Small Space, Big Love: 13 Ideal Medium-Sized Dog Breeds for Your Space!

Looking for a medium-sized dog breed that can thrive in your apartment? If you live in the city and are unsure which breeds can adapt to your space, this guide is just what you need. Many medium-sized dogs can do well in apartments as long as they get sufficient mental and physical exercise. In this article, we showcase 13 breeds that are perfect for apartment living. Plus, you’ll hear insights from nine experts, including veterinarians, dog behaviorists, and trainers, who share their top picks for apartment-friendly medium-sized dogs.

German Shepherd Dog

Do German Shepherds Attack Other Dogs

The German Shepherd, originally bred for hunting game, is now widely used for hunting, protection, and various working roles. Known for guarding livestock, protecting children, and assisting police in finding missing people, they excel in guarding homes and families. Despite their working background, they can adapt well to apartment living.

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Suggested by James, Founder Of Neurodoglux.com

Basset Hound

When choosing a dog for apartment living, it’s crucial to consider their welfare needs, including their natural desire for outdoor time and at least an hour of daily exercise. While toy breeds are often the best choice for smaller homes, some medium-sized dogs also adapt well to apartment life. The Basset Hound, with its laid-back temperament and low maintenance, is a sensible consideration. However, to prevent them from becoming overweight, they should be given at least an hour of exercise each day.

Linda Simon, Consulting Veterinarian At Five Barks

Whippet

Avoid active or working breeds like the Border Collie or Belgian Shepherd, as they require extensive outdoor access and can become destructive in small homes. Similarly, dogs prone to separation anxiety and barking, such as the Australian Shepherd, may disturb neighbors. A great option for apartment living is the Whippet. Though they run swiftly outdoors, they require minimal exercise and physical stimulation, and their calm, quiet nature makes them well-suited to apartment life.

Linda Simon, Consulting Veterinarian At Five Barks

Golden Retriever

Why golden retrievers are the worst dogs. A golden retriever smiling.

Golden Retrievers, originally bred to retrieve ducks from ponds, are now cherished for their friendly, loyal, and loving nature, making them excellent family pets, especially around children. They are smart, trainable, and thrive on attention. However, due to their need for space and exercise, they might not be the best choice for apartment living.

Suggested by James, Founder Of Neurodoglux.com

Belgian Malinois

Any breed can be suitable for apartment living as long as their needs are met. Modern apartments are often larger than homes from a few generations ago, so with sufficient human interaction and exercise, dogs can thrive. For example, I kept a high-energy Belgian Malinois in a studio apartment during grad school by ensuring we ran, trained, and walked for an hour each day. Ultimately, it’s about what you can provide for the dog, not the size of your living space.

Suggested by Dr. Amanda Takiguchi, Veterinarian And Founder of Trending Breeds

Bulldog

A Bulldog is sitting on a chain in the grass.
An Akita Bulldog Mix is sitting on a chain in the grass.

The Bulldog is a short-haired breed with a wrinkled face and stout body. Despite their appearance, Bulldogs are gentle and good with children and other pets. Known for their calm demeanor, they make excellent apartment dogs. While they require some exercise, they don’t need a lot of space to run around.

Suggested by Jeff Netzley, Dog Trainer And Creator of Dog Training Near You

Corgi

A Blue Heeler Corgi mix standing in the grass with its tongue out.
A Blue Heeler Corgi mix standing in the grass with its tongue out.

The Bulldog is a short-haired breed with a wrinkled face and stout body. Despite their appearance, Bulldogs are gentle and good with children and other pets. Known for their calm demeanor, they make excellent apartment dogs. While they require some exercise, they don’t need a lot of space to run around.

Suggested by Alex Romilly, Editor And Pet Expert at MyDogBreed.com

Shar Pei

These beautiful medium-sized dogs with unique wrinkly looks are great apartment guard dogs. Early training and socialization are essential to prevent issues. They thrive with moderate exercise, are independent and loyal, and make excellent companions for apartment living.

Suggested by Paola Cuevas Moreno, Veterinarian, MVZ And Behaviorist with Hepper.com

Beagle

A Beagle with its tongue out looking at the camera.

A Beagle makes a great apartment dog, easily recognizable by its small stature, pleasant demeanor, high energy levels, and intelligence. Beagles are social dogs that get along well with everyone they meet. Their even temperament, neither nervous nor overly excited, makes them perfect family pets.

Suggested by Vikesh Ram, Writer At www.animalhowever.com

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are intelligent, affectionate, and playful dogs. They are frequently utilized as guide dogs for the blind and hearing impaired and are known for their compatibility with children and other animals. Labradors are well-suited for apartment living and are ideal for individuals seeking an active yet independent pet.

Suggested by James, Founder Of Neurodoglux.com

Rhodesian Ridgeback

For apartment dwellers preferring a medium-sized dog, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a smart choice. Known for intelligence, loyalty, and affection, they’re easy to train and great with children and other pets. While not frequent barkers, their loud howl can be startling. Apartment living suits them as they don’t need excessive exercise; a few daily walks suffice. However, they shed heavily and have a strong prey drive. Still, they make adorable and loyal companions.

Suggested by Jen Jones, Professional Dog Trainer, Behavior Specialist And Founder Your Dog Advisor

Pitbull

Pitbulls have a complex reputation and may face restrictions in some places. It’s crucial to consider your area’s rules regarding this breed. However, Pitbulls are versatile; some love being couch potatoes while others excel as police or agility dogs. They can also be great nanny dogs, watching over children. Evaluating them individually is key, but I’ve seen many Pitbulls thrive in apartment settings.

Suggested by Lindsay Warren, Veterinary Technician And Pet Blogger at
fromfourlegstotwo.com

Poodle

A poodle lounging in a dog bed in a living room.

Poodles, originating from Germany, are small lapdogs known for their gentle and obedient nature. They are highly popular and commonly featured in commercials and movies. Their adaptability makes them well-suited for apartment living as they don’t need much space.

Suggested by James, Founder Of Neurodoglux.com

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