3 Best Big Dog Breeds for Apartments

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English Mastiff

If you’re one of the lucky apartment dwellers permitted to have pets with no weight limits, then count your blessings. Despite taking up more space, giant breeds may actually be the best suited to apartment life. Overall, the these big dog breeds who have big hearts require less exercise and can get by without having a yard in most cases. Additionally, they tend to be less barky and may even be able to go longer between bathroom breaks. And, if you live alone, having an intimidating beast in your space feels like an added security measure. If your lease allows big dogs, take a look at our list of the top three big dogs for apartments.

1. English Mastiff

Weight: 120-230 Lbs.

It’s not uncommon for Mastiffs to tip the scales at 200 pounds, but with proper training and socialization, they can grow to gentle giant status. It’s best to introduce a Mastiff to new faces and experiences when they’re pups so you’re not dealing with an aggressive or fearful beast when they’re full grown. They don’t need tons of exercise and are generally good with family members of all sizes, so long as they don’t knock people down.

Pro-tip: It never hurts to carry a towel or baby wipes when you’re walking your Mastiff. It’s not uncommon for them to get lots of loving from neighbors, but they can leave their trademark drool wherever they go.

2. Great Dane

Weight: 100-200 Lbs.

Great Danes are certainly large, but in many cases aren’t aware that they’re giants. They insist on riding in the front seat or sitting in your lap, without realizing that they’re going to squish you or knock things down. Their whip-like tail is the most dangerous part of their big body. They’re absolute couch potatoes and will be fine with just a walk every day. They’re not typically excitable, except maybe when someone new is coming to pet them. Their mellow nature makes them quiet and trainable, setting them up to be a top big dog breed for apartments, provided they’ve got room to stretch out somewhere for a nap.

3. Irish Wolfhound

Weight 105-180 Lbs.

The mythological looking Irish Wolfhound is the largest of all breeds, and their temperament shows no sign of insecurity and nervousness. They’re calm, stoic animals who need walks and perhaps a chance to run once in a while. But word to the wise, it’s almost impossible to keep things out of a Wolfhound’s reach – my foster Wolfhound could drink out of the kitchen sink while standing on all four paws! Be prepared to puppy proof to the extreme. And don’t expect your walks to be short because everyone in the building will want to stop and pet your gentle giant.

When choosing the best big dog for apartments, ignoring the size factor might not be the right move. Ask yourself a few important questions first, and answer honestly before getting the biggest dog you can find:

  • Does my apartment have stairs that may cause trouble for my giant dog later in life?

  • If I’m not able to provide regular exercise, could I adopt an adult or senior giant breed?

  • Do I have space for large, cushiony dog beds or a couch so the dog can rest comfortably?

  • Am I physically able to walk a large dog on a leash regularly?

If you’re still on the fence about whether these big dogs are right for your apartment life, check out our list of 38 Best Dogs for Apartment Living for ideal dogs of all sizes.