Top 16 Best Dog Breeds Suited For Apartment Living (With Pictures)

Do you want to adopt a dog suitable for apartment living?

Despite popular belief, size is not a sufficient criterion when it comes to finding the best apartment dog.

The temperament, the level of barking, and energy level are characteristics to be analyzed when looking for a dog, and some breeds are more likely to display traits adapted to apartments than others.

To help you with your research, below is a list of the best dog breeds suitable for apartment living.

Main considerations for an apartment dog

There are a number of reasons why dogs and apartments don’t always mix.

Most concern the dog itself, while others concern you, your neighbors, and the environment more generally.

Before adopting a dog, be sure to consider the following points to ensure the future well-being of each.

Environmental criteria

  • Interior space

In many countries, apartment living is the norm for city living.

This does not prevent many people from owning a dog.

However, these are generally large apartments with several rooms, not studios.

Dogs need a minimum of space in which they can roam, play, relax, and explore.

A Border Collie limited to one room, for example, will have roughly the same effect as a bull in a china shop!

Needless to say, this is disaster assured. Instead, consider the size of your apartment and choose a suitable dog breed.

  • Outdoor space

Dogs need to go out regularly, for exercise, and to relieve themselves.

The ability to get out of the apartment and walk around once or twice a day, depending on the breed and age of your pet, is a must.

The apartments with gardens greatly simplify the lives of dogs.

But most breeds will also need a park, wood, or other outdoor space nearby, to run around freely on a leash (or not), explore the world, and socialize with other dogs.

It is about the well-being and happiness of your companion.

Limiting your dog to living in an apartment is to run the risk that It will develop behavioral problems ( anxiety, destruction, aggressiveness, etc.). Imagine yourself trapped inside a tiny apartment all your life. Wouldn’t you be like a caged lion?

If you don’t have an accessible garden or green space, then a dog is probably not the right pet for you. Maybe a cat is what you need instead?

  • Stairs

Imagine: you take your dog for a long walk, you come home exhausted, and you find yourself facing several floors of stairs.

If you choose a dog breed with small legs, will it handle all of those walks? And if not, are you strong enough to carry your pet to your floor?

Dog-related criteria

  • Energy level & temperament

A dog’s energy level and overall character are decisive in determining whether It’s suitable for apartment living.

So either, if you adopt your very small companion, it will be difficult for you to determine in advance Its temperament.

That said, in addition to asking the breeder for information about the energy and character of the parents, some dog breeds have some common traits.

Dogs originally bred for hunting, like the Beagle, for example, are known to have a high level of energy.

Other dogs, on the other hand, appreciate country life and need space to roam around in order to be fully fulfilled.

In short, the breed determines, in broad outline, the temperament of the dog.

For apartment living, prefer a calm breed of dogs, with a relatively low energy level, and able to endure indoor life.

If possible, also observe the behavior of its parents in order to imagine the traits that the puppy can take from them.

You probably don’t want a dog that does Its daily sport, breaking everything through your house.

  • The level of barking

The big downside to apartment living is noise.

Carpets and other soundproofing measures can help, but nothing will completely muffle the sound of a barking dog.

Out of fear, boredom, excitement… Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, depending on their breed and temperament – this is their way of communicating.

If you want to stay on good terms with your neighbors (and avoid complaints to your landlord ), don’t adopt a dog for an apartment or a small house without having observed and trained them well.

This is especially important if you go out a lot, as dogs are pack animals that enjoy companionship.

Any breed of dog will bark if left alone for too long, during your working hours for example.

So, if you are away for much of the day, consider bringing in someone as a pet-sitter, so that your pet can be walked when you are away.

Here’s a list of best dogs suitable for apartment living

Now that you have mastered the criteria to take into account before bringing a dog to live in your apartment, here are the breeds that are best suited to living indoors.

1. Bichon frize


These little furballs are the perfect companions for someone who lives in an apartment!

Weighing between 6 and 10 pounds, the Bichon Frize does not shed much hair and has a hypoallergenic coat, essential qualities if you have to live in close quarters with it or receive friends allergic to dog hair.

This dog is affectionate, playful, gentle, and loving by nature. It does, however, require daily walks, like all other dog breeds.

The Bichon Frize is finally a perfect indoor dog for families with children.

2. English Bulldog

English bulldog

Despite Its grumpy dog ​​appearances, the English Bulldog is a playful dog who is more than happy to spend Its days napping on the sofa.

It rarely barks and is very kind to children, despite his stocky morphology which makes Its weigh on average over 44 pounds!

Obedient, affectionate, a bit lazy around the edges, sensitive to cold and hot weather, It’s an ideal dog for apartment living.

3. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

While it can be prone to barking, with the right upbringing and early socialization, the Yorkshire Terrier can be one of the best apartment dogs as well.

Despite his energy, this dog does not need to be walked outside all day, and on the contrary, will prefer an afternoon coiled in the house than a long hike in the countryside.

Be careful, like all dogs, they need to be taken out at least once a day, but will then be able to content themselves with a little exercise in the apartment.

4. Pug


Love It or hate It, the Pug is a playful, loyal, silent, kind dog and predisposed to apartment living.

The Pug is a sociable breed, which enjoys human presence and finds it difficult to endure solo life.

The pug will be perfectly content to watch the day go by in the comfort of Its basket, which makes It the perfect apartment companion, but also a dog prone to obesity.

5. Chihuahua


Although the chihuahua needs a little exercise, which makes them perfect for apartment living, it is very important that they receive a firm and consistent education to prevent them from developing the habit of barking.

Weighing an average of 3 pounds, this dog is easy to carry, which is convenient for people who travel.

6. English Greyhound


Commonly regarded as a very energetic and high maintenance dog, the English Greyhound may ultimately be one of the best apartment dogs.

Its energy needs only require a daily walk, and Its surprisingly calm and gentle nature allows It to endure a smaller environment.

7. Cavalier King Charles

Cavalier King Charles

The Cavalier King Charles loves to befriend everyone and is always up for a long cuddle time.

Weighing between 10-16 pounds, this is an excellent breed for apartment living.

These dogs, which are so friendly to humans and other dogs, are definitely perfect for cities and their size is perfect for small spaces.

8. Dachshund


Also known as the “sausage dog”, this friendly breed is particularly suited to city life, and more particularly to apartment living.

Although Dachshunds are sometimes difficult to train, they only need a little exercise, due to their small paws!

Be careful, however, of their dominant character! Poorly educated, a Dachshund may try to get the best of you, is likely to become jealous, and may bark more than other dog breeds.

A dog to train with an iron paw in a velvet boot!

9. Poodle

poodle: dog breed profile

Even though the Standard-Sized Poodle is a bit too big for apartment living, the Toy Poodle or Miniature Poodle are both perfect apartment dogs due to their size and character.

Extremely intelligent, easy to train, loyal, and only require a daily walk, this breed with many followers will add life and happiness to your apartment.

10. Shih Tzu

Shih tzu

The quintessential salon dog takes the form of a Shih Tzu.

With Its elegant coat, Its human expression as well as Its jovial and calm demeanor, It’s at the top of the podium for the best apartment dogs.

Note, however, the Shih Tzu is not a great loner and thus preferred the company of a retired couple than the absences of a young dynamic executive.

11. Basenji


The Basenji is a relatively calm dog, known for its cleanliness, and notorious for not barking, which makes it perfect for apartment living.

It’s, however, relatively difficult to train and not suitable for new dog owners.

Besides their somewhat stubborn nature, these dogs are love balls and will seduce all members of the family.

12. Shiba Inu


Very independent, Shiba Inus generally have a lot of energy to spare, but also know how to enjoy TV afternoons with their families.

Well educated and socialized, this dog knows how to be calm and bark little. The Shiba is in other words a possible breed if you live in an apartment, but be careful to offer it an adapted education.

12. Shar-Pei


Affectionate and reserved, Shar-Peis are known for their loyalty to their owners.

While Shar-Peis need socialization and training (like all dogs!), Dogs of this breed make wonderful apartment living pets.

They are easily educated, can endure certain loneliness (not several days), and prefer urban apartment life, to country life.

Warning: The shar-pei is predisposed to skin problems due to its folds.

13. Chow Chow

Chow chow

Famous for its blue tongue, the Chow-chow makes an excellent apartment living companion.

And although they tend to shed a lot of hair, this breed of dogs makes up for it with their calm and affection.

15. French Bulldog

French Bulldog

The French Bulldogs are ideal for an apartment.

They have a short coat that doesn’t require a lot of grooming and love to laze quietly around their home.

In addition to being fun, the French Bulldog is sociable, easy-going, enthusiastic, and patient. Qualities highly sought after by families with children!

16. Butterfly

Continental Dwarf Spaniel

Another toy breed, Butterflies are quite similar in many ways to Yorkshires.

They are small in size but big in character, and they love to be surrounded by humans.

The bright side for apartment dwellers is that they are adaptable, smart, and eager to please.

Puppies can easily be trained and socialized, which is important in preventing them from developing a habit of barking.

And although they are very active little dogs, they don’t need long walks.

Note: This dog, perfect for apartment living, is however subject to separation anxiety. This breed is therefore not necessarily the right option if you work outside the home.


  • Amanda Wheatley

    Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..) Why Trust ShelterAPet? At ShelterAPet, our collective is composed of writers, veterinarians, and seasoned animal trainers with a deep passion for pets. Our team of esteemed professionals delves into extensive research to deliver trustworthy insights on a broad spectrum of pet-related subjects. We anchor our evaluations on direct customer experiences, meticulous testing, and comprehensive scrutiny. Our commitment is to uphold transparency and integrity for our cherished community of pet aficionados and prospective pet parents.

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