2 Dog Breeds That Handle Change Pretty Well (& One That Really Needs a Schedule)

Some dogs come from a long line of adaptable canines. They’re breeds who can go with the flow and handle change pretty well. Then there are the routine hounds—the dogs who definitely need schedules and consistency. These breeds are often high-energy working dogs with herding instincts. A hard day’s work feels good! Boredom often leads them to destruction. Separation anxiety is also not uncommon. Generally speaking, all dogs thrive with some structure to daily life. We chose two who can bend with change—and one that thrives with a schedule.

Establishing Schedules

Routines help build trust between you and your dog. So, the earlier you establish a schedule, the better. Consistent mealtimes, play times and bedtimes give pets a sense of security. It also reduces the chances that they’ll develop destructive behavior due to separation anxiety or boredom. House training and teaching commands should be incorporated into your dog’s schedule and training sessions in 15-minute increments typically work best.

Again, puppies should be introduced to schedules right away. Keep in mind, as tiny pups they require a lot more sleep and a lot less strenuous exercise than adult dogs.

Adjusting Schedules

Sometimes, after a traumatic event, readjusting your dog’s schedule is necessary. While the two breeds listed below are incredibly adaptable and handle change well, no dog is totally immune from trauma. Natural disasters, fights at the dog park or the arrival of a new family member would disrupt anyone’s balance. Dogs are no different!

In these instances, revisit training practices used in the past. Try to stick to your dog’s old schedule as best you can (this may include enlisting the help of people your dog knows well for walks or playtime). Go easy on your dog during this time; emotional stress can manifest in behavior issues.

20 Affectionate Dog Breeds Because Puppy Love Is Just the Best

Two Dog Breeds That Handle Change Pretty Well

dogs that handle change well french bulldog
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1. French Bulldog

Height: 11-13 inches

Weight: < 28 pounds

Temperament: Affectionate, even-tempered

Shedding Factor: Minimal

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Frenchies are ideal city pets. They don’t bark much at all and they can be homebodies or social butterflies, depending on the situation. They quickly learn commands and love to please their people. Affectionate and even-tempered, Frenchies adore their families and love to play, but are always ready to curl up for a nap. Grooming is a cinch (weekly brushing suffices) and food-based rewards work best during training sessions.

dogs breeds that handle change well havanese
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2. Havanese

Height: 8-12 inches

Weight: 9-11 pounds

Temperament: Smart, social

Shedding Factor: Hypoallergenic

Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

Havanese are compact balls of joy. They love meeting new people, are always up for playtime and gel with other pets, dogs and kids. While they train well (hello, brainiacs), they don’t constantly require mental stimulation. Havanese pups are as content running around performing tricks they’ve learned as they are lounging, depending on what the day calls for. Even more impressive? Their hypoallergenic coats can be trimmed short, groomed for length or corded. Honestly, the only folks who may not get along with a Havanese are those who wish to run sprints or marathons with their dogs; Havanese aren’t really cut out for extreme exercise like that.

One Breed That Really Needs a Schedule

dog breeds that handle change well australian shepherd
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Australian Shepherd

Height: 18-23 inches

Weight: 40-65 pounds

Temperament: Smart, Athletic

Shedding Factor: Seasonal

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The American Kennel Club calls Australian Shepherds “brainy, tireless and trainable.” These dogs, like Australian Cattle Dogs, have a lot of energy to expel and are always in need of a job to do. They are not recommended for anyone new to dogs, simply because they require a lot of time and dedication when it comes to training and keeping them busy. It doesn’t matter if you’re tuckered out, Aussies won’t give in until you play their game or do their bidding. Though they can get along well with kids, they don’t always enjoy other dogs.

Remember, every dog is an individual. What one Aussie does may differ dramatically from another Aussie, whether they have distinct experiences or not. Pay attention to your dog’s responses to routines and work with your vet to make sure you’re providing your pup with the right amount of structure.

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Freelance Writer

Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...