Many New Yorkers live in spaces that barely appear large enough for their human occupants, but this doesn’t prevent them from adopting dogs of all breeds and sizes. By one estimate, there are more than half a million dogs in New York City (that’s more than the human population of Atlanta and most U.S. cities). To find out which dogs are best for NYC’s finicky indoor and outdoor environments, 6sqft reached out to Lauren McDevitt, the founder of Good Dog, which is, in essence, an online platform designed to promote responsible breeding and make it easier for people looking to adopt a dog to avoid scams. Ahead, McDevitt shares some tips for New Yorkers looking to adopt a canine companion and helps us put together a list of the best dog breeds for apartment dwellers (French Bulldogs, Boxers, and Golden Retrievers all made the cut!).
Tips for New Yorkers looking to adopt a dog
According to McDevitt, the most important thing to consider when looking for an apartment-friendly dog is one’s lifestyle. “Size is significant, especially if your apartment has restrictions on weight or height, but finding a dog that’s the right match is the top priority,” says McDevitt. She adds: “Energy level, health problems, grooming needs, and demeanor are crucial elements to look at throughout your search. This means researching breeds and communicating at length with breeders, shelters, and rescues who can help find the dog that best suits you.”
She also emphasizes that since urbanites are often busy, it’s important to seriously consider the added responsibility a dog will bring into your life, especially if you’re adopting a puppy. “Owning a puppy means being home at certain times so you’re able to provide and care for them. Even if you use a dog-sitter or doggy daycare service, your new friend will require lots of socialization, training, playtime, cuddle time, and walks. You will likely have to turn down a few after-work drinks or other activities in order to be home in time to take care of your puppy.”
Another key factor is access to parks. As McDevitt cautions, “Living in a city can often mean you’re not close to a good outdoor area to take your dog to play. Keep in mind how far the closest dog park is and make sure you set aside the time to take your dog out every couple of hours.”
Top nine dog breeds for New York
Although dogs of all breeds can adapt to New York City apartments (even Great Danes!), some breeds are better suited to the city’s specific living environment than others.
1. Boston Terriers are small dogs with huge personalities. They need a lot of exercise, but they thrive indoors and outdoors. They’re good-natured, can adjust to different types of homes, and are typically very quiet.
2. Boxers are generally fun-loving and extremely high energy. But despite their energy levels, they are gentle, not loud, and incredibly loyal to their families.
3. French Bulldogs are the perfect partner for spending time at home and don’t need much exercise other than brisk walks. They are playful but don’t necessarily express their playfulness by barking, which makes them a good fit for apartments with noise restrictions.
4. Golden Retrievers have a reputation for being playful and loyal to their pack. Although their high energy levels may not make them a perfect match for everyone, as long as they get adequate energy, they aren’t particularly loud.
5. Pugs are smart and playful dogs that are generally low-key and very apartment-friendly creatures. They can pack on the pounds, so be certain you have time to bring them on regular walks.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are generally low maintenance and can thrive even in small spaces. Gentle and easygoing, they can generally adapt nicely to apartment living.
7. Bichon Frise are playful and sprightly, as well as small in build. They also don’t shed often, which makes them an allergy-friendly breed.
8. Brussels Griffons, with a bit of exercise, are a highly affectionate dog breed that is well-suited for apartment life. They are also known for their humor and loving personalities.
9. Pekingese are low maintenance, require little exercise, and tend to be great with children. Originally bred for royals, the Pekingese are also exceptionally loyal.
McDevitt emphasizes that ultimately, selecting a dog is a highly personal choice. Her bottom-line advice is simple: “Be honest with yourself about your lifestyle so you can be confident that the dog you welcome into your home is the right match for you.”
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