The 10 Best Dog Breeds for College Students

Getting a dog is a serious commitment. Properly caring for another living creature requires time and money, neither of which college students are known to have. Because of this, some owners (who are advanced in years) warn students not to get dogs while going to college. However, if they can comfortably fit one into their financial and time budgets, there is no reason that college students cannot responsibly own a dog.

That being said, not every kind of canine is a fit for dorm or apartment living. Every pup has needs, like veterinary care, but certain dog breeds are a better match for students’ lifestyles. If you have made the decision to get a dog, consider one of these 10 who are out there waiting to become your best friend. (We strongly recommend you get a dog at least 18 months old, and adoption is a great route to take.)

  1. Clumber Spaniel

    A clumber is a great choice for a student going to college in the city. They’re easy-going and so low-key you may actually have to convince them to exercise. A good walk on a leash each day is enough to suit them. Clumbers aren’t especially friendly to strangers, but they will be very devoted to you. All dogs must be brushed at some point; at two to three times per week, clumbers are on the higher end, but just incorporate it into your TV time and kill two birds with one stone.

  2. Papillon

    A lot of guys will overlook toy dogs like the papillon, which is a shame because they make great apartment dogs. They are energetic and friendly to everybody, including strangers and other dogs. They love walks but they are small enough that they can get their exercise in the house if you want to play with them indoors some days. At a max weight of 10 pounds, most landlords will be fine allowing you to keep them in an apartment. Papillons are moderate shedders, but brushing regularly helps. These are smart little dogs that won’t yap you to death.

  3. Greyhound

    It might seem odd to have a greyhound around the house, but they actually make great pets in the right environment. They don’t do roughhousing with kids or other dogs, but for most college students that won’t be an issue. Their nickname is “world’s fastest couch potato” because of their calm and well-mannered nature indoors. Obviously they’re sprinters, but they can hurt themselves running unsupervised, so long walks on the leash are best. Adopting a retired racing greyhound can be a different ballgame as they adjust to civilian life, but with time you’ll be rewarded with a sweet dog that is eager to please.

  4. Black and Tan Coonhound

    As you can probably guess, a coonhound is not the dog to bring with you to NYU. But on the proper campus with room for him to stretch his legs, a coonhound is an excellent choice. This dog loves people and other dogs and is very sensitive and independent, even stubborn. He may bark, but indoors he is mellow and calm, and he only needs to be brushed occasionally. Take him on your jog but keep a close eye on him, because if he picks up a scintillating scent, he’s off and running.

  5. Borzoi

    Like the coonhound, the borzoi is not going to thrive unless he’s got room to run. He needs a long walk every day and a chance to sprint. But if you can give him that, you’ll have a quiet, well-mannered pet that is very loyal but very proud and sensitive. They’re also very intelligent and, like all hounds, have an independent streak. They rarely bark, so you don’t have to worry about your neighbors hating you. Males can get to be over 100 pounds, so bear that in mind.

  6. English Bulldog

    This is the prototypical college dog that guys always have in the movies. It’s probably because they’re pretty hilarious to look at, but they’re also terrific dogs for students. Do you have limited time to walk the dog? Perfect — this dog doesn’t like to exercise (make him do it anyway). Bulldogs like to sleep and eat, they love people, especially kids, and they’re very calm and manageable. Their fur doesn’t require a ton of maintenance, but those adorable wrinkles trap dirt and need to be cleaned regularly. Heat is this dog’s worst enemy, so students from hotter climates should look elsewhere. Oh, and they drool.

  7. Irish Wolfhound

    The Irish wolfhound was once bred for war and used to drag soldiers off of horses. That gives you an idea of their size, but not their demeanor. It sounds crazy, but these are actually very gentle and friendly dogs that do fine in apartments. Indoors they are very calm and patient. Some wolfhounds can have problems with other dogs or animals, and may not warm to strangers well. This is another hound, so they’ll need exercise every day, and they need soft places to lie on, so don’t be shy about letting them jump up in bed with you while you’re studying.

  8. Mastiff

    At nearly 200 pounds, there is a lot of dog to love with a mastiff. Another gentle giant, mastiffs are good-natured and make great companions and even better watchdogs. Since they’re so big, mastiffs need to get out and move around every day, but they need to live inside because heat is not their friend. Once he bonds with you and makes you his “family,” he will defend you when necessary, as these dogs are quite courageous. But mostly he will be very chill, content to hang out in the apartment with you and your friends.

  9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    The name makes them sound high-maintenance, but cavaliers are incredibly sweet little dogs that are perfect for life in an apartment. They top out at 18 pounds of cuteness, and they’re gentle, loving, and quiet. Outside, they like to smell and explore, but they’re small enough that it won’t take too long to tire them out. The biggest catch is their coat needs brushing every other day, but this dog is so adorable you won’t be able to keep your hands off it anyway.

  10. Lhasa Apso

    Let’s be real: this dog is going to appeal to female college students or guys who are really secure in their manhood. However, looks can be deceiving “” this little puffball is a dynamo. He’s tough, stubborn, and ready to mix it up with you and anybody who looks at him cross-eyed. Small dogs like the lhasa apso always seem to need a lot of brushing, but when it comes to compactness they can’t be beat. They’re also very friendly and playful and make great companions; old people love them. Give one a shot, you might love them, too.

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