Are you trying to find out what dog breeds are best to have if you live in an apartment? Most people will tell you that smaller dogs are better for smaller spaces. However, I’m a 10 year old yellow Lab who lives with a very annoying 2 year old Lab in a small townhouse with a very, very small yard. If we can happily live here, you can have just about any kind of dog you want to in a smaller space.
If you read 10 different articles about which breed of dog to pick, you will likely get 10 different answers. The reason for this is that people think of “apartment dogs” in different terms. Here are some of the more common “translations”:
- A small dog
- Low maintenance dogs
- Dogs who don’t bark
Everyone has an opinion, but their opinions aren’t necessarily the best answer for you.
The good news is that you really can have just about any kind of dog in an apartment. The issue is the owner not the apartment.
There are two things to consider when choosing what kind of dog to get in an apartment.
- How much effort are you willing to expend?
- What is your lifestyle?
There are a couple realities to consider. You live in an apartment. This means you are very close to your neighbors. It will be important that the dog is trained in basic obedience so they don’t really annoy all the neighbors.
If you’re willing to spend the time and energy training a dog who can be stubborn, go for it. If you’re not, make sure you focus on breeds that are easily trainable.
For example, if you’re not willing to work on a potential problem with nuisance barking, stay away from breeds that typically have this problem.
Remember, if dogs in apartments get too annoying, the neighbors might complain. If this happens enough, your apartment or townhouse complex could change the rules and make it illegal to even have dogs. That would be bad.
Once you’re set on how to handle training and dog poop, it’s time to look at your lifestyle. It is much more important to find a breed of dog that fits your lifestyle than it is to find a dog that fits your apartment.
How much exercise do you get?
More importantly, how much exercise are you willing to help your dog get?
If you’re willing to take a dog on long walks twice a day, your options are nearly unlimited. If you only want one walk per day, you should stay with a dog who can happily live with that. If you don’t have to want to go for walks, you should only get a dog who doesn’t want/need any exercise at all.
Keep in mind that there are many ways to get exercise for dogs. Check the link for some ideas.
Us Labs are very energetic. We like lots and lots of exercise. In our house, we get to go on long walks everyday. We also get to go outside and play fetch during the day (attached to long ropes, because we don’t have a fenced in yard). We also get to wrestle and play inside during the day too.
If high energy dogs like us didn’t get to exercise as much as we do, I suspect we would be in trouble… a lot.
When looking for great apartment dogs, don’t limit yourself to anyone’s list of the best dogs for apartments. Decide how much effort you are willing to put into it. Then consider your lifestyle and activity level. Then find a dog that fits your lifestyle, not one that fits your apartment.
Your decision should be based on the dog’s typical energy level and maintenance requirements, not their size.