While it may seem backward, some say that not all small dogs are the best dogs for apartment living. While adequate space is one thing to look for, it’s not everything. Some large breeds happen to be low activity dogs. Some tiny dogs will make you wish your apartment was ten times its’ size. But don’t fret, we have the info you need. Here are the best dogs for apartment living.
What Are The Key Things To Look For In Apartment Dwelling Dogs?
Keep in mind that whether or not a dog is high or low energy, they have to enjoy indoor activity. Also, there are some additional things to keep in mind for dogs living in apartments. Namely, neighbors. It’s good to make sure that whatever dog you select, that s/he isn’t a barker. Being vocal is okay, but barking uncontrollably will have your neighbors, and likely yourself, rather grumbly. Also, make sure that your dog is polite versus growly, and doesn’t mind meeting strangers. Or is fine with ignoring strangers. Additionally, make sure that your dog is comfortable in elevators, stairs, and public gathering spaces.
What Are The Best Dogs For Apartment Living?
Well, first things first. We don’t want to typecast. Any size dog can live in an apartment. You just need to ensure adequate exercise for the needs of the dog. But generally speaking (and we do mean generally), there are some dogs who have, through selective breeding, been found to be your ideal apartment roomie. You might be surprised to find there are a large number of critters that made our list of the best dogs for apartment living!
These little dogs are a hoot! Self-assured, the Affenpinscher was originally bred to take care of rats in homes and on farms. Today it is one of the best dogs for apartment living. This breed of dog is great for the first time pet parent, is very intelligent and doesn’t mind the heat or the cold. Also, the Affenpinscher makes a perfect companion dog and is loyal to his/her humans. Training can be a bit of work, but with a strong prey drive, these dogs do fine. Keep this dog well exercised. What to know: Affenpinscher dogs prefer to have their human work from home as they don’t like being alone for long periods of time. Also, they tend to prefer adults over children.
Considered one of the oldest dog breeds, the Afghan Hound has an exotic appearance that gives way to a comical personality. This breed of dog loves children, as well as other dogs, and is fantastic in small spaces. The Afghan Hound is a very intelligent breed, so mental stimulation is a must. And, even with their long coats, this breed does well in hot or cold weather. A long daily walk is required. What to know: The Afghan Hound can be a bit of a stinker to train. Also, this breed may not take well to strangers. In addition, be prepared for the grooming requirement to maintain this breed’s luxurious coat.
This barkless dog comes from Africa and was bred to flush out small game. Basenji dogs do make noise, however, including yodeling. If your neighbors don’t appreciate this type of singing, perhaps a Basenji is not one of the best dogs for apartment living. This breed of dog is very clever and is probably one of the most friendly, liking other dogs, people, children, and strangers. Mid-level exercise will keep a Basenji in tip-top shape. What to know: Basenji dogs dislike cold weather. Also, they can be a bit mouthy as well as have a desire to wander.
Super cheerful is how to describe this breed of dog. A perfect companion that loves family, friends, dogs, and children, and is an all-around endearing dog. The sensitive Bichon is an excellent choice for a novice pet owner. This breed of dog prefers mild weather and will require regular grooming. A good daily walk will suffice a Bichon, just ensure a good amount of exposure to people and critters. Also, this type of dog is relatively easy to train. For me personally, a Bichon is one of the best dogs for apartment living due to their ability to adapt with joy. What to know: too much food and a Bichon will gain weight rather fast.
Originally bred as a guard dog, the Boxer breed finds itself one of the top companion animals. This breed of dog prefers very mild and consistent weather and tends to be friendly with all people and some other dogs. Surprisingly, the Boxer breed sheds, so expect to clean up quite a bit. Also, a Boxer does well with daily vigorous walks and playtime. This breed tends not to be too barky and enjoys training sessions. What to know: a Boxer requires a lot of exercise in order to remain calm. In a word: shedding!
This little dog was originally bred to hunt rats. An unusual breed of dog, the Belgian may be small but they are big on personality. A very affectionate and playful breed, the Brussels Griffon has a fun sense of joy and is a bit on the pompous side. A very sensitive breed of dog, the Brussels likes to have his/her human at home. This type of dog does well with family members, including children, as well as other dogs. However, they tend to be wary of strangers. A daily walk and your Brussels is good to go. What to know: a Brussels Griffon can be a bit barky if left to his/her own devices.
It’s hard to believe that the Bulldog of today was originally bred to be one tough dog… But, it was! The Bulldog breed is a lover of people and children and is very loyal to his/her family. The average Bulldog is fine with being left alone and isn’t too barky. They also prefer a constant mid-range temperature for comfort. Bullies tend to do fine with a daily walk, however, they can gain weight if left to their own devices. Training can be a bit of a challenge, as these dogs are more of a companion dog who would rather be with their human than work for them. What to know: if a Bulldog gets a hold of things to eat that s/he shouldn’t (socks, rocks, etc.,), they do not come out the other end easily. Surgery may be required.
A small dog with a big, silly personality, the Cockapoo is completely devoted to people. This breed is highly intelligent which makes him/her easy to train. Also, grooming tends to be a breeze with a Cockapoo. And they are lovers, as this breed will follow you around everywhere. A daily brisk walk will keep your Cockapoo happy. They can even tolerate a moderate amount of alone time as long as it’s coupled with a lot of one-on-one play time. Truly one of the best dogs for apartment living. What to know: health issues need to be assessed prior to having a Cockapoo join your family.
A royal dog originally from Cuba, the Havanese has silky long hair and also goes by the name “velcro dog” for its desire to be close to its human. Havanese are very loyal, super friendly to all, and can be easily trained thanks to its prey drive. However, this playful breed of dog, while able to perform agility, is just as fine taking strolls through city parks. Truly a gorgeous dog, I have had a number of neighbors who have found the Havanese one of the best dogs for apartment living. What to know: hair. Grooming will take time with a Havanese.
A Tibetan watchdog that alerted the monks of monasteries, this solid little dog is absolutely one of the best dogs for apartment living! Because of their breeding, most Lhasas are perfectly fine being alone, and they do not generally bark. They inform their human of visitors by indicating versus a lot of noise making. Lhasas tend to be drawn to their humans, however, they do well with other people and dogs for a while. They prefer to watch from a distance though. What to know: same as the Havanese, grooming will be something to consider.
Old English Sheepdog
These fluffy, rather large dogs were originally bred to help drive livestock. A very sturdy breed of dog, the Sheepdog is an intelligent, adaptable, and obedient pooch who loves the luxury of an indoor home lifestyle. While smart, the Sheepdog would rather play a bit versus train. Building on their original work, it’s best to walk these dogs, somewhat slowly, until tired every day. Then they will be just fine. What to know: while not easy to groom, they don’t shed a lot… But they can be drooly.
Every Pekingese you see today was bred from the long line that charmed Chinese royalty. When considering what are the best dogs for apartment living, this breed stands out. They are loving, loyal, funny, and have a great temperament. However, with their little smooshed face (brachycephalic), they prefer a cool climate and tend not to tolerate the heat. While this little dog doesn’t require a lot of exercise, it can be rather easily trained. What to know: this breed tends to love its family and not much else. Also, daily grooming is required.
When considering a dog companion for your apartment life, a Poodle should definitely make the list. Poodles are rather regal looking, but underneath all that poof you’ll find a loyal family member who loves just about anyone and anything. While Poodles tend not to have a prey drive, they aim to please – this is what makes them easy to train. They learn tricks fast and like to be the center of attention. Grooming is easy with the exception of the occasional ‘Poodle’ cut. What to know: Poodles love people and other dogs so much that they don’t like to be left alone.
One of the best dogs for apartment living, the Shih Tzu, originally called ‘Lion Dog,’ is all about hanging out with the family. This breed is very happy, outgoing, playful, and loyal. So loyal, in fact, that a Shih Tzu will follow his human around everywhere. A Shih Tzu is very adaptable and does well when left alone. They tend to be quiet barkers, and like to sit perched on a sofa or chair and look out the window. This type of dog likes just about anyone, human or dog, with the exception of small children who may grab at him. Relatively easy to train, but they can be opinionated about what they will and won’t do. What to know: Shih Tzus have double coats and require regular grooming.Just read about some awesome dogs that make excellent apartment dwelling companions! Check it out! Click To Tweet
What Complicates Apartment Living With A Dog?
If you live in an apartment or condo, there are a few things to consider before diving into getting a dog. Due to the nature of living in shared spaces, and high-rise buildings there are things to consider. If you adopt or your dog develops bladder control issues (kidney disease), you’ll want to find the easiest and fastest way in and out of your building. Also, consider using a doggy diaper. Same can be said for if you get a puppy – potty training can be a bit of a challenge.
When your dog gets sick diarrhea can happen. As well as vomiting. Be prepared. Have clean wipes, bags, etc., and lots of clean towels and a disinfectant cleaner. I have friends who actually have a baby diaper genie just for their dog! The other thing to plan for is when you get sick. It’s inevitable. So, consider having a dog walker or friend on call for those times when you can’t make your daily walks – your dog should still be able to.
Lastly, visitors are a consideration. While some dogs do well with strangers in their space, others can get a little nervous. Regardless, all dogs should have a space that s/he can go to that is quiet and out of the way. Like a kennel or a dog bed under a chair. This will allow your dog to take a break when needed, and then come out and join in the fun as comfort settles in.
Is There Any One Dog Better For Apartment Living Better Than All The Rest?
Yes, there is. Yours! No matter what breed of dog you have, your dog will always be the best dog for your apartment. The bond that you create with a dog simply makes everything better. So, there really isn’t a bad dog for an apartment – it just takes time for you to train your pooch and settle into a routine that works for both of you!