best apartment dogs

Best Apartment Dogs: Breeds That do Well in Smaller Space

Do you really want a dog, but are worried about its and your wellbeing because you live in an apartment?

The truth is some dogs do much better in apartments than others, so it is essential to pick a dog breed that will feel well, happy and will not cause trouble for you and for your neighbors, even if you live in a condo in a busy city.

Best Apartment Dogs

Here is a list of the top apartment dogs which you can pick from and rest assured that you and your pup will be happy and well.



These small-sized mustached pups are portable, suitable for apartment living, and at the same time are loyal, confident and quite amusing companions.

The name Affenpinscher actually means “monkey dog” in German. The dogs from this breed are usually from 9 to 11.5 inches high at the shoulder and weigh only 7-10 lbs.

They are incredibly cute pups that will keep you happy and entertained all of the time.

These toy-sized pups may resemble lap dogs, but they do need daily playtimes and brisk walks. Also, you will need to brush and groom your Affenpinscher regularly, if you want it to look and feel perfect.

These small dogs are one of the best companions for all kinds of families, or owners no matter whether you live in a busy megapolis, or in a country house.



If you are worried about complaining neighbors due to your pup barking excessively, the Basenji is the perfect dog for you.

This African dog breed is the only known canine breed which does not bark.

In fact, Basenjis are quite different from just about all other four-legged companions and have multiple features that make them one of the best apartment dogs in the world.

The Basenjis are small and will reach a height at the shoulders of up to 18 inches, and a weight of up to 25 lbs.

These unique pups will much rather spend the whole day inside grooming themselves like felines, rather than running around outdoors.

They are very graceful and clean animals, which do need daily walks and exercise but when at home, they will act more like cats than like dogs, and as mentioned previously – they will never bark, no matter what.



Snoopy is a Beagle, and we can all agree that Snoopy is the cutest and funniest animated dog of all. Beagles are amazingly sweet animals. They are friendly, curious and easygoing, which makes them absolutely perfect for companion dogs for all kinds of homes, including for apartment living.

The Beagle is among the top 5 most popular breeds in the US. It is available in smaller and larger versions, the smaller reaching a height at the should of up to 13 inches, and weighing up to 20 lbs. and a larger one which will reach a height of 13 to 15 inches, and a weight of 20-30 lbs.

Beagles were developed to be hounds and hunting dogs that hunt in packs. This makes them excellent companions for families where there are other dogs.

They are loving pets and are absolutely charming. If you provide your Beagle with the daily walks and playtime it needs, you can be pretty sure that you will live great together in a house or apartment of any size.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a gentle, loving and merry little furbaby. These little dogs are popular family pets and can live happily even in an apartment in the city.

They are incredibly cute dogs that are up to 9.5-11.5 inches high at the shoulder and weigh 12-18 lbs.

The Bichon Frises may look like toys, but they are actually pretty resilient pups.

These small companions can get the playtime they need indoors but do require brisk walks on a daily basis, just like all other dogs.

Dogs from this breed get along well with other dogs and with children. They are curious and alert, and will always let you know if a stranger is approaching your home.

One of the best properties of this dog breed is that they shed very little, and thus are considered hypoallergenic dogs, suitable for people with pet allergies. Plus, your apartment won’t be filled with dog hair, so there will be less cleaning to do if you add a Bichon Frise to your family.



It may sound like a delicious Italian recipe, but the Bolognese is actually one of the best apartment dogs. The Bolognese is a close cousin to the Bichon Frise, and also originates from Italy.

The small-sized dog will reach a height at the withers of only 10 to 12 inches, and a weight of 5.5 to 9 lbs. when fully grown.

Bred to be companion dogs to the rich and powerful ancient Romans, the Bolognese is still the perfect companion for people who live in tight spaces.

They are relatively sedentary and calm and loving pups but do need playtime and walks.

Keep in mind, that the dogs from this ancient Italian breed are prone to separation anxiety, so even though they are great for apartment living, they are not suitable for owners who are gone for the most part of the day, or who travel often.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Known as “the American gentleman dog”, the Boston Terrier has a recognizable tuxedo-like pattern and when trained properly has impressive manners.

Just like most terriers, the Boston Terrier is a lively and quite hyperactive dog breed, but if you are able to provide it will daily exercise and walks, it will behave itself pretty well, even in a small apartment.

The breed carries the name of a city, and it comes to no surprise that these dogs are among the top preferred companions by city dwellers and people who live in apartments.

The Boston Terriers are usually only 15-17 inches high and weigh 12-25 lbs.

They are fun-filled, and yet gentle and loving companions, perfect for people who have the time to provide them with the playtime and exercise they need.

Border Terrier

Border Terrier

If you lead an active lifestyle but live in an apartment, the Border Terrier could be the best dog breed for you. The Border terrier has a strong hunting drive and will enjoy chasing any small animal. Like all other terriers, the Border is an active dog breed that requires a lot of walks and exercise but will behave perfectly well even if you live in a small apartment in a busy city.

The Border Terrier is about 12-15 inches high at the shoulder and weighs 11.5-15.5 lbs.

These dogs resemble wiry-haired cute otters and can be wheaten, tan, red, grizzle or blue colored. The good news is that their coats require minimal grooming.

These hard-working small terriers are perfect companions when socialized and trained properly. They are excellent playmates for children and for other dogs and will get along with any member of your family.



When you think apartment dog, Boxers are not the first breed to come to mind. But the fact is, these fun, loving, smart and active pups adapt easily to all kinds of families, and homes, including apartments.

These medium-sized dogs have a height at the shoulders of 21.5 – 23 inches and weigh 50-80 lbs.

Boxers are in the top 10 list of the most popular breeds in the US, mainly due to their great looks, their hardworking nature, their intelligence, loyalty and also because they are fun companions to have.

They are muscular pups with alert and cute faces and human-like expressions which will charm everybody at home and outside.

They are good watchdogs and can be perfect playmates for your kids. Powerful but elegant, Boxers are superb dogs for apartments.

Keep in mind, that they are pretty bouncy when they are young, so make sure you provide them with the exercise and walks, as well as the obedience training they need to avoid accidents at home.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is one of the greatest charmers among canines. This small dog will reach a height at the shoulders of only 7-10 inches and a weight of 8-10 lbs. and can be perfectly content even if you live in a tiny apartment.

Brussels Griffons very quickly develop a strong bond with their humans and are ready to give back all the love they have if you show them the affection and attention they need.

They are tiny pups with almost human-like faces but have complex and fun characters. They may be quite funny, but the Brussels Griffons are among the most loyal dogs around.

They are prone to separation anxiety, so they are suitable for apartment living where at least one of the residents is at home most of the time.



If you lead an easygoing life and are not too active, then the Bulldog is the best dog you can have, even if you live in a small apartment.

Bulldogs are perfect napping buddies, and will gladly spend all day long snoring and lying around the apartment.

They are usually about 14-15 inches high and weigh up to 50 lbs.

These kind and dignified dogs are great companions for young and old owners.

They require brief walks and would much rather nap on your lap rather than play outside.

Bulldogs are sensitive to very hot weather and can experience difficulty breathing due to their short snouts. This is why, if you live in a hot area, you should ensure that your Bulldog has a comfortable and air-conditioned place to lounge during the summer days.

Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier

These charming earth dogs will gladly share an apartment with owners of all ages and families of all sizes.

Cairn Terriers are small enough to fit in the tiniest living spaces and are easy to take traveling thanks to the fact that they reach a height of only up to 10 inches, and a weight of only up to 14 lbs. when fully grown.

These curious little terriers have shiny and bright eyes and adorable pointed ears, which in combination with their long-bodied, short legs, and shaggy coats make them absolutely irresistible.

They will enjoy snuggling beside their owners, but they still are pretty energetic pups that will love going on walks or spending time playing outdoors with you.

The Cairn Terriers are loving and independent little fellows which will make apartment living much more enjoyable and happier.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These graceful and regal-like dogs will quickly become the favorite pups of any neighborhood. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog that will grow up to a mere 12-13 inches, and a weight of 13-18 inches, so you can easily call it a lapdog.

They may look like dogs that prefer to spend their days on silk cushions, but the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are Spaniels and sporting dogs, so they do need long daily walks and exercise.

Otherwise, these adorable and gentle pups will adapt easily to any family and to a home of any size and will get attached to you as soon as they set those expressive and large eyes on you for the first time.



The Chihuahua is one of the most recognizable breeds in the world. These dogs are also the smallest of all other breeds.

The tiny size of the Chihuahua makes it perfect for a pet for even the smallest dwellings.

These pups may be tiny, but they have large dog personalities and are actually pretty good watchdogs.

Chihuahuas usually grow to a height of no more than 5-8 inches and weigh up to 6 lbs.

They are delicate pups, so you need to be careful if you have very young children who like roughhousing.

Chihuahuas do think of themselves are large dogs, so be sure to train and socialize them properly in order to prevent incidents with other dogs later on in life.

Your Chihuahua will quickly become your most loyal and best friend but can be pretty distrustful to strangers – both human and canine.

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested is a dog breed that you can never mistake for another. They are small-sized and have laidback personalities, plus they don’t shed and don’t smell which makes them absolutely ideal for apartment living.

The Chinese Crested has a height of 11-13 inches and a weight of 8-12 lbs.

It is usually hairless, with pink spotty skin and a feathery tail and hairdo, but there are some dogs from this breed that do have coats, which are known as “powder-puff”.

These pups are easygoing and don’t mind lounging and snoozing indoors all day long.

This makes them perfect for people who are not too much into exercise.

The Chinese Crested is also an excellent companion for people with dog allergies, as it doesn’t shed, has minimal pet dander and doesn’t have a doggy odor.



The Cockapoo may not be recognized as an official breed by the AKC, but it is among the first and most popular designer breeds in the world. The cross between the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel was developed back in the 60s with the idea to create the perfect, non-shedding, intelligent and merry companion dog.

Due to genetics, Cockapoos can vary in size, shape, and color, but nevertheless mixing Poodles and Cocker Spaniels can never go wrong.

Cockapoos are among the top preferred dog hybrid breeds for city dwellers. They adapt to any kind of lifestyle, thanks to their intelligence, they are easy to train, and if you are lucky enough to get a Cockapoo that has inherited the non-shedding qualities of its Poodle ancestry you won’t have to deal with allergies and with hairs everywhere in the apartment.

Still, it is advisable to opt for the smaller Cockapoo versions if you live in a small apartment, so go for those with a mini or toy-sized Poodle parent.

Of course, there are multigenerational Cockapoos, with both parents being mixes, so make sure you have a look at the mom and dad before picking the right size for you.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

Originally developed as a gundog for bird hunting, the Cocker Spaniel today is among the top preferred companion dogs.

Cocker Spaniels are happy and mischievous pups which are usually up to 15.5 inches high and weigh up to 30 lbs.

They are friendly and loving and will enjoy joining you for all kinds of activities indoors and outdoors.

Cockers do require walks and playtime, but they will enjoy fooling around with kids and snoozing next to you, even if you live in a smaller-sized apartment.

These beautiful dogs have long been one of the most popular dog breeds in the US and around the world.

Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear is just like its name sounds – a cute cotton-like fluff ball. These dogs from Madagascar are quite compact and will reach a height at the shoulder of only 10 – 11 inches, and a weight of up to 15 lbs.

They are usually white, but some can be tri-colored.

Coton de Tulears are lively little dogs, which won’t mind playing outdoors and going on nice long walks with you, but will also enjoy spending time at home with their humans as well.

They have a long life expectancy of up to 19 years and will become strongly attached to you. So, you can expect your cute little furry friend to follow you around everywhere you go, like a small little shadow.

These pups are affectionate, funny, incredibly cuddly and cute, so if you want the cutest small pup as a companion in your apartment – you can’t go wrong if you choose a Coton de Tulear.



The Dachshund has a unique long silhouette, a big personality and is an absolutely brilliant pet and companion to have, even if you don’t live in a house with a backyard.

Developed in Germany as hunting dogs, the Dachshunds are the smallest of all hounds and are one of the most cheerful and fun canine companions to have.

The regular-sized Dachshund will grow to no more than 9 inches in height, and to a weight of up to 32 lbs. but if you prefer you can opt for the Miniature version which is only up to 6 inches high at the shoulder and weighs a mere 11 lbs. at the most.

These pups bark like large dogs and are incredibly bubbly and fun to be around.

They will happily chase any squirrel or any other small animal they see but are not suitable as running buddies or for jumping or leaping due to their short legs and long backbones.

Overall, if you are looking for the best apartment dog which is small but has a huge personality – the Dachshund could be the most suitable option for you.

English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel

These medium-sized dogs are close cousins of the Cocker Spaniel. In fact, until less than a century ago, the two breeds were considered to be one breed.

They are smart, sensitive and affectionate sporting spaniels which differ from their American cousins by being larger, being more muscular, and by the fact that they still being used as hunting dogs on the field.

English Cocker Spaniels like the American ones have merry dispositions and can easily adapt to living in apartments.

These dogs are about 14-17 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh about 26 to 34 lbs.

Even though they are highly intelligent, these pups can be stubborn at times, so you will need to patient, consistent and gentle when training your English Cocker Spaniel.

Otherwise, they are excellent companions for people of all ages and are highly affectionate dogs who love spending all of their time with their humans.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog

Frenchies actually come from England, where they were first developed with the idea to create smaller-sized Bulldogs.

They are compact pups that are only up to 13 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 28 lbs.

French Bulldogs like their ancestors the Bulldogs do not need too much exercise and do not bark excessively which makes them an excellent option for people living in apartment buildings and for those who do not have the time or the desire to spend hours playing and walking outside.

The Frenchies are one of the top 6 most popular dog breeds in the USA, because they are small, amazingly sweet, and do not require too much exercise in order to live happy lives.

With their typical batwing-shaped ears, and adorable short bodies and Bulldog-like figures, Frenchies are natural charmers, that will love to play and show their affection to their humans at any given time.



The Havanese is the only native Cuban dog breed, and even though the US-Cuban political relations have not been at their best in the last decades, the breed has managed to capture the hearts of many Americans and is one of the most popular dog breeds in the USA.

They are often referred to as Velcro dogs, due to their tendency to stick close to their favorite human no matter what.

You can expect your Havanese to follow you around just about anywhere if it chooses you as its favorite person in the world.

These toy-sized dogs grow to a height of just 11.5 inches, and a weight of up to 13 lbs.

They are very sociable and cheerful, and even though they are tiny, they are pretty sturdy and resilient pups.

The Havanese is easy to train, which makes it a great option for first-time dog owners. It will happily learn new tricks if you have the time and patience to teach it, and will even more readily perform them for you and for your family.

Thanks to the small size of this Cuban dog breed, the Havanese is yet another excellent choice when it comes to choosing the best apartment dog.

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is one of the best dogs for apartment living because it is small, very easy to groom, adaptable, and doesn’t need too much exercise.

The dogs from this Japanese breed grow to a maximum of 11 inches at the shoulder and to a weight of up to 11 lbs. so you won’t have a problem fitting it and ensuring a comfortable life for your pal, no matter how small your apartment is.

Keep in mind that Japanese Chins are quite agile and cat-like, so they can easily jump up on high furniture.

They have a very gracious and luxurious demeanor thanks to their gorgeous silky coats, their lion-like manes, and their hairy “pants.”

With loveable and calm characters and a low activity need, Japanese Chins are suitable for apartment dwellers who prefer spending time indoors.



The Maltese has been a preferred companion dog breed for over 2,000 years. The dogs of this ancient breed are small and very affectionate lapdogs.

Usually, a Maltese will grow to a shoulder height of only 9 inches, and a weight of up to 7 lbs. which makes it a perfect canine companion for apartment living and for traveling.

The Maltese lack an undercoat and thus will shed very little. This is good news for people with dog allergies, as well as for those who don’t want to deal with the extra cleaning during shedding seasons.

They are highly adaptable, cheerful and loving little dogs who will feel perfectly happy even in small apartments.

Due to the fact that they are highly prone to suffering from separation anxiety, we recommend the Maltese as pets for people who spend more time at home.

Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinschers look like mini Dobermans and have the same confidence level and energy as their famous larger cousins.

They are excellent watchdogs and will let you know when a stranger is approaching your apartment.

Also referred to as the King of Toys, Miniature Pinschers are tiny but still have big personalities.

These German toy dogs are only up to 12.5 inches high and weigh up to 10 lbs. which makes them a superb choice for a small apartment, as well as for frequent traveling.

They may be small, but Mini Pinschers are pretty brave and self-assured. This is why these pups do need to be trained as well as properly socialized from an early age If you want to avoid fearfulness or aggression towards other dogs or people later on.

These elegant little pups have long thin legs and trot in a recognizable gait which makes them look like tiny little horses.

They can be tremendous pets for people in apartments if measures are taken to train and socialize them in a timely manner.



Poodles are among the top 3 most intelligent dog breeds in the world. They learn quickly and are very easy to train.

If you live in a small-sized apartment, you may want to opt for a miniature or toy Poodle, as the standard ones can grow to a height over 15 inches and a weight up to 70 lbs.

Not only are they smart, but Poodles are amazing athletes. They were bred to be hunting dogs, and are often winners at various canine contests and sports.

So, while the toy and miniature sizes can spend their extra energy by running and playing around the apartment, a standard-sized Poodle will need long walks and daily exercise in order to stay well, happy and receive the physical and mental stimulation it needs.

Another reason why Poodles are so popular and are often used in creating the trendy new designer breeds is that they are considered non-shedding dogs, which people with dog allergies and those who dislike needing to deal with hairs at home prefer.

Then again, if you want your Poodle to look aristocratic and at its best, it will require regular grooming and clipping.

The fact that they are so intelligent, talented, and athletic, as well as low shedders, are just part of the reasons why this breed is among the top 10 most popular breeds in the US.




The Pug is another dog breed that you can never mistake for another. These dogs have easy to distinguish sturdy and small bodies, cute squished faces, and pig-like curled tails.

They are very affectionate pups that develop a strong bond with their humans and prefer to spend all of their time along with their family, so they are not the best pets to have if you are out of home all day long, or travel frequently.

Pugs are not so into exercise, so they are an excellent choice for people who prefer leading a more sedentary lifestyle.

They are small-sized and reach a height of up to 11-13 inches, and a weight of up to 18 lbs., so they will feel comfortable and well in smaller dwellings too.

The Pug breed originated in ancient China and gained popularity around the world when dogs of the breed were imported to the Netherlands and were declared the royal mascots of the country’s House of Orange.

They are loving, devoted and fun pets and companions suitable for families and homes of all types and sizes.

Plus, they are not yappy or loud, and will not bark without a reason, which is essential if you live in an apartment building.



It comes to no surprise that the Pekingese has made it into our top list of the best apartment dogs because it is a compact dog breed and is a loyal companion dog.

The Pekingese is small in size, with a height of a maximum of 9 inches, and a weight of up to 14 lbs.

Yet, it is regal-like, proud and pretty independent.

Keep in mind that the dogs from this breed prefer to be sole pets, and do not tolerate roughhousing, so if you have other dogs or small children, you will need to socialize and train your dog to get along with everyone from day one.

Also, you will need to teach the kids how to play with the dog, so that there are no quarrels and incidents at home.

Overall, this ancient Asian companion dog breed is a very good option for a pet for people who live in the city or in small-sized apartments.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is another Asian dog bred specifically to be a good companion and lapdog for the royalty and ruling class.

Shi Tzu’s are small enough to fit apartments of all sizes. The dogs from this breed will reach a height of only up to 10.5 inches at the shoulder and a weight of up to 16 lbs.

They are very friendly dogs who get along even with strangers, with children and with other pets.

These cute little Lion Dogs are becoming increasingly popular companion dogs for city dwellers.

Even though their gorgeous silk coats require quite a lot of grooming, the end result is absolutely worth it.

Shi Tzu’s don’t mind spending all day indoors, and will actually love spending hours napping on your lap or sleeping and cuddling beside you instead of yapping and wanting to go outside.



Pomeranians look like tiny plush dolls, but they are pretty feisty and energetic pups. They do require daily playtime and walks, and pretty independent dogs unlike most of the other toy breeds.

They are very small-sized and reach a height of only up to 7 inches and a weight of up to 7 lbs. Yet, they need exercise, so they can live in apartments but with owners who like being active and spending time outdoors playing, exercising and walking their dogs.

Poms do tend to bark quite a lot, so it is crucial to train your dog from an early age in order to prevent incessant barking and problems with neighbors and landlords.

Otherwise, these tiny dogs are absolute charmers. They have amazingly cute smiling faces and resemble little foxes.

Poms are also very smart, so if you live in an apartment but are ready to spend time engaging your pet in physical and mental exercise, the Pomeranian could be the best choice for a four-legged companion for you.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are also among the top 10 most popular breeds in America, just like many of the other breeds on our list. They are toy-sized but being terriers they do need exercise, early socialization, and training to help curb the fact that they are naturally yappy, and that they are instinctively suspicious towards strangers.

Yorkshire Terriers are up to 7-8 inches tall and weigh up to 7 lbs.

They were initially bred as ratters for mines, so they still have a chasing instinct, even though centuries ago they became preferred companion dogs for Victorian England’s aristocracy.

These charming dogs have human-like hair which if left can grow to the ground, so you should keep in mind that they will require regular grooming and clipping if you prefer shorter-haired dogs.

They are feisty and can be a tad bossy, but overall, Yorkies are affectionate, funny and loving companion dogs that will do well in apartments and homes of all sizes.

Final words

Our list of the best apartment dogs can go on and on, so you can rest assured that you can enjoy the loving company of a dog even if you live in the city and in an apartment, as long as you pick a dog breed that is adaptable and suitable for apartment living.

Please keep in mind, that when you are planning on adopting or buying a dog, you are picking a living being, and the choice should be based not solely on your own convenience, but also on the wellbeing of the dog too.

You can look around your local rescue shelters to find a small or medium-sized pup that will feel good in your apartment too.

Whatever you decide, we wish you good luck with your choice, and we hope that you enjoy a long and happy life with your new four-legged friend in your apartment or small home!

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