Dogs are considered man’s best friend. They are often our constant companions, our door greeters, our fluffy balls of energy whose effusive love brightens our days. Unfortunately, some dogs can be notoriously difficult to keep in an apartment. These dog breeds often are high energy, require lots of attention and distraction, and/or may become anxious if left alone for long periods of time.
The good news is that there are plenty of dogs well-suited for apartment living! Here we will share ten of our favorite breeds that you might consider to be your living buddy!
What Characteristics Should You Look for in an Apartment Dog?
Before finding a pet, it’s useful to know which characteristics you should look for in a breed. Finding a dog with the right temperament and personality to match your lifestyle ensures that your new friend and you will be happy companions.
Dogs that exhibit some of the following qualities are more likely to thrive in an apartment setting:
- Energy level – high energy dogs often demand more exercise and attention. A lower-energy, less jumpy dog requires less space and is less likely to need constant exercise. Higher-energy dogs may be for you if you have an active lifestyle.
- Quiet – quiet dogs are less likely to bark and annoy both you and your neighbors.
- Temperament – a dog who is happy to be indoors and calm is more likely to tolerate apartment living. If you have a sociable dog, it might make it easier for you and them to make friends with your neighbors!
Best Dog Breeds for Apartments
Without further ado, here are our top ten breeds for apartment living!
A Basenji is a relatively small dog, weighing at between 20 and 26 lbs. They are barkless, but by no means are they quiet. According to Embrace Pet Insurance, the basenji breed “crows, growls, screams, chortles and yodels to communicate.” Basenjis are clever, intelligent, mischievous, highly social, active, and love to hunt small game. A basenji’s energy and fun are well-matched with someone who loves to exercise, hunt, or leads an otherwise active lifestyle. They do not shed much and keep themselves very clean.
Basenjis are not recommended for people who are constantly away from their apartments. They are known to wreak havoc if left to their own devices without distraction for too long.
2. Bichon Frise
The white, fluffy Bichon Frise is a highly popular small dog for those who live in apartments. Not only are they adorable, they are also hypoallergenic, lovable, and full of personality! These small canines only weigh about 15 lbs so they do not take up a lot of room. They love being around people and love to play so the Bichon Frise breed make wonderful family dogs. Finally, Bichon Frises are intelligent and easily trained.
They do not like being left alone for long periods of time, however. They also require the services of a professional groomer since their fur is fluffy and thick.
You wouldn’t think that a large, 80 lb. Greyhound would be right at home in a small apartment. But au contraire! Greyhounds are gentle, easy-going, affectionate, low-key dogs. If you’re looking for a dog who is as comfortable hanging out at home and dozing on a sleepy Sunday as you are, then this might be the right breed for you! Despite their penchant for running and racing, Greyhounds love sleeping almost as much. They do not require much exercise beyond a walk or a romp around a dog park.
These dogs can sometimes come off as aloof – if you’re looking for a dog that never leaves your side, a Greyhound may not be the best choice for you.
4. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are known as the American Gentleman due to their tuxedo-like markings. These small (10-16 lbs) canines are the quintessential apartment dog – they are gentle, affectionate, loving dogs who love pretty much everyone! Boston Terriers have short, shiny coats that don’t require much grooming. They can fit almost any lifestyle whether you’re active or prefer to relax on the couch at home. Keep in mind, though, that like other dogs, these dogs need exercise as they get particularly hyper. Fortunately, they are easy to train and socialize very well with both people and dogs.
Boston Terriers are notoriously unhealthy dogs. CertaPet remarks that these dogs can suffer from “eye problems, patella luxation [displacement of the dog’s knee], and breathing discomfort.” They are also sensitive to temperature extremes.
Who can resist the adorably squishable face of a Bulldog? These low-key dogs don’t require much exercise and are perfectly content to lounge around with you on the sofa. Bulldogs are great with kids and make wonderful family dogs. Although medium-sized canines, ranging from 40 – 50 lbs, Bulldogs do very well in apartments. They are not hyperactive, but they are very playful and loving. A Bulldog, however, might take laziness to the extreme – they do not actively seek to exercise so you might need to encourage your Bulldog to go for a walk with you. Otherwise, they make the perfect cuddle buddy.
Bulldogs may be too heavy for those who want a light dog they can pick up. Additionally, they can little tolerate temperature extremes so you’d want to make sure that they are kept cool or warm in the summer/winter months.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Considered one of the toy breeds of dog, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is named after King Charles II of England. These elegant, attractive dogs are quiet, good-natured, and very companionable. Known as “comforter dogs,” the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are great for households who have someone home quite often such as retired couples, stay-at-home parents, or adults who telecommute or work remotely. They weigh between 13 and 18 lbs so they make the perfect lap dogs. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are smart and love being around people all the time. An added bonus are their long, silky ears that you can gently tussle as much as you’d like!
They are susceptible to a few health problems. And, if you’re looking for a dog who does not need constant attention, then it might be wise to find a different breed to suit your lifestyle.
You might be wondering why we included a large dog breed on this list. Surprisingly, some large dogs are very well-suited to apartments. The Mastiff, for example, works perfectly for someone who has a large apartment and/or may not like small dogs. Some large dog breeds have lower energy levels and are content with hanging around the apartment instead of needing to be outside all of the time. Mastiffs are massive compared to other dogs, weighing in at over 200 lbs. They are low maintenance, easy-going, strong, loyal, and relatively quiet (no loud barking at the mailman here!).
If you dislike slobbering dogs, you might want to stay away from the Mastiff. They don’t drool excessively, but it might be enough that you’ll need to clean up after them every day or so. Mastiffs also often suffer from joint and structural issues due to their large size – this is something to keep in mind should you bring a Mastiff into your home.
8. Chinese Crested
These unique-looking dogs are tiny, tipping the scales between 5 and 12 lbs. Chinese Crested dogs are lively, affectionate, and charming (and their smallness makes them fit perfectly into purses!). Dogs in this breed either have coats or are hairless (otherwise known as the hairless and the Powderpuff), and they do not shed much. They are like cats in that they absolutely love laps. The Chinese Crested breed make great family pets because of their love of companionship and devotion to their families.
Chinese Crested dogs are highly social dogs and are reliant on their owners for attention. This dog may not be for you if you’d prefer a dog who can be alone or does not need to constantly reside in your lap.
9. Bedlington Terrier
This lovely lamb-looking dog is what Dogtime.com describes as “all terrier” – this breed is “inquisitive, intelligent, alert, and aggressive toward small animals outdoors.” Bedlington Terriers also have moderate energy levels and need some exercise, but they are not as hyperactive as some other high-strung breeds. They are perfectly content to go on walks or jogs with you as your exercise buddy. They are energetic, loyal, and love attention, but you can also leave them alone for a period of time. Bedlingtons get along with other dogs, especially if they have been socialized or raised together.
These dogs possess strong and stubborn personalities and can be difficult to train.
Let’s be honest, everyone loves pugs! Their squished faces and curlicue tails make people squee with excitement. They possess mischievous, energetic, and loving personalities. Pugs love to play and love their humans even more – they make perfect companions and cuddlers. Pugs will tolerate children and other animals if socialized with them early on, potentially ensuring their role as a family dog. Although adorable and quiet, Pugs shed a significant amount. But if you can handle that, this may be the perfect dog for you!
Pugs have a tendency to become overweight due to their inherent “couch potato” nature and love of food. Enough exercise should help to counter this. But it’s something to consider if you’re looking for an active companion
Above we have listed ten of our favorite dogs suited for apartment living. We tried to capture a little of everything, from lower-energy, low maintenance couch potato cuddlers to highly active dogs who want to be your exercise buddy. Dogs make some of the best companions and fur babies and give you so much love without asking anything in return. And we hope you learned that you can still have a dog even if you live in a small apartment.