10 Best Dogs for Apartment Living

Discover the best 10 dogs for apartment living in this article! Whether you’re a renter or simply seeking a dog that thrives in smaller spaces, this curated list will simplify your search.

Fortunately, for dog enthusiasts, a small apartment doesn’t mean sacrificing the joy of having a furry friend by your side. There are plenty of small dog breeds that are perfect for living in an apartment! 

  • French Bulldog
  • Greyhound
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Bichon Frise
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pug
  • Dachshund
  • Basenji
  • Boston Terrier
  • Maltese

1. French Bulldog

black small french bulldog standing in the grass

Frenchies are highly adaptable and intelligent dogs. They are sociable, well-behaved, and get along well with other dogs.

They do not require a lot of outdoor exercise, and a 30-minute walk is enough to keep them healthy. Therefore they are perfect pets if live in a small apartment.

Three words to describe French Bulldogs are quiet, playful, and affectionate. They prefer to be around humans and don’t like being left alone for long periods.

Frenchies are not excessive barkers – they rarely bark- making them excellent apartment pets. They are a gentle breed that loves long naps as much as they love playing.

  • Level of energy: Medium
  • Trainability: Medium
  • Barking: Low (only to alert)
  • Shedding: Low 

2. Greyhound

Greyhound dog laying on the couch

Surprising to some, Greyhounds can be well-suited for apartment living despite their larger size. Known as “couch potatoes” among dog enthusiasts, Greyhounds are gentle giants with low energy levels indoors.

They are often defined as placid and affectionate, a short walk once a day will be enough to keep them happy and healthy. 

 Their calm demeanor and affectionate nature make them a unique and wonderful choice for those looking for a larger yet laid-back companion in their apartment.

  • Level of energy: Low
  • Trainability: Medium
  • Barking: Medium
  • Shedding: Medium

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s friendly demeanor and moderate energy levels make them well-suited for apartment living. These small-sized dogs are not only charming but also adaptable, making them an ideal choice for apartments. 

Their love for human companionship ensures that they thrive in close-knit living spaces.

  • Level of energy: Medium
  • Trainability: – Easy (highly intelligent and easy to train)
  • Barking: Medium
  • Shedding: Medium

4. Bichon Frise

white bichon frise dog

The Bichon Frise is a playful and hypoallergenic breed that thrives in apartment settings. With their cheerful personality, minimal shedding, and small stature, Bichons are ideal for those with allergies.

Their moderate exercise needs and trainability make them a joy in your apartment.

They are curious, adaptable and get along well with other pets. 

  • Level of energy: Medium
  • Trainability: Easy
  • Barking: Low
  • Shedding: Low

5. Shih Tzu

 Dog jumping and running on the grass

Shih Tzu’s friendly disposition makes them excellent apartment companions.

These small dogs are known for their adaptability and affectionate nature, making them wonderful companions for individuals or families.

They have moderate exercise requirements, making them suitable for apartment living. Shih Tzus’ affectionate nature and minimal barking contribute to a peaceful coexistence.

  • Level of energy: Low
  • Trainability: Medium
  • Barking: Medium
  • Shedding: Medium

6. Pug

Small pug dog

Pugs, with their charming wrinkled faces and easygoing attitude, are well-suited for apartment life. They are extremely playful and affectionate, and also a little lazy (they tend to sleep more than other dogs). However, they need to maintain a fit lifestyle to avoid health issues: two short walks a day will be enough for them! 

Despite being curious and intelligent, they can be stubborn when training. 

Their compact size and love for lounging make them a perfect match for those seeking a laid-back yet delightful canine companion.

Consider that, unfortunately, Pugs suffer from common health issues such as eye injuries, and breathing issues, as well as orthopedic conditions, and breed-specific disorders. 

  • Level of energy: Low
  • Trainability: Medium
  • Barking: Low
  • Shedding: Medium

7. Dachshund

Small Brown Dachshund Dog

The dachshund, also known as the wiener dog and sausage dog is a breed most commonly recognized for its elongated body and is known for being lively, spirited, and highly devoted to its family.

Due to their adaptable nature, these little ones make great apartment companions. Their moderate exercise needs and compact size make them an ideal choice for smaller living spaces. They don’t require complex care but training may be necessary to control their barking tendencies. 

  • Level of energy: Medium
  • Trainability: Easy (they are smart and not hard to train!)
  • Barking: High
  • Shedding: Low

8. Basenji

Medium black and white basenji dog

The Basenji, known for their independence and minimal barking, is a unique addition to our list. With moderate exercise needs and adaptability, Basenjis are suitable for an apartment. Curious, intelligent, and affectionate are distinctive features that make them an intriguing choice for pets.

They are known as the “barkless dogs”. And yes, they don’t bark, however, they are not completely silent as they make yodeling noises instead of barking.

Basenjis are wonderful small indoor dogs, but they need a responsible owner who is willing to invest time and effort in training and providing attention. 

These dogs are intelligent and can be a lot of fun, but they may become restless and destructive if they don’t get enough exercise.

  • Level of energy: High
  • Trainability: Low
  • Barking: Low 
  • Shedding: Low

9. Boston Terrier

Small black and white boston terrier dog

The Boston terrier, also known as “the American Gentleman,” is a small breed with a short coat that is easy to maintain. These dogs are lively and entertaining, yet still compact and eager to please.

Boston Terriers are excellent apartment companions. With moderate exercise needs and a charming disposition, these dogs adapt well to smaller living spaces. 

Its trainability and minimal barking contribute to a harmonious cohabitation with their owners.

  • Level of energy: High
  • Trainability: Low
  • Barking: Low 
  • Shedding: Low

10. Basset Hound

white and brown basset hound

This short-legged breed of dog is known for its exceptional sense of smell, loyalty and laid-back personality. Originally bred as hunting dogs, they are very affectionate and can easily settle in an apartment.

Basset Hounds are famously laid-back and have relatively low energy levels compared to some other breeds. This means they’re content with lounging around the apartment and don’t require intense exercise routines to stay happy. A short walk or play session indoors is often sufficient to meet their needs.

Here are some extra considerations to ensure both of you are happy at your new place:

  • Keep a steady routine
  • Training is important to prevent accidents.
  • Hounds can be a talkative breed, but most are not disruptively loud.
  • To prevent separation anxiety, don’t leave your dog alone for long periods.

Basset Hounds may not fit the traditional image of an apartment dog, but their low-key personality, moderate size, and easygoing nature make them wonderful companions for apartment dwellers.

  • Level of energy: Low
  • Trainability: Medium
  • Barking: Medium-High
  • Shedding: Low

11. Maltese

Small white maltese dog

Maltese are known for their trainability and minimal barking, ensuring a peaceful environment in your apartment.

Despite their noble bearing, Maltese are strong and adaptable pets. They are alert watchdogs who are brave in a charming, toy-dog way, and they are agile little athletes on the agility course. Maltese are long-lived, low-shedding, and love making new friends of all ages.

Weighing under 7 pounds, these dogs are bred to be companions and have a playful and charming personality. Despite their long coat, they shed infrequently.

  • Level of energy: Medium
  • Trainability: Medium 
  • Barking: Medium
  • Shedding: Low

Various dog breeds are suitable for apartment living. By considering factors such as shedding, barking tendencies, energy levels, and trainability, you can find the perfect dog that fits your apartment size and lifestyle. Whether you want a laid-back lap dog or an energetic companion, these 10 breeds ensure a harmonious and delightful coexistence in your home.

Don’t forget that all dogs require exercise, socialization, and affection. While dogs may be well-suited for apartment living, they need proper attention and care. Any dog can live happily in an apartment and become a devoted companion for years

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