16 Best Big Dog Breeds For Apartments

helloBARK!
By helloBARK!
Updated on 3 October 2022

Are you a lover of big dog breeds but you live in an apartment?

If you live in an apartment, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a big dog breed provided you’re willing to meet their daily mental and physical requirements.

While you may think of a big dog breed and guess that they need lots of exercise and a huge garden to play in, some large canines are actually coach potatoes.

In this article, we’ll hear from a number of dog experts, ranging from vets to trainers, dog behaviours to experienced dog owners, to learn more about big dog breeds suitable for apartment living.

We’ll meet some dog breeds that you’re probably familiar with such as Great Danes, Greyhounds, Golden Retrievers and Poodles.

But we’ll also encounter some less common dog breeds such as English Mastiffs, Leonbergers and Afghan Hounds.

Great Dane

Great Dane (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Great Dane (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Great Dane is known as the Gentle Giant because of its incredibly sweet demeanor and friendly nature. They’re also super protective of their families, so they’ll keep you safe while you’re home alone or out on the town. They love to play games outside and go on long walks with their owners every day—just make sure there’s enough room for them in your apartment!

Suggested by Melissa M. Brock, Board-Certified Veterinarian & Author At Pango Pets

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Saint Bernard (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Saint Bernards are known for being gentle giants who love nothing more than hanging out with their families all day long—they’re not active hunters at all! So if you want a big dog but don’t want one who will be tearing up the house Saint Bernards are perfect for you.

Suggested by Melissa M. Brock, Board-Certified Veterinarian & Author At Pango Pets

Greyhounds

Two Greyhounds take a nap (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Two Greyhounds take a nap (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Greyhounds make wonderful apartment dogs if you’re looking for a big dog breed to love and dote on. They are low demand dogs and happily sleep for up to 20 hours a day. As long as you have a nice comfy bed in the corner, you don’t need much space for them. Their exercise requirements are low relative to many other smaller breeds, and 30 minutes is generally sufficient. Greyhounds have low stamina, so a short burst of sprinting is enough to exhaust them. Another bonus, they are light shedders and easy to groom, making them perfect for indoor living. Given the high number of rescue greyhounds in need of adoption, there’s never a better time to adopt a greyhound in need if you live in an apartment.

Suggested by Melissa Smith, Dog Expert & Content Producer At Raw And Fresh

Spanish Mastiff

Spanish Mastiff (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Spanish Mastiff (Photo: Adobe Stock)

I have two large dogs: Miles Trayvon Davis- a 3-year-old Black German Shepherd and Humphrey Bogart, a 9-year-old Spanish Mastiff. I’ve always owned large dogs and have always lived in apartments/lofts. One of the best big dog breeds for apartment living is a Mastiff. Although they’re large, they spend most of their time sleeping and lounging throughout the day. They’re low-energy dogs and overall they’re low maintenance.

Suggested by Danasia Fantastic, Founder At LargeDogSmallApartment.com

Rottweiler

Rottweilers are large dogs that originated in Germany. They are highly energetic and active dogs that make wonderful companions. They are protective of their families and pack leaders. They are gentle giants and are easily trained. They shed a lot of hair and may smell bad if they haven’t been bathed regularly.

Suggested by James, Founder Of Neurodoglux.com

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever chews a stick (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retriever chews a stick (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retrievers are one of the best dogs for apartments because they are so calm and gentle. They are also very obedient, which makes them easy to train.

Suggested by Lisa Norton, CMO at Sparkpaws

Great Pryrenees

Great Pyrenees (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Great Pyrenees (Photo: Adobe Stock)

While it might come as a surprise, Great Pryrenees can make outstanding indoor dogs, even for apartments. They’re certainly large (males can be upwards of 150 pounds), but they’re not rambunctious. In fact, they get deemed ‘gentle giants’ because they’re just that: so very gentle and calm. They love to luxuriate and, well, be lazy! Additionally, despite being gentle giants, they’re very, *very* protective of their people. Having that extra vote of confidence in the security of your apartment is just an added perk to the loyalty and majesty this breed brings to every setting.

Suggested by Lauren Byington, Owner Of Girliest.co

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Bernese Mountain Dog (Photo: Adobe Stock)

A calm and well-behaved dog that loves spending time with its family. Easy to train, absolutely loves kids, but will calmly sit and relax when they need to. They do need a good walk, but will enjoy participating in any event you have planned with friends or family. They are friendly with other animals, and are not known for barking, something you definitely want to avoid in an apartment.

Suggested by Aleksandar Mishkov, Owner of The Daily Tail

Poodle

Poodle (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Poodle (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Poodles are one of the smartest dog breeds. It is easy to train them as they have high adaptive intelligence and also have the ability to learn from past experiences. This breed is also employed as a guide dog to help people with disabilities. Poodle is an extremely active breed and to cope with them their owner has to take good care of their health.

Suggested by Kruti Malvi, Founder Of Petsnurturing

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Giant Schnauzer (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Giant Schnauzer will be your protector of the home and family members. While he has a dominant personality thanks to his terrier bloodline, he is loyal, devoted, and protective of his family. Plus, he doesn’t shed as much, even though his wiry coat might suggest otherwise. Giant Schnauzers love spending time with children, and are very tolerant of them. At home, they are calm and well-mannered. You just have to pay some attention to his guard instinct and prevent unnecessary barking.

Suggested by Aleksandar Mishkov, Owner of The Daily Tail

Bulldogs

English Bulldog (Adobe Stock)

English Bulldog (Adobe Stock)

Bulldogs are a suitable breed for apartment living if you exercise them enough. They are calm and placid in nature and often enjoy laying on the couch or sleeping for hours on end. They can overheat easily and even die from heat stroke so its important your apartment has air conditioning as ventilation is key for temperature regulation in the home.

Suggested by SteffiTrott, Owner of Spirit Dog Training

Boxer

Boxer dog (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Boxer dog (Photo: Adobe Stock)

You might not think this dog breed is suited to apartments since they look intimidating and need daily physical exercise, but they’re actually a great option! Boxers are incredibly loving and really enjoy being at home with their family, all cozy. They are also highly intelligent, and if trained and socialized correctly, they can be friendly and obedient within smaller spaces.

Suggested by Jacquelyn Kennedy, Founder & CEO, PetDT

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Afghan Hound (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Afghan Hound are great family dogs and because of their loving nature they are preferred by everyone. The fun-loving breed and non-aggressive nature make them the perfect pet for an apartment.

Suggested by Kruti Malvi, Founder Of Petsnurturing

Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Neapolitan Mastiff (Photo: Adobe Stock)

A Neapolitan Mastiff is another low maintenance breed—they actually do better with lower impact exercises since they can easily injure their joints. Other big dog breeds that don’t need as much exercise are the Chow Chow, Great Dane, and Greyhound.

Suggested by Madelyn Harris, Lead Contributing Writer At Doodle Dog Club

Leonberger

Leonberger (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Leonberger (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Leonberger dogs are known for being loving and affectionate with their families. They are also very patient, making them great companions for children.

Suggested by Mary Joy Maligo, Marketing Assistant At It’s About Dog Website

English Mastiff

English Mastiff (Photo: Adobe Stock)

English Mastiff (Photo: Adobe Stock)

English Mastiffs are one of the most well-mannered breeds among dogs. They are so affectionate towards their family that they want nothing more than to stay near them. They are so protective in nature that they will protect their owner at any cost no matter what.

Suggested by Kruti Malvi, Founder Of Petsnurturing

Black Goldendoodle (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Mini Goldendoodle Pros And Cons
Kaffe the Curly-Coated Retriever (Photo: @kaffegram / Instagram)
Curly-Coated Retriever Pros And Cons
Mini Bernedoodle Bernie (Photo: bernie_dood / Instagram)
Mini Bernedoodle
Belgian Malinois in the woods (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Belgian Malinois Pros And Cons
Shiloh Shepherd vs King Shepherd (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Shiloh Shepherd Vs King Shepherd: What’s The Difference?