Now that you finally have the home you’ve always wanted, it might also be time to be have the four-legged friend you’ve always wanted. But which dog should it be?
You want your pet to feel as comfortable in your home as you are, so it’s well worth it to research how each breed or species will do inside your walls and beyond. We’ve done some research on the best breeds for small, medium, and large-sized homes.
You’ve got your house in order for the family. Now it’s time to get it in order for your dog as well. That way, your new pet will feel like part of the family–and your best friend–from day one.
So-called “apartment dogs” can be a good choice because they remain small and need very little space to run around indoors. Examples are the poodle, Chihuahua, pug, Dachshund, Chow Chow, Shi Tzu, cockapoo, beagle, Jack Russell and other terriers. Some of these breeds need regular exercise, but a daily walk or two around the block is more than enough to keep them healthy and in good spirits.
In addition, some medium to large dogs are content in small spaces. Bulldogs and greyhounds are examples of breeds that are happy to lounge around the house, yet still need some daily physical activity.
Bigger dogs don’t need much more “space” than a smaller dog–except maybe when sharing your bed or couch. So an average-size home should be fine for dogs large and small. Breeds that do well include the beagle, Labrador retriever, Staffordshire bull terrier, whippet, Airedale terrier, basset hound, collie (smooth coat), and British bulldog.
Large and small dogs alike can thrive in homes with lots of indoor and outdoor space. Labrador retrievers, while the most popular family pet for many years, were bred to fetch birds during the hunting season, so they love to roam around large properties. The Newfoundland is great for large, open spaces, but alto tends to wind up where the family is. Bulldogs are sturdy and will put up with a lot. They’re also not picky about where they live, so they’re fine with large or small houses. The lesser-known Feist is a great companion dog, eager to please, and was bred to catch small field animals. They are excited to explore large outdoor areas, but are happy to be inside with the family as well.
Puppies grow to their full size in a surprisingly short time, so it’s important that you don’t get a larger breed now, with hopes of moving into a larger place later. Plans can change, so it’s better to wait until you have moved into the larger space than to find yourself and your dog crammed into a shrinking space.
A very accurate consideration for how much space a dog needs is energy level. A Great Dane, for example, could live happily in a small home, but a Jack Russell might prefer a yard for running and playing, even though it is a much smaller breed. The American Kennel Club website provides detailed information on each breed’s temperament, compatibility with children, suitability for indoor and outdoor living, and many other characteristics.