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20 Best Apartment-Friendly Dog Breeds

Written by Khalil
Khalil is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Wednesday 5 May 2021
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
best apartment-friendly dog breeds
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Looking for an apartment-friendly dog breed that would be best for you, but concerned about your living space? Many individuals feel that living in an apartment means you cannot have a pet. Nothing could be further from the truth. You see, there are tons of breeds that make good apartment dogs.

The amount of population living in a limited space around the world has gone up. Also, people want to have pets. But, before you go ahead and get a fluff ball, it is vital to consider some factors. For instance, you need to make sure the dog you’re buying is comfortable living in shorter spaces. But, don’t you worry. We talk about all this and more as we share all there is to know about the 20 best apartment-friendly dog breeds.

What Makes a Dog Apartment-Friendly?

Now, every cuddly pooch has a distinct personality. And, you will find that most vets recommend having smaller-sized dogs for apartments. Yet, in general, gigantic paws, long legs, and loud barks do not mesh well with close neighbors and thin walls.

Let us take a look at some of the details you should keep in mind when you want to have a fluff ball around with you in close quarters.

Manageable Energy Levels

Most large breeds like the Great Dane are full of energy. And, being in a compact space can lead to behavioral issues. Going for small dog breeds is the most sensible approach when adopting a pet if you happen to live in an apartment. Because even with more energy, a small breed will find it easier running around the apartment than a larger dog.

Not So Much of a Barker

Disagreements can arise if you live too close to your neighbors and your dog is a barker. But, there is no need for altercations if your canine is pliant and quiet. And you’ll be happy to know that many small breeds are apartment-friendly dogs and have the zen of a ninja.

Friendly to Strangers

Different canines have different personality traits. But, it goes without saying that the more affectionate your pet is, the sooner your neighbors will warm up to it.

So, it’s best to go for a dog that has a friendly disposition, is comfortable around strangers, and other pets.

Small to Medium Size

Being a new pet parent is no small feat as you are now in charge of the well-being of your beloved canine. Hence, it is advisable to go for a small-sized or medium-sized dog when residing in an apartment. So, your pet does not feel restricted in any way. Then, you can enjoy the companionship of your canine with fewer maintenance issues.

20 Best Apartment-Friendly Dog Breeds

It is time to go through the list of some of those apartment-friendly cuddly doggies. These canines can bring love and peace into your life without causing havoc in your home unit.

Here are the best apartment-friendly dog breeds:

1. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is our top pick as the ideal apartment-friendly dog breed. It needs minimal exercise. Moreover, it has a reputation for not shedding. Also, it has a life expectancy of 12-15 years. Possessing a superior aptitude for training, the Bichon does well with other animals too.

Keep in mind that the Bichon Frise needs extra TLC as they tend to suffer from separation anxiety. If you want your tyke to be healthy and look great, you must take care of their diet and provide regular grooming.

2. French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is a brachycephalic breed. As it is a short-headed breed, it does suffer from many health problems and requires more sleep. In short, a French Bulldog requires extra attention when it comes to its diet. But, if you are looking for a companion, then you will not find a better dog than the Frenchie. Not to mention, it loves its own space, rarely barks, and needs a little exercise.

Frenchies are easygoing, affectionate, and very compact. Male Frenchies grow up to 12 inches tall and weigh 20-28 pounds. Females are shorter and weigh around 18-24 pounds.

You bring into your apartment a bag full of cuddles and happiness when you adopt a French Bulldog breed. And, you know for sure that the bundle of joy will take up very little space.

3. Pug

‘Multum in parvo’, a lot of dog in a small space, best describes the Pug. This dog breed is apartment-friendly, has a playful personality, mild temperament, and loving disposition. The short-snouted and bat-eared Pug can fit into your life and your apartment with oomph. It is a hassle-free partner that adapts well to any surroundings.

Pugs love life, so you will see that when it plays, it plays with zeal. When a Pug rests, it rests at leisure, and when it loves, it loves without measure. Pugs are popular show dogs. Well-known for their short glossy coat, well-knit proportions, dark muzzle, and cute expressions. Moreover, they are masters at the art of begging but prone to obesity. Thus, it is vital for pet parents not to cave into adorable begging skills.

And, if you are still concerned that your Pug will not be happy in a tiny space, then you need not fret. Pugs demand personal space, but if you consider their size, the space needed is small. So, provide your Pug with a bed and a personal-security blanket. Plus, give it plenty of chewy toys to ensure 100% Pug satisfaction.

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed can make your life blissful in the apartment. Cavaliers are quiet, very sweet-tempered, and adaptable. Thus, this breed of canine requires little training to blend into any family unit. It is also a breed used as therapy dogs.

Cavaliers take about a year and a half to grow to an average height of 12-13 inches tall and weighing up to 10-18 pounds. They have medium length hair with shiny coats that can range in colors from black to reddish-brown.

5. Bulldog

With zero-dependency issues and a lazy constitution, the Bulldog is a low-maintenance dog. Moreover, the English Bulldog is dotty about its spot and generally dozing, so it’s rare to find one in a tiff.

It’s also uncommon to mistake the Bulldog for any other breed. Bulldogs have a wrinkly face, slow-sunk body, hefty proportions, and a pushed-in nose. Bulldogs make great friends, especially with children. When the Bulldog is awake, it loves to redecorate your living space by chewing up everything. So, it is necessary to provide your Bulldog with several chew toys to calm its urge to chew.

But, with a Bulldog, you are saved from excessive grooming bills. There is not dog fur all over the furniture. And, lesser long walks in the park. Want to learn more about the breed? We go into extreme detail about it in our breeder’s guide for the English Bulldog.

6. Affenpinscher

Standing 9-12 inches tall and weighing up to 9 pounds, the Affenpinscher is also known as the Monkey dog. Affies are high-energy dogs who are always ready to rumble.

It is small enough to fit into your backpack or your designer tote. So, even if you live in a tiny apartment, you don’t have to worry about the Affenpinscher not having enough room.

This breed of dog sheds very little. It is talkative, but its bark lacks pitch, and it is also hypoallergenic. In a nutshell, you will not be knitting sweaters with dog wool. Or find your neighbor complaining about sleepless nights. Affenpinschers are fun-loving, active, and super curious.

7. American Eskimo Dog

Belonging to the Spitz family, the American Eskimo Dog makes a caring family member. It is famous for its extraordinary intelligence. It is easy to train and always alert. Thus, many pet parents feel comfortable leaving the kids in the care of an Eskie.

Despite its double coat, the American Eskimo breed is easy to groom which is an important factor when living in an apartment. And, if you do wind up with more dog fur than you’d like, you can always knit yourself a scarf with dog wool.

It does get a little bit confusing to make out your Eskie from other breeds such as the Pomeranian or Samoyed. But, you can rely on your dog to sniff you out from the deepest depths of hell, considering its keen sense of smell. These delightful creatures make charming dog breeds for apartments. And, it is as happy to bunk in its beds as it is to share yours.

american eskimo dog for apartments
The American Eskimo Dog is a great family pet.

8. Australian Terrier

Contrary to its name, the Australian Terrier comes from Great Britain. Devoted to its pet parents, ever-observant, and cute to boot, Aussies make super-efficient watchdogs. Although, you would never guess that judging by its size.

You see, Aussies are short-legged and rough-coated dogs, measuring up to only 28 cm. So, if you have a like for miniature, then you will be super pleased with this little dynamite of energy and love.

Aussies tend to bark. But, it is a breed of dog that is intuitive and very attached to its human. So, if you are in the mood for some quiet time, it will be quick to silence down. Aussies do not need much training because they are naturally intuitive and intelligent. Moreover, it sheds or drools very little. Also, it is easy to groom. It does need exercise, but nothing a ping pong ball cannot handle. Keep in mind, it does not abide long hours of solitude. So, try not to depress your pooch.

9. Basset Fauve de Bretagne

Bassets make faithful companions for hikers and nature lovers. This breed of dogs comes from Brittany, France. And, the French scent hounds are short-legged and rough-coated. And, they are full of energy as well as stamina.

It is not a task fitting this dog breed in an apartment. But, make it a point to work off its excess energy daily. Otherwise, you will have your hands full with a dog with behavioral issues.

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a small dog, but it lives for the hunt. So, it is necessary to keep a close eye on the little fellow if you do not want it to wander off.

10. Biewer Terrier

Here is a rare purebred that is both dignified and bright. But, the Biewer Terrier does not come across as one. It gives off vibes of being a show dog, and that it is too. But, the Biewer Terrier is far more than that.

Biewers are tiny lap dogs with a mix of terrier blood. So, you will find that Biewers are both alert and playful.

Biewers range in size from 7-11 inches in height and weigh up to eight pounds max. With a long, glossy coat, button eyes, and a pint-sized nose, Biewers are instant heart winners. And, they live to love and be loved. Many pet guardians carry their Biewers around with them. You will not find a Biewer ever complain much as they possess a natural aptitude for training. It goes without saying that if your dog can fit into your handbag with relative ease. It will be okay with your apartment living.

11. Shiba Inu

One of the six native breeds of Japan, the Shiba Inu, is a remarkable dog. Bred to flush birds and small game. Shiba Inu have far wilder traits than any of the other breeds of dogs mentioned so far. It depicts more cat-like qualities. So, you will find that your Shiba will hug and cuddle only when it feels the urge to be close.

The Shiba Inu suffers neither from separation anxiety or dependency problems. These dogs are neither hypoallergenic nor do they shed little. But, many boast about how easy it is to groom a Shiba Inu. Many pet parents adopt Shiba Inu to find companionship but with fewer responsibilities.

This dog is keen and fearless. With enough training and socialization, a Shiba can easily become an irreplaceable family member.

12. Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier resembles its distant cousin, the English Bulldog. The Boston pup, with its floppy ears, matures around 12-24 months. Then, the ears start to stand up, but the adorable droopy face remains. It is a medium-sized breed with an average height of 38-43 inches and a weight of 4.5-11kgs. Boston Terriers are a non-sporting breed that loves to laze about.

But, please do not think that these dogs cannot run. They will bound with lightning speed when they chase someone or something they want. Boston Terriers have a life expectancy of 12-15 years. And, with zero anxiety problems, Boston Terriers offer undeterred friendship even to workaholics.

But, you will need to give a Boston Terrier an area of its own. The best alternative is a dog-proof area or crate. In its spot, your doggy can chill throughout the day while you’re at work. No doubt, you and your best bud would love larger accommodations. But, both can be as content in meager accommodations.

apartment friendly dog
Boston Terriers are lazy dogs excellent for apartment living.

13. Brussels Griffon

Let’s move on to the next apartment-friendly breed of dogs. The Brussels Griffon is the Adonis of dog breeds. Griffons are a mighty combo of sensitivity, brainpower, and good looks. The Brussels Griffon houses a Herculean personality in its tiny frame. With the look to melt the sternest of hearts, no more than 8 inches tall, Griffons are simply irresistible.

Elfin-eared and with huge brown eyes, Griffons are among the world’s most popular dog breeds. Griffons are hypoallergenic, do not suffer from digestion or other health problems. Furthermore, Griffons are too dignified to drool. Also, they do not shed much. All in all, Griffons make fantastic friends and require little care.

Unlike most small dog breeds, Griffons are independent, too. But, they do desire human companionship. The only thing about Griffons is that they are a tad bit overconfident about their abilities. So, you will witness your Griffon stand up against much larger dogs in a fight; make sure that doesn’t happen. As far as housing a Griffon is concerned, even a studio apartment will appear to be a mansion in its eyes. But, it does need rigorous training to put up with other lowly breeds of dogs and humans.

14. Basenji

If you are in the market for a loyal friend and affectionate family member, you can adopt a Basenji. Also known as the ‘barkless’ dog, the Basenji is quiet until provoked. It is a good looking dog with defined proportions, great stature, and pleasing manners.

Basenjis have a short and shiny coat of fur. They shed, but you will not find yourself wading around in dog wool. They are medium-sized dogs that require regular exercise. And, Basenjis know how to communicate that to their owners.

Most Basenji parents will vow that their beloved pet possesses the soul of a saint. In reality, Basenjis do not hover or cling much. They appreciate human interaction but enjoy solitude far more.

15. Italian Greyhound

The Italian breed of small Sighthound, Italian Greyhounds, is playful and adoring and reaches up to 32-38 cm in height. IGs make excellent watchdogs as they have a very keen sense of hearing and smell.

IGs have a pretty loud bark, considering their size. But, you cannot expect the Italian Greyhound to serve as a guard dog since the fragile frame of the IG does not permit it to defend itself. Italian Greyhounds tend to run when faced with danger. But that doesn’t keep them from alerting you of peril well in advance.

Italian Greyhounds love to run. So, never ignore its needs. Or you will have your entire house chewed down. Many pet parents of IGs claim that as much as they love their pet, the IG is enough to lead them to bankruptcy by changing furniture ever so often. But, IGs sit well in apartments as effortlessly as most small breeds of dogs.

16. Dachshund

Also known as the Weiner dog, the Dachshund is loving, playful, and astute. It is a lot of fun to hang around with a Dachshund. It does not need much space. But, it hogs on attention and care.

If you are working at all hours of the day and night, then a Dachshund is not for you. Doxies are clingy. Many pet guardians solve this problem with a plethora of chew and plush toys. But, if you work from home and crave companionship, you won’t find a more reliable and loyal partner.

The Sausage dog is the ultimate dog for city folks living in cramped spaces. Its size is one of the many reasons for its suitability. It does not shed much, requires minimal exercise, and is often quiet.

17. Miniature Pinscher

Next on our list of the best apartment-friendly dog breeds in the Mini Pinscher. Although the Mini Pin looks like a miniature version of the Doberman, it is a separate breed. At a height of 30 cm and weighing no more than 5 kgs, the Mini Pin is outgoing and fun-loving.

The Mini Pin is a low maintenance dog as it needs little grooming, requires a smaller living area, and faces very few health issues. Nonetheless, it does seek your time and love.

And, if you happen to live in an apartment and need another pair of watchful eyes, then the Mini Pin is the perfect pick.

18. Japanese Spitz

The Japanese twin of the white Pomeranian, the Japanese Spitz, does not share its ancestry with the Samoyed or Pomeranian. It is a medium-sized dog that obeys its master much like the Samurai. It keeps a watchful eye on its family, serving it well, and only steps out of character when faced with a stick.

You see, the Japanese Spitz loves to play and share quality time with its family. And, if you are wondering if they are right for confined spaces, they are. Though it looks uber snobbish, the Japanese Spitz finds zen in the tightest spot.

19. Basset Hound

The most laid back and pleasant family member, the Basset Hound loves all. When it is not trailing a fox, it will be hanging about the house, relaxing with the little ones. It was initially bred as a pack dog, so it appreciates other dog breeds and humans.

Ranging from 30-38 cms in height and weighing up to 23-29 kgs, Bassets have a heavy-boned long body on short legs. So, you need to keep their fitness in check. But, nothing can get a Basset to run if it does not want to. Thus, new pet parents beware as their large appealing eyes are perfect weapons when it comes to getting more food.

20. Chihuahua

Here is a dog who is clueless about its size and believes it is the king of the world. It does not mind cramped spaces, but wherever it resides, it owns.

Chihuahua is well-known as a temperamental dog. With pint-sized bodies, large pointy ears, and shrill barks, a Chihuahua can try the patience of a saint. Yet, it does not rank as the worst dogs for apartments. But, plenty of pet guardians adore the Chihuahua for its personality. If you live in an apartment with like-minded people, you will have your name in every party invite.

On the flip side, you may end up with some disgruntled neighbors. Many feel it is a risk worth taking to have such a treasure in one’s life.

Needless to say, you have quite a few options before you to pick from, each one as endearing as the last. Being a pet parent is never easy. But, loving a pet, particularly a canine, comes rather naturally. It is difficult not to love and care for a creature that adores you so absolutely.

The Basset Hound and Bichon Griffon are the undisputed champions when it comes to loyalty and cuteness. Also, breeds with a mild temperament often make the best apartment-friendly dogs. Keep in mind that your needs are essential. But, the needs of your furry friend are pivotal for its well-being as well as yours.

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