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Q: I live in a one-bedroom apartment in the city, and I want to get a dog. Is a tiny pooch my only best friend?

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A: Although urban dwelling may limit your options when you're choosing a canine companion, there is still a wide range of breeds well-suited to city living. Small lap dogs such as pugs, bichons frises, and Chihuahuas are obvious choices for confined living or limited running space, but the key to a good match between dog and owner in the city has more to do with an animal's energy level than with its size. According to Stephen Zawistowski, a certified applied animal behaviorist and science adviser at the ASPCA, it is imperative that prospective owners choose a dog whose exercise needs fit their lifestyle. "Someone living in an apartment needs to think seriously about choosing sporting or herding breeds. These dogs require extensive amounts of exercise, and unless you run from Battery Park to Times Square every day, a border collie or pointer isn't the dog for you." Larger dogs such as Labrador and golden retrievers are very popular in the city because they require only moderate amounts of exercise and are content to sleep most of the day. Your dog doesn't have to fit inside your handbag to be a good urban pet; just don't choose a dog that would be more at home chasing wild game on the prairie than a ball in the park.


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