How To Choose a Dog For Apartment Living?

Having a dog in an apartment is possible, provided you choose a suitable breed! Don’t have a house, no outdoor garden, let alone a private corner outside your home, your home is not spacious, and yet you dream of having a dog. No problem, as long as you respect certain aspects of the life of your future pet. We explain how …

Not everyone has a large home with a garden. However, this does not mean that we cannot have dogs when we live in an apartment. You just need to choose a breed that adapts well to a small home. In other words, the newcomer should be able to be happy in an apartment and not make your daily life more complicated, due to the small size of the place.

Discover all our tips for choosing your apartment dog.

Not necessarily a small dog

A German Shepherd is a  dog that needs spaces and especially a garden to exercise daily. It will be more fulfilled and happy there. So avoid all breeds of athletic dogs.

Let’s turn to dogs like Bichon, the Whippet, the Welsh Corgi, or a boxer. Whether small or a little larger, it will need regular contact with the outside world. Not only for Its needs, but also to maintain certain sociability.

Having a dog of a larger size can therefore also be suitable. Provided that the It has a predominantly sedentary character. A bit like the Shar-Pei which adapts to every lifestyle. No way to ask a Newfoundland to doze off all day on your living room rug. No way, despite their small size. If you want to risk a conflict with your neighbors a Chihuahua or a Dachshund, whose vocal cords could quickly make you regret your choice …

A dog adapted to Its lifestyle

Besides the size, the character of the dog. It must be compatible with Its master’s way of life. So, a sporty person will have to choose a dog that likes to run (like a Jack Russell). A calm and homey person, a dog who likes to be quiet (like a Chihuahua). Sometimes the breed is not enough to determine the character of the animal, it’s also necessary to observe the puppy, then to question the breeder. Like humans, dogs are all different!

The dog must also be able to adapt to the whole family: love to play with children, if you have them, and accept other animals. You should know that certain breeds particularly like children (such as bichons, French bulldogs, Cairns Terriers …). If you have other animals, it is better not to opt for a breed of dog predisposed to hunting (such as Terriers for example).

An essential presence

Your dog will not be able to do without you to exercise. It will not have the leisure to stretch Its legs on your terrace or in a non-existent garden. You will need to take It out regularly every day. In addition, the lack of space will make your dog more sentimentally sensitive. It may be more stressed and seeing you by Its side will reassure It.

When traveling, you should take your dog with you as much as possible. If your work allows it, this is a significant plus. This is a parameter to take into account before welcoming your pet into your home.

Apartment cleanliness

Your dog will therefore not benefit from a garden to get out quickly in case of an urgent need. Do not hesitate to take your dog out quite often. Don’t wait for It to urinate on your apartment floor. If that were to happen, don’t punish It.

Clean the floor, having taken care to put your dog temporarily in another room, so that It cannot analyze it as a game. By dint of patience and rigor (regular outings), but also of compassion and attention, you will know how to educate It correctly.

The best breeds of apartment dogs

Some small breeds are better suited than others for apartment living. We have selected for you those which are easy to educate and maintain, and which the whole family appreciates

  1. The Bichon
  2. The Poodle
  3. The French Bulldog
  4. The Cairn Terrier
  5. The Cavalier King Charles
  6. The King Charles Spaniel
  7. The Westie

Finally, you should know that an apartment dog, by its small size, is more fragile. It requires more care (veterinarian, grooming …) and costs more.

In conclusion

The choice of the apartment dog is not just about its size. What matters is your dog’s ability to adapt to this particular lifestyle. In any case, you will have to devote time to it, take it out, and give it the social bond it craves.


  • 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.

Leave a Comment