For years I tried to discourage my daughter from adopting a pup. She lives in New York City, and to me, NYC apartments are too small and everything there costs too much to add a dog to the mix. But there are large parks, many dog-friendly shops and restaurants, and she did need the comfort only a dog can bring. So she adopted a pup with my blessings (not that she really needed them). She found a person who was fostering a litter of what were supposed to be part-Chihuahua puppies who were all part of the Berry family – Blueberry, Cranberry, Raspberry, Strawberry, and Blackberry. Cranberry soon became her bestie and although there’s definitely no Chihuahua in him, he’s shaped up to be a perfect apartment dog.
So what makes a perfect dog for apartment living? If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, you may be wondering how a dog will fare in an apartment, and what kinds of dogs are best for apartment living? Important considerations! As an apartment dweller, your first step is to check with your property manager to make sure your lease allows dogs, and to determine if there are any restrictions on size or breed. Other factors, beside size, to consider when researching apartment-friendly dogs, include the breed’s personality, activity level, grooming needs, and how much noise the pup will make. I have a friend with a Basenji that never barks. Heaven! My little dog barks when leaves fall off trees or when a doorbell rings on TV. Not an ideal candidate for an apartment.
You can search for dogs by breed on websites such as Petfinder or Adopt-A-Pet, or click here for the top 10 best pet adoption websites. To further assist you, read on the learn the best large and small dog breeds for apartments, and how to be a good dog owner in a multi-family setting.
Great Dog Breeds for Apartment Living
According to the American Kennel Club, apartment residents have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a furry best friend. They say, “A partment dwellers have many dog breeds to choose from when selecting a pet. The size of your living space isn’t the only consideration because many large breed dogs have lower activity levels and are more than happy to lounge on the sofa. There are dog breeds that require high energy and plenty of space, so they may not be best suited for a smaller apartment. Some small dog breeds with high energy are satisfied with indoor playtime or a brisk walk. Just make sure to consider your neighbors when choosing a dog: You’ll want a pet that doesn’t bark incessantly and is polite when meeting other people, in the elevator, on the stairs or in the lobby.”
Click here for Highland Canine’s comprehensive list of the best breeds for apartments; below are a few of their top-rated.
Basenji:My friend’s Basenji is a delight. This low-shedding, short-haired dog breed was originally used for hunting, so they definitely like to chase, fetch and play. Basenjis are primarily known as a “bark-less” breed, as their larynx only allows them to “yodel.” Weighing around 25 pounds, they are slightly larger than other small dog breeds for apartments on this list, but they’ll do fine in a smaller space as long as they get some daily exercise.
Bichon Frise:My dog was supposed to be a purebred Maltese, but he’s most definitely part-Bichon. While he does like to bark, we’ve been able to control his barking with training. Bichon’s are part of the poodle family – fluffy but smaller. Like Basenjis, Bichon’s don’t shed, so they’re considered hypoallergenic. They don’t bark too much, and at 11 pounds, they’re among the top small dogs that are good for apartments. Bichons are playful, so they need regular exercise and walks. They’re also highly trainable, can learn tricks, love to cuddle, and are great with children.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:These sweet-faced dogs are small in size (13 to 18 pounds) so they don’t require a palace. King Charles Spaniels are smart, very trainable, and friendly with humans as well as other dogs. They love to be near their owners, so while King Charles Spaniels are perfect for apartment living, they don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time.
French Bulldog:Smaller than their standard Bulldog cousins, French Bulldogs are small in stature (usually around 11 to 12 inches tall) but have big, goofy personalities. They have short hair, so you won’t have to groom them much, and they rarely bark, making them an ideal small dogs for apartments. A daily walk or two should suffice for exercise.
Greyhound: These lanky dogs are much larger than the other breeds on this list (females can reach 75 pounds, while males can weigh more than 80 pounds) but they are gentle giants who love a good snuggle. Bred originally for racing, Greyhounds need regular exercise such as daily fetch sessions – but they are true couch potatoes at heart. They also don’t bark much, which will make your neighbors happy. Best of all, there are many organizations that find homes for retired racing Greyhounds, including Greyhound Welfare.
Apartment Dog Owner Etiquette
When living in an apartment community with a dog, a little etiquette – we call it petiquette – goes a long way. While you may love and adore your fluffy companion, that doesn’t mean your neighbor will. You can encourage positive neighborly relations by following a few simple tips. Click here for our Perfect Pettiquette post.
- Always pick up after your dog. It’s easy if you have the right bags and a bag dispenser.
- Always keep your pup on a good leash unless at a dog park.
- Be cautiously sociable and let other people know if your dog doesn’t like attention.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of outdoor exercise.
- Train your dog, especially if Fido exhibits extreme barking, separation anxiety, or aggression. You may lose your permission to have a dog if neighbors complain about excessive noise or aggressive tendencies.
Dogs Welcome Here
Getting a dog is a big step, whether it will be your first dog or you’re a seasoned dog parent, and especially if you live in an apartment community. Financial and emotional responsibility are key when opening your home and heart to a pet. You also have to be willing to put in the time and effort to train your dog to live in an apartment. And know that life will be different when you have a you waiting for you at home. There will be sacrifices to your time – like going home after work to walk Spot instead of having a beer after work with co-workers.
Almost all Fath Properties communities are pet-friendly and a few even have dog parks. Start your search for a community that will welcome your furry friend here!