Choosing a breed of dog is always a decision that involves countless criteria. Is the dog active or more sedentary? A barker or quiet? Large or small? In Vancouver, this can be an especially tricky choice, since many apartments have restrictions on pets. But before you make the leap, Amherst Veterinary Hospital outlined some dogs that easily adapt to apartment living, even if you think they wouldn’t suit.

To Bark or Not to Bark

Something to consider when picking a dog is what their engrained “job” is. While most dogs will bark if startled or to alert their owner to something important, dogs involved in hunting (like Beagles, hounds, etc.) tend to be more vocal than others, as do most terriers and toy breeds. If you’re living in a less than well-insulated apartment, neighbours could be easily irritated by consistent yapping.


Many people feel that smaller dogs are more suitable to apartment living simply because of their size, which can often be the case. But if you love a big dog but are worried about their exercise needs in a small space, don’t be. Just because a dog is larger doesn’t mean he needs to be driven out to a field and have a ball thrown for hours. Some larger breeds adapt exceptionally well to apartment living, including Great Danes, Bulldogs and other bully breeds like Bull Terriers or Staffordshires. Their lazier nature means they don’t mind lounging on the couch and having little room to tear around.


Like us, dogs have their own personality and not all of them want to visit and play with each other. But since apartment living can mean closed quarters (think of all that time in the lobby, elevator and hallways on your way to pee breaks), you want a dog who doesn’t bristle at every encounter with another canine. Think spaniels, labs and Bull Mastiffs. Of course, much of this trait relies on the owner and their ability to socialize the dog early in life.

When you go looking for your next dog, be sure to take all of these factors into consideration before buying or adopting. Many dogs are returned or surrendered to shelters because they do not fit the lifestyle of the family it was brought into, which could be avoided if dog owners did their research in advance.

But most importantly, explore your neighbourhood with your new pet and show them how beautiful the Lower Mainland can be.


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