Saturday, August 14

Apartment dogs

Love this article, pug, chihuahua, boston terrier!
WooHoo! :-)

Great Dogs for Apartment Living

small dogs

So you want a furry companion, but your home isn't exactly a sprawling canine shambala, but more like a 400 square foot efficiency apartment. Hey, we can't all live on a farm now, can we?

Believe it or not, plenty of dogs are perfectly happy with a few potty breaks and brisk walk in the park. Certified professional dog trainer Jane Del Re of Spots2Stripes thinks there is a dog out there that will fit your lifestyle as long as you're willing to do the work. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you bring your pooch home:

1) Check into what your apartment complex restricts and excludes. "You wouldn't believe how often people forget to check," says Del Re. Your building may have size or weight limitations.

2) Speak with friends and professionals for recommendations of breeds that might be a good fit for your lifestyle. For example, if you want a dog that doesn't need a high level of exercise, Del Re recommends "dogs that were bred to be pets like pugs, Maltese, Boston terriers, pekingese or the Italian greyhound." Another important thing to consider is how much the breed tends to bark as that can make life miserable for you and your neighbors.

A Few Breeds to Consider

Pug: Many of the breed's avid fans stress the pug's laid-back and family-friendly qualities, including even a tolerance for cats and other pets. In fact, the American Kennel Club (AKC) nominates the breed as ideal for apartment-dwellers, stating "They are comfortable in small apartments because they need minimal exercise." Not only are pugs know for their sweet, calm dispositions, they're not generally prone to excessive barking -- a nice trait when you've got neighbors coming and going at all hours of the day.

: No list of apartment-friendly dogs would be complete without this classic toy breed. The secret behind the chihuahua's mystique seems to be the breed's tiny size mixed with its larger than life personality. On account of their diminutive stature, chihuahuas "require little exercise and are good city dogs," reports the AKC. It also describes the chihuahua's personality as "alert" and "terrier-like," and like terriers these pups can sometimes be a little on the yappy side. On the other hand, they are more than happy with a only few potty breaks throughout the day and maybe a short walk.

Maltese: Due to their small size, minimal exercise needs, and overall cuteness factor, the Maltese most certainly deserve a spot on the apartment friendly list. The AKC describes them as "gentle-mannered" while at the same time "lively, playful and fearless," making them a hugely popular choice as a companion dog. However, there is a significant grooming requirement -- the American Maltese Association recommends "A daily once-over with a pin brush or steel-tooth comb." According to the AKC, the breed's unique combination of playfulness and tenderness makes the Maltese a "great family dog."

Boston Terrier: Want a dog with some manners? Maybe you should consider a breed that has been nicknamed "the American Gentleman" due to its "dapper appearance, characteristically gentle disposition and suitability as companion and house pet," according to the AKC. True to their namesake location, Boston terriers make excellent city dogs because of their easy trainability, short coats, and modest exercise requirements. Also boosting their apartment/condo appeal, Bostons are known for their friendliness toward strangers and neighbors.

West Highland White Terrier: More commonly known by its handy nickname, the "Westie" makes for a spunky, intelligent companion that's well-suited for apartment living. The AKC describes the Westie's personality as "devoted" and "happy," stressing that they often excel in AKC obedience competitions. Thanks to their small size, this highly trainable breed doesn't need a sprawling backyard and even "makes a wonderful travel companion," according to the AKC. To top it all off Westies shed very little, making them a very tidy and considerate roommate.

If small dogs just aren't your cup of tea, don't despair. Del Re is a firm believer that any dog can be an apartment dog, as long as the owner is committed to meet that dog's potty break and exercise requirements. "That's the real test," Del Re explains.


  1. Yep, pugs, chi's and bostons...pretty much the cream of the crop if you ask me ;)

  2. We have Bostons and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Would never be without!! (And I don't live in an apartment)