Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes

February 6th, 2015

Giant Breeds That Make Good Apartment Dogs

By Tara

People who aren’t familiar with giant dogs tend to automatically think that they won’t make good apartment dogs. But that’s not always the case. Yes, they’re big. But that isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Just pick your furniture with that in mind. It will be like having another person in the house.

A good “apartment dog” is one that is lazy/has low energy and generally quiet.

There are actually quite a few giant dog breeds that are considered to be great apartment dogs!

I don’t have experience with any giant dogs besides Great Danes and the one Dane I have lived with so far is the exception to the “low-energy Great Dane” stereotype. All of the information I provide below is based on research that I’ve done. If you are very familiar with any breed mentioned and there is misinformation in this post, please let me know!

Great Danes


My favorite breed! They are well-known for being couch potatoes. Most Danes would much prefer to take over your couch or bed than run for miles.

They’re also very well-known for their gentle nature. They don’t naturally feel the need to bark incessantly, but they will bark occasionally (during play, at an intruder, etc.).

English Mastiffs

Photo credit: unknown

Photo credit: unknown

Christian’s favorite breed! They’re even lazier than Great Danes. They are very friendly dogs, but also protective of their family. They are not afraid to bark if they feel their loved ones are in danger, but generally will not bark unnecessarily.

Saint Bernards

Saint Bernards are very calm dogs and known for being good with children. Their coats are thick, so they don’t do well in heat, whether it’s simply being outside and walking for long periods of time or jogging/hiking. They love a good nap!

They are a non-aggressive breed, but like English Mastiffs, they are protective of their family and will make their presence known if needed.


Photo credit: My Brown Newfies

Photo credit: My Brown Newfies

They also enjoy a big comfy couch and long naps. They do like exercise, though, so frequent walks and visits to the dog park (if you’re into it) are important.

They are also gentle giants and very docile. They aren’t barkers.

Great Pyrenees

These guys are also couch potatoes (noticing a trend?) but they require some exercise like Newfoundlands. They don’t bark without reason. They are very protective of their families and will bark at any suspicious activity. This can be trained out of the habit, of course, if you are persistent enough.

Basically, a dog being huge doesn’t mean it’s automatically not a good apartment dog. Good apartment dogs are low-energy and generally quiet. However, it can be really difficult to even find an apartment that allows dogs over 30-40 pounds. I’ve also heard of some apartment complexes allowing larger dogs but restricting certain breeds. Good luck with your search for a giant dog-friendly apartment (that sounded sarcastic but I totally didn’t mean it like that!)!