The Top 25 Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

Pets are one of the best additions, bringing love, fun, and excitement into the household. However, if you live in a smaller location, such as an apartment building, you might be hesitant to choose a furry friend to share your space.

Not to worry—many dogs will thrive in an apartment setting and provide you and your family excellent companionship.

Read on for 25 of the best dog breeds for anyone living in an apartment! 

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are an athletic breed but are still considered one of the best apartment dogs.

They love meeting new people, form tight bonds with their families, and are likely to follow their owners around the apartment as they go about their day.

2. Australian Terrier

The Australian Terrier, an upbeat and active breed, loves to be the center of family life and attention. These dogs will attach very quickly to their humans and are one of the best companions you could ask for. Plus, they have low shedding!

While they can live in apartments and adjust to limited space, the Australian Terrier needs to be kept stimulated at home and walked several times a day.

3. Chihuahua

Another classic small breed, chihuahua, has a mixed reputation. But they are actually one of the best apartment dogs you can choose, loving nothing more than being close to their humans. 

Chihuahuas are great companions for Netflix on the couch or daytime sightseeing but do not enjoy being left alone.

4. Basset Hound

If you are looking for a laid-back companion for your apartment life, look no further than the Basset Hound. Classically known for being more of a couch potato than an athlete, these dogs are gentle and well-behaved. 

However, because they are content to simply curl up and nap indoors, Basset Hounds tend to be lazy and easily become overweight. But once they are out for a walk, their endurance makes them ideal for long saunters.

5. Pomeranian

Sweet and loving, these little puffballs will fit right into your household. The Pomeranian is a happy breed that does not require much exercise but does need mental stimulation in the form of toys or games.

6. Border Terrier

Short-haired and clever, active apartment dwellers will fall in love with the Border Terrier easily. With larger-than-life personalities and a natural urge to dig and hunt, these dogs need to be kept busy and love outdoor adventures.

7. Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are known for being gentle and sweet, as well as incredibly spunky. They are compact and happy to live in an apartment.

However, they overheat and get dehydrated quickly in the summertime, so be cautious during daily walks! 

8. Bulldog

Though stocky, Bulldogs are still small enough to exist happily in apartment spaces. They also don’t need too much exercise every day and will be quite content with afternoon strolls. 

Because Bulldogs are bred to be companion animals, these dogs do need a great deal of human attention from their families or might become yappy.

9. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are a spirited and happy breed that thrives in the confines of an apartment. But you should ensure good training practices as they are knowledgeable and have fiery personalities.

Leave yourself plenty of time for grooming this high-shed breed, as well as daily adventures outdoors to keep them happy and healthy.

10. Toy Fox Terrier

Tiny and loving, the Toy Fox Terrier has a boisterous personality that loves to amuse the humans around it. They also are easy to house-train, making them the ideal dog for an apartment setting.

Remember that Toy Fox Terriers will require daily exercise to use up their high energy reserves.

11. Basenji

Gentle and quiet, the Basenji breed is beloved by homeowners and apartment renters alike. Because of their size, these dogs do not need a lot of space, but because they love to play, you should prepare to keep them entertained.

Basenjis commonly dislike getting wet during walks on rainy days and can be very temperamental. However, if you train them well and devote plenty of time to them, these dogs are ideal for apartment dwellers.

12. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs love an afternoon on the couch just as much as tossing a ball around the park. They are a great companion that thrives on close human interaction. 

However, owners must train them consistently, so the dogs do not get bored or throw tantrums.

13. Daschund

Beloved for their stature and personalities, these “sausage dogs” are an adaptable breed and very affectionate. If you are looking for a small pet that is happy to cuddle on the sofa with short, daily walks for exercise, the Daschund is for you!

However, they do not like being left alone and will be very vocal about it, so make sure you have the time for training and socializing.

14. Havanese

This breed forms tight and close bonds with its owners, often given the nickname of “velcro dogs”. Havanese dogs are affectionate towards everyone—people, children, other pets, and strangers. 

They are a house dog and true family member that needs someone home during the day for companionship.

15. Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier has plenty of stamina and is great for apartment dwellers who like going on long walks. Not only can they be trained fairly easily, but they make excellent watchdogs.

They suffer from separation anxiety and require training, stimulation, and plenty of exercise.


Though known for their speed and agility, Greyhounds are great apartment dogs who love to sleep on the couch. They are a friendly breed that is a great jogging companion but is equally happy with a daily walk for exercise and socialization.

17. Papillon

Another small, fluffy breed, the Papillon, is very intelligent and eager to please. Papillons love to be around their families, so living in close quarters is not a problem. 

They can get anxious when left alone, so someone who works from home is an ideal owner.

18. Cocker Spaniel

These medium-sized dogs are a gentle and loving breed, great with children and other pets in the home. Their upkeep and energy needs are all moderate, making them a great addition to smaller living spaces. 

19. Affenpinscher

A small but feisty breed, the Affenpinscher, is great for apartment living.

Affenpinschers are fast learners and enjoy training and adapt well to changes. They are hypoallergenic and get along well with kids, cats, and other dogs. 

However, they don’t do well with small mammals like hamsters and mice and need a family willing to take them to the dog park or on energetic walks to keep them happy. 

20. Pug

Pugs are adorable and quirky little dogs. They are among the best types of dogs for apartment living because of their love of human companionship, sense of humor, and low exercise needs.

However, pugs have been known to have a lot of health issues.

21. Whippet

Appearing like miniature Greyhounds, the Whippet may seem like it needs plenty of exercise but is actually content with one good outing a day. Most of the time, Whippets will happily nap at your side in the apartment.

Whippets are also notoriously quiet dogs, so your neighbors will not have to worry about a noisy addition to the apartment building.

22. Shih Tzu

A classic apartment breed, Shih Tzus are a beloved family pet for people worldwide. They are outgoing and love socializing with people, children, and other pets. Their needs for exercise and stimulation are low, making them good apartment companions.

23. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dogs are an excellent option for apartment owners with allergies. They do not shed much, even though Bichon Frises look like little clouds!

The main consideration for the Bichon Frise is their common separation anxiety, so people working from home are ideal owners. Additionally, owners with time to devote to indoor playtime, outdoor walks, family activities, and plenty of cuddles are a good fit.

24. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are petite and adorable but also incredibly lively. Because this breed is fragile due to their small stature and seeming ignorance of their size, they need to be monitored around bigger dogs.

These dogs are happy to follow you around the apartment during your daily tasks but will quickly get lonely and yappy if you do not socialize them enough.

25. Pekingese

A dog with a truly unique personality, the Pekingese, is a good choice for anyone living in a small space. They are content with strolls for exercise and plenty of snuggles.

However, they have self-important attitudes that lead to stubbornness. So, Pekingese dogs should be well-trained to avoid their inherent aptitude to think they are in charge of the entire household.

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