Category Archives: Apartment – Townhouse Living

You can have a dog if you live in an apartment, townhouse, etc. Learn what you need to so you can do it succesfully here.

The Best Dogs For Apartments

We just talked a lot about how you shouldn’t follow anyone else’s list of “best dogs in apartments”.

The breed of dog you get should be based on how much effort you’re willing to put forth, your level of activity, the typical energy level of the breed and how much maintenance you’re willing to handle.

These are some of the issues you will have to consider when having dogs in apartments.

Now… I’m going to break my own rules and give you some specific breeds if you’re looking for dogs for an apartment.  This is a compilation of several other lists.

These are the breeds that are typically thought of when someone talks about the stereotypical dogs you can have in apartments.

Bichon Frise – 15 – 20 pounds, needs regular grooming and daily walks.  Is faithful, obedient and happy go lucky.  Playful and gentle nature.  Quiet dog not prone to the yippyness of other toy breeds.

Boston Terrier – Small terrier, is a good watch dog, needs some activity but will then lounge around

Boxer – One of the largest breeds that do well in apartments.  Has short hair, pleasant temperament and requires a daily walk

Cairn Terrier – Does require some exercise but doesn’t need large living space.  A tough little dog who wants people around

Chihuahua – Faithful, protective, about 5 pounds and easy to train and care for.  They can have barking issues.  They require little exercise and only need weekly brushing.

Cocker Spaniel – needs basic exercise, spends days lounging on the couch

Dachshund – need occasional exercise

English Bulldog – they snore, like to investigate outside but don’t really need/want much exercise

French Bulldog – friendly and outgoing but can be stubborn

Greyhounds – rep as athletes, but really couch potatoes.  Daily walk is all that’s needed, doesn’t have to be long walk.

Italian greyhound – 10 pound version of greyhound.  Love to run but love to sleep too.  Affectionate, gentle, submissive

Lhasa Apso – Less than 15 pounds.  Small lap dog, requires regular grooming, expects to be pampered.

Maltese – Expects to be pampered, needs regular grooming.  Docile and great apartment companion.

Mastiff – Big dog, but low energy due to massive size. Calm and even tempered and they don’t bark just for fun.  A few 20 minutes walks/day.

Pomeranian – 5 pounds, thrives on companionship

Poodle – Miniature and toys make great apartment dogs.  They crave companionship, need daily walks.  Toy requires least exercise, others need daily walks.  Require lots of grooming

Pug – 10 – 25 pounds.  Doesn’t require special care.  Take for short walks and he’ll sleep the rest of the day.  Friendly,affectionate, laid back.  Require regular short walks, grooming/clean wrinkles

Schipperke – 10 – 18 pounds.  Active dog, daily exercise is a must.  Likes to be involved in all aspects of the family.  Have a lot of energy, good for active apartment dweller.

Schnauzer – Requires regular grooming and daily exercise.  Love human companionship.

Scottish Terrier – 15 – 20 pounds.  Needs daily exercise.  Touch and compact, loyal and protective family member

Welsh Corgi – 25 pounds.  Needs daily exercise but doesn’t need a lot of living space.

West Highland White Terrier (Westie) – Playful, lovable, requires some exercise and some grooming.  Good watch dog, faithful companion.

Whippet – Requires daily exercise.  Faithful family member, not a great watch dog.  Mid-sized greyhound look a like.

Yorkshire Terrier – Less than 10 pounds. Happy to spend the day on the couch, requires regular grooming.

What Kind Of Dogs Are Best For Apartments?

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?

Training

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.

You will also need to figure out how you’re going to handle the ugly reality of your dog’s poop.  Check here for some other issues you need to consider when having dogs in apartments.

Your Lifestyle

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.


Dogs and Apartments & Townhouses – Things to Think About BEFORE You Do It

There are several things you need to check on if you’re planning to get a dog or dogs and you live in a townhouse, apartment, etc.

Apartment dogs
Apartment Dogs
Obviously you should be allowed to have a dog no matter where you live, but…. I’m a 10 year old yellow Lab so I have to think that!
Before you bring the dog home you need to find out:
  • If you can have dogs
  • If there is a limit on the number
  • If there is a limit on the size
  • If there are rules on pet waste disposal

Can You Have Dogs?

I don’t understand why, but I hear that there are some places where you’re not allowed to have dogs.   Make sure you don’t live in one BEFORE you decide to get a dog and bring it home.

I would guess that rules like these come from people a long time ago who had dogs, but didn’t take care of them and/or forgot that they had 6 billion neighbors.   They likely let their dogs bark too much and didn’t pick up their dog’s poop.   Both of these things probably annoyed the neighbors which resulted in new rules that said dogs were no longer allowed in the complex.

The moral of the story is…. if you do live in a townhouse, apartment, etc where your neighbors are close and you ARE allowed to have pets, make sure you are a responsible pet owner.

Is There A Rule Against Having A 2nd Dog?

I’ve heard that there are dogs around who actually like to live with other dogs.   Well… I’m not one of them.   Check out The Real Story to see why but I can tell you the short story is that my life was great, then the boss brought home this new dog who bites my ankles all the time.   I’ve heard that things get better once they get out of the puppy phase, but we’re soooo not there yet.

Anyway, if you live in a place that has pet restrictions, make sure that having a two dogs isn’t one of them BEFORE you decide to take the plunge.

Is There A Size Limit?

Another thing you need to consider is whether there are rules about the size of the dog.

You will definitely need to know what you’re working with before you get the new dog.   Size can be a little tricky.    I was the runt of my litter and we thought I was mostly done growing when I came to live in the townhouse.

I’m a small for being a Labrador Retriever, because I only weigh about 50 pounds (depending on how much time I’ve spent at grandma’s house recently) but that is still about 10 pounds more than we thought I would weigh.

Luckily our weight limit is 50 pounds so it’s ok for me to live here.  I would be really, really crabby if I had to leave after I decided I liked it here just because I grew too much.

The other dog that lives with us now (Scout, because I get in trouble when I don’t use her name) came from the Animal Rescue League.   She was part of an “unwanted liter”.   They knew she was half-Lab, but didn’t know what the other half was except to know that because of her size it was obviously much smaller than a Lab.

She only weighed 9 pounds when she came home at 10 weeks old.   At 11 months she’s under the limit but has surprised everyone by growing to 45 pounds.

So while all dog breeds have average sizes, it’s good to remember that each dog is different.   We have two female Labs in our house but instead of the average size of 65 pounds we’re at 50 and 45.   We could have just as easily been 65 and 70.

Are There Rules About Pet Waste Disposal?

Dealing with your dog’s poop and getting enough exercise for dogs are the two biggest issues for dog owners who don’t have a huge back yard.   We’ve got a lot of information about both topics on the site to help you figure out the best ways to handle this.

It is critical that you have a plan for how you’re going to handle pet waste disposal BEFORE you bring the dog home.

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You really can successfully live with dogs in an apartment, a townhouse or a house without a yard, it just takes a little preparation and planning.   So… make sure you know the rules and regulations from the apartment/townhouse Association before you bring home a new dog.   Also make sure you’re willing to live with whatever rules they have.

Let us know what you think about having dogs in apartments, townhouses, etc.