Dog ownership is a lifelong commitment and these furry creatures will become your best friends. Adopting a dog is a huge commitment, especially if you are a college student who might not have the most time or money or you live in a small dorm or apartment. Dogs require a lot of time and attention. Most breeds require a ton of exercise, which can be difficult if you live in a shoebox. There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding which breed to adopt, especially amount of exercise, how often they need to be groomed and the amount of attention they require. Luckily, there are many dog breeds that can fit into a college student’s busy lifestyle, and some of these dogs are ideal for dorm or apartment living.
A Labrador Retriever or a Dalmatian are going to require a lot more time and exercise than a smaller breed like a Pug or French bulldog. My old roommate brought her full-grown Labrador to live with her at school in our shoebox. Not only was the dog restricted to the amount of space he could run around, but he also barked non-stop, causing problems with the management of our apartment. The dog was also trapped in a cage all day while my roommate was at work and class.
When deciding which breed to adopt, you will probably want a small or medium sized dog that requires less maintenance and has a low-energy level. According to DogTime, “Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make—plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all good qualities in an apartment dog.”
Here are the best friendly, low-maintenance “friends for life” breeds for college students to adopt.
Pugs are a great breed for college students because of their lazy personalities and they require only a small amount of attention. My family owns a Pug Chihuahua mix, but she’s 90% pug and only 10% Chihuahua. She only requires two walks per day, she is a good listener, she loves to sleep on cozy blankets and pillows and she rolls around begging for belly rubs. Puggie’s might be insanely cute, however, Pugs have short snouts, which can cause breathing issues and snoring while sleeping. So if you have a roommate, let them know your dog may snore loudly from time to time.
Aside from their breathing issues, pugs are affectionate and very loyal to their owners. Pugs rarely bark, but when they do it typically only happens when someone knocks on the door and it’s thankfully not that loud. Your pug will most likely cuddle next to you while you are studying, doing homework or binge watching Shameless. Besides being affectionate lovers, pugs shed an extensive amount, so make sure you own a vacuum that works well for picking up dog hair. Pugs are also great if you are a first time dog owner. They’re easy to groom and are fairly easy to train. As far as sizing and lifespan, pugs average around 10-13 inches, weighing on average 14-18 pounds and live around 13-15 years.
Funny French Bulldogs
Little frenchies are so adorable. These bat-eared dogs are full of energy and are easy to love. French bulldogs make great pets for college students because they don’t require a ton of exercise and would rather sleep all day long. Beware—they are jokesters! Frenchies love to fool around and will have you constantly laughing your ass off. My brother has a two-year-old French bulldog who could sleep all day everyday, except for his daily fifteen-minute intervals of playtime. Their non-proportional small bodies and their enormous heads make them look insanely cute especially when they turn their heads from side to side. French bulldogs do not require a whole lot of grooming because of their short, coarse hair.
They’re very affectionate and well trained, which is why French bulldogs are great dogs for college students. Frenchies almost never bark, so you don’t have to worry about them bothering your neighbors through the thin walls of student housing. Frenchies only shed seasonally and need to be groomed occasionally. For sizing and life expectancy, French bulldogs typically are about 11-13 inches, weigh less than 30 pounds and have a life expectancy of 10-12 years. French bullies are extremely friendly towards families, kids and strangers, so there’s no need to worry about your pup not getting along with your roommate(s) and friends. Aside from a few daily walks, French bulldogs need to be kept in a cool, air-conditioned environment because they are immune to heat exhaustion. These dogs are not able to stay outside for long periods of time on a hot day, so keep this in mind when choosing which breed is the right fit for you.
Dachshunds, otherwise known as hotdogs or wiener dogs, are lovable companions. This breed tends to bark when necessary, and their shedding and required amount of exercise are low. Regarding their sizing, standard sized dachshunds range from 8-9 inches and weigh 16-32 pounds and miniature doxie’s on average are about 5-6 inches and under 11 pounds. Overall, this breed has a life expectancy of 12-16 years. Dachshunds are a feisty breed of pups who are incredibly intelligent and stubborn, but are on the easier side to train, which makes them great for first time owners.
These confident creatures strut the sidewalks carrying their long, muscular body on short legs and elongated head held high with attitude. This breed is very playful and cuddly, which makes a great companion. These cleaver cuties are great for helping you with homework and they love attention whenever you need a break from your studies. In terms of selecting which dachshund you want to be your new family member, remember that longhaired doxie’s need to be brushed daily to prevent mats from forming. Also, don’t let dachshunds jump off furniture because they might hurt their spines due to their long backs, which are prone to slipped or ruptured disks. They have a playful and mischievous spirit and are sure to make you laugh!
With an extensive amount of breeds to choose from, picking the right one for you can be difficult. Think about size, amount of exercise and energy level when choosing which dog to adopt while you’re living in student housing. Unfortunately, apartments and dorms can’t hold large size pups, so check out a few breeds of smaller furry friends. Whichever breed you choose, your new dog is going to be your new best friend.