Post # 1
My husband and I are very strongly considering getting a dog. We just moved from our 400ft studio to a 750ft basement apartment, with a fenced in backyard, and the landlords have said we can get a dog. The former tenant had a medium sized, older dog, I think a boxer. We definitely have indoor space for the dog, there are lots of areas to walk around, and there’re a few dog parks within walking distance (gotta love DC!).
BUT we’re both working full time, and the dog would have to be crated for about 9 hour a day, from 7:30 in the morning until 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon, and we know that not all dogs are able to live that way.
My husband has his heart set on a large dog (he really wants an 80+ pound husky or malamut) but I think I can convince him that a medium sized dog will be better for us. Needs to be shorthaired too, since I have minor allergies and they’ll be a lot worse if we have a long haired dog.
Any breed recommendations? We’ve been looking on PetFinder and some local rescues and shelters, but it’s hard to narrow our search without researching every breed of dog!
Post # 3
I live in DC in a 500 sq foot junior one bedroom with my fiance and my 100lb mastiff mix that I got from the shelter on NY Ave. She is the love of my life.
She is also totally NOT high energy. She likes walks (for the most part) and really does love playing with other dogs in moderation, but only lasts about 10-15 minutes. She prefers people to dogs but does have friends – including a rescued Great Dane on our block who she loves and is also very low energy.
A working dog like a husky is going to need more activity even if it’s just mental stimulation. It could not be crated for 9 hours a day and happy.
I know my dog COULD go 9 hours without a walk, but I would never do that. We have a dog walker – it puts my mind at ease knowing she’ll have some companionship during the day, and the dog walker reports any issues (runny #2, she refills water, and also dog sits when we need it). She is not crated at all, just kept out of the bedroom.
The Great Dane is left alone all day without a dog walker, though, and her owner says she’s fine. They are a wonderful low-key breed. I have no problem with how big these dogs are because the bigger the dog, to me, the less energy they have to expell during the day.
Let me know if you have any DC-specific questions about dog ownership. I have volunteered at the shelter for years, which is how I got my Lucy over everyone else that applied 🙂
Edited to include a pic of how I imagine she spends 98% of her day when the ottoman is pushed up to the sofa.
Post # 4
Thanks for your input! I totally agree that a husky wouldn’t be happy being crated, which is why I told him we need to find a more low key dog, hahaha.
Any shelters you would endorse here in the DC area? Most of the rescues we’re looking at are in NoVA.
Post # 5
We had two English Bulldogs- they loved to play, but during the day they LOVE to sleep. Plus they are soooo cute as puppies 🙂
Post # 6
I want an english bulldog! 🙁 sooo baddd.
Post # 7
We just rescued our Sophie from a group in Southern Maryland Jan 1st. She’s a boxer,greyhoud, pit bull mix, a year and a half and wonderfully lazy. We leave her crated for 8 hours a day and she does fine. My husband walks her in the morning and I do it right after I get home. But even last week when I came home sick, she didn’t pester me about not getting a walk right away and just cuddled up on the couch. I think energy level sometimes just depends on the personality of the dog.
Post # 8
Hm, is there a reason the dog needs to be crated with a fenced in backyard? I don’t mind dogs being crated, but I thought since you had a fence it could stay back there. I don’t really have much advice for you. But I will say, I have a miniature schnauzer with TONS of energy, and I crated him for 8 hours while I was working as well. And I live in a small townhouse/apartment. He was fine! Now he’s allowed to roam free while I’m gone, which helps a lot. He doesn’t tear anything up.
If you want a low energy dog, don’t get any sized schnauzer. They are crazy 🙂
Post # 9
Our dog is a bichon poodle mix, but his personality/activity level is very much from his bichon side. He does have long fur, but he’s classified as a hypoallergenic breed because he doesn’t shed. If it’s the stuff they pick up on their fur that would bother you, you can always just buy a set of pet clippers and keep him trimmed close. He requires about fifteen minutes of exercise a day, and his routine doesn’t vary too much whether or not we’re home.
We used to crate him while we were all gone, but now that he’s five, we just leave him out. He’s not a chewer, and they have a tendency to be yappy, but it’s easy to train him not to. He’s a great dog, you might want to look into it! (And here’s a photo because he’s so cute imho :))
Post # 10
A Rhodesian Ridgeback is a beautiful dog and tends to be low energy indoors. They have pretty short coats and are gorgeous.
Post # 11
I have a small dog (part bichon, part shi tzu), and she’s very laid back. Loves her walks, but doesn’t have to have one every day. But she’s a little lady.
Regardless of what size dog you’re looking for, I think it’s important you get a dog that is already housebroken. Being crated all day long is unfair to a puppy.
I noticed you’re looking on pertfinder/animal adoption sites, so I’m guessing that’s something you’ve already considered. Just needed to put my two cents in I guess.
And since I can’t stop putting my two cents in 😉 …
We were raised with Golden Retreivers. They’re medium to large, and just the most beautiful, laid-back, patient, and loving dogs there are. If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon one, or even a lab or retreiver mix, I’d say go for it.
Good Luck! Dogs just make life better 🙂 [attachment=1658138,206151]
Post # 12
I would STRONGLY suggest hiring a dog walker. NO dog breed likes being cooped up for 9+ hours a day. We have two 30# Cockers, & they really need to go out about every 8 hours. Also, unless you get a really destructive dog or a puppy, crating isn’t entirely necessary. We installed a metal gate like this one:
The dogs just stay on one side of it when we aren’t home. (They used to have the run of the house, but every now & then they like to have a taste of the discontinued rug I’ve already replaced once.)
Peanut (buff) & Scarlett (b&w)
Please consider the happiness & welfare of the dog before your own. I know how strong the desire the get a dog can be -I mean I have 2!
Post # 13
I agree that it is unfair to crate a dog for more than a few hours during the day, low-energy or not. I also don’t think it should be left unattended in a yard all day, but that is definitely preferable to sitting in a crate. A well-behaved, older dog should be able to roam the house without being destructive or pottying in the house without needed to be crated.
Post # 14
The yard’s not an option; it’s shared with our landlords (who live upstairs – basement apartment), and it’s not a locked fence, so it wouldn’t be safe.
If the dog proves trustworthy (i.e. not destroying things), we would consider letting him/her have run of the house, but definitely not at first. I understand that crating is not an ideal option for all dogs, which is why we’re looking at low energy dogs. We’re not going to get a dog until we find one that will match our lifestyles. No selfish doggy abuse here. 🙂
So who can recommend more low energy breeds for us? Since we’d like to get a rescue dog, we need options! Thanks to those who have focused on the question at hand and recommended breeds. 🙂
Post # 15
I have the most experience with Washington Humane – and have never had a problem either volunteering or with my own dog other than minor health issues.
I know about WARL, but I personally support the WHS because they are the city shelter whereas WARL is “no kill” because they pick the dogs they get. WHS is full of pit bulls and breeds that WARL won’t take because they want a higher adoption rate. So that’s why I personally prefer them.
My friend who got her dog from Grate Dane rescue has had success, too, in terms of assistance from them with training and things like that. I had an ex boyfriend who rescued Danes from them for years (his last Dane died when she was 16!)
I would STRONGLY consider adopting an older dog if you are looking for more calm – the shelters are full of adolescent dogs for a reason – they’re NUTS. Adopting after 1 year and a half or two is much better in terms of knowing the dogs real personality.
WHS has adoption events throughout the city every weekend – they’re listed on the web site – and a GREAT way to meet dogs outside of the shelter environment.
Post # 16
They’re large, but fabulous apartment dogs – big loving couch potatoes! 🙂