The 13 Best Dog Breeds For People Who Live Alone

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There may not be one dog breed that’s best for singles, since everyone has a different lifestyle and different needs. But if you aren't in a relationship, or happen to be living alone, there are a few things you may want to consider before adopting a dog, including how much time you spend away from home, how much exercise the dog will need, and what you’re looking for in a companion.

"Owning a dog can be one of the most rewarding and fun experiences of your life," Nicole Ellis, pet expert and certified dog trainer with Rover, tells Bustle. "Everyone should get the opportunity, but it's important to remember that it also comes with responsibility." And for single people, she says, that might mean you won't have a lot of extra help caring for your dog.

As with anyone, you'll want to really think about your life, especially if you work a lot, and how a dog will fit into it. But when you're single, you also get to think about everything a dog will add to it, and all your specific dreams.

Are you looking for a dog to join in on adventures? To stroll with you around town? Or to snuggle up on the couch? Whatever the case may be, there's likely a breed who shines in that area. Read on for a few breeds that can be a great fit, according to experts, as well as other factors to keep in mind.


French Bulldogs

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Few things are cuter than a French Bulldog, but that's only one reason why they might make for a great addition to your life. Thanks to their fun personalities, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll never get bored. And, they can make great companions for tooling around town.

"Long hikes may not be the best for them all year around," Ellis says, since their flatter faces can lead to breathing problems. But they can join you on other adventures, she says, including dining out at cafes and strolling down sidewalks.


English Bulldogs

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The English Bulldog comes in at a stockier size than its French counterpart, but has a lot of the same qualities, including loads of personality. "[And] as an extremely loyal dog, there is nothing a Bulldog loves more than their person," Ellis says. "Bulldogs are a great companion for anyone looking for a lounge-around-the-house buddy."

Thanks to their low energy levels they really don't need much exercise, making them a good choice if you're popping in and out all day for work.



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"Pugs are great at adapting to new environments and going with the flow," Ellis says. So if you're moving a lot of still settling down in life, they may be a great fit.

They can live quite happily in apartments, and like the Bulldogs above, aren't always the most active. That's not to say they don't need walks or that they don't like to play, because they very much do. But energy levels are always a good thing to keep in mind, especially if you're taking care of a dog on your own.


Labrador Retrievers

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Labrador Retrievers are extremely loving dogs, so they'll always be happy to see you when you get home. And that's the best feeling ever, whether you're single or in a relationship.

Labs can be great for solo folks, though, due to their ability to attract attention. "These goofy, happy pups [...] will be excited to meet new people and potential friends wherever you go," Ellis says.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with enjoying a quiet stroll or eating lunch alone. But if you're looking to strike up a conversation with passersby, a Lab will make it easier.


Basset Hounds

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If you want a dog who will stick by your side no matter what, look no further than a Basset Hound. "Originally bred as pack dogs for hunting, Basset Hounds all share a natural sense of loyalty," Ellis says. They enjoy spending time with their owner, she says, but are also down to hang with other pets.

"Bassets are generally well-mannered and relaxed," Ellis says. "They do need regular exercise in order to avoid obesity, but around the house they’re happy to just lounge. They make a great companion if you can handle the drool!"



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Schnauzers are super cute and always fun to hang out with. But they also make great guard dogs, since they bark at pretty much anything surprising or out of the ordinary. As Ellis says, "While living alone this may be something that makes you feel at ease. They are great ‘alert barkers’, [and] are also very smart and active pups."


Jack Russell Terriers

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If you have a lot of time to devote to exercise, consider a Jack Russell Terrier or terrier mix. "Jack Russell Terriers are good small dogs that have a lot of energy to be active with," Dr. Wailani Sung, a pet behaviorist with Chewy, tells Bustle. "They are smart and can be great companions."

You can spend hours with your Jack Russell training them to do fun things. And they will happily join you for walks and jogs, and trips around the neighborhood.


Yorkshire Terriers

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If you're looking for an even smaller dog, a Yorkshire Terrier might be a good match. As Dr. Sung says, "Yorkies" are affectionate and like to cuddle. And since many are OK with being toted around, you can easily bring them on errands. This can come in handy when you're single, since it means not having to leave your dog alone at home.


Bernese Mountain Dogs

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This lovable, fluffy breed is a naturally low-energy dog, which may be helpful if you're busy and don't have much time to devote to exercise.

"They are a calm breed and generally require about one 30-minute walk a day," Katharine Kancer, DVM, of Minnesota Valley Vet, tells Bustle. "They are very devoted and loyal dogs and will be bonded very strongly to you."

"Berners," as they're often called, can be happy in a city or the country. But keep in mind they can grow up to be over 100 pounds. They also have thick coats that require frequent brushing and grooming and are big eaters, Dr. Kancer says.



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Dachshunds, popularly known as "wiener dogs," are great for anyone, but especially single folks. "They are fiercely loyal to their owners, and often do better with just their one 'person,'" Dr. Kancer says. "Their loyalty also makes them excellent watchdogs."

Due to their size, "Dachshunds can do well in small city apartments given their small frame and are easy to care for with low grooming requirements," she says. They also don't need a ton of exercise, with two to three shorter walks a day being enough to keep them healthy and entertained.



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Maltese are another smaller breed that loves to be with people, and are very loyal to their owners, Dr. Kancer says. They do need quite a bit of exercise, though, at around two to three walks a day, as well as lots of stimulating playtime. But that may be just what you're looking for.

As Dr. Kancer says, "They are very people-oriented so this breed would be better suited to somebody who can spend more time with them."


Welsh Terriers

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Other terriers to consider include the Welsh, Lakeland, Border, and Fox. "These terriers can be described as feisty and independent," Jeremy Feldman, a professional dog groomer and trainer, tells Bustle. "They [...] have a real zest for life, which makes them a great choice for singles."

They're also mentally tough, he says, and will not break down if your job requires you to be away for several hours. And, due to their size, tend to be landlord-friendly, which can come in handy if you live in an apartment.



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Thanks to a Chihuahua's tiny size, they can be great for apartment life, Jennifer Freeman, DVM, tells Bustle, as well as travel. They also love to be in a one-on-one relationship with their owner. And if you're single, what could be better than that?

Of course, any and all mixes of the above breeds can be a great choice. And the same is true for many others dogs, as long as their needs and individual personality are a good fit for your lifestyle. It's all about thinking ahead, and making sure you'll both be happy as a duo.