11 best large dogs for apartments

Great Dane Dog is one of the best large dogs for apartments
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If you live in a smaller space, then it's possible you've never considered the idea of large dogs for apartments. Their size and weight seems immediately difficult to contain, while many apartment leases forbid having dogs over a certain size. 

Good news, however: if you do have your heart set on a gentle giant, it's not completely impossible to welcome a bigger dog into your home.

When choosing the right dog for you, it's important to consider their temperament and traits and consider how they will fit into your life. For instance, if you have any children you'll want to think about what's the best dog for kids, while the amount of time you have to give is also essential. 

When considering the best large dogs for apartments, it's not necessarily size that counts, it's personality. Canines that have high levels of energy are not suited to the apartment life; you'll want to think about dogs who have mellow dispositions.

You may think of smaller breeds, such as a Pomeranian or Pug, when it comes to the best dogs for apartment living, and it's true that their tiny size lends itself well to smaller homes, but sometimes their love of barking enthusiastically at the door can actually be a downside.  

No matter what dog you choose for your apartment, ensure you have plenty of outdoors access so you can provide your canine with their daily walk and don't forget to provide them plenty of enrichment options in the home too.  

PetsRadar's guide to the best large dogs for apartments... 

1. Great Dane

Side profile of Great Dane outside

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The Great Dane may be giant but he's got a laidback attitude that makes him one of the best large dogs for apartments.

Despite their huge size the Great Dane doesn’t require excessive amounts of exercise and is content with one or two short and brisk walks a day. Their calm natures make them a great addition to the household, and they can also be wonderful with children providing they have the right training to ensure that they doesn’t accidentally knock young toddlers off their feet.

2. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

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Considered one of the friendliest dog breeds, the Golden Retriever makes for a gentle and mellow companion in the home. 

They generally love meeting new people so your neighbors are likely to love him as much as you do. As service dogs, Golden Retrievers are typically adaptable to whatever situation they find themselves in. Their intellect makes it easy to train them, while their calming temperament is unlikely to cause much trouble around the apartment.

Just make sure you work off their energy by taking them to the nearest green space. 

3. Cane Corso

Cane Corso dog outside with owner handing him a bowl of food

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Cane Corsos can live happily in an apartment, providing you give them the right exercise and socialization they need.

A natural guard dog who'll protect family and home, a Cane Corso is calm, relaxed, and quiet inside an apartment but they need lots of exercise and plenty of activities to keep them mentally stimulated so be prepared to ensure your dog lives a full and enriched environment, inside and out. 

4. English Bulldog

English Bulldog lying down outside in autumn leaves

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If you define size as weight rather than height, then the English Bulldog comes into the large dogs for apartments category.

Weighing upwards of 22kg, these distinctive dogs are happy to spend their days sleeping and lounging around. They're not too big for apartment living, more of a medium size, which can be ideal for smaller spaces.

English Bulldogs have a relaxed temperament and will barely bark, despite their outward appearance being a tad grumpy looking. 

5. English Mastiff

english mastiff

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If you're looking for a gentle giant, then look no further than the English Mastiff. Although his large size may pose a problem when it comes to some landlord's requirements, his moderate activity level and gentle disposition makes him a great companion for apartment living, providing you can give him space to stretch his legs.

Beware the English Mastiff puppy, however, as these little pups can be pretty destructive and are generally not suitable for apartments. As they grow older, though, you'll find their temperament will settle and they'll become a much calmer canine. 

6. Poodle

Poodle outside giving a high five to owner

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If you're concerned about shedding around the apartment, consider a Poodle. These loving canines have a low-shedding coat that makes them ideal companions for those with allergies to dander or fur.

Once you've given them a good few walks around the block, these cuddly canines are generally satisfied to lounge around the home and are typically not prone to barking loudly for attention.

Just remember to keep their coat in tip-top shape by having a good groomer on hand. 

7. Chinese Shar-Pei 

Chinese Shar-Pei

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Top of the pack when it comes to the best large dogs for apartments is often the Chinese Shar-Pei and for good reason too. 

This sizeable canine requires a low to moderate amount of exercise, and doesn't require much space to roam around. Added bonus is the Shar-Pei's distinctive look means they are generally a low-shedding dog breed, although seasonal shedding does occur. 

Their calm nature means they're not likely to bark continuously though do expect a spot of grunting and singing!  

8. Greyhound


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It's likely you think of a fast running greyhound owing to their popular career path at the races but you may actually be surprised by how mellow this breed can be.

Greyhounds are incredibly loyal and obedient and love nothing more than stretching out on the sofa or dog bed with their paws sprawled out. He rarely barks and is both an intelligent and gentle companion to have around the apartment.  

9. Beagle

Beagle sitting on grass with tongue out

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By no means the largest canine on this list, the Beagle are an excellent all-round family dog who are a great size for an apartment.

They typically have an uplifting and obedient character but they do require a good amount of exercise to burn off their energy and can bark quite a bit too.

However, they're also highly adaptable, and can be trained to live in an apartment to ensure they're well behaved in the face of any apartment challenges. This should include adhering to commands without barking. 

10. Basset Hound

Basset Hound lying in grass

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With their lazy temperament and mellow character, the Basset Hound can be great choice when it comes to considering the best large dogs for apartments.

 They're not big to be overwhelming, but they're not so small and spunky either that you find them barking down the door.

Basset Hounds have fairly low energy levels and an incredibly loyal to their owners. You may find them shedding a lot around the apartment is the main drawback to this wonderful pooch. 

11. Keeshond


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Keeshonds typically have a sweet temperament and don't require a whole load of room to be happy.  

These adaptable pups are people-lovers who like being by their owner's side, but they do have a tendency to bark which could pose a problem for any surrounding neighbors. 

As long as you ensure that you don't leave them alone for too long, the Keeshond loves is a cheerful apartment companion.  

Ashleigh Gibbs
Digital Editor

Ashleigh is Digital Editor on PetsRadar. With over 8 years of experience in print and digital media, she has acted as an editorial lead on a variety of projects, with animal themes a keen interest. As an avid animal lover, you can often find Ashleigh checking out the newest trends in animal care or looking at cute cat videos on TikTok.