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Size Doesn’t Matter

Living in an apartment doesn’t have to mean you can’t be a dog owner. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s the size of a dog that’s the decider – temperament is more important, so choose a dog that is a quiet and low-energy breed.

‘Dogs are among the most adaptable of species, and that’s likely one of the reasons why they’ve been our coworkers and companions for so many generations. Big or small, dogs have shown an astonishing ability to be happy in every kind of human environment, from massive ranches to tiny urban apartments,’ says popular US veterinarian Dr Marty Becker.

It’s logical to think a Chihuahua would be a good choice because it’s the smallest breed of dog, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Chihuahuas are energetic, tend to bark at even the slightest sound and often have a nervous disposition; just the opposite of what is required when living in a small space and in close proximity to your neighbours.

On the other hand, some large dogs, while it may seem an odd fit for an apartment, are well-suited to small living spaces as long as an adequate amount of exercise is provided. Greyhounds, for example, are quiet, even-tempered and prefer to lie around than exercise – what could be more perfect for a working person who lives in a small apartment or house?

‘Some large dogs, typically herding and sporting breeds, were developed to work constantly, and it’s more difficult to keep them happy in a small apartment,’ says Becker.’Not so the large breeds of the guarding and sighthound categories, such as your neighbor’s Mastiff and the Greyhound. These breeds were developed to work in short bursts and relax the rest of the time.’

However, if it’s not the lack of space that’s your excuse for not having a dog, but rather your busy lifestyle and lack of time, best to buy a cat or hire a dog walker!

‘Almost any dog, regardless of size, can be happy anywhere if the owner is willing to satisfy the animal’s need for exercise. That means a minimum of half an hour of aerobic exercise each day, the kind of gets-the-heart-pumping activity that comes with running or a game of fetch. That’s obviously easier to accomplish if you have a small dog or a big yard, but with a determined owner, even a big dog living in the big city can get enough daily exercise,’ says Becker.

So you see, size really doesn’t seem to matter. Or at least it doesn’t when it comes to dogs.

If you live in a small apartment but would love to own a dog, take a look at these recommended breeds and see if any take your fancy.

Recommended Dog Breeds for Small Spaces

1. Maltese

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

3. Labradoodle (Labrador crossed with a miniature poodle)

4. Bichon Frise

5. Dachshund

6. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier
7. Greyhound


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