Depending on which statistics you look at, there are 75.4 Millennials in America and about 75 percent of them own dogs. Some pundits and commentators have dubbed dogs “the millennial baby.” Surprisingly enough – or maybe not – many more Millennials who bought a home in 2016 made their choice based on how dog-friendly the house and yard were rather than on how kid-friendly it would be if and when they ever decided to have children.
If you’re one of the remaining 25 percent, but would like to join the majority of your cohorts in sharing your busy life with a dog, here are seven breeds that fit into the Millennial lifestyle exceptionally well.
1. Australian Shepherd
Aussies are highly intelligent and have the same strong work ethic as you do. A medium-sized dog, adult Aussies are 18-23 inches tall and weigh 35-70 pounds. They come in black, blue merle, red, and red merle and are easy care, requiring only a weekly brushing. Temperamentally, Aussies are exuberant, smart, independent but easily trained, very active, agile, attentive, and naturally protective of their people and territory. Even though they belong to the Herding Group, Aussies are true working dogs. Like you, they don’t take well to unemployment. They require a good deal of exercise, so if you live in the city, be prepared for long daily walks and weekend trips to the dog park. A big fenced yard in the suburbs is even better.
2. Belgian Malinois
If you lead an active lifestyle and are looking for a large athletic dog to share it with you, check out the Belgian. Adults are 22-26 inches tall and weigh 40-80 pounds. They come in fawn, fawn sable, mahogany, red, and red sable and require only occasional brushing. Temperamentally, Belgians, a/k/a Mals, are strong, proud, alert, eager to please, hardworking, steadfast, loyal, and full of life. Consequently, they require a lot of exercise. Your Belgian will be thrilled to accompany you on your jogs, runs, or cycling adventures.
3. Boston Terrier
If you live in an apartment or condo and work a lot of hours, a Boston could be just the dog you’re looking for. He’s small, only 15-17 inches tall and 10-25 pounds as an adult. He’s quiet and seldom barks. His short coat requires only minimal grooming. Most Bostons have the characteristic black-and-white tuxedo markings, but others are black brindle and white, brindle and white, seal and white, or seal brindle and white. They have large, dark, round eyes and a kind, intelligent expression that would melt Scrooge’s heart. Temperamentally, Bostons are rather quiet, but amusing, bright, friendly, adaptable, and easily trained. They don’t require much exercise or attention, but expect to be treated like the star of the family, which they’re absolutely sure they indeed are.
4. Cardigan Welsh Corgi / Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are two separate breeds of dog with similar sizes and personalities, but distinctly different physical characteristics and colors. Both breeds make excellent dogs for Millennials since they are smart, outgoing, affectionate, adaptable, loyal, good-natured, even-tempered little dogs who are always happy. Both breeds are 10-12 inches tall as adults, but whereas an adult Cardigan weighs 25-38 pounds, an adult Pembroke is slightly smaller, weighing 28-30 pounds. The most noticeable difference is that Cardigans have long tails and Pembrokes have bobbed tails. In addition, Cardigan ears are larger and more rounded at their tips, and Cardigans come in more colors.
Doxies are another small breed perfect for urban living, but are more active and spunky than Bostons. You get a lot of options with a Doxie; they come in two sizes, three varieties, and several coat colors and color combinations. Adult Standards are 8-9 inches tall and weigh 16-32 pounds; adult Miniatures are 5-6 inches tall and weigh up to 11 pounds. Both sizes come in smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired coat varieties. Most people think of Doxies as being red, but they also come in black and cream or tan; chocolate and cream or tan; blue and cream or tan; and fawn and cream or tan. Fondly known as the “weenie dog” due to their short legs and long low bodies, Doxies are intelligent, moderately active, curious, clever, lively, friendly, loveable, playful, easily trained, and amazingly courageous, given their small size.
6. Miniature Schnauzer
If you’re a Millennial who suffers from allergies, the Miniature Schnauzer is the dog for you. He’s hypoallergenic with minimal shedding. His long wiry coat requires occasional clippings and daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. Mini Schnauzers are the scaled-down version of their cousins, the Giant Schnauzer. Adult Minis are only 12-14 inches tall and weigh 11-20 pounds. Their bushy beards and eyebrows give their faces a charming almost human expression. Minis come in black, salt and pepper, and black and silver. Temperamentally, they are smart, friendly, spirited, alert, lively, easily trained, and fearless, but not aggressive. Being terriers, however, they can be scrappy with other dogs and yappy on occasion. They’re somewhat active and enjoy playtime and brisk walks.
7. Shiba Inu
If you’re a highly independent Millennial who knows your own mind but have a rather quiet nature, Shibas have exactly the same qualities. These small dogs are 13-17 inches tall as adults and weigh 15-24 pounds. They’re somewhat foxlike in appearance due to their alert expressions, smooth strides, and their colorings: white markings on a short-coated red, cream, or black and tan base. Temperamentally, Shibas are smart, alert, bold, confident, and attentive, although their independence makes them a little more difficult to train than more compliant breeds. Despite their naturally quiet nature, Shiba are very active and need daily exercise such as a couple of long walks and a vigorous play session or two.
So there you have it. Seven dogs just made for Millennials. Most are small, as befits urban living, and all make great companion dogs. They’re confident and adaptable to change, just like you. But here’s the thing. They’re not only loyal almost to a fault, they’ll also dedicate themselves to bringing that huge dose of love into your life that you may have found difficult to come across up to now.
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