We love all Dogs and Puppies!

A big dog in a flat

Thread starter #1
I respect animals a lot so it totally puzzles me to see people that have big dogs stuck in a flat all day. I have a friend who is exactly like this and when he gets home after work and goes out with the dog for some minutes the poor animal is pure joy, in opposition to when he return home for let's say 23 more hours or close stuck there. Should we have a dog if we live in a flat?
Dogs can adapt to a lot of different situations. Depending on the dog's breed and temperament, a flat may be no different from an open field. A Great Dane is humongous, but they're quite content to sleep on the couch while waiting for master to come home. Meanwhile, a mastiff would be a terrible decision for a small apartment and would probably chew through the walls to relieve boredom. As long as the dog is getting the appropriate amount of exercise and attention, then everything is all right, in my opinion.
Some big dogs can manage to live in a small flat if they just have the will to. I know plenty of dogs who are living in their owner's small apartments and still live happily, but on the other hand I know way too many who would be living way more easier elsewhere. Just like Valerie said, it really depends on the dog's breed and temperament, does the dog like being in a small flat or not.


New Member
I have a pretty big greyhound who is really lazy whenever he is alone at home in my condo. But I do agree that certain high energy dogs can find living in a small indoor space quite frustrating. I opt for having a paid dog walker visit during the workday even for my lazypants dog, just to add some interest to his day. But not everyone can afford that sort of service.
Agreed with those above, what is the dog's temperament like? Generally large dogs can live anywhere...when they are older. A puppy is not advisable in a small living situation as they are usually more full of energy than a dog that's a bit older and better trained. But it's not entirely impossible, and if the owners are putting effort into letting them get the exercise they need, then it's not cruel at all.

Things that will make small house life more comfortable for a bigger canine:
  • At least two walks a day, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. Ideally it'd be great if you can squeeze a third one in there some where. Go for a jog, or a long nice walk twice a day, play fetch at the park, etc. Lots of exercise.
  • Train the dog. To keep your dog from being bored with life, make things challenging for them. Train them to shake, sit, fetch, roll over, stay, etc. A lot of big dogs are genetically trained to have 'jobs' because they were bred for specific purposes. Research your breed, and find out fun games associated with that type of 'job' that they were bred for to give them purpose. You would be surprised how much angst, anxiety and over all behavioral problems that can solve.
  • Kennel train them at a young age so that they are use to smaller environments and can tolerate being confined for hours at a time (IE: Work hours), kennel training helps a lot of behavioral problems, but please make sure to let them out when you are home ALWAYS! It's no fun being in a cage all the time!
I definitely think you have have a dog in a small living space, as long as they are getting adequate exercise. While in college my mom had a Husky who stayed in a kennel during the day. She always took him running at the park in the evenings (Huskies need extra exercise and are very active dogs). If your dog is well trained, it is definitely possible.
I have a growing samoyed puppy in a pretty small apartment, mainly because we rescued her. Yes, it is not the best place to raise a dog but it entirely depends on the owners.
My dog is active dog, so we know that he a lot of exercise and play. I have changed my college schedule so that I am more flexible. When I am in class, my boyfriend is home with him and takes him out to play and vice versa. Say I have class at 8a.m. I take him with me on the walk to class (20 minutes) and my boyfriend takes him back. We try and integrate him as much as possible and when we set up a video to see what he gets up to, he is mostly asleep or playing with his toys.
Thread starter #8
Yeah, we need to see the big picture. When you say that you saved your dog @Ladyferoz , no question that the dog is better off with you than before. More, if we do have time available to exercise with the dog and take him/her for walks, great. Above all, if we have love to give to the dog, it will be fine. :)


New Member
I've just joined the forum, and this thread caught my eye as I've recently had to go through the 'big dog in a small flat' situation myself after moving recently. In my opinion it doesn't work, especially if you work and the dogs left on its own most of the time.

I ended up having to give my dog to a member of the family as it wasn't fair on him to be cooped up all day, and while it broke my heart to see him go, he's a lot happier now than he ever would have been where I live now. That's more important to me.
I think that when you have a bigger dog in a flat or apartment the best solution is taking him on several walks a day. If the dog has enough exercise the space around them is not gonna matter for the rest of the day.

I have several young friends with bigger breed dogs and they say it is the almost only way - get them tired and they will be happy wherever they are. Also dog parks!
It's not advisable to keep a big dog holed up in a flat all day long. The dogs need to exercise and to express themselves. This confinement will only serve to frustrate the dog. Observe a dog out in a yard during the day the animal will rest and explore alternately throughout the day. When the animal is confined in a flat the opportunity to express itself is almost but taken away.
Thread starter #12
I've just joined the forum, and this thread caught my eye as I've recently had to go through the 'big dog in a small flat' situation myself after moving recently. In my opinion it doesn't work, especially if you work and the dogs left on its own most of the time.

I ended up having to give my dog to a member of the family as it wasn't fair on him to be cooped up all day, and while it broke my heart to see him go, he's a lot happier now than he ever would have been where I live now. That's more important to me.
Yeah, it might work for some, but it certainly not an easy situation to manage. Dogs need their space, they need to run and exercise and being stuck in a flat can be hard. Sure, we can put in the extra effort to make it work, but it's no easy.
As people have said, if your able to take your dog's out multiple times a day then you might be able to make it work but for a lot of people, like in my case, that wasn't an option unfortunately.

Dogs take a lot of looking after and for them to be confined in a small flat isn't good for the dog mentally aswell as physically so it's not something I'd recommend.
It may be a viable option for smaller or lazier dogs, but I don't think it would be ideal for bigger and more active dogs, unless you take them out multiple times a day and take them to parks or large, open environments in general at least twice a week. Dogs love to go out, and restrict them too much isn't good.
You need to think about more than just a dogs size when deciding if a dog will fit into a flat. Energy level is far more important. Many large dogs are quite lazy and would love to sleep on the couch all day. Puppies of any breed are far more energetic, so If you want a large breed, consider adopting an adult dog. Also make sure whatever dog you choose does not bark a lot. It does not matter how small the dog is, if your neighbors are constantly calling in noise complaints, you may be asked to remove the dog from the flat.
Thread starter #16
I really don't know if I agree with that @NikkiR. You say that most dogs are quite lazy and love to sleep for many hours and that is true, at the same time they love to run and as well and have the space to do it. They might get depressed being in a confined space.
If the dog is happy and healthy living in the kennel when his master goes to work, then it is ok. It is a common thing for people who have a job to go through and many dogs are contented with the situation.

I don't see any wrong with it. I rather know that the dog has a home than knowing the owner dumps the dog at a shelter to be killed.
I have a guy living next door to where I live now in the top flat and he has a rottweiler and we rarely ever see him take it out or if it does go out it's usually in the front garden which is his garden and it's tied up outside which doesn't give him much exercise. I always believe that if you have a dog you should be prepared to take it out a few times a day for a walk or run for it to get the exercise. Seeing a dog trapped in a small flat or tied up in a garden is not my idea of looking after an animal.
I once rented a room with a lady who was an international student at the university I was going to. She was doing her masters but her family was rich enough to buy her a house. She had a lovely little Samoyed girl who lived in a cage. Her training was totally disregarded and she would jump all over you and if you were not careful, she would scratch, push you down accidentally. She was also not trained to walk with you on a leash properly either since she was indoors all day except to go out to potty.

What I'm trying to say is that, dogs, big or small, need room to walk, run, play. The bigger they are the more space they will need. Some working dogs need much more exercise than others. A Samoyed had plenty of energy to burn and this little one directed her energy to "give trouble" since she couldnt get to go on her walks. Each dog also has a temperament and a personality so they all have different behaviours as well.
What you'll sometimes find is that the dog will become frustrated by being cooped up in the flat all day, and it will start to misbehave.

The owner may then blame the dog for the way it's behaving, when really it's the owner that should be looking at their own actions.