Cute Dogs That Thrive in Small Spaces
Which dogs are best for apartment living? What kinds of dogs do well in condos? If you live in an apartment or condo, you may think you have to give up your dream of having a dog. However, you’ll be happy to learn that many dogs can thrive in apartments and other small spaces.
If you live in an apartment and you want to get a dog, you must first make sure make sure your lease or homeowners association rules allow dogs to live on the property. Are there fees and can you afford those fees? Does the lease or HOA state restrictions like weight limits or breed exclusions?
You will also need to consider your lifestyle and the environment where you live. Are you ready to take on the added responsibility of a dog? Your dog will need access to “go potty” at least two to three times a day. Is there an area where you can walk your dog to do his business? Your dog will also need exercise. Is there a local park to take your dog to play? Is the neighborhood pedestrian-friendly? Are you willing to give your dog the exercise he needs?
Once you have decided that you’re ready to get a dog, it’s time to determine what type of dog is right for apartment living. There are several factors to consider:
Size is the first thing most people think about. Although many assume that only small dogs belong in apartments, the fact is that dogs of nearly any size can do well in a smaller space. In fact, some small dogs are poorly suited to apartment living for various reasons. However, it may be awkward to have a giant dog in a very small space. You’ll need to be able to fit an appropriately-sized dog bed and crate in the apartment. Your dog will need enough space to walk around the home without destroying things with his tail (and his girth in general).
Activity level is another factor. An extremely high-energy dog will be unhappy in a small apartment without a yard unless you are able to provide a lot of exercise and stimulation outside the apartment each day. These active dogs may resort to destruction if left alone without something to do all day. This doesn’t mean you can get a lower energy dog and you’re off the hook. All dogs need exercise. In addition, all dogs need training. And, of course, all dogs benefit from games and other interaction to maintain the bond you share.
Vocalization is a factor some people overlook. A dog that barks, howls, or whines excessively could get you in trouble with your neighbors, building management, and even the police. In an apartment complex where lots of people come and go, most dogs will instinctively bark. However, it’s important the dog gets used to the normal sounds of the complex and learns not to react. This can be accomplished with training and behavior management.
It’s best to avoid keeping a very vocal dog in an apartment. Dog breeds known to bark, whine, or howl excessively may not be a good choice for apartment dwellers. However, if you are willing to dedicate a lot of extra time to training and behavior modification, it may work. Of course, each dog is an individual and may not take on the typical traits of its breed.
In general, the following traits are ideal for apartment dogs:
Small to medium size
Low to moderate energy level
It’s important to understand that dog breed alone cannot guarantee whether or not a dog will thrive in an apartment. However, the breed can be a fairly good indicator of what to expect. In addition, mixed breed dogs can do quite well in apartments if they have the right qualities.
There are certain traits generally associated with some breeds that make them good for apartment life. The following list is certainly not complete. There are tons of dogs that can really thrive in apartments. However, these dog breeds are popular and especially suited to apartment living.
1. Bassett Hound
The medium-to-large Basset is typically an easygoing, low-key dog. Although most hounds are known to “bay,” or howl, most Bassets bay lass than the average hound (and usually only in response to another dog baying or a similar loud noise, like a siren.
The Basset is moderately energetic but tends to get less active with age. Most will enjoy a nice daily walk but don’t need a ton of exercise. Your Basset will probably prefer to loaf around the apartment with you, especially as he matures.