Best Big Dog for Apartment Living

Just because you have a tiny space doesn’t mean you can’t have a pup. 

Many dogs do well in the apartment lifestyle because they require less exercise and are tolerant of noises and strangers. 

But it’s a different story when you want big dogs. Can large dog breeds live in apartments?

Many dog lovers want to know what’s the best big dog for apartment living. 

We share with you the best large dog breeds for apartment living and give you some tips on how to rent while raising a large dog.

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Big dog for apartment living

Can Large Dog Breeds Live in Apartments?


Some large dog breeds can fit into an apartment but only if you can provide adequate exercise and mental stimulation. 

Check if there are available green spaces near your apartment where your large dog can walk and exercise.

If you’re in a busy city with a busy schedule, do you have enough time to give them their basic needs?

While some large breeds are independent and happy when they’re alone, others get bored and destructive.

Some of the least destructive dog breeds include the Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, and Miniature Schnauzer.

Meanwhile, the most destructive dog breeds are the Bulldog, Jack Russel, and Beagle.

You also want to consider if your dog can handle distractions like car horns, people speaking and moving around nearby, and more. 

You will need a dog that does not cause disruptions in the apartment and annoy your neighbors. 

How to Rent While Raising a Large Dog

Dogs are known for making an apartment search extra difficult because many landlords do not accept them.

It becomes even harder when your dog is on the larger size!

So how do you rent an apartment with a large dog breed? 

Don’t Hide From Your Landlord

This is the number one rule that many dog owners fail to follow! We know it can be tempting but never go against your landlord. 

You could get evicted if they find out that you breached the rental contract. If not, then your dog might end up being surrendered because of a demanding landlord. 

There is also a high chance that your dog will be locked up at your small pace with no access to the outside world. 

However, if you have a service dog, remember that no landlord can refuse to rent you because of your service pet. 

Find a Dog-Friendly Apartment 

A decent, affordable apartment for you and your dog can be difficult to find. Particularly when your furry friend is a giant creature!

If you found a perfect place that is super strict when it comes to pets, try offering a pet deposit.

It will show landlords that you are responsible and serious about renting their place.

This incentive might encourage them to give the unit to you over someone else.

If they’re still doubtful, get a certificate of training for your dog to let them know that your pooch has good behavior. 

You can even try including a personal resume for your dog to tell landlords that your dog is beneficial to the community.

Highlight their history, personality, behavior, and habits in a friendly and light tone. Letters of references from your previous landlords may also be included.

Consider Convenience

Because you’ll be living with a dog (a big one!), you must make sure there are reputable pet supply stores, groomers, and vet clinics in the neighborhood that can accommodate their needs. 

Parks that are open for dogs are also essential. You can’t lock your furry friend in the tower for years!

This is much more important if you don’t have a car. Keep in mind that some buses do not allow pets inside. 

The whole neighborhood should be dog-friendly, not just your apartment.

Give Your Dog Some Toys

If your dog can be left alone for more than eight hours while you’re at work, they will definitely need mental stimulation to avoid boredom.

Kong Classic Dog Toy, Small - 2 Pack

Keep your dog entertained with toys like Kong Classic Dog Toy.

It dispenses dog treats to increase their motivation and enjoyment while you’re not there to play with them.

If you want them to sharpen their intelligence, give them puzzle toys like CFTGET Dog Interactive Puzzle Toy

This toy will help improve their logical thinking and sense of smell. Just put the treats inside the compartment so they try and get them out.

CFTGET Dog Puzzle Toys Puppy, Interactive Dog Puzzle Game Toy, Treat Dispenser for Dogs Training Funny Feeding, ABS Colorful Design Slow Feeder to Aid Pets Digestion

Don’t leave your dog home alone with bones to avoid accidents and injuries.

Best Big Dogs for Apartment Living

If you’ve decided to get a dog after getting an apartment, it’s important to avoid impulse adopting. 

Do your research not only on the internet but also with your family. Consider your kid’s or partner’s needs and interests when it comes to big dogs!

Here are six large dog breeds that are perfect for your apartment lifestyle.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound dog breed

The Afghan Hound is a tall dog breed that is known for their sophisticated stature. 

This appearance makes them look distant and aloof, although they are sweet and sensitive in real life.

You’ll find them sitting on the sofa alone or by the window, being curious about the outdoors!

They do not show dominance over humans or other dogs, so this laid-back personality makes them suitable for apartment living when you have children.

Make sure to socialize your Afghan Hound at a young age so they know how to be friendlier around strangers and other pets. 

Like any other dog, the Afghan Hound requires training and exercise so they can stay happy and healthy inside your small space! 

Basset Hound


The Basset Hound is not necessarily a large dog breed. But their voice, personality, and ears are surely big!

These long-eared pups may be short, but they can get as heavy as 70 pounds because of their thick bodies and big feet. 

Because Basset Hounds are loyal to their owners, they can also be good guard dogs for the apartment without being aggressive.

They can protect your tiny space in a calm, cool, and collected manner. They only ever make noises when they know something is wrong.

Even though training can be challenging when it comes to this breed, doing so will make your apartment life worth living!

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard dog breed

The Saint Bernard is a large yet gentle and friendly breed that can stand up to 35 inches. Despite their height and weight, they are very patient and loving around people.

They also make a great guard dog for families with children! However, they need to be well socialized first to maintain this personality.

What makes them great for apartment living is their need for only a moderate amount of physical activity. 

You don’t need to spend a lot of time taking them down the stairs and walking them to the park.

A few minutes of playtime and mental stimulation will keep them happy inside the house! And besides, over-exercising them can lead to early joint problems. 


Newfoundland dog breed

Newfoundlands can be goofy, funny, and friendly, which is why they are often used for therapy work with kids.

This large breed can be easier to train compared to other large dog breeds, so they can be great for a family who lives in an apartment.

You’ll also expect them to greet neighbors and strangers every time you bump into them.

This well-balanced dog knows how to properly behave in small quarters because they are quick to adapt to their environment.

All this gentle giant needs is the right amount of exercise and proper socialization to make an ideal apartment roommate.

Great Dane

great dane

The Great Dane originated in Germany and is known for its large size. They can reach a height of up to 44 inches!

Even though they look intimidating, the Great Dane is very friendly, affectionate, and gentle. They are the perfect mix of playful and patient, so they will add fun to your apartment life. 

They rarely bark, so annoying neighbors is not their thing. However, the Great Dane is still a good watchdog. 

But the best thing about the Great Dane is that they do not need too much exercise. They would rather snuggle and rest on your couch than go down a flight of stairs to play. 

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever breed for apartment

One of the most popular dog breeds is the Golden Retriever. 

This family dog does well with families and individuals in the apartment. They can also be left alone in your condo as long as it’s not the whole day.

Give your Golden Retriever enough social interaction and they can behave well inside the apartment. You also want to invest time in exercising and training them.

They’re the best choice for a large dog breed in the apartment if you’re living in one of the busier areas.

Check out these fun facts about the Golden Retriever if you’re considering getting one for your apartment.

Worst Dogs for Apartment Living

While many large dogs can fit your apartment lifestyle, the following big dogs are not recommended:

  • Caucasian Shepherd
  • Anatolian Shepherd
  • Tibetan Mastiff
  • Spanish Mastiff
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Kuvasz.

These dogs are bred to work and have a lot of energy. They are also very territorial in nature, so they do not do well for apartment living. 

Do not consider these breeds especially if you’re living in a crowded city where there’s not enough green space to run and play in.

FAQ Dogs and Apartment Living

How Do I Make My Apartment Dog-Friendly?

There are many ways to make your apartment more dog-friendly despite the small size. 

If you want to keep things organized, invest in a basket for all your dog’s toys. You also want to set a separate shelf for their bowls, kibbles, treats, grooming tools, and more. 

Put your dog in a separate room when you go out to maintain cleanliness.

A dog-friendly apartment is one where your pup is happy and healthy. Make sure you have established a bathroom and exercise routine for them. 

We have more tips for you on how to make your apartment more pet-friendly. Check it out!

How Do I Stop My Dog from Barking in the Apartment?

Barking is an innate activity that dogs do to communicate.

But it’s also one of the reasons why landlords do not want tenants with dogs. It interrupts neighbors’ sleep and other activities.

If you want to stop your dog from barking, it is important to solve the root cause. For example, if they bark out of boredom, keep them occupied with dog toys.

If they bark because they are in pain, get them checked by a veterinarian.

Check out nine ways to stop dog barking for good! Some of our solutions include teaching them the “quiet” command and desensitizing them.

Do I Need a Guard Dog for My Apartment?

That depends.

If the apartment you’re moving into seems suspicious or scary, you can get an apartment-friendly guard dog.

An apartment-friendly guard dog is one who is alert, careful, and protective, but also calm and quiet enough not to annoy the neighbors.

This is important when you live in a place with neighbors close by!

Some of the best breeds include Beagle, Bullmastiff, and Doberman Pinscher.

Find out more about the best guard dog breeds for apartment living so you can feel safe in your small space with a four-legged friend.

Temperament Matters More Than Size!

Dismantle the idea that big dogs are more destructive, high-maintenance, and less suitable for small homes.

Many big dog breeds can still live in small apartments because of their temperament. These include Saint Bernard, Newfoundland, Golden Retriever, and more.

Great Danes do well sleeping the whole day in a corner of the house after taking a short walk compared to toy dog breeds who love running indoors and outdoors.

But breed generalizations are merely guides and not absolute facts. 

Even if you read about the Anatolian Shepherd being unsuitable for apartment living, you can always teach them basic commands so they’ll see you as a pack leader.

These techniques will help them become more well-behaved and ready for apartment living.