Top 10 Ultimate Large Dog Breeds for Modern Apartment Living


Big paws don’t always mean needing big spaces. We often think large dogs must have lots of outdoor space. But many large breeds adapt well to smaller living quarters. This guide shows how some large dog breeds for apartment living are ideal companions in cozy homes and why certain apartment-friendly large dogs could be the best choice for city dwellers. Find out which large dog breeds are suitable for apartments; they might be your perfect living partner.

Key Takeaways

  • A shift in perspective: realizing large dogs can adapt to apartment living.
  • Essential factors to assess: energy, noise, shedding, and trainability for different breeds.
  • Surprising suitability: breeds like Basenjis and Bichon Frises, though varied in size, share low-energy and low-shedding traits favorable for apartments.
  • Understanding the broad spectrum: From beagles to Bernese Mountain Dogs, various breeds showcase adaptability to smaller living spaces.
  • Life expectancy and physical dimensions: considering how size, weight, and longevity of a dog breed like the Great Dane impact apartment living.
  • Exercise and space management: ways to ensure large breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers stay healthy and happy in limited space.
  • The importance of adoption and rescue: how adopting a large breed can provide a loving home and solve space concerns.

Top 10 Best Large Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the company of a large dog. Certain breeds adapt well to smaller living spaces due to their temperament and energy levels. When choosing a large breed for an apartment, consider factors like exercise needs, shedding, and how vocal they are. This guide focuses on large dogs known for their calm demeanor and lower activity requirements. Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or a first-timer, selecting the right breed can make all the difference. Here’s an insightful overview of the top 10 best large dog breeds for apartment dwellers.

RankBreed NameAverage Weight (lbs)Height (inches)Exercise NeedsSheddingBarkingKey Traits
1Great Dane110-17528-34LowModerateLowGentle, friendly, loves lounging
2Mastiff120-23027-35ModerateHighModerateLoyal, protective, relatively inactive indoors
3Greyhound60-7027-30LowLowLowQuiet, gentle, surprisingly good in small spaces
4Bullmastiff100-13024-27ModerateModerateLowDocile, affectionate, good guard dog
5Newfoundland100-15026-28ModerateHighModerateSweet-natured, patient, great with families
6Leonberger110-17025-31ModerateHighLowFriendly, gentle, good with children
7Bernese Mountain Dog70-11523-27.5ModerateHighLowAffectionate, loyal, requires companionship
8Irish Wolfhound115-18030-35ModerateModerateLowGentle, calm, tallest of all dog breeds
9Standard Poodle40-7018-24HighLowModerateIntelligent, hypoallergenic, very adaptable to living spaces
10Borzoi60-10526-28LowModerateLowQuiet, independent, does well with calm, structured exercise
Bullmastiff dog resting on couch with soulful eyes.
closeup portrait of relaxed bullmastiff dog lounging sofa

Understanding Apartment Life with Large Dog Breeds

Living in the city brings a challenge: we adore large dog breeds but space is limited. Around 78 million dogs live in U.S. homes, and 43% of people live in apartments. This often doesn’t fit the dream of a house with a yard. Adding in pet rent, about $15-$40 monthly, makes having a big dog in an apartment a big decision.

Benefits of Having Big Dogs in Small Apartments

Big dogs can fill small apartments with love and fun. Dogs like Basset Hounds, weighing up to 60 pounds, fit well in small places. They are friendly and good with families. But they need daily activity, 30 minutes to two hours, to stay healthy and happy. Meeting their exercise needs makes them great for apartments.

Challenges and Considerations

But, not all big dogs fit well in apartments. Some breeds, like Pit Bulls and German Shepherds, are often prohibited. They might bark a lot or seem scary to others. Breeds that don’t handle noise well or need lots of exercise can also be hard to keep in small spaces.

Health and Space Management for Larger Dogs

Caring for big dogs in small places is more than finding a quiet breed. For breeds like Great Danes, which can be very big, managing their health and space is critical. Keeping them healthy means the right diet and exercise to avoid problems like obesity. This helps avoid other health issues.

Choosing the right large dog for an apartment means considering their health needs and space. With the right care, even the largest dogs can be happy in small spaces, which helps everyone live together happily.

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Key Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Large Dog Breed for Your Apartment

Thinking about how well you and a large dog breed will get along is critical to a happy life together. Over 65 million homes in the U.S. have dogs, showing many love having them around. Yet, living with a large dog in the city requires thought and planning.

Evaluating Your Lifestyle Compatibility

How we live greatly affects the happiness of large dog breeds in apartments. Checking if your daily life allows time for them is important if you love dogs. If you’re often busy or out, it might be hard to care for breeds like the Beagle or Golden Retriever, who need lots of play and exercise.

The Importance of Exercise and Space

Some breeds, like the Basenji and Bichon Frise, don’t shed much and are good for small places. But, they still need walks to stay healthy. Dogs that can live well in apartments, like the Dachshund and Bernese Mountain Dog, need daily exercise to avoid boredom.

Potential Costs and Care Requirements

Getting a dog means spending money beyond buying or adopting it. The AKC’s breed profiles help us understand grooming and exercise needs, which helps us plan expenses. Breeds like the Finnish Lapphund and Labrador Retriever are covered in the AKC’s book, guiding us on caring for a large breed in an apartment.

We must cherish the happiness dogs bring and care for their needs. With tools like the AKC Marketplace and Rescue Network, we can find and support large breeds that fit into city life.

Large Dog Breeds for Apartment

Over 65 million homes in America have dogs. Many people live in small spaces but still want big dogs. We must know what they need to live happily with a large dog in a small apartment. This includes giving them things to do for their mind, enough exercise, and proper training. This helps both pets and owners enjoy their life together.

Mental Stimulation and the Need for Exercise

Large dogs in apartments don’t just sit around. For example, a Bichon Frise loves to solve puzzles and move around. The Italian Greyhound needs fun activities to keep them busy. Exercising their minds and bodies is important, even in small spaces.

Socialization and Training for Apartment-Friendly Behaviors

Socializing and training large dogs for apartment living is crucial. Take the Labrador Retriever or Boston Terrier; good behavior comes from consistent training. They need to know how to act in limited space. Havanese dogs do well in cities because they are good at making friends and fitting into apartment life.

Rescue and Adoption Options

Adopting a large dog can be perfect for apartment living. Shih Tzus and French Bulldogs are great for small homes and are often up for adoption. Rescue organizations have many dogs, like the Basenji and Basset Hound, that are great for apartments. They fit well because they’re calm and easy to live with.

BreedWeight (pounds)Energy LevelNoise LevelSheddingTrainability
French Bulldog16-28LowLowLowGood
Chinese Shar Pei45-60LowLowMediumStubborn
Finnish Lapphund33-53MediumMediumHighExcellent
Golden Retriever55-75HighMediumHighExcellent
Great Dane dog sleeping on dog bed.
Great dane sleeping on dog bed

Great Danes: Gentle Giants Perfect for Apartment Living

Great Danes stand out when considering the best large dog breeds for apartment living. They easily overcome the usual issues of big dogs in small spaces. Despite their size, they are calm and fit well into apartment life. They need a big dog bed, but not as much space as one might think.

Great Danes are known as large dog breeds suitable for apartments because they love being with people. They’re happy to relax with you after a day’s work. This makes them easier to care for than more active breeds. We’ve found many reasons why Great Danes can live happily in smaller places.

CharacteristicDescriptionApartment Relevance
Affectionate NatureKnown for their love for human interaction and social demeanor.Males can reach up to 32 inches and 175 lbs, and females can reach up to 30 inches and 140 lbs. They are described as elegant and regal.
Size and EleganceMales up to 32 inches and 175 lbs, females up to 30 inches and 140 lbs. Described as elegant and regal.While large, their peaceful nature suits apartment confines. A majestic addition to any home.
Exercise NeedsDespite their power and potential in dog sports, their exercise needs are moderate.Perfect for apartments as they don’t require extensive outdoor spaces for activity.
Training and IntelligenceHighly intelligent and capable learners, crucial for safe cohabitation.It is deeply valued in apartment settings for fostering a warm environment.
Lifespan and Health CostsA lifespan of 7-10 years but may incur higher medical expenses.Long-term companionship demands planning for future healthcare needs.

All must note the Great Dane’s impressive presence in apartment life with large breeds. Training them early is crucial for managing their size and strength. They were once hunters in Germany, known for their brains and brawn. But now, they are loving family members, even in busy urban areas.

Choosing a Great Dane for apartment living means more than picking a pet. It’s a decision filled with benefits: loyalty, love, and nobility. Be ready for possible extra costs for their care. But for those up to the challenge, a Great Dane is an incredibly devoted companion among large dog breeds suitable for apartments.

💡Reading Tip: 11 Best Apartment Dog Breeds to Fit Your Lifestyle: Top Dogs for City Living

The Surprising Apartment Companion: Greyhounds

Greyhounds are among the top apartment-friendly large dogs. They are surprisingly good at living in small spaces. Even with their speed, they love to relax, making them great for apartments. They are one of the best large dog breeds for apartment living. This is why places like Victoria have reforms to help renters have pets. Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are also looking into it. Learn more here.

The RSPCA suggests landlords should allow pets because of Greyhounds. They are a calm match for the elderly who live a quieter life. Unlike active dogs, Greyhounds are happy with short runs. They just need regular walks to be happy.

Adult Greyhounds are calm and perfect for apartment living. It’s important to get advice to find the right dog for you. Rescue groups suggest giving them time to adjust and having two dogs to keep each other company.

Being close to green spaces is key to apartment living. It’s important for walks and keeping the area clean. Greyhounds need both physical and mental exercise for their health. Try puzzle feeders and hiding treats for them to find. This keeps them happy and your home peaceful.

Greyhounds show that big dogs can live in apartments, too. They bring friendship and make it easier to meet people. As more places become pet-friendly, we’ll see more Greyhounds in apartments. They make great pets and help us feel good.

Relaxed tan greyhound lounging on a couch.
adorable greyhound dog home couch

Newfoundlands: Big, Affectionate Dogs for Smaller Homes

In the U.S., 65 million households have a dog. Many of these homes are apartments. This makes people think about living in an apartment with a big dogNewfoundlands are perfect for this. They are huge but very gentle. They’re great big dogs for small places.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) found something interesting. Dogs that don’t need a lot of energy are great for apartments, like Newfoundlands. Some big dogs aren’t allowed in apartments, but Newfoundlands are different. They need just 20-40 minutes of exercise daily, making them perfect for small living spaces.

Newfoundlands have many good qualities for living in apartments. They are very calm and don’t need much grooming. They like being around people, which is suitable for apartment living. They weigh 130-150 lbs and are 26 inches tall. They look big, but they are very peaceful at home.

  • Standard coat colors: Black, brown, gray
  • Energy level: Laid Back
  • Grooming Needs: Moderate
  • Social Needs: Moderate
  • Origins: Developed on the island of Newfoundland
  • Historical role: Renowned for water rescues
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Food intake: Up to 100 pounds in the first year of growth

Despite their enormous size, Newfoundlands fit well in small apartments. They are gentle and intelligent. This makes them great companions in flats.

Newfoundlands are unusual for an apartment dog. But they adapt well to city life just as they do to the suburbs. They are loving and adjust well, making them loved by people who live in small places.

💡Reading Tip: 20 World’s Smallest Dog Breeds: Tiny Dogs for Any Home

Create a Comfortable Environment for Large Breeds in Small Spaces

Making small spaces comfy for big dogs means considering their needs. Over 65 million American homes have dogs, showing that many have figured out how to make tight living areas work.

Strategic Exercise Routines to Compensate for Lack of Space

Big dogs need innovative exercise plans, especially in apartments. Breeds like Golden and Labrador Retrievers do well with regular activity. They benefit from short walks and park visits. Looking at large dog breeds that do well in apartments shows how the right exercises keep them healthy in small homes.

Setting Boundaries and Creating Quiet Spaces

Big dogs in small places also need clear rules and their quiet spots. With less energy, breeds like the Basenji and Basset Hound love peaceful corners. Giving them a cozy bed by a window or a quiet area helps make a comfortable environment for large breeds.

Doing this gives your dog a peaceful spot and keeps your home calm. Matching the needs of large dog breeds that do well in apartments with our living situations makes everyone happier.

Two dogs playing together on white background.
Two Leonberger Dogs on white background

Debunking Myths: Large Dog Breeds That Do Well in Apartments

We’ve learned something interesting in our ongoing exploration of urban canine companionship. It turns out that size isn’t the most important factor for apartment living. Despite common beliefs, several large dog breeds do well in cities without needing a lot of room. In fact, out of the top ten apartment-friendly dog breeds, only one is under 20 pounds. This debunks the idea that only small breeds fit well in tight spaces.

Our research also highlights the important roles dogs play for people with disabilities. These dogs are more than just pets in apartments; they’re crucial helpers. They can alert their owners to medical issues, like seizures. With more service animals in apartments, including unique ones like miniature horses, focus shifts. It’s not just about a dog’s breed or size. It’s about the bond between humans and their service animals, challenging old views on pet owning.

We’re also tackling some widespread dog myths. For a long time, people thought dogs could only see in black and white. However, studies have shown dogs can see colors like blue and yellow. Additionally, it’s been argued that having more than one pet could cause problems. However, evidence shows that more pets can help reduce loneliness-related behavior issues. As we push to accept large dogs in apartments, we aim to make communities more welcoming. Doing so enriches our lives and creates a caring space for all dogs, big or small.



Jessica is a passionate blogger at, where she shares her love for canines. With a background in animal behavior, she crafts engaging, informative content. Jessica's dedication to dog welfare shines through her writing, inspiring her readers. She's also an advocate for adoption, frequently spotlighting shelter dogs. Through her blog, Jessica aims to create a community of informed, compassionate dog lovers.

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