Top 10 Best Dog Breeds For Apartments

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic

Got a lotta love to give, but not much room to live? Don’t worry! There’s still a doggo out there for you. Take a peek at our top picks of dog breeds for apartments

Let’s face it: size does matter. That’s especially if you live in compact quarters. With the downsizing trend being the next big thing (pun unfortunately intended), it’s easy to see how new pawrents might be looking for a dog that will feel comfy in their small living space. After all, we all want what’s best for our four-legged friends, and you’ll agree that an energetic, large dog would have a ruff time in a home where they can’t roam about. It’s not fair to bring a big animal suited to a large home into a small space. That’s cruel. However, not all puppers have big dog needs. There are doggos out there who would be more than happy to live in a small space. It’s all about picking the right pup. That’s why we are here to provide you all with a a list of dog breeds who are suited for apartments.

Whether you live in a cramped condo, an adequate apartment or just closeted quarters, there’s a dog that will fit into your living space. From miniature dog breeds to laid-back couch potatoes that will spend most of their day in bed, plenty of canines wouldn’t mind if their new home wasn’t a pooch palace. A small home filled with love will suit them just fine.

We’ve come up with a list of our Top 10 best dog breeds for apartments, and we’re sure that one of these pooches will fit right into your life… and your living accommodations. But before we dive into our list, let’s cover some ways to keep your pet happy in this type of environment. Being an dog owner in an apartment building does come with it’s own challenges after all.

Knowing which breeds are best suited to living in an apartment is the first step in choosing a pooch that will live comfortably in your home. However, beyond that, there are some simple steps that you can take to ensure your companion will remain content and healthy for years to come, no matter how small your space. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • Even if your apartment is on the small size, try to set aside a little area that your dog can call his own. This could be his place to go to when he wants to relax, and it can easily be like a little haven for him. It doesn’t need to be an entire room. Just a little corner to call his own. Add a doggie bed, keep his food and water bowls nearby, and place a few toys in the area too. He’ll quickly claim the space as his own and love his private area as much as you love yours.
  • Your dog might be okay with spending time indoors, but he will really thrive if you give him plenty of time in the great outdoors. If you spend long hours at work during the day, consider enlisting the help of an experienced dog walker or a trusted friend or family member who can come by and take your dog out for a walk to keep him happy. Even a few minutes outside in the middle of a long and lonely day can make a huge difference in your doggie’s demeanor. This small choice can have a huge impact on your fur baby’s wellbeing.
  • If you live in an apartment that isn’t on the ground level, taking your dog out frequently to go to the bathroom throughout the day and night can be a bit of a challenge for both of you, especially as your dog gets older. So, if you can’t arrange to get an apartment on the first floor, see if you can get one with a balcony on which you can put some artificial grass potty pads that he can use. This can be particularly helpful for both of you when your pooch needs to go outside in the middle of the night. It’s not an ideal solution, but one that will help both of you out quite a bit in emergency bathroom scenarios.
  • Training your pooch is always important, but you’ll want to focus on teaching your dog that he doesn’t need to bark at everything he sees outside the window. Living in an apartment means you have neighbors all around you, and they won’t appreciate a noisy dog. This is a huge reason why certain breeds of dog aren’t suited to apartment life, but it’s also something that can be significantly helped with proper training.
  • Give your dog a variety of toys that can provide not only physical exercise, but also mental stimulation, even while he is alone in your apartment. This can help prevent destructive behaviors that would result from your pooch getting bored.
  • Consider setting a routine that you and your pet can follow every day. Dogs do well when they can follow a schedule, so walk your dog around the same time every day, and set up a consistent feeding schedule, too. That way, he will know when to expect to eat and exercise. This will calm your pup and keep him from acting out.
  • Keep your dog up-to-date on all of his necessary vaccinations, especially since he will be living in an apartment building, where he will encounter a lot of people and maybe a lot of other dogs too. And it’s also wise to use flea and tick preventatives to help keep these parasites off your dog and out of your apartment building. Basic stuff, but important to remember regardless of where you raise your pup.

(Photo credit:Tatiana Katsai/Shutterstock)

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10. English Bulldog

First up on our list comes the beloved English Bulldog. This medium-sized dog doesn’t like to move around too much, so that obviously makes him an ideal dog for apartment life. Of course, it should go without saying that being a roommate with this doggo implies you’re not bothered by a little extra drool, plenty of snoring, and frequent fart fests. These are just some of the delightful qualities that an English Bulldog provides to any home. Be warned: there’s no escaping those Bulldog butt smells in small space! But even when you take into account their gassiness, English Bulldogs really are an excellent match for apartment dwellers.

If you leave out loud breathing and other “charming” sounds this pooch makes, the English Bulldog is quite quiet. While you might be forced to listen to his snoring, your neighbors won’t be complaining about his incessant barking. Yappiness is thankfully not one of this breed’s traits. This laid back pooch won’t need need a big yard to be happy either. If he could talk, this doggo would tell you that he’d much rather hang out on the couch than march around at the dog park. Plus if you don’t like to move about much, good news! The English Bulldog will happily match your laziness. In fact, he might even top you. Oh sure, he’ll need daily exercise. All dogs do. However, a walk around the block counts as a full on workout for this short-legged pooch.

(Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock)

9. Shih Tzu

These pooches are cute as a button and they need just about as much space as one too! All joking aside, Shi Tzus are ideal apartment dogs both because of their small size and low exercise needs. This regal-looking companion will spend most of her time in your lap (or a throne, if you provide one), and won’t need a lot of open space to run around. Essentially, as long as she’s pampered and loved, she’ll be happy! Low maintenance in terms of exercise and activity, but high maintenance in terms of love and affection. It’s a reasonable trade off. The only potential problem could be that most Shih Tzus tend to be a bit loud; but with a little patience and positive reinforcement training, this furry blabber will learn to keep her woofs to herself.

While she doesn’t need much room to move around in, this furry little royal will need her daily strolls. Thankfully, Shih Tzus are not high energy dogs, so you won’t need to make many trips outdoors for walks. They’ll make do with one walk a day, but two 20 minute walks are the ideal combo: this will fulfill all of their exercise needs for the day. If you don’t mind grooming all that silky hair, this may be the perfect apartment dog for you. Your apartment will become her palace and your lap will be her throne.

(Photo credit: Nagel Photography/Shutterstock)

8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a friendlier or easier going dog than this breed. Bred to be a companion fit for royalty, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are renowned for their lovable personas. Cavaliers are playful, affectionate, and intelligent- everything a dog parent could hope for in a fur baby! In addition to being a definition of a lap dog and a true cuddle bug with his family, you’ll find that the Cavalier will make nice with other tenants and dogs in your complex. Plus, weighing in at 13 to 18 pounds, this dog won’t take up much space.

Calm and adaptable, this breed will make a lovely addition to your apartment abode. However, while he’ll be a model apartment roommate, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is no lazy bones! This breed might not need as much exercise as larger Spaniels do, but they’ll still need daily outdoor activities to counter its cramped living conditions. If you’re thinking of getting this breed to share a condo with, you need to be prepared to take them for multiple daily walks! Tucker them out and they will fit comfortably into your small space, but if you don’t get in those walks they will expend the energy elsewhere and neither you nor your apartment will like it.

(Photo credit: Liliya Kulianionak/Shutterstock)

7. Great Dane

Can you believe that this pooch is on our list of dog breeds for apartments? A big boy like that? It’s no typo! Hear us out. Yes, we realize that the Great Dane is huge (25 to 29 inches tall and 100 to 200 pounds in weight), but this big fella is as lazy as he is large. (and that’s saying a lot, because no lap is big enough for this doggo). Sure, he may take up more room in the apartment and on the couch than a lap dog, but he’ll become more of a fixture than an energetic force to be reckoned with. Not unlike most giant breeds, these big pooches have a slow metabolism, which means low levels of energy and less need for serious exercise. Only 30 to 60 minutes a day spent in walks will ensure that your pet is happy and healthy, which is more than doable for most pawrents.

A Great Dane is calm, friendly and quiet. What more could you ask for in a roommate for your small living space? However, before you sign the lease on your condo, make sure your roommate is actually approved by the landlord. Due to their enormous size, this breed is often not allowed in apartments. Which is frankly a shame, because these gentle giants make ideal roomies!

(Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock)

6. Chihuahua

If a breed can fit into your purse, it can fit into your apartment! Tipping the scales at 2 to 6 pounds, the Chihuahua won’t take up much more room than a large bottle of water. Affectionate and devoted to their owners, these tiny pooches are known as “velcro dogs,” so they won’t mind the close quarters. The nearer you are to them, the better! They probably wouldn’t make use of an extra space anyways. That said, you will have to watch out for excessive barking. This doggies are definitely yappers, but this bad habit can be trained down to an acceptable level for apartment living.

Chihuahuas might be yappy, but they are also quite smart and trainable, so teaching them to tone down the woofs is entirely doable! Also, while they might be a bit loud, they’re not overly energetic. A few brisk daily walks are all that is necessary to keep these cute puppers content and mellow. Loving, intelligent and fast learners, these little doggos will require a lot of attention to be happy, but not much space. This makes them an absolutely no-brainer for our list of best dog breeds for apartments. As long as they’re always in the spotlight, they won’t mind the lack of yard or having to share a room with you. In fact, they might actually prefer it! (Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock)

5. Pug

Those big eyes, that adorable snort, the perky package. Okay, so maybe these things don’t make a Pug perfect for apartment living, but this breed has a lot going for it in addition to cute looks. This pupper comes in a handy compact size (Pugs are a mere 10 to 14 inches high and weigh in at little more than 14 to 18 pounds) and they are cool with just hanging out with you on the bed, binging one Netflix show after another. Trust us, this squishy face pooch won’t judge you if you decide to rewatch Supernatural or Grey’s Anatomy starting from the first season. In fact, they’ll nest right next to you through countless episodes. Sure, they won’t be able to offer many theories about the plot, but they will enjoy their time by your side.

However, even though they are known as notorious couch potatoes, Pugs do need some moderate daily exercise. Two 20 minute walks a day are enough to keep your roomie in good health! And, in addition to having low energy levels, these canines are generally quiet and won’t cause trouble with your neighbors, as some yappy pooch might. It would be hard to find a human roommate better suited to apartment living than a pug! (Photo credit: Utekhina Anna/Shutterstock)

4. Bichon Frise

Oh la la! This fancy French pooch does very well in smaller living spaces. Tipping the scale at just 7 to 12 pounds, the Bichon Frise isn’t your typical yappy little dog. In fact, this pup will only bark if there is someone at the door. The name of the breed means “curly white lap dog” in French, so don’t be surprised if all your pooch needs is to curl up in your embrace! These doggos are very affectionate and bond strongly with their owners, so sharing a small condo is a blessing in disguise for Bichons, who can be a bit clingy. They will be next to you at all times in large spaces, so you can’t expect anything else in a small living space with nowhere to escape.

While their easy-going and lovable personality is another trait that makes them suitable for apartment dwelling, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be content spending their days holed up. This breed is energetic, so you’ll have to make sure your Bichon Frise gets enough exercise, whether it’s indoors or out at the dog park. Make sure your condo cuddle bug gets at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day! Otherwise they will find other ways to let out that energy and your landlord won’t like it at all!

(Photo credit: Viorel Sima/Shutterstock)

3. Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested may not be the best looking dog on the block, but this little fella makes up for it by being a loving companion and a wonderful apartment-sized pup. Don’t want to do anything today? No problem! The Chinese Crested will lie in bed with you for hours. Don’t want dog hair to cover everything you own? Done deal- this breed doesn’t even have enough hair to cover themselves, let alone shed some all over your clothes and furniture.

In addition to being hypoallergenic, these unique-looking pooches have a friendly personality that leaves no one indifferent to them! They are devoted, affectionate and laid back- traits you’d want in any doggo, honestly. And since the Chinese Crested are known as quiet dogs who almost never bark, your pet is bound to be a favorite with the neighbors, too. Unlike some petite pooches, this breed is not a tiny ball of energy- a short walk around the neighborhood will satisfy their minimal exercise needs. A dedicated and loyal friend, this dog is the ideal size for your apartment – and your heart!

(Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock)

2. Boston Terrier

This little gentleman makes any apartment or condo look good. But you’ll have to keep an eye out on this tuxedo-wearing furbaby – sometimes, he can be too smart for his own good and that can lead to trouble. Boston Terriers have inherited a lot of traits from their English and French Bulldog ancestors, so don’t expect these “all-American” pooches to be sporty. Frankly, these are no canine jocks and won’t need a lot of exercise to stay in shape! Daily walks are a must, though, if you want your pet to stay healthy and content.

This breed tends to keep its barks to itself, so you won’t have to worry about neighbors complaining about the noise. And, as these pretty pooches weigh about 10 to 25 pounds, having enough space for them will not be an issue: they are considered a small breed and won’t mind living in smaller quarters.

(Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock)

  1. Yorkshire Terrier

Finishing off our list of dog breeds for apartments is the Yorkshire Terrier. Cute, cuddly, and compact – all three traits make for a great apartment dog. Weighing in at just 6 to 7 pounds, the Yorkie doesn’t take up much space. However, while these silky doggies might be miniature, they don’t seem to know it: Yorkshire Terriers are fierce, bold, and have a personality larger than life- let alone their tiny bodies.

They absolutely love being the center of the attention and won’t stray far from their pawrents, which is why these dogs don’t mind modestly sized condos. On top of that, this breed is fairly quiet in regular conditions. As a watchdog at heart, a Yorkie will bark if they feel the need to protect their turf; but nothing that would cause problems with the residents’ association. A Yorkie can adapt quickly to new people, situations and pets, so feel free to invite people over to meet your furry roommate. And as long as you give them enough attention, your pocket-size pupper will be more than happy to curl up on your lap all day.

(Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock)

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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