Most apartment complexes allow you to own pets, and the majority of these allow you to own dogs. However, there are often breed and weight restrictions. Read your lease very carefully and ask your landlord or leasing agent if you are unsure whether or not your furry friend is allowed.
Owners living in apartments must be more attentive with their dogs than other pets, because they require more attention and adequate exercise. While a fish or even a cat can be content alone in your apartment all day while you are at work, your dog will be eagerly awaiting your return home. Be sure to give it lots of love and attention when you do. Though a dog's energy level varies greatly on breed and disposition, all dogs need exercise. Daily exercise is the key to keeping any dog happy and stable, regardless of breed or temperament. Taking your dog for long walks or bike rides when you get home will help it burn off all its physical and mental energy. Regular exercise and attention will keep your dog tired and happy both while you are at home and when you are gone at work the next day.
Breeds and Personalities
Although in theory most any dog can live in an apartment if it gets the right exercise, some dogs are better suited than others. Generally, smaller and more docile dogs are preferable to larger or more active ones. Again, temperament varies more on the individual dog than the breed itself, so your dog's own personality is the most important factor to consider. Does it get anxious when you are gone for long periods? Does it bark a lot or cause damage to your home while you are gone? If this is the case then you should not consider moving into an apartment complex with your dog. Generally, leaseholders reserve the right to request your dog be removed if it is a nuisance or distraction to other residents at the apartment complex.
Breeds to Consider
Many dog breeds are well-suited for apartments (provided they are looked after adequately). Some of these breeds include Australian Terriers, Basset Hounds, Bichons, Boston Terriers, English and French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Corgis, Dachshunds, Italian Greyhounds, Lancashire Heelers, Maltese, Manchester Terriers, Papillons, Pomeranians, Pugs, Shih-Tzus, Schnauzers, West Highland White Terriers, and Yorkshire Terriers. Many other breeds and mixes are also suitable, though there are too many to list here.
Less Suitable Breeds
Some other breeds are not as well suited, especially larger, more active, and athletic breeds. Some of these dogs include Foxhounds, Herding Dogs such as shepherds and border collies, Pit Bulls, any kind of Mastiff, Great Danes, Sled Dogs such as Siberian Huskies and malamutes, Dalmatians, and Sighthounds such as Greyhounds and Wolfhounds. Even some small dogs like poodles are not necessarily suited for apartment life, as they require lots of activity and exercise.
Likely, your landlord or leasing company has already taken to steps to limit what kind and how large of a dog you can take with you to an apartment complex. Many complexes have strict weight limits, some as low as 20 lbs. This will greatly limit you choice of dog you can take with you, even if you know them to be a well-behaved, docile animal. Some apartment complexes even have weight limits up to or even over 65lbs. However, there still may be breed restrictions. Because there is a public perception on some dog breeds as being violent, certain dog breeds will likely not be allowed at an apartment complex. Even though these perceptions are often misguided and more to do with poor ownership and training, certain breeds are seen by many as dangerous, and because of that landlords will not let them stay in their apartments under most circumstances. Even though your dog may be a wonderful animal, landlords and leasing agents have to consider the safety and peace of mind of other residents as well as the liability to their company, even if they themselves can see you are a capable owner. Some dogs will not be acceptable regardless of size. These dogs include Dobermans, Pit Bulls, Akitas, Presa Canarios, Rottweilers, Cane Corsos, and others.
Hopefully this gives you a slightly better idea on raising and taking care of dogs while living in an apartment. With the right attention and exercise, most dogs will be loving and dutiful companions. Remember to always ask your leasing agent or landlord appropriate questions regarding your canine before you sign a lease!