Best Dog Breeds for College Students (Low Maintenance & Fun)

As a college student, a dog can really help you deal with stress.

If you’re a college student hoping to get a dog, there are many constraints that college life presents that will influence the dog breeds you should get.

One of these is the budget that you’re willing to set aside for your dog’s food. If you’re relatively strapped for cash, then you shouldn’t consider breeds like the Great Dane or Saint Bernard. Those will need to eat a lot seeing as their weights can reach 200 pounds.

You should also make sure you get a dog that likes to run but doesn’t absolutely require it. Classes and tight schedules may leave you with little time for walks and play. At the same time, the dog needs to be calm indoors so it can let you study! That means no high-energy pups!

What you need is a dog that can adapt easily, is relaxed, easy to train, and doesn’t need a lot of maintenance.

And of course, if you have roommates, they need to be ready to accept your dog. They’ll have to make a lot of accommodations for their daily living after all.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk about the best dog breeds for college students.

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Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a kind and affectionate breed that would make the best companion for any student. They’re especially the right breed for a college student because of their small size, and they don’t rely on your attention. They’re just fine on their own, and they always love you madly when you’re at home.

It’s also a major advantage that a Shih Tzu doesn’t need long walks in the park. While they have the energy to play around, they will happily exhaust it at home with their toys.

These dogs also need special care for their fur, but it will be a pleasure for both of you to have a beauty session twice a month. These are some of the best dogs for college students.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dogs in the United States and can be adapted to almost any situation, including being a college dog.

They’re lovely, entertaining friends with a heart of “gold.” Their level of intelligence and eagerness to please ensures that they are top-notch trainers and listeners, too.

The downside to having a Golden Retriever is that they’re really energetic. You’re going to have to spend a lot of time playing with this guy to keep him happy. He likes a yard, too, so he’s better suited to a college student who lives with roommates.


Weighing in at just 10 pounds, the Papillon is small enough to exercise indoors. So taking them for a stroll is typically only required if you don’t want to clean up after them. 

When the skies are gloomy and dark, one look at this dog’s happy face will get your mind off your troubles for a moment. You’ll always need an occasional pick-me-up in college, and this dog’s great face makes this one of the best college dogs for that.

English Bulldog

There are many English bulldog breeds that you can choose from. Still, they usually all have something in common that certainly blends into your study lifestyle. They’d only sleep and eat all day if you let them. That would, of course, create a dilemma for both of you. But when it comes to having to lock yourself in your room to prep for mid-terms or finals, the English bulldog is perfect. Because both of you will have to get up and stretch your legs every once in a while.


One duty of dog owners is to take care of their pet’s welfare. 

Of all the dogs on this list, Bolognese is really low maintenance. So you won’t have to worry about wasting a lot of money on vet visits or other typical doggie issues. This makes it one of the easiest dogs for college students to keep. 

This doesn’t mean you’re never going to have to take them to the vet, but the amount of days is going to be less than most. 


We highly recommend the Pug to college students because, well, they’re so easy to take care of. They’re fun and entertaining, and they’re going to get along with all – including other dogs.

They have low energy levels, so hanging around the apartment is not a big deal for this squishy-faced cutie. You can see why pugs make good dogs for college students.

Keep in mind, though, that his shorter snout presents a few health hazards. In fact, that’s the main reason why the Pug tends to be a little lazy – he just can’t do too much exercise! Overall, though, the Pug is a gentle, adorable, playful pal who will quickly become your fuzzy best friend (and everyone else’s, too).

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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

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

The gentle and relaxed temperament of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel helps them adapt quickly, even in small spaces, to any circumstance. They don’t need a lot of resources. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is more of a curious fellow who enjoys sniffing around than walking.


Besides being one of the cutest, most adorable, fluffy dog breeds, Pomeranians even make good college dogs. Many dog breeds have separation anxieties if their owner leaves home. Pomeranians don’t have a separation fear, and that’s why they’re so perfect for you—a student who’s gone most of the time. Not to mention that they usually love their business and play with toys on their own.

Their hair will need special care and brushing because knots can easily harbor germs and lead to a skin infection.

Shiba Inu

We all know that many students have no time for themselves, so if they wish to have a furry companion, their time will be limited. Therefore, the Shiba Inu will be the perfect breed for them since they don’t need physical exercises, so they don’t need too much of your time.

The only issue you could face with this breed is the barking problem, particularly howling at the moon. You might get lucky and not have this problem, but this breed is well known for that.

Basset Hound

Known for its droopy appearance and cute fluffy ears, the Basset Hound is not only fun to look at but also a perfect companion for a college student.

This is because it’s comfortable with just about everyone and doesn’t care if you leave the house – in fact, he’s likely to lay down his lazy self and fall asleep again. These are low-energy dogs, so they won’t need as much exercise as others.

Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva.

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