Determining the Right Dog Breed for an Apartment – The Mercury News

Dear Critter Corner: I’m looking to get a dog, but I live in a crowded apartment complex and have heard that big dogs should be avoided. Do you have any recommendations on the dog breed to adopt?

There are many decisions that need to be taken into account when adopting a dog and renting a property. The first one, which many people forget, is whether your owner has placed any restrictions on pet ownership! Many apartment complexes will have breed and size restrictions which can vary wildly. Some will also limit the number of animals you can keep on the premises.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to choose the litter box, the next questions you should be asking yourself are about your home’s activity level. How many hours per day do you plan to leave your dog alone in the apartment? Is this going to be just a stopover in bed for your dog, while the rest of the day is spent on adventure together outdoors? A quick rule of thumb is that the more time the dog spends alone, the less energy needs should be reduced as well.

Many large breed dogs need a lot of exercise, or they start to get playful. Huskies, for example, have been known to escape backyards, over or under fences, when left unattended. Bulldogs, on the other hand, are known to be loving salon dogs. There are exceptions to every rule, such as with a Jack Russel Terrier which is one of the most energetic dog breeds in a small package.

The next question to ask yourself is what level of noise is acceptable in your home? Small dogs like the Chihuahua can often be quite loud. Meanwhile, a Great Dane is known to be one of the calmest dog breeds around. Some breeds, like German Shepherds, tend to be wary of strangers and can alert by barking whenever someone walks past a window. A lot of people like it, but the postman doesn’t. The best answer is to do preventative research on dog breeds and try to find one that matches the energy level and characteristics you are looking for in your best new roommate.

Daniel Levit is the Behavior and Training Department Assistant at the Peninsula Human Society & SPCA. For more information, visit, call 650-340-7022, ext. 416, or by email at [email protected]