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The Answer to Whether a Big Dog Can Live in an Apartment

A big dog brings a lot of love and a big responsibility. A big animal requires certain housing conditions because no one should have to live in a place that’s too small for their size.

5-Minute Crafts decided to find out whether a big dog can live in an apartment.

Health and safety

Before you get a dog of a certain breed, you need to assess your living space because the size of your apartment is a very important factor for living comfortably with a big pet.

The bigger the dog, the more space it needs. If a pet has a long tail, it will need enough space to wag it. This is a really important thing to keep in mind as having enough ’maneuver’ space will help avoid tail injuries and damage to household items.

The apartment should be safe for your 4-legged friend:

  • the space should be well lit
  • the dog should have its own comfortable place to rest
  • the balcony should be secured and well fenced to prevent the pet from falling off
  • don’t forget to buy safe and interesting toys to keep your dog occupied when you’re not at home
  • provide a sufficient number of walks (factor in duration too) for your dog
  • make sure to protect all wires and other things that the dog can chew on, as this can be dangerous for them


Any dog requires training. But in relation to large breeds, this is especially important. If you let your puppy jump and run around the apartment, while it is still small and has enough space for this, it will continue to do the same out of habit when it grows up, and this is unlikely to be convenient in a small apartment.

If there is not enough space in the apartment, consider getting an adult dog: it will be calmer since it will naturally have less energy than a puppy. Adult dogs are less likely to be adopted from shelters, so this choice of yours can save a pet’s life. With good care, it will become your loyal companion for many years, despite its age.

Physical activity is necessary for all dogs, not just big ones. If there is a park or other grassy area near your house where the pet can spend its energy, go there. And if there are no places nearby, you’ll have to walk your dog more often or hire a dog walker.

Large breeds that you can keep in an apartment

Below are examples of several large breeds that, due to their nature, feel quite comfortable living in an apartment.

  • Great Danes are dogs of impressive size, but they often like to lie on the couch with their owner. They are good guardians and at the same time easy-going, but still this breed must be taken seriously due to their big size and heavy weight. Great Danes are calm, elegant, and balanced, but they are still large pets that need a lot of space or a minimalistic interior were they can’t damage anything or get hurt.
  • Greyhound. Greyhounds need daily walks where they can run without a leash because they were bred for high-speed pursuit. Greyhounds are noble and independent animals, but at the same time, they are sweet-tempered companions.
  • The Irish Wolfhound has an impressive size and requires intense physical activity. Perhaps you’ll have to walk it 3+ times per day. But these dogs don’t tend to bark a lot. They are serene and agreeable companions and feel quite comfortable in an apartment.
  • The English Bulldog is a short dog, but it can be very heavy. These dogs are loyal and obedient, adapting well to both rural and urban areas. This is one of the best options for living in an apartment, because between a long walk and lounging, they are more likely to choose the latter. However, you shouldn’t neglect walking this dog despite its relaxed demeanor.
  • The Shar Pei has a calm temperament which is good for a dog living in an apartment. Although this is not a very big breed, it requires serious training from an early age in order to avoid behavioral problems, because the Shar Pei is a challenging breed. However, these dogs are very smart and loyal.
  • The Rhodesian Ridgeback needs regular exercise and training. It is believed to be a good family dog, but historically it was bred to track lions.
  • Mastiffs are real couch potatoes, even though it’s really hard to believe it when looking at this beautiful large dog. Mastiffs are obedient, strong, and good protectors. Of course, they also require walking and exercising, but still, they are quite calm animals that can live comfortably in an apartment. Nevertheless, you should not take them lightly, because the breed is very large.
  • Newfoundlands are lazy dogs that don’t tend to run around the apartments they live in. They are adapted to indoor life and are even considered excellent nannies for children. However, Newfoundlands love outdoor activities, and regular walks and physical activity are necessary to prevent obesity in these dogs.
  • The Saint Bernard is another example of a large and calm dog that can live in an apartment. These good-natured giants are good nannies for children. However, since they are prone to joint problems when they get older, it’s best if your apartment is on the ground floor, or if your building has an elevator.

Breeds that shouldn’t be kept in an apartment

Some large dog breeds are very bad choices for apartment life. Below are some breeds that will have a hard time living in an apartment and make it really hard for their owners too.

  • The Rottweiler is a world-class guardian who needs a large area to release its energy to avoid behavioral problems. Although they are very gentle dogs, always ready to protect their owners, life in an apartment is not suitable for them.
  • The Siberian Husky. These sled dogs were bred to carry goods over long distances, so they need much more space than an apartment can provide. They need to run. Without an active lifestyle, they will likely become very anxious and sad.
  • German Shorthair Pointers are very active dogs that were bred for hunting, so they have enough energy and stamina to walk all day. Powerful, fast, and enduring, pointers are always ready for physical activity, which you’re unlikely to provide them with if you’re living the “apartment life.”
  • The Weimaraner. These hunting dogs were bred to chase big game for a long time and it’s hardly possible to satisfy its instinct for constant movement in an apartment. Those who still decide to get this dog need to provide it with sufficient physical and mental exercise so that their life and the life of their family remain comfortable.
  • The Great Pyrenees. This dog was bred to deter wolves and other predators from cattle on snowy mountaintops, which makes it a very mobile and active dog. Therefore, in an apartment, especially a small one, it simply won’t have enough space to satisfy its instincts. Besides, the Great Pyrenees has a long, thick coat that sheds heavily.
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