Your search results

How much yard does your dog need?

Posted by Johnine Larsen on September 24, 2019
| 0

Disclaimer: No matter how large the yard, your dog STILL needs regular walks and exercise.

Dog breeds come in all sizes, and so do yards. The two don’t have to match, but when they do, your dog feels comfortable, and you don’t feel financially over-extended (yards can come at a premium*, especially in Seattle).

But how to find that sweet spot? Know the dog breed. As a non-exhaustive primer:


Dogs that need minimal yards

English bulldogs are the biggest dog that’s comfortable with a minimal yard. Like French bulldogs, they prefer to lounge and relax, and they have low energy levels and exercise needs. Both breeds can easily enjoy apartment living. The Chinese Crested also fits this category. Its unique temperament means it will happily follow everything you do, whether you’re walking outside through the dog park or lounging indoors by the television.

Note: all these categories discuss the minimum size of your yard. If you can afford it, your dog will love a bigger yard with more space to run and explore, even if they don’t need the extra space.


Dogs that need small yards

Dogs that only need a small yard include (predictably) small dogs. But there’s more to it than that. Small-yard dogs divide roughly into two camps: (1) Dogs like basset hounds, bullmastiffs, and Great Danes that although large, have calm, easygoing natures. They’re content with sedentary life much of the time (although like all dogs, they still need periodic exercise). (2) Dogs that are moderately active, but are so small that a limited yard still gives them enough space to run around. These breeds include MalteseItalian greyhound, Boston TerrierCavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Yorkshire Terrier. These animals all enjoy as much outdoor space as you can offer them, but you can fulfill much of their outdoor needs with just a small plot of land.

Another note: even dogs within the same breed have different needs. Pay attention to your dog’s specific requirements. If you see them digging, chewing on furniture, destroying things, or barking nonstop, they likely need more space or exercise.


*Yards cost much less outside Seattle—like in our Ames Lake listing. This home comes with an 8,800 sq ft lot and nearby access to all sorts of outdoor activities, from hiking trails to lakeshores.


Dogs that need big yards

Some dogs just aren’t made for cramped quarters. Herding dogs, hunting dogs, and many terriers fall into this category. These breeds have high energy levels and need to feel productive; if they don’t have an outlet, they’ll often get frustrated and unleash their energy in destructive ways. Some space-demanding herding dogs include border collies, Australian Shepherds, and Lancashire Heelers. For hunting dogs, make sure vizslas, pointers, Labrador retrievers, Brittanys, and spaniels have enough room outside. And although smaller than the other dogs in this category, some terriers that need plenty of elbow room include bull terriers and Jack Russell terriers.

Of special note: Huskies are notorious for escaping their yards. They were bred to pull sleds 50–60 miles each day, so they have strong natural urges to roam widely and explore new places. Making matters even more difficult, huskies also like to dig, and they’re very intelligent. Their homeowners need large yards and escape-proof fences if they want to let their dog roam outside unsupervised.


Regardless of breed or yard size, your dog needs regular exercise. Simply letting your dog outside will keep them active for a few minutes, but without someone to walk, play, or explore with them, many dogs will just take a nap or wait until you let them back in the house. As a helpful guide to where to take your pet, Curbed mapped Seattle’s best off-leash dog parks—and after you exercise, check out the doggy food trucks for a quirky culinary adventure for you and your dog!

  • Sarah Donaldson
    Sarah Donaldson
    18:44 18 Jul 19
    Darcie was such a joy to work with. She felt like family during the sale of our house and the search for our new home. We may have found our forever home, but if we ever need a Realtor in future, Darcie from Real Estate Gals will be our first call.
    Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13 offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current residence. And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering. Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!
    See All Reviews