Best Apartment Dogs

10 Best Apartment Dogs: Personal Characteristics & Physical Features

Looking for the best dog for your apartment? Then you should definitely select a dog that doesn’t excessively bark and behaves well around others in shared spaces to maintain a peaceful apartment environment.

Along with various factors to consider, fortunately, you have plenty of dog breeds to pick from as potential companions. Interestingly, some larger breeds can do well in apartments if they have lower activity levels, while others might need more space due to their high energy levels. Similarly, certain small dog breeds with lots of energy can still be happy with indoor playtime or short walks.

So, how can you tell if a breed is suitable for apartment life or not? To answer this question, we’re about to explore the 10 best apartment dogs and the key factors to keep in mind when choosing the right one. 

Top 10 Best Apartment Dogs 

If you’re searching for a dog that requires minimal care, isn’t too active, and can easily adapt to city life, then you’ve come to the right place! 

Check out the list we’ve put together for you and find out the best apartment dogs!

1. Maltese


This canine companion weighs under 10 pounds and stands at a mere 8 to 10 inches in height. The Maltese happen to be one of the best apartment dogs, and there’s a good reason for it – they are charming, lively, loving, and can adapt well to small living spaces. These dogs are renowned for their gentle personalities and thrive on being in the spotlight. 

Their limited need for physical activity, ease of training, calm temperament, and coat that’s unlikely to trigger allergies make the Maltese a splendid choice for individuals residing in apartments. However, even considered one of the best apartment dogs, they don’t relish being on their own for extended periods. If left alone for prolonged periods, they may develop feelings of envy or resentment towards other dogs or people.

2. Miniature Poodle

Miniature Poodle

The Miniature Poodle differs significantly from the standard Poodle – it’s notably smaller, measuring between 11 and 15 inches in height and weighing approximately 15 to 18 pounds. This breed of dog is well-suited for individuals dwelling in apartments who also maintain an active lifestyle. They are incredibly intelligent, sociable, and playful. Miniature Poodles often display a strong affection for quality time spent with their owners, whether indoors or outdoors. 

The Miniature Poodle’s combination of intelligence, compact size, and hypoallergenic coat renders them an excellent choice as one of the best apartment dogs. But remember that, just like any Poodle variant, it’s vital to involve this breed in activities that provide both physical exercise and mental engagement.

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3. King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

Often referred to as the “lapdog monarch,” King Charles Cavalier Spaniel prefers residing in smaller spaces where they can closely watch over their owners. Their suitability for apartment living makes them a great choice for individuals with busier schedules who aren’t home all day. They enjoy a mix of indoor and outdoor activities and are quick learners when it comes to training. 

4. Bulldog


The Bulldog is the ideal choice for those who enjoy spending their leisure time relaxing on the sofa. While they’re not known for being noisy, Bulldogs are anything but silent – they often make distinctive noises like snoring, snorting, and grunting

Even though they are considered one of the best apartment dogs, Bulldogs need a bit of daily physical activity to maintain their well-being. Fortunately, they tire out fairly quickly, so a short stroll around the neighborhood is generally sufficient exercise for most Bulldogs.

5. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu, a small breed of dog that translates to “little lion” in Mandarin, is known for its lively and affectionate personality. They are considered toy dogs and have a relaxed and loving temperament. Due to their small size, they do not require a lot of space for exercise. Simply playing with a toy in your apartment a few times a day is usually sufficient to keep them in good physical health. 

These petite dogs weigh less than 15 pounds and stand at a height of 9 to 12 inches. Their lively and affectionate nature makes them delightful companions. However, it’s worth noting that Shih Tzus can be quite vocal.

6. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small and delightful companion dog, typically weighing between 12 and 18 pounds and standing at a height of 9 to 12 inches. This breed is known for its friendly and adaptable nature, making it a great choice for families with young children. 

The Bichon Frise has a moderate energy level and doesn’t demand a lot of exercise. A leisurely walk around the neighborhood is usually enough to keep them happy and healthy. They are eager to please their owners and are quite easy to train. With their hypoallergenic coat, these qualities make the Bichon Frise a fantastic option for apartment living.

7. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a lively and fun-loving canine breed, typically standing at a height of 10 to 17 inches and weighing between 10 and 25 pounds. They don’t shed much and adapt well to apartment living. These compact and cheerful dogs are among the best apartment dogs for city residents seeking an active companion. 

Despite their need for regular exercise, engaging them in various indoor activities is a great way to help them release their energy. In general, the Boston Terrier is a relatively easy-to-care-for pet that can thrive in an apartment environment.

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8. Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are a popular dog breed in various parts of the world. They are known for their courage and strong desire for their owner’s affection. These dogs are excellent companions for people who live in apartments and have an active lifestyle. 

Despite their small size, Yorkies require more exercise compared to other small dogs. It’s crucial to take them for daily walks in the neighborhood and engage in physical activities to keep them from getting restless. While they adapt well to apartment living, sometimes they tend to be vocal. They enjoy observing their surroundings, and their bold nature often leads to frequent barking. You shouldn’t worry too much about it, though.  The tune of voice of Yorkshire Terriers is not alarming.

9. American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo dogs are known for their well-behaved nature and are therefore thought to be one of the best apartment dogs. They are small canines that typically weigh between 20 and 30 pounds and stand at an average height of around 10 inches. Despite their well-behaved nature, it’s important to provide American Eskimo dogs with a fair amount of physical activity and mental engagement. Neglecting these needs might lead to destructive behavior, which we are sure no one desires.

The only unpleasant fact related to this breed is that American Eskimo Dogs tend to shed regularly, so it’s necessary to brush their coat thoroughly to manage shedding. But don’t worry — these affectionate pets can happily reside in apartments when given regular grooming.

10. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu stands as one of Japan’s cherished national canines. Shiba Inus make excellent pets for small houses due to their compact size and moderate exercise needs. Their independent nature means they adapt well to limited space, and they’re known for being clean as well. 

Shiba Inus thrives best in the company of loyal and loving owners. Despite their tendency to shed quite a bit, a few weekly brushing sessions suffice to keep their fur well-maintained. This breed is typically a rather quiet one, seldom barking, usually doing so only when faced with strong emotions or unexpected sounds.

Does Size Always Matter When Choosing the Best Apartment Dogs?

Simply being a small dog doesn’t guarantee suitability as an apartment companion. Some small breeds can be quite noisy and high-strung, which isn’t ideal for apartment living. Take the Chihuahua, for instance – despite its tiny size, it’s not a top choice for apartment dogs due to its proneness to barking and anxious behavior. 

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On the other hand, some Terriers, regardless of their high energy levels, can be one of the best apartment dogs as long as they receive sufficient exercise.

Surprisingly, as long as their exercise needs are met, many larger dogs can happily coexist in smaller living spaces. A great example is the Greyhound. Typically known for needing ample space to run, many retired racing Greyhounds are content to laze around.

What You Should Know While Selecting the Best Apartment Dogs

Living in an apartment can be confusing, not only for people but also for our furry companions. Large dog breeds and those with high energy levels may find it challenging to adapt to limited space. This can lead to restlessness and an increase in anger-provoking brain impulses due to their significant exercise needs. 

Besides exercise requirements, a dog’s temperament plays a significant role in how well they adjust to apartment living. Breeds with a calm and easygoing nature tend to be the best apartment dogs. Additionally, it’s important to consider shedding and barking tendencies for your comfort. Breeds that shed heavily can trigger allergies and make it difficult to keep your apartment clean. Excessive barking or howling can be a problem, especially if you have neighbors nearby.

For example, breeds like Dalmatians, German Shepherds, and Briards require ample space to run and mental stimulation. Therefore, they may not succeed in being the best apartment dogs. These dogs need regular exercise and mental challenges to stay content. On the other hand, breeds known for excessive barking, like beagles or Finnish Spitz, may also not be suitable for apartment living. The Finnish Spitz, in particular, has a remarkable ability to bark up to 160 times per minute. Sounds disturbing, right? That’s what makes them less than ideal neighbors in an apartment. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, when selecting a dog for your apartment and lifestyle, it’s important to consider factors like shedding, barking, energy levels, and trainability. However, keep in mind that even the best apartment dogs require exercise, socialization, and affection, regardless of their breed. 

Just because a dog is well-suited for apartment living doesn’t mean they can get by with only short potty breaks. With love and attention, any dog can do well in an apartment setting and become a devoted companion for many years.

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