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Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

Looking for the perfect canine companion to share your cozy apartment with? When it comes to choosing a furry friend, it’s essential to consider which breeds will thrive in a smaller living space. In this guide, we’ll explore the best dog breeds for apartment living, so you can find the ideal four-legged friend to keep you company in your urban abode.


Just because you live in a small space, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a furry companion. While it’s true that large breeds like huskies or shepherds would require more room to move around, there are numerous small dog breeds that would thrive in an apartment and make great pets for dog enthusiasts.

What distinguishes these small dog breeds from others is their suitability for apartment living. Firstly, most of them have a small stature. Moreover, they are often low-energy, shed less and are known for their good manners and quiet behavior, which would be appreciated by your neighbors in a shared living space.

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When selecting a dog, it is essential to choose a breed that aligns with your lifestyle. According to the American Kennel Club, these adorable breeds are best suited for urban living. For more small-sized breeds that would make great apartment pets, check out our collection.

  • French Bulldog

Metropolitan millennials have recently shown a surge in interest in this breed, but French Bulldogs were immensely popular in Paris as early as the 18th century. They only need a brisk walk every day to stay fit and healthy, and they are not known for excessive barking, which is beneficial for apartment living and pleasing to neighbors.

French Bulldog
  • Greyhound

Although they are the fastest breed of dogs, you might not expect them to be well-suited for living in small apartments. Surprisingly, these sprinters prefer to spend most of their day lounging around. Take them to the dog park for a good workout, and you’ll have a snuggly companion to watch.

  • Pug

Pugs are a bit mischievous but highly affectionate, and their tendency to be homebodies makes them an excellent choice for apartment living. However, it’s crucial to be cautious if you reside in an area with extreme temperatures, and also monitor their diet as pugs have a fondness for food and a tendency towards being couch potatoes, which can lead to obesity.


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  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Charlotte from Sex and the City made a wise choice by adopting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These toy dogs relish short walks and cuddles in your lap. Weighing between 13 to 18 pounds, even a small studio apartment can accommodate these gorgeous silky companions.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Bichon Frise

Bichons are not only incredibly charming, but they are also hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for those with allergies. They are quick learners and have an affectionate disposition toward almost everyone. Weighing around 15 pounds, they are a playful companion that won’t take up too much space on the couch.

Bichon Frise
  • Havenese

Meet the adorable 10-pound fluffball, the Havanese dog, who just like their ancestors in the Cuban capital, thrives in urban settings and is perfectly content to play around inside your apartment. They make great companions if you want an outgoing pup with a built-in entertainment system. You can either let their silky fur grow long or trim it short for a low-maintenance grooming schedule.

  • American Eskimo Dog

Fortunately for apartment dwellers, the American Eskimo Dog is not suited for life in the backyard. This intelligent breed of dog thrives on family activities and is great with kids. To ensure that your Eskie lives a happy and healthy life, it’s important to follow these recommendations:

American Eskimo

Avoid leaving your Eskie alone for long periods of time, as they crave attention and socialization. This breed excels in mental activities, so be sure to train them in agility, tricks, and obedience from a young age to prevent them from outsmarting you! Eskies have a tendency to announce the arrival and departure of strangers, but distraction techniques and training can help to address this behavior.

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  • Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus were originally bred to live inside Chinese palaces, but they will be quite content to live in your more modest dwelling. Parents should take note that these affectionate little dogs are great with kids and other dogs.

Shih Tzu


  • Boston Terrier

If you prefer a dog with a shorter coat, the Boston Terrier might be the perfect choice for you. This small breed is often referred to as “the American gentleman” and is well-suited for city living. They are lively and entertaining while also being compact and eager to please.

Boston Terrier
  • Maltese

This particular dog breed should not be mistaken for the Havanese breed. The Maltese dog breed is all white and can weigh less than half the weight of a Havanese dog (under 7 pounds versus up to 13). The breed originated from the Mediterranean and is known for being a devoted companion with a playful personality. Despite their long coat, Maltese dogs shed very little.

  • Barbet

The barbet is a delightful and easy-to-train dog that loves to swim. Even apartment dwellers can enjoy this breed’s playful indoor games and relaxed demeanor. Regular walks are also essential for keeping the barbet content. Although this breed doesn’t shed much, occasional grooming is necessary to keep them happy. With their calm temperament and low-maintenance lifestyle, the barbet is one of the best dog breeds for apartments.

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  • Basset Hound

For a family-friendly, easy-going companion that’s great with kids, the Basset Hound is a perfect fit. This cute dog breed is low-maintenance and tends to be on the lazy side, making it an ideal match for apartment living.

Basset Hound

However, be prepared for some drooling. Despite their low-energy level, Basset Hounds have great endurance, so a daily long walk should suffice for exercise. Keep in mind that they’re large dogs with short legs and can be challenging to carry if you have stairs.

  • Biewer Terrier

For those who are playful, energetic, and fun-loving, the Biewer Terrier may be a perfect match. Pronounced “beaver,” this cute breed of dog is suitable for those without backyards and is great for apartments.

Biewer Terrier

They are highly adaptable to most living situations, making them ideal for those who move frequently. However, they can be quite vocal at times, especially when strangers are around. Early socialization can help to mitigate this.

  • Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terriers have a unique fleece-like coat that sets them apart, but what they really crave is to be a part of your family. These lively dogs enjoy going out for walks and playtime, and in return, you’ll get a devoted companion that sheds minimally.

  • Pekingese

Consider the Pekingese if you’re looking for a dog with a unique personality that demands respect. With a strong sense of ancestral royalty, this breed is affectionate with its family and likes to be in control. However, their self-important attitude can make training challenging, so be patient and avoid harsh methods. Despite their strong-willed nature, Pekingese can be excellent apartment dogs for the right owners.

  • Shiba Inu

When properly socialized and treated with kindness, the Shiba Inu can make a great addition to a family with their lively personality. They can adapt to apartment living as long as they have a secure, enclosed area. However, they can be bold and fiery and may be wary of strangers, so a durable dog leash is important. Early training is recommended to help establish good manners, but first-time owners may find it challenging. Working with a trainer who understands this breed can be helpful in achieving the best results.

  • Yorkshire Terrier

For families that prioritize their furry companions, the Yorkshire Terrier can be a great addition. This small and affectionate breed requires a lot of attention but can thrive in an apartment setting with daily exercise. Socialization and early training are important as they can be aggressive toward strangers and other dogs.

  • German Spitz

This breed of spitz dogs is known for their devotion. Their fox-like expression may be charming, but owners need to be cautious with their attentiveness as they can become excessive barkers towards strangers if not properly trained. Fortunately, they are highly trainable and willing to please their owners.

There are many dog breeds of different sizes that can live happily in an apartment, but as a responsible owner, it’s important to consider both your dog’s needs and your neighbors’. Some of the recommended dog breeds for apartment living include Affenpinscher, American Eskimo Dog, Australian Terrier, Barbet, Pug, Bichon Frise, and many more.


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