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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! My partner and I have been looking at getting a dog to join our small family for a while, though we need help deciding which breed would be best suited to our current living arrangements.
We live in a two bedroom apartment with a small balcony. The dog would be walked roughly twice a day though would spend much of its time in the apartment with us, so it needs to be a breed that loves to lounge and receive cuddles.
Preferably small to medium sized and can comfortably be left in the apartment for up to 5 hours alone when we are at work. Barking is also a concern given our neighbors are very close!
We understand that there is probably no one breed that ticks all these boxes.

Thank you everyone :)
 

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Lots of dogs might be able to live like that but is it really fair to ask them to?

Imagine your own life like that... Pretty boring and isolated... lockdown for life .
 

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You couldn't leave a puppy for 5 hours at a time and it is quite a big ask for an adult dog too. Can you make provision for a dog walker during the day?

We also suggest this to a lot of people. For the next month, act like you have an adult dog. Get up an hour earlier than normal, take an hour long walk. Do the same in the evening after work - and come straight home from work; no shopping, gym, socialising. Do this every day, without fail, regardless of the weather.

I think you are in the Southern hemisphere, so it is a good time to remind yourself every morning that for several months of the year you will be doing this in the cold and dark.

Also put away what you think a dog will cost for food, insurance, walkers, vet bill excesses, toys etc, then add 10% because we always underestimate these things.

That will give you a good insight into some of the commitment you will need to make.

Finally, ask yourself not what you want from a dog but rather what you can offer a dog.

Then, in terms of breed, do you want a fog that is handler focussed, or independent? Easily trained? Friendly or suspicious of strangers? What are your thoughts on grooming, and shedding? Do you have children, what ages are they?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Mad Murphy, thank you for your response. I appreciate your opinion, but I believe a dog can live a very enriching life in an apartment if their exercise requirements are met, they have ample opportunities to socialise with other dogs, are well loved and cared for etc. As you may have noticed by the post, we are looking very carefully into what breed that we get to ensure that it will be suited to apartment life i.e. low-energy requirements, size.
Living in a large city where most people live in apartments, I know many people that have extremely happy dogs living in apartments :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You couldn't leave a puppy for 5 hours at a time and it is quite a big ask for an adult dog too. Can you make provision for a dog walker during the day?

We also suggest this to a lot of people. For the next month, act like you have an adult dog. Get up an hour earlier than normal, take an hour long walk. Do the same in the evening after work - and come straight home from work; no shopping, gym, socialising. Do this every day, without fail, regardless of the weather.

I think you are in the Southern hemisphere, so it is a good time to remind yourself every morning that for several months of the year you will be doing this in the cold and dark.

Also put away what you think a dog will cost for food, insurance, walkers, vet bill excesses, toys etc, then add 10% because we always underestimate these things.

That will give you a good insight into some of the commitment you will need to make.

Finally, ask yourself not what you want from a dog but rather what you can offer a dog.

Then, in terms of breed, do you want a fog that is handler focussed, or independent? Easily trained? Friendly or suspicious of strangers? What are your thoughts on grooming, and shedding? Do you have children, what ages are they?

Hi Joanne, thank you for your advice. Both my partner and I have previously owned dogs in the past so we are aware of the commitments required.
If we were to get a puppy 5 hours would be something to be worked up towards and wouldn't occur every day. If needed though getting a dog walker wouldn't be a problem!
We know what we can offer a dog :)
 

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Hi Mad Murphy, thank you for your response. I appreciate your opinion, but I believe a dog can live a very enriching life in an apartment if their exercise requirements are met, they have ample opportunities to socialise with other dogs, are well loved and cared for etc. As you may have noticed by the post, we are looking very carefully into what breed that we get to ensure that it will be suited to apartment life i.e. low-energy requirements, size.
Living in a large city where most people live in apartments, I know many people that have extremely happy dogs living in apartments :)

In view of your answer I am not sure what you are here looking for is it a pat on the back or our approval?

In your original post you mentioned nothing about being experienced or about getting a dog walker. I responded to that original post.

You asked for opinions and I gave mine I'm so sorry it didn't meet with your expectations
I would add that most rescues and a lot of reputable breeders also wouldnt consider your plan suitable for a dog either...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In view of your answer I am not sure what you are here looking for is it a pat on the back or our approval?

In your original post you mentioned nothing about being experienced or about getting a dog walker. I responded to that original post.

You asked for opinions and I gave mine I'm so sorry it didn't meet with your expectations
I would add that most rescues and a lot of reputable breeders also wouldnt consider your plan suitable for a dog either...
No, I'm responding.
I didn't mention those as I didn't need to. In my post I'm just asking what breeds are more suited to this lifestyle, not whether you believe I should get a dog or not. It is very common for dogs to live in apartments here, so I beg to differ 🤷‍♀️
 

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Hi everyone! My partner and I have been looking at getting a dog to join our small family for a while, though we need help deciding which breed would be best suited to our current living arrangements.
We live in a two bedroom apartment with a small balcony. The dog would be walked roughly twice a day though would spend much of its time in the apartment with us, so it needs to be a breed that loves to lounge and receive cuddles.
Preferably small to medium sized and can comfortably be left in the apartment for up to 5 hours alone when we are at work. Barking is also a concern given our neighbors are very close!
We understand that there is probably no one breed that ticks all these boxes.

Thank you everyone :)
Hi.

I have two dogs and live in an apartment,so it certainly can work, but I walk(ed -, suddenly disabled now) my dogs every few hours, even if it was a short 10-15min "toilet break" walk. Now they go to my brother's for a few hours so they still get long walks. Even so, they still get a walk first thing in the morning and 2-3 times when they come home - they're just short.

In addition, I also do a lot of training, plus play games such as Find It, and my Lurcher's current favourite, Chase The Treat, or puzzle box. They also get a Kong/Connectible, Lickimat or Buster Cube/treat ball

Strictly speaking, I do I have access to a communal garden, but have refused point blank to let the dogs in there on principle. This has and continues to pay off dividends as neighbours have started complaining about the dog mess in there.

Having said all that, even if I wasn't looking to move because of my disability, I would still consider a downstairs flat with a private garden. It's just so much easier than having to walk multiple times a day, and now having to push myself to my limits to do so.

I know you didn't ask for that, but that's reality for life with a dog in an apartment/flat. They say sighthounds are idle couch potatoes but my Lurcher Milly is harder work than my Chihuahua Honey (avatar pic) and would be climbing the walls if she had to be content with just two walks a day, and Honey just couldn't hold her bladder/bowel that long. They need those extra toilet breaks.

So, to be clear, I'm not saying you can't/shouldn't get a dog, but it would be advisable to allocate another 10-20mins per day for a couple of toilet breaks.

If you're thinking about the balcony as a toilet area for the dog please bear in mind that the dog/pup may see that as an extension of the house and be unwilling to toilet there. And even if it does, the neighbours might not appreciate it. ;)

4hrs alone is ideal, but most dogs should be fine for 5hrs. However it would be wise to looking to separation anxiety and how to combat it now, before you have a dog.

In terms of barking, that's a training issue, not a breed issue. All dogs bark to some extent.

Apart from small to medium, fairly quiet, loves to lounge around, what other requirements do you have?

And what can you offer the dog in return in terms of exercise, (in hours per day/week) mental stimulation/play time/grooming? Etc?

Once we k ow more, we should be able to whittle down a short list for you.
 

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Hi everyone! My partner and I have been looking at getting a dog to join our small family for a while, though we need help deciding which breed would be best suited to our current living arrangements.
We live in a two bedroom apartment with a small balcony. The dog would be walked roughly twice a day though would spend much of its time in the apartment with us, so it needs to be a breed that loves to lounge and receive cuddles.
Preferably small to medium sized and can comfortably be left in the apartment for up to 5 hours alone when we are at work. Barking is also a concern given our neighbors are very close!
We understand that there is probably no one breed that ticks all these boxes.

Thank you everyone :)
I know from experience, as do others here I believe, that having a dog in an apartment is not by any means necessarily a bad thing. If no one who lived in an apartment in a city should have a dog, millions of people in NYC and other places wouldn't have dogs. A life in an apartment need not be boring at all for a dog. It all depends on the dog owner.

The pertinent things here, In my opinion, are these:
Whether or not a dog cuddles or is barky or has other traits like that are primarily a question of 1) the individual dog's personality and 2) training, exercise, and how happy the dog is.
I'd say avoid breeds that are known to be super high energy or barky, like Shelties.

As for leaving the dog alone, in my opinion 5 hours is not a problem, nor all day while you are at work, providing:
You work up to it, as you say, and never leave a puppy or anxious dog alone that long
And, you provide, in the hours that you are not working, sufficient exercise, stimulation, training, games, and other attention and activity to let the dog have a fulfilling life and be happy. This can be done, but it may be a lot of your time, and does require dedication and often putting the dog's needs ahead of your own.

Having said that, I recommend that you forget breeds, and instead go to your local rescues and shelters and see if a small dog in one of those catches your eye. I say small because obviously a small dog has more room in an apartment than a large one does. There are so many good dogs who need homes, and your perfect dog may be waiting for you in one of those places. :) I wish you the best of luck, and hope we can be of assistance to you.
 

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Hi MadMurphy,
While it is true that some rescues don't want to adopt to people in apartments, I don't think it is true of most of them. Certainly most shelters do not make that discrimination. A rescue in a large city, for instance, where most people live in apartments, would not have a policy like that unless perhaps it applied only to high energy or large dogs, or they would never adopt out a dog.

Having worked for border collie rescue, I will say that despite those dogs being extremely demanding and high energy dogs, needing a lot of time and attention and exercise, I have adopted one or two out to people who lived in small apartments because I knew what their plan was for the dog and it was fine. Checked in a year later to find a happy well adjusted dog who did sports and had a great life.
I also adopted a border collie myself while living in one room in a huge city, and gave the dog a good life. Not that I would ever recommend a large or super high energy dog to someone in an apartment....but it's all about how dedicated the owner is.
 

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Hi MadMurphy,
While it is true that some rescues don't want to adopt to people in apartments, I don't think it is true of most of them. Certainly most shelters do not make that discrimination. A rescue in a large city, for instance, where most people live in apartments, would not have a policy like that unless perhaps it applied only to high energy or large dogs, or they would never adopt out a dog.

Having worked for border collie rescue, I will say that despite those dogs being extremely demanding and high energy dogs, needing a lot of time and attention and exercise, I have adopted one or two out to people who lived in small apartments because I knew what their plan was for the dog and it was fine. Checked in a year later to find a happy well adjusted dog who did sports and had a great life.
I also adopted a border collie myself while living in one room in a huge city, and gave the dog a good life. Not that I would ever recommend a large or super high energy dog to someone in an apartment....but it's all about how dedicated the owner is.

I gave an honest opinion based on the original post the poster does not like that and has now changed the goal posts and added extra information that they didn't mention in the beginning that is not my fault. I responded to the information that I had seen in the first post.
I still think leaving a dog in an apartment for 5 hours and maybe walking it twice a day is not just far from Ideal it's not fair.

I'm not saying necessarily that rescues won't rehome to apartments but if you go to a rescue and you say , I'm going to keep my dog in a small apartment , I might walk it twice a day and I'm going to leave it there for 5 hours on its own most rescues and most breeders ( if they are decent) will say no.
 

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Until he passed away, Miles, the dog in my avatar, enjoyed a wonderful life with me even though I left him alone while I worked full-time. I generally took him out for three short walks every day (before I left for work in the morning, when I came home in the late afternoon, and later in the evening). While I was at work, Miles spent his days sleeping. He was affectionate and friendly to all. I loved him dearly.

When I adopted Miles, he was eight to ten years old. He had an undiagnosed mass, which thankfully turned out to be benign, and crystals in his bladder. He had been at that shelter for three weeks. No one besides me had expressed any interest in him. He was slated to be euthanized.

If I had come to this forum describing my living situation and work hours, I would have been advised not to have a dog and Miles would have been killed. Instead, he enjoyed his senior years and I enjoyed his companionship.

There are dogs for all people in all living circumstances.
 

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I don't believe anyone can name a specific breed that is what you are looking for. I have a 10 pound dog that has the heart of a marathon runner. We have done hikes as long as 4 hours and he still has energy to keep going and he is 8 years old and still has that same energy and I also have seen large dogs that are really lazy and don't really like walking. Most dogs do need at least 1-3 hours of exercise including walks. Two walks a day seems short to me. If he is only home for 5 hours can't you do at least 3-4 walks a day? I think 5 hours a day is a reasonable amount of time to be left alone in my opinion. I have had friends/families adopt dogs and barely take them out and there solution is just to put pee pads around. And those are the dogs end up passing away far too short and develop medical issues early on in life. The people on here are just trying to help and we have all seen where a person gets a dog and don't know the responsibilities it takes to really own one and ends up giving it to the shelter. You can either get really lucky and your future dog is easy to take care of or you can end up spending numerous hours trying to train it to behave. If you do decide to get a dog I would advise to at least have someone home for that first week to get it adapted to the new environment and see how it reacts when you leave your apartment for a few minutes than try an hour ect...
 

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I agree with going to a shelter, maybe even a trial period, so you can see what nature the dog has and how it will cope with apartment living. Shelters have puppies too, if that is what you are set on. It is incredibly hard to select a dog just off breed as every dog is different. For example, I have a 2 year old border collie cross staffy. You would think her energy levels are off the charts. But no, if I don't go and physically engage with her, she will sleep the day away. My 4yr little mini fox terrier, on the other hand....

So I think a return policy is a must, just in case things don't work out, so the dog can find a home better suited to them.

As for leaving the dog alone for 5 hours a day... I think very few people would have dogs if they were unable to leave them alone for that period of time. As long as the two walks a day are vigorous, and the dog is challenged both physically and mentally, I think this should be ok. It is possible to set up toys to occupy the dog while you are away too. Weekends should be utilized appropriately as well.

Either way if you do get a dog, I would recommend doing it while you have at least a week to stay home with them in the initial stage, so they can settle in and ground rules can be somewhat established, as mentioned above.
 

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Bichon Frise? Pug? Boston terrier? A mix with the right personality? And I know a few retired greyhounds (rescued after a racing career) that are doing great with apartment life.
 

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Hi everyone! My partner and I have been looking at getting a dog to join our small family for a while, though we need help deciding which breed would be best suited to our current living arrangements.
We live in a two bedroom apartment with a small balcony. The dog would be walked roughly twice a day though would spend much of its time in the apartment with us, so it needs to be a breed that loves to lounge and receive cuddles.
Preferably small to medium sized and can comfortably be left in the apartment for up to 5 hours alone when we are at work. Barking is also a concern given our neighbors are very close!
We understand that there is probably no one breed that ticks all these boxes.

Thank you everyone :)
I think that before all, you should go to a rescue or a shelter. You can get some amazing dogs there, even if their ancestry is unknown! So do that first.
You could also look for specific breeds at rescues or shelters, which is possible, as long as you don’t pick a super rare breed. So if you were to do that, I’d advise a Frenchie, Bulldog, or Pug.
Sorry if I responded a bit late!
 

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For any particular reason? I'm not sure I'd recommend brachycephalic breeds to anyone, because of the health problems they can have.

And if the apartment has flights of stairs to go up, or down for that matter, that could cause problems too.
Well, I didn’t recommend them because they are all brachycephalic, although it’s true they all are. I chose them because
  • They are small and medium breeds
  • They don’t bark that much
  • They tend to like to cuddle
  • I think they are pretty good in apartments
Although it’s true that they wouldn’t be good with stairs, your typical apartment would have maximum one flight of stairs, which honestly isn’t that bad, so I think that would be fine.
And also, I recommended getting them from a rescue or a shelter, and those guys need to be adopted anyways, and you aren’t encouraging breeding their flat faces, so it works out well in the end.
 

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But they could incur the prospective adopter a lot of cost that they wouldn't have with other dogs.

And I'm not sure where you or indeed the OP live, but many apartment blocks are higher than one flight of stairs. A very quick Google shows this as an example.

 

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That is true... But you could also have a mix with one of these breeds that doesn’t have the brachycephalic face.

@Terrii, how many flights of stairs is your apartment?
 
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