Are Pitbulls Good for Apartments? Tips (and Laws!) You Must Know

Despite their tough looks, their absolute love for anything outdoors, and their reputation, Pit Bulls are actually inside dogs, not outside dogs. However, if they were to be kept indoors, they still need to have ample space to move around without feeling confined.

This causes many dog owners to ask themselves, are Pitbulls good for apartments? and if they are, would landlords allow Pitbulls inside the building?

Pitbulls are good for apartments if they get enough exercise daily and have a large enough space indoors not to feel confined and be able to move around easily. Some landlords, however, will not allow Pit Bulls as pets at all on their property, so you need to make sure your Pitbull is allowed. 

Keep reading to learn more about the laws and regulations on keeping Pit Bulls in apartment buildings and how to help your Pit Bull adjust to the apartment lifestyle.

What Makes a Good Apartment Dog?

white and brown pitbull at home to show why are pitbulls good for apartments

Different dog breeds have different traits, and not all of them are good for an apartment lifestyle.

If you live in an apartment and looking to get a dog, you need to understand what makes a good apartment dog. 

So, here are some of the apartment dog traits that you should look for:

  • The dog should be relatively small in size so it can move freely without taking up too much space.
  • The dog should be able to tolerate being in a small living space without feeling confined or isolated.
  • The dog shouldn’t be highly energetic or hyperactive, so it wouldn’t need to go out for exercise often.
  • The dog shouldn’t be a loud barker as this can be highly inconvenient for the neighbors. 
  • The dog should be low maintenance when it comes to its grooming requirements and its diet requirements.
  • The dog shouldn’t drool too much or shed too much, so it will be easier to clean up after
  • The dog should have a mild, friendly nature that will help it get along with others.
  • The dog should be easy to train and discipline so it wouldn’t misbehave or cause too much trouble.

Which Dog Breeds Are Good for Apartments?

The dog breeds that are good for apartments include:

  • Beagles
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzus
  • Boston Terriers
  • Biewer Terriers
  • Mini Schnauzers
  • Mini Poodles
  • Chihuahuas

These dogs can adjust well to living in a small space as they are small in size and not too energetic, so they don’t need to be exercised frequently.

As for American Bullies, they are quite tricky to have in apartments. You can learn more about how to live with an American Bully in an apartment in this guide.

Are Pit Bulls Good for Apartments?

Pit Bulls have many good traits, such as being friendly, easy to train, and low maintenance when it comes to their grooming.  However, many would not consider them to be good apartment dogs for two main reasons.

The first reason is that they have high energy levels. So, they need to have enough space to meet their exercise demands and ensure they can release any pent-up energy in a healthy manner.

The second reason is that they are quite large, with their weight ranging from 30 to 60 pounds and their height ranging from 17 to 21 inches. This means they need to have enough space to move freely and sleep without feeling too confined or isolated.

The overall size of the apartment will affect how much space your dog has to move freely and live comfortably. A small apartment will be too confining for a Pit Bull, which could lead it to develop various health problems as well as behavioral problems.

Keep in mind that all dogs need to have a designated space where they live for their essential supplies, such as a suitably sized crate, food and water bowls, and various kinds of toys.

You can learn more in my article on how much space Pitbulls actually need, where I also explain the most successful strategies (and pro tips) for helping Pit Bulls adapt to living in small spaces.

What Happens If Your Pit Bull Stays in a Small Apartment?

If Pit Bulls live in small apartments for extended periods, they won’t have as much space as they need, and they will begin to feel confined. 

This will put them at risk of developing various problems that will affect their physical health and temperament, and behavior.

Let’s take a look at some of the problems your Pit Bull might have if it is confined to a small space:

  • It won’t be able to move around as freely or get as much exercise as it needs.
  • It will become hyperactive as it won’t be able to release its excess energy.
  • It will be prone to gaining weight more easily as it won’t be getting enough exercise.
  • It will start to become restless, which will cause it to run around or jump excessively.
  • It will often bark or whine loudly and for no specific reason.
  • It might have accidents inside the house despite getting potty training.
  • It will be more difficult to socialize and discipline, which will cause it to have trouble being around others and fail to respond to commands.
  • It will start developing destructive behaviors, such as pawing at the floor or chewing on furniture.

Are Pit Bulls Allowed in Apartments?

Many landlords ban apartment renters from keeping certain dog breeds, especially Pit Bulls, as they have a reputation for being aggressive and causing trouble.

This ban aims to prevent Pit Bulls from causing damage to the apartment and ensure the safety of the other residents in the building. However, some landlords would allow the apartment owners to keep Pit Bulls as long as they’re registered, neutered, and have proper training.

It should be noted that the exception to this is if the Pitbull is registered as a service animal or an emotional support animal. That’s because all landlords must obey the Fair Housing Act, which prevents landlords from prohibiting service animals and emotional support animals from living in the units. 

Where Is It Illegal to Keep Pit Bulls in Apartments?

Some certain states and cities have Breed-Specific Legislation (BSF) that bans or regulates the ownership of Pit Bull breeds. So, it’s illegal to keep Pit Bulls in apartments in any of these states and cities.

If you live in the United States, here’s a list of all the states that ban or regulate the ownership of Pit Bulls:

  • Washington
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Alabama
  • Oregon
  • Iowa  
  • Indiana
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Missouri
  • Ohio  
  • North Carolina
  • Montana
  • Arkansas
  • West Virginia
  • South Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • New Mexico Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Wyoming
  • Louisiana
  • Tennessee
  • Delaware
  • Nebraska
  • Wisconsin
  • Mississippi
  • Vermont

You can learn more about why and where Pit Bulls are banned here. Make sure to research the laws and regulations in the state or city where you live before getting a Pit Bull to avoid any severe legal consequences of owning a banned breed.

If there is no breed-specific legislation where you live, you still need to check with your landlord regarding the apartment rules in the building, as some of them have their bans and regulations regarding keeping Pit Bulls based on the nature of the dog and whether it has insurance.

How to Talk to Your Landlord About Your Pit Bull?

Whether you have a Pit Bull and are about to move into a new apartment or live in an apartment and looking to get a Pit Bull, you will need to talk to your landlord about it first.

When talking with your landlord about your Pit Bull, you need to discuss all the apartment rules to make sure you understand which breeds are allowed in the building, the requirements for keeping a pet in the building and whether you need to pay any additional fees.

Keep in mind that landlords are required to make exceptions to allow apartment residents with disabilities to keep service pets according to the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination against people based on disability.

How to Get Permission to Keep A Pit Bull in Your Apartment?

If the landlord in your apartment building has a ban against keeping Pit Bulls, you might still be able to get permission to keep a Pit Bull in your apartment.

If you’re certain that your dog would be able to adjust to apartment life without causing any trouble, you can provide your landlord with detailed information about your dog and some proof of its good behavior to change their mind and have them make an exception.

Here are all the things you need to provide your landlord with to get permission to keep a Pit Bull in your apartment:

  • Your dog’s resume – This resume should include basic information about your dog, including its name, gender, age, height, weight, and color. It should also include its registration papers, contact details for the dog’s breeders, and whether it’s trained to be a service dog.
  • Your dog’s medical records – These records should be supplied by the dog’s vet and include all the needed information about the dog’s registration status and any health condition it might suffer from, and a complete list of all the vaccinations it has taken.
  • Letters of recommendation – It’s a good idea to provide letters of recommendation from different family members, friends, previous neighbors, trainers, and veterinarians as a testament to the dog’s temperament and behavior around others.
  • Cute pictures and videos – It’s also good to provide a digital file that includes various photographs and videos of your Pit Bull being cute and friendly around you and others to help dispel the stigma about Pit Bulls have an aggressive nature.
  • An Offer to pay a higher deposit or additional fees – Some landlords might require you to pay a higher deposit or extra fees to allow a dog in the apartment. However, this payment is not a bribe but rather a gesture of goodwill to demonstrate your responsibility as a dog owner and confidence in your dog’s good behavior.
  • Renters insurance that offers pet liability – Some landlords might also require you to have a renter’s insurance that provides pet liability above $300,000 if your dog attacks any of the other residents or cause any significant damage.

Can You Hide a Pit Bull in Your Apartment?

If Pit Bulls are banned in your apartment building, and your landlord doesn’t permit you to keep one in your apartment, you might be tempted to hide the dog and keep it behind your landlord’s back.

However, this is hugely unadvised, as keeping a Pit Bull where it’s banned against the law. You could face severe consequences, such as getting evicted from the apartment, paying a hefty fine, or even getting your dog taken away by animal services.

In addition to that, having the dog hide in the apartment will be stressful for both of you and will negatively impact the dog’s health and behavior. It will also increase the dog’s feeling of confinement and isolation.

How to Keep Your Pit Bull Happy in An Apartment?

If you’re going to keep a Pit Bull in your apartment, you need to take some measures to help it adjust to living in a small space and feel less confined so it wouldn’t develop any health problems or behavioral problems.

Let’s look at the measures you can take to keep your Pit Bull happy in an apartment.

Make Sure to Socialize Your Dog Properly

It’s very important to socialize the dog when it’s young to prevent it from developing any behavioral problems that would affect how it acts inside the apartment or around others.

Socializing your dog will help it adapt to being in new environments. It will also help them feel less isolated as they will be allowed to interact with more people and dogs.

Try to Have a Designated Space for Your Dog

As much as the size of your apartment would allow, try to have a designated space for the dog where it can feel comfortable and safe while playing, exercising, relaxing, or sleeping.

This space should be big enough to fit the dog’s crate, food and water bowls, toys, and any other essential supplies.

Make Sure That the Dog’s Crate is Comfortable and Accessible

You need to make sure that the dog’s big enough to fit its size comfortably and that it’s placed in an area in the apartment that can be easily accessed.

Avoid locking the dog in the crate for too long, as that would cause it to feel even more confined and isolated when it stays inside.

It’s also recommended to put soft bedding and some of the dog’s favorite toys inside the crate to make it more inviting and comfortable.

You can find my recommendations for the best dog crates for Pitbulls here.

Try to Spend More Time Outside with Your Dog

It’s essential to spend time outside the apartment with your dog whenever possible, as this will help make it feel less confined or isolated. It will also help socialize the dog properly.

You can take the dog out to exercise or hang out in a park or any other open space that would allow dogs.

Make Sure to Take Your Dog on a Walk Daily

Make sure to take your dog on daily walks, even if it’s a short walk, to exercise it and help it release any excess energy.

This will also help with the dog’s socialization as it will be exposed to different places, sounds, smells, and people during its walk.

When walking your dog, make sure to keep it on a leash so it won’t run away or get lost. You can find my recommendations for the best leashes for Pitbulls here.

Establish a Regular Exercise Routine

You need to establish a regular exercise routine for your Pit Bull to help it release excess energy and stay in good shape. If you cannot take the dog outside to exercise, you need to find a way to exercise it indoors.

One of the easiest ways to exercise your Pit Bull indoors is to have it climb the stairs inside the apartment building. You can command the dog to go up and down the stairs or throw a ball for it to retrieve.

Other daily exercises to do indoors include:

  • Setting up a small obstacle course for it to go through.
  • Playing with a flirt pole.
  • Tossing a ball for it to fetch.

Keep in mind that Pit Bulls need about 15-30 minutes of daily exercise when they’re puppies and about 45-60 minutes when they’re adults. I have another guide where I discuss how much exercise Pit Bulls need in more detail.

Make Sure to Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated

You need to make sure that the dog is mentally stimulated. Otherwise, it will start to become bored or depressed, which will cause it to exhibit various destructive behaviors.

The best way to provide your dog with mental stimulation is to give it some puzzle toys to play with. These games are specifically designed to get the dog to use its skill to earn a reward.

My Pitbulls absolutely love this board puzzle toy here from Amazon that comes in different designs and intensity levels. It will allow the dog to interact with different knobs and sliders as well as multiple open flaps to find hidden treats.

Try to Keep the Apartment Clean

Try to keep the apartment clean as much as possible to protect your dog from developing any health problems and prevent any unpleasant odors from building up.

Keeping the dog’s space clean will also help improve its mood and prevent it from becoming depressed or acting out.

Try to keep the Windows and the Balcony Open

Try to keep the windows in the apartment open as much as possible to improve ventilation and allow the dog some fresh air. If you have a balcony in the apartment, you can also open it for some time during the day.

Opening the windows or the balcony will also give the dog the impression that the apartment is bigger than it actually is, which will help make it feel less confined.

However, make sure not to leave your dog unsupervised around open windows and balconies to avoid any accidents. 

Make Sure to Spend Enough Time Bonding with Your Dog

You need to spend enough time bonding with your dog and giving it all the attention it needs.

Avoid leaving your dog alone in the apartment for extended periods of time; otherwise, it would develop separation anxiety, leading it to act out and cause more trouble.

You can leave Pit Bull alone only for no longer than 2 hours when it’s still a puppy. Meanwhile, when it’s an adult, it can be left alone for 4 to 6 hours at most. If you leave your Pit Bull alone for longer than 6 hours, it might develop separation anxiety and display some destructive behaviors.

You can learn how to train your Pitbull to adapt to staying alone for long periods here. 

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