That's what I hear often as as people tell me why they don't adopt a dog. Is this true?
Well, it all depends on your point of view... Let me tell you about mine...
I've found that dogs are very adaptable people. They can be happy in a one meter by one meter cage, or running free in a farmhouse, and everything in between. My own fleet of canines are a well adjusted brood living in about 30 pyong. How much is that? just enough for them to get a good speed on a run from one side of the house to the other, and then skid to a stop! Did I mention I have 18 rescued dogs?
My dogs are big by Korean standards. But, I dedicated about one month to closely train each dog when they arrived in our home. They've learned the rules. We don't bark, we don't chew things that are not officially approved chew toys, we do our toilet business in designated areas, and we accept when we're left alone at home for the day.
This took about a month per dog, and a good serving of patience on the part of we humans. But they are perfectly adapted now. Of course, we still have pee accidents, but all in all, we get along pretty well in our apartment. I never had neighbor complaints. But- full disclosure- I had to spend some serious and relentless training time on stopping all kinds of barking. The only kind we allow now is alerting to danger when strangers intrude.
I wish I had a big yard to let them run around, and get the proper exercise they need. In the future, I hope to be able to buy that house with a yard, but meanwhile, it seems they have all adapted to a moderate level of exercise, and the indoor life.
The dogs in our sanctuary have to live in areas that are roughly a meter square. They adapt. So in my point of view, my home is plenty big for any king of dog that would otherwise be stuck in a little area in the shelter.
That's just my opinion, and I have to stress the fact that training time and dedication are the KEY ingredient to a happy adaptation to apartment living. And a weekend walk doesn't hurt anyone!