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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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.
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.
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.