10 min read

The Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Life

You have more options than you think 😏

best apartment dogs

Adopting a dog is so exciting — but if you live in an apartment, you might be worried about finding the right pup.

After all, an apartment usually means close neighbors, a smaller indoor space and no yard.

So you’re probably wondering if there are certain breeds that make the best apartment dogs.

The Dodo spoke with Mikayla Park, director of adoptions and education at Wags & Walks in Los Angeles, who explained why a dog’s breed shouldn’t be your main focus.

Which breeds make the best apartment dogs?

It turns out that all breeds are the best dog breeds for apartment living!

“I try to avoid labeling dogs as one thing or another based on their breed,” Park told The Dodo. “You really can’t blanket-label a dog based solely on breed.”

Finding the best apartment dogs has less to do with focusing on a pup’s breed and more to do with her personality.

“I implore my adopters to trust and work with their adoptions counselor to find a dog that will be a suitable match for their home environment,” Park said. “I wouldn’t rob any of our dogs the opportunity for a wonderful home because their breed is generally better suited for a different type of home.”

Since personality is unique to each individual dog, it’s super important to ask a bunch of questions during the adoption process to make sure the pup you pick is right for you and your lifestyle.

That being said, there are some breeds that are more likely to have certain characteristics that might feel like a good fit for apartment life — like size and energy level — but that doesn’t mean those are the only breeds that would make the best apartment dogs (or even that every dog in that breed would be a good fit for an apartment).

“Of course there are breeds that tend to err on the higher-energy side who might be better suited for a yard,” Park explained. “You need to be committed to giving that dog what they need in order to be a happy, well-adjusted, confident pup. If you’ve got that, really there are very few dogs that I would absolutely label as unsuitable for apartment living.”

How to have a dog in an apartment

The key to making sure your pup is a happy apartment dog is to really be ready and willing to adapt to his needs in a way that works for that environment.

Here’s how you can do just that.

Make your apartment dog-friendly

This probably goes without saying, but make sure that your apartment actually allows dogs — and if it does, find out if they have any restrictions on what kind (for example, some apartments only allow dogs below a certain weight limit).

Once that’s out of the way, focus on making your apartment as dog-friendly as possible.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, it is not the dog that needs to be the perfect fit,” Park said. “We as adopters need to be committed to providing that dog [with] what he or she needs, regardless of how that impacts our own needs, routine [or] life.”

This means making room for a crate that’s big enough, a cozy bed and some food and water bowls.

If you’re also a plant parent, you should make sure they’re actually safe for your dog in case she finds a way to get into them.

Also consider upping your vacuum game, since you’ll probably end up finding dog hair all over the place (which is true no matter where you live).

Warn your neighbors about barking

You might be a little worried about your dog barking in your apartment, since you share walls with neighbors (and they aren’t always the thickest walls, either).

“The number-one issue I find with apartment adopters is the noise concern,” Park explained. “I look for adopters who understand that there will be an adjustment process, and that this process can affect their neighbors, too, and [who will] be proactive about the situation.”

You might think the solution is to find a quiet dog — and maybe that would be the best match for you in general — but even the quietest apartment dogs will bark from time to time.

And if you’re looking to adopt a puppy, crate training might result in some barking and whining.

Rather than try to keep your dog quiet, your best bet is to just give your neighbors a heads-up that things might get a little noisy.

“Bring a plate of cookies to your neighbor the day you bring home your new pup,” Park said. “Let them know you’ll be crate training your new addition and there might be some noise for the next few days, and to please bear with you.”

The same goes for bringing home any dog, whether you’re crate training or not. Your neighbors will probably appreciate the warning … and the cookies!

Get used to going outside … a lot

Since you can’t just let your dog out in a fenced-in yard, you’re going to have to go out with her whenever she needs to do her business.

Training your pup to use a potty bell is a good way to tell when she’s gotta go.

And since your dog won’t be able to get in her enrichment and exercise by running around a yard, you might have to take her on more walks.

But if you can’t give her enough outdoor time, you could consider investing in a dog treadmill if you have the space. Just make sure it’s a suitable option for your pup, and that you always keep and eye on her while she’s on it.

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