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The Best Dogs for Apartment Living

By Colleen Williams
April 10, 2017 • 2 min. read
best dogs for apartments

Small spaces, landlords, rules, and neighbors—apartment living can get a little ruff, er, rough. Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of breeds and mutts that will work quite well for your living space, no matter their size (check with your management on any breed restrictions, however). Here are the most important things to consider when selecting a furry friend to share your apartment.

Personality of your dog

The most important factor in parenting an apartment pup comes down to each individual personality and energy level. You will want a calmer, cooler head to prevail; your pup will need to be patient and a little more low-key. This is important not only for your sanity, but for your dog’s personal happiness – a dog who wants to herd sheep all day does not necessarily want to stay in a crate while you’re at work. However, if you find yourself in love with a mutt with boundless energy, don’t lose hope: dog walkers and doggy daycare establishments have been great assets to those who condo-dwell.

Breeds for apartment living

Some purebred dogs that agree with apartment living are:

  • Bulldogs (American, English, and French)
  • Greyhounds (and their smaller counterpart, the Italian greyhound and the whippet)
  • Shiba inu
  • Terriers (for their size, mainly, however terriers have incredible reserves of energy for barking and digging, so be warned!)
  • Chihuahuas and Chinese cresteds
  • Maltese, havenese, and pekingese
  • Pugs
  • Some spaniels such as the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Welsh springer spaniel and cocker spaniel
  • Pomeranian

While some breeds are better suited to apartment living, many purebreed or mixed breed dogs can have the disposition and personality that fits well in small-space living sans backyard. There are many larger breed dogs who love to relax – their only limitation in an apartment might be stretching space, which just means you will have to get creative with your interior decorating.

Apartment living hacks for dogs

Any pup can live with a family who loves ’em, you just have to put in extra TLC if there are challenges. While a dog in an apartment can grow bored and destroy furniture or amenities (hey, you paid a deposit for a reason), pet parents with homes and backyards run into the same problems. It boils down to satisfying your dog’s exercise and mental stimulation needs. Here are some simple ways to commit to a happy, tired dog:

  • Find a Dog Walker:

Ask your leasing office or check for dog walkers in your area. Book a walker for every day you’re gone for a full 8 hours.

  • Book a Puppy Play Date:

BarkHappy and Meet My Dog are two social apps to meet and greet other dogs. Most dogs need socialization with their canine-kind, so you’ll be helping them to grow as dogs and tiring them out!

  • Get Some Mental Activity Toys:

Get the puzzle games, the Kong, and the PetCube and you’ll end up with a dog exhausted and snoozing in the sunlight. Another fun game to play that flexes their brains: a treat scavenger hunt. Hide small treats around the house and your pooch will sniff out the snacks.

  • Hit the Trail:

Commit to long weekend walks and hikes if your dog has energy to burn, go by the dog park, and develop an exercise plan that includes your pup.

Try to include your dog as much as you can on your days off – he is your furry family member! – and it won’t even matter that you live in close quarters. It’s better for snuggling!

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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