Living the single life? If you’re looking for a dog to keep you company on cold nights, help you meet new people or get you out exercising, there are many breeds who can fill the role handsomely. While we’d all like to think any pooch could fit the bill, some breeds are better than others for people who live alone.
1. French Bulldog
They might be small, but French Bulldog’s aren’t short on character. They’re pleasant, playful and super affectionate. Plus, they love clowning around and meeting new people. With their smooth, shorthaired coat, Frenchies are easy to groom. While they need brushing on a regular basis, they only need a good scrub every two weeks in the warmer months, and once a month in the winter.
2. Labrador Retriever
Known as excellent family dogs, the Lab also makes a great friend for any single person. They’re fun and loyal, and because they’re amazing with strangers, don’t be surprised to make new friends every time you’re out and about. Keep in mind that Labradors are energetic, and like other dogs if they’re left alone or not well exercised, they can become quite naughty – chewing, digging and barking to excess.
3. German Shepherd
A German Shepherd is more than a security dog. They’re also one of the most intelligent and easily trained dogs around. Plus, their devotion and loyalty is unmatched. Like Labs, German Shepherds are active and energetic, and without lots of exercise, will start to get restless and a little destructive.
Docile yet totally independent, greyhounds are charming and loyal companions. They’re just as willing to cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie, as they are to play around in the park. If you’re a runner, greyhounds will easily keep up with you. If you’re a snoozer, they loving nothing more than getting their beauty sleep. It’s the best of both worlds.
If you’re looking for a dog to spice up your life, a poodle is a great option. Coming in three different sizes, poodles are loving and mischievous (in a good way). Don’t be fooled by their regal appearance, they have a real goofy streak and love to play around. Surprisingly, they are also very protective of their home and family, so if strangers are approaching, you’ll be the first to know. Poodles are also highly intelligent, which makes them impressive and compatible companions.
6. Border Collie
Obedient, loving, and full of energy, Border Collies are excellent companions, particularly if you want a dog that needs regular interaction and play. As they thrive on daily exercise, park hangs and games of fetch are a given. With their long coats, border collies tend to shed and will need regular brushing and grooming. But their beautiful coat is very shiny, which makes the effort totally worth it.
Gentle and laid-back, Bullmastiffs are affectionate friends. However, they’re also very loyal, which makes them a little suspicious when it comes to strangers. For an independent person, Bullmastiffs will fit into your life with ease. They love being the only animal in the household, and are easy to look after. That said, they tend to slobber and drool quite a bit, so it’s worth considering buying a bib, or more likely, keeping their eating area clean after meals.
Schnauzers are full of personality. Social and affectionate, they’ll become a loving pet in no time. The good thing is, they’re also naturally protective, and will alert you to any potential danger. Intelligent but strong-willed, it’s beneficial to start training Schnauzers early and offer plenty of opportunities to exercise. Like with all coated breeds, they’ll need regular grooming and brushing.
9. Staffordshire Terrier
Tough on the outside, loving on the inside. Nothing melts your heart more than a Staffie’s grin. Their greatest desire is to be around people, whether that means cuddling up on the couch or jogging alongside you. The point is, you’re not going to get lonely with a Staffie around. Keep in mind they thrive on attention, so don’t leave them outside alone or ignore them too often. But considering how adorable they are, this shouldn’t be too hard.
10. Great Dane
Great Danes are gentle giants. While they need plenty of space to roam around, they don’t like being left alone too often. This means they’re always up for hanging out and are very sociable. With their booming bark and big stature, Great Danes will make you feel safe and protected. For their fitness and mental well being, make sure you give them plenty of exercise.
Your responsibilities as a dog owner
While all of these breeds will make great companions for single living, it’s important that you live up to your responsibilities as a dog owner. Unfortunately many people get dogs without considering the obligations they have to ensure their pet lives a happy, healthy life. With that in mind, here are several things you need to do as a dog owner.
Give your dog plenty of exercise
Exercise has it’s obvious benefits, such as maintaining your dog’s weight. However exercise also gives your dog to have their senses stimulated, allows them to be social and curbs any bad behaviour that can occur if your pooch is left to their own devices for hours on end. While all breeds require different levels of exercise, experts say 30 minutes of hearty exercise a day is the standard.Feeding your dog correctly
Unlike people, dogs don’t need to eat three times a day. While puppies require several small meals throughout the day to aid their growth, the majority of breeds older than 12 months only need to eat once a day. When you’re choosing food consult your vet first to learn the best diet to feed your furry friend.
Grooming your dog and physical health
Just as we humans bathe, brush their teeth and clip our nails, dogs also need to be cared for on a regular basis. Of course, canines are not capable of doing these things themselves so it’s up to you to make sure they are groomed and are in good physical health. Dr Sherry Weaver recommends washing your dog once a month with dog shampoo if they don’t have a skin condition. Meanwhile you should clip your dog’s nails once every one to two months depending on how often they need it, while you can take care of their oral health at home. Additionally, be aware potential parasites who can make your pooch’s life difficult. As always, consult your vet for the best action to take as they will have a complete history of your dog’s health.
This article was written by Shay de Silva. Shay is a deep thinker, an avid lover of animals and sucks at Goldeneye. Since he's been able to put crayon to paper, there's nothing Shay has loved more than telling a good story. He enjoys inspiring readers on the subjects of healthy living, self-improvement and making a difference.