Keeping a pet dog in an apartment can be a controversial subject. People who are against the idea claim that it’s not fair to keep a dog in an apartment all day with no yard to freely roam. They claim that it’s not fair to your neighbors to have to listen to them bark at every passing individual, and that an untrained dog can be a threat to the neighborhood. People who support the idea claim that a dog can easily adapt to the new environment, and with the proper training and attention, can do just as well as a dog with its own house. What it really comes down to is the owner, and how he or she handles the situation.

Landlord Policies

Before you can even consider moving into an apartment with your dog, or buying a dog if you are already settled, you need to check with your landlord or apartment complex on their policies about owning dogs. Unfortunately everywhere you go has slightly different rules, however here are some generalizations that seem to fall among the norm.

  • Most apartment complexes require a pet deposit upfront to cover the cost of any damages, as well as an added monthly fee per pet.
  • Some dog breeds may not be allowed under any circumstances, due to insurance reasons. Common excluded breeds include Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. Additionally, many dogs over a certain weight may be denied.
  • You will always be required to pick up after your pet immediately after they use the bathroom. Failure to do so can result in penalties up to and including eviction.

Special Needs in an Apartment

No matter what breed you own, there will be a certain level of special needs for your dog when living in an apartment. Perhaps the most obvious is the need for outside activity on a daily basis. For most breeds, a few bathroom breaks and a good walk or run is all that is needed. Higher energy breeds may also require a few days a week in the park to play.

Guardian breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Boxers, and Akitas require a special eye as they tend to be overprotective. Overprotective dogs can be quite aggressive to people you may come across, including guests, apartment staff, and mailmen. If you plan on keeping one of these breeds in your apartment, obedience training is a must. Free Dog Training Tips can come in very handy in helping you train your dog.

Dogs that Do Poorly in Apartments

Here are some breads that may not do too well in apartments without special pet care:

High Energy Dogs

  • Dalmatians
  • Collies
  • Retrievers
  • Siberian Husky
  • Foxhounds

Noisy Dogs

  • Terriers
  • Collies
  • Beagles
  • Elkhounds


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