So, you’ve got yourself a new home. Mayve a nice, new flat in the bustling city. Not quite the big family house, but a lovely cozy space you call home, nonetheless. You seem to have everything you need in a home, except perhaps some companionship, specifically in the form of a dog. A joyful, loving spirit, to warm your home with their energy and brighten your every day. If you’re looking to get a dog for a smaller home or flat, you’re at the right place.

Should I get a dog if I live in a small home?

There are many considerations for getting a new dog. Time, money, family, all come into play! Space is another factor owners may think about, especially if living in a smaller space; is there enough space for my dog to move around in? Where will they go to the toilet? What if their barking leads to noise complaints? 

All of these are completely valid points and should definitely be considered carefully beforehand. With the right research and planning, however, it is very much possible to raise a happy dog in a flat, and the size of space alone should have little reason to stop you from getting a dog! That being said, the fact still remains that getting a dog is a huge commitment. So definitely consider the time, money and energy you’re able to spend on them. 

Small dog for a small home?

It may seem logical to start looking at smaller breeds of dogs for a smaller home. A Springer Spaniel could probably navigate a tighter space better than a Great Dane and would find itself bumping into furniture less frequently.

While size is an important consideration, you should also consider the temperament and energy levels of each breed. For example, many small breeds are known to have an excitable personality with loud (and frequent) yapping tendencies. This could quickly start to annoy your neighbours!

On the other end of the spectrum, many medium to larger breed dogs may be more laid back and enjoy lazing about in the indoor space. This makes them well suited to a home without a garden (as long as they get enough daily exercise in the park, that is!). 

What breeds should I consider for a small home?

There are many breeds of dogs who make great companions in a cosy home. The Bichon Frise and Yorkshire Terrier are known for their cheerful personalities, while the Whippet is more mellow and cuddly. Dachshunds, Corgis, Cocker Spaniels, Pugs would also fit well into a flat, given their smaller size, and general adaptability for living in a smaller space. Be warned, however, that it is true toy dogs may have a tendency for barking. That being said, this can usually be managed with care.

For those who are looking for larger sized dogs, consider a gentle Basset Hound, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Schnauzer, or Greyhound. French or English bulldogs also make the shortlist, for having the added benefit of requiring less exercise than other breeds (10-20min walks are sufficient). Popular family dogs such as Border or Boston terriers would also do well in a flat.

While there aren’t any breeds which have been ‘bred for’ living in a flat, there certainly are plenty who would adapt well to living in a smaller home! Make sure to read up on each breed, and find out about their personalities, exercise requirements and other needs, to find a good match for yourself!

Creating a dog-friendly flat

Choosing a breed which suits your living space is just the first step. It is equally as important to train your dog and create an environment which helps them feel safe, secure, and happy. Begin training your pup early, by introducing them to noises (such as the doorbell, footsteps, vehicles), as this desensitizes them and makes them less likely to react to sounds by barking.

Make your flat as interactive for your dog as possible, by putting out plenty of toys. This minimises the chances of your dog becoming bored (and possibly destructive). Setting up a doggy bed or crate will also provide your dog with a safe space where they can be when feeling anxious. All these steps will help your dog stay happy, which will translate to less barking and destructive behaviour…everyone wins!

How much outdoor access will my dog need?

Every single dog requires exercise and outdoor activity. Just because your dog is happy to spend its day lounging around your flat, doesn’t mean they should be kept in all the time! This will quickly lead to frustration and behavioural issues.

Once-daily (or ideally twice), you should take them out for a walk, to a nearby park, green space, or even just down a couple streets. Your dog will appreciate the opportunity to explore and let out its doggy energy. And you will probably see a happier, chilled out dog indoors!

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