How to Find the Best Dog Breed for City Living

Life in the big city can really be the best if you have a trusty four-legged friend by your side. Of course, some breeds are a better fit for urban life than others. You probably don't want a guard dog who barks so much that the neighbors who reside next to your thin-walled apartment complain to your landlord. And it's not the best idea to have a breed who requires a lot of exercise if you don't have a yard or much living space. Instead, you may want to look for a laid-back and quiet dog who can adapt to tight quarters.

That being said, keep this in mind: All dogs are individuals, so you may come across a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who barks like there's no tomorrow, or you could live with a Great Dane who isn't a fan of snuggling on the couch. If you're a renter, it's also important to talk to your landlord before bringing home a dog to make sure you're allowed to have one.

Check out our photo gallery below to find out which dogs are likely best for city life and which breed characteristics might be well suited for your lifestyle.

What to Look For in a City Dog


Judy Zatonski, Animal Photography

Look for a Dog Who Can Be Comfortable in Small Living Spaces

If you live in an urban area, you probably live in an apartment or condo with limited square footage. To share your small space with a dog, your best bet is to find a pup who won't bark too much, doesn't require a lot of exercise and is pretty laid back. You're probably thinking that the dog needs to be small, too, but that's not always the case. Though size is a factor, there are some large and giant dogs who can be well suited for apartment living. From French Bulldogs to Greyhounds, here are 13 dog breeds that can be good candidates for apartment living.

Even if you have your heart set on a more active dog (and are prepared to make plenty of time to give him the exercise he needs), you'll probably want to steer clear of these dogs best fit for country living. In most cases, it wouldn't be fair to keep energetic and active breeds like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds cooped up in an apartment.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Leesia Teh, Animal Photography

Get a Quiet Dog and Avoid Noisy Breeds

No one wants to live next to or below a noisy neighbor. Be considerate of the people in your building who don't want to hear yipping and yapping at all hours by searching for a dog who doesn't bark a lot. We asked 218 veterinary professionals for their takes on the quietest breeds, and though you probably won't be surprised that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Whippet make the list, some of the other 13 breeds are somewhat unexpected.

Unless you want to be the bane of everyone on your co-op board (or risk getting evicted), you probably shouldn't get a Dachshund, Beagle or any of these noisy breeds.

Great Dane Lying on Floor

Karin Newstrom, Animal Photography

Look for a Dog Who Is Easygoing and Avoid High-Energy Breeds

As a city person, you'll want a dog with a laid-back temperament who likes to veg out. This doesn’t mean that Basset Hounds, Great Danes and other easygoing breeds don't require some exercise and stimulation; it's just that they're often content to go on a casual stroll around the block instead of playing fetch at the dog park for an hour. We asked veterinary professionals to weigh in on the most laid-back breeds, and here's how they responded.

You may be tempted to bring home a high-energy pup who will go on runs and other adventures with you, but active breeds like Australian Cattle Dogs and Jack Russell Terriers can also be high strung and demanding. They were bred for herding sheep and hunting vermin, not for strolling down Fifth Avenue. Urbanites, you'll probably want to avoid these dog breeds.

Shih Tzu

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Want a Small Dog Who Likes to Snuggle? These Breeds Are Your Best Bet

Many lap dogs are easily portable, quiet and like to cuddle — big pluses for urban dwellers who may live in a fifth-floor walk-up with no yard, lots of neighbors and hardly any living space. Our list of lap-loving breeds includes Shih Tzus, Havaneses and more. Check out our gallery to see all our picks.

Mastiff dog breed

Karin Newstrom, Animal Photography

Want a Large Dog? Consider Getting a Giant Breed

As we mentioned before, just because you live in the city doesn't mean you have to get a small dog. You might be surprised to know that some giant breeds are great candidates for small living spaces, since they often don't need huge amounts of exercise and tend to be pretty quiet. Just keep in mind that some big dogs are so large that they can clear a coffee table with the swipe of a tail, plus, they also can be droolers. From the Great Dane to the Mastiff, get to know 10 large dog breeds that can be gentle giants.

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