How To Keep A Dog Busy In An Apartment

Can You Keep A Dog In An Apartment

Not everyone can afford a big house and yard with plenty of space for pooches to roam. Plenty of us live in apartments. In fact, in cities all around the world, you would be hard-pressed to find a house with loads of space for dogs to roam.

However, apartment dwellers rejoice! It isn’t about the size of the dog that matters when it comes to providing the appropriate space. In fact, many people who think that apartments are for small dogs clearly haven’t met a Jack Russell Terrier.

It all dwells down to the energy levels, which are based on the dog’s genetic predisposition, what the breed was meant to do, lifestyle, age, diet, and the individual dog.

For example, you might meet a hyperactive Terrier that just bounces off the walls in frustration at not being let loose, while you can just as easily have a Great Dane that is a couch potato and is content to lounge around all day after a daily walk. 

Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that there can be a big difference in energy levels between different breeds. High-energy dogs are often described as being “full of life” and always ready to play. They may be bouncing off the walls or running circles around their owner. 

Low-energy dogs, on the other hand, are more likely to take a nap than go for a run. They tend to be calm and quiet, even in situations that would excite a high-energy dog.

How To Keep A Dog Busy In An Apartment

The key to a happy dog is physical and mental stimulation. The physical stimulation part is easy. You know your dog best, and you know what it would take to have him sleep well during the night, tired out from the day’s activities. 


Dogs are born to run, jump, and play. It’s in their nature, and you’ll need to exercise your apartment-dwelling dog to make sure that he stays in good shape.

And as any dog owner knows, a bored dog can be a destructive dog. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your furry friend gets plenty of exercise. 

A daily walk is a great way to bond with your dog while also keeping them fit and healthy. But don’t stop there – try integrating some playtime and training into your dog’s exercise routine as well. Not only will this help to burn off excess energy, but it will also keep their mind active and engaged. And of course, a tired dog is a good dog. 

An under-exercised dog can exhibit all kinds of annoying, and sometimes destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, excessive barking and all-around freaking out. 

Without regular physical activity, dogs can become overweight and sluggish. They may also suffer from joint problems, respiratory difficulties, and behavior issues. 

In extreme cases, a lack of exercise can even lead to health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. 

Mental Stimulation 

Not just their bodies need a workout, their brain does too. Keeping a dog mentally stimulated is an important part of being a dog owner. A bored dog can be destructive, anxious, and even depressed. 

Fortunately, there are a number of easy ways to keep your furry friend’s mind active and engaged. One of the simplest things you can do is to vary your routine. Take a different route on your daily walk, or introduce new toys and play heaps of indoor games to keep them from getting bored. 

You can also enroll them in obedience or agility classes, or even teach them some simple tricks. By providing mental stimulation, you’ll help your dog stay happy, healthy, and well-adjusted.

Breeds That Do Well In Apartments

What makes a dog suitable for smaller spaces is its size, genetics, and individual personality. While there isn’t a hard and fast rule to anything, certain dog breeds are typically suitable for apartment dwellers.


The littlest of all toy breeds, these little guys have loads of sassy energy in a small body. Although they are enthusiastic bundles of energy, they lack the stature to keep up with you on a fast walk or jog. 

They will have modest exercise needs and are likely to be happy in apartments as long as they get a daily walk and loads of playtime and attention. However, be wary during the winter months. Chihuahuas are short-haired dogs that originate from the hot climates of Mexico and are particularly susceptible to cold. When the temperatures drop, tailor your Chi’s exercise and activity plan, and make sure you layer up your beloved pooch.

Toy and Companion Dogs

Popular companion dogs also have modest exercise needs and will do well in apartments. Examples of these dogs include the Havanese, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, and Toy and Miniature Poodles.

They’ll need plenty of attention and playtime, but they won’t be needing to run a half-marathon every day.

Small Brachycephalic Breeds 

Brachycephalic breeds refer to dogs with flat faces and short muzzles like the Pug, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Shih Tzu, Boxer, Bullmastiff, and Chow Chow.

These breeds often have more respiratory challenges than the average dogs, and while they are enthusiastic and energetic, their stamina can be compromised. 

While the bigger breeds like the Boxer and Chow Chow might need ample room to release that pent-up energy, other small breeds like the Boston Terrier and Pug will do well in apartments.

Final Thoughts 

Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you should deny yourself the intense pleasure of having a canine companion. With some effort, you can have a happy, healthy dog in your space! 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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