At the shelter, I help people find a dog that fits their lifestyle. I ask questions about their living situation such as: Do they live in a house or apartment? Do they have a yard? Do they want a dog they can run/hike/bike/cross country ski with? This gives me an idea of the type of dog that will fit their lifestyle. Even if you’re adopting a shelter dog, the main breed of the dog is usually identified. It might be a Pit Bull mix, a Chihuahua mix, a Golden Retriever mix. The majority breed characteristics can still be determined and should be considered when choosing a dog to adopt.
I lived in Manhattan apartments for a few years when I was younger (a LOT younger). New York City is a very dog friendly city, but finding the right dog to cohabitate with you in a veritable shoebox of a home isn’t always obvious. There are a couple of important things to consider when you and your dog are going to be apartment dwellers.
Here are some dog breeds that don’t have high energy requirements, shed very little or not at all, and tend not to bark much. If you live in an apartment and want to get a dog, these are good dog breeds to consider.
Japanese Chin: Recently we had a 7 year old Japanese Chin in the shelter, which is rare. We hardly ever see them at our shelter. A lady was considering him for adoption. When we told her that they are quiet dogs that bark very little, she gasped with excitement! She lived in an apartment and was very concerned about getting a dog that might bark too much. She adopted him on the spot! A great little companion dog, the Japanese Chin originated in ancient….. China! They are very quiet unless they’re alerting you, for example, to someone approaching the door. In addition, they are not high energy dogs, and therefore don’t require a lot of exercise. They do shed once a year, but not much.
|A beautiful little Japanese Chin|
Lhasa Apso: Lhasa Apso’s are an ancient breed that originated in Tibet. They were bred to be indoor dogs, although they were also bred to be little guard dogs alerting their masters to approaching intruders. They do not bark excessively and although their coat is somewhat dense, they don’t shed much. They don’t require a lot of exercise either. I had a friend years ago who had a delightful Lhasa Apso. They lived together quite happily in their small Manhattan apartment.
My girl Phoebe. We think she's a Lhasa Apso and Havanese mix.
Shih Tzu: Another ancient breed believed to have originated in China, this adorable friendly companion dog is perfect for apartment living. This small dog doesn’t shed, will bark mainly to alert their owners of an approaching stranger at the door, and doesn’t require a lot of exercise.
Greyhound: I know what you’re thinking, Greyhounds are racing dogs so they must be high energy and need tons of exercise. Not so! They can sprint really fast but they are actually very low key, low energy dogs. They’re also quiet and don’t bark much. Greyhounds are a wonderful dog to rescue as well. They can race for only a few years and often get abandoned by thoughtless owners after they can no longer race them. They do shed, but not very much.
English BullDog: There are several different varieties of the breed known as Bulldog; the English Bulldog, the smaller French Bulldog, and the larger American Bulldog. The English Bulldog is a medium sized dog with a mellow temperament. They are pretty low energy dogs that don’t require a lot of exercise and are considered to be good family dogs. They are moderate shedders but their short smooth coat is easy to care for. They are definitely not yappy dogs.
|English Bulldog Puppy. Source: WikiPedia|
Remember that every dog is an individual. Breed attributes are great guidelines for the behavior of a dog, but any dog can be a product of their environment. This list is not a finite list, there are certainly other dog breeds that also make great apartment roomies. The important thing is to be aware of the dog’s breed attributes so you have an idea of what type of behavior traits you can expect, especially energy level and tendency to bark or howl. Be sure to check the rules of your apartment building to see if there are any size or breed restrictions in the building. Check out my post on 8 questions to ask if you're adopting a new dog.
Whether it’s a puppy or adult, with any dog you bring into your home, basic potty training, obedience training, and socialization are critical. Put in the time for training and socialization as soon as you bring your new dog home to get started on the right paw!
We Want to Hear From You! Have you had an apartment dog experience you can share? When you’ve brought a new canine BFF (Best FurFriend Forever) into your life, what was it about that dog that made you decide to add him or her to your family? Tell us by leaving a comment.
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