My pets have had the good fortune to have a fenced in backyard of their own in which to run, play, and eat strange things for most of their life.
Whether we started accumulating our herd when we knew a house was imminent or the other way around, we didn't have too many issues with our Cockapoo or Terrier during those last few months we spent renting.
I never put much thought into whether the dogs were a good fit for apartment living, but I've since discovered that with a little planning, a variety of breeds would have been perfectly fine living there with us.
Pugs and Dachshunds, for example, can be quite content with apartment life, and require only moderate exercise and space. With their small size and modest needs, they're an intuitive fit for modest square footage.
If you're not a small dog person, fear not, there are larger breeds that also do well in small spaces. As unlikely as it sounds Bullmastiffs, Great Danes, and Greyhounds can all thrive in apartments.
As big as those dogs are, Bullmastiffs and Great Danes tend to be low-energy and short-haired breeds, perfect for lazing around a smaller space and not filling it up with shedded hair. Even Greyhounds, once they are past racing age, also tend to be quite happy hanging around the house.
For what little exercise these dogs need, leashed walks are a great bonding experience with your dog. Whether you have a backyard or not, walking should already be a part of your regular routine (weather permitting).
A general point to remember is that older dogs can do better in apartments, if for no other reason than they tend to be less energetic (and therefore calmer) than their younger versions.
This is a great two-birds-with-one-stone for apartment dwellers who want to adopt a new canine friend, as so many older dogs wait at shelters for someone to take them home. Just because you don't have a backyard doesn't mean you can't help. In fact, with just a little planning, you can be a pretty good fit.
Keep in mind these are generalizations. Even dogs who meet these criteria may not be suited to living in an apartment. The noises on the other side of the wall can get on our four-legged friends' nerves too.
Also, the most important consideration still holds true: make sure that you have the means and time to care for a dog. Apartment or house, a lonely dog is still a lonely dog.
Gordon Murray is a make-believe grown-up from Wichita, Kansas, who is often confounded by the behavior of his two dogs and cat, and feels compelled to share his experiences with complete strangers. He's pretty sure that the cat would kill him if the money was good enough.