Do you believe that dogs are truly a man’s best friend? While I would personally suggest that they are best friends to women as well, I have to agree that no man could find a better friend than a dog. If you love living your bachelor lifestyle, but want to have a loyal companion for some no-stress company to hang out with, a dog is perfect.
I spend a lot of time thinking about what types of dogs are best for what types of people. It’s a fascinating topic to me. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the fact that I, as a singleton, am drawn more to dogs with big personalities. They fill up my home with humor and excitement, and I’ve never felt lonely or like I’m missing something. That’s why I adore Boxers – they love you whether you’re alone or with someone else. They’re quite happy keeping you company, and they’ll also welcome into your household just about anyone that you like.
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So what types of dogs are best for single men? If you like your bachelor lifestyle as much as I love my single status, then you are likely to enjoy a Boxer as well. But in the spirt of being fair, this list of 15 dog breeds for bachelors doesn’t include my beloved Boxer. Here are some breeds that can get you started finding the best dog for you.
Are you a guy with a lot of energy that just loves to get out and play around? If so, the Malamute is great for you. These dogs have a really cool, wolfish appearance, but they are basically giant kids. They just want to play all day, every day, and they are ideal for a person that has a lot of time to spend exercising with them. If you like to hike, camp, go to the park, go on runs, or just horse around, this is a good choice. Make sure you have a good set of dog toys if you do adopt this type of dog. They love to tug and chase and fetch.
(2) Australian Shepherd Dog
Do you love challenges? Want a dog that matches your love of learning new thing, exploring new places, and meeting life head on? The Australian Shepherd is a great dog for you. My personal recommendation is to get a female. This dog breed has a tendency to latch onto one person, and for whatever reason, females tend to be more drawn to male owners. This dog will be your sidekick in everything, and they are wicked smart. They can learn all kinds of neat tricks, go with you to work, go camping, and they make great guard dogs. They are friendly enough to eventually accept a girlfriend if you don’t want to stay a bachelor but make no mistake that they are your dog.
Another good dog for a bachelor that doesn’t intend to remain single is a beagle. These dogs are great with just one owner but are also great with families. They are friendly and smart, and lots of fun to be around. They are also stubborn, kind of messy, and tend to get into everything. If you love the curious nature of a beagle and don’t mind the challenge of training them, you’ll have a very loyal and funny companion for life. They are also compact enough to live in apartments, though they do need daily exercise.
Want a larger dog that will be great for a more active lifestyle? A bloodhound is a great choice. These dogs are smart, extremely active, and very loving. They can be kind of sensitive, so if you don’t have a lot of time to spend with a dog, skip this breed. They like to be around you constantly and can get mopey if you are busy (sort of like that girlfriend you’ve been avoiding getting, but a little easier to please). If you take a bloodhound with you on runs, make sure to keep him supplied with treats and cuddles, then you will be their hero forever. Seriously, this dog will nearly worship you if you put in the effort, so this is a great dog for people who may get lonely in their bachelorhood.
(5) Bull Mastiff
The gentle giant of the large dog group, the Bull Mastiff is perfect for a protection dog. They aren’t aggressive, but they aren’t going to be friendly to strangers. They’ll let you know if someone new is approaching, and observe warily until they are certain you are safe. They are very affectionate with their owner. Even as big as they are, they think they are lap dogs. They don’t require a ton of exercise, and are good for a guy that likes to hang out instead of going out.
Want a dog that combines protective instincts with lots of energy? Get a Doberman! This breed is very athletic and they aren’t fond of strangers. They are great guard dogs, often used for that purpose specifically. However, a well-trained Doberman is still going to be friendly to a family, should you ever get one in the future. They are easy to train, because they have been bred to be working dogs, so this is just a great breed all around. They do have a bit of a bad reputation, and you may find it hard to find a home that allows them because of that.
(7) German Shepherd
Who wouldn’t love a noble, intelligent German Shepherd? Another great guard dog, but with a more sensitive soul, the German Shepherd is essentially the world’s most loyal dog. They are super smart, and ridiculously loyal to the person they think of as theirs. They are also kind to anyone that they can tell their human loves, but they will never bond with anyone else the same way they bond with you. If the woman you long for knows anything about dogs, she’ll realize that you’re a man who is disciplined, selfless and supportive, just like your dog. If you want a long term relationship, and you’re looking for a woman who wants the same thing, a German Shepherd could be the perfect choice.
(8) Giant Schnauzer
Not many people know about the Giant Schnauzer in the states, but this is a fantastic breed if you like German Shepherds or Dobermans, but don’t want the stigma that these dogs sometimes have. They are big dogs that are used for police work in Europe, and they are very smart. However, it is very important that you know what you are doing with this dog. They are smart enough to know when they can break the rules, and if you give them an inch, they will take a mile. They can be stubborn and will often try to assert themselves as alpha. However, if you are someone who likes that challenge, and appreciates a dog with a confident attitude, you may love this.
(9) Irish Setter
This dog is just gorgeous with its long red hair. They are very energetic and are best suited to bachelors primarily because they aren’t always the best with kids. If you are interested in a dog with a very noble background and the looks to go with it, as well as a dog that will be lots of fun for you, this is a great breed.
(10) Labrador Retriever
It wouldn’t be a “best dog breeds” list of any kind without mentioning the Labrador Retriever. This dog is great for bachelors, for families, for single women, for young couples, for retired people…for just anyone in general. These dogs are loyal, silly, goofy, loving, and energetic without being overly so. They do need exercise and they will adapt to your lifestyle very quickly. They just love people and they love you – even though they haven’t met you yet. This is a great dog for someone that may eventually leave bachelorhood behind.
If you like the idea of a dog that is underappreciated, the Rottweiler is a great one. Train them gently and treat them like beloved friends, and they will be excellent family dogs. They are very kind and gentle nature but have gotten a bad reputation because they can be trained to be aggressive. How they act will depend on you, so if you like the idea that you’ll have a tough-looking baby of a dog, here’s the breed for you.
(12) Saint Bernard
Who doesn’t love this big, drooling, goofy guy? Saint Bernards are good-natured with everyone, loving to cuddle and please people above all else. They are also loyal and smart. If you are a single guy that may have kids one day, this is the perfect breed for you.
(13) Siberian Husky
The Husky is a popular choice for single guys because they are so active. They like to hike, swim, chase, explore, and just generally be outside doing stuff. However, they can be stubborn with training, and they are known for having personalities all their own. Don’t be surprised if a Husky talks back when you tell him to do something by whining and moaning. They are very vocal and also sassy.
(14) Sussex Spaniel
Like to hunt, or want to get into hunting with a dog? Hounds can often be loud and a bit high strung, and aren’t good for small homes or apartments. A Sussex Spaniel, on the other hand, is a great hunting dog, a loyal companion, and a compact size. They do need attention to grooming because of their long coats, but they are excellent trackers.
(15) Thai Ridgeback
The last one on this list is a rare breed, but it’s great for hunting and as a watchdog. This dog isn’t exactly a gentle, loving dog – he’s rougher and tumbles, perfect for a single guy that is willing to take the role of alpha and wants a no-nonsense dog to fit into his no-nonsense lifestyle. This dog is better for a guy that won’t be having kids or leaving behind bachelorhood any time soon.
So, there you have the best dogs for bachelors. Now, what if you’re not all that crazy about your bachelor lifestyle, and you’d like to find someone to be with? Thinking ahead to a possible relationship, and wondering what kind of dog to get? Here are some breeds that are known to be total chick magnets!
(1) Boston Terrier
These are relatively small dogs that fit very nicely into just about any living space. They’re friendly, and because of their big, buggy eyes, a lot of women perceive them as being amazingly cute.
(2) Golden Retriever
These big, exuberant dogs tend to attract “outdoorsy” women, so if you’re the kind of guy who likes to put on the hiking boots and head out into rough terrain, this dog will invite the kind of woman you want. The friendly, high-energy Golden is always up for meeting new people, and if you like her, chances are that he’ll like her too!
(3) French Bulldog
Have you ever seen a woman look at a dog and say “I just want to smoosh all his wrinkles?” Well, that’s the French Bulldog. An adorable little breed that has wrinkles galore, and drools all over the place, and nobody even cares that he’s drooling because he’s just so adorable!
If you’re a guy who has a Frenchie, a woman is going to think that you’ll love her and nurture her even if she isn’t perfectly beautiful – after all, you’ve got this funny looking dog, and you love him, right?
(4) Labrador Retriever
Okay, so you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but you’re affectionate and loyal, and a great listener. And you love to snuggle. If this sounds like you, and you want a dog that mirrors your personality and is irresistible to the ladies, then a Labrador Retriever is going to help you find exactly the woman you’re looking for.
(5) English Bulldog
Here we go with the droolers again. And the thing is, nobody really knows why, but women just seem to adore slobbery dogs with smushed-up faces! That’s what makes the English Bulldog such a chick magnet. And guys, if you make no apologies for the drooling, and just expect your woman to put up with it because you love your dog to distraction, here’s a secret – she’ll love you even more for that!
(6) Great Dane
Drool, drool, and more drool! Great Danes are huge dogs, and they can produce buckets of drool. In fact, one of the things a Dane loves most to do is get a big drink of water, and then come over to you, and pour half of it into your lap, like “I love you and you should have water too!”
Danes are also very sensitive and have their feelings hurt easily. That makes women want to go “Oh, baby, c’mere, let me snuggle you and make it all better!” The sweet nature of the Great Dane appeals to any woman who doesn’t have a heart of stone.
(7) Any Puppy, Any Breed
Look, it’s a given. Women love puppies. And of course “puppy” isn’t a breed, but that doesn’t matter. You can take a purebred English Mastiff or Toy Poodle or Giant Schnauzer or Border Collie or a mixed breed or whatever, and you can bet that just about any woman alive, anywhere, is going to just go “Oh, PUPPY!!!!!” She will bond hard and fast to your puppy, and if you’re lucky, she might learn to tolerate you.
There is, quite simply, nothing any cuter than a puppy. Puppies are chick magnets. And you know what a woman perceives when she sees you with that puppy? She sees a guy who is so caring, and so loving, and so willing to take care of a creature that is not even of his own species – and she finds that totally irresistible!
Choosing the Best Dog for Bachelors
As you may have guessed from the foregoing material, my opinion as to what is the best dog for bachelors depends on whether or not the bachelor wants to remain a bachelor. Some dogs are better for singletons, while other dogs are better for people who actually want to end up in a long-term relationship. Absolutely any breed in the world could be the right breed for a bachelor if you know what you are looking for. Here are some things that you should consider when contemplating the characteristics that would make a dog right for a bachelor:
(1) How Much Room Do You Have?
Choose a dog based on the size you have room for. A lot of guys gravitate towards big breeds, and that’s perfectly understandable, but if you live in a small home, a more compact breed may be better.
(2) Does Your Dog Bounce All Over the Place?
Look at the dog’s energy level. Do you want a dog that will go with you everywhere for adventures and exercise? Or do you want a dog that will chill with you while you play video games? It is possible to get a breed that does both, but it takes longer to find the right dog.
(3) Can You Handle Shedding?
If you can’t deal with a lot of dog hair, then choose a breed that won’t shed a lot or require work that you aren’t willing to put in. If you are okay with grooming a dog every day, no problem! But if you’re the type of guy who’d rather just shave your head than learn to style your hair, you probably need a dog that requires less grooming.
(4) Think About Your Social Life
Consider the dog’s personality. Do you love having friends over all the time? You need a dog that will be friendly to other people. Do you live in a place where you feel unsafe? Look for a dog that will alert you to strangers.
(5) How Old is Your Dog?
It’s tempting to consider adopting an adult dog but consider this. If you get a puppy, you have more of a chance to train good behaviors into him, but you are also committing to spending the next decade to 15 years of your life with this dog. Adult dogs, on the other hand, may be filled with bad habits from previous owners. Spend some time getting to know an adult dog before adopting.
These are all important considerations when it comes to choosing the right dog for your bachelor lifestyle. Of course, if you’re a bachelor who might have reason to foresee an end to your bachelorhood, you have another very important matter to think about.
How Does Your Significant Other Fit Into the Equation?
Here’s the scenario. You’re a perfectly contented bachelor, with a dog that you love more than life itself. You’re pretty content with your life, but then all of a sudden, SHE walks into it. You’re totally bowled over, madly in love, and you’re thinking “She just might be the one.”
But here’s the thing – she doesn’t like your dog.
Is there any hope for this relationship? And what are you going to do, if push comes to shove, and you have to choose between your dog and the person that you actually believe you might want to spend the rest of your life with?
I’m going to suggest here that you do an informal survey of your friends and family. Ask them, if they were forced to choose between their dog and they’re significant other, who would stay in their lives.
I’m thinking that you might be surprised at how many would answer, without even hesitating, “my dog.”
Maybe I’m not the right person to even be talking about this issue since for me, there has never been any middle ground. If you’re going to be in my life in any capacity, then you have to accept that Janice and Leroy are part of the package, and that’s never going to change.
At least that’s my approach. You may have different ideas on how your dog fits into this scenario, but I sincerely hope that you are not the type of person who would make a permanent, life-altering decision without taking a long, hard and very realistic look at the long-term repercussions. Step back from your new relationship, and ask yourself how it’s likely to play out down the road. If you give up your dog to please your significant other, will you come to resent her later on? If you refuse, will you lose her, and if you do, how much will it matter as time passes? Is there anything you can do to create a good relationship between your beloved dog, and the human that you love?
In What to Do When My Dog Hates My Significant Other, I offered some suggestions on how to smooth the way. It’s one thing when the dog is having issues because dogs are easy. You can earn a dog’s goodwill by offering treats, playing with him, and giving him time to adjust. It can be a bit more difficult when the problem is on the human end, but I do have some suggestions that might help you to navigate this particular minefield.
(1) Identify the Problem
This is the very first thing that you need to do. Does your significant other dislike dogs in general? If she does, and you feel that your life is not complete without a dog, then this could very well be a deal breaker. On the other hand, if it’s just your dog that troubles her, try to get to the root of the problem. It could be that she feels a bit insecure, and she’s jealous of the time you spend with the dog, and that some reassurance might be all it takes to smooth the waters. Do you let the dog get away with undesirable behavior? Some training wouldn’t hurt. Is she afraid of dogs? Don’t force the issue – give her time to get to know your best buddy.
(2) Give Them Some “Alone Together” Time
If your significant other’s problem stems from a fear of dogs, don’t do this right away. However, if she’s simply cool toward your dog, consider removing yourself from the picture for half an hour or so once in a while. I’m thinking that when you introduced her to your mom, at some point you headed off to spend some time in the basement or garage with your dad so that your mom and your girlfriend could have some time to get to know one another, and maybe even bond a bit. The principle is the same when it comes to your dog – if you’re always hovering, your dog and your significant other are not going to learn how to appreciate one another on their own terms.
(3) Let Your Significant Other Help
There’s no reason why your beloved human can’t take over some of the tasks related to your beloved canine! Let her feed him and walk him. This creates even more “bonding time,” and builds up trust on both sides.
(4) Re-Invent the Rules
One of the biggest issues with bachelors and their dogs is that they can become very set in their ways. The routines, and the standards for behavior, that have worked so well for you and your dog may not be all that pleasing to your partner. Now, I’m not suggesting that you let her come in and completely disrupt the status quo, but try to make concessions where you can. For instance, if she doesn’t like having the dog sleep between the two of you (despite the fact that he’s always snuggled up at your side at bedtime), would it really be such a hardship to just gently nudge the dog toward the foot of the bed? Of if she’s not crazy about having the dog sit at the dinner table and drool, you might think about putting him in another room during meals.
You don’t have to cave into every single demand. However, a bit of compromise here and there can go a long way toward fostering a better relationship for all concerned. The main thing here is to work out any issues early on, and once a course of action is determined, stick to it. Remember that all of you are in a period of transition, and there are bound to be bumps along the road. However, if you and your partner are both willing to work together to forge a great relationship that includes your dog, you can make it happen.
Should a Bachelor Ever Give Up His Dog?
I can’t begin to tell you how it breaks my heart when I hear about people who have adopted dogs only to give them away when they become inconvenient. You see it all the time – ads online, or in local newspapers, offering a dog “free to good home,” because “I don’t have time for him anymore,” or “I’m moving and my landlord won’t allow dogs.”
I’ve never given up a dog. I always have time for Janice and Leroy, and I really don’t believe that it’s impossible to find dog-friendly accommodations, no matter where you live. But what if you’re a bachelor, and your dog is putting a crimp in your romantic life? Is this a good enough reason for a bachelor to give up his dog?
In considering this question, think about what type of bachelor you are. If you’re the type of guy who wants to date a lot and isn’t interested in settling down, then you really don’t need to worry all that much about what your dog thinks of your girlfriends, or what they think of your dog. On the other hand, if you’re a bachelor who’s tired of the single life, and you think you’ve found the one you’re ready to settle down with, it most definitely does matter.
My take on this is that there are very few scenarios that would warrant giving up your dog and very few problems that can’t be worked out. We’ve already talked about some strategies you can employ in order to help bring your dog and your beloved human closer together. Now, let’s consider some specific problems that you may need to work on in order to facilitate human/canine compatibility to the satisfaction of all concerned.
10 Dog-Related Problems That Can Torpedo Your Love Life, and How to Solve Them
(1) What to Do With a Dog That Barks
You may have heard it said that a barking dog won’t bite, and there is actually some truth to that. There are three basic kinds of barking – a warning bark, letting you know of danger (which ought not to be discouraged), a yappy, annoying bark, and an aggressive bark. If your dog is barking aggressively at your partner, it means “I’m not going to bite – just yet.” In the third instance, the problem is not the barking – it’s discomfort with your significant other – so you need to work harder on socializing your dog and your partner to one another.
If your dog’s barking is simply annoying your partner (and your neighbors as well, probably), the best approach is to put up with the barking. The dog will stop eventually. When he does, say “quiet” and give him a treat. Repeat as needed until the dog stops barking upon your “Quiet” command.
(2) What to Do With a Dog That Whines
If your dog wasn’t whiney before you introduced your partner into the mix, then the whining could be anxiety due to having his previously comfortable lifestyle disrupted. The approach to whining is the same as it would be with barking. If it’s due to problems adjusting to your significant other, keep in mind that this is a difficult time for your dog, and give him lots of attention while working on socialization.
(3) What to Do With a Dog That Chews Everything
Anyone who has ever had a puppy has needed, at some point, to work on correcting chewing behavior. In adult dogs who are experiencing some type of upset in their lives, regression can occur. If you come home to find your house in a shambles, with upholstery stuffing all over the place or the legs on your grandma’s sideboard gnawed off, please resist the temptation to punish the dog – he won’t understand why you’re angry. Instead, consider crating the dog when you’re away, and go back to training him not to chew on things that ought not to be chewed. For more on this, see my post, 9 Unique Ways to Stop Chewing for Good.
(4) What to Do With a Dog That Doesn’t Like Other Dogs
It might not just be your significant other that needs to be socialized with your dog. Much of the time, dog people tend to gravitate toward other dog people, and if your partner has a dog of her own, it’s important that her dog and yours are able to get along. In the beginning, there could be some territorial issues, and it’s possible that a dog who behaves perfectly well when in your girlfriend’s home (because it’s not his territory) could turn into a pretty angry unit when her dog visits your home. And vice versa, of course.
Don’t leave the dogs unattended together, and consider having both of you keep your dogs on lead and at a distance from one another for a bit. Gradually close the distance, offering treats to both dogs. You want them to get the idea that nothing bad will happen when they’re close to one another – on the contrary, they get something good!
(5) What to Do With a Dog That Humps
Most people think that humping is about sex – it’s not. It’s actually dominance behavior. So when your dog is humping your partner’s leg, he’s not saying “Oh man, she’s hot!” He’s actually saying “I’m the boss here.” Gently disengage your dog from your partner’s leg, say “No” and give him a treat. Repeat until he stops the humping on the “No” command.
(6) What to Do With a Dog That Jumps
Probably, if your dog is jumping on your partner, he’s just glad to see her. This might not be such a huge problem if you’re dealing with a small dog, but if it’s something the size of my Janice or Leroy, you can’t expect her to tolerate that kind of behavior. The best course of action here is to go back to basic obedience training – work on “Sit.” Once “Sit” is so ingrained into your dog’s frame of reference that he’ll sit even in mid-leap, the problem is solved.
(7) What to Do With a Dog That Marks in the House
Usually marking is a problem more common to intact males, but if your neutered boy or your bitch is suddenly marking, it could be because your dog is trying to send the message, “You don’t belong here” to your partner. The dog is saying “This is MY territory. It smells like me, and it’s mine.” You’ll need to clean vigorously using a strong disinfectant like Dettol and watch constantly, commanding “NO!” at the first sign of a lifted leg or a squat. Don’t waste your time taking the dog outside after he or she marks because this isn’t about the need to urinate – it’s about the need to establish territory. Stay strong and be consistent, because this is a very difficult problem to correct.
(8) What to Do With a Dog That Snaps
This behavior may or may not be preceded by barking. In the same way, as barking is a warning, so is what’s commonly known as the “air snap.” Most dogs will deliver a number of warnings before they actually bite – they’ll begin with avoidance (moving away and not making eye contact), through to soft growling, then louder growling, barking, and then the air snap, which is a closing of the jaws in very close proximity to the human – sometimes no more than an inch away. The air snap is a dog’s way of saying “I could bite you right now if I wanted to, and you’re pretty darn lucky I’m giving you this final warning.”
In this situation, your partner should try to avoid displaying fear. Instead, she should turn her body sideways to the dog and avoid eye contact, which could be interpreted as aggression. If the dog gets no response, it’s highly unlikely that he will bite. Now, the two of you need to work together, revisiting obedience training. The dog needs to see your partner as equivalent to you when it comes to the human that has to be obeyed. And you also need to continue to work on socialization.
(9) What to Do With a Dog That Bites
Now you have a real problem. I would certainly hope that you have worked with your dog from puppyhood on in order to ensure that he is well-behaved and not a threat to others. If your dog suddenly bites your significant other, most likely you haven’t done this, and her injury is your fault. At this point, if you can salvage your relationship with your partner at this point, that’s great, but you need to put that on the back burner for now and deal with your dog’s behavioral issues. For more on this, see my post, Top 3 Reasons for Aggressive Dog Behavior, and What to Do About It.
(10) What to Do With a Defiant Dog
Sometimes, even the most laid-back canine can undergo a personality change when his home environment suddenly changes in a way that is not to his liking. Maybe you haven’t had to do much in the way of training with your dog because he’s always been such a sweetie, and then once you introduce your partner, all hell breaks loose. Your dog won’t listen to you, resists training, marks all over the place, and becomes destructive. In short, he’s become too much for you to handle.
In this situation, you have to decide if you’re comfortable taking on a strong alpha role. If you are, you’re going to have to work very hard on training. Keep in mind, though, that not everyone has the cojones to deal with an extremely defiant dog, especially if he’s a large breed. There’s no shame in this. If you need to seek the help of a professional trainer or animal behaviorist, do so.
Nobody wants to lose a relationship because of their dog, or a dog because of their relationship. These 10 strategies should help you to facilitate a better relationship between your dog and your significant other.
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The Final Word
Is your dog on the list of the 15 best dogs for a bachelor lifestyle? Or are you new to dog ownership, and shopping for a dog that will suit both your bachelor life and someone for whom you might eventually want to abandon bachelorhood? Are you already halfway to the altar and wanting a better relationship between your beloved human and your adored canine buddy?
I hope that you have found the foregoing information useful, whatever your relationship status. I’m a firm believer in the importance of relationships, be they man/dog or man/significant other. And if you can create a relationship that’s man/dog/significant other, then you have a really great thing going! I wish you much happiness.