T Nation

Best Dogs?


I have decided I will be getting a dog during the upcoming spring. I live in an apartment on the first floor and have a mini yard.

So what suggestions do you guys have? I like larger medium sized to big dogs. Some of the dogs I have been thinking about are Doberman Pinscher's, German Shepherds, Great Dane's, Husky's, and Labs. Let me get some input.


Of course this is a very individual answer, but I'll tell you my take.
I just lost an English Bulldog this past summer and she was the best dog I have ever had. The dog was endlessly amusing, a good drinking buddy, as sweet and cuddly as any dog could be, yet tough and protective. The English Bulldogs are expensive, have a ton of health problems, and you won't be running with one.

Next month, I will be picking up two Olde English Bulldogges. There is a long definition of what the OEB is, but basically a mix between an American Bulldog (also an excellent choice) and an English. They tend to be larger and more atheletic than the English, with less health problems. I've spent the past 6 months looking for the perfect dog (for me of course) and this is what I want. If you have more questions about this breed, feel free to drop me a PM and I'll tell you more of what I know and direct you to some good web sites.
Another good breed that I will someday have is the Dogue De Bordeaux (or French Mastiff). Hooch from Turner and Hooch.
The breeds you mentioned are also good dogs. I have had bad experiences with Huskies, and although they are beautiful dogs, they tend to run off.

Also remember, with any big breed that has a potential for dominance and/or aggression, be it a shepard, dobbie, bully, etc., training is a must.
Good luck, let us know.


seems kind of cruel to have a sizable dog without a sizable yard and dwelling.
What is the apartments rule on this?


You'll have a hard time getting renter's insurance with some breeds. So look into that.

I've had a husky. Great dogs, but very independent. It's hard to train them to be off leash, so if your door swings open, you won't have a dog.

On a related note: Will you be able to always find a place that allows dogs? Just because your lifestyle allows you to currently accommodate a dog does not mean this will be the case next year. A lot of dogs end up in the pound because their college kid owners aren't able to bring them when they move cross country.

So that's something to consider.


I stayed with a friend of my father's this past summer, and he had a pit bull. I would definitely say pit bulls are great dogs. They're very athletic and are kind and playful. I think it's unfortunate that the current stigma regarding pitbulls exists.


The boxer is my all-time favorite. Probably the most colorful dogs on earth in terms of personality. Just exuberant bundles of friendly energy. They are very athletic too.

Also, although I've never owned one, I've always admired the german shepard. There probably isn't a smarter, more loyal dog on the planet. They are also fit to hike or run a million miles with you.


I like boxers and bull mastiffs. Their faces make me laugh.

Huskies are beautiful with very classic wolf-like looks but I'm not sure about their suitability as pets because of their strong prey drive, which may manifest as aggression towards humans. I think what put me off Huskies was that this year in Australia, it was all over the news that a Husky killed the baby of a young couple while it was sleeping in its cot.

As far as small dogs go, I like beagles.


A boxer. Look at the character in that face! lol


A bull mastiff. I think I started liking this breed because of Paul Sr.'s dog Gus from American Chopper.


Of those choices, I'd go with a Great Dane which is just a huge couch potato. Look at adopting a greyhound, because they're also cool with laying around and not doing much.

No high energy dogs, especially Huskies, any Retriever or Terrier, which includes Pit Bulls. If you must have one of these breeds, you're going to have to walk them and play with them a lot, otherwise they'll go nuts and take it out on your apartment.


i had a rottweiler, just super clever, hard as nails, and really loving

she would let my 6 yr old jump all over her, but would kill anyone who tried to mess with the kids or us

you must remain completely alpha to it at all times though

thoroughly recommended

however over the last 6 yrs she ran up £6000 at the vets


Agreed. Don't pick out a dog based solely on what you want. Pick a dog based on its needs and whether you can accommodate those needs. Otherwise you're going to end up with an unhappy, frustrated and destructive pet. Most of the dogs listed so far are either going to be too big or too energetic for living in an apartment with a mini yard.

An English bulldog is a good choice. They don't need a lot or room or exercise yet are still very playful and affectionate. pits, terriers, labs, are very high energy and high maintenance. A great dane shouldn't even be on your list with an apartment, that's just not fair to the dog. A german shepherd could work but I really think you need to consider a smaller breed.


Unless you are planning on spending a couple of hours every day exercising your dog, don't get any of the breeds you mentioned. If you have the room and time, all of the dogs you mentioned can be great. I am especially partial to GSD's, as I have a 7-month old and she is great, but she does require a firm hand, lots of human interaction, and plenty of exercise.

I second the recommendation for a rescue greyhound.


greyhounds...lol. That reminds me of an ancedote about a similar skinny breed of dog, whippets, told by infamous Australian criminal, Mark 'Chopper' Reed.

His father beat the living shit out of the next door neighbour because saw these skinny dogs running around. He thought the neighbour was starving his dogs - it turns out he'd never seen a whippet before.


No hetero man should own a whippet, like having a frail and timid little rat around the house. A woman I work with breeds them and is always trying to sell them to people in the office. The first time I saw one up close I just started laughing. Greyhounds at least have some poise and dignity.


I will be graduating in 08, meaning I will be moving out of my apartment, so once i get the dog, it will be living in my apartment for maybe 3-4 months, meaning yard space would not be a problem for a while.

Anybody have an opinion on Doberman's?


The lovely lady in my avatar is half. She's the funniest dog I've ever met. She's not very sociable with strange people/dogs, but she's still a joy to have around. If you play with the dog in your yard, make sure you clean up after him, or you will have some very pissed off neighbors.


I obviously would love to buy a great dog like a german shepherd or a doberman, but I have been thinking that maybe adopting a dog in college would be a better idea.

Something like this guy http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=9287013

what do you think?


A bull mastif or a great dane in an apt with a small yard won't be the best choice. I used to have a very large dog and it was too much to deal with for where I lived. Had to get him a new home where he was better off.

Personally I like golden retrievers. They're loving, playful, and easy to train. Mine used to fetch the news paper every morning before he died of cancer.

Best thing would be to adopt.


Do not get this dog Cattle dogs need a shit load of exercise. They are not good for apartments with small yards. I had one, a Queensland heeler mix. Like Mad Max's dog in the Road Warrior. You need to find a dog that requires medium to low amounts of exercise. Mine tore my place apart, didn't come when called, and dug his way out of my yard while I was at work to finally get run over by a car. Poor fella. Besides his short comings I really loved that dog:(