Dear Barb – Apartment Dogs

Dear Barb: I am in my third year at AU. This is the first year that I have not lived with roommates. As I was growing up, we always had dogs. Now that I am on my own, I would like to get a dog. My schedule is flexible, so I would have no problem spending time with a pet and taking it for walks. What type of dog would suit my lifestyle? I live in an apartment, but I am on the first floor. I know a large dog would probably not be a good idea, but I’m not sure that I want one of those yappy little dogs that are usually owned by women. Do you know of any kind of a small or medium size dog that would be suited to me? Thanks Barb.


I agree with you that a large dog would not be suitable for apartment living.

All breeds of dogs have unique personalities and character traits. Therefore, you will have to consider what your lifestyle involves. For example, are you a very social person? Do you have a lot of guests? Do children often visit your home? Is it important for you to have a dog that is friendly with other dogs? As well, since you are in an apartment, you don’t want a breed that is known for their barking. Do you prefer an active dog that you can take on hikes? What are your winter activities? Do you want a dog that is hardy enough to enjoy a Canadian winter? Are you prepared to take a dog that requires daily brushing, or do you have the funds to maintain a dog that needs constant grooming by a professional? These are all questions you may have already asked yourself. Your answers are the first step in determining what type of dog will be a suitable companion for you.

Before I describe some breeds that may fit into an apartment dwellers lifestyle, I would like to remind you to visit your neighbourhood dog shelter. Local humane societies are usually brimming with a variety of dogs that are in need of homes. The societies’ attendants can be very helpful in finding the right dog for your lifestyle. Most animal shelters will allow potential owners to take a dog into their home for a trial period to test the compatibility. Many individuals who have adopted an animal from an animal shelter claim they make the best pets, because the animal knows they have been saved from a near certain death sentence.

The following are some dog breeds for your consideration. I have purposely not included smaller dogs that you characterize as ” those yappy little dogs that are usually owned by women.”
Shetland Sheepdog: “Sheltie” is described as a loyal, affectionate dog, with a strong desire to please. The Sheltie is highly intelligent, adaptable and active. They need daily walks and enjoy regular playful activities. They can be barkers.

Jack Russell Terrier: is a popular breed. They are intelligent, loyal and affectionate. Jack Russell’s need plenty of exercise and outdoor activity. Therefore, if you are more of a homebody, this may not be the dog for you.

Bulldog: is calm, with a steady disposition. This breed would suit a less active owner. They love people and therefore are not good watchdogs.

Whippet: looks very similar to a greyhound. They can run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. However, they are just as happy staying home. They are gentle, calm and quiet when in the home, but can be quite athletic when outdoors. Whippets make loyal companions.

The information was obtained from the website: The web site also includes photographs of each of the dogs. An article on how to train your dog not to bark is linked to the web site. I hope this information helps. Thanks for writing John.

E-mail your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality: your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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