13 of the Best Dog Breeds For Apartments

Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t have a furry friend by your side. However, it’s important to choose the right dog breed that will thrive in a smaller living space. From lovable lap dogs to active and energetic breeds, finding the perfect match for apartment living is essential for harmonious coexistence. In this article, we will explore some of the best dog breeds suited for apartment living, considering factors such as size, energy levels, and temperament. So, if you’re ready to open your heart and your home to a four-legged companion, keep reading to discover some of the best dog breeds for apartments.

Considerations for Apartment Living

Size and Space Requirements

When it comes to apartment living, size and space requirements play a crucial role in ensuring the comfort and well-being of both you and your furry friend. Apartments are generally smaller than houses, so it’s important to choose a dog breed that is appropriate for the available space. Larger breeds may feel cramped and may not have enough room to move around freely, which could lead to frustration or even destructive behavior. On the other hand, smaller breeds are typically more suited to apartment living as they require less space to roam and play.

Exercise Needs

Living in an apartment often means limited access to outdoor space, such as a backyard or a large yard, making it vital to consider your dog’s exercise needs. While all dogs need regular exercise, some breeds require more physical activity than others. If you have a high-energy breed, such as a Border Collie or a Labrador Retriever, you will need to be prepared to provide ample opportunities for exercise, such as long walks, trips to the dog park, or engaging in active play sessions indoors. On the other hand, if you prefer a breed with lower exercise requirements, there are plenty of options available that can adapt to apartment living without the need for extensive physical activity.

Barking Tendencies

Another important consideration for apartment living is your dog’s barking tendencies. Excessive barking can quickly become a nuisance in close quarters with neighbors nearby. Therefore, it’s crucial to select a breed that is known for being relatively quiet and not prone to incessant barking. Breeds such as the Basenji or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are generally quieter and more suitable for apartment living. However, it’s important to note that each individual dog may have its own unique temperament, so proper training and socialization are essential in minimizing barking tendencies regardless of the breed.


Temperament is an integral aspect to consider when choosing a dog breed for apartment living. Some breeds naturally adapt well to apartment environments, while others may struggle due to their high energy levels or specific temperamental traits. It’s essential to research different breeds and their typical temperaments to ensure compatibility with your lifestyle and living arrangements. If you prefer a calm and relaxed dog, breeds like the Bulldog or the Basset Hound may be a good fit. However, if you are looking for a more playful and active companion, breeds like the Boxer or the Pomeranian may be more suitable.

Allergy Concerns

For individuals with allergies, finding a hypoallergenic dog breed is crucial to ensure a comfortable living environment. While no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic, some breeds are known to produce fewer allergenic particles such as dander, saliva, or urine, making them more suitable for individuals with allergies. Breeds such as the Bichon Frise, Maltese, or Portuguese Water Dog are often recommended for apartment dwellers with allergies. However, it’s important to note that individual reactions can vary, so it’s essential to spend time with the breed you are considering to assess any potential allergic reactions.

Small Dog Breeds for Apartments



As one of the smallest dog breeds, Chihuahuas are well-suited for apartment living due to their tiny size and low exercise needs. They are known for their loyalty and affectionate nature, making them ideal companions for individuals or families living in smaller spaces. Chihuahuas are generally quiet and don’t require much outdoor exercise, making them suitable for apartment dwellers without access to a backyard.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs, also known as “Frenchies,” are a popular choice for apartment living. Despite their compact size, they have a playful and friendly temperament, making them great companions in smaller spaces. French Bulldogs have lower exercise requirements compared to some other breeds, and as long as they get a daily walk and mental stimulation, they are generally content in apartment settings.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are small, affectionate dogs that thrive in apartment environments. They are known for their friendly and gentle nature, making them excellent companions for individuals or families. Shih Tzus have moderate exercise needs and are generally content with daily walks and indoor play. Their low-shedding coat also makes them a suitable choice for individuals with allergies.



Pomeranians may be small in size, but they have big personalities. These lively and intelligent dogs are often well-suited for apartment living, as they can adjust to smaller spaces with ease. Pomeranians require daily exercise, but their exercise needs can typically be met with regular walks and interactive play indoors. Their thick double coat may require grooming, so regular brushing is essential to keep their coat healthy and tangle-free.

Medium Dog Breeds for Apartments

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are medium-sized dogs known for their affectionate nature and adaptability. They are generally friendly and get along well with both humans and other pets, making them suitable companions for apartment dwellers. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have moderate exercise needs, requiring daily walks and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound

Despite their long ears and droopy eyes, Basset Hounds are known for their gentle and laid-back temperament. They are typically well-suited for apartment living due to their low energy levels and minimal exercise needs. While they enjoy daily walks, Basset Hounds are generally content with relaxing indoors, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a more low-key companion.



Bulldogs, with their distinctive wrinkled faces and stocky bodies, may not be the first breed that comes to mind for apartment living, but they can adapt well to smaller spaces. Bulldogs are generally calm and easygoing, making them a suitable choice for apartment dwellers. While they may not require extensive exercise, it’s important to monitor their temperature and ensure they don’t overheat during physical activities due to their brachycephalic nature.

Large Dog Breeds for Apartments


Italian Greyhound

Although Greyhounds are typically associated with large open spaces, they can surprisingly adapt well to apartment living. Despite their size, Greyhounds have a calm and gentle nature, making them suitable for individuals or families in apartment settings. They have a moderate energy level and will benefit from daily exercise, such as a brisk walk or a run in a nearby park.



Boxers may be large and muscular, but they can adapt well to apartment living with the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation. They are known for their playful and friendly nature, making them great companions in smaller spaces. Boxers have a higher energy level compared to some other large breeds, so they will require regular exercise, including both physical activities and mental stimulation.

Great Dane

great dane

While Great Danes are one of the largest dog breeds, they can surprisingly adapt to apartment living under the right circumstances. These gentle giants are generally calm and patient, making them suitable for apartment dwellers who have enough space to accommodate their size. However, it’s essential to ensure that you provide them with proper exercise and mental stimulation, as their large size requires regular physical activity to prevent obesity and other health issues.

Low Energy Dog Breeds for Apartments


bulldog 2

As mentioned earlier, Bulldogs are well-suited for apartment living due to their low energy levels. They are generally laid-back and prefer to relax indoors rather than engage in extensive physical activities. Bulldogs thrive in a calm and comfortable home environment, making them great companions for individuals seeking a more low-energy breed.

Shih Tzu

shih tzu 2

Shih Tzus, with their low exercise needs and affectionate nature, are another excellent choice for apartment dwellers seeking a low-energy breed. While they enjoy daily walks and moderate playtime, they are generally content with being indoors and spending quality time with their owners. Shih Tzus are adaptable and can easily adjust to smaller spaces.

Basset Hound

basset hound 2

Basset Hounds are known for their relaxed and easygoing nature, which makes them an ideal choice for apartment living, especially for those who prefer a calm and quiet companion. While Basset Hounds enjoy regular walks, they don’t require extensive exercise and are content with having a cozy spot to laze around indoors.

Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds for Apartments

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises are a popular choice for individuals with allergies due to their hypoallergenic coat. These small and charming dogs are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them great companions for apartment living. Bichon Frises require regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health and prevent matting, but they shed less dander than many other dog breeds.



Maltese dogs are hypoallergenic and have a low-shedding coat, making them suitable for individuals with allergies. They are small, affectionate, and adapt well to apartment living. Maltese dogs do require regular grooming to keep their coat from tangling, but their friendly and playful nature makes them a popular choice for apartment dwellers.

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs have a hypoallergenic coat that sheds minimally, making them suitable for individuals with allergies. These intelligent and active dogs thrive in apartment settings if provided with regular exercise and mental stimulation. Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their friendly and outgoing nature, making them a wonderful choice for individuals or families seeking a hypoallergenic breed.

Training and Socialization

Importance of Training

Training is essential for any dog, regardless of their living arrangement. In an apartment setting, training becomes even more crucial to ensure good behavior and a harmonious living environment. Basic obedience training, such as sit, stay, and come, is essential in establishing a well-behaved and well-adjusted companion. Training not only helps prevent behavioral problems but also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.

Socialization for Apartment Living

Socialization is equally important for apartment living. Dogs that are well-socialized are more likely to feel comfortable around new people, dogs, and various environments. Regular exposure to different sights, sounds, and experiences helps prevent fear or anxiety-based behaviors and promotes a well-rounded and confident dog. Introducing your dog to various experiences, such as walks in different neighborhoods or interactions with other well-behaved dogs, can help with their socialization.

Tips for Apartment Living with a Dog

Create a Safe Space

Creating a safe space for your dog is essential in an apartment setting. This can be a designated area where your dog feels comfortable and secure, such as a crate or a specific corner of the apartment. Providing your dog with their own space can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of security in their new environment.

Establish a Routine

Establishing a routine is crucial for dogs living in apartments. Dogs thrive on consistency and structure, so having a set schedule for feeding, walks, and playtime can help them feel secure and content. A routine also helps alleviate boredom and can minimize behavioral issues that may arise from lack of mental stimulation.

Provide Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is essential for dogs living in apartments. Engage your dog in interactive toys, puzzle games, or training sessions to keep their mind sharp and prevent boredom. Mental stimulation can tire your dog out just as much as physical exercise and can help prevent destructive behavior caused by boredom.

Enforce Consistent Rules

Consistency is key when it comes to rules and boundaries in an apartment setting. Establish clear expectations for your dog’s behavior and enforce them consistently. For example, if your apartment complex has specific rules regarding noise, ensure that your dog understands and follows those rules. Consistency in training and behavior expectations helps your dog understand what is expected of them and promotes a harmonious living environment.

Considerations for Renters

Review Pet Policies

If you are renting an apartment, it’s important to review the pet policies and guidelines set by your landlord or property management. Some apartments have breed restrictions or limits on the number of pets allowed, so it’s crucial to ensure that your chosen breed complies with the rules. Additionally, familiarize yourself with any specific pet-related regulations, such as leash laws or designated pet areas, to ensure you can meet and adhere to them.

Extra Fees and Deposits

Many rental properties require additional fees or deposits for pet owners. These fees may include pet deposits, pet rent, or additional cleaning fees. Make sure you are aware of any additional costs associated with having a dog in your apartment. It’s also important to note that some apartments may require proof of vaccinations or liability insurance, so be prepared to provide necessary documentation if requested.

Be a Responsible Pet Owner

As a renter, it’s crucial to be a responsible pet owner. This includes picking up after your dog, properly disposing of waste, and adhering to any leash laws or guidelines set by your apartment complex. Being a responsible pet owner not only ensures a clean and safe environment for you and your neighbors but also helps maintain a positive reputation for dog owners in the apartment community.

apartment dog

Final Thoughts on the Best Dog Breeds for Apartments

Choosing one of the best dog breeds for apartments requires careful consideration of factors such as size, exercise needs, barking tendencies, temperament, and allergy concerns. While small dog breeds like Chihuahuas and French Bulldogs are generally well-suited for apartments due to their size and low exercise needs, medium breeds like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Basset Hounds can also adapt well if provided with regular exercise and mental stimulation. Even some larger breeds, such as Greyhounds and Great Danes, can be suitable for apartment living if their exercise needs are met. For individuals with allergies, hypoallergenic breeds like Bichon Frises or Maltese are recommended.

Training and socialization are important for dogs living in apartments to ensure good behavior and a harmonious living environment. Creating a safe space, establishing a routine, providing mental stimulation, and enforcing consistent rules are essential for apartment living with a dog. Additionally, renters should review pet policies, be aware of any extra fees or deposits, and be responsible pet owners by following regulations and maintaining a clean environment.

By considering these factors and following the tips provided, you can find the perfect dog breed for apartment living and create a happy and fulfilling life for both you and your four-legged companion.