It's no surprise that over 48 million households in the U.S. own at least one dog. They're man's best friend after all.
How to pick the perfect pup, though, that's the hard part. You want to look at breeding, temperament and especially the size of the dog. If you're living in an apartment, you also need to check your lease agreement to see if there's an aggressive dog breeds list and restrictions on which type of pup you can pick.
If you own a rescue or mixed-breed dog, you need to consider which breed your beloved mongrel would be most identified with. What breed does your dog look like? What are its temperamental characteristics and innate behaviors? You may have a little more leeway to identify your dog as a specific breed to get around banned breed restrictions. But the ultimate decision lies with the landlord. If they're not comfortable with your shelter dog, you'll need to find a new place to live.
Dogs with a reputation for being an aggressive breed are often not welcome in apartment communities for many reasons. You need to be sensitive to the rules, and make sure you follow them no matter how much you want a particular pooch. Getting caught with a pet that's not allowed could lead to eviction.
When looking at dog breeds for apartment living, there's definitely a best and worst list. No matter what kind of pup you end up with, expect to pay a little extra to have a furry friend live with you.
Allowable breeds are typically smaller dogs, known for being more relaxed and friendly. Those that might end up on an aggressive dog breeds list are often known for exhibiting specific behaviors that include:
While many of these breeds aren't aggressive regularly, threatening behaviors often crop up when the dogs are around strangers, which commonly happens in an apartment community. These breeds are also harder to control if the pet owner is a novice.
Assigning an aggressive label on a particular breed is all about safety. Statistically, many of these dogs have an increased risk of harming another pet or a person, which is often why management companies will set restrictions. If you already have a "banned" breed and you're trying to rent an apartment, you may wonder whether it's legal to restrict certain breeds. You're already willing to pay the pet deposit, so what's the issue, right?
Like everything else, it's complicated. But first, let's see if your preferred pup is likely to even make the aggressive dog breeds list.
You may not be familiar with all the dog breeds typically banned in apartment buildings.
The pit bull has become the poster child for "bully breeds." This pup has to be one of the most misunderstood breeds in American culture. Almost any pit bull owner will tell you that they're as sweet, loyal and gentle as can be but the broader culture views them as aggressive and unpredictable.
Sadly, this breed of dog is also disproportionately represented in shelters around the country. Thus, they're also very common rescue dogs. Any dog that is adopted without knowledge of their parentage, life experiences or the reason for abandonment can end up being dangerous in the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, their reputation overshadows the true character of the breed. Because of that they're commonly banned in communal apartment buildings. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't adopt a pit bull or a mixed-breed shelter dog. Just be prepared to spend more time on your apartment search and get ready to promote your pup to potential landlords!
This is a strong dog. The breed was created to herd and guard. Socialization while still in the puppy stage is essential to have a Rottweiler who's comfortable around other pets and people, but you still have to operate with caution.
Like the American Pit Bull, the Rottweiler is often featured in media, movies and television as an aggressive and threatening dog. Some can become aggressive very quickly and are sensitive to feelings of neglect, abuse or other forms of irresponsible pet ownership.
If you're considering Rottweiler ownership, be sure to thoroughly research the breed. Be honest with yourself about the limitations on your time or patience. And be prepared to face possible issues when trying to rent an apartment with a large dog of this breed.
Akitas were originally bred as Japanese hunting dogs, created for harsh conditions. Today, the breed can make for a good family dog since they form strong bonds with the people who care for them.
Unfortunately, some Akitas are also uncomfortable around strangers. This can lead to behavior perceived as threatening, whether it represents true aggression or simply fear. They also have a high prey drive which can lead to some bad behavior if triggered by smaller animals.
For first-time pet owners, this is not the best breed to try to train properly in an environment where they're likely to encounter strangers and other pets frequently.
These dogs are seriously large. In fact, they're huge. They average in size between 100 and 130 pounds. No matter what attitude they're exhibiting, they make for an imposing form.
They're bred with a guarding instinct but are actually an easy breed to train and socialize. Taking them out for regular walks can help curb potential bad behavior and early socialization for puppies should ensure they don't guard you aggressively.
Paradoxically, given their enormous size, Bullmastiffs are actually excellent apartment dogs in many ways. They're generally quite lazy and lethargic so they do better with smaller spaces and fewer walks than many other breeds.
Dobermans are great guard dogs. They're loyal and alert, but the breed is wary of other dogs or strangers. Their instinct is to attack, especially if they feel provoked.
This breed is best for a more experienced dog owner, who knows how to handle the pup's tendencies towards aggressive guarding behavior. Those looking at owning their very first dog should not adopt a Doberman, even if the idea of having a guard dog for your apartment is appealing.
You may not think this breed belongs on the list, but without proper socialization and training, the German Shepherd is an aggressive breed. They're innately territorial and can become overprotective when it comes to their families.
However, German Shepherds are also smart and very trainable. They're the preferred pup of the military, and you'll often see them working as police dogs. Some are still wary around these strong dogs, but if you have the time, patience and personality to train them, your German Shepherd won't be a threat to anyone's safety.
Providing a Siberian Husky with enough exercise to keep them happy is no joke. They need a ton of stimulation to remain calm and well-behaved. Without it, their temperament can become unpredictable.
An unexercised husky is much more stubborn than one that's been properly run about. The breed can have dominant tendencies, which may make them hard to control when they're bored or unhappy. Once a husky is worked up, it can become difficult to get them to calm down, making it hard to pull them away from an unsafe situation.
This high-maintenance dog breed can be a great pet if cared for properly. But they require a LOT of socialization and plenty of exercise and attention. Without these things on a regular basis, some Chows become aggressive and unpredictable.
Chows are generally wary of strangers and very protective of their owners. These traits are heightened when the pup isn't properly cared for, transforming a sweet dog into a dangerous one in the wrong hands.
Cane Corsos do better as working dogs rather than family pets. You'll often see this breed as a trained police dog thanks to its imposing stature. Intensive training is incredibly important, as these dogs can have aggressive tendencies. In the wrong hands, it's easy for the dog to get out of control, and its strength can make it hard to hold back from engaging with another animal.
Its size is also pretty imposing. At an average weight between 90 and 120 pounds, it won't be easy to remove this dog from a confrontation with another animal or human.
Size often puts this breed on the list of dogs not allowed in apartments, even though they have a reputation for being gentle pups. While unlikely to bite, without proper training these beautiful behemoths can be aggressive.
Nobody wants a giant, aggressive dog coming at them, which is why the breed gets pegged as more dangerous than it actually is. If you're thinking about owning a Great Dane, make sure you get them the right training to ensure they're on their best behavior.
Another larger dog, this breed can reach 80 pounds. Originally from Africa, the Ridgeback was actually used to keep lions away from livestock. As a result, they have strong guarding instincts.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a sensitive breed and are often very tentative around strangers. Without proper exercise and training, these traits can lead to challenging behavior when out on walks or even in the common areas of your apartment building.
High energy levels and strong personalities can make boxers a challenging breed for inexperienced owners. They're intelligent, agile, friendly and very strong.
The best way to keep a boxer in line is with exercise. This means so much more though than a daily walk. Boxers pretty much need something keeping them busy at all times in order to remain calm and content. With limited space to let their pup run around and play, many apartment dwellers may find the Boxer to be too high maintenance. If you're determined to own a boxer, find yourself a great dog walker to help keep your good boy active!
A big, fluffy, wolf-like dog, it's possible you won't have much room left to yourself sharing an apartment with a Malamute. Their personalities also take up a lot of space, and you never want to leave a bored Malamute unattended. Boredom often equals destruction with this breed.
These dogs are challenging to train and are bred with a high prey drive, so they probably shouldn't share a home with small pets. Daily exercise will help curb any potential aggressive behavior, but between their large size and intelligent personality, they're not ideal for apartment dwellers.
Not a big dog, but definitely not small, Dalmatians aren't just fit for the firehouse. Their energy makes them great playmates, but without enough attention and socialization when they're young, problems can arise.
Behavioral issues can occur if the pup spends too much time alone, and isn't given plenty of opportunities to release its energy each day. On the whole, they're a great breed. But they may not be ideally suited to living in small apartments unless you're able to spend a lot of time with them at home and on walks.
Also called the Brazilian Mastiff, this particular dog can be an aggressive and unforgiving hunter. While that works great when out for prey, it doesn't translate well in a more residential setting. An impetuous and dominant temperament makes it dangerous for inexperienced owners. When around people and animals they don't know, the Fila Brasileiro should always be well-controlled and monitored.
It's not a good breed for novice dog owners, it's not friendly toward other dogs, it's wary of strangers and it has significant exercise needs since its energy level is so high. In short, it's not a good apartment dog.
Aggression levels in this particular breed caused it to get banned from ownership in the United Kingdom, among other countries. Originally, Dogo Argentino was a big-game hunting dog, going after animals the size of a bear.
They're a powerful and beautiful breed, but simply a little too wild to work as a residential pet.
Most often a cross between a dog breed and a grey wolf, this is an unpredictable animal. The wolf in it may account for a high prey drive, which can easily lead to aggressive behaviors against other animals. They're especially dangerous around pets smaller than them, since they may try to hunt them.
As a result of this heightened prey drive, wolf hybrids do best with an owner who is really skilled at handling dogs and knows how to keep them in line. The average pet owner would not be able to ensure the dog would always be on its best behavior, putting other pet owners in the community at risk.
Another guard dog on the list, Boerboel used to guard farms against lions and leopards in South Africa. This breed is always an excellent tracker and a very loyal pup. They're also quite protective of their families and property, which can lead to threatening displays of behavior when they're out and about. It also makes them a danger to visitors or strangers in their residences.
One of the least-trainable dog breeds out there, Basenji are sighthounds. This means even the tiniest movement from another animal can set off their hunting instinct to an unmanageable point.
They also tend to only have one master, which means nobody else but that one person can exhibit any modicum of control over the animal's behavior. This can lead to problems and make for an unruly situation in an apartment community.
With a reputation for helping hikers in the Alps, this working dog has also got some attitude. The breed can be stubborn, with a tendency to try and test the authority of their owners. They can also get suspicious of strangers and act out as a result.
While they have a little attitude that can lead to aggressive behavior, overall, they're a breed you can properly train and socialize to help with their "stranger danger" issues. All that said, sometimes it's hard to convince someone that your giant, 140-pound dog isn't going to hurt them. Owning one in an apartment building may make other tenants uncomfortable no matter how sweet the pup is.
It's a touchy issue to classify an entire breed of dog as aggressive and dangerous, but it happens. This means no matter how friendly your pup is, they'll have this stigma hanging over their heads, and people may be afraid before they even meet your fur baby.
Breed-specific legislation exists for safety reasons. It looks at breeds that have a higher tendency of attacking humans or other animals and responds accordingly. Often, when an apartment community has breed restrictions, it aligns with the list within existing legislation.
Certain states are taking a different approach, though, doing things on a more individual basis. Rather than call out an entire breed, states like New York, Texas and Illinois favor laws that track and regulate specific dogs based on their actual behavior rather than a proposed threat. These states prohibit breed-specific legislation.
Since there's no real evidence that breed restrictions make a community safer when it comes to pets, hopefully, the trend will shift away from this fully exclusionary policy when it comes to certain breeds. But for now, it's actually legal to discriminate against pups based on their DNA.
When faced with this situation, the best thing to do is look at dog breeds that are more widely accepted. You can always wait until you own your own home, or live in a place without aggressive dog breed restrictions, to get a dog from our list.
Even without these 20 pups, you still have plenty of options for loving, active and fun dogs to give a home to, including:
You could also go for the favorite, friendly breed, the Labrador retriever. This beautiful dog has topped the popularity list since 1991.
Since there are over 190 different dog breeds in the U.S., you have plenty of options when it comes to picking a specific animal or avoiding one that's on an aggressive dog breeds list. It may be difficult, especially if you think you've found your canine soulmate, but knowing what pups typically get labeled as aggressive can help you narrow your search before you begin. Good luck, and thank you for giving a deserving pooch a home, no matter what breed it is.