Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. Dogs are among the most adaptable of species, and that’s likely one of the reasons why they’ve been our coworkers and companions for so many generations. Big or small, dogs have shown an astonishing ability to be happy in every kind of human environment, from massive ranches to tiny urban apartments.
Almost any dog, regardless of size, can be happy anywhere if the owner is willing to satisfy the animal’s need for exercise. That means a minimum of half an hour of aerobic exercise each day, the kind of gets-the-heart-pumping activity that comes with running or a game of fetch. That’s obviously easier to accomplish if you have a small dog or a big yard, but with a determined owner, even a big dog living in the big city can get enough daily exercise.
I know people who keep high-energy
dogs such as
Border Collies and
Weimaraners in Manhattan. Some of these pet owners can handle the dogs’ activity needs on their own, and some of them rely on pet care services such as
dog walkers, runners and daycare centers to help. Either way is OK.
Many people think a dog’s size is the only thing that matters when it comes to whether or not city living is possible, but with large dogs, the breed type is really more important. Some large dogs, typically herding and sporting breeds, were developed to work constantly, and it's more difficult to keep them happy in a small apartment.
Not so the large breeds of the guarding and sighthound categories, such as your neighbor's
Mastiff and the
Greyhound. These breeds were developed to work in short bursts and relax the rest of the time. In fact, retired racing
Greyhounds make such wonderful pets for those who want a low-energy companion that these dogs are known as “40 mph couch potatoes.”
The bottom line is this: Apartment living is not cruel, even for a big dog, and if the dog and the owner both seem happy, I’d be guessing they are happy, indeed.
To learn about breeds that may be a particularly good fit for smaller homes, check out:
13 Dog Breeds That Are Ideal For Apartments.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Weaving through your legs can be an
endearing habit, but sometimes it's a
sign of a behavioral or medical issue.
From bringing in your puppy or kitten to
telling your friends about him or her, there
are plenty of ways to make a…
Minimize the risk of a bad trick-or-treat
interaction by brushing up on your dog’s
manners before October 31.
The Schapendoes (aka Dutch Sheepdog)
is known for his incredible jumping skills
and cheerful personality.
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
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.