Some advice on flat friendly dog breeds

(69 Posts)
straya Sun 17-May-20 09:02:15

Hey MNers,
Wondering if anyone can recommend apartment friendly dog breeds?

My DP and I live in a large 2 bed flat in SW London with access to a communal garden, and are looking for a small dog as the landlord has just said yes!

We had our hearts set on a miniature wire haired daschund but aren’t sure because of the barking. But we really love big dog personalities and would otherwise have a big dog. I don’t mind a bit of cheeky in a dog and like cuddly dogs with a personality.

We’re quite active and can take the dog to work if needed so it won’t be on it’s own too much. We’re also experienced dog owners - we’ve had labs, Jack Russel Doberman and Staffies between us. I’m confident we’d be stringent with the training.

Most important is that it doesn’t bark excessively and that it gets on with our in laws staffie (incredibly laid back and great with other dogs) who will mind ours if we have to go away. Similarly we look after the staff when they’re abroad.

One of the things that concerns us about daschunds is that they’re not great with kids and we’re looking to ttc in the next 2-3 years. That and the back issues.

We’ve written off jack russel as bad previous experience but looking into Boston Terriers, King Charles, corgis and mini sheepdog. Not huge on pugs personally.

Any advice I’m most grateful for. I love French bulldogs but DP isn’t big on them due to breathing (and bum?) issues.

We’re also on the 2nd floor which isn’t great for toilet training but oh well. We’d also consider a mixed breed if it’s on the small side.

I might be overthinking the daschund thing - every dog is different regardless of breed. I met a lovely wire-haired one a few months back at a cafe that was very friendly and no worries about strangers. I also had a lack lab who also had Zero recall (would just run off and never chase balls) and kept to himself - but they’re known for being retrievers who love being with owners!

Sorry for waffling. We’re very excited and will love the dog regardless... Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sun 17-May-20 09:25:01

Personally I like dachsies but the spinal issues would put me off - and stairs plus spinal issues sounds like a bad combo.

With any breed, look hard at the health issues. Cavaliers are a wreck - hearts and heads both buggered, which is incredibly sad as they have really endearing personalities and are ideal for a lot of people. Anything with a flat face is very prone to breathing and dental issues (you can't fit normal canine dentition into squashed jaws).

One of the more chilled terrier breeds might work for you, or something like a show cocker or mini schnauzer.

Whatever you go for, consider just how much time you'll be leaving the dog alone for and if you can afford day care or a dog walker if necessary. Also really do your research about puppy farms and how to avoid them: there are people who make a really good job of breeding the family pet - and then there are people who breed dogs in grim barns and then pretend that they have bred the family bed, fake family home and everything.

fivedogstofeed Sun 17-May-20 09:27:23

Housetraining a puppy in s second floor flat would be very hard work.
Any reason why you wouldn't consider a rescue? They usually come housetrained, and don't necessarily have issues.

straya Sun 17-May-20 09:37:34

Thanks for the advice! We will look into the terriers. We did have that fear about the King Charles - so many of them seem to get ill.

It would rarely be left alone as I WFH 2 days a week and the other days it will go with DP to work. On weekends we usually visit the in laws so it will get lots of walks or come out with us to the pub, friends places etc. It’s going to be a socialised dog!

We are totally open to rescues but so far have been told no because we have a flat. Yet to find a rescue op that would allow us to adopt since we’re in a flat.

Finance very fortunately isn’t an issue as we can afford the insurances and any daycare/walkers that would be needed. We will either go to a rescue or registered breeder.

We’d like a smaller dog so we can carry up/down stairs so we don’t bother neighbours and they don’t get physical illnesses from stairs.

OP’s posts: |
ErrolTheDragon Sun 17-May-20 09:38:53

If you get a dachshund, especially a mini, then you'll need to carry him up and down the stairs. Our standard dachshund used to do the stairs with no problems but now he's 14 we have to carry him ... he's quite heavy and of course his means of summoning assistance is to bark though I suppose that might not be such an issue in an apartment. He's great with kids too.... IME the issue is more that kids may not be great with dachshunds rather than the other way round. Absolute rule is required on kids not trying to pick them up until they're big and competent to do it properly.

I agree it would be better if you can get an adult rather than a pup. You'll be able to get a better idea of their character in addition to the housetraining.

The amount of barking depends on training and whether you're paying attention to the dog, and whether there are cues which set him off. We've had less barking since our old boy went deaf and can't hear neighbours in the road outside or the doorbell.

InFiveMins Sun 17-May-20 09:44:55

Pomeranians. I have two. Delightful, beautiful dogs with cheeky personalities, active enough but also love to be lazy and sleep. Adore them. Only issue is they can moult a lot so you need to brush them regularly but not a problem if you can book them in with a groomer once a month or so.

nicky7654 Sun 17-May-20 09:52:51

A Staffie would be perfect and both of mine don't bark, sleep loads, love cuddles and enjoy walks x


ErrolTheDragon Sun 17-May-20 09:54:50

Another reason for caution with dachshunds at the moment is that, along with a few other breeds such as French bulldogs, they've become very popular recently. This inevitably means that a lot of pups must be coming from dodgy sources. Hopefully the overseas trade is shut down but you need to be very careful to check out the breeder. Not sure if that's possible under lockdown.

OTOH there may be some young adult dogs who've had to stay with their breeders which may become available at some point. We got our current dog at 10 months, he'd been kept for show and stud but developed alopecia ... his nice calm character was apparent and he was housetrained.

YgritteSnow Sun 17-May-20 09:56:32

Big dog personalities in a small dog immediately makes me think of a Scottie. I've seen them described that way many times smile. I love dashies but I would never get one. I know three and they've all been gruelling to toilet train, with their owners being in absolute despair at times. One of them at age four still isn't reliable.

vanillandhoney Sun 17-May-20 10:02:43

I really wouldn't want to toilet train a puppy in a second floor flat. It's a lot of work - getting up and dressed in the middle of the night to take the puppy out, carrying it up and down stairs for a good 6-12 months of it's life - toilet training is a faff when you have direct access to a garden, let alone alone when you have to carry them downstairs to let them out.

When mine was very young he probably couldn't have held it for the length of time it would take to put shoes and lead on, carry him downstairs and put him out - he'd have peed on me grin

TheVanguardSix Sun 17-May-20 10:04:28


YgritteSnow Sun 17-May-20 10:08:59

I know it's not for everyone but I have toilet trained two puppies in a first floor flat - at different times - yes it's a PITA but for me worth it. Crate training was essential because I kept him tethered to me for the entire time the first few weeks so I could take him out at the first sign. If he wasn't on a long tether to me he was in the crate so I could have a shower, do essential tasks etc. I never got up in the night specifically either unless he whined and then I was up and out like a rocket. Took about a month, which I know is good.

midnightstar66 Sun 17-May-20 10:09:21

A Boston terrier wound be a perfect fit I think just do your homework as they can have some health issues but that's fairly easily avoided if you get a good breeder, they aren't in the same league as the other brachy breeds being a more lightweight dog. One they are amazing with dc. We have a Jack Russell pup in a flat and taking her down to toilet hadn't been too bad but she sleeps all night mostly already. She's really slotted in to our lives and is fab, not barkey My dc are older though I think it would be difficult having her with a baby or toddler - although of course that's true with any puppy. Bostons tend not to bark too much, I'd not have a daschund with small kids though too delicate - what about some of the wirey terriers that maybe have less exercise needs than a JRT?

vanillandhoney Sun 17-May-20 10:13:55


In a second storey flat with stairs?!

I know MN are obsessed with rehoming greyhounds but at least read the OP and her circumstances before jumping in with this!

wetotter Sun 17-May-20 10:16:26

One of the smaller terrier breeds might be a good choice, but some of them bark a lot, which wouldn't be fair on the neighbours.

How about a miniature poodle?

longcoffee Sun 17-May-20 10:20:31

We have two MWHD. Neither are big barkers, unless there's a squirrel in the garden, which is unlikely to be a concern in a flat. They talk all the time though, which is very amusing.

One is a complete slug, and would be happy as Larry in a flat, as long as he had full sofa rights. The other is like a nuclear weapon, and isn't happy unless he's pelting round the garden at full tilt. Luck of the draw I guess.

We don't let them upstairs, unless they're carried, not on beds under any circumstances and our sofas have foam ramps (Amazon) to help prevent jumping. Touch wood no back issues yet.

They're BRILLIANT little dogs, absolutely big dogs in little bodies. Have no comprehension of their size whatsoever.

Both of ours are very cuddly (DH is currently rocking nuclear dog like a hairy baby 🙄) and have always been fine with small children. Lazy dog was around DSD from age 3, admittedly not a baby, but still young, small and fairly heavy handed!

grumpyorange Sun 17-May-20 10:20:44

I'd go for a show cocker. Lovely dogs and normally very laid back

BalloonSlayer Sun 17-May-20 10:25:11

I saw this thread and thought what's a flat dog? I was trying to think of a canine equivalent of a stingray grin

longcoffee Sun 17-May-20 10:30:03

One issue to seriously consider is recall though. They are a breed known for selective deafness, their stubborn streak (its a wide streak, I won't lie!) is most in evidence when you're trying to get the buggers to come back when they don't want to...

Sprout888 Sun 17-May-20 10:30:06

I live in a flat and have toilet trained my dog. Yes I agree it isn't easy going up and down every hour on the hour but for me it was worth it. Have you considered a mini English bull terrier if you are used to owning a bull breed and like the terrier temperament.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 17-May-20 10:34:18

* They are a breed known for selective deafness*
It took us quite a while to twig that our old boy is now genuinely deaf rather than just selectively. grin

straya Sun 17-May-20 10:35:36

@longcoffee that picture is too cute. You’ve confirmed all the things we love about daschunds. Sounds like a loving but firm home is what they need. We appreciate they like to snuggle up with their family.

This thread is making me also seriously consider Boston terriers or another smaller terrier dog like Scottish. Both of which we like.

Unfortunately the staffies and greyhounds are too large as landlord has said small dog only. Under different circumstances we’d adopt one in a heartbeat. Our in laws staffie is a dream come true - so good with kids, loves a bit of a play, so lazy, doesn’t bark, gentle, loves people, snuggly etc.

OP’s posts: |
motherofgod2 Sun 17-May-20 10:36:50

Show cockers are normally laid back????? I have had two before and a family member bred them and they are anything but laid back! Lovely personalities and non aggressive so good with kids etc but very excitable, food stealing, destructive and need lots of walks. Also good at running away on walks. Never again!

I think a Scottish Terrier would be ideal. A friend has two and they're great dogs, easy to train and with funny personalities. She also lived in a flat when one of them was a puppy and no problems.

longcoffee Sun 17-May-20 10:36:51

@ErrolTheDragon ah, this is definitely selective. They can hear the rustle of a cheese packet or a fridge opening from a mile off... 😂

Poor DragonDog though 😞

Bienentrinkwasser Sun 17-May-20 10:39:45

What about a whippet?

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