The big city. The urban jungle. Concrete and car exhaust. Apartments and balconies. And dogs? Oh yeah, dogs. There is perhaps nothing cooler than seeing a dog walking down a busy sidewalk, sniffing bodega doors and fire plugs. City life for dog owners is different, but certainly no less rewarding. Especially if you have a dog that is perfectly suited to maneuvering the metropolis.
When you think about dogs and city life, you might think that smaller is automatically better. Or you might want to avoid high-energy breeds. While there is some truth to that thinking, there are some exceptions to the rule, some breeds that are perfect for city living that might not be so obvious. Here are five surprise breeds you should consider for city living.
You might think that tight-spaced city living would preclude large-breed dogs, especially those that were bred for racing, but in the case of the noble greyhound, you’d be mistaken. Though the greyhound does need space on occasion to let their inherent speed loose, once those bursts of energy are spent, these loveable dogs are surprisingly calm and more than happy to lounge around all day.
Basset hounds don’t need a lot of exercise, and they’re generally pretty happy with a mild pace when they do exercise. They’re compact while still being good-sized dogs that top out around 60 pounds. One caveat: Basset hounds aren’t rabid barkers, but when they do bark, you (and your neighbors) will know about it.
Yes, this seems counterintuitive, and there is some argument to be made about a Great Dane being as big as some actual apartments in Chicago or New York City. But otherwise, Great Danes make fantastic city dogs. They’re famously people-friendly, so all the attention you’ll garner when walking your massive pal won’t be an issue. And while they can sometimes reach 200 pounds and four-feet tall (counting the ears), your Dane loves to curl into a tight ball and veg while you surf your streaming channels.
Shibas are quiet, patient and clean. Though they can be harder to train than other breeds, they’re highly intelligent and quickly learn how to behave in most environments, making them great for apartment living. They love multiple walks per day, but since they were bred for hunting, they will chase birds and rodents if they’re off-leash, so ensure that they are secure when out for walks. Shibas need plenty of mental stimulation but can occupy themselves for hours at a time “problem solving.”
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
These lovely little sub-20-pound pups are more than happy to join you on the couch and watch the world scoot by. Cavalier Kings are smart and easy to train and are great leash walkers. Spaniels were originally bred to hunt small game, so be sure to keep your King Charles on the leash because they will take off after a squirrel or chipmunk.
Every dog is unique, and no breed should be immediately disqualified for any owner based on size and energy versus living arrangements. With enough patience and attention, there’s a chance that even a high, high, high-energy dog like a border collie could make a perfect city dog or apartment pet. Only you know your life, so only you know what breed you can fit into it. It’s a big decision, though. Do your research, and you’ll find the perfect companion no matter where you live.
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