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41 Best Dogs for Apartments

Profile picture of the author - Anna Lengacherby Anna Lengacher

Discover your perfect puppy match from the following list of forty-one best dogs for apartment living.  From small and cute all the way to towering giants, these breeds are sure to bring you all kinds of fun and happiness.

If you prefer lazy and docile, there’s a breed for you.  Or if you are looking for an exercise buddy, you’ll find those breeds here too.  Perhaps you are wanting a breed that is great around children or polite with strangers.  You can be sure those are listed here too.

The only common denominator for dogs included here is that every single one of these breeds are fantastic apartment dogs.

So no matter what you are looking for, if you call an apartment or other small space your home, these breeds are known to thrive alongside people just like you.

You don’t need a yard.  It’s okay if your space feels limited.  These breeds don’t mind a bit.

In the space below you’ll also learn what to consider before getting an apartment dog, along with what to look for when choosing your perfect puppy.


What to Consider Before Getting an Apartment Dog

Lady and husband reading a book with their dog on their bed.


Not all apartment dogs are the same.  There are large, small, adventurous, and friendly to name but a few.

So here are a few things to consider before you choose your own apartment dog.


Contrary to how it may appear, small dogs are not always peaceful and large dogs are not always active.

Large breeds present some of the best couch potatoes.  Pick the right one and you’ll have yourself a favorite buddy to binge on that next Netflix show.

While many little dogs are great matches for apartment living too, not every breed is a match made in heaven.

Some small dogs like to yap, others are wary of strangers, and still others hardly know what it means to sit still.


Many small dogs, however, are great apartment dwellers.

For one, their small little statures don’t demand a lot of space.

Plus, they are easy to care for and often are able to get ample exercise without ever setting one paw outside your home.  (Although for the sanity of both you and your little dog, you will want to spend at least some time outdoors together.)


Medium dogs can be a great fit as, while they are not super tiny like their little dog cousins, they don’t take up a ton of space either.

They are easy to transport to your favorite adventure spots and they are a dream adventure buddy.


Size up again and you have large dog breeds.  As mentioned earlier, these include a few fantastic couch potatoes.

While some large breeds do require lots of space in order to keep everyone’s sanity, this isn’t true for every big dog hunk.

In fact, many of the large breeds listed below are gentle, quiet, and excellent four-legged companions.

These giants are laid back and don’t demand a ton of exercise.

Be warned, though.

Large dogs, no matter the breed, consume lots of food.  Plus, their large coats will shed more hair than their smaller canine counterparts.

Your apartment alone will not be big enough to meet their exercise needs.

Not to mention every large dog will need some type of outdoor exercise if they are expected to be happy and docile while indoors.

Energy Level

Dog in a small apartment in front of widows on dog bed.

It’s true many apartment dogs don’t demand a lot of time exercising.

Still, every breed to one degree or another does need exercise in order to thrive.

Learn how much exercise your breed will need and decide if you can realistically meet that need.

Without exercise or constructive playtime, you can expect your bored doggy friend to soon let loose with destructive behaviors.

Shoes may get chewed and couches destroyed as your fur-ball finds his own way to get rid of energy.

Your Neighbors

If you are living in an apartment, chances are high you’ve got neighbors close by.

Out of respect for them, you may want to look for a breed who won’t be constantly yapping whenever left alone.

Instead, choose a breed that is kind and polite towards strangers.

Your neighborhood will be grateful.

Your Lifestyle

Can you realistically add a puppy to your current lifestyle?

Is your apartment ready for a new pupper friend?  (Discover what you need before your puppy arrives here.)

Will you have adequate time for exercise or will you be gone from home most of the time?

Are you allergic to dogs and needing a specific hypoallergenic pupper?

(If you’re one who struggles with pet allergies, check out this list of 46 hypoallergenic dog breeds.)

Of course, don’t forget about those grooming requirements.  Some dogs demand more grooming than others.

Whichever breed you choose, will you have the time required to properly groom your handsome fur-ball?


Not every furry pal is a match made in heaven.

Learn how to choose the right puppy for your personality by clicking here.


What to Look For When Choosing an Apartment Dog

To keep you and your neighbors happy, be sure to look for the following in your new apartment pal:

  1. A dog who is quiet and won’t be keeping the neighborhood awake.
  2. A dog who is calm while indoors.
  3. A dog with low energy.
  4. A dog who is polite towards strangers and other residents.

Now that you know both what to look for as well as what to consider before bringing home a new apartment dog, following are some breeds for you to consider.

Listed in alphabetical order, here are forty-one of the absolute best dogs for apartment living.


41 Best Dogs for Apartments

41 Best Dogs For Apartments Infographic

Basenji.  A little pal, the Basenji stands less than eighteen inches tall and weighs under twenty-five pounds.  Neighbors will love your Basenji as he barks very little and doesn’t create a ton of noise.  Be warned, though.  The Basenji despises spending long periods of time alone.  So plan to spend quality time together to keep you and your Basenji happy and thriving.

Basset Hound.  Unlike the quiet Basenji, Basset Hounds love to howl.  Yet to their credit they are a clown at heart and super easy-going.  Basset Hounds seldom get stressed or uptight, and you can be certain they won’t be going anywhere fast.  Their short little legs simply keep speed to a minimum.

Bernese Mountain Dog.  Hailing all the way from Switzerland is the Bernese Mountain Dog.  These beauts are gentle at heart and a lover of people.  If you are looking for an easy-going companion, you’ve just met your match.  Not to mention Bernese Mountain Dogs are great with children and friendly towards strangers.

Bichon Frise.  Pronounced Bee-shawn Free-say, the Bichon Frise stands a whole twelve inches tall max.  These litter bundles conveniently shed very little and are considered hypoallergenic.  So if you struggle with dog allergies, this breed is for you.  The Bichon Frise carries a genuinely sweet disposition and always has the energy for another adventure.

Borzoi.  If you are searching for a quiet companion, meet the Borzoi.  These large pals seldom bark and are smart and gentle all in one.

Boston Terrier.  Don’t let the size fool you on this one.  Though small in stature, the Boston Terrier has no problem flaunting a big dog attitude.  These little pals carry high energy and love adventure.  When the exercise needs are met, however, these little charms have been dubbed American Gentleman.  They are polite, sophisticated, and genuinely charming.

Brussels Griffon.  Small and sturdy, the Brussels Griffon loves to cuddle.  Plus, Griffons are quick to bond and are loyal to their people.

Bulldog.  Meet your new Netflix partner.  The Bulldog is notoriously lazy and silly and loves all things resembling a couch.  He only needs a daily short walk to keep is exercise tank filled and seldom stands taller than eighteen inches high.  Not to mention he makes a great gentle companion.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves to cuddle and will quickly prove loyal to anyone considered family.  They adore being outdoors and love a good adventure.  Not to mention they are friendly towards strangers.  They are, however, difficult to house-train.  Be kind, consistent, and firm and your training is sure to pay off.

Chihuahua.  These little chaps are just that: little.  They are also trusting of friends and strangers alike, and they don’t require much exercise.

Chinese Crested.  If you are looking for an easy-care dog companion, this breed is for you.  The Chinese Crested is a small, low-maintenance pal who has no problem settling into apartment living.  Their relaxed nature makes them a perfect fit for small living spaces.

Chow Chow.  Weighing anywhere between 45 – 70 pounds, the Chow Chow is one big canine hunk.  Never mind their intimidating size though.  Chow Chows are a quiet breed with a small energy tank.

Coton de Tulear.  Small in stature, the Coton de Tulear is a happy and friendly little fur-ball.  They don’t demand much exercise although they do love the outdoors.

Dachshund.  The smallest of all hound dogs is the charming little Dachshund.  These little fur-balls are lively and fun.  Not to mention thanks to their super short legs, they’ll be more than happy to exercise indoors.

English Pointer.  English Pointers love their world.  They like pets, they like you, and they like being with you.  Doing life together with their people brings them pure delight.  A bonus is they are affectionate and easygoing too.  Apartment life is no problem for the loyal English Pointer.

French Bulldog.  French Bulldogs make their barks count.  Only if there’s a reason will you hear any sound from your French Bulldog.  In addition, French Bulldogs are compact and require only minimal activity.  You can count on a big Bulldog smile when they are doing life with their people.

Great Dane.  “Great” is an understatement when referring to today’s Great Dane.  Filling all of 100-200 pounds, there’s a whole lot of great going on.  In addition to size, Great Danes live life in a relaxed and easy-going way.  They are patient through and through and sport only a medium-size energy tank.

Greyhound.  Surprised to see a Greyhound make this list?  Don’t be fooled.  Greyhounds do sport high energy levels but after the exercise needs are met (think a daily walk at minimum), these athletic buddies have no problem calling an apartment their home.  They weigh anywhere between 65-70 pounds and are generally calm in nature.

Havanese.  The Havanese is another small bundle that sports big doses of energy.  Fortunately, once the exercise needs are met, the Havanese loves being indoors snuggling with his people.  He’s a happy breed quick to make people smile.  He’s also just a ton of fun to have around.  Not to mention the Havanese is considered hypoallergenic so hello dog lovers with allergies, you’ve just met your match.

Irish Setter.  Think clown, happy-go-lucky and high energy all in one when you meet an Irish Setter.  Then what is this breed doing on this list, you ask?  Believe it or not, once the Irish Setter has his exercise needs met, he has no problem with apartment-style living.  He will be friendly towards humans and affectionate with anyone considered worthy of his time.  Just don’t try leaving out the exercise.

Irish Wolfhound.  Filling all of 105-120 pounds, the Irish Wolfhound is a sight to behold.  These hunks are quick to make friends and hardly carry a care in the world.  They are gentle, laid back, and calm but don’t try to fool them.  Behind that kind looking face is one genuinely smart canine.

Keeshond.  If you are talking more than one, then refer to them as Keeshonden.  These pals weigh between 35-45 pounds and sport a medium energy level.  They are a happy companion and adore small children.  Plus, they love to learn so training is a joy with the Keeshond.

Lhasa Apso.  Big dog mind meets small dog size in the Lhasa Apso.  These little puppers are friendly and easy to get along with.  They don’t demand a lot of space and are great additions to apartment-style living.

Lowchen.  A tiny toy breed, the Lowchen is a compact little pal that doesn’t demand much exercise.  These small puppers are gentle at heart and get along great with other animals.  Thanks to their small size, tiny living spaces is no problem for the Lowchen.

Maltese.  Expect a constant companion when greeting the Maltese.  These beauties despise being alone.  They would much prefer accompanying you wherever you go any day.  A plus for folks who are allergic to dogs, the Maltese is considered hypoallergenic.  Their coat does not include an undercoat so shedding is kept to a minimum.  (Kudos to less hair floating around your home!)

Manchester Terrier.  Mini in size but carrying a super smart mind is the Manchester Terrier.  These pals love spending time with anyone considered family.  Although be warned.  These pals are happy to make their voice heard when left alone.

Mastiff.  It’s no joke the Mastiff is one towering hunk of canine.  These giants weigh anywhere between 120-230 pounds and are among the largest dog breeds.  Don’t be fooled by size, though.  The Mastiff is actually one huge pal full of love and patience.  He’s docile and calm and children adore him.

Miniature Pinscher.  True to their name, Miniature Pinschers are just that: mini.  They are also energetic and quick to carry a confident air.  Miniature Pinschers are, however, often suspicious of strangers.  So you’ll want to spend extra time socializing your puppy to folks in your neighborhood.

Pekinese.  Small in size, these little pals carry a big voice.  They love to bark and are not particularly fond of other pets.  They are, however, super affectionate and love to spend time with anyone considered family.

Pomeranian.  Another little yapper is the Pomeranian.  These little guys love to bark and have no problem sporting an independent mind.  They also don’t mind being alone and are quick to keep themselves occupied.  Energy is basically their middle name.  Fortunately, once the exercise needs are pet, Pomeranians are fun little apartment pals.

Poodle.  You can pick your size when browsing the Poodle breed.  There’s toy, mini, and standard so you can find your perfect size.  While the toy and mini varieties are best for apartment living, all three sizes are genuinely smart and highly fond of tricks.  Poodles are also great with children and quick to accept other pets in the home.

Pug.  Quiet, silly, and mischievous are words that accurately describe the Pug.  Pugs don’t carry a ton of energy although they do love some hardy playtime and time together with their humans.

Saint Bernard.  It’s no coincidence the Saint Bernard as long been dubbed as a gentle giant.   He is first kind, then quiet.  He is also quick to love and is great with children.  Plus, when properly trained, he is polite towards strangers.

Scottish Terrier.  A feisty fur-ball, the Scottish Terrier is playful and always up for a little adventure.  He’s easy to identify with his characteristic beard and eyebrows.  Plus, he is friendly towards family and strangers alike and seldom meets an enemy.

Shetland Sheepdog.  Perhaps another surprise to this list is the Shetland Sheepdog.  While these pals are high energy partners, they can also live quiet lives when their exercise tank is filled.  They are smart and quick to learn although they’ll prove shy around strangers.  Take note also that Shetland Sheepdogs were born herding dogs.  Whether it is children or animals or full-grown adults, these Sheepdogs love to try their paw at herding.  So regardless of how cute it first appears, make certain your Shetland understands herding of any sort is off limits while home in your apartment.

Shih Tzu.  The Shih Tzu is a darling little lap dog who loves a good companion.  Shih Tzus are also affectionate with loved ones and friendly towards anyone fortunate enough to cross their path.

Silky Terrier.  A small dog with a big dog mind is the Silky Terrier.  He is quick to bond with loved ones and has no problem making his voice heard.  Barking is a favorite past time for Silky Terriers.  So to keep your sanity and the sanity of your neighbors, set guidelines early for when barking is okay.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  Smart, friendly, and affectionate pretty much sum up the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  These Terriers love children and thrive doing life alongside their humans.  They also love to please and are quick to learn new things.

Weimaraner.  The Weimaraner first originated as a hunting dog of German descent.  Today they are a companion breed with a large dose of energy.  Weimaraners are fond of children and love any time spent with family.  Be sure to provide frequent exercise for your Weimaraner.  In turn, you’ll be rewarded with a charming and adaptable apartment companion.

West Highland Terrier.  Affectionately dubbed “Westie”, today’s West Highland Terrier is a spunky and happy little pal.  Westies have big energy tanks and love a good adventure.  Not to mention they are smart and quick to make friends.  Just don’t forget frequent exercise and you’ll have yourself one stunning apartment pal.

Yorkshire Terrier.  Known today simply as “Yorkie”, the Yorkshire Terrier is one small yapper.  Yorkies love to make noise and are slow to trust strangers.  Yorkies are also affectionate and have no problem making their home in small apartment spaces.


That’s It.

And there you have it.  Forty-one of the absolute best dogs for people living in apartments.

From small to giant and lazy to energetic, there’s a breed to meet your needs.

No longer does your small living space need to limit you from getting the puppy of your dreams.

Now that you know which breeds to choose from, go ahead and fetch your new pupper friend at


We would also love to hear from you.

Do you already have an apartment dog?

Which breed is your favorite when living in a small space?

Let us know in the comments below.


Until next time, VIP Puppies.

Profile picture of the author - Anna LengacherAs the Editor in Chief, Anna Lengacher helps dog lovers learn the ropes of finding, raising, and caring for their dogs so they can enjoy many happy memories together.

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