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Contrary to popular belief, not all pint-sized dogs are a great fit for apartment living. For example, Beagles are scent hounds that were bred to track and flush prey in large packs, followed by loud vocalizing to alert hunters when prey, such as a raccoon, is “treed.” As a result, they tend to be more comfortable when they have other dogs to play with, have room to roam and get plenty of exercise, and tend to howl and cry (loudly) when left alone.
That doesn’t mean that a Beagle can’t make a fine apartment dog—individual dogs have their own personalities and some are more adaptable than others. It just means that as a breed, Beagles are not a first choice for apartment living, despite their good looks and small statures.
So what breeds do make excellent condo companions? Let’s take a look at three excellent options:
Best Dogs for Apartment Living
1. French Bulldog
Full of spunk and personality, the French Bulldog has been climbing in popularity and is now the fourth most popular breed in the United States, and first among the small breeds. They also happen to make excellent companions for apartment dwellers.
Due to their shortened muzzles, French Bulldogs are among the Brachycephalic dog breeds, which brings along some health concerns. They can sometimes suffer from breathing problems that can require surgery to fix. In addition, they are prone to overheating if allowed to overexert themselves, particularly in hot or humid weather.
Luckily, Frenchies don’t need a lot of exercise. A quick game of fetch indoors a few times a day will keep them active enough to maintain muscle tone. It is important to make sure you do not overfeed these little cuties since obesity will exacerbate any breathing problems they may have.
This breed is generally very sociable, playful, and is an excellent choice for households with children. They respond well to training with positive reinforcement-based methods.
2. Shih Tzu
Gentle yet playful and mischievous characterizes the personality of this beautiful small breed dog. The Shih Tzu was bred specifically for companionship for Chinese Emperors, with lavish prizes awarded to breeders that produced the most beautiful and affectionate stock.
Today the Shih Tzu is a favorite breed for the savvy metropolitan condo dweller that can afford the regular grooming required to keep this long, silky-haired dog in beautiful condition. Working on a budget? Plan on putting in the time for daily grooming and monthly haircuts.
Low exercise needs and high sociability more than make up for the high maintenance grooming requirements of the breed.
We wanted to include one of the best large breed dogs for apartment living since not everyone is excited about pocket pets. If your landlord allows larger breed dogs, then consider the noble Greyhound as a potential pet.
It is a common misconception that this breed, bred for racing, must be hyperactive. In truth, few breeds are as laid back as this slender and graceful sighthound. In fact, Greyhound enthusiasts have a nickname for them – “The 45 MPH Couch Potato.”
If you are interested in learning more about adopting a Greyhound or want to try fostering first to make sure it is a good breed for your lifestyle, do an internet search for Greyhound rescue groups in your state. Between 2-5 years old, most of these dogs are retired from their racing careers and are in need of a loving home to enjoy a well-earned retirement.
Where to Find the Best Dogs for Apartment Living
Before spending gobs of money with a breeder, consider looking for a dog to adopt for your next pet. Online search tools such as Petfinder give you the power to search for specific breeds available for adoption in your area.
Another option to look into is breed rescue organizations. Unfortunately, changes in life circumstances force many wonderful pets of all breeds into homelessness. Breed rescue groups keep an eye out in their local shelters and use volunteer foster programs to help such dogs get a second chance at a loving family.
Finally, mutts make great pets too. In many cases, it is pretty easy to tell the parent breeds of mixed dogs just by looking at them. Your next furry friend may be waiting for you to find her at your local animal shelter.