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20 Best Dog Breeds For City Living w/ FAQs

Written by Khalil
Khalil is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Monday 28 June 2021
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
which breeds live well in the city
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Despite the millions living in cities, life in urban areas can be lonely. This becomes truer if you don’t have a partner. Dog breeds for city living help relieve this loneliness. But before choosing a dog make sure you take the dog’s personality into account. Is the dog compatible with you? Is he a social dog or does he like to chill by himself? Does she want a lot of walks? Does he warrant a lot of exercise? All of these questions will determine the breed you should get.

That said, no two breeds are alike. The qualities that one breed displays may differ significantly from the others. In other words, you will have to make a compromise. With that out of the way, let’s get on with the piece in which we’ll not only discuss the benefits of having a dog by your side but also share a list of the best city-living dog breeds.

Benefits of Having a Dog in a City

Aside from the shower of unconditional love, having a dog companion also results in many other benefits. First up, having a dog close to you lifts your mood. Pet a pup and you’ll feel less stressed and tired. Similarly, if you’re having a bad day, coming home to a friend that is always awaiting you can put a smile on your face.

Second, dogs protect you at all costs. It is no secret that cities are riddled with crimes. Dogs can smell trouble from a mile away. They are always on duty, which means with a dog by your side, you feel much secure.

Finally, people with dogs tend to live an active lifestyle. Dogs need exercise. While you are helping your dog with his daily exercise, you get a lot of aerobic activity. Simply put, life is much more fulfilling with a dog. Be it love, support, security, or health; a dog improves your life in every way possible.

20 Best Dog Breeds for City Living

Have you decided that you need a dog to be your urban companion? Great. Now, it is time for you to choose the best breeds for city living. The following are 20 of the best.

1. Dachshund

If you are a city dweller, you can’t go wrong with a Dachshund. They are low-maintenance dogs that adapt pretty well to urban life.

Daschunds live for an average of 17 years. Furthermore, they are playful, fairly active, yet don’t need much exercise. So, you don’t have to take out time from your busy day for a walk. And because they come in a toy, standard, as well as, miniature size, you can choose a size according to your available space.

With a weight that can fall somewhere between 11 and 32lbs, a low-maintenance Daschund is quite close to being the perfect dog breed for city living.

2. Corgis

Corgis are the premier city dogs because of their low-maintenance nature and small size. They don’t shed a lot which means you don’t have to spend all day cleaning their fur.

Corgis are also watchful. They’ll bark their heart out if they sense an uninvited guest. And with 12 to 14 years to live, your corgi will keep barking for a while to come.

Finally, corgis, although active, don’t require as much exercise as conventional wisdom dictates. Just a walk around the block should be enough to satisfy your dog.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

It is no surprise that a dog bred for royalty is a great choice for apartment dwellers. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a toy-sized breed originally bred to keep the lads and ladies company inside their royal confines. And because the King Charles Spaniels are toy-sized, they shed little fur. This is great news for people who work all day and can’t dedicate much time to grooming.

Furthermore, the walks they require are infrequent and small. And when you are done walking your dog, they will go back to cuddling, following you around the house, and guarding the house.

Taking all of these qualities together and we have a dog that will thrive in a city apartment.

4. Bulldog

While energetic dogs are fun to be around, they are quite exhaustive. And for someone that works all day and wants some peace and quiet in the evening, easy-going dogs like the Bulldog are perfect.

Bulldogs are lazy. They laze around the house. Run a little for fun, come near you for petting, and then go on to lazing around once again. This is why you can leave them at home while you are at work. Their low-maintenance nature also adds to their prime urban dog status.

Finally, they are friendly, great with kids, and get along well with other pets. If you have kids, you may also want to check out our top kid-friendly dog list.

5. Pugs

Pugs are silent; incredibly silent. Sometimes they whine. Sometimes they pant while running. But you will, almost, never hear them bark. Ask any apartment dweller and they’ll tell you the real value of a no-bark dog.

Aside from little barking, pugs are also quite friendly. They love to play with anyone that dares.

To top it all off, they are small in size, which bodes extremely well for tiny apartments. And they require pretty little exercise. Oh, and they don’t shed a lot. All things considered, pugs are a solid breed for city folks.

6. French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs, like Pugs, are great apartment dogs for several reasons. First, they don’t shed heaps of fur. So, you won’t have to worry about your living space looking like a fur-infested dystopia.

Second, they don’t bark a lot. In other words, if everything is good, your French bulldog will be on cloud nine.

Third, they need little by way of exercise. Just walk them around the block, and let them chase you for 10 minutes and you are done. Finally, they are loving and get along pretty well with kids and other pets. That lands them a solid number-6 on our list of best dog breeds for city living.

7. Miniature Schnauzers

If you live alone and don’t mind your dog barking a lot, then Miniature Schnauzers can be a good match for you. These dogs are known for their obedience, alertness, and courage.

Miniature Schnauzers don’t get along too well with other dogs. Similarly, if you want to keep around kids, make sure the kids know what not to do. Otherwise, these dogs are warm, loving, and live an active lifestyle.

Lastly, Miniature Schnauzers don’t shed a lot, so you’ll have an easier time dealing with their fur.

8. Poodles

Forget the weird haircuts you see on the show floor, Poodles are much more than a show breed. Poodles are caring, friendly, and, unlike what the shows would have you believe, pretty easy to maintain.

That said, poodles need a considerable amount of exercise. Runs, jumps, swims, and everything in between, if you choose a poodle, make sure you pay attention to their active lifestyle.

Aside from this, poodles are awesome. They are walking bundles of joy.

9. Bichon Frise

If you were to describe Bichon Frise, how would you do it? A cloud with 4 short legs, two buttons for eyes, and a little cute nose is how we would describe them. They are pretty close to being the best-looking dog breed in our opinion.

Now, looking best has its consequences. The bundle of cloud needs to be maintained or it won’t look like a cloud anymore. Grooming a Bichon Frise twice a week is more of a necessity. Fortunately, they don’t need a lot of exercise. They are playful and can be tamed if you’re good at that. Just don’t let your kids pull their legs. Bichon Frises are known to snap at kids if annoyed a little too much.

In short, they have to look cute and act cute provided that you respect them. For that, we’re considering them number 9 on our list of the best dog breeds for living in a city.

10. Maltese

Maltese are everything city dogs should be. For instance, they are pretty vigilant thanks to their amazing sense of smell. They will sense an intruder in a jiffy and get into a position to protect you.

Also, Maltese dogs never shed. This is great since you don’t have to worry about cleaning fur out of your furniture.

Add a little daily exercise, plenty of cuddles, and ease of training and you can see why we recommend this breed to people living in cities.

11. Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffons are small and feisty. In other words, if they want to play, you can’t keep them down. If they want to cuddle, you can’t say no. And if they want to bark, they will, despite your neighbors being annoyed.

So, only get a Brussels Griffon if you are prepared to invest the time to train them. Because although they are easy to train, they will make you work for it. On the plus side, they are sociable. They like to play and poke their nose in whatever they find interesting. This can make for some pretty awesome encounters.

Finally, the Brussels Griffon shed minimal amounts of fur. So, they are easy to groom. Suffice to say, they make great pets for city dwellers.

12. Newfoundlands

Newfoundlands may be bigger than every dog breed we have listed here, but they are also friendlier, more affectionate, more kid-friendly, and more pet-friendly. You can train Newfounlands easily and get them to obey commands like fetch and sit.

And you need to teach them these commands, ’cause boy do they shed. But it is a minor inconvenience considering the other qualities. For instance, the Newfoundlands are extremely intelligent, which is a desirable characteristic if you’re looking for dog breeds for city living. Newfies will sense when you are sad or stressed and will come to lend a helping hand.

With a medium-level exercise requirement, urban people just can’t go wrong with a Newfoundland.

13. Greyhounds

Greyhounds are the dog equivalent of chilled-out people. They like to keep to themselves until you hit them up and start a conversation.

In other words, Greyhounds have great manners. They tend to show little destructive behavior. They don’t bark excessively. And they certainly don’t threaten other pets and kids.

Moreover, Greyhounds only need minimal exercise. Most of the time, you will find them sleeping. And what’s more? They only need little grooming. All in all, Greyhounds are an apartment dweller’s dream dog.

knowing which dog to get for the city life
There are no specific “perfect” breeds, it all boils down to how well you raise the dog!

14. Havanese

If there is one thing that Havanese like to do more than eating, it’s meeting their pet-parent. They are incredibly devoted to their owners and look forward to spending the time getting belly rubs.

In one way this people-oriented nature of the Havanese matches up perfectly with their grooming requirement. They need a lot of grooming. And a lot of grooming comes with a lot of people’s time. It’s a win-win for the Havanese and, if you enjoy grooming your dog, you.

Treats in tow, the Havanese are easy to train. So, you can transform your dog into a not-one-trick pony. In short, the Havanese are intelligent, people-pleasing, and need little in terms of exercise.

15. Basset Hound

A Basset Hound dog is a double-edged sword. On one hand, Bassets Hounds are lazy. You will find them lying around for most of the day. On the other hand, they are, well, too lazy. You can’t train them easily. They will test your patience. So, be prepared.

Similarly, while they enjoy walking, you will need to keep them on a short leash. The moment they get off leash and spot something fun, they will dash as they’ve just robbed a bank.

Finally, they need minimal grooming, but they will shed a lot. Altogether, a Basset Hound is neither for a newbie owner nor it is for someone that likes active, obedient dogs.

16. Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terriers are a mishmash of qualities. They are active, so they need a respectable amount of exercise. But when indoors they stay still and can enjoy some downtime. On the same tone, they don’t shed a lot but you do need to groom them twice a week to prevent matting.

They are also highly intelligent which means they know how to get what they want. Unfortunately, this means they also bark a lot when they are hungry, alone, or happy/excited.

So, Bedlington Terriers can become good pets if you can learn to with them.

17. Yorkshire Terrier

Number 17 on our list of dog breeds for city living are Yorkshire Terriers. They are fit-in-a-bag small. So, you can take them with you on the road.

Plus, their coat is hypoallergenic. If you decide to take them on the road with you, they won’t bother sensitive people.

Lastly, they like to mingle with other people and help them feel awesome. Long story short, get a Yorky. They are cool.

walking on city streets
Some dogs handle busy street noises so well!

18. Biewer Terrier

Biewer Terriers are good apartment dogs if you don’t leave them alone for longer periods. If, however, you do leave them alone, they will bark and display destructive behavior.

On the flip side, Biewer Terriers are loving and always look forward to your return.

Finally, while they do need a fair amount of grooming, they don’t need a lot of exercise. And because they are small, you can carry them around.

19. Cesky Terrier

Cesky Terriers require socialization upfront. Else, their instincts can take over at any point. In other words, your Cesky will run after your neighbor’s cat.

Aside from this, Cesky Terriers are lovely pets to have. They are mild, friendly, and active. Give them a bit of exercise every day and they will be happy.

And before we move on, remember: if a Cesky is acting up, he is lonely.

20. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chins require minimal grooming. They are comfortable living in an apartment. And they are quite loyal.

Now, they don’t take too well to being left alone.

Other than this, they fit the bill of an ideal dog breed for city living: small, minimal grooming requirement, minimal exercise requirement, and easy to train. In short, Japanese Chins make great pets.

picking a big or small dog
It’s important to know how much energy your dog has in order to have a peaceful life with the pet!

Dog Breeds For City Living: FAQ

You can never stop learning about dogs. The following are some frequently asked questions about dog breeds for city living.

Is it cruel to have a dog in an apartment?

It is cruel to have a dog in an apartment if the dog doesn’t get any exercise. It is no secret that most dogs need a lot of exercise. Walks, jumps, runs, and tugs are all part of a dog’s instincts. As long as these instincts are satisfied, the dog will remain healthy.

On the other hand, if you fail to satisfy the instincts of the dog and lock it up in an apartment instead, the dog will suffer.

In short, it is not cruel to have a dog in an apartment. It is cruel to not let the dog out of the apartment.

Which dog needs the least exercise?

Many dog breeds need a little exercise, as evident from the list above, so choosing one is rather difficult. But if we had to choose one, we would go with the Basset Hound.

The Basset Hound is a dog breed of little height, long back, and short legs. These features make the Basset Hound an ideal dog breed for city living, as they don’t want a lot of exercise. They prefer endurance training, so a long walk once in a while at a slow pace is what they need.

What breeds can survive if left alone during the day?

No breed can thrive if left alone during the day for months. Dogs are social creatures. They suffer when they are alone. So, you shouldn’t leave your dog alone for longer periods.

Now, we understand that there are situations when you have to leave your dog alone. Maybe you have a job and have no one else to look after your dog. In that case, breeds such as Bichon Frise, French Bulldog, and pugs are great at coping with extended alone time. But even after choosing such a breed, make sure your dog has access to ample water and food.

Can big dogs live in an apartment?

Big dogs can live in an apartment provided you meet all of their needs.

– First, make sure they get proper hydration and food.
– Second, the entryways like door frames should be big enough to let your dog easily move around the house.
– Finally, and this is the most important, provide your dog with plenty of exercise. A lack of exercise is the primary factor responsible for dog health deterioration.

Is pet maintenance and care different in the city?

Pet care is quite different in cities. Because there are fewer places for your dog to run around and be jolly. There is also air pollution, noise pollution, and traffic to deal with.
If you’re moving to the city for the first time and are wondering what are things that you need to take care of, head over to this website for helpful tips on city living for dogs.

Raising a dog in cities requires commitment. You can’t just get yourself a dog and later realize that you can’t take care of him. Unfortunately, most city folks do this and the results are heartbreaking. Most city dogs end up in shelters or on the streets. Understand that getting a dog is getting an individual with a distinct personality. Only after you celebrate his quirks will the dog become your dog. City life can be alone. But if you are prepared to commit, dogs can wipe that loneliness away. Just be sure to be there for your dog. Because he is always there for you.

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