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same, same but different

What is interesting is that although people often can’t imagine owning a small fluffy dog or other unfamiliar breed, once they live with the pet they fall in love with it and recognise its great qualities.

Often people can’t imagine having a small or quiet breed of dog, but when they actually live with them they discover how easy they are to care for and are relieved at not having to spend hours every day exercising. And these dogs provide the same fantastic companionship that makes pet ownership such a great experience. Many people discover they develop a closer bond with their pet than they expected because they spend more time with them indoors.

It’s important to understand that some of the breeds considered suitable for small spaces really do need to be indoor dogs. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were bred to be companions and, as a result, are happiest indoors with their families. Whippets and Italian Greyhounds suffer from cold and Pugs, Bulldogs and French Bulldogs can suffer from both heat and cold. These breeds do much better indoors and are well suited to being city pets.

It’s true that many people do manage to keep breeds and types of dogs in small spaces that might not generally be considered suitable. They are often able to do this because of the way they manage their pet, being prepared to modify their lifestyle and/or their surroundings to cater to the pet’s needs. Whilst it’s possible to do this, it’s probably not ideal. To keep an energetic working breed of dog in a confined space, you have to be absolutely dedicated to undertaking very high amounts of daily exercise and providing adequate mental stimulation for the dog.

What’s important is choosing a breed of dog to suit your lifestyle, not your apartment. Basically, if you spend most of your time working on the computer or watching television, you should be looking for a smaller dog with a placid temperament who wants to sit with you and keep you company. If you like power walking or jogging, you could be looking for a more athletic dog.

It is easier and safer to thoroughly consider your lifestyle and try to select an appropriate pet right from the start.

In the 'dog breed choices' section we provide you with more information to help you choose a dog breed to suit your lifestyle and in the '10 dog breeds to consider' section we profile selected dog breeds.