Most people think that large dog breeds are only for those with a big yard. While there are certain dogs that are more content if they spend time outside roaming, you can still have a big pup even if you live in an apartment. That’s basically why most people who live in apartments choose to have small dogs.
But, in fact, size isn’t such an important factor when it comes to having a dog as a pet while living in an apartment. You should instead take into account other things, such as their temperament and exercise and attention needs.
It may come as a surprise to you, but there are some advantages to having a huge dog in an apartment. Firstly, big dogs tend to go to the bathroom less frequently than small dogs, which automatically implies fewer potty trips outside. Secondly, there are plenty of breed options to choose from, so you can pick that one furry friend that will match your lifestyle.
Whether you enjoy being active and engaging in dynamic activities outside or you’re rather a lazy person for whom a 15-minute walk per day is more than enough, there are many huge dog breeds that may be ideal for you.
If you’ve always wanted a big dog but couldn’t get one simply because you don’t live in a house with a yard, we’ve rounded up the 10 best huge dog breeds that are perfect for apartment living. Check this out!
1. American Staffordshire Terrier
Although they seem pretty intimidating at first glance, American Staffordshire Terriers are actually affectionate, loyal, and good-natured dogs. Not to mention that they are very intelligent and obedient.
Since they are prone to being very protective of their territory and family, they can become aggressive if they think there’s a threat. But with proper training and socialization, they make excellent companions, creating strong ties with their owners. This book, for example, helped me understand better the training process that I’ve also been through with my dog.
Since this is a huge dog breed, it’s very important for an American Staffordshire Terrier to stay active regularly. If they don’t have enough activity, they can get restless and bored. If you’re an active person who wants a big dog, then this may be perfect for you. As long as this dog has its daily exercise sessions, it can adapt well to apartments.
2. Afghan Hound
This is a huge dog breed that may look aloof and distant, but they are sensitive, loyal, and loving dogs with a laid-back personality. When compared to other huge dog breeds on this list, Afghan Hounds are rather peaceful dogs with low levels of dominance.
Yet, this dog still needs to be properly trained and socialized as a puppy, as it can be wary of strangers and other pets.
One thing that may come as a downside for some is that this huge dog breed needs high maintenance. In other words, you’ll have to brush and groom your dog gently a couple of times a week. Afghan Hounds may boast an aristocratic air, but their long, fine coat requires constant care.
They need physical activity, too—plenty of it, actually. But as long as they have enough of it, they can adapt pretty well to living in an apartment.
Along with other huge dog breeds, such as the Golden Retriever and the Labrador, Boxers are often used as service and therapy dogs. They are alert and reliable, and they make great guard dogs. They are also playful and vivacious companions and affectionate with their families. You won’t say, but these dogs like to be surrounded by people, although they can become distrustful and shy with strangers.
When it comes to their activity level, Boxers tend to be very energetic until they are three years old. A friend of mine has one, and she barely kept up with her dog’s energy when it was a puppy. It was definitely fun, but sometimes it was pretty exhausting.
So if you’re thinking of getting a Boxer, you should know it needs at least one hour of physical activity a day. Mental stimulation is also important for this huge dog breed. With these two, boxers can easily live in an apartment.
4. Bernese Mountain
The Bernese Mountain dogs have a kind, cheerful, and friendly personality. They are patient and affectionate with children and tend to be pretty friendly with strangers. Interestingly, when compared to other huge dog breeds, they mature slowly and behave like puppies longer.
They are also good guard dogs since they are alert and confident, but you have to know that they tend to bark loudly and a lot. A Bernese Mountain needs daily exercise but doesn’t have much endurance. Besides regular physical activity, these huge dogs also need mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.
Because of their size, they may not fit well in a small apartment. However, if you live in a large one, this won’t be an issue as long as your Bernese Mountain dog has the proper physical and mental stimulation.
5. Golden Retriever
Here’s a huge dog breed that everyone loves. I mean, just look at the picture above and tell me they aren’t perfect. Golden Retrievers are great guide and service dogs, and they make a wonderful family dog.
Loyal and sociable dogs, they love to interact and play with people. Not to mention, they are one of the most intelligent dog breeds, and they are also quite easy to train. You won’t find a Golden Retriever that doesn’t like physical activity (unless we talk about those that are pretty old). In fact, this huge dog doesn’t like staying alone for long periods of time.
Oh, and one more thing here. If you live in an apartment and want a Golden Retriever, you have to make sure it gets the daily exercise session it needs—unless you want it to chew and destroy pretty much everything you have in your house.
Bullmastiffs are characterized by being mild, affectionate, and docile dogs with an even temperament. Likewise, they are very devoted, loyal, and protective of their family. While they can make great watchdogs, they can also make great family dogs. If properly socialized, a Bullmastiff is very friendly with children and gets along with other pets.
This huge dog breed doesn’t require too much coat care. These dogs are also easy to groom, but you have to consider that they shed regularly; therefore, you need to brush your Bullmastiff often.
As they are willing to please and very intelligent dogs, it’s pretty easy to train them. Although they can be quite stubborn, they need early training and socialization to control their dominant attitude.
Bullmastiffs aren’t active dogs. They would rather stay inside their homes and spend time with their families. They also don’t bark much, so they would make great pets for those living in apartments.
7. Great Dane
Also known as the “gentle giant,” this is one of the largest dog breeds out there and one of the noblest. They are wonderful family dogs that are characterized by being friendly, affectionate, and loyal, as well as patient and playful with children.
Great Danes are also known to be great water rescuers and guard dogs, although they rarely bark. They need little exercise and are rather inactive dogs when compared to other breeds on this list. However, in order to keep them healthy and happy, they need to go on a daily long walk.
Always with a good disposition and an energetic personality, this huge dog responds enthusiastically to training. Although they are pretty big, they adapt well to apartment living.
Mastiffs are great companions, easy-to-get-along dogs, and excellent guard dogs. Gentle, loyal, and friendly, they like to be surrounded by people and bond closely with their family. Even though they are vigilant and confident, they are known to be patient with children.
The Mastiffs, although they don’t bark much, tend to get very protective toward their family and their territory. That’s why they need to be socialized so they don’t become too wary of strangers.
This huge dog is moderately inactive indoors and even tends to be pretty lazy. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to take daily walks with your Mastiff. They need regular daily physical activity to help them stay relaxed and burn their physical and mental energy.
This being said, with enough exercise, this dog can make a great pet for apartment living.
9. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are strong, intelligent, and protective dogs. Although they have an imposing physique, they are gentle, calm, and obedient dogs. However, keep in mind that they tend to be reserved with strangers. They can also be pretty stubborn, so you have to start training them at an early age.
It’s very important to establish leadership with them since puppies, provide enough both mental and physical stimulation, and have daily training sessions to keep your Rhodesian Ridgeback healthy and happy. In fact, this huge dog has a lot of energy and is quite active.
But, as long as you keep them active outside, they tend to be rather calm and polite indoors, which makes them a good apartment dog breed.
10. Shiloh Shepherd
With a friendly, passive, and stable temperament, these huge dogs make excellent pets. Shiloh Shepherds tend to be loving and loyal while being pretty protective of their family. They are also very patient, which makes them great dogs for families with children. But it’s necessary to socialize them as puppies since they tend to have a protective personality.
They aren’t high-energy dogs, but rather soft-tempered dogs that would prefer to sit in their owner’s lap than run or roam in the backyard. That’s why they can live well and be happy in apartments if they are provided with daily long walks.
You may also want to read These 11 Fierce Guard Dogs Are Surprisingly Friendly.