Undergrad Dogs: 10 Breeds for College Students

dog laying next to college student

As a college student, balancing academics, social life, and personal responsibilities can be a challenge. However, adding a furry companion to your life can bring joy, companionship, and a sense of responsibility. But with so many dog breeds to choose from, finding the perfect match for your college lifestyle can be overwhelming.

Whether you’re living in a dorm room or off-campus apartment, working part-time or studying full-time, there is a dog breed that can fit into your busy schedule and provide you with unconditional love. From small breeds that are great for apartment living to energetic breeds that are perfect for active lifestyles, read on to explore ten breed options to accompany you on your college journey.

1. Pugs: Cute and Comedic Buddies for Theatrical Arts Undergrads

Life is like a theater, and each rising day brings forth a new act! 

Theatrical Arts include a wide range of people passionate for the human condition: Actors, dancers, playwrights and scenery designers. It’s a field that requires many hours studying parts, reading books, rehearsing, and observing the world.

Pugs are excellent pet dorm mates for Theatrical Arts majors. Their sweet, bulging eyes absorb the world around them like character sponges. They’re also fun and comedic, ready to act whenever playtime is up. They’ll gladly slouch on the couch as you spend hours studying great works of theater the likes of Tennessee Williams.

They’re adaptable to city life, which is where many people study theater. They’ll do well in small dorm rooms and get along with other roommates. Friendly and quiet, you can take them to meet-ups and extensive cast reunions with no problems.

They do suffer from separation anxiety. If you know you’ll be out of the dorm for long periods of time make sure you train your pug on spending time alone. Or consider having them doggy-sat by a trusted college friend who may need to study while taking play and outdoor breaks with Puggie.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Sweet and Affectionate Friends for Computer Science Majors

The world revolves at an exhilarating rate, and computers even faster. Technology and Computer Sciences is a fascinating field of study. Programming, AI computational biology, robotics, and more bring students into an intriguing and demanding career.

The sweetness of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is perfect to counterbalance such an abstract and precise major. Their longing looks, silky fur, and floppy ears will always remind you what’s essential: sweet simplicity. They’re great therapy dogs for anxious times, and very affectionate.

They’re friendly and agreeable, getting along well with other dogs and cats. Their high intelligence makes them easy to train as they quickly pick up on your personality and routines. They’ll love being by your side as you spend hours programming, and will happily wag their tail and mingle with your classmates in the campus park or outdoor cafeteria.

Overall, they’re easy to care for. When puppies, it’s advised they be fed a puppy formula to aid their mental and physical development. Make sure to check their floppy ears for infection.

3. French Bulldog: Quiet and Amusing Companions to Musical Arts Undergrads

It has been said that without music, life would be a mistake. Musical Arts majors are dedicated to ensuring life has no wrong. This fascinating and time-consuming career requires much study, practice, and rehearsal. This means hours in the dorm room immersed in works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Coltrane.

A French Bulldog is the perfect pet dorm mate for an aspiring musician. They’re quiet dogs that don’t tend to bark. They’ll have no problem sleeping as you go up and down musical scales while playing your instrument. Their grumpy faces will get you used to seeing occasional frowns in the audience, but you know there’s pure acceptance behind those wrinkles.

French Bulldogs cannot swim and should never be left unattended near pools or bodies of water. Being flat-faced, they may have breathing issues and are unsuitable for hot and humid weather. A short walk or daily play session is enough exercise. Make sure you always acquire them from a trusted and responsible breeder.

Grooming is simple; their short coat sheds minimally. Weekly brushing sessions with a brush or grooming mitt are enough. Just ensure you get in those folds and wrinkles which should always be kept clean and dry.

4. Golden Retriever: A Friendly and Compassionate Pet for Psychology, Humanities, and Therapeutic Arts Majors

The world is in havoc, and current events are beyond daunting. Within the chaos, many individuals are urged to step in and help their communities by studying social sciences or therapeutic arts—future counselors, psychologists, social workers, and art therapists eager to ease people’s pain.

Golden Retrievers are excellent pet dorm mates for these students since they require plenty of exercise and outdoor time. At least one hour of strenuous daily routine is essential for pet and human wellness. This forces you to go outdoors, look at the sky, and get your priorities straight: your dog, you, and then the world.

These pooches are the ideal running or biking mate. You can take them along on social work assignments since they’re agreeable and friendly to people. They love swimming but shouldn’t be allowed to swim to exhaustion.

As puppies, they should be fed with a special formula for large dogs to avoid common health issues. They’re prone to obesity, so as they age, keep an eye out on their calories. 

Occasional baths are enough, and they only need a weekly brushing session to remove dead hair and stimulate the natural oils that make their coat shiny.

5. Wire Fox Terrier: Energetic and Cute Friends for Literature and Creative Writing Majors

Literature opens realms to worlds unseen by the human eye. Next to that human eye are two button eyes that love chasing frisbees. Literature and Creative Writing students spend hours drifting into their imagination, and a Wire Fox Terrier is the perfect companion for these adventures.

They’ll make sure you balance your college life between wriggling inside a book and rocketing your imagination in fascinating walks and games of fetch in the park. They’re very intelligent and get bored easily, so you can get your creative juices running by making up interesting, simple, and challenging games for them.

Wire Fox Terriers are well-humored but very sensitive and will shut down if treated harshly, so go easy on them. They’ll love you but may not be so fond of other animals. Early socialization with other dogs and cats is recommended.

Regular brushing is required to avoid matting. Their V-shaped ears should be checked weekly for infections and cleaned of excess wax and debris.

6.Cairn Terrier: Courageous Little Earthrunners for Agricultural Studies Majors

Earth is our home, and there’s no place like it. Our amazing planet provides us with rich soil to grow healthy and delicious nutrients. Agricultural Sciences draw in future Agronomists, Food Scientists, Environmentalists, and Farm Managers.

Cairn Terriers are excellent pet dorm mates for these earth-bound students. This breed is famous for being little Toto, Dorothy’s dog in the classic film “The Wizard of Oz.” They’re courageous, independent, loyal pets that adapt well to urban or rural areas. Cairn Terriers are good observers, intelligent, and quickly pick up on your habits.

They live up to their watchdog reputation, with a tendency to bark at smaller animals. Early socialization is recommended; they may be aggressive to larger dogs if they’re not used to them.

Weekly brushing and periodic hand-stripping is recommended. Make sure you clean their teeth regularly to prevent tartar from building up. Also, follow a tick and flea prevention routine, especially if little Toto has contact with other farm animals.

7. Border Collie: Loving Sidekicks for Sports Scholarships, Kinesiology or PE

Our bodies are our vehicles to experience the world around us. At college we are young and full of energy. Many experience this time immersed in sports, honing their strengths and abilities.

If you’re on a Track and Field Scholarship, pursuing a degree in Athletic Training, or anything related to being outdoors, a Border Collie is a perfect track-side buddy. A high-energy breed that needs plenty of exercise and mental stimuli, they’re well known for their stamina and intelligence.

Border Collies love working! Obedience training is among their favorite activities and is a great way to build a friendship based on trust. They’re a loving and affectionate breed with a unique ability to communicate with their eyes. They use their intense stare to herd flocks of animals. But as pet dorm mates, they’ll use their gaze as a sign of mutual understanding.

They’re the type of dog to build a strong relationship with, who will follow you around campus and match your energy level. With early socialization, they’ll build amazing personalities that are friendly to people, dogs, cats, and other pets around campus.

8. Greyhounds: Naturally Fashionable Companions to Visual Arts Majors

Beauty gives life grace. Visual Arts majors know the value of aesthetics and its subtle effect on our emotions. Painters, Graphic Designers, Architects, and Photographers have a keen sense of beauty and pay attention to detail.

Greyhounds are perfect pets for these students, for they are stunning. Their bodies display an ideal harmony between “form and function,” making any graphic designer’s salivary buds water. Illustrators can delight in sketching their free-flowing curves, and photographers can rehearse amazing portraits of their compassionate look.

Greyhounds are known for their speed, and regular exercise will keep them healthy and happy. From daily walks to off-leash play in a secure area, you should plan to provide exercise opportunities for your greyhound.

Training greyhounds may be a different experience from training other breeds, as they tend to be independent and make decisions on their own. They are better trained by sight than scent, so show them something interesting to grab their attention.

9. Poodle: Fluffy and Intelligent Friends for Science Majors

Not everything ends in science, but there’s science behind everything. Students passionate about learning facts are focused on and fascinated by the world: Biologists, Chemists, Mathematicians, and Atomic Engineers. This is a field that requires much intelligence and dedicated study.

Poodles are known to be extremely smart little fluffies. They’re a good companion to science majors because they’re playful, adapt well to dorm life, and need a good amount of playtime. They also love mental stimuli, which can entertain many behavior scientists.

They should be socialized from puppy age, as some may develop a fear of strangers and can be vocal. Just make sure you handle any behavior issues from an early age and teach them to be friendly.

They require daily grooming to avoid matting, but this is an excellent opportunity to bond with them and allow your brain to take a break from studying.

10. Dachshund: A Loyal and Loving Pooch for Law Majors

For social beings, law provides agreements that allow varying individuals to live peacefully in a society. Law students know this and are passionate about incorporating an exhaustive amount of tenuous information. This field requires years of studying history, ethics, and philosophy, among other subjects.

Dachshunds are adorable dogs that are affectionate and loyal. They’ll vigilantly stand by your side as you sit on the steps of law school, reading volumes of legal history. They may sometimes be defensive and stubborn, so early socialization is a good idea.

Because of their long-back nature, they can be prone to back issues. Make sure they’re fed an adequate diet as puppies and that they get plenty of exercise to develop back muscles. Be mindful of them jumping off couches or high surfaces; they could injure themselves this way.

Dachshunds with short, smooth coats require minimal grooming. You can rub them with a damp cloth or glove to keep their coat clean. Ensure you check their floppy ears and get them used to humans touching their ears while they’re puppies, as debris and wax may build up. They’ll also need their teeth brushed regularly, especially if they’ll occasionally be seen passing by the courtroom (for a smile is our best advocate).


There are as many university lifestyles as there are career choices, and different breeds can be suitable depending on yours. Research if your dorm facility allows pets. 

Before choosing to take a pet to college, make sure you know how much time you can devote to your pooch. Especially think about separation anxiety training and socialization, which is a common denominator across breeds. It’s also vital to understand that exercise and grooming time must become a part of your own routine. 

Taking into account that caring for a pet in many ways forces you to care for your own wellness, having a pooch in college is absolutely reasonable.

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