Some tenants believe that they can’t be doggy parents while living in apartments. Well, they are wrong! If you are living in an apartment, you can share it with a four legged friend. However, it is important to do some research and select the right breed of dog to be happily part of your urban lifestyle. In this article we will discuss some important things to consider before choosing a dog to share your apartment with, and the best breeds for apartment living.
Unfortunately, not all dogs are suitable for living in an apartment. Some dog breeds would hate to live in a smaller confined space or not have direct access to a garden. So, what qualities are important for a dog to have if you want to share your apartment with him? Let’s take a look at some important things to consider:
At first, you might think that only small dogs can live in apartments. Actually the size of the dog isn’t the most important factor when searching for the right breed of pooch to share your urban nest with. Some laid back medium and large breed dogs are often happier in apartments, than highly strung small breed dogs. However, the size of your apartment might influence your decision. If your apartment is very small, it makes sense to go with a smaller breed.
When choosing a new pooch to share your small space, take into consideration your new dog’s temperament, activity level and your lifestyle. Good qualities for an apartment dog would include a laid back, friendly nature, and polite when meeting other people in the building.
- Bark levels
Nobody wants to hear a dog barking all day and night. In apartment living you have to consider your neighbors too. Some dogs are naturally more vocal and more defensive or protective than others. Some breeds are very sensitive to noise, which makes them less suited to apartment living. You should search for a breed that isn’t as vocal or likely to bark constantly.
- Energy levels
Generally, dogs with lower exercise requirements are better suited to urban living and living in apartments. A dog with a high energy level is more likely to get bored and frustrated in a small space, and this could lead to destructive behavior such as chewing the sofa or scratching doors. Every dog needs some daily exercise to stay healthy, but the amount they require depends on their breed, age and health status. Have a think about where and when you can exercise your new dog. Is there a dog park near by? Or any green spaces where dogs are allowed to be walked on a leash?
- Rental properties
If you are renting your apartment you might want to check that dogs are allowed in your building. There may be some restrictions on the size and breed of dog allowed, or you may need to pay a security deposit.
- Pup vs. older dog
Puppies are very cute, and it can be difficult to resist those big puppy eyes. It can be an exciting time, knowing you are starting off on a whole new journey together. However, puppies are also a lot of work. They need much more time, patience and care than an older dog. Compared to mature dogs, puppies are much more likely to pee on the carpet, shred the newspaper and eat something they shouldn’t. Puppies need to learn everything from toilet training to lead walking, and how to properly socialise with other people and dogs. Adopting an older dog might be a good option if you aren’t prepared for the time and energy required during the puppy stage. An adopted older dog will learn to love you just as much as a puppy. You can talk to your veterinarian or local dog shelter staff for some advice on which type and age of dog would be best for you.
Now let’s take a look at the best dogs to consider when choosing a new four legged friend to share your apartment with. The good news is there are lots of dog breeds to choose from.
Top Dog Breeds for Apartment Living
- Bichon Frise
Bichons are small, fun, and friendly dogs. Their distinctive white fluffy coat doesn’t shed very much and is considered hypoallergenic, which is great news if you have allergies and are going to be sharing a small place with them. However, their coat does need some maintenance. Ideally they should be brushed at least three times a week, with a visit to the groomers for a bath and clip every 4-6 weeks too. This pooch is smart, and loves to learn new tricks and meet new people. Although generally a calm dog, then can have brief bursts of high activity and should have a daily walk and play sessions.
Pugs are small, sturdy dogs that have a loving nature. They are fun, curious and playful, but can easily laze on the sofa for the majority of the day, making them a great option for urban living. This breed really can’t tolerate hot weather, so they shouldn’t do exercise when its warm outside, and may be suited to an air conditioned apartment if its likely to get very hot. They are a friendly and social breed, that enjoys human interaction and will quickly make new friends in your apartment block.
- French Bulldog
Affectionately known as the “Frenchie”, the French Bulldog is one of the most popular choices of dog for city living. These dogs are friendly and adaptable, and will be happy with apartment living as they don’t require much outdoor exercise. A short walk or outdoor play session is usually sufficient for their needs. Thankfully their coat doesn’t shed much, and only requires a weekly brush to keep it smooth. Like all flat faced breeds (brachycephalic) they can struggle in hot weather. These dogs are total charmers, and enjoy meeting other dogs and people, and will quickly become best friends with the neighbors.
This tiny breed weighs no more than 6 pounds and stands no more than 8 inches high, so they are perfectly sized for a small apartment. However, don’t let the small size fool you, as they have a big dog attitude and can easily rule the household if not given some basic training. Although they are often branded as a “yappy” dog, some basic training can also help prevent this. They form a close bond with their owners and are charming, loyal and confident. They make ideal city dogs as they don’t require much outdoor exercise. A daily short, slow walk outside, a short run in a small space, or just trotting around indoors after their owners is enough. They also look forward to lots of comfortable cuddles on their owner’s lap, and often like to be carried around close to their owner.
The Greyhound may be a surprise, as you may only think of them as a high energy, racing dog. In fact, this noble breed is pretty chilled out, and love to have lots of time lounging on the sofa. However, they do require daily walks, and at least a few times a week they love to have a good sprint. They will run at high speed when they have something to chase, like a tennis ball, so require somewhere to safely stretch their legs like a large, enclosed dog park. If not well trained it is best to only let them off leash in an enclosed area. They can be pretty independent and can suddenly run off in the chase of something they think is prey. They are an affectionate and gentle breed that are great with their families, but usually shy around new people. Their nails grow fast, so may need trimmed regularly if they aren’t walked on hard surfaces to naturally wear them down.
- English Bulldog
These muscular dogs might look like tough cookies, but they are actually sweet, friendly and easy going. Although they would much rather spend their day relaxing on the couch, they should still have a daily walk or brisk play session to help keep them fit and healthy. They don’t tend to bark much, so thankfully they wont be annoying the neighbors in your apartment block. They have a calm, friendly nature but can also be very protective of their human family. On hot days, they need to be kept cool, and will be happy being in front of air conditioning, as they can easily overheat. They also don’t do well climbing lots of stairs, so this breed is not a good option if your apartment doesn’t have an elevator.
- Yorkshire Terrier
Known as the “Yorkie”, this elegant toy sized dog is full of terrier personality. Although they are sometimes known for being bossy and yappy, this can be improved with some basic training and early socialization. They always like to know what is going on, and their watchful eyes make them the perfect mini watchdog. This loyal companion can be a great option for apartment living, as they don’t shed much hair and don’t require much exercise. Their coat is similar to human hair and hypoallergenic, which is perfect if you have allergies. However, if their silky coat is left long and glamorous, it does require daily maintenance to keep it smooth and knot free.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This sweet, gentle dog is extremely friendly and eager to please. They want to be everyone’s best friend in return for cuddles. This pooch is a very adaptable breed, and can fit in well with older people, children, other dogs and urban apartment living. They are happy relaxing in their dog bed, on their owner’s lap or out walking with their owner. Their beautiful, silky coat doesn’t require much maintenance, just regular brushing to keep it free from tangles. Although they aren’t overly athletic, they descend from sporting spaniels and still enjoy a daily walk or moderate play session to help keep them fit and healthy.
This breed is more commonly known as the “sausage dog”, due to it’s long frame and little legs. They can be standard sized or miniature sized, and either can make a great option for apartment living as they like to be indoors with their human. This is a smart, alert and brave dog, that can make a good watchdog, but can also tend to be a barker when they want to get your attention. Due to their long backs, they aren’t made for leaping, hiking or long strenuous walks, although this tough little breed may be keen to try! Their long backs mean they are at higher risk of back injury, so they shouldn’t be encouraged to jump off furniture nor climb up and down stairs. They should have some regular daily exercise to stay in shape, and develop strong back muscles. This trendy breed is the perfect companion for chic city living.
- Shih Tzu
This affectionate, charming dog lives for it’s owner’s attention. It loves being a lapdog and is well suited to apartment living. However, there is also a playful, fun, mischievous side to this pooch. Although happy chilling out on it’s owner lap, this breed also loves to explore and have fun. They don’t require lots of exercise, but will enjoy a daily trot outside and some play time. This pooch is friendly and loves meeting new people too, so it will be well known in your building. Their lustrous long coat, requires daily brushing to keep it looking smooth and shiny. However, they look just as good with a short trimmed coat if you don’t have the time to keep it long.
If you are searching for a four legged friend to share your apartment, it is important to do some research and choose a dog that fits with your lifestyle, apartment size and urban location. From puppy to older dog, calm or bubbly, long haired or hypoallergenic, the possibilities are endless. Thankfully there are lot of great options when it comes to choosing a dog that is suitable for apartment living, so you are bound to find the perfect one that fits with your personality and lifestyle. Good luck with your search!