Best Dogs for College Students

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College kids can benefit from having a furry best friend nearby. They will help ease anxiety on those tough test days and give them someone to cuddle when they are feeling lonely without family nearby. But some dogs are better for college students when it comes to overall care and price. Our dog breed selector series explains why these breeds are the best dogs for college students…

The best 21 best dogs for college students are:

  1. Basset Hound
  2. Bolognese
  3. Borzoi
  4. Boston Terrier
  5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  6. Chinese Crested
  7. Clumber Spaniel
  8. Dachshund
  9. English Bulldog
  10. Golden Retriever 
  11. Greyhound
  12. Irish Wolfhound
  13. Lhasa Apso
  14. Papillon
  15. Pekingese
  16. Poodle
  17. Pug
  18. Shiba Inu
  19. Shih Tzu
  20. West Highland White Terrier
  21. Whippet

If you’re thinking about owning a dog while in college, you have come to the right place. This article will outline some of the top dog breeds to own while in college. We will be sharing the overall temperament and personality of the dog as well as the price tag. Each dog breed comes with its own special advantages and disadvantages, so pay close attention when reading!

21 Best Dogs for College Students

best dog breeds for college

1. Basset Hound

Known for his droopy appearance and adorable floppy ears, the Basset Hound is not only fun to look at but makes a great pet for a college student, too.

Basset Hound the college dog
Guarding the frat/sorority like…

This is because he is readily friendly with just about anyone and doesn’t care when you leave the house – in fact, he is likely to lay his lazy self down and fall back asleep.

While he is pretty smart, sweet, and trainable, there is one major issue that stands out with the Basset Hound – he is a barker. Basset Hounds have a tendency to bark and howl a lot. Consider this before owning this breed.

2. Bolognese Dog

Looking for a little bundle of white fur to take home? Then consider the Bolognese.

The Bolognese is adorably fluffy and looks as if he is always smiling – and that pairs well with his docile, fun-loving personality.

Overall, the Bolognese is a well-mannered and friendly little guy that is easy to take care of. He is quiet, listens well, and doesn’t need too much exercise to remain happy. Simply brush his coat a few times a week and you’ll have a healthy, fun pooch in your quarters.

3. Borzoi

He might be a bit on the large side, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an excellent pooch to own as a college student. He is relatively calm all around and intelligent, which makes training a cinch.

best dogs for college students - Borzoi

This affectionate dog does enjoy going for a good run, though. He has long, muscular legs that are built for speed and endurance.

The good news is that this dog is not a barker, which your roommates will truly appreciate. He might be a bit shy and standoffish with strangers, though. Give him time to warm up and he will continue with his loving personality. 

4. Boston Terrier

There aren’t too many concerns when it comes to the Boston Terrier. In fact, he is likely one of the easiest dogs to own as a college student.

Boston Terrier

This is because he is small and friendly, tidy and neat, and an excellent learner. His high intelligence allows him to learn swiftly and he is readily willing to obey his owner.

The only drawback to the Boston Terrier is that he is a bit on the energetic side. He requires a whole of activity on a daily basis to keep him happy. But the good news is that he can wait all day without becoming bored or riddled with anxiety. He is fine on his own, but will enjoy a long walk or a game of fetch upon your arrival.

5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

If you’re willing to spend a little more money on a dog, then we highly recommend the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and college student

This dog breed is likely to be the sweetest, most low maintenance pooch on the market – and you’re bound to get lost in those adorable pools of big brown eyes.

The gentle and calm nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel allows them to adapt to any situation with ease, even small spaces. They don’t need a whole lot of energy. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is more of an inquisitive fellow who will enjoy sniffing around more than going for a grueling walk.

6. Clumber Spaniel

If you want a big, fluffy old-mannish-looking dog to have as a college student, then consider the Clumber Spaniel.

Clumber Spaniels are surprisingly great for college kids

While he might not be the most popular breed in the world, he still comes with his own long list of advantages such as being a dignified, intelligent, and loyal pooch.

The Clumber Spaniel enjoys a good walk and a thorough brushing a few times a week. The only drawback to this dog is that he is a bit standoffish with new people. This is because he considers loyalty a top priority and doesn’t care much for other people.

7. Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested breed comes with one of the most exotic looking faces that will immediately make heads turn.

Chinese Crested dog
Better dressed (and looking) than most of your friends

But his unique appearance isn’t the only reason why he should join your college lifestyle – he is also a very low maintenance canine.

As far as temperament and personality are concerned, the Chinese Crested is calm and affectionate. He is also fairly intelligent and does not have a hard time being trained. Of course, his affectionate nature also makes him somewhat clingy. This isn’t a problem for a place with roommates.

8. Dachshund

Whether you call him a wiener dog, sausage dog, Doxie, or Dachshund, one thing is for sure – this is one of the best dogs you could ever possibly own, college student or not.

Dachshund hitting the college books

There is so much to enjoy about the Dachshund. He enjoys spending time inside and doesn’t need a whole lot of exercise, and he’s easy to maintain.

The miniature Doxie will be your road dog. After all, he’s small enough to take just about anywhere. He is also a major cuddler. So for any college kid that’s missing his friends and family members, consider the snuggly Dachshund as a companion. As an added bonus, the Doxie is a quick learner and he’s smart enough to learn almost anything.

9. English Bulldog

Before we discuss anything about the English Bulldog, it’s important to note one thing – he is a pretty pricey pup.

Bulldog college graduation

In fact, he can range well over $1,000. This is not ideal for every college kid. But if you’re lucky enough to be an affluent student, then the English Bulldog is the ideal choice.

English Bulldogs are stalky and lazy and they really don’t care if their owner stays or leaves. Once you’re out of the door for classes, the English Bulldog will roam for food and pick a spot for a nice nap. He doesn’t need a lot of exercise – in fact, one should be careful exercising this affectionate dog as his small snout makes it hard to breathe and he tends to overheat.

10. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dogs in the entire United States and can adapt to almost any situation.

Golden Retriever studying

They’re loveable, entertaining pals that have a heart of “gold”. Their intelligence levels and eagerness to please means that they are top-notch trainers and listeners, too.

The downside to owning a Golden Retriever is that they are very active. You will need to spend a lot of time playing with this fellow to keep him happy. He prefers a yard, too, so he is best for the college student who lives with roommates. This will also help to ease the Golden Retriever’s anxiety. 

11. Greyhound

The Greyhound is one of the fastest dogs in the world, which might make a college student wary of owning one. But don’t worry – this dog has been labeled as “The World’s Fastest Couch Potato” and for good reason, too.

You can have a Greyhound in college

You see, the Greyhound is actually a lazy fellow. While he will enjoy going for a quick jaunt here and there, he is actually more of a couch potato and snuggler than anything. He’s also sweet and intelligent. Overall, he is a low maintenance large dog that can even live in an apartment with ease.

12. Irish Wolfhound

Although large in size, the Irish Wolfhound is not at all what he seems to be. He is a gentle giant that has such a calm demeanor he can live in an apartment dwelling and be satisfied.

Irish Wolfhound reading newspaper on toilet

In fact, he prefers to be inside roaming around and relaxing. A walk here and there will be enough to feed his energy needs.

The major drawback to the Irish Wolfhound is that they are not friendly with other animals. They are also pretty standoffish with strangers – they don’t like them. But once he warms up to them, he will continue to be the furry best friend you know and love.

13. Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso has a lot of wonderful qualities that makes him a dream for any college student.

Lazy Lhasa Apso

First and foremost, they are playful and adoring dogs that can be well-suited for an apartment complex.

He doesn’t require too much exercise, although he enjoys a good walk here and there.

Although the Lhasa Apso is small in stature, don’t be shocked if he is readily willing to protect. With that being said, he has a tendency to be a bit of a barker. He is also shy around strangers. Aside from these facts, he’s a cute and loving pooch that will need regular grooming to keep him healthy.

14. Papillon

The Papillon has an inquisitive, quirky appearance about him which is inline with his curious personality.

Papillons are too cool for school

Overall, he is a fun-loving pooch that enjoys a lot of activities to keep up with his high energy levels. He’s a great listener, though, so don’t think he’s too rambunctious to be a good breed for a college student.

The only thing to keep in mind is that the Papillon has a long, beautiful coat that will need to be groomed regularly. Otherwise, he may end up with unsightly knots and mats.

15. Pekingese

Did someone say lap dog?

Pekingese dog surprise

If your opinion of the perfect breed for a college student involves a lazy snuggler that would prefer to be glued to your hip for the entirety of the day, then the Pekingese might be your best option.

The Pekingese is the epitome of lap dogs.

They enjoy spending every waking (and sleeping) moment next to their owner. But don’t worry – they don’t have too much social anxiety and can do okay on their own for a bit. They have a bit of a stubborn streak about them, too, so make sure you’re ready to display dominance.

16. Poodle

There is a reason why the Poodle is so immensely popular – and it’s not just that divine curly coat.

Poodle dog in college

Poodles are known for being some of the sweetest dogs out there. They are highly affectionate but still know how to have a good time. They are a smart breed that loves to please, which means they train and listen well. 

Two things to note with the Poodle, though – they are very active and require regular grooming. After all, that adorable curly coat isn’t going to stay cute all on its own. With proper daily exercise, the Poodle will quickly become your best college buddy.

17. Pug

We highly recommend the Pug for college students because, well, they are so easy to take care of. They are friendly and entertaining and get along with everyone – even other pets.

Pug the college party dog

They have low energy levels, so hanging around an apartment is no big deal for this squishy-faced cutie. 

Keep in mind, though, that his shortened snout poses a few health risks for the Pug. In fact, it’s the main reason why the Pug tends to be a bit lazy – he simply can’t handle too much exercise! Overall, though, the Pug is a gentle, cute, and playful pal that will quickly become your furry best friend (and everyone else’s, too).

18. Shiba Inu

If you are an active college student, then the Shiba Inu makes a great pet. He is a fun-loving and cool guy that loves to get out of the house and go on an adventure.

What's up, Shiba Inu?
I’m up for anything!

He’s the pup that will help you escape from mundane college life as you travel to hiking spots or go for a sprint around the campus.

Keep in mind, though, that the Shiba Inu tends to be a bit of a barker. He seems to howl at just about anything, too. 

19. Shih Tzu

Looking for a smaller dog to suit your apartment lifestyle? Consider the Shih Tzu!

Shih Tzu apartment dog

There is so much to love about the Shih Tzu. His long, stunning coat (which requires regular grooming and lots of care) paired with a loving and fun personality makes him a standout. He is also known for doing well on his own, so you don’t have to struggle with separation anxiety.

But don’t think the Shih Tzu is a lap dog. While he is up for snuggles here and there, he still requires a moderate amount of exercise. This can be accomplished with a walk around the block. This will keep him healthy, too, as Shiz Tzus tend to become overweight. That being said, watch the treat intake!

20. West Highland White Terrier (AKA Westie)

If you’re looking for an adorable bundle of white, fluffy fur to keep you company as a college student, consider the West Highland White Terrier. He is not only a cutie pie, but he has a top-notch personality that’s ideal for college kids.

Westie the snuggle bug

The West Highland White Terrier is known for being a small, yet highly intelligent and sociable pooch. He is trained with ease and even tries to be a watchdog. This protecting nature causes him to be a big barker, though. Overall, he is great with all types of people and even gets along with other pets.

21. Whippet

The Whippet is known to be a “very large cat”. He is sweet and docile, despite his bigger-than-cat size.

Also, this…

He is also known to have an incredibly relaxing and calming presence. This is ideal for any college student that may be struggling with anxiety due to exams or missing friends and family members back home.

Related Questions

What dogs can be left alone during the day?

There are a number of breeds that can be left alone without feeling anxious or rambunctious. These breeds include: Basset Hound, Chihuahua, French Bulldog, Greyhound, Maltese, Shar Pei, Whippet. As you can see, a lot of these breeds are on our list of top 21 best dogs for college students.

Can a college student have a dog?

Yes, but they will need to check with the superintendent or the manager of where they are living. All areas will have regulations and rules regarding pet ownership.

Why having a dog in college is good?

Owning a dog in college comes with a slew of benefits. For one, they can help ease anxiety and calm a college student who might be anxious or stressed out. They also provide companionship. Lastly, they encourage exercise which can easily be forgotten when in the throws of college.

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