People tend to think of dogs as family pets, but dogs make wonderful pets for unattached folks as well, providing constant companionship!
I’m a happily married fella, but I still remember my single days, when the only one waiting for me at home was my lovable lab.
No matter what kind of day I’d had at work, or how my love life was, I knew she’d be waiting at the front door, wiggling her tail and looking up at me with that beautiful smile.
You know you want that kind of unconditional (if slobbery) love in your life. Who wouldn’t? So this one is for the single guys – let’s find you a great dog (who knows, your dog might even help land you a date)!
Just be sure to pick the right dog for your circumstances, personality and living situation, so you end up with a beloved companion instead of a challenging canine.
What Makes a Good Dog for a Single Guy?
We’ll get to the breed-specific recommendations in a moment, but it is important to realize that single-guy-friendly dogs are best identified by their characteristics.
You want to look for a dog with as many of the following traits as possible:
- Respectable Size. Although there are exceptions, and this is a broad overgeneralization, most guys prefer dogs on the big side. Your girlfriend may want a 4 lb yap-factory that she carries around in a matching dog purse carrier, but you’ll probably enjoy a big, rough-and-tumble dog that will wrestle on the floor with you much more.
- A Low-Maintenance Coat. Let’s be real, between work, school, chasing girls and hanging out with the guys, you barely have enough time to brush your own hair. You certainly won’t find the time to keep a poodle’s coat looking its best, so pick a low-maintenance breed. And remember that for some breeds, grooming isn’t just an aesthetic consideration, it can also have implications for their health due to the skin irritation and fur mats that can result from poor grooming maintenance.
- Minimal Shedding. All dogs shed their hair, but some breeds produce more than others. Unless you are the kind of dude that likes sweeping and vacuuming up an archeological layer of hair every few days, you may want to select a breed that sheds relatively little.
- A Matching Personality. Just like when looking for a lady, you have to pick a dog with a personality compatible with your own. If you are a metro-type dude that doesn’t like a lot of mess or nonsense, a lab that likes to roll around in the dirt is probably not the best dog for you. On the flip side, guys with mud on their truck and grit under their nails are unlikely to mesh with a petite and proper little toy breed.
- Energy Level. Guys who love all things outdoors will want an energetic, action-oriented breed who is happy to go on hikes and camping trips with you!
- Maturity. Caring for a dog requires plenty of love, work and sacrifice, and puppies require even more dedication. In addition to house-breaking the puppy, you’ll need to teach him basic obedience commands to ensure he is ready to greet visitors. Most single guys will find this kind of work draining, so it often makes better sense to select a mature dog who has already been trained in the basics, rather than a puppy.
- Wing-Man Suitability. Despite our suggestion earlier about avoiding puppies, the truth is that there is no better pick-up prop than a cute puppy. There is just something about puppies that attracts the attention of otherwise-out-of-your-league women.
The best wing-dogs are low key, drool-free, and adorable cuddle monsters. This rules out high-energy dogs like border collies and breeds notorious for drooling, like mastiffs. However really any semi-decent looking doggy is sure to garner you some attention from the opposite sex because – let’s just say it – dogs are the best!
Sex Matters (Who Knew)?
Don’t forget to consider the sex of the dog you will be bringing home.
For some breeds, like Huskies or Boxers, the differences between the sexes are relatively minor. However, males are often much larger than females for certain breeds, like Rottweilers. Keep this in mind if the breed you are seeking is on the big side. You’d be surprised how much more dog you are saddled with by adding another 10 to 20 pounds of weight!
It’s also important to consider the biological differences between the sexes. Unaltered females, for example, will have a cycle and require diaper-like feminine products for a few weeks about twice a year (although the vast majority of owners will have their female dogs spayed, eliminating this issue).
8 Best Dog Breeds for Single Guys
Below we list the eight best dog breeds for single guys. Of course these aren’t the only breeds that would be suitable for men on the prowl, but we think these are 8 great breeds to start with!
1. Labrador Retrievers
I’m a little biased, as I’ve been fond of labs and other hunting breeds my whole life, but they are just great dogs. There’s a reason they are consistently rated as one of the most popular breeds in the world.
Playful, loving and friendly, labs view strangers as friends they haven’t met yet. Friends that may even throw a ball for them. They’re smart and easy to train, although they often overwhelm visitors during the greeting period. Labs do need quite a bit of exercise, so they are great for joggers, hikers and other active types.
Few dogs boast the spunk and ready-to-rock attitude that boxers do. Handsome, friendly and playful, boxers are the not only manly (they have broad shoulders and blocky heads), but they are female-friendly too (they are pretty clean and tidy).
Boxers need a good bit of exercise, so they aren’t ideal for couch potatoes; but they’ll be happy to curl up on the couch with you after a long day of play. Additionally, their short, worry-free coats are a dream for an active single guy, who lacks the time to deal with such things.
3. Pit Bulls / American Staffordshire Terriers
Forget most of what you think you know about pits and Am staffs (note that both names essentially apply to the same breed – cue pedantic fight in the comment section). The only frightening thing about pit bulls is their reputation.
Pits aren’t the vicious monsters pop culture would have you believe; most are nothing more than bundles of love, licking and loyalty. Sure, there are bad apples in any bunch, and pits sometimes attract the worst kinds of owners, but trainers often consider the breed too friendly for guard dog work.
As a pet, you can expect your pit to bark at anything unusual, follow you around like a shadow and solicit attention from anything with hands
4. English Bulldog
The exercise requirements of many breeds represent a hurdle that is often difficult to clear, especially for those who prefer patrolling the couch to playing outside.
But all is not lost for the activity-adverse; English bulldogs are one of those lazy dog breeds even less interested in running than you are!
But English bulldogs aren’t only beloved for their couch-potato ways, they are also adorable little buggers, with hearts of gold. They are susceptible to a variety of health ailments; so, they’ll never want to accompany you on a run, but they make up for both with their companionship and cartoonish ways.
5. French Bulldog
The French bulldog is a great choice for you guys that like smaller dogs. They are crazy cute, without being very feminine or obnoxiously tiny. In fact, they’ve got pretty confident personalities! They can be somewhat challenging to train, but if you tap into their desire to play, good results are attainable.
Like their English counterparts, French Bulldogs suffer from a variety of ailments. But on the plus side, the do not require a great deal of exercise, and they are usually comfortable living in apartments. They make friends pretty quickly, and will usually turn into social butterflies when you have company over.
6. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are often described as being great family dogs, but that doesn’t mean they need a big family. As long as you give them plenty of attention and love, golden retrievers are just as happy being in a family of only two.
Personality wise, golden retrievers are about as good as it gets. They just want to hang out, play and get some love from their person. But although they greet most humans with a wagging tail and curious nose, they still have a protective side, and are always alert for dangers like car horns, geese, squirrels, and mailmen.
Goldens and Golden mixes do have a long coat and their tendency to shed will wear out that old vacuum you bought at a garage sale, so be sure to step up your carpet cleaning game if you go with a golden retriever.
7. Great Dane
Great Danes are the quintessential gentle giant. These are loving, calm and thoughtful dogs, who need less exercise than you’d think. Their sheer size and handsome looks are sure to garner plenty of attention while you are cruising through the park, and they are usually polite, if not downright friendly, to most strangers they meet.
However, Great Danes do have one drawback: They produce copious amounts of drool. Unsurprisingly, many ladies find this incredibly off-putting. However, on balance, they still make great, low-key pets for single guys.
8. Siberian Husky
Like boxers, huskies represent a great mixture of masculine and feminine qualities. On the one hand, huskies are tough, athletic dogs who were bred to drag heavy stuff across fields of ice and snow – it’s hard to get burlier than that. But on the other hand, huskies are gorgeous, regal-looking dogs, with piercing eyes and an almost luxurious coat.
Huskies are usually friendly, if a bit shy. But once they warm up to someone, they’ve made a new lifelong friend. The only challenges they present are their need for a good bit of exercise and their fur, which will slowly but surely cover everything you own.
Mixed Breeds Are Great For Single Guys Too
Purebred dogs aren’t the only good canines for single dudes. You can get a fantastic companion at your local shelter, and it will set you back a lot less money than by buying a purebred dog from a breeder will.
The only problem is, you won’t know what the dog’s ancestry is. Sure, you’ll hear plenty of guesses (although most will be presented as fact), but you’ll never be certain if you dog’s dad was a yellow lab or a golden retriever, for example. Fortunately, that really doesn’t matter. And if you’re really curious, you dog DNA tests are an option.
So, forget about breeds and labels when you are considering a rescue dog, and concentrate on the traits of the specific pup in front of you.
Is his hair long or especially curly? Has he already coated you in a thick layer of fur?
He may demand a little more grooming than you are prepared to provide.
Is he so timid he pees when you approach? Does he avoid eye-contact?
That one may be a little too sensitive for the time, patience and effort you have to offer. Plus, he’d probably faint the first time he saw you and your friends play fireball in the living room.
Does he trot toward you when you kneel? Does he love having his short-hair scratched? Does he watch your body language without being hyper-needy? Do you feel powerless when looking into his big, soulful eyes?
Yeah, that sounds like your new buddy.
Let’s hear it, gentlemen. Share your single-dude-and-a-dog experiences with us in the comments below!
What did I get wrong? Have you wooed a lovely lady with the help of a canine wingman? Have you determined that boxers are a little too energetic for your lifestyle, or English bulldogs are a bit too boring?
The floor is yours, let us know what you think.