Q. My husband and I are looking to get a dog in the near future. Our only setback is that we live in an apartment, so size and temperament are important. Also, we don’t have a yard so the dog would have to be content spending most of the time inside, or out with either of us to get some exercise. I know about a few of the smaller breeds (Chihuahua, Yorkie, etc.), but I was wondering if there were any other small- to medium-sized breeds we should be looking at as well. I should also mention that we’d prefer a shorthaired breed.
A. One consideration too few owners think about is activity level, which is far more relevant than size. A bouncy terrier is often always underfoot while a laidback Greyhound or Newfoundland would be happy lounging around your apartment and going on the occasional walk with the two of you. Unfortunately, too many apartment complexes that permit dogs impose an arbitrary 20-pound limit. Such a limit would exclude those two breeds, and instead favor noisier, more active breeds that meet the 20-pound criterion.
Pugs, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers are charming, sturdy, shorthaired breeds that do well in apartments. Smooth Dachshunds are another great dog to consider. They come in Miniature and Standard sizes, but even the Standard is apartment friendly. Whippets are clean, quiet and affectionate little sighthounds that need regular on-leash exercise, but make lovely indoor pets. Investigate the all-black, distinctive little Schipperke as well.
Check the newspapers or DogChannel’s event listings for a dog show coming to your area. Dog shows provide a great opportunity to meet all the breeds in person that you’ve put on your short list.