For many families, life just doesn’t seem like living if they don’t have a dog. Unfortunately, city dwellers and the rising cost of housing in metropolitan areas means a lot of families simply cannot afford their own home, and certainly not one with a large fenced yard. Many resign themselves to the fact that until they become more financially stable and can afford a home of their own that a dog is out of the question. Yet, this doesn’t have to be the case. Though many breeds do require access to a yard for daily exercise and can become destructive if confined to a small space, there are many other breeds who are well-suited to apartment living. If you find yourself living in an apartment, there is no need to despair that you are doomed to a dog-less lifestyle! The right dog to fit your life and your apartment is out there waiting for you. It just might take a little bit of ingenuity and research to find him.
Some Things to Consider
Though many people are drawn to a certain “look” of a breed, buying a dog without thoroughly researching his breed standard and his breeder can be a recipe for disaster. Many breeds may appear to low maintenance, but in the cold light of day turn out to be a full-time job for their owners. Here are some factors to consider in a dog that will adjust well to apartment living:
Low exercise requirements
High energy breeds who require frequent activity may have a difficult time adjusting to apartment life. This is not a license for your dog to become a couch potato; he will still need regular exercise. But unlike a dog like a Border Collie or a Jack Russell Terrier who may singlehandedly dismantle your apartment while you are at work, the breed you choose should be better suited to a more relaxed pace of life and not immediately demand a walk the minute you walk through the door.
Not easily bored
In the absence of something better to do, dogs will create their own fun, and inevitably, we never like what they get up to. Though all breeds require daily physical and mental stimulation, disaster ensues if highly intelligent breeds don’t receive it. This could come in the form of air conditioning in every pair of shoes you own or the de-stuffing of your favorite $500 comforter. Providing a toy box filled with varied and interesting toys and things to chew will go a long way to keeping an apartment-dwelling dog happy; however, you will still need to stay away from breeds who tire of things easily and go on the hunt for something else to keep their brain and their jaws productively engaged.
Not prone to destruction
Some breeds have an appetite for destruction. Typically, high drive breeds who lack sufficient daily exercise and mental stimulation can become neurotic, and that neurosis plays out in things like self-mutilation or the destruction of your property. This is particularly troublesome if you rent the dwelling you currently reside in as paying damages for destroyed flooring, appliances, or walls can potentially cost you a lot of money. With this in mind, it is best to choose a breed that is satisfied with napping most of the day away until he greets you at the door with your slippers.
Not likely to cause noise disturbances
Let’s face it; some breeds like the sound of their own voice! Unless eviction was in your plans, the breed you choose to dwell with you in your apartment must be one that is not given to frequent “alert barking” at every single little noise he hears. Your neighbors will thank you for choosing such a sensible dog to join your family.
We hate to say it, but when it comes to dogs and apartments, size DOES matter. Simply put, you need a dog that fits in the space you’ve got. Larger dogs come with larger dog beds and dog crates, taking up prime real estate in your apartment. Selecting a dog of more moderate size is typically the best way to go.
The Best Dog Choices for Apartment Dwellers
There are many breeds who are well-suited to life in an apartment, and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and personalities, with something to suit the preference of every wannabe dog owner. Here is a list of some of the most popular dogs who are the perfect complement to apartment living:
Beagles are a breed known for their loyal, fun-loving ways, making them ideal companions for families with children. Small in size and gentle in nature and with moderate exercise needs, they are well-suited to life in an apartment. However, care must be taken to teach a Beagle young to not be vocal indoors as their bay is very distinctive and cannot be ignored.
Many families find it hard to resist this beloved breed. Small of stature but big on personality, the Yorkshire Terrier thrives in a small environment and is most content gazing adoringly into your eyes from the resting place known as your lap. An intelligent breed, the Yorkie requires only a short daily walk and is contented to nap the day away so long as a few toys are left out for his enjoyment when the mood strikes.
Whippets are typically a quiet breed that thrive in the company of their owners as well as on their own. They are affectionate pets; however, they do require frequent daily walking to expend their excess energy.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers have high grooming requirements but are generally a very easy breed to live with. Soft in nature, they do prefer the company of their families but can cope with being alone. Their activity needs are moderate. Wheaten Terriers are not known to be barkers.
The Shiba Inu is known for his lively personality. A more moderately-sized version of the Akita, the Shiba Inu is of Japanese origin. Satisfied with a daily walk and quite happy to spend time alone, the Shiba Inu is a loyal family pet well-suited to apartment life.
Pomeranians are pint-sized dogs with lots of personality. Though they do not relish time spent alone, they will tolerate it and are not a breed that is prone to destruction. Pomeranians require little daily exercise, but mental and physical stimulation is still important for the breed’s well-being.
One of the world’s oldest dog breeds, the Pharaoh Hound is a loyal companion who is well-known for his friendly nature. A breed that is best-suited to family living, a small apartment proves no issue for this adaptable breed.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Though many Retrievers are too exuberant to excel at apartment life, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is smaller in size and with marginally less over the top energy to expend daily. This breed does require moderate daily exercise but is also known to be friendly, affectionate, and quiet.
The Cocker Spaniel is a versatile companion and is equally at home out in the field as well as on the couch next to his favorite person. A dog that is both gentle and affectionate in nature, the Cocker has a moderate activity level and is easily occupied by toys and bones when his owners must be away.
Dogue de Bordeaux
The largest breed on the list, the Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is a dog that isn’t ruffled by much. This breed has a lower energy level than you might expect and is not typically sensitive to noise.
If you’re ready to take the plunge into dog ownership, don’t let the fact that you live in an apartment stand in the way! There are many breeds who can thrive while dwelling in an apartment with their families. Consider one of these great breeds today!