We all know that there is a wide range of dog breeds in the world — the American Kennel Club alone has registered 200 purebred dogs. However, when deciding on a dog to be your loyal companion inside a small apartment where there is limited space, you might want to consider a small breed. The truth is that plenty of dogs can handle apartment life regardless of their size.
Below are the 15 best apartment dogs that will be happy to live in your apartment building.
Best Apartment Dog Breeds
Are you after a low-maintenance dog that won’t need too much physical activity and can mingle with city dwellers? Then look no further than the list we have here.
1. Bedlington Terrier
This medium-sized dog comes with high energy levels which may be too much for busybodies but even with all their energy, they won’t get into destructive behaviors once you train them. Because they have a curly coat that can quickly grow, they will need regular grooming but luckily, they won’t shed making them great apartment dogs. Just be sure to brush or comb their hair weekly and groom them once every two months to prevent matting.
2. Shih Tzu
These friendly dogs have a silky coat that consists of a top coat and an undercoat that is often a show-stopper in competitions. They have an affectionate nature that other dogs and children will also love, which is why they’re great apartment dwellers. Shih Tzus won’t need much exercise; they will be happy to go on short walks every day and their small size means they’re the perfect match for a small home.
3. Shiba Inu
One of the national dogs of Japan, the Shiba Inu is a bit more high maintenance than some would like but they’re still prized as a good apartment dog because they barely bark. These quiet dogs have high energy so they will do well with someone who leads an active lifestyle. While they need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to prevent destructive behaviors, their fluffy coats only need brushing a few times every week to maintain it.
4. French Bulldog
This is probably the perfect dog breed for those with a smaller living space; this low-shedding lap dog is compact and tiny, plus they won’t need a lot of exercise. They are favored by dog lovers around the world because they don’t bark much so the apartment next door will have nothing to complain about. These little dogs are laid-back and easy-going and would love nothing more than to just curl up next to you and binge-watch Netflix all day long.
5. Italian Greyhound
While this may not be an obvious choice due to their reputation for being the fastest dogs in the world, Greyhounds actually love sleeping as much as they do running. These dogs can certainly adjust to a smaller home and will happily play at a dog park to let their energy out. The best one to choose would be Italian Greyhound, which is also known as a “mellow house dog” and their intelligence means they’re easy to train.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Among the smaller dog breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a well-known apartment dog that loves spending time with other animals and small children. These affectionate dogs have a mild temperament and won’t shed much, making them a good choice for apartment life. While they do need daily walks to keep them healthy, nothing will make them happier than snuggling up to you in your bed or couch.
7. Boston Terrier
These lovable, intelligent, and affectionate dogs are some of the best dogs for homes that don’t have much space to offer. Boston Terriers are adaptable urban dwellers with a calm temperament and won’t need a lot of room to move because they’re such small dogs. Moreover, their proper and gentle nature has earned them the nickname “American Gentlemen,” so you won’t get complaints from any of your neighbors.
8. English Bulldog
Pet owners who are too busy to take their dogs out for long periods of time will find that the English Bulldog is the right dog for their apartment. These low-energy dogs won’t require your constant attention and will be content to spend time in front of the TV, even in smaller spaces. Because they are more relaxed and calmer than most dogs, they are among the best dog breeds to take home with you when you don’t have enough space for big dogs.
9. Bichon Frise
One of the smallest dog breeds, the Bichon Frise is also friendly and adorable; among the toy breeds, they are among the most prolific people-pleasers. This means that they will enjoy going out for a brisk walk or spending all day in the apartment with you. Weighing just 15 pounds, these tiny dogs won’t mind staying in a confined space, but they will need to be the center of attention.
10. Yorkshire Terrier
Pet parents from all around the world absolutely adore this courageous, yet tiny dog — Yorkshire Terriers may be among the smaller breeds but they will need plenty of exercise. Because they thrive on their humans’ affection, they can be a terrific addition to any apartment but will need an owner who can provide them with regular exercise. However, these little guys can be quite vocal because they love to observe their environment; even so, they will be able to adjust to apartment living quickly enough.
11. Basset Hound
The Basset Hound can be great for apartment life; their cute floppy ears and droopy eyes are just some of their best qualities. This steady companion will be perfectly happy with just one long walk per day and won’t need much exercise after that. However, they can be quite messy because they tend to drool, dig, and play around with water plus they also shed, so they may not be the best choice if you don’t like cleaning.
They’re also prone to separation anxiety if you’re not around a lot but if you work from home, then you should have no problems — this little bundle of joy will surely be your new best friend. With proper training, they can be easy to manage while their size allows them to move around freely in medium and even small apartment spaces. Because they’re relatively calmer and quieter compared to other dog breeds, they can be a great addition to a smaller home, with or without other pets to keep it company.
In contrast to popular belief, the Basenji isn’t 100% silent but it’s true that they rarely make a noise and also come with an affectionate and well-mannered nature. These lightweight dogs only weigh 25 pounds and are low-maintenance, making them a great choice for apartment living. However, they will require an owner dedicated to an active lifestyle who will be able to give them plenty of toys and exercise.
These small dog breeds are the ideal match for apartments because of their tiny stature; even if you lived in a tiny studio, they would fit right into the limited space. They’re also great for homes with young children but you’ll need to be prepared to give them all the attention they want. Luckily, they won’t need much exercise but you will need to brush them daily and ensure their ears are always clean to keep them happy and healthy.
14. Miniature Pinschers
Miniature Pinschers (or min pins for short) are small dogs that are suitable for living in apartments but will need a moderate amount of exercise; without it, they may turn to unruly behavior. Fortunately, they will respond to positive reinforcement and early socialization can help them get along inside a home with other pets. Surprisingly though, even though they have short hair, they aren’t hypoallergenic, so they may not be the best choice for those with allergies.
Poodles of any size will do well inside an apartment but if you want an extra small companion, be sure to pick a toy poodle, which comes with moderate energy so you won’t have to spend so much time exercising it. These great dogs can be disciplined and will become more obedient with training, so be sure to set aside some time for this. It may come as a surprise because they look so fluffy but they actually come with a hypoallergenic coat, so they’ll be a good match for people allergic to hair and dander.
Worst Dog Breeds for Apartments
In general, larger breeds shouldn’t be placed in a small apartment because their big bodies wouldn’t be able to navigate the smaller space. Furthermore, these dogs will need room to play, which they might not find in an apartment or a home without a backyard. Below are just a few dogs that don’t belong in this type of setting.
Despite being built for extreme temperatures, German Shepherds won’t fit in small and enclosed spaces because they can grow quite big as adults. Because they need plenty of space to move around, these large breeds will benefit from a good run around the park or even agility training to release their high energy. They will also need some kind of garden space to get rid of loose hair so that they don’t end up all over your furniture.
These gentle giants are even larger dogs than German Shepherds and will simply take up too much room — in other words, they’re too big to fit in an apartment. They have long legs and gargantuan bodies which means they need quite a lot of exercise and will be happier with a yard where they can play and run. Great Danes don’t like being left alone at home for very long, so they will need an owner who has the time to take them out for their daily exercise.
The right furry friend to take with you to live in your apartment won’t necessarily be the smallest one but they make a lot more sense compared to a large dog. Because there are plenty of dog breeds to choose from, be sure to consider the size of your living space to get a good idea of what might fit there. Now that you have an idea of the kind of dog you might get, make sure that you’ll be able to provide for their needs and that you are ready to give them a loving home.