training on their own. For more information click here to read my guide on how to teach to your dog commands.

If you choose a dog that’s easy to train you’ll quickly find that things will go much more smoothly. This means selecting a breed that has a strong drive to please their owners, in addition to one that is very smart and able to pick up commands quickly. You’ll want to avoid independent breeds at all costs. These dogs will fight you every step of the way.

Energy Levels

If you’ll be spending a lot of time at school, or working part-time, then you’ll want a dog that’s low energy. This means a dog that doesn’t require one to two long walks a day in order to get their energy out. If you end up with a dog that has high energy and you don’t exercise them appropriately, then this can lead to destructive behavior problems, frequent escapes, and other issues. While most puppies are considered high-energy, there are still some breeds that don’t have the same type of exercise requirements. Additionally, breeds that are high energy also tend to become depressed easily and require a lot more attention.

To get around this issue, try picking a breed that is low energy. These dogs will be satisfied with a short walk around campus and they won’t cause the type of issues that a high-energy dog will.

The following breeds are the best choice for college students, however, they do vary in size. If you’re very limited on space, then obviously a smaller breed would be a better fit, however, there are some big dog breeds that fit the bill and have low energy needs.

Golden Retriever

While it’s no secret that this breed is probably the most popular in the world, they’re also very obedient, and eager to please. However, they’re also very playful, affectionate, and intelligent. Yet, this dog is not without its challenges. This type of dog is high energy, which means they need plenty of space to run and play. Some have also been known to suffer from separation anxiety which means you must train them to become accustomed to you leaving every morning for school.

However, if you live in a large house and have plenty of backyard space then this type of dog will be a great choice for you. For a breed that spends plenty of time outdoors, you should anticipate flea treatment needs during the warmer months of the year. For more information, click here to read my article on how to get rid of fleas on dogs.


If you are a first-time dog owner, then the poodle will probably be your best bet. These dogs are very affectionate, loving, and intelligent. They’re also very social and enjoy meeting new people and partaking in new experiences. They also have a coat that’s hypoallergenic so, if you have roommates with dog allergies then this breed will not be a problem. Keep in mind that they do require regular grooming which can be expensive.

Additionally, they are also high energy dogs and will require a walk once or twice a day, or the run of a big backyard. However, poodles do come in a variety of sizes. A standard poodle is a large full-size dog, the miniature or toy poodle is very small and weighs anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds.

Basset Hound

basset hound puppy

Basset hounds are considered mid-size dogs and they only stand about 1 foot high. However, they can weigh anywhere from 40 up to 60 pounds. These dogs are highly recognizable and famous for their long dangling ears and a droopy face. The basset hound is probably one of the best pets for the college student. They’re very friendly and outgoing dogs and are considered relatively smart. They’re also not prone to separation anxiety and are considered low energy. Keep in mind, these dogs tend to howl and bark whenever they feel the need. This is a pretty well-known and common issue for this breed so you should take into consideration how important it is for you to own a quiet breed especially if you have roommates or you’re renting a room.

Shih Tzu

Obviously, small breed dogs are better for college students since they don’t have the same type of space needs that large breed dogs do. The small breed dog thrives in a small apartment or a big house. Additionally, they have modest energy levels and don’t have high exercise requirements. A Shih Tzu is another popular breed and it’s known for its ability to tolerate a decent amount of alone time. These dogs are able to adapt to any type of schedule and are considered very independent. However, they too have high grooming needs and are prone to weight gain so you’ll need to keep an eye on that.


The pug is also considered one of the best breeds for the new dog owner. They’re friendly, playful, loving, and very affectionate. They’re also a good choice if you live in a small apartment. They have a reputation for being easy to house train and crate train. However, they are prone to certain health conditions that you should be made aware of before you decide to bring one home. Their shortened faces can lead to breathing difficulties as they age, so you’ll need to keep an eye on this. It can also make it difficult for them to do certain things such as fly or swim.

Boston Terrier

This breed is smart, friendly, and small, they are not prone to separation anxiety and can also adapt well to apartment life. They’re also very neat dogs and don’t shed much. However, they are known for their high energy levels and can require more exercise than the average small breed dog. But if you take your dog for a walk once a day or have a small backyard, this will tire them out pretty quickly.

English Bulldog

This is a very popular breed and one that’s actually pretty pricey to buy. The English bulldog is a midsize, drooling, bundle of joy. They’re also a great option for students. They typically can weigh up to 50 pounds or more and are usually around 12 inches in height. These aren’t very high energy dogs so keeping them exercised is easy. They’re also very loving and affectionate and able to cope with plenty of alone time and won’t become depressed if they don’t see you a lot throughout the day. For some, their constant drooling and their heavy shedding can also pose a challenge. Additionally, teaching them how to walk on a leash can be difficult because they can be very stubborn at times. However, with the best no pull dog harness, such as the Chai’s choice dog harness, you should have no trouble teaching your dog how to walk loose leash in no time.

Lhasa Apso

These dogs are very loving and tend to be somewhat shy around new people. They also love to Peter owners Shadow but they can handle being alone a lot of the time fairly well. Keep in mind, this type of dog must be groomed regularly which can be an unwelcome added expense. These dogs do well in smaller homes and apartments and are relatively easy to house train.

Chinese Crested

If you’re looking for a small dog that has a very unique appearance, then your search is over.

This is another excellent choice for the college student. These dogs are affectionate and sweet and very small and have fairly low exercise requirements. The biggest drawback is their clingy nature which means that they don’t enjoy being left alone for long periods of time. But if you have roommates or enjoy taking your dog out when you meet up with friends, then this breed will thrive. If you live alone and aren’t home often, then this may not be the breed for you.

Final Thoughts

Bringing a new dog home can be an exciting and challenging time, especially if you decide you want to adopt a puppy. But there are so many breeds out there, that you’re sure to find the perfect match for your new environment. Now that you know what the best dog breeds are for college students you can take the next step by doing your own research in order to determine which breed will best suit your living situation, your schedule, activity level, and general preferences. Pet ownership is a major commitment and owning a new dog while you are enrolled in college full-time may not be an option for everyone.

You must take into consideration the extra expenses that come with grooming, pet food, unexpected illnesses. However, getting a new dog when you’re far away from home can be exactly what you need if you’re looking for companionship and unconditional love. While there are many challenges that can arise when raising a pup, most dog owners will quickly find that it’s worth the effort to enjoy a wonderful companion who offers unconditional love.