What Dog Breeds Are Best for Apartment Living? Size Shouldn’t Matter!


I ran across an article the other day designed to help people living in an apartment narrow the selection of dog breeds to the perfect pooch.

I’ve owned a variety of dog breeds over the years and the majority of them shared an apartment with me.

Some were smaller dogs like Cocker Spaniels. My current “roommate” is a Rough Collie. He’s just under 90 pounds. Because of his size, some would automatically rule him out as an “apartment-appropriate” dog.

I would beg to differ.

About a decade ago, when I’d lost my dog Zoey to cancer, I decided I wanted to adopt a Golden Retriever. I’ve always liked Goldens. I’ve always heard good things about them (except for the fact they seem to be susceptible to cancer.)

I contacted a Golden Retriever adoption group in my area. They seemed to give me the runaround from the start. After I mentioned living in an apartment, I got a message saying that these dogs need more space. They wouldn’t be content with an “occasional walk.”

I never said the dog would only get an “occasional walk.”

But when they heard apartment, they rushed to judgment.

I felt anger at first. I also felt sorry for the dog who missed having me as its “parent.”

At the same time, looking back, I’m glad they made that assumption. Since then, I went back to the first breed of dog I grew up with: the Rough Collie. You may know it as the Lassie dog.

Size shouldn’t matter.

At last check, my Collie weighed in at 86 pounds. People think of Collies as these active dogs. The breed was originally developed to herd sheep. So running around and chasing other animals was their primary task.

My dog, however, is perfectly content stretched out on my couch or across my bed. He lives his best life without worries.

He’s almost 90 pounds, and he lives in an apartment, quite happily.

He asks to go out when it’s time to do his business. He doesn’t chew furniture or get into things he knows are off-limits. And he’s just about the happiest dog I’ve ever met.

(And when he does complete his “business” outside, he makes a beeline for the door so he can get back to his air conditioning.)

The article, in case you hadn’t guessed, listed small breeds as being best for apartment living. There were Chihuahuas, Cocker Spaniels, Malteses, Pugs, Bulldogs, and Yorkshire Terriers. No breed that weighs more than about 30 pounds appeared on the list.

But some apartments have more square footage than some small homes. And some apartment complexes have fenced in dog runs while some homes don’t have fenced in yards at all.

You should always check with your landlord (and read your lease) before deciding on a pet. Some apartments or other rental properties do specify weight limits or other restrictions on pets.

But the size of the pet shouldn’t automatically dictate whether it will be happy in an apartment.

Your pet will love you for you, not for the size of your abode.

I wish pet adoption organizations would realize that.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.