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10 Best Dog Breeds for Pet Owners in Their 20s

blonde woman and golden retriever sit on mountain

Becoming a dog owner is a big responsibility, but having a four-legged best friend is one of the best joys life can bring. Getting a dog is often one of the first things people do once they have the time, space and finances to do so, which is why it’s so popular to become a dog parent in your 20s.

We spoke with Claire Kilburn, Head of Operations and Service Dog Program at When Hounds Fly Dog Training, for advice on the best dog breeds to get during this busy, exciting and life-changing time in your life. 

Related: Dogs can recognize multiple languages and nonsense words: study.


Havanese dog
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According to Kilburn, Havanese are great dogs for first-time dog owners in their 20s. “They’re my personal favourite,” she says. These petite, sweet dogs only need a small amount of daily exercise, making them great for city life. 

Related: 20 celebs who are completely obsessed with their dogs.


brown toy poodle with pink tongue
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Toy Poodle

If you’re always out and about and want your four-legged friend to join you, a toy poodle might be the perfect fit. Toy poodles are social and adaptable, making it easier to visit new places and take your dog on road trips or public transportation. 

 See also: 45 cute mixed breed dogs you need to know about.

Shiba Inu
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Shiba Inu

Can’t work from home? Kilburn recommends primitive dog breeds and spitz breeds, such as the Shiba Inu, which is a breed that’s typically independent. Shiba Inus are confident, good-spirited dogs, but they often need extra training for recall and proper leash-walking etiquette.

See also: How to prepare your pandemic puppy for your return to work.


grey Italian Greyhouse
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Italian Greyhound

Known for their sweet and affectionate personalities, Italian Greyhounds are the perfect breed for people that want a small dog that doesn’t need too much exercise. Italian Greyhounds are not excessive barkers, making them an excellent option for apartment living. 

See also: All the dog breeds you’ve never heard of before.

Golden Retriever on yellow chair
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Golden Retriever

Raising a dog and children together is a dream for so many families. “If you have kids or are planning to do so in the future, sporting breed types are a great bet,” says Kilburn. Golden retrievers are such a popular breed because they’re sweet, easy to train and thrive in active households. 

Related: Kids who sleep with pets enjoy better quality slumber, study says.

Cocker Spaniel on green graass
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Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel dogs are playful medium-sized dogs known for their signature floppy ears. They’re an excellent choice for first-time dog owners in their 20s because they’re intelligent, affectionate and don’t bark much.

Related: All the zodiac signs as dog breeds.


German Shorthair Pointer
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German Shorthaired Pointer

One of the great things about having a dog in your 20s is being able to prioritize their training. German Shorthaired Pointers are a wonderful breed for people with high-active lifestyles, lots of outdoor space and the time to commit to their pup. 

Related: The richest pets in the world.

Labrador Retriever in field
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Labrador Retriever

Like Golden Retrievers, labs are great family dogs that are easy to train and pretty obedient compared to other breeds. Labs are always up for a game of fetch and are an awesome breed for active people in their 20s. 

Related: Adopting dogs increases popularity, OkCupid study says.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel holding toy
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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Small dogs are a popular choice for people in their 20s. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an affectionate and playful breed that usually doesn’t grow up to more than 20 pounds, making them an excellent choice for people living in smaller homes. 

Related: 10 foods dogs can (and cannot) eat, according to a vet.

Toy Manchester Terrier
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Toy Manchester Terrier

If you’re in the search for a small, athletic dog, Toy Manchester Terriers might be the perfect fit for you. This energetic breed doesn’t grow bigger than 12 pounds and loves to be around people. Toy Manchester Terriers can live up to 15 to 17 years, which means they’ll be there with you through whatever your 20sbring.  

See also: Dog haircut styles: here’s how to get your dog a Japanese style cut in Toronto.

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