10 Cool Large Apartment Dogs To Pet

Are you trying to find out what the best big dogs for apartments are? If yes, read on.

We will tell you about the features to look for in the best large apartment dogs. We will go further and mention specific breeds of dogs that are ideal for apartment living.

First though, we need to deal with some of the frequently asked questions. These are questions on the topic of keeping large dogs in apartments.

Large apartment dogs
large apartment dogs


What Is The Best Big Dog For An Apartment?

The best big dog for apartment living is one that is reasonably calm. It is also one that is affectionate. And one that is comfortable living in small/relatively cramped spaces.

Those are the defining features for the best large apartment dogs.

  1. Calmness
  2. Affectionateness
  3. Ease of living in small spaces
  4. Ability to get sick
  5. Happiness

Calmness is important in large apartment dogs for obvious reasons. You surely don’t want a canine that will be barking all night and disturbing neighbors. It is the sort of thing that could attract lawsuits!

Affectionateness is important in the best large apartment dogs because these are animals you will be interacting very closely with. You know, the sort of dogs that would end up on your couch from time to time. Such better be of affectionate character.

Ease with living in small/relatively cramped spaces is important because, come on, we know how small typical apartments are. Even if yours is a 2,000 square feet apartment. It can never quite compare with the open grassy grounds that are dogs’ natural abode.

So those are the main qualities to look for in the best large apartment dogs. Thankfully, as we shall see later, there are certain dog breeds which fit that bill quite well.


Is It OK To Have A Big Dog In An Apartment?

It is OK to have a big dog in an apartment, but subject to certain caveats.

The apartment you are living in needs to be one whose management allows pets (and specifically dogs). You need to understand that there are certain apartments that allow large dogs. And others that don’t.

Ideally, you need to be in a space where your neighbors will be comfortable with the big dog. It is even better if the neighbors themselves happen to own such pets.

Furthermore, whether or not it is OK to have a big dog in an apartment depends on the dog type.

There are certain big dog breeds that can thrive (or at least survive well) in the apartment setting. Then there are others that simply can’t put up with the apartment environment. The breeds in our list of best large apartment dogs can survive – if not thrive – in apartments.


What Breed Of Dog Is Quiet And Calm In An Apartment?

Some of the dog breeds that are quiet and calm in the apartment setting include the Bullmastiff and Shar Pei. Others are the Bernese dog and the Poodle.

You of course need to be realistic in your expectations for ‘quiet and calm’ in a dog. Even the quietest and calmest of dogs will tend to have moments when it experiences bursts of energy. Don’t expect to find any dog that is as quiet and as calm as a dove.

Ultimately, all the dogs in our list of the best big dogs for apartments are reasonably quiet and calm.


What Dogs Do Well In Apartments?

Generally, dogs that do well in apartments are those that don’t require too much space. The best large apartment dogs are also reasonably calm. And they are consistently affectionate.

In terms of specific breeds, you would be looking at the likes of Saint Bernard and the Great Dane. Others are the Boxer, the Shar Pei and the Poodle, to name bust just a few. Those are some of the best big dogs for apartments.


Are Dogs Unhappy In Apartments?

There are certain dog breeds that would be miserable in apartment settings. Then there are others that would be reasonably comfortable in apartments.

Much of course depends on how much space is available within the apartment. Dogs (whether big or small) definitely require some space to move about.

The type of apartment in question also matters. Take a case where you are in a 4th floor apartment that doesn’t have an elevator. In that case, you shouldn’t opt for one of those dog breeds that are prone to joint problems. If you did you would obviously be setting it up for a great deal of unhappiness.

A key defining feature for the best large apartment dogs is the ability to be genuinely happy in apartment settings.


Why Do Apartments Not Allow Big Dogs?

There are several reasons to as to why certain apartments don’t allow big dogs.

First, there tends to be a feeling that big dogs might pose a danger. They may pose a danger to other people living in the apartment.

Second, there is this misconception that big dogs make too much noise. Granted, there are some big dogs that make a great deal of noise. But we also have some big apartment dogs that make very little noise.

Third, there is the ‘damage consideration’.  It is a feeling that the big dogs are likely to cause a great deal of damage to the apartments. Things like scratches to the walls and the floors and the works…

There are also concerns about the welfare of the animals. There are some apartment managements holding the view that keeping large dogs in apartments is cruel.

More and more apartment owners are reconsidering their views on big dogs. That is usually after becoming conversant with the best large apartment dogs. In other words, after learning that some big dogs that can genuinely do well in apartments.


How Many Dogs Do Apartments Allow?

In most places, apartment dwellers are limited to having just a couple of dogs per apartment. It is very rare to find an apartment that allows you to have an unlimited number of dogs.

In any event, it is hard (for most people) to fathom why anyone would want more than two.

The two dogs per apartment limit is not universal. There are places where you are only allowed one dog per apartment. Others that don’t allow dogs at all.

Some even go as far as disallowing all types of pets!

But most reasonable apartment managements will allow you a maximum of two dogs per apartment. Which, for most people, is a reasonable limit.

Of course, in most places, not all dog types are allowed. Say, for instance, you want to keep a large dog. You may have to ensure that it is one of the best large apartment dogs breeds. So you would have to meet that condition before being allowed to keep it in the apartment.


Best Large Apartment Dogs QualitiesBest Large Apartment Dog Breeds
Friendliness. Calmness. Comfortable living in small/cramped spaces. Easily trainable. Comfortable going up and down stairs (unless lift is provided). Quietness.Great Dane. Saint Bernard. Bullmastiff. New Foundland. Shar Pei. Boxer. Golden Retriever. Bernese Dog.
Large apartment dogs
large apartment dogs


Best Large Apartment Dogs

The best large dogs for apartments include the Bullmastiff, Saint Bernard and Great Dane. We also have Shar Pei, Bernese Dog, Golden Retriever and Boxer. Others are Clumber Spaniel, Poodle and New Foundland.

We will be looking at each of these best big dog breeds for apartments in turn. We will be seeking to find out what makes each of these breeds ideal. In other words, what qualifies each for inclusion in the best large indoors dogs list.



One of factors that make the Bullmastiff ideal for the apartment setup is its gentle nature. It is indeed a gentle dog, in spite of its tough looks. It is also a very affectionate dog.

But it is worth remembering that the Bullmastiff on average weighs between 110 and 130 pounds. And this means that it may be above the weight limit that certain apartments put in place for dogs.

As long as you can get it to be admitted, it is certainly one of the best large apartment dogs.


Saint Bernard

This is a truly gigantic dog. It’s the animal to go for if you want a genuinely imposing indoors canine. Saint Bernard looks fierce, yet couldn’t possibly get a gentler Fido.

It earns its place in the list of big dogs for apartments mostly on account of its gentle nature. This is the sort of dog that is unlikely to start harassing your kids or the visitors to your apartment.

As with the bullmastiff, the challenge you may encounter with Saint Bernard is in terms weight. We are referring to the typical apartment dogs big weight limits. An average Saint Bernard dog weighs between 140 and 180 pounds. Some apartment managements may be rather uncomfortable with the very sight of it!

In all other regards, it is one of the very best big dogs for apartments.


Great Dane

The Great Dane’s greatest attraction is in its rather friendly nature. Great Danes generally have friendly faces and friendly characters to match.

Keep in mind the day to day interactions with an apartment dog. It is one that you are bound to be interacting very closely with. It is bound to be all around your family and visitors, sometimes even lapping them up. So it better be of a friendly character. And that is the Great Dane’s greatest strength in this context.

It is worth noting that many of these big indoor dogs have friendly personalities but fierce faces. But only a few offer both a friendly personality and a friendly face in one canine. That is the category within which the Great Dane belongs.

Also worth remembering is the fact that the Great Dane is a high energy working dog. Therefore, if you opt for one, you need to allocate adequate time for its exercise.

Like all the breeds in our best large apartment dogs list, it is comfortable spending much of its time indoors. But it will be most unhappy if it is completely unable to get a bit of time for outdoors exercise.


Shar Pei

This is an exotic and very affectionate dog. It is also very intelligent. By its nature, it is a guard dog. It is, in fact, arguably the best guard dog for apartment life.

It is not an intimidatingly big dog. In fact, there may be those who feel that it better belongs to another category. That would be the category of best medium sized dog breeds for apartment living. But many still people find it big enough for their needs.

Thanks to its size, the Shar Pei hardly ever goes beyond most apartment weight and size limits for dogs. It is nonetheless one of the best large apartment dogs.


Bernese Dog

This is a large and spectacular dog breed by all accounts. It has the ‘gentle giant’ look written all over. It is also a very adorable dog. And that is one of the factors that make it one of the very best big dogs for apartments.

Its weight is typically in the 75 to 120 pounds range. This means that it is within the range allowed by most apartments.

There is one more thing that makes it one of the best large dog breeds for apartments. That is the fact that it is relatively easy to take care of. Its needs are modest and easy to meet. It is easy to please.


Golden Retriever

This is another one of those dog breeds that are big enough to be highly ‘visible’. Yet not so big as to be intimidating. It could in fact qualify for a place in the list of best medium sized dogs for apartments.  Just like the Shar Pei we looked at earlier. But it is definitely not a small dog.

In the golden retriever, you find the rare combination of alertness, high energy and calmness.

Another factor making the Golden retriever one of the best big dogs for apartments is its good looks. This is a dog with a friendly face and a beautiful coat to match.



This is a somewhat fierce-looking, yet in fact very gentle and friendly dog. It is very easy to train and genuinely seems to enjoy human company. Those are the factors that make it one of the very best large apartment dogs.

For sure, it is an energetic dog, and it does require an outlet for its high energy levels. But all people who are comfortable keeping big dogs in apartments know that the animals always require energy outlets.

You therefore need to be able to spare some time to exercise your Boxer regularly. Otherwise it is one of the very best large apartment dogs.


Clumber Spaniel

This is a big, yet non-imposing dog breed: very ideal for apartment living. Its greatest attractions include its loyalty and gentleness. It is widely regarded as one of the best apartment dog breeds. This particular dog breed is totally at ease in an apartment. Its love for the couch could get it mistaken for a cat!

Take note though that it is prone to joint issues. It is not an ideal dog to keep if you live in a very high floor. Especially within an apartment that has no lift. Keeping it going up and down stairs is sure to affect its joints.

Otherwise if you live on the ground floor or on the first floor, it is okay. The same applies if you live in a higher floor within an apartment that has a lift.

In terms of friendliness, this is definitely one of the very best large apartment dogs.



The poodle is one of the most visually attractive dog. Its face may typically appear somewhat aloof, perhaps even sad. But its coat is very exquisite.

What makes it ideal for apartment living is its remarkably high intelligence. It helps too that the poodle is one of the quietest and calmest dog breeds. Your neighbors may stay for months before knowing that you have a poodle!

That would be on account of its quiet and calm nature. Facts like these earn the poodle has a permanent spot in the list of the best large apartment dogs.

You can go for Goldendoodle or a Black Goldendoodle mix as well, if you want to choose mix dogs.


New Foundland

Closing our list of the best large apartment dogs is the New Foundland. It is considered on the best big dogs for apartments on several accounts. First is its very docile nature. Second is the fact that it is so easily trainable.

There is agreement that one of the defining features for the best large apartment dogs is calmness. And in that regard, it is debatable if you could ever find a calmer dog than the New Foundland.

It helps too that the New Foundland is a beautiful, cuddly dog. Beauty is another defining feature for the best big dogs for apartments. And the New Foundland has this in abundance as well.


What Are Aggressive Dog Breeds For Apartments?

Among the more aggressive dog breeds for apartments are Rottweilers, Pit Bulls and Dobermans. Aggressiveness is obviously not a good thing in an apartment dog. That is why the likes of the Rottweiler are not in our list of the best big dogs for apartments.

That is of course in spite of us being regularly asked “are Rottweilers good apartment dogs?” So you find that they may be good in all other respects. But their aggressiveness disqualifies them from the ranks of the best large apartment dogs.

Rottweiler apartment living is likely to be a challenge, on account of the dog’s aggressive nature. So would be apartment living for a Pit Bull, Dobermans or any of the other more aggressive breeds.

Final Verdict – Large Apartment Dogs

It is possible to successfully keep a big dog in an apartment. We have just looked at some of the best large apartment dogs. Those are dogs that can be successfully kept in apartments.

Large apartment dogs
large apartment dogs

The most important thing is to ensure that you opt for an appropriate dog breed. You also need to ensure that your apartment is conducive to host a dog.

Finally, you also need to be sure about the dog’s regular exercise. Be sure that you can spare time to be taking the dog out for exercise regularly.

All said and done, a dog can be an invaluable companion in your apartment.

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