For many people, the idea of keeping a large dog in an apartment sounds backward. Shouldn’t a large dog need more space to run around in?
While this is the case for some breeds, a dog’s energy levels, trainability, and noise levels have much more to do with whether or not they can live comfortably in an apartment than their size. There are plenty of small breeds, like Russell Terriers for example, that have energy levels that are much too high to do well in an apartment.
And there are several large breeds that, despite their size, are generally calm and well-mannered enough to do perfectly well in a small space.
If you have a fondness for large breeds and are thinking of getting one to join you in your apartment, don’t worry—you’ve got options.
These dogs weigh between 60 to 70 pounds and measure 27 to 30 inches tall. These lithe, aerodynamic dogs were bred for racing, so what exactly about them makes them a good fit for apartment life?
Greyhounds are known amongst their communities for having two speeds: 60 miles per hour and total couch potato. You’ll have to make sure he gets enough exercise—signing him up for a dog sport like agility or flyball is a great way to do that. But once their exercise needs are met, these dogs will be perfectly happy curling up on the couch with you for a movie and a little rest and relaxation.
These giant dogs may seem impractical for apartments, standing up to 32 inches and frequently weighing in at close to 200 pounds. These dogs were bred to be protectors and guardians and will bond closely with his owners
On the other hand, Great Danes do tend to have fairly laid-back personalities. These gentle giants are also very easy to train, making it easy to teach them to be polite neighbors. They’ll require a fair bit of exercise, but if you have the time to give them two or three walks a day, they’ll be perfectly happy.
These behemoth dogs measure up to 32 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh somewhere between 105 to 120 pounds. Originally hunting dogs, today Irish Wolfhounds make steadfast and loyal family companions.
Despite their massive size Irish Wolfhounds are peaceful and gentle dogs. They’ll require a couple of brisk walks a day to keep their energy levels satisfied and their forms trim and in shape, but they’ll easily spend the rest of the day lounging around your apartment. As generally very sweet and calm dogs, they should have no problem getting along with your neighbors.
Poodles come in 3 sizes, the largest being the Standard Poodle. These dogs measure at least 15 inches at the shoulder and weigh in between 40 to 60 pounds. Poodles were bred originally as hunting dogs, and their “frou-frou” haircuts are actually to help protect the dog from the cold waters where they retrieve downed waterfowl.
Poodles are extremely intelligent dogs, which means it won’t be a difficulty training yours. They don’t tend to bark much, so they won’t disturb your neighbors.
You’ll have to make sure your Poodle gets enough exercise, however. These are highly active dogs, so make sure you have the time to take them for a couple of brisk walks or jogs every day.
These hulking giants measure 27.5 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh anywhere between 120 to 230 pounds. Mastiffs are truly the best example of the fact that when it comes to good apartment breeds, size doesn’t matter.
Mastiffs are very intelligent and trainable but do get bored quickly. You’ll have to keep your training sessions fun and interesting for them! On the other hand, they do have fairly low exercise needs, so one or two walks a day should be enough for them, making them great for apartments.
You’ll recognize these dogs by their long, flowing, elegant coats. Standing at 25 to 27 inches and weighing between 50 and 60 pounds, for centuries these dogs were status symbols among aristocrats and royalty in the Afghanistan area.
These active dogs are best suited for owners who enjoy running or jogging, as they will need a good amount of daily exercise. Though Afghans can be stubborn initially, they do bond very closely with their owners and will want to please you as they grow more attached to you. If you’re looking for a breed that can live happily in an apartment while also challenging you and keeping you active, an Afghan Hound is perfect.
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier, or AmStaff, measures 17 to 19 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 40 to 70 pounds. These stock, muscular dogs might seem intimidating at first, but you’ll find that AmStaffs are loving and affectionate pets.
An AmStaff requires regular exercise, and one to two brisk walks a day should do the trick. AmStaffs are very eager to please their owners, and you’ll find training sessions to be easy and fun with these dogs!
Bear in mind that AmStaffs tend to not get along well with other pets, so it’ll be best if he’s the only pet in your household. You’ll want to make sure that you’re supervising any interaction with other animals.
Bernese Mountain Dog
These dogs measure between 23 to 27.5 inches tall and weigh between 70 to 115 pounds. Bernese Mountain Dogs are recognizable by their thick black, brown, and white coats and friendly expressions.
Berners will make for easy training, as they are both very smart and eager to please. They are also extremely calm and laid-back dogs, which makes them great for apartments. You’ll have to make sure they get enough exercise to keep them from getting destructive, but one or two walks should be all your Berner needs.
Keep in mind that Berners do tend to bark a lot, so you’ll have to spend some extra time during your training sessions to teach him to be quiet.
Dogue de Bordeaux
Dogues de Bordeaux are stock dogs, measuring 23 to 27 inches tall and weighing upwards of 100 pounds. It’s not entirely certain when these dogs first came into existence, but for centuries the breed has been known as a protector and guardian.
With the right consistency, training a DDB to be a polite neighbor is relatively easy. You’ll have to work on building your trust with him, but once he’s confident that you’re trustworthy he’ll be eager to please you. The DDB will require regular exercise, with one or two walks a day being perfect.
You’ll have to take care to make sure the DDB doesn’t overexert himself, especially in puppyhood as this can cause serious health problems for this breed. That means no running up or down stairs or jumping from high places.
Measuring 26 to 30 inches tall and weighing between 120 and 180 pounds, these dogs are known for their roles in rescuing survivors from avalanches.
The Saint Bernard is a loving, patient breed who will bond very closely with his owner. Their exercise needs are easily adaptable to your own, making them great for apartments. Two shorter walks or one long one each day will be enough, but if you’re an adventurer, they’ll happily join you on a hike.
Because Saint Bernards bond so closely with their owners, it can be hard for them to be away from you. If you work long hours outside of the home, you may want to consider a different breed. But if you work from home or part-time, you’ll find your Saint Bernard to be a fantastic companion.