15 Best Dog Breeds for College Students (With Pictures)

Being a dog owner can be challenging, but it can be even harder for a student in college. College students famously have little time in their lives for pets, but some dog breeds can be a perfect match for a college student’s busy schedule. 

The dogs on this list may only need mild attention and enough care to get outside for two potty breaks daily. Thankfully, dozens of dog breeds can provide comfort and companionship to college students without needing too much time.

best dog breeds for college students
15 Best Dog Breeds for College Students

Read on to discover the best dogs for college students. 

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are playful dogs who adore affection and spending time with their loved ones. This dog doesn’t need to be constantly surrounded by others to be happy, making them a perfect companion for college students busy with classes and extracurricular activities.

cute Shih Tzu runs
A little Shih Tzu runs on the grass.

Shih Tzus are small dogs. This breed usually only grows about 11 inches tall and weighs less than 16 pounds. They can be affectionate and do well with adults, children, and other animals.

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are charming dogs in the hound group. These dogs love to hunt and will do best in a place with access to the outdoors. This dog breed doesn’t shed much and has short hair, making airborne allergens less of an issue.

Basset Hound puppy
Basset Hound puppy lying on a leather couch.

Basset Hounds are ideal for college students who love adventure and want someone to take on their hikes and water sports adventures. This dog breed is happy to get outside and get dirty, making them suitable for those who prefer to spend their weekends out of the house.


Papillons are alert dogs who are friendly and love meeting new people. This dog breed is small and perfect for college students who have not settled into their forever homes. They can fit into an apartment or shared home due to their small size.

Papillon dog
Papillons are tiny and cute pups! But they are ENERGETIC

Papillons may need plenty of brushing and grooming, but they are so small and don’t have much hair, meaning brushing won’t take much of your time. Papillons can provide companionship, happiness, and affection to even the busiest college student.


Borzois are loyal dogs who love to give and receive affection. These dogs are dignified and calm, making a point of holding their head high. Borzois are medium to large-sized dogs but are gentle and loving dogs who don’t enjoy roughhousing.

Borzoi dog
The inquisitive and glorious Borzoi

At 28 inches tall and anywhere from 60 to 105 pounds, these dogs can accidentally injure you during playtime.

Borzois are calm and won’t need much brushing, grooming, or attention daily.

Golden Retriever

Nearly every dog enthusiast is familiar with the Golden Retriever. These dogs are intelligent and incredibly friendly. They have no problem meeting new people and joining you on your adventures.

Golden Retriever runs so fast
A Golden Retriever takes a lot of training and a healthy diet to run so fast!

Golden Retrievers would be comfortable staying home and cuddling or going out for an eight-hour road trip, as long as they are with their loved ones.


Many people may think Poodles are high-maintenance dogs, but this is untrue. Poodles are active and intelligent dogs who don’t need much interaction or affection to be happy. As long as they can rely on you to come home every afternoon, they will be happy to spend plenty of time alone.

Toy Poodle puppy on the couch
Toy Poodle puppy sits on the couch.

Poodles may need frequent brushing and grooming, but this medium-sized dog doesn’t need much care. This dog is a bit heavy at 15 inches tall and around 50 to 70 pounds. However, they don’t like to roughhouse much.

Instead, a Poodle is happy to cuddle up with its owners every night.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are one of the smallest dogs and usually don’t grow taller than eight inches and seven pounds. These dogs are deeply affectionate and love to run around a home. You may see your Yorkshire Terrier zoom around the house a lot, but these dogs are so small that they won’t pose a threat to you or your furniture.

Teacup Yorkshire Terrier sitting
Teacup Yorkshire Terrier sitting on a couch.

Yorkshire Terriers make a perfect companion for a college student who would like cuddles after their day at school without worrying about the mess a dog can make.

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are one of the most attentive dog breeds. These dogs are alert and active, preferring to watch an area than play with their owners or other dogs. However, these dogs will gladly play with their loved ones when they feel the area is secure.

child petting a Shiba Inu
Child petting a Shiba Inu puppy.

Shiba Inus tend to shed a lot and may need frequent grooming since their hair tends to grow out quickly. These dogs will likely get very excited when you get home from afternoon classes, but they will quickly calm down and snuggle up with you.


Pomeranians are small dogs who don’t need much care. These dogs are lively and affectionate. At only seven inches tall and less than seven pounds, this dog is a perfect companion for any college student who moves frequently or doesn’t have the time for big, long adventures.

Pomeranian sits on lap
Pomeranian sits on his owner’s lap in a studio.

A Pomeranian is comfortable in an apartment or a home or traveling in a car.


Dachshunds are iconic as the “hotdog” dog. These dogs are naturally curious and spunky, preferring to play and run around the house instead of snuggle up for hours and cuddle. This dog breed is very small, short, and lean.

sable Dachshund side view
The sable Dachshund is one of the rare colors of its kind.

They may run around the house a lot and cause a lot of chaos, but they will need frequent breaks from their chaos.

Dachshunds are perfect for college students who love small walks around the neighborhood and those who love to roll around the floor and play.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhounds are one of the best dogs for college students, as they are courageous and calm. These dogs will get mildly excited when they spot you coming home. However, they don’t need much care.

Irish Wolfhound stands
Irish Wolfhound standing on the grass.

These dogs may be large, but they don’t require constant companionship to be happy and healthy.

Additionally, this dog breed doesn’t shed much. Irish Wolfhounds may need to be brushed every couple of days, but they won’t need much grooming.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are small dogs who are friendly and will gladly introduce you to everyone they pass on a walk. This dog breed is perfect for apartment living and doesn’t need much space. Boston Terriers don’t need much grooming and won’t need frequent potty breaks.

Boston Terrier approaching
Boston Terrier approaching to the camera.

Boston Terriers are ideal companions for those with anxiety or stress. These dogs can help you feel less anxious and can be the perfect cuddle buddy. Additionally, Boston Terriers love to be trained and will be eager to follow verbal commands.


Beagles are curious and friendly dogs who love playtime. These dogs will be happy to spend hours a day playing with their owners. They are perfect for college students who consistently come home every day and spend quality time with their dogs.

Beagle eats dog food
You can incorporate medicine and other supplements into your dog’s food to increase effectiveness!

College students who are too busy to come home on a consistent schedule may want to consider a dog who will be less invested in their owner’s schedule.


Pugs are affectionate but mischievous dogs. These dogs can be perfect for college students who don’t have much time to be home all day. But your Pug may need to stay in one area of your apartment or home to ensure they don’t get into the trash, important documents, or chew on the furniture.

Pug sits on pillow
The Pug sits comfortably on a pillow.

Pugs shed a lot, so you may need to vacuum your apartment or home frequently, but this dog breed won’t need haircuts or frequent brushing.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apsos are small dogs who are easy to take on adventures and can be transported easily. These dogs are very confident and smart, and they may get into trouble in the home when they are not supervised or stopped from getting into things.

Lhasa Apso
A Lhasa Apso proudly trotting

However, with proper training, a Lhasa Apso can provide plenty of affection to busy college students. Lhasa Apsos can go several hours without a potty break and doesn’t shed much. Although this dog breed won’t leave a bunch of hair all over your home, they will need daily brushing to prevent matting.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of dog breeds that can be perfect for college students who don’t have much time. If you want the companionship of a dog without drowning under the demands of school, life, and a lovable pooch, one of these dog breeds can be perfect for you.

Whether you want a small dog to help keep you company on lonely nights or you want a large dog to cuddle with after classes, one of these dogs can suit your needs. Irish Wolfhounds, for example, are large dogs, but they are not high maintenance and don’t require much work. These dog breeds can help you calm down from the stress and anxiety of your daily classes without fatiguing you with needs.

Unlike the high demands of a Siberian Husky or Australian Shepherd, one of the best dogs for college students on this list will allow you to engage in your busy lifestyle without getting overwhelmed with all the demands of your life.