Best Dogs For College Students

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Leaving for College can be bittersweet, even for the most motivated teenagers. The reality is you will probably miss your home, your family, the places you know and where you feel safe. But most of all you’ll miss your friends. It is no doubt an epic moment in your life.

For this reason, some Universities help students by having one “goodbye” less to say before leaving for College; in fact, students are allowed to have their own dogs with them for the whole period of study, which means in a way taking a piece of home and affections with them.

In addition to being a comforting family presence in the settling phase in a new environment, pets greatly help students to socialise with each other.

The dog has anti-stress qualities and it is therefore a wonderful antidote to the pressures of living in a College; when you go back to your room and your dog welcomes you after a long day, it’s like breathing some fresh air. Its presence will help you to deal more safely and positively with your new journey towards independence.

If you don’t own a dog, but want to adopt or buy one to accompany you in your life at College, just consider not to base the choice of the right breed on aesthetic criteria, but on the type of life that you will offer to the animal and the behavioural attitudes you desire.

Keeping a very energetic dog in a closed room at the College, taking it out only for short walks on a leash, will probably result in the animal feeling nervous and you dissatisfied.

On the other hand, a dog like a Boxer will get really bored and frustrated in a huge garden if this means being excluded from your life and space.

The representatives of the different breeds have been selected for decades not only for their morphological characteristics, but also for their attitudes: a self-defence dog needs to be with the people it has to defend, a hunting dog has to work in the countryside, a guard dog must have a property to guard, even if a strong bond between the dog and the owner can partly alter these rules.

To have the best practical and emotional results from the relationship with a dog, it is necessary to know what are its real needs, not what you suppose they might be.

In the collective imagination, a dog will suffer in a room at the College. This actually depends on the chosen breed, while you can be sure that a dog will suffer if it can not have a close relationship with you as the owner.

In some ways, buying or adopting a dog is a bit ‘like buying a car”: you have to ask yourself, for example, what is the “performance” you want to achieve, how much is the “maintenance” (the type and quantity of food, grooming, veterinary care… ) in terms of time and of money and, finally, if you are able to “pilot” the desired model: a sedentary scholar would better avoid an energetic  dog like a Fox Terrier, even if the size makes it seem suitable to a small room.

It is always absolutely necessary to compare your daily life habits with the physical characteristics of the dog, with its temperament and its particular needs.

A student who loves his/her freedom, practicing activities and socialising, should choose a breed reflecting his/her lifestyle. On the other hand, if your lifestyle is more study, study, study, then an indoor dog, maybe a little ‘lazy and with a low energy level” one, may be the best choice.

Before starting to choose the right breed, you should ask yourself if you are ready to welcome a dog into your live and take on the emotional commitment that will bind you both for about a dozen years. If the answer is yes, then move on to the next stage and start getting information on the different dog breeds to select your best ones.

We have selected some that could be considered as the best for adaptability, easiness to housebreak and not suffering from loneliness.

Of course, these are just indications, as every dog has its own personality and temperament, but you can consider this as a good basis where to start from.

Small Dog Breeds For College

English Bulldog

Despite the appearance – it may not be pleasing to everyone and can instill fear – the Bulldog is a very kind, loving and faithful dog. These qualities accompanied by an indomitable courage and a tenacious resistance, led the British to appoint it as their national dog.

The Bulldog is reliable, gentle with children and caring with the owner and the house. At the time being, it is exclusively used as a pet dog.

It is suitable for students who prefer sedentary study activities to life in the open air, because this dog does not need to move in open spaces, but it is the typical house dog, who loves its life in the apartment. It often snores while sleep and its snout, rich in wrinkles, requires special care, especially after meals.

French Bouledogue

It is a friendly, docile, patient and very attentive dog, therefore it can be also easily trained. Very affectionate with the owner, it follows him/her everywhere with joy and curiosity, well adapting itself to every circumstance. It is a delicate breed especially with regards to nutrition: if it is overweight it can suffer from respiratory disorders. It is ideal as a n apartment dog because it does not like long walks or too much movement. It doesn’t bark very much, so your roommates won’t be annoyed by its presence.

Shiba Inu

Lively, reliable, smart and cheerful, despite being a hunting dog the Shiba Inu is also a great playful animal. Very faithful and affectionate, it is very close to the owner and his/her family, but it remains suspicious with unknown people. Therefore, it is excellent as a guard dog (note: it could be noisy at times but it will inform you of any danger).

It is suitable for families and a life in apartment, but do not forget that it is also a very dynamic dog, always ready to play and alert. It can not be kept in prison and it is necessary to give him opportunities for recreation. It is not very comfortable with loneliness but the opposite, so if you want a dog to socialise, this is the right breed for you.


The Papillon breed dog is known for its characteristics of sweetness and docility. This dog is fond of its owner and loves playing with children. It is wary with strangers but never aggressive. Gifted with great intelligence, obedience and patience, the Papillon lends itself very well to training. Since it is a clean and quiet dog, it is well suitable for living in the apartment. However, being also very cheerful and lively, it needs large open spaces for running and walking. It will reward you with a big smile at the end of a hard day at College.

Bolognese Dog

The Bolognese is a serious dog, not very lively, but acute and loyal to its owner. It needs special care since it is very delicate. It suffers in cold environments and prefers a nourished and varied diet. Its coat requires regular grooming due to its similarity to wool – it could be a little expensive in this respect. It must live indoor, repaired from the cold weather, so it is excellent for a a life in an apartment and a study, study, study lifestyle.


Large Dog Breeds For College


It is a sensitive, discreet, sweet and polite animal. Very balanced and particularly friendly, it is endowed with considerable intelligence and it is a very pleasant presence in the family. It is an athlete and it should  take long trotting walks. Its diet should be nutritious, but not fattening, dry and not in the kind of “soup”.

Despite its sprinter skills, it is basically rather lazy and well suited to life in the apartment, where it occupies little space – in spite of its size – and it is extremely discreet. So, it won’t interfere in your private or social life, unless you ask it to do that.

Irish Wolfhound

It is a faithful, intelligent dog with a sweet but not shy character. It is discreet and patient, but you must gain its confidence by nurturing and educating it gently, since it tends to close in itself and passively suffers if it is trained with strong manners. From a young age you have to teach it how to walk on a leash, so that, once adult, it won’t pull – given its size it would be impossibile to manage. It is a guard dog by nature, but it doesn’t bite or attack. Be aware not to teach it how to attack because it could become very dangerous. Regular brushing is sufficient for the coat. It does not need much space. It is rather sedentary and paradoxically it adapts well to life in a room at the College, as long as it can walk every day.


Reserved, aristocratic and sometimes stubborn, the Borzoi is generally peaceful and fond of the owner and the family. It needs nutritious food that doesn’t weight it down too much. Its coat requires frequent brushing. It can live well in an apartment where, despite its size, it is not cumbersome, but every day it must be allowed to a free run. So if your life style is study plus run, run, run… here is your choice!

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the world. This dog is friendly, affable and with a lively character. It is endowed with a great mental agility. It is faithful to its owner, and to please him/her it gives proof of intelligence, docility and ability to adapt to different situations. All these qualities make it a unique and special breed, friendly to strangers, and right for this reason the Golden Retriever is not used as a guard dog. In general it is not aggressive, hostile or shy.


The Golden adapts to live in the apartment without any problems. It likes sleeping many hours but it is essential to take it out for a walk, at least 3 times a day, because it is a very active dog as well.

Remember that you will have to comb its hair at least a couple of times a week, especially during in Spring and Fall. You’ll have to wash it every 2 or 3 months.

Having a Golden Retriever at College with you means enjoying the company and the love of a “good giant” that will make your days bright like no other on earth


Once you have chosen the best breed that suits to your lifestyle, remember that it will take time for you and your dog to adapt to the new life at College.

Proceed step by step and before being involved in various activities, ask yourself if your dog is ready for the commitments you are going to take.

The breeds we presented above will probably accept the challenge and adapt very well to the new situations, but it is also true that a new apartment and a new environment are perceived by a dog as an unexplored territory to get to know. If your dog adapts quickly and learns what it needs to know about its new life right away, you will also have more chances to organise your study life at College as well as to plan your attendance at lessons.

Dogs are sensitive and understand if we are sad, happy or stressed. A better management of the dog means greater serenity for the owner and the creation of a balanced and profitable relationship for both. Everything starts with the right choice, and this is up to you.

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