The 27 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Dwellers

best apartment dogs

Dogs come in all sizes, from the ones that fit in your pocket to the giant beasts that take up a whole couch. However, if you and your family are apartment dwellers, you have to choose one that will fit in with your lifestyle.  

The best apartment dogs are the ones that are small enough to fit in the space comfortably and won’t take it over. They also have to be either low energy, or you have to have the time to exercise them properly to prevent damage to the home.

Excess barking is a no-go as well since it’s very likely your neighbors will not be understanding after a few days of constant yapping. 

That said, there are many dogs for apartment dwellers, including several small dog breeds that thrive in small spaces.

Best Apartment Dogs 

There are so many dog breeds that do well in apartments. Let’s take a look at a few.

1. Miniature Poodle

best dogs for apartments
GroupNon-Sporting
Height10″ to 15″
Weight10 to 15 pounds
Coat and ColorCurly, dense coat; black, white, apricot, gray, and brown
Life Expectancy10 to 18 years
SheddingLow
BarkingMedium
EnergyHigh
TrainabilityMedium

Poodles make excellent pets; they’re highly intelligent and learn very quickly, making them one of the best dogs to train, whether you have a Standard, Miniature, or Toy Poodle. They’re also completely devoted to their owners.

However, the Miniature Poodle is probably your best bet in an apartment. Its smaller stature doesn’t take up as much room, and the Miniature Poodle still comes with the same characteristics — disciplined and obedient — that makes it one of the best dog breeds for apartment living.  

2. Pug

best apartment dog
GroupToy
Height10″ to 13″
Weight14 to 18 pounds
Coat and ColorShort, smooth double coat; black or fawn
Life Expectancy13 to 15 years
SheddingMedium
BarkingLow
EnergyLow
TrainabilityMedium

The pug is arguably one of the best apartment dogs out there. Pugs are small, sweet, and very playful with large personalities, making them one of the best family dogs. Best of all, they take up little space.

One of the things you have to worry about when you have a Pug is that they tend to be low-energy, which means they can be prone to obesity, so keep this in mind.  

3. Pekingese

good apartment dogs
GroupToy
Height6″ to 9″
Weight up to 14 pounds
Coat and ColorLong, double-layered coat; biscuit, black, cream, fawn, gray, red, white, black and tan, or a combination thereof
Life Expectancy12 to 14 years
SheddingMedium
BarkingLow
EnergyLow
TrainabilityHard

The Pekingese is an ancient Chinese breed that was once bred to be a companion for royalty. Now, the Pekingese is perfectly content in a smaller living space, especially since it prefers to be a lap dog.

This dog breed may be difficult to train, so patience is the key to succeeding. While the Pekingese is more of an independent pup that can be stubborn at times, it also doesn’t have a lot of exercise needs. Your Pekingese will, however, require regular grooming. 

4. Chihuahua

best small apartment dogs
GroupToy
Height5″ to 8″
Weightup to 6 pounds
Coat and Colorshort or long coat, smooth; fawn, black, cream, blue, silver, white, chocolate, and red
Life Expectancy14 to 16 years
SheddingMedium
BarkingMedium
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityMedium

The Chihuahua is one of the most popular dogs in the country, despite its tiny stature — it’s one of the smallest dog breeds. You’ll need to take a brisk walk or play with your Chihuahua daily because they do tend to have high energy levels.

However, the smaller size means that despite this dog breed’s ability to run and play nonstop, it is well suited to apartment life. The Chihuahua can also be vocal, but you can train them early on not to bark or yip too much. Plus, did you know there are several types of Chihuahuas?  

5. Greyhound

great dogs for apartment
GroupHound
Height27″ to 30″
Weight60 to 70 pounds
Coat and ColorShort, smooth coat; black, fawn, brindle, red, white, and blue
Life Expectancy10 to 13 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityEasy 

The racing Greyhound is often heralded as the fastest dog on Earth, but give them a couch, and they are perfectly content to laze about. The Greyhound doesn’t typically tend to have extreme energy levels, but if you take them on long walks, they’ll be content for the day.

The Greyhound is a very affectionate breed, and if you leave them alone for long periods of time, they can suffer from separation anxiety and be loud.  

6. Pomeranian

small dogs good for apartments
GroupToy
Height6″ to 7″
Weight3 to 7 pounds
Coat and ColorLong double coat; black, chocolate, cream, orange, red, sable, or combination thereof
Life Expectancy12 to 16 years
SheddingLow
BarkingHigh
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityMedium

Pomeranians are small pups with big personalities. They are highly adaptable and affectionate dogs that love to be with their owners and often snuggle up to cuddle. They’re also the perfect size for apartment life.

These pups can also be a bit vocal, so training is a must so they don’t annoy the neighbors while you’re out of the home.  

7. Chinese Crested

medium-sized apartment dogs
GroupToy
Height11″ to 13″
Weight8 to 12 pounds
Coat and ColorHairless or Powderpuff with silky coat; grayish-pink body with white spots; blue,
Life Expectancy13 to 18 years
SheddingLow
BarkingMedium
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityEasy 

The Chinese Crested dog is an alert pup that is considered one of the best apartment dogs. It’s an affectionate pup that wants nothing more than to be with its family. They are a playful dog breed, but daily walks can help alleviate their medium energy levels.

Playing indoor games will also help with their mental stimulation. The hairless variety is great for those who need a hypoallergenic pup. 

8. Bulldog

dogs that are good for apartments
GroupNon-Sporting
Height14″ to 15″
Weight40 to 50 pounds
Coat and ColorStraight, short coat; red, white, brown, fawn, or any combination thereof
Life Expectancy8 to 10 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyLow
TrainabilityMedium 

The Bulldog is a medium-sized dog breed, but they do well in a smaller space because they don’t have a ton of energy needs. While it’s important to meet the exercise needs of your Bulldog so it doesn’t become obese, a daily walk is sufficient.

The Bulldog is a very happy dog and tends to be more on the quiet side — which your neighbors will appreciate. The Bulldog is more than content to hang with you on the couch while you binge-watch your new favorite show. Check out the other types of Bulldogs dog breeds.  

9. Bichon Frise

small dog breeds for apartments
GroupNon-Sporting
Height9.5″ to 11.5″
Weight12 to 18 pounds
Coat and ColorShort curly coat; white, apricot, cream
Life Expectancy14 to 15 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityEasy 

The Bichon Frise is an adorable pup wrapped up in the cutest package. The Bichon Friese is very happy and has moderate energy levels, which makes them suitable for a small space.

The Bichon Frise isn’t yippy like most small dog breeds, so it won’t irritate the neighbors — or you. You’ll want to play games with your Bichon Frise or take it on daily walks to make sure you meet its physical exercise needs. 

10. Maltese

good dogs for apartments
GroupToy
Height7″ to 9″
Weightup to 7 pounds
Coat and ColorLong silky coat; white
Life Expectancy12 – 15 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyLow
TrainabilityEasy 

If you’re looking for a playful, gentle breed, the Maltese is your perfect companion in a smaller space. Daily walks are enough to suffice, and while the Maltese does bark, it’s not constant and can be trained out of them.

Expect your pup to be extremely affectionate, lavishing you with attention while curling up on your lap or the couch and waiting for your next move. 

11. American Hairless Terrier

best dog breeds for apartments
GroupTerrier
Height12″ to 16″
Weight12 to 28 pounds 
Coat and ColorHairless or short coated varieties; Apricot, black, blue, red, lilac dilute, lemon, chocolate, or combination
Life Expectancy14 to 16 years
SheddingLow
BarkingMedium
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityEasy 

Inquisitive yet playful, the American Hairless Terrier isn’t an extremely popular dog, but if you ask me, it should be. This dog breed is hypoallergenic (the hairless variety) and requires minimal care in regards to grooming, though you might need to invest in sweaters and shirts to keep it warm.

Despite its size, this small dog breed is known for being alert and, therefore, makes a great watchdog. It’s also very affectionate and truly loves its people. 

12. Barbet

best medium-sized dog breeds for apartment living
Group Sporting
Height19″ to 24.5″
Weight35 to 65 pounds
Coat and ColorMedium to long curly or wavy coat; black, brown, gray, fawn, and white
Life Expectancy12 to 14 years
SheddingLow
BarkingMedium
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityMedium

Fluffy and joyful, the Barbet is a medium to large-sized dog that fully devotes itself to its owner. You will need to invest in obedience training with this pup, though, because it can be super intelligent and, therefore, have a mind of its own.

However, the Barbet is amazing with children and seniors and very quick to learn. They do have medium energy levels, but daily walks and physical exercise can help meet their needs and make them a great apartment dog. 

13. Boston Terrier

dogs for apartments
GroupNon-Sporting
Height15″ to 17″
Weight12 to 25 pounds
Coat and ColorShort, smooth coat; white chest and muzzle, with the majority of the body brindle, seal, or black
Life Expectancy11 to 13 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityEasy

The Boston Terrier is a cute, inquisitive, and funny pup to be around. This is one small dog breed, though, that needs mental stimulation and enrichment activities. The Boston Terrier also needs regular attention and is prone to developing destructive or negative behaviors if ignored.

However, daily walks are enough to meet the energy needs of the Boston Terrier, and it’s one small dog breed that thrives in a smaller space.  

Other terriers that also make great apartment dogs are the Cairn Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Biewer Terrier, Australian Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier.

14. Havanese

dog breeds for apartments
GroupToy
Height8.5″ to 11.5″
Weight7 to 13 pounds
Coat and ColorSilky straight or wavy; silver, black, cream, white, gold, fawn, red, and sable
Life Expectancy14 to 16 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityEasy 

Cute and fluffy with long hair that tends to cover its eyes, the Havanese dog is very adaptable to a home or apartment life. While it does have moderate energy levels, the Havanese doesn’t need a lot of daily exercise.

In fact, the Havanese is more than happy to be a lap and companion dog throughout the day, and chances are you won’t have to worry about it barking too much. 

15. French Bulldog

best apartment dog breeds
GroupNon-Sporting
Height11″ to 13″
Weight28 pounds or under
Coat and ColorShort, smooth coat; brindle, white, fawn, or combination thereof
Life Expectancy10 to 12 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyLow
TrainabilityMedium 

The French Bulldog has a storied history. Before it was one of the most popular dogs in the US, it was popular — and still is — in the French countryside. French Bulldogs, or Frenchies as they are referred to, are pretty quiet dogs, which means they won’t drive your neighbors up the wall.

The French Bulldog does need daily exercise to prevent it from becoming obese, and it does need mental stimulation. The French Bulldog is a great companion dog for a small space.  

16. Shih Tzu

dogs for small apartments
GroupToy
Height9″ to 10.5″
Weight9 to 16 pounds
Coat and ColorLong coat; brindle, gold, white, liver, silver, blue, black, red, and others
Life Expectancy10 to 18 years
SheddingMedium
BarkingMedium
EnergyLow
TrainabilityMedium

The Shih Tzu is often referred to as the Little Lion and is a lively pup with an easygoing temperament. You won’t need to spend much time training your Shih Tzu, either, as it quickly catches on to new tasks and commands.

The Shih Tzu is a playful small dog breed that bonds quickly with its humans. You won’t have to worry too much about separation anxiety, though they may bark a bit. 

17. Basset Hound

apartment friendly dogs
GroupHound
HeightUp to 15″
Weight40 to 65 pounds
Coat and ColorShort, smooth coat; black, tan, white, brown, lemon, and red
Life Expectancy12 to 13 years
SheddingMedium
BarkingHigh
EnergyLow
TrainabilityMedium 

One look at the Basset Hound, and you’ll instantly fall in love. The Basset Hound has a long body, short legs, and sad eyes that tug at your heartstrings.

The Basset Hound is also a very low-energy dog, which means you don’t have to worry about too much exercise; they are definitely a pup that likes to lounge around. The Basset Hound may become obese, so daily walks are a good thing. Be warned: when left alone, your Basset Hound may bark. 

18. Whippet

what are good apartment dogs
GroupHound
Height18″ to 22″
Weight25 to 40 pounds
Coat and ColorShort, smooth coat; comes in a variety of colors, including black, blue, brindle, fawn, red, white and fawn, white and red, and others
Life Expectancy12 to 15 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyHigh
TrainabilityMedium 

The Whippet Dog is a distant cousin of the Greyhound, which explains why they look very similar. They have bursts of energy, which you can resolve with long walks or a trip to the dog park.

Not exercising your Whippet can lead to destructive behavior, but they are quiet and learn commands so easily that you’ll soon realize why they made our list of best apartment dogs. 

19. Basset Fauve de Bretagne

great apartment dogs
GroupMiscellaneous 
Height12.5″ to 15.5″
Weight 23 to 39 pounds
Coat and ColorDouble-layered, medium-length wiry coat; fawn, red wheaten, wheaten
Life Expectancy13 to 16 years
SheddingMedium
BarkingMedium
EnergyHigh
TrainabilityHard 

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a small pup that has a high energy level, yet if you exercise it properly, it will have no problem adapting to apartment life. It gets along extremely well with other pets, including other dogs.

The pup will need lots of training as it’s very intelligent and, therefore, stubborn, which means it can resist training. Plus, you’ll need to socialize your pup early. But, when you do these things? They’re one of the best apartment dogs you can have. 

20. Italian Greyhound

clingiest dog breeds
GroupToy
Height13″ to 15″
Weight7 to 14 pounds
Coat and ColorShort, smooth coat; grey, fawn, red, cream, black, sable, chocolate, or a combination thereof
Life Expectancy14 to 15 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityMedium 

The Italian Greyhound is a smaller version of the Greyhound in just about every way, shape, and form. They love to cuddle and spend an afternoon on the couch with you, but the Italian Greyhound also gets a random burst of energy.

The good news is the Italian Greyhound is easily exercised with daily walks and indoor games.  

21. Coton de Tulear

dogs that are good for apartments
GroupNon-Sporting
Height9″ to 11″
Weight8 to 15 pounds
Coat and ColorDouble-layered, long, wavy coat; white or black
Life Expectancy15 to 19 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityMedium 

You don’t really see too many of the Coton de Tulear dog breed, but it has several factors in its favor, which is why it’s one of our best apartment dogs. It is extremely sweet and playful, not to mention a small breed, reaching a maximum of 15 pounds.

The Coton de Tulear can live in small spaces but prefers being with people over being left alone. The Coton de Tulear loves other dogs and people and is hypoallergenic. 

22. American Eskimo Dog

good apt dog
GroupNon-Sporting
Heightthree sizes: 9″ to 12″ (Toy); 12″ to 15″ (Miniature); 15″ to 19″ (Standard)
Weight6 to 10 pounds (Toy); 10 to 20 pounds (Miniature); 25 to 35 pounds (Standard)
Coat and ColorDouble, medium-length coat; white or white & biscuit
Life Expectancy13 to 15 years
SheddingMedium
BarkingMedium
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityMedium

The American Eskimo Dog is one of the dogs that tops my list of must-have dogs. It’s one of the small dog breeds that need both mental stimulation and enough exercise; otherwise, it may become destructive.

However, they are very sweet and are a good fit for just about any apartment size. The American Eskimo Dogs need a bit more grooming to ensure their coat stays free of tangles. 

23. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

best dogs to have in an apartment
GroupToy
Height12″ to 13″
Weight13 to 18 pound
Coat and ColorSilky, medium-length coat; black and tan, black and white, and others
Life Expectancy12 to 15 years
SheddingMedium
BarkingMedium
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityEasy 

If you’re looking for one of the sweetest-looking pups you’ll ever find, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is your mate. This pup has a happy-go-lucky demeanor, which makes it a hit with households of all types.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a companion dog and is happy to become a couch buddy with you. Brief daily walks will keep this pup in shape and stimulated.  

24. Dachshund

best puppies for apartments
GroupHound
HeightTwo sizes: 8″ to 9″ (Standard); 5″ to 6″ (Miniature)
Weight16 to 32 pounds (Standard); 11 pounds and under (Miniature)
Coat and ColorSmooth short or medium-length coat; chocolate and tan, black and tan, cream,
Life Expectancy12 to 16 years
SheddingLow
BarkingHigh
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityMedium 

The Dachshund, or wiener dog as it’s affectionately called, is one of the pups that is well suited for apartment life. It’s small in stature, large in personality, and fiercely loyal.

The pup also has a jealous side, particularly since it bonds to a single person and desires their attention. However, the pup is truly endearing. Since it tends to bark a lot, getting it trained should be a priority.  

25. Bolognese

good dogs for small apartments
GroupFoundation Stock Service
Height10″ to 12″
Weight6 to 10 pounds
Coat and ColorLong wavy coat; white
Life Expectancy12 to 14 years
SheddingLow
BarkingLow
EnergyLow
TrainabilityEasy

The Bolognese is a cute, small, fluffy white dog that simply loves people. It’s a serene pup that enjoys laying around and playing equally.

The Bolognese hails from Italy and is very charming and affectionate, choosing to form a strong, unbreakable bond with its people. 

26. Shiba Inu

best medium sized dog breeds for apartment living
GroupNon-Sporting
Height14.5″ to 16.5″
Weight17 to 23 pounds
Coat and ColorShort double coat; cream, red, sesame, or black and tan
Life Expectancy13 to 16 years
SheddingHigh
BarkingMedium
EnergyHigh
TrainabilityMedium 

If you like a fun, active dog that does well in a smaller space, the Shiba Inu is a good bet. This dog looks like it’s always smiling, and it might as well be because it’s one of the extremely playful dog breeds.

The Shiba Inu requires exercise, but if you take it to the park, play games, or give it daily walks, you’ll be able to meet all of its exercise needs. 

27. Basenji

top 10 best apartment dogs
GroupHound
Height16″ to 17″
Weight22 to 24 pounds
Coat and ColorShort, fine coat that comes in various colors, including red, black, tricolor, and brindle
Life Expectancy13 to 14 years
SheddingShort smooth coat; black and white, brindle and white, red and white, black, tan and white, or other colors
BarkingLow
EnergyMedium
TrainabilityMedium

The Basenji is a regal-looking dog breed that was originally bred to hunt in central Africa. It has a very unique bark — more like a yodeling noise — that is high-pitched. They are very affectionate but can be aloof with strangers.

The Basenji gets along with other dogs, though it has a stubborn streak and will stick to its principles. This dog breed is very inquisitive but can also be trained to be a great apartment pup.  

FAQs

Can a Dog Live in an Apartment?

Absolutely. If you have enough space and you choose a dog that’s well suited to apartment life, you’ll be fine. 

Is the Boxer Breed Suitable for Apartment Living?

Yes, as long as you give them enough daily exercise, as they tend to be a bit high-energy. Long walks daily or taking them to a dog park to run can help with that. 

Which Large Dog Breed Is the Most Suitable for an Apartment?

Many large dog breeds are suitable for apartment living. In fact, Great Danes, one of the largest dogs, fare very well in apartments. Like the Boxer, they will need exercise, but they are often content to just lounge on the couch as well. 

Which Dog Is Good for a Small Apartment?

If you have a smaller space, you’ll want to stick with toy breeds like the French Bulldog, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, or Bichon Frise. These are the smallest dogs that take up the least room.

Some may be high-energy, but that’s okay as long as you take them for daily walks.

Wrap-up

As with any dog you adopt, even if it’s one of our best apartment dog recommendations, it’s critical that the pup fits in with your lifestyle — or that you train them appropriately.

For example, if you work long hours, you won’t want a dog that suffers from separation anxiety. If you’re sedentary, an active dog will be a lot to maintain.

However, with so many options on the table, we’re confident you can find the best apartment dogs that fit your needs.

Christina Drury
Meet Christina Drury, a dedicated animal enthusiast, and proud pet parent. She has a deep-rooted affection for all creatures, and Christina has called the Buckeye State home for the past four years. As a seasoned writer, she possesses a versatile writing style that spans various niches, yet her heart truly belongs to animals. With her innate connection and expertise, Christina is committed to crafting engaging and insightful content for animal-related issues.

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