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Top 10 Best Apartment Dogs (for Small Spaces)

Dreaming of a furry companion but stuck in a small apartment? No worries!

Although certain dog breeds might crave a vast space to explore, there’s a bunch that thrives and stays content in cozier quarters.

Many small dog breeds boast laid-back personalities, minimal shedding, and polite manners, making them ideal for apartment living.

The crucial part? Picking a breed that aligns with your lifestyle and personality. To help you, we’ve rounded up the top 10 apartment dogs that’ll be happy in almost any space.

Keep reading to find the perfect furry sidekick for your chic city lifestyle.

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Benefits of Having a Dog in an Apartment

Having a dog in an apartment can provide numerous benefits for you and the dog.

Firstly, dogs are known to reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can be especially helpful if you live in small spaces.

Additionally, dogs can provide companionship and love, which can combat loneliness and depression. Dogs also promote physical activity, as they need regular exercise such as walking or playing fetch.

You can also feel more secure in an apartment with a dog, as they can alert you to intruders or dangers.

Overall, having a dog in an apartment can bring joy, comfort, and a sense of responsibility into your life.

Importance of Choosing the Right Dog for Apartment Living

Choosing the right dog breed is crucial when it comes to apartment living.

Different breeds have different needs and temperaments; some are better suited to living in smaller spaces than others.

For example, a high-energy dog that requires a lot of exercise may not be suitable for an apartment, as they may not have enough space to run around and burn off energy.

Similarly, a dog that barks excessively may not be suitable for apartment living, as it can disturb neighbors.

You can ensure that your dog is happy and healthy in a small living space by choosing a breed that is well-suited for apartment living, such as those that are low-energy and have lower exercise requirements.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog for an Apartment

There are several factors to consider when choosing a dog for an apartment, including:

  1. Size and space requirements: Small or medium-sized dogs are generally better suited for apartment living, as they require less space to move around. Choosing a dog that can comfortably fit in the apartment and has enough space to move around and play is important.
  2. Exercise needs: Dogs with lower exercise requirements are generally more suitable for apartment living, as they may not have access to a large outdoor space. Choosing a breed that only requires moderate exercise, such as daily walks, can be a good option.
  3. Temperament and personality: Choosing a dog with a temperament and personality that suits your lifestyle and living situation is important. For example, some dogs may be more adaptable to living in small spaces, while others may be more prone to separation anxiety or excessive barking.
  4. Compatibility with children and other pets: A compatible dog is important if you have children or other pets living in the apartment. Some breeds are known for being good with children and other pets, while others may not be suitable.

If you plan to adopt a dog and live in a small apartment, educating yourself on ways to keep your furry friend entertained and stimulated is important.

Chew, interactive, or treat-dispensing toys can help keep your dog occupied while you’re at work or running errands.

Giving your dog enough mental and physical stimulation can prevent destructive behavior and maintain a happy and healthy living environment.

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Top 10 Best Apartment Dogs

The best apartment dog can have different meanings for people based on their lifestyle and preferences.

For instance, someone who works long hours may prefer a low-energy dog that is content to sleep during the day, while a person who loves outdoor activities may want a small, athletic dog that can accompany them on hikes and runs.

A quiet dog may be ideal for those living in buildings with noise restrictions. People with allergies may prefer hypoallergenic dogs, while those living in small apartments with no outdoor space may prefer small, low-exercise dogs.

Considering those preferences, the forthcoming list includes options catering to diverse needs and desires.

Here are the top 10 best dogs for apartments:

BreedTemperamentAKC Breed PopularityHeight (in)Weight (lb)Life ExpectancyGroup
French BulldogAffectionate, Easygoing111-1216-2811-13 yearsNon-Sporting
PugCharming, Mischievous3310-1314-1812-15 yearsToy
Boston TerrierFriendly, Intelligent2315-1712-2511-13 yearsNon-Sporting
Cavalier King Charles SpanielAffectionate, Graceful1512-1313-1812-14 yearsToy
ChihuahuaDevoted, Lively376-92-614-16 yearsToy
Shih TzuOutgoing, Affectionate229-109-1610-16 yearsToy
Bichon FrisePlayful, Curious479.5-11.512-1812-15 yearsNon-Sporting
GreyhoundAffectionate, Athletic13227-3060-7010-14 yearsHound
Yorkshire TerrierAffectionate, Brave136-73-711-15 yearsToy
DachshundFriendly, Curious108-916-3212-15 yearsHound
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1. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are great apartment dogs because they adapt well to a consistent routine and don’t require constant attention.

French Bulldog apartment dogs

They can be left alone and won’t get too upset when you leave for work, but not for too long, as they’re prone to separation anxiety.

Furthermore, they’re lazy and might even prefer to stay on the couch watching their favorite dog show.

However, they’ll be ready to play when you get back home. As a popular breed, it’s recommended to research common health conditions before bringing a French Bulldog home.

  • Temperament: Affectionate, sociable, lively, playful, stubborn
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 1
  • Height: 11-12 inches
  • Weight: 16-28 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 11-14 years
  • Group: Non-Sporting

2. Pug

Pugs are an excellent choice for apartment living as they are affectionate and homebodies. Though they can be mischievous, they are well-suited for small spaces.

Pug apartment dogs

However, their love of food and lack of exercise can make them prone to obesity, and they may struggle in extreme temperatures.

  • Temperament: Charming, mischievous, loving, social, stubborn
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 33
  • Height: 10-13 inches
  • Weight: 14-18 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Toy

3. Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers make great apartment dogs because they are compact and weigh only around 20 pounds, taking up less space than an exercise ball. They’re also known for their sweet and affectionate nature.

Boston Terrier apartment dogs

Moreover, they don’t shed much and are not prone to excessive barking, making them a practical choice for apartment living.

  • Temperament: Friendly, intelligent, lively
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 23
  • Height: 15-17 inches
  • Weight: 12-25 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 11-15 years
  • Group: Non-Sporting

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an excellent choice for apartment living because they adapt well to indoor environments and their owner’s lifestyle.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel apartment dogs

They are affectionate dogs that match their owner’s vibe, making them ideal for both active and homebody lifestyles.

As a toy breed, they do not require large dog beds that would take up a lot of space in an apartment. Instead, they prefer to be close to their owner and are content when they are by their side.

  • Temperament: Affectionate, gentle, graceful, playful
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 15
  • Height: 12-13 inches
  • Weight: 13-18 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Toy

5. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are often considered great apartment dogs because they can be trained to be quiet and make good watchdogs.

Chihuahua apartment dogs

Despite their reputation for barking, not all Chihuahuas bark excessively, and their watchdog instincts can be helpful in alerting owners to potential threats.

As lap dogs, they are happy to spend time with their owners and can be easily transported in a tote or carrier.

They also have a long lifespan, which means they can be a long-term companion for apartment dwellers.

  • Temperament: Lively, alert, courageous, devoted, charming
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 37
  • Height: 6-9 inches
  • Weight: up to 6 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-20 years
  • Group: Toy

6. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus make excellent apartment dogs for several reasons. They require regular grooming, which can provide an opportunity for bonding with their owner.

Shih Tzu apartment dogs

Because they’re flat-faced dogs, they are not likely to be big chewers, so there is less risk of damage to furniture or carpet.

They also crave human attention and form strong bonds with their owners, making them loyal and loving companions.

If you’re concerned about leaving your Shih Tzu home alone while at work, there are tips to train your dog to stay home alone.

  • Temperament: Affectionate, playful, outgoing, alert, gentle
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 22
  • Height: 9-10.5 inches
  • Weight: 9-16 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-18 years
  • Group: Toy

7. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises make excellent apartment dogs due to their friendly and cheerful nature and ability to adapt to a quiet indoor lifestyle.

Bichon Frise apartment dogs

Even though they can also excel in agility competitions, they are content to relax on the couch for extended periods.

Furthermore, their weight of around 15 pounds makes them a suitable choice for apartment living without causing any disturbance to neighbors.

  • Temperament: Playful, affectionate, cheerful, gentle, sociable
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 47
  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 12-18 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Non-Sporting

8. Greyhound

Greyhounds make great apartment dogs because, despite being one of the fastest dog breeds, they have a laid-back personality.

Greyhound apartment dogs

This means that they are happy to participate in outdoor activities on weekends and evenings while also being content to lounge around on your couch during the day.

  • Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, athletic, gentle, independent
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 132
  • Height: 27-30 inches (male), 26-28 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-70 pounds (male), 60-65 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-14 years
  • Group: Hound

9. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers make great apartment dogs for several reasons. Firstly, they are small and do not require a lot of space, making them suitable for living in apartments.

Yorkshire Terrier apartment dog

Secondly, they are affectionate and devoted to their owners, which means they enjoy being near them, making them great indoor companions. They are also known to have playful personalities and love short walks.

Finally, Yorkshire Terriers are a low-shedding breed, which makes them a great option for those with pet allergies.

  • Temperament: Affectionate, sprightly, tomboyish
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 13
  • Height: 8-9 inches
  • Weight: Up to 7 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 11-15 years
  • Group: Toy

10. Dachshund

Dachshunds make great apartment dogs because their long bodies and short legs make them adept at burrowing and snuggling up with their owners, even under blankets.

Dachshund apartment dogs

They also tend to be loyal and focused on their owners but may require consistent training to curb their tendency to bark at neighbors.

Additionally, they are available in various coat types, including the long-haired option, which is still easy to maintain. However, they may be reserved when meeting other dogs and people while out on walks.

  • Temperament: Friendly, curious, clever, courageous, stubborn
  • AKC Breed Popularity: 10
  • Height: Standard: 8-9 inches; Miniature: 5-6 inches
  • Weight: Standard: 16-32 pounds; Miniature: 11 pounds and under
  • Life Expectancy: 12-16 years
  • Group: Hound
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Tips for Living with a Dog in an Apartment

Living with a dog in an apartment can present some challenges, but with proper preparation and care, it can be a rewarding experience.

Here are some essential tips for living with a dog in an apartment:

  1. Creating a designated space for the dog: It’s important to create a designated space in the apartment for your dog, such as a crate or bed, where they can feel safe and secure.
  2. Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation: Even in a small space, it’s important to provide your dog with enough exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and anxiety. Daily walks, interactive toys, and training sessions can be helpful.
  3. House training and potty breaks: House training is crucial when living in an apartment, as accidents can be difficult to clean up in a small space. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful house training. Potty breaks should be taken regularly throughout the day.
  4. Dealing with barking and noise: Excessive barking can be a problem in apartment living, as it can disturb neighbors. Training and positive reinforcement can help reduce barking, and addressing any issues promptly is important.
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Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right Dog for Apartment Living

Plenty of options exist if you’re looking for a furry companion to share your small living space.

While it’s important to consider the breed’s temperament, size, and exercise needs, finding a dog that matches your lifestyle and personality is the most important factor.

Whether you’re a couch potato, fitness enthusiast, busy professional, or retiree, there’s a perfect apartment dog for you.

By choosing one of these ten best apartment dogs, you’ll have a loyal companion and a four-legged friend who fits seamlessly into your urban lifestyle.

So go ahead, adopt a furry friend, and enjoy all the joys and benefits that come with having a dog in your apartment!

Let us know what you think: what breed would you pick to live in an apartment?

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Lisemaine is a dog lover. She currently owns two Frenchies and enjoys working with and training them. She'll share her best tips with you to keep your Frenchie happy, healthy, and active.

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