We get it; you’re busy, but you’ve also been dying for a dog.

As a nurse, you work yourself to the bone, and you deserve to have a trusted companion by your side.

Of course, getting a dog is a big deal and not just something that you should do on a whim.

However, if you’ve been thinking about it for a while and you’re ready to dive into being a dog mom or dad, we’re here to support you.

We’re going to share with you some of the best dog breeds for nurses.

So what are the best dog breeds for nurses? To round up our list of top dogs for a nurse we have…

  • Basenji
  • Boston Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Dachshund
  • Mastiff
  • Pug

Below we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of each one plus give you some other dog picking tips.

*disclosure some of the links on this site are affiliate links.

Things to Consider Before Adopting a Dog

Lots of people say that dogs are like babies, and they’re not wrong!

Owning a dog means being responsible for a living, breathing animal that depends on you for food, shelter, stimulation, and exercise.

While breeds differ in their independence, all dogs still have a need for their owners.

Before you go out adopting one of these dogs, consider some of the primary duties that pertain to dog owners.

Do You Want (/Can You Afford) to Spend That Much on a Dog?

For one thing, you’ll need to feed them, so determine how much money you can spend on a weekly basis for dog food.

A smaller breed won’t need as much food as a larger breed. In addition, some dog owners can be picky about the type of food they feed their pet.

If this sounds like you, also consider that you’ll need to spend more money if you want a higher quality kibble.

You’re a nurse, so you probably understand the importance of good nutrition!

Do You Have Time for Grooming?

Secondly, take into consideration any grooming that your dog might need.

While those long-haired breeds are absolutely majestic, do you really have time for a half-hour grooming session every other day?

Moreover, can you spend the money to get your dog regularly bathed and pampered?

Neglecting these high-maintenance breeds will result in dirty, matted fur and a sullen-looking pooch.

We recommend that busy people, such as nurses, stick to dogs with shorter, more manageable hair.

Do You Have the Time For Socialization?

A third consideration is the amount of socialization the dog needs.

This can vary depending on the animal’s age, since puppies typically need more time with their human counterparts, as well as other dogs.

As they get older, dogs become better adapted to their environment.

Still, keep in mind that some dog breeds can be very clingy, and you don’t want your pup developing separation anxiety.

Moreover, you don’t want a particularly mischievous pooch either.

The last thing you want to do after a long work shift is clean up after a dog that has torn up your curtains or your favorite pair of shoes.

Don’t get us started on loud barkers! When you come home, you want peace and quiet, not a yippy-yappy dog.

Okay, so you might be wondering if there is any kind of dog that meets all of these tough requirements.

Well, there are! We should point out, however, that any dog is going to take work.

You wouldn’t have a baby without planning, so don’t adopt a dog without thinking it through first, especially if you live with a roommate, a spouse, or family.

Now, without further ado, here are the top dog breeds that nurses, such as yourself, should consider.

Best Dog Breeds for Nurses

1. Basenji

picture of a basenji

This dog has African origins and was originally bred to hunt vermin and rats.

Nowadays, the Basenji is a good family dog, and they’re known as being the only breed that doesn’t bark (source)!

Perfect for those who don’t want to upset their neighbors with an excessively yappy dog.

The Basenji is best for experienced dog owners, as the breed tends to be very intelligent and an independent thinker.

Due to their clever minds, people with minimal experience owning dogs might end up having the Basenji boss them around.

Training will be crucial for this dog breed. Even so, their independent spirit and intelligence can work out great, as trained Basenjis can stay at home on their own without any trouble.

Above all, they’re dogs and so they’re super happy when you come home. Expect to be greeted by a wagging tail every single time.



  • Does fine on its own
  • Doesn’t bark
  • Easy grooming
  • Good companion breed
  • Small to medium dog


  • Intelligence can make them mischievous
  • Require training

2. Boston Terrier

picture of a boston terrier

Named for the city in which they originated, Boston Terriers will feel at home no matter where you live.

They’re gentle, lovable, and have that distinctive look that makes them a hot commodity in public.

Though they were originally bred to fight, these dogs are now far from being vicious. They just want to hang out with you and get some attention.

That being said, these dogs are independent and still keep some of that terrier spunk. You won’t be bored with a Boston Terrier!

One of the great things about this breed is that they do very well on their own. They aren’t likely to experience separation anxiety when you’re gone for hours at a time.

When you walk back in the door, they’ll be delighted to greet you.

Their size also makes them suitable for a variety of living situations, and they also do well with individuals of all ages, from kids to seniors.

They do have a lot of energy, so be sure to provide them with plenty of toys for stimulation while you’re at work.


  • Affectionate
  • Gentle breed
  • Great for all ages
  • Independent
  • Small size


  • High energy levels
  • Spunky

3. Chihuahua

picture of a Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is known for exhibiting a lot of spunk and style in a tiny package.

Besides its connotations with Taco Bell and Beverly Hills Chihuahua, this dog breed is known for being a favorite among the rich and famous.

Of course, you don’t need to be wealthy to own a Chihuahua, and they’ll love you no matter what your income level is.

This breed weighs an average of five pounds and has a long lifespan; they live to be up to 20 years old.

Adopt a Chihuahua knowing you’re in it for the long haul.

Contrary to what you might think, these dogs are just dandy spending a lot of time alone, and their small size makes them ideal for apartment dwellers.

A helpful hint is to go for a short-haired Chihuahua, as the long-haired version will be a money and time commitment.

This breed is highly intelligent, so they should be fine with training. Some can even learn how to use a litter box!

That being said, they are fragile and should be well taken care of.

They need to stay warm since their bodies are so little. Also, these dogs can bark! Be aware of their vocality before choosing to adopt one.


  • Fiercely loyal
  • Fine being left alone
  • Good companions
  • Highly intelligent
  • Long lifespan


  • Barks a lot
  • Fragile and sensitive

4. Chinese Shar-Pei

picture of a chinese shar-pei

You can immediately recognize a Shar-Pei by their telltale wrinkles all over their face and body.

They always have that look that just says, “Give me love.” That being said, these dogs are quite independent and have a quiet and reserved temperament.

They get along incredibly well with humans, so they make an excellent companion. Plus, they’re oh-so-adorable!

There’s nothing like coming home from a long day at work and being greeted by a pile of soft, fuzzy wrinkles.

Contrary to what you might think, this breed keeps itself very clean. That being said, if you neglect to take care of him or her, they’ll easily develop skin infections.

Shar-Peis tend to be aloof, although they can become very loyal to their owners.

Their independence can sometimes get the better of them, so they need an owner who will take the time to train them and establish who’s in charge.

A trained Shar-Pei is well suited to living in an apartment and spending time alone.


  • Does fine when alone
  • Independent
  • Loving
  • Minimal grooming
  • Reserved temperament


  • Prone to skin infections if neglected
  • Stubborn if untrained

5. Dachshund

picture of a dachshund

Who doesn’t love a good old wiener dog! Most people can recognize a Dachshund right off the bat, but there are actually several varieties of this breed.

A Miniature Dachshund weighs about 10 pounds, while the Standard Dachshund is typically less than 30 pounds.

Both varieties should be manageable for most dog owners.

Just be aware that long-haired and wire-haired Dachshunds will require more extensive grooming, and most nurses won’t have time for that.

Your best bet is to stick to the short-haired Dachshund. All that being said, these dogs are affectionate and will love to plop on the couch with you.

They’re wonderful companions and require moderate exercise, but nothing excessive.

On the other hand, they do require a basic understanding of the house rules. It would be wise to train your Dachshund right when you adopt them.

Their stubbornness can get the best of them, and they’re known for being dedicated diggers, so watch out for your yard.


  • Easy to care for
  • Great companion breed
  • Loving temperament
  • Loyal
  • Manageable size


  • Can be stubborn
  • Love to dig holes in yard

6. Mastiff

picture of a mastiff

For nurses who prefer big (and we mean big) dogs, why not adopt a Mastiff? Weighing in at an average of 170 pounds, Mastiffs are giant teddy bears.

Their energy level is quite low, and they don’t need too much exercise (nor do they crave it).

This is perfect for owners who can’t get outside with their pup several times a day. A Mastiff will be content chilling on the couch, waiting for you to come home.

If you get a Mastiff puppy, it will have the silly playfulness of a young dog, but probably not on the same level as other breeds.

As they age, Mastiffs get more and more passive. While they can be aloof, they are great companions and remain loyal to their owners.

Unfortunately, as with many large dog breeds, Mastiffs don’t have a long life span, and they typically don’t live much longer than a decade.

That being said, they’re relatively healthy, with the primary health concern being issues with their joints, thanks to their massive size.

There are different varieties of this breed. Bullmastiffs are not as large, but they have a similar temperament to the Mastiff.

The Tibetan Mastiff has a mane as magnificent as a lion’s, but they’re nowhere near as ferocious. Instead, Tibetan Mastiffs are docile, independent, and devoted to their owners.



  • Docile
  • Independent
  • Loving and lovable
  • Minimal exercise
  • Passive dogs


  • Huge dogs
  • Shorter lifespan

7. Pug

picture of a pug

The ever-popular pug; who doesn’t love it? This breed is small with short hair and a winning personality.

They were raised in China during the Han Dynasty and were meant to be companions to the emperor.

They were also believed to bring good luck! These dogs are affectionate and even-tempered with a loyal and loving personality.

They also have a playful side and love to be silly. They’ll make you laugh! Pugs are friendly with all ages, and they’re small, so they don’t need much exercise or space.

This is perfect for those who live in an apartment or a smaller home. They also aren’t noisy such as other smaller, yappy dogs.

On the downside, pugs are known for being tough to train. But, once you do, you’re golden.

They’ll remain devoted for the rest of their lives. Just be aware that their short hair sheds a lot, so keep a lint roller handy.


  • Don’t need much exercise
  • Excellent companions
  • Even-tempered
  • Fun personality
  • Great for smaller homes


  • Difficult to train
  • Shed a lot

Final Thoughts

a nurse and her dog

There you have it! These seven dog breeds are definite possibilities for you and any other busy nurses you may know.

Yes, owning a dog is a huge undertaking, but it’s also super rewarding.

As long as you take into account all of the factors of owning a dog, you will be able to make the right decision for you and your situation.

Of course, even if a dog breed isn’t on this list, that doesn’t mean they won’t be an excellent fit for you and your lifestyle.

We hope that you find your perfect furry friend and it provides a nice break from the daily grind of work!

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