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16 Best Dog Breeds for Apartments

By Stacy Painter
published: January 28, 2020 • 4 min. read
white fluffy dog on couch with woman

Apartment living doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the companionship of a dog. Many apartment dwellers find that not only is a dog manageable, but living with a canine friend makes apartment life much more enjoyable. The key to harmonious living is making sure you get the right dog, especially if you aren’t planning to run 5 miles a day or take your dog swimming in the lake every week. Though some dogs are energetic and need plenty of exercise and space to run, others are quite content in an apartment so long as they get the occasional walk and have a cozy place to nap. The following breeds are some of the best dogs for apartments.


The unique Basenji is a kid- and dog-friendly dog that will fit right into your apartment due to her small size. She may make some vocal sounds, but Basenjis do not bark like other dog breeds. This breed can be a crafty escape artist from a fenced backyard, which actually makes apartments or condos the preferred living situation.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises are happy and affectionate dogs that are content with a short walk and spending time with their people. Though their coats need regular brushing, they barely shed, which will help keep your apartment looking clean.

Boston Terrier

The Boston terrier is a compact breed that will get along with all of your neighbors, two- and four-legged alike. They are low-shedding and don’t need much grooming, but do need a moderate walk or play session each day.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This friendly dog breed gets along well with other people and dogs, meaning he won’t have an issue passing your neighbors and their dogs in the hallway. They don’t require lots of exercise but would be happy to be your hiking buddy on easier trails!


Their size and energy levels make Chihuahuas good for apartments, however this breed can be a barker so it’s important to tackle training for that bad habit early. A Chihuahua will be equally happy to walk the neighborhood with you or cuddle up on your lap.

Chinese Crested

This small, exotic-looking breed is a companionate dog that bonds closely with his family. No yard? No problem, because his exercise needs are minimal and he’s happy to curiously follow you around the apartment or play with some stimulating toys.


Due to their short legs, the Dachshund can easily be satisfied with a short walk. This lively breed enjoys playing and spending time with his family, but he can be hard-headed and does best with strong leadership.

English Bulldog

This sturdy breed typically weighs around 50 pounds, but just because he’s bigger doesn’t mean he needs more exercise than smaller dog breeds. The affectionate bulldog is easygoing, and a short walk will suffice to keep him happy. In fact, too vigorous of exercise can sometimes be too much for this heat-sensitive breed.

French Bulldog

Though they get bursts of energy, the Frenchie doesn’t require long exercise sessions to tire him out. Being friendly with children and other pets makes him a great companion for apartment life. Bonus: French bulldogs have a short coat that is easy to groom and sheds only moderately.


The lovable Havanese is another small dog that hardly sheds, however her luxurious coat requires regular grooming. She is an affectionate breed that doesn’t like to be left alone for long, so consider hiring a dog walker or doggy daycare.


It may come as a surprise, but Greyhounds are excellent roommates for small-space living. Yes, they are fast when they want to be, but they also love to be lazy and cuddle up. This gentle and loving breed is low-maintenance when it comes to grooming, and can be satisfied with a daily walk.


What makes the Maltese great for apartments is that he’s small in stature and was bred to be a companion dog, meaning he’s most content when snuggling up on your lap! He has low exercise needs and sheds very little, but his silky coat does need regular brushing and grooming.

Miniature Pinscher

You’ll be quite entertained by the busy antics of a Miniature Pinscher. This breed is energetic and bouncy, but a short walk every day is enough to keep a Min Pin content. They are affectionate with their family and easy to groom, but it’s important to puppy-proof your home to prevent him from getting into trouble or even trying to escape.


A pug will make you laugh and befriend all of your neighbors. Pugs fit perfectly with apartment living due to their small size and low exercise requirements. However, they can quickly put on weight, so it’s important to manage their diet and take it easy on the treats.

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a sweet and friendly little lap dog that gets along with people of all ages. She doesn’t shed, so no worries about an apartment covered in dog hair, but she does need regular brushing and haircuts. Shih Tzus are content to cuddle on the couch after just a brief walk each day.

Yorkshire Terrier

With their short legs, what you consider a short walk is actually great exercise for your little Yorkie! This breed takes up very little space, has low exercise needs, plus they have low-shedding coats, making them a clean roommate. However, it’s important to train them from a young age not to bark so as not to disturb your neighbors.

What breeds are not good for apartments?

Though each individual dog is different, the following dog breeds tend to need more space and/or a much more active lifestyle to keep them happy and out of trouble.

  • Border Collies
  • German Shepherds
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Huskies
  • Hounds, such as Bloodhounds, Beagles and Coonhounds
Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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