You don't have to give up your love of dogs simply because you live in a small space. A small dog goes perfectly with a small space. But don't rush right out and pick up just any small breed canine. There are several characteristics you should consider when searching for your new companion.
Dog breed size
Small dog breeds actually range in size from under five pounds to over 20 pounds. For example, while the average weight of a Yorkshire Terrier falls between three and seven pounds, a Cocker Spaniel can tip the scales at nearly 30 pounds, and both are considered small breed dogs. A large apartment may seem like a vast and desolate area to a tiny breed, while a dog on the larger end of the small dog spectrum may overwhelm a small studio.
Room for exercise
All dogs need time and room to play. Many indoor dogs are content with routine walks, while others obtain plenty of exercise within the confines of your home. A toy, or miniature, breed might zoom around your living room, up the hallway, into the bedroom and be content with that level of activity. Recognize whether you have time for leisurely strolls through your neighborhood or mini breaks on the living room floor. Most Chihuahuas need minimal structured exercise, while a Schnauzer requires more time to burn off energy.
Do you work at home? If not, you should keep in mind a breed's ease of housetraining before introducing your new pet to your apartment. No one likes to step in puddles after a long day at work, so the task of potty training your dog is essential to congenial living. A Teacup Terrier can be trained to use a litter box, while a Pekingese can be difficult to train due to their stubborn nature. If you train your dog to remain in a crate, or pet carrier, while you are out, make sure that it is large enough for the animal to stand upright and turn around in.
While you might be used to spending an hour each morning grooming yourself, but how much time can you devote to your canine pal? A little, shaggy dog may be the picture you have conjured up in your head, but grooming the hairy munchkins can be time-consuming, and sometimes costly. A Bichon Frise is a great apartment companion, but they require a lot of grooming to look so sweet. If you like the idea of dropping your dog off at the "beauty parlor", a Maltese may just be the breed for you. On the other hand, a Pug's grooming needs would require only minimal, at home servicing.
Your neighbors will thank you for heeding the information in this section. While most people might not mind the occasional yip or bark from a neighboring dog, hardly anyone will put up with a constant racket. If you are concerned with being a nuisance in your community, you may have to forgo selection of a Beagle or a Jack Russell Terrier, both notorious noise-makers. However, it is important to note that avoiding one breed for its vocalization tendencies does not mean you will come away with a quiet, well-behaved pooch. Most dogs require training to refrain from yapping at every noise.
Dog with children
Whether you are a parent or you only occasionally entertain children in your home, a dog's tolerance level for tots should be taken into account. Many small breed dogs make up for their diminutive size with a quick temper and should be introduced to children in a calm, supervised environment. A Lhasa Apso needs a considerable amount of socialization and are usually recommended for adult-only homes. Dachshunds, on the other hand, are very playful and may tolerate a child's sudden movements well.
Hopefully, the above information will assist you selecting the perfect dog for your wants and needs. Most importantly, always love and care for your pet. Expect to spend quality time with your new roommate and you will enjoy every minute you share together.