2001-Sat Jul 22 02:45:04 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Big dogs in the city. I see them all the time on my travels: Great Danes, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Leonbergers, Greyhounds — you can find them in the Big Apple and other major cities, where pet owners typically live in small apartments. But is it kind to keep a large or giant breed in such close, crowded quarters? You might be surprised to learn that sometimes the answer is yes.
When we see a big dog, it’s second nature to assume that he’s better suited to life in the country than in a pied-à-terre. But many canine Goliaths tend to be quiet and inactive in adulthood. They are just as happy to be your companion on a walk to the bodega or through the park as they are to hang out in your apartment while you are at work. Many city dwellers appreciate big dogs for just these qualities, as well as the aura of protection the dog provides — even if, in reality, he would never hurt a flea.
The breeds I mentioned above are usually good candidates for city life. They are active as puppies, no doubt, but they tend to mature into couch potatoes by the time they are a couple of years old. That doesn’t mean they don’t need exercise — all dogs do — but they don’t need long runs or hours of activity the way a Retriever or Border Collie does. Meeting the energy needs of those dogs is a full-time job, and life in a small city apartment may not be the best choice for them.
Not every large or giant breed is suited to life in the big city, though. Some breeds, such as Giant Schnauzers, may need more activity than a busy owner can provide. Guardian breeds such as Anatolian Shepherds, Maremmas and Tibetan Mastiffs may dislike crowded city conditions. And though big dogs can make themselves at home in whatever square footage you provide them, you may find yourself tripping over them in a cramped apartment or sweeping up the pieces of a favorite item after your dog’s tail knocks it off the coffee table.
Conversely, some dogs who seem perfectly suited to city life because of their size might not be. Think Shetland Sheepdogs (barkers), Finnish Spitz (nicknamed King of the Barkers), Italian Greyhound and Bichon Frise (may be difficult to housetrain), Beagle (can be a howler) and Basenji (screamer with a high activity level).
Some questions to ask yourself before you commit to a big dog in the big city:
If you choose wisely, you and your handsome hulk can live perfectly happily among the bright lights of the big city.
More on Vetstreet.com:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.