The Best Dogs for Single Women

By Bridget Johnson

Though there is no single dog who is perfect for everyone, a single woman can pick breeds best suited to her lifestyle or adopt pooches who aren't as comfortable in a family household. Happily independent dogs have a lower chance of being destructive if you're away at work much of the day. Energetic breeds will gleefully accompany you on runs around the neighborhood or cross-country outdoor adventures. Pick the pup that's best for you.

Size and Temperament

The dog in the purse may be a stereotypical pairing of pooch and women, but you do have wide options in a choice of tiny or temperamental dogs if you live alone. Tiny Chihuahuas who can be injured in a rambunctious family household do well in a single home, and will become attached to you in no time. A big Newfoundland who bumps tiny humans out of the way also fits well in a single household.

Animal shelters usually note which dogs have been deemed more appropriate for single or quiet households, and can elaborate on whether that's because the dog is too delicate, too jumpy, too overwhelmed by a crowd or just doesn't feel comfortable being swarmed by kids. Still, consider the dog's life span and whether your marital or parental circumstances may change in the future, as you don't want to get rid of a canine family member.

Watching the House

Anyone who lives at home alone may appreciate a dog who lets anyone approaching know that the canine guard is on duty and ready to protect the premises. This doesn't mean you need to get a muscled Rottweiler, but any dog that feels protective of you and the property will be eager to sound the alarm if potential trouble is near.

All dogs vary in individual personalities. Some of the renowned guard dog breeds, which blend power and protective instincts, include the bullmastiff, German shepherd, Rhodesian ridgeback and Doberman pinscher. You may find breed restrictions on renting if you get some of the guard dog breeds, including the chow chow and Staffordshire terrier. For a dog who ably sounds the alarm at unwelcome visitors, try a smaller watchdog breed such as a poodle, Shih Tzu or dachshund.

Home Alone

If you're spending long hours away at work, and there's no one at home to pick up the walking duties, consider breeds who do well when left alone for a period of time. Age matters here as an older dog will be more content to laze away the morning in a living room sun patch than a hyperactive puppy. Weigh whether your schedule means a dog walker should be visiting during the day, or whether your active pooch might enjoy some days at doggy day care. You can consider adopting a pair of pups who are used to each other's company and make great play companions before greeting you at the end of the day.

The American Kennel Club notes that the pug, basset hound, greyhound and Golden retriever are among the breeds who easily roll with shifting day-to-day situations and would adapt well should your marital status change.

Activity Partner

Whether you like to hit the trails or hit the couch, the best activity buddy will enjoy what you do. Perfect dog matchmaking puts a dog who enjoys a good sprint with a runner and a dog who enjoys the car with a serial road-tripper.

Some dogs are more inclined to traipse through the great outdoors than others, so consider a Siberian husky, vizsla, border collie or Australian cattle dog as a companion who won't mind bashing through the brush or hiking hillsides.

If your preferred activity is travel, consider a toy breed who will fit in a carrier under the seat in an airplane. Many hotels also enforce weight limits for traveling dogs, so a small, well-trained pup consistently will be allowed at pet-friendly establishments.