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Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living

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Essentially, all dogs need a home and love, but not all dog breeds are suitable for apartment living. If you’re living in an apartment or a small space, it’s important to choose a breed that fits your lifestyle and the size of your living space.

Overview of Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

We’ve researched the best dog breeds for apartment living so that you can pick the one that’s just right for you. This article covers the characteristics of apartment-friendly dogs, plus our suggestions on the best dog breeds that meet those criteria.

These breeds include Toy Breeds, Non-Shedding Breeds, Small Breeds, and our top picks that include the Papillon, Poodle, Shih Tzu, Maltese, Pug, Basset Hound, and Bichon Frise.

dogs wanting apples

dogs wanting apples

Toy Breeds

For those who live in an apartment environment, toy breeds can make ideal companions. These small breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Papillons, are great for small spaces since they don't need as much room to roam.

They usually need less exercise than medium and large breeds, which often makes them ideal for apartment living. Additionally, toy breeds can be easily trained, making them even more suitable for apartment living.

Despite their small size, toy breeds are brave, loyal, and loving, making them excellent companions for apartment living.

Non-Shedding Breeds

If you're looking for a small- to medium-sized dog that won't leave hair all over your home, consider one of the many non-shedding breeds.

Some of the most popular non-shedding breeds include the Poodle, the Bichon Frise, the Schnauzer, the Havanese, and the Basenji.

Despite not shedding, these dogs still require regular grooming and should be brushed regularly. If you're living in an apartment, these breeds tend to be more docile and require less exercise, making them suitable for smaller living spaces.

Small Breeds

Smaller breeds of dog make great companions for those living in apartments. They require less space and often have less energy than larger breeds.

Popular small breeds for apartments include the Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, and Pomeranian. These dogs typically weigh less than 10 pounds and can be easily carried around.

They need regular exercise and playtime just like any other dog, but they can get their necessary activity with a short walk every day. They are intelligent, loyal, and make great companions.

These breeds are good for those who prefer smaller dogs, but may not be ideal for those looking for a watchdog. Despite their small size, these dogs can still be very vocal.

Characteristics of Apartment-Friendly Dogs

When choosing a dog for an apartment, there are several factors to consider. Most important is the size of the dog. A large dog that takes up a lot of space in a small apartment will not be the best choice.

Even if you have the room, large dogs may have too much energy and need more time outside than you can offer.

Next is temperment. Even with smaller dogs, some have more excitable temperaments than others. An overly active dog that barks and jumps constantly may not be a good choice. Select a breed with a calmer, well-mannered nature.

Finally, look at the breed’s physical needs. Most apartment-friendly dogs need only a few short walks a day, require minimal grooming, and don’t need an extensive exercise routine.

Dogs that need to be exercised frequently, groomed often, and given space to play can be harder to accommodate in an apartment.

The best apartment friendly dogs include breeds such as small and medium-sized terriers, pugs, toy and miniature poodles, Chihuahuas, small Greyhounds, Jack Russells, Bichon Frises, French Bulldogs, and Cavaliers King Charles Spaniels. These breeds are not overly active and typically don’t need more than a few short walks a day to remain healthy and happy.

Additionally, many of the toy and miniature breeds require minimal grooming, making them great choices for apartment living.

Remember, when choosing the right dog for your apartment, it's essential to consider the size, temperament, and physical needs of the breed. Select one that will fit into your lifestyle and all the members of your household will enjoy.


is an important trait to consider when selecting the best dog breed for apartment living. Some breeds are more adaptable to living in a smaller space than others.

Small dog breeds often have an easier time adjusting to the small confines of an apartment because of their diminutive size.

These smaller dogs may require less exercise than larger breeds and do not need a large yard or field for playing. They are able to adapt to the limited space of an apartment, but may require more attention and training.

Larger dogs, on the other hand, may require more space, exercise and training, but they can also be quite adaptable given the right conditions.

Ultimately, when deciding on the best dog breed for apartment living, it is important to consider the breed's adaptability to the environment.


is an important factor when considering the best dog breeds for apartment living. Dog breeds that are more difficult to train and may require more work and professional help should be avoided.

Instead, focus on breeds that are smart, eager to please and have a history of good trainability.

Popular breeds that are well known for being easy to train include German Shepherds, Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers.

Many of these breeds do very well in apartments because of their smaller size and low energy level.

They are also great to train since they learn quickly and respond well to positive reinforcement. With a little bit of patience and dedication, these breeds make wonderful companions in an apartment setting.


This is an important factor to consider when choosing a dog breed for apartment living. Some breeds are more laid back and are better able to adapt to living in a smaller space, while other breeds may need more active lifestyles.

When selecting a breed, it’s important to consider how much energy the dog may need in order to stay healthy and active. Breeds such as the Bichon Frise and the French Bulldog are great for those who live in an apartment due to their low-energy personalities.

These dogs enjoy leisurely strolls, cuddles, and snuggles rather than running around and playing fetch.

They are also great companions, as they are loyal and affectionate towards their owners. Other breeds more suitable to apartment living include the Greyhound, Shih Tzu, and Toy Poodle, all of which have gentle personalities and easily adapt to smaller environments.

The Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

If you’re living in an apartment, you may think that having a dog is out of the question. However, if you choose the right breed, it's totally possible. Here’s a closer look at some of the best dog breeds for apartment living.

Toy Breeds

Toy breeds, such as the Chihuahua, Pomeranian, and Yorkshire Terrier, are an ideal choice for apartment living. These breeds are small, and they don’t require a lot of space. Plus, they can easily be taken on long walks around your neighborhood.

Dogs That Don’t Bark Much

Those living in a close-quartered space may prefer a dog that doesn’t bark too much. Breeds that fit this bill include the Basenji, Bulldog, and Cocker Spaniel. These breeds are usually quite content to stay indoors, so they’re ideal for apartment living.

Low Maintenance Breeds

If you’re most concerned about having to take care of a lot of maintenance for your dog, there are some breeds that require much less effort. Breeds like the Bichon Frise, Poodle, and Shih Tzu all have low-maintenance coats that don’t require a lot of brushing or bathing.

Lap Dogs

If you’re looking for a dog that will keep you company at home, consider one of the many lap dogs out there. Breeds like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, French Bulldog, and Pug like nothing more than to sit by their owner’s feet and be coddled.

No matter what type of apartment living you’re looking for, there’s bound to be a dog breed that fits the bill. With careful research and lots of love, you can find the perfect dog companion for your apartment home.


The Papillon is a small, energetic companion dog. They stand between 8 and 11 inches tall, and typically weigh between 4 and 10 pounds. Papillons are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and gentle nature, making them a great choice for people who live in an apartment.

They are very easy to train, and they get along well with children. Additionally, they require very little exercise and won't take up too much space in an apartment, making them an ideal addition to city living.


The Poodle is an ideal companion for people living in an apartment due to its small size and low-shedding coat. Poodles are a particularly intelligent breed and thrive in interactive activities with their owners.

They require regular exercise, so a brisk walk around the neighbourhood or a few rounds of Frisbee are sure to keep your Poodle happy and healthy. Poodles are often very loyal to their owners and make a great addition to any apartment home.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a small, playful dog that is a great choice for apartment living. These dogs are generally very friendly and social and get along well with other animals and people.

They require minimal exercise to stay happy and healthy and are relatively quiet, which is important when considering a breed for apartment living.

Shih Tzus do need regular grooming to keep their coats in top condition, but with regular brushing and grooming, they are low maintenance and very rewarding companions.


For those looking for a small, low-maintenance companion, the Maltese is an ideal choice. These tiny dogs are known for their loving and loyal nature, making them great companions for apartment living.

They are also known to be low-shedding, so they won't leave a lot of dog hair around your home. Despite their small size, Maltese dogs have an impressive amount of energy and need regular exercise.

Daily walks and some time to play in a secure, enclosed area is important to keep them healthy and happy.


Pugs are small, sociable and good-natured dogs. Pugs have a unique, wrinkly face, and are known for being very friendly with people and other pets.

Pugs have short-muzzled faces and solid, muscular bodies, making them an ideal breed for living in small spaces.

Pugs do not have excessive barking tendencies and are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming, making them an ideal breed for apartment living.

Pugs require regular exercise, so it is important to make sure they have enough room to move around and play.

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is a gentle and loyal breed that is perfect for apartment living.

They are a low-maintenance breed, with a moderate energy level, making them great for small living spaces.

They are a larger breed, but their short legs make them practically appear to walk on the ground, allowing them to be comfortable in smaller areas.

They are also a low-shedding breed, making them great for those who are looking for a dog that won't produce too much pet dander. Basset Hounds require minimal exercise, making them perfectly content to relax inside.

They also make good watchdogs, alerting owners of any strangers passing by, but they can be stubborn and may take patience and consistency to train.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is often considered one of the best dog breeds for apartment living due to their small size, gentle temperament, and adaptability.

These dogs have a strong bond with their owners and often make great companions. They are small, reaching a maximum height of 12 inches, and are low-shedding, so they are ideal for apartment dwellers who don't want a lot of dog hair around the house.

Bichon Frises require daily exercise and need to be walked regularly to ensure they stay healthy.

They also benefit from regular brushing and occasional grooming to keep their fur looking its best. All in all, the Bichon Frise is an excellent choice for those who want the companionship of a dog without the responsibility of a large, high-maintenance breed.

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