Best Guard Dog for Apartment Life

When we talk about guard dogs, large-breed dogs with high energy levels that thrive in huge spaces usually come to mind.

Does this mean that people living in apartments can’t have guard dogs for security? No!

There are many apartment-friendly guard dogs you can consider so you can be safe and happy in your small space.

We share with you the best guard dog for apartment life and how to keep your dog happy in a small apartment.

This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We thank you for your support.
guard dog for apartment life

Can I Have a Dog in My Apartment?

This depends on the policies of your apartment. In most cases, it’s acceptable to own a dog and live in a small apartment. 

As long as the dog can tolerate your living situation and you can ensure that they stay happy and healthy in the tiny apartment, then it’s not a problem.

Usually, the best dog to have in an apartment is a small one as they take up less space and often need less exercise.

However, you may also need more protection when you live in an apartment than when you live in your own house.

That means your dog needs to be the right size and have the right personality to be an effective guard dog.

Best Guard Dog for Apartment Life

You need a guard dog who is alert and careful, but also calm and quiet. This is important when you live in an apartment with neighbors close by.

Here are the ideal guard dog breeds for apartment life.


The Boxer may be a perfect candidate for a guard dog in the apartment setting. They look scary but they are harmless.

They scare off strangers, but this can happen even when they’re just trying to be happy. 

They are easy to train, so their attitude of being territorial and playful can be unlearned. They are also smart enough to be trained to protect you and your space!  

Boxers are one of the best apartment dogs because they are proud, self-confident, lovable, and protective. 

With discipline, a consistent routine, and exercise, Boxers make for great apartment dogs.

You can leave them alone for a longer period of time when you work. These patient dogs adapt well to your lifestyle!


Beagle dog breed

Beagles are one of the most flexible dogs as they do well with kids, other pets, and even in small spaces! They live well with a family or with you alone.

As a hunting dog, Beagles have a high prey drive, so they can make a great guard dog.

However, you need to train them so as not to be aggressive toward everyone. Unfortunately, this may take a lot of patience and effort on your part.

Beagles may be a bit stubborn, but they are also intelligent. Once they learn how to obey you, they remember these commands and will follow you every time.

Beagles are just the right size and personality, but they can also be noisy. Because the Beagle is a hunting dog, they tend to have a louder bark.

This does not necessarily mean they bark more!

Chow Chow

Chow chows are considered medium-sized dogs. They may be aggressive, but they are loyal and protective of their owner.

This muscular dog is just the right size for an apartment. This guard dog will react instantly to any threat while also staying loving to you!

Chows are often portrayed as being dangerous by the media, so landlords may refuse to allow them. But this breed can be friendly and appropriately protective with the right training.

If you have kids at home, teach them how to handle the Chow Chow with regular family training sessions.


This dog is one of the scariest-looking dogs out there, but they’re actual sweethearts! 

Bullmastiffs are large and threatening, but they are one of the most affectionate dog breeds. They are great with kids.

They are also friendly to strangers, but with enough training, they can make great guard dogs.

This dog breed does not require intense exercise, so they are suitable for apartment living. They are a low-energy breed and only need short walks, which is suitable for the apartment lifestyle.

They can live comfortably and peacefully in the condo, as long as the landlord allows large-sized dogs!

This video shows you everything you need to know about the Bullmastiff.

Doberman Pinscher

Although they look intimidating, the Doberman Pinscher is well-behaved, friendly, and loving when you train them.

They also do well in small spaces as long as they can go on daily walks. Daily walks can help provide exercise and socialization to the Doberman Pinscher. 

If you live alone, then this dog will surely protect you from any harm. They are smart enough to know who’s a guest and who’s an intruder.  

What makes the Doberman Pinscher even better for the apartment life is that they’re very clean dogs. They don’t shed and they don’t like creating a mess!

How to Keep Your Dog Happy in a Small Apartment

While you’re planning to get a dog in your apartment for protection, you also want to make sure they are happy in your small space.

Here is what you can do to make that happen.

Create a Routine

Dogs are happiest when they have a routine. Because you live in an apartment, it’s not as easy to go outside for toilet breaks.

This means you need to set a schedule for when you can take your dog outside.

You also want to stick to a set time when feeding them.

Regular Training Sessions

Always be considerate to your neighbors. Avoid unwanted behavior by training your dog!

If your dog barks a lot, the neighbors may file complaints and ask you to give your dog up or move to a new space.

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, they are likely not going to be as effective as a guard dog.

A well-trained dog is a well-behaved dog. Regular training sessions will have the added benefit of providing your dog with mental stimulation to keep them happy.

Create a Space Just for Them

No matter how small your space is, your dog has to have a doggie haven.

Try creating a space for them with a dog bed, water bowl, and toys to keep them happy.

Pet Technology is Your Best Option

If you’re always away, pet technology can help you stay in contact with your dog. These home devices have microphones and cameras to help you monitor your dog and apartment.

This WiFi Camera Pet Monitor has a 350 degree pan and a 100 degree tilt to deliver the whole view of your apartment. 

It has a motion and sound detector that lets you follow your dog’s actions.

What if I Sneak My Dog into My Apartment?

Dogs in apartments are not always allowed. If your lease does not allow pets, it’s best not to sneak a dog in. 

Here are some possible consequences to think about.

Pet Fines

Your landlord may fine you if you sneak a furry friend in. 

The cost depends on the pet and your landlord. Some have fixed charges, while others charge you for every day your pet stays. 

Pet Removal

If you’ve decided to foster or adopt a dog and they’re not allowed in your apartment, you might be forced to return them to the shelter. 

The landlord has the legal right to ask you this. Otherwise, you might have to start looking for a new place and pay for any penalties. 


Your landlord also has the right to evict you. They may even sue you for the remainder of your lease payment. 

Your future landlords may learn about your history, so it may not be worth the risk to sneak a pet in.

FAQs Dogs and Apartments

How Do I Make my Apartment Dog-Friendly?

With a small space, it’s challenging to keep it comfortable when you have a dog.

One way to make your apartment dog-friendly is by buying a basket for all of your dog’s food and supplies. 

You should also have a bathroom routine, so your dog doesn’t spoil your carpet.

Check out more apartment hacks for you and your dog.

How Do I Stop My Dog from Destroying the Apartment?

The best way to stop your dog from destroying your house is by training them.

One method employs asserting yourself as the pack leader. This puts a stop to all other unwanted behaviors!

When your dog thinks they are in charge, they chew on your shoes and stain your couch thinking they have no boundaries.

We have a detailed guide on how to stop your dog from destroying your house.

What Should I Do if My Puppy Poops in the Apartment After Being Outside?

Pooping inside the house even after your dog has gone out for a walk can be a sign of bad behavior, lack of routine, or over-stimulation. 

Make sure that they are not overstimulated in the park. Let them focus and do their own thing when they are outside. 

If you’ve tried this and it still hasn’t worked, it could be because they are not used to pooping at this time. Be consistent with your routine so they become adapted to their potty schedule.

Help your dog learn to stop pooping the house now.

What is the Best Medium-Sized Dog for a Family?

There are a lot of medium-sized dogs that are family-friendly, such as the Beagle and Basset Hound.

A dog is family-friendly if they are trainable, good with kids, and affectionate to everyone. Ideally, the family dog should also be medium-sized for easy maintenance.

Here’s a list of the best medium-sized dogs for your family.

Get a Guard Dog for Your Small Space!

It’s tough to live in a small urban apartment when you want to adopt a dog. Not all of them are apartment-friendly because of their size, train-ability, and their personality.

If you’re planning to get a furry friend who will protect you in your apartment, consider getting a Beagle, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, Boxer, or a Chow Chow.

All these dogs are friendly, protective, easy to train, and they thrive in adequately-sized apartments.

Want to learn more about guard dogs? Check out the best protection dogs for family security.