First of all, whether you have a small dog or a big dog, they ALL need daily walks for physcial exercise and mental stimulation. A lot of people have the idea that it is ok to keep a small dog indoors in an apartment their entire lives since they don't take up as much space. They figure that the only outside time they need is to piss and poop. But you do this to a dog and they often end up being completely unsocialized and unfriendly to any new situations, people or other dogs. Small dog owners do not really have to deal with the consequences of an unfriendly dog because they think it's funny or cute when their dog barks at or even tries to bite every stranger it comes across. Large dog owners are far more responsible IMO because an out of control large dog is a serious liability. This is why they are generally much more consciencious of providing the proper outlet for their dogs to exercise and socialize. I really think that the #1 reason why dogs misbehave is because they have too much energy and not enough stimulation. Daily walks outside are the best way to calm a dogs temperment, provide bonding experiences and allow them to explore the world.
Now if you are of the mindset that you want to be a good owner and have a well adjusted dog, then you will make the commitment to provide it with enough daily time outside. This means at a MINIMUM 2 30-45 minute walks every day. If you can't commit to this, then don't get a dog. Not just a large dog, any dog. Because if you are hoping to get away with a quick walk around the block, then that's not fair to the dog and you can expect to have issues down the road. Raising a dog is a major responsibility and I hate it when people enter into it lightly. Expect that there will be real work and sacrifices to your time. Only then will you be rewarded with a happy and loyal companion.
I currently own a 45 lb shar pei mix. It's the first dog I've raised on my own. When I first got him, I was living in a studio apartment in Manhattan. So given his size and energy levels, I would wake up every morning at 6 am to take him to the dog park and let him play for about 45 minutes. When I was at work, I had a walker who I hired to come in every day to take him out for another 30 minutes. And when I came home at night, I would take him out again for another 45-60 minute walk/dog park trip. There were many times that I was tired or the weather was nasty and I didn't want to do it, but I always did, because his well being and happiness depended on me taking him out every day. Also with the cost of the walker, my dog became the second biggest monthly cost after rent. But it was all worth it to me.
So bottom line is that you CAN raise a larger dog in an apartment. But understand the amount of work that will likely be involved. Also understand that if you want to raise a small dog, you still have to commit a lot of time to it. Hope this helps.
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