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Best Dogs for Apartment Living

Posted by: Donje Putnam
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While cats are pretty apartment friendly-- they poop in a box, don’t bark at neighbors, and don’t need taken for exercise-- dogs are different.  

Our community accepts cats and dogs up to 60 lbs, but some dogs adjust better to apartments than others. Did you know that there are more variations in dog breeds than any other species on earth?  Because they have been domesticated for so long, humans have bred them to do what we want, and some of them almost seem like they are bred for apartment living.

Quiet Dogs

Nothing spurs the neighbors to make calls to the office like a barking dog.  But did you know that some dogs are less likely to bark than others?  Here are some of the quietest breeds that are still small enough to be content in your apartment. 

  1. Whippet- When I first saw a Whippet, I thought it was a mini-Gray Hound.  These are very athletic sight hounds that will terrorize cats and squirrels.  Keep them on the leash and add them to the lease and they will be quiet and cozy companions who just need intense bursts of exercise that they can get at our dog park.

  2. King Charles Cavalier Spaniel- Friendly and intelligent, these are very cute apartment sized dogs who love to keep you company and don’t bark much.  These also make the “Chill Dogs” list.

  3. Shar-Pei- This wrinkly companion is smart and devoted, but very stubborn.  He usually only barks when nervous or playing.  Training is key for these guys.


Chill Dogs

These dogs will love living on the couch with you and their lazy ways makes having no yard no problem!

  1. Bichon Frise-Playful, sunny and in love with people, the Bichon is a great entertainer.  Short walks and a little game are all it takes to wear him out.  Then it’s cuddle time.

  2. French Bull Dog- Perky little ears that will twitch every time you talk to him, the French Bull Dog is content just to “be”.  Walk them daily for 15 minutes or if it’s raining, play a little ball.

  3. Pekingese- These little fur balls will actually let you carry them everywhere, but don’t let them, as they do need a little exercise.  Prancing through the house carrying a treasure will usually do it.  They love to sit with you and have you admire their silky coats.

  4. Shih-Tzu-These furballs will be all about YOU.  Your mood and personality are reflected in these tiny companions.  Take him on a walk to meet others, or he will tear around the house to get his own exercise.

Dogs to Avoid

While almost any dog can adapt to apartment living given enough exercise and attention, there are breeds that do not do well in apartments.  Most are working dogs, but here are a few you might have heard of or considered. 

  1. Airdale- The “King of Terriers” wants to dig, bark and chase, all things frowned upon in apartment living.  He needs a big job to do, and likes to pursue it wholeheartedly.

  2. Irish Settler- Fun loving and likeable, these dogs just need a yard and place to play.  They need at least an hour of exercise daily.

  3. Giant Schuauzer- Hard working with a huge personality, these dogs need to be kept busy.  Exercise, challenging activity, and purpose are important to the Schnauzer.

  4. Aggressive Breeds- Most apartments will not take dogs with reputations for being aggressive.  This usually includes Pit Bulls, Chows, Dobermans, Akitas and mixes that contain any of the above.  The apartment’s liability insurance usually require that we do not accept these breeds.

About the Author
Donje Putnam Gravatar
Donje Putnam

Donje Putnam has over 15 years experience in the multi-family housing industry and has worked at many different types of apartment communities, from tax credit to high end and from 88 units to 400.  Her favorite thing about being in "the industry" is that you learn a little bit about everything!  She lives in Newport News, VA with her husband, two kids, a very calm dog, a very hyper dog and a very aloof cat. 


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