The Worst Dogs for Apartments

The Worst Dogs for Apartments

They say a dog is a man’s best friend, so it’s hard to think of any breed being labeled as the best or worst dogs for apartments. While all dogs can be lovable companions, there are some dog breeds that are better suited for apartment dwellers than others.

Some landlords restrict certain breeds entirely, like rottweilers, great Danes or pit bulls. That means that these dogs are entirely off-limits if you’d like to rent from specific properties. Restricted breeds aside, there are still some types that are the worst dog breeds for apartments simply because of their size, energy level, noise, maintenance and upkeep.

If you’re a pet owner or potential pet owner, it’s important to understand which are the worst dogs for apartments before you start hunting for a new place to live.


Why some breeds are the worst for apartments

All dogs are great — but not all dogs great for or geared toward apartment living. A dog may be considered the worst dog breed for apartments for a few reasons.


Apartments are usually smaller than condos, townhomes or houses, so extremely large and heavy dogs (100-plus pounds) aren’t great for apartment living because they simply don’t have enough space to roam and grow.

That doesn’t mean all large dogs are the worst dogs for apartments. However, as a general rule of thumb, extremely large dogs won’t thrive in a small apartment environment.

Energy level

Another reason a dog may be labeled as the worst dog breed for an apartment is because of its energy level. All dogs need exercise and attention, but some breeds are extremely hyper and active with excessive levels of energy. These breeds will be very active and could run through the apartment causing damage to the property or causing too much noise for the neighboring tenants.

High-energy dogs are great for people who have yards because the dog can run free in the backyard, but because apartments don’t have backyards, it’s hard to entertain a high-energy dog all day.


When you own a dog, you can expect it to bark and howl occasionally. While you may find this adorable, your neighbors may not find the non-stop yapping cute. Some dog breeds are historically louder than others, making them the worst dogs for apartments. Because renters are in close proximity to other people, the amount of noise their dog makes matters.

Maintenance and upkeep

If you’re renting a pet-friendly apartment, you most likely had to pay an additional pet deposit and sign a waiver stating you’d pay for any damage caused to the apartment by the dog.

The worst dogs for apartments are those that shed excessively and require constant maintenance and upkeep. You may love your dog, but you don’t want to be vacuuming and mopping with enzyme cleaner every single day just to keep your place clean. As an apartment dweller, you’re better suited to finding a dog that’s hypo-allergenic and doesn’t shed at all or finding a dog that isn’t known for shedding.

The worst dog breeds for apartments

Now that we’ve given an overview of why some dogs are suited for apartment dwellers, let’s look at eight specific dog breeds that are the worst for apartments and why.

1. St. Bernard

Saint Bernard

  • Extremely large
  • Needs space to roam
  • Can be smelly

St. Bernards are working dogs that were originally bred in the Alps. This breed falls into the category of giant breeds, meaning they weigh anywhere from 140 to 180 pounds. While they can live in smaller spaces, they’re better suited for a home where they have plenty of space to stretch and move around.

Also, because of their thick fur, they can become smelly very quickly. This isn’t ideal for apartment dwellers as the fur and dog smell could penetrate the carpet and jeopardize your pet security deposit.

2. English mastiff

English Mastiff

  • Drools a lot
  • Needs lots of daily exercise
  • Requires regular grooming

Despite being a massive dog, their size is not what makes them a poor choice for apartment dwellers. Typically, English mastiffs drool a lot, which can make a mess in an apartment that you do not own. They need regular grooming and upkeep to avoid shedding, which can also be hard to manage.

While these dogs are mellow indoors, they do require a substantial walk a day. So, a walk around the apartment complex won’t be sufficient to keep these dogs happy and in shape.

3. Dalmatian


  • Excessive energy
  • Needs stimulation to avoid boredom
  • Can be destructive

When you think of dalmatians, you may think of the cliché fire department dog running around all the time. Dalmatians are highly active, energetic dogs that need exercise and mental stimulation multiple times a day.

These dogs don’t do well left alone for long periods of time, so leaving them in an apartment isn’t a good choice. These dogs are highly energetic and can be destructive when bored, making them a sub-par choice for apartment dwellers.

4. German shepherd

German Shepherd

  • Easily bored
  • Doesn’t do well alone
  • Loud

German shepherds are great dogs, but they love people and engaging in activities. This breed doesn’t do well when left alone for too long, so, if you leave them in an apartment without other humans around, they can become destructive and loud. These habits will likely annoy your fellow apartment neighbors and have the landlord knocking on your door to talk about your dog.

5. Terrier


  • Territorial
  • Loud
  • Excessive energy

While most terrier breeds are small, they’re not the best dog breeds for apartments. Generally, terriers are very territorial and can lead to aggressive behavior around other dogs or people. They’re incredibly active and need lots of room to run, play and expend that energy. Lastly, they’re loud and will bark constantly, regardless of the time of day. As an apartment dweller, these features aren’t the best fit.

6. Chihuahua


  • Territorial
  • Loud
  • Doesn’t like strangers

Like terrier breeds, chihuahuas are the right size for apartments but not the best temperament. They can be territorial and untrusting of strangers, so you’ll need to supervise your chihuahua constantly to make sure it doesn’t terrorize the neighbors. Also, they can be a very yappy dog, which will likely annoy the neighbors.

7. Labrador


  • High energy
  • Sheds
  • Size

Labradors are great dogs, but they have lots of energy and require multiple walks a day to get that energy out. As an apartment dweller, you likely won’t have the physical space to allow your pet lab to run free as it needs.

Also, these dogs shed excessively, leaving behind a trail of fur no matter where they go. This can be a hassle for apartment renters to deal with.

8. Golden retriever

Golden Retriever

  • Sheds
  • High energy
  • Needs mental stimulation

Like labs, golden retrievers are great family dogs but require a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy, healthy and well-behaved. A small apartment may not be the best environment to raise a golden retriever.

Also, they shed a lot and require regular maintenance and upkeep.

Should I get a dog if I live in an apartment?

Lots of apartments are pet-friendly and will welcome your furry friend. If you’re committed to training, walking and taking care of your dog and your landlord will let you have a pet, they can be a great addition to your family.

Before you adopt or purchase a new dog, though, you should consider if it’s allowed in your apartment and if it will be happy living there. Just because you can have a dog in the space doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you and the dog. Do your research on the best and worst dog breeds for apartments before making your final decision.

Published at Tue, 01 Sep 2020 12:30:34 +0000