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Want to Have a Dog? These Are the Worst 8 Dogs for Apartments

If you want to have a dog and you live in an apartment, then you need to make a mindful decision here. If you’re renting, you need to know that some landlords restrict some breeds altogether, such as rottweilers, great Danes, and pit bulls (which also happen to be my favorites).

This also means that these dogs are completely off-limits if you would like to rent them from specific properties. Restricted breeds aside, you still have options. But today, we will focus on the worst types of dogs you can own while living in an apartment, due to their size, energy level, noise, maintenance, and upkeep.

If you currently own a pet or you’re a potential pet owner, it’s very important to understand which are the worst dogs for apartments before considering getting a new place to live.

Non-shedding small dog apartment
Photo by Lim Tiaw Leong from Shutterstock

Why Are These Breeds Unfit for Apartments?

Now, let’s establish one thing: all dogs are great. However, not all of them are well-suited for apartment living. A dog might be considered the worst dog breed for apartments for these reasons:


Apartments are generally smaller than condos, townhomes, or even houses, so very large and heavy dogs (100+ pounds) aren’t ideal for apartment living just because they don’t have enough space to roam and grow. However, this doesn’t mean that all large dogs are the worst dogs for apartments. However, as a general rule of thumb, big dogs won’t feel good living in a small apartment environment.

Energy Levels

Another reason a dog could be in this category is because of its energy level. All dogs need a ton of exercise and attention, but some breeds are way too hyperactive. They possess extreme levels of energy. These breeds are generally very active and could easily run through the apartment, causing damage to the property or even causing too much noise for your neighbors.

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


When you own a dog, you might as well expect it to bark and howl every now and then. While you might find this adorable, your neighbors might not be as pleased. Some dog breeds are known to be louder than others, which makes them the worst dogs for apartments. Because renters are in close proximity to other people, the amount of noise their dog makes really matters.

Maintenance and upkeep

If you decide to rent a pet-friendly apartment, you probably have to pay an additional pet deposit and sign a waiver that states you will pay for any damage caused to the apartment by the dog. Well, the worst dogs for apartments are those that shed a lot and require constant maintenance and upkeep.

You might love your dog, but I bet you don’t want to vacuum and mop with enzyme cleaner every single day just to keep your space clean. After all, as an apartment dweller, you are better suited to find a dog that’s also hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed, or even find a dog that isn’t known for shedding.

St. Bernard

St. Bernards are known as working dogs that were originally bred in the Alps. This particular breed falls into the category of giant breeds, which means they weigh somewhere between 140 and 180 pounds.

While they can live in smaller spaces, they are better suited for a home with plenty of space to stretch and move around. Also, given their thick fur, they can easily become smelly. This isn’t the ideal scenario for apartment dwellers, especially since the fur and dog smell might ultimately penetrate the carpet and jeopardize your pet security deposit.

English Mastiff

Even if we’re talking about a massive dog, their size is not really what makes them a bad choice for apartment dwellers. As a general rule, English mastiffs drool quite a lot, which could make a mess in a small place, especially one that you don’t own.

They also need constant grooming and upkeep to avoid all that shedding, which can also be hard to manage. Even if these dogs are mellow indoors, they do require a good walk per day. Hence, circling around an apartment complex might not be enough to keep these dogs happy and in shape.


When you think of Dalmatians, you might think of that old, cliche fire department dog that runs around all the time. Dalmatians are quite active, energetic dogs that need exercise and a lot of mental stimulation every day, multiple times a day.

These dogs don’t do very well when left alone, especially for prolonged periods of time, so leaving them in an apartment isn’t ideal for them. These dogs are very energetic, and they can become very destructive when bored, which makes them a sub-par choice for many apartment dwellers.

german shepherd apartment
Photo by Barat Roland from Shutterstock

German shepherd

German shepherds are wonderful dogs, but they do love people and engage in a lot of activities. This breed doesn’t do too well when left alone for way too long, so if you decide to leave them in an apartment without other humans around, they might become a bit destructive and loud. These habits will probably annoy your fellow apartment neighbors and even have the landlord knocking on your door and talking about your dog.


Even if most terrier breeds are quite small, they’re not really the best dog breeds for an apartment. As a general rule, terriers are quite territorial, and they can lead to aggressive behavior around other dogs or even people.

They are also incredibly active and need a lot of time to run and move around to fully expend that energy. Lastly, they are quite loud and will bark all the time, no matter the time of the day. As an apartment dweller, these features aren’t exactly the best fit.


Just like terrier breeds, chihuahuas are the ideal size for a home, but they don’t have the best temperament. They can get quite territorial and untrusting of strangers (and sometimes, let’s be honest, rightfully so), so you will have to supervise your chihuahua on a regular basis to make sure they don’t terrorize the neighbors. Also, they can be yappy dogs, which might deeply annoy your neighbors. If you have a small Chihuahua and you want to take it with you everywhere, here’s a great bag!


Labradors are wonderful dogs, but they do have a lot of energy and require multiple walks a day to get that energy out of them. As an apartment dweller, you probably won’t possess the physical space to allow your pet lab to run free as it should. Also, these dogs shed a lot, leaving behind a trail of fur no matter where they went. This can also be a hassle for condo renters to deal with.

Golden retriever

Just like labradors, golden retrievers are amazing family dogs. However, they do require a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy, healthy, and very well-behaved. A small apartment might not be the best environment to raise a golden retriever. Also, they do shed a lot and require constant maintenance and upkeep.

If you found this article useful, we also recommend checking out: 7 Big Dog Breeds Perfect for Apartments

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