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Best Large Dogs for City Living

At A Glance

Some of the best large dog breeds for city living include Great Dane, Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundland, and Irish Wolfhound. To ensure the long-term health and well-being of large dogs in the city, owners must provide the following:

  • Enough exercise and mental exertion every day
  • A comfortable space for your pet to rest and sleep
  • Regular time in amenities such as dog parks and walking paths

Last Updated on: Jan 30, 2024

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Your love for the bustling vibes of city life need not curb your dream of having a gentle giant as a part of your family. Believe it or not, some of the best large dogs for city living are just waiting to make your urban abode their loving home.

Characteristics of a Great City Dog

When considering a large breed for city life, it’s important to look for ones with specific traits. These attributes ensure that your furry friend will be comfortable in your limited space and will thrive in the busy social environment of city living.

Let’s delve into some of these critical traits:

Adaptability to Space Restrictions

adaptability to space restrictions - great dane laying on the floor

Many large dogs can comfortably live in relatively small living quarters.

A surprising example is the Great Dane, a breed that may seem too large for an apartment. However, these dogs have low-energy temperaments that are well-suited for not-so-spacious homes. Their ability to be comfortable in smaller spaces without exhibiting anxious or destructive behavior is crucial for a happy household.

Energy Levels Suited for City Life

Your dog’s energy levels should be a good match to your city lifestyle and your ability to provide enough physical and mental stimulation every day. Consider breeds that are known for their calm nature indoors, such as the Greyhound or the Bernese Mountain Dog.

These breeds are content with moderate exercise and behave very well even indoors.

Temperament and Sociability

irish wolfhound dogs

A dog’s temperament will influence how well it adjusts to living in an urban area. Sociable dogs, such as the affable Irish Wolfhound or loyal Great Danes, are great because of their gentle and friendly natures.

Provide ample companionship and proper socialization training. This will help ensure that your dog remains well-behaved in various city environments.

By focusing on these characteristics, you can choose one of the best large dog breeds that can embrace city living. You and your gentle giant will have a wonderful time together!

Best Large Dogs for City Living

The quest for a gentle yet substantial companion is well within reach. Let’s dive into some of the best large dog breeds that WILL be the perfect fit for urban spaces without compromising on their happiness or yours!

Dog Breed Size Temperament Exercise Needs Suitable For Apartments
Standard Poodle Large Socially adept Moderate to high Yes
Great Dane Extra-Large Gentle and affectionate Low to moderate Yes
Bernese Mountain Dog Large Friendly and good-natured Moderate Yes
Newfoundland Extra-Large Calm and affectionate Low to moderate Yes
Mastiff Extra-Large Amiable and loyal Low Yes

The table above showcases breeds that are known to be big dogs with big hearts. They’re all breeds for apartments that have been given a stamp of approval by dog lovers residing in the concrete jungle.

While a spacious park nearby can be a boon for these breeds, with the proper routine and lots of love and socialization, they’ll thrive even when their territory is mostly indoors. It’s all about finding the right dog breed to match your urban lifestyle.

Here are some deep dives into these breeds and their suitability for city living:

Standard Poodle

black standard poodle

The Standard Poodle shines as a paragon among well-known intelligent dog breeds. It is particularly suited for the hustle and bustle of city life. They combine the grace of a classic aristocratic pet with the energy levels typical of the most high-energy dogs.

Taking care of a Standard Poodle in the city isn’t just about providing love and a lap to nap on; it includes engaging their brains and keeping their bodies active.

If you’re considering a Standard Poodle as your urban companion, remember they require consistent grooming to keep their distinctive curls in check. This breed, known for its refined looks and hypoallergenic coat, entails a grooming routine that is a necessity and a bonding opportunity:

  • Daily brushing to prevent tangles and mats
  • Regular baths and haircuts to maintain a clean and stylish appearance
  • Professional grooming every three to six weeks to ensure their coat is in top condition

Exercising your Standard Poodle offers more than just physical benefits; it quells their potential restlessness. Structured playtime, puzzle games, and training sessions will provide much-needed physical and mental stimulation, thus rendering them satisfied and well-adjusted city residents.

Exercise Needs Grooming Needs Socialization Tips
Daily walks, puzzle toys, agility training Brushing, bathing, professional grooming Puppy classes, dog parks, city strolls
Playing fetch, swimming, hide and seek with treats Coat trimming, ear cleaning, nail clipping Positive reinforcement training, pet-friendly events

When all of their needs are met, the Standard Poodle will thrive in city living. Their eagerness to please makes training a breeze, and their friendly nature ensures they’re a joy to have at home and in the busy cityscape.

Your commitment to meeting their needs will result in a harmonious household and a bond that will last many years.

Great Dane

Great Dane dog

The Great Dane is a gentle giant that might tower over its canine counterparts, but it is known for having low-energy traits that make it great for small living spaces.

Great Danes just need a cozy corner to sprawl out in for a long nap. Of course, they still require daily exercise, but you’ll find they prefer a leisurely stroll to a high-intensity game of fetch. They are great for owners who have chosen a relaxed lifestyle above all and simply want the calm presence of a steadfast, four-legged friend.

Socialization is crucial to the Great Dane’s well-being. But care is needed-their significant size can be a lot to handle in tight spaces if not managed properly. They will adjust accordingly with a proper introduction and consistent interaction with other humans and pets.

Even in a busy city, these dogs can learn to navigate crowded sidewalks and elevators like pros, and you won’t have to worry about them losing their composure.

Feature Great Dane Attributes
Size A large, commanding presence
Temperament Loyal, protective, and affectionate with families and children
Energy Level Calm and quiet, prefers relaxation over energy-intensive activities
Exercise Needs Daily walks, access to open space for regular physical exertion
Living Space Compatibility Adaptable to apartment living, space-efficient
Socialization Importance High; ensures good behavior in communal spaces

Ultimately, the Great Dane is undoubtedly one of the best large dogs for city living. They represent the pinnacle of gentle giants who can adapt to the rhythm of urban life while offering the companionship only big dogs can provide.

Bernese Mountain Dog

bernese mountain dog on leash

If your heart is set on getting a large dog while you live in the city, the Bernese Mountain Dog may be your perfect match. They are family-friendly and very affectionate, making for wonderful additions to homes with young children. They stand out not just with their size but also with their majestic tricolored, silky coats and joyful nature.

Despite their size, they exhibit polite and calm indoor behavior, demonstrating that they can thrive in cozier spaces and are well-suited for city living.

Bernese Mountain Dogs require moderate daily exercise to stay fit and happy. Twice-daily walks in open spaces and play sessions in a secure environment are their basic requirements in terms of physical exertion.

Living in the city doesn’t mean your Bernese Mountain Dog can’t enjoy the great outdoors. Creating a balance between indoor living and outdoor excursions will enrich their lives and yours. Whether it’s a weekend hike or a casual stroll in a nearby park, these outings are essential for your furry friend’s health and happiness.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are the embodiment of all that a large, family-friendly dog can be, flourishing in environments filled with love and attention. With proper care, exercise, and dedication to their specific health needs, these magnificent dogs will do well in your city dwelling.


newfoundland dog sitting

If you’re considering a Newfoundland as your next family pet, you’re looking at a breed that embodies the true spirit of indoor dogs. They are some of the most affectionate dogs you will find, renowned for their gentle and nurturing demeanor. A perfect match for those seeking companionship and warmth, these “nanny dogs” are known to be incredibly patient with children, making them a quintessential family pet.

Living with a Newfoundland might seem challenging at first due to their size. However, their laid-back temperament makes them ideal indoor dogs. If you meet their need for daily walks for exercise and mental stimulation, you’ll find them to be quite serene indoors.

Their love for lounging around and being part of family activities makes them less demanding than one might expect from such a large dog. Such traits make Newfoundlands a compatible companion for city dwellers with room for a large dog.

In your journey with a Newfoundland, you’ll discover that their capacity for affection is as massive as their physique. Welcoming full-bodied cuddles is part of the joy of owning this fluffy breed. Just watch out for the drool-keep a cloth handy and focus on the positive aspects of their charming personality.

Essential needs for a Newfoundland include:

  • Moderate daily exercise
  • Regular grooming to maintain their thick coat
  • Companionship and affection
  • Indoor space to rest and relax

Here are some considerations for new owners:

Feature Best Practices for Owners
Size Despite being a large dog breed, it requires less indoor space than expected due to their low-energy nature.
Temperament Docile and friendly, it adapts well to being a family pet in an urban setting.
Exercise Needs are moderate; two strolls a day and occasional playtime are sufficient.
Grooming A thick coat needs regular maintenance to prevent matting and manage shedding.
Drooling Prospective owners should beware of their slobbery nature—it's part of the breed's charm.
Training Even-tempered and eager to please, which makes training quite a pleasant experience.
Health Care Owing to its size, it requires attentive health monitoring for potential joint and heart conditions.

Embracing a Newfoundland as your newest family member means bringing in a volume of love that matches their size. These graceful giants make fantastic family pets and adapt well to being indoor dogs, suited for limited living spaces.

Irish Wolfhound

beautiful irish wolfhound

If you’ve dreamed of having a big dog in your city dwelling, you should consider the Irish Wolfhound. They are very mellow members of the large dog breed family that’s fit for apartment living.

These majestic canines exude a sense of calm strength and a laid-back disposition, which might make you wonder how such a large dog breed can adapt to city life. Surprisingly, the Irish Wolfhound thrives in this environment. The key to their happiness? Their innate serene nature and mild temperament that adapt beautifully to busy city living.

Irish Wolfhounds, known for being gentle and mellow dogs, don’t demand much space to run around and roam. Despite their towering stature, these big dogs are content with standard walks once or twice a day. They can also maintain a low profile indoors, so you don’t have to worry about them wrecking your apartment or condo.

With an affinity for leisurely strolls and cozy indoor time, the Irish Wolfhound is a prime example of a large dog breed that can gracefully meld into city living and a family environment.

Feature Description
Size Large
Personality Mellow and adaptable
Activity Needs Moderate; standard walks suffice
Indoor Behavior Low profile and non-disruptive
Compatibility with City Living High; perfect for a family dynamic

Your very long life with an Irish Wolfhound will include enjoying their calm companionship and meeting their breed’s needs, including moderate exercise and mental stimulation.

When well cared for, these large and lovable dogs make fantastic companions. This breed and the others on this list exemplify the fact that the right large dog breed can indeed live harmoniously in a smaller space while enjoying the thrills of urban life side-by-side with their favorite humans.

The search for the best large dogs for city living has proven that size need not be a barrier to enjoying a fulfilling life with a canine companion in an urban setting. As you’ve seen in our guide, wide-ranging breeds-from the sophisticated Standard Poodle to the laid-back Greyhound-provide the potential for city dwellers to experience the joy of large dog ownership.

Each breed, with its unique traits and personality, requires consideration of the space they will inhabit, the type of exercise they will be able to get, and the social integration they need to thrive within the vibrant rhythms of city life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Characteristics Make a Large Dog Suitable for City Living?

Some key characteristics include adaptability to space restrictions, low to moderate energy levels, and a sociable and calm temperament. The gentle giants who can remain relaxed in smaller spaces are good candidates.

How Much Exercise Do Large Breeds Need When Living in the City?

The amount of exercise needed varies depending on the breed. Some, like the Standard Poodle, require a bit more exercise compared to the Newfoundland, which only needs moderate daily walks. Owners must match the breed’s exercise needs with their ability to provide it within a city.

What Makes a Bernese Mountain Dog a Good Choice for City Dwellers?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their friendly and calm nature, making them well-suited for family life and apartment settings. They’re also quite well-behaved when indoors and can adapt well to city living. They just need moderate exercise and regular opportunities to explore natural settings.

Can Newfoundlands Adapt to Small City Apartments, Given Their Size?

Newfoundlands are affectionate and calm and prefer being indoors with their families. While they have a large stature, they are content with low-key walks and can live happily in less spacious homes.

Do Dog-friendly Amenities in the City Contribute to a Large Dog’s Well-being?

Yes, access to dog-friendly amenities such as parks, walking paths, and pet services contributes significantly to the well-being of any dog, especially large breeds in the city. These amenities provide much-needed venues for exercise, socialization, and stimulation, enhancing their quality of life.

This post is written by Matt and edited by Lillian Woodward.

About Matt:
Matt is a lifelong dog devotee, passionately dedicated to sharing his canine expertise. With a history rich in cherished moments alongside dogs, he brings a wealth of insights, tips, and heartwarming tales from the dog-loving trenches. Embark on a journey with Matt as he explores the world of man’s best friend, one wagging tail at a time. For any questions or queries, feel free to reach out to him at



I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.