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So you want a furry companion, but your home isn't exactly a sprawling canine shambala, but more like a 400 square foot efficiency apartment. Hey, we can't all live on a farm now, can we?

Believe it or not, plenty of dogs are perfectly happy with a few potty breaks and brisk walk in the park. Certified professional dog trainer Jane Del Re of Spots2Stripes thinks there is a dog out there that will fit your lifestyle as long as you're willing to do the work. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you bring your pooch home:


1) Check into what your apartment complex restricts and excludes. "You wouldn't believe how often people forget to check," says Del Re. Your building may have size or weight limitations.

2) Speak with friends and professionals for recommendations of breeds that might be a good fit for your lifestyle. For example, if you want a dog that doesn't need a high level of exercise, Del Re recommends "dogs that were bred to be pets like pugs, Maltese, Boston terriers, pekingese or the Italian greyhound." Another important thing to consider is how much the breed tends to bark as that can make life miserable for you and your neighbors.

A Few Breeds to Consider

Pug: Many of the breed's avid fans stress the pug's laid-back and family-friendly qualities, including even a tolerance for cats and other pets. In fact, the American Kennel Club (AKC) nominates the breed as ideal for apartment-dwellers, stating "They are comfortable in small apartments because they need minimal exercise." Not only are pugs know for their sweet, calm dispositions, they're not generally prone to excessive barking -- a nice trait when you've got neighbors coming and going at all hours of the day.

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