Dogs who are content with apartment living need less exercise, are quieter and get along with people and other dogs. These dogs become more popular as urban populations increase. People who are more conscientious about reducing their carbon footprint are moving to cities to live in apartments near work and take advantage of transportation alternatives to the car. Apartment dwellers with allergies seek out dogs who do not shed, and while no dogs have proven to be 100 percent non-shedding or hypoallergenic, numerous breeds shed only minimally, release small amounts of saliva and spread very little dander, the primary causes of dog allergies.
Choosing Your Dog
Finding the right dog is complicated if you have limited living space and even more difficult if you have allergies. Before looking for a dog, it is important to do research and learn about types of dogs who adjust well to apartment life and who are considered low- to non-shedding and hypoallergenic. Because each dog breed is unique, you cannot know for certain which breed or mix of breeds will cause an allergic reaction, so everyone in your household should try to spend time with the kinds of dogs you are considering before making a decision. This will prevent your choosing a dog who is not suited for apartment living or who triggers allergic responses.
The miniature schnauzer is a family dog and loving companion, a lapdog who is playful and tolerant with children. This small schnauzer is one of the most adaptable terriers and can be a well-mannered apartment dog. She sheds very little, although she has has a short coat that needs regular maintenance because the hair is prone to matting. Miniature schnauzers are curious and alert and enjoy being right in the middle of any activity.
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
The soft-coated wheaten terrier is one of the most gentle terriers. When provided with enough outdoor exercise, these can be calm, sweet apartment dogs. Wheatens are very affectionate and prefer to be lapdogs even though they weigh about 35 pounds. They are playful and friendly with children and dogs. Soft-coated wheaten terriers want to be close to their people and adapt well to life in the city. Well-balanced wheatens can remain calm even when the doorbell rings or people come to visit.
Bedlington terriers are companion dogs who enjoy moderate play and exercise, crave affection and get along fairly well with people and other pets. They are gentle dogs who are comfortable in apartments and can be good watchdogs. The Bedlington weighs under 25 pounds, has a curly woolen coat that does not shed and resembles a lamb.
Chinese crested dogs are playful, affectionate lapdogs who get along with cats, other dogs, adults and children. They do not need much exercise and are happy playing games in the house and going for short walks outside, as long as the weather is not cold. The hairless variety of this breed is non-shedding, but has special skin care needs, such as a need to be protected from sunshine. Your hairless Chinese crested should also wear a sweater for cold or cool weather outings.
The Havanese is considered a hypoallergenic, non-shedding dog breed. These dogs originated in Cuba, where they were kept as companion dogs. They are excellent family dogs, friendly with everyone—other dogs, pets, adults, children and strangers. These little dogs are attentive, intelligent and trainable, as well as silly and clownish, and they enjoy being the center of attention. They can be calm, quiet apartment dogs whose exercise requirements will be satisfied by a short walk and a vigorous indoor play session.
Italian greyhounds are ideal apartment dogs who need little exercise, except for an occasional outdoor run. They are very friendly, easy to train and loyal. They shed very little, so are good for allergy sufferers. These slight dogs are sensitive to cold, so you will have to provide your Italian greyhound with a warm home and a sweater when the weather is chilly. Italian greyhounds prefer a quiet, calm atmosphere, and they are excellent dogs for people who lead quiet lives and who enjoy a calm companion by their side.