Best Dog Breeds for Small Apartments

Living in a small apartment doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joys of pet ownership. Despite space limitations, numerous dog breeds adapt well to more compact living environments. They have lower energy levels, smaller sizes, and generally a quieter temperament, making them ideal for apartment life. In addition to these traits, many smaller breeds are brimming with love and affection, bringing immense joy and companionship into your home without needing a large yard to roam.

Moreover, choosing the right breed for apartment living is essential to ensure both you and your pet are happy and healthy. The right dog will easily adapt to living in close quarters and won’t feel confined or unhappy. It’s also essential to consider your lifestyle and choose a breed whose energy levels, exercise needs, and temperament will be a good match for your living situation and routine.

Below, we explore some of the best dog breeds for small apartments, diving into their unique characteristics and health considerations. Each offers its own distinct personality and requirements, so it's imperative to assess what suits you and your living environment best before making a decision.

Renting with Pets

When renting an apartment with a pet, there are additional considerations to keep in mind to ensure a harmonious living situation for you and your furry friend. It’s crucial to thoroughly review the rental agreement and understand the pet policy of the apartment complex before moving in. Some apartments have specific restrictions regarding pet size, breed, and the number of pets allowed. 

Direct and honest communication with the landlord or property management about your pet is also paramount. Ensuring your pet is well-behaved and helping them adapt to the new environment will contribute to a positive renting experience. It’s beneficial to create a comfortable and safe space for your pet within the apartment, and keeping up with regular exercise and outdoor walks will keep them happy and healthy. Adequate planning and consideration can make renting with pets a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Top Breeds for Small Apartments

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are affectionate, easygoing, and known for their adaptability to smaller living spaces. They are very affectionate, so if you provide them with love and attention, they are sure to be content even in a small apartment. However, French Bulldogs may have breathing issues due to their flat faces and can be prone to obesity, which means that a regular and thought-out exercise plan is needed, as they shouldn’t be overstimulated, but also not neglected. They tend to run hot, so if you’re living in a place where temperatures go high, it’s ideal to rent a space with AC. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Friendly and affectionate, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels don’t require significant exercise, and they are also pretty quiet which makes them good apartment neighbors. However, this breed may suffer from heart issues, so regular veterinary checkups and a healthy diet and lifestyle are crucial.

English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are known for their laziness. They are quite content with short walks and indoor relaxation, making them well-suited for apartment living. However, they are prone to hip issues and certain respiratory conditions, so you should try to schedule regular check-ups to keep up to date on their condition. You should also make sure the apartment is clean and you reduce the number of possible allergens that could affect your dog’s breathing.


Dachshunds have moderate energy levels and they fit apartment living perfectly. They're rather small in size and don’t require significant space, and because of their short legs they don’t need to be running around too much, as they might get injured. Be vigilant about their weight, though, as they are prone to back issues, which means regular exercise and a balanced diet are important. When searching for a place to stay, check to see if there are dog parks or trails near your apartment, so you can go on walks regularly to prevent them from gaining too much weight.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are friendly, adaptable, and need minimal exercise. They are comfortable living in small spaces and don’t often bark without cause. Because of their fur pattern, regular grooming is necessary, so invest in brushes and grooming tools, or find a dog grooming service near where you live to ensure regular upkeep.


Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds, needing minimal space. They are rather lively so you will need to give them plenty of attention. One important thing is to train them not to bark excessively, since this is a pretty loud breed. Keep in mind that they may also have dental issues, so regular dental care is essential. Invest in chew toys and supplements for dental health.


Although this might come as a surprise, Greyhounds are excellent apartment dogs, despite their size. They are known as “45-mile-per-hour couch potatoes” and are quite content to lounge indoors. Keep them on a regular exercise schedule and monitor their diet as they are prone to obesity. Although they may not ask for it, you need to regularly take them out to play and exercise. 


Havanese dogs are affectionate, friendly, and adapt well to apartment living. They require moderate exercise and are generally quiet. Regular grooming and check-ups are necessary, along with a consistent diet and exercise routine, but they are not necessarily prone to specific health issues. They have a curious nature, so make sure you invest in some puzzles and mind-stimulating toys for them, to prevent them from exploring your cabinets or other places they should not access.


Pugs are adaptable and sturdy little dogs. They enjoy indoor play and can easily be trained for apartment living. However, they can face breathing and joint issues, necessitating regular exercise, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups. Living next to a vet and a dog park would make it much easier to access these when needed. 

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are friendly and relatively quiet. They are comfortable in small spaces, and they have short coats which means they won’t shed much, which is ideal for apartment living. However, keep in mind they are rather energetic, so regular play and exercise is needed.


Each dog breed has its own unique needs, and it is crucial to consider these before making a decision. Take into account the dog's size, energy levels, and exercise requirements. Even in small spaces, ensure your pet has enough room to move and play. Consistent walks, playtime, and love and attention are essential for all breeds, irrespective of their size or the size of your apartment.

When choosing a dog for an apartment, also consider the pet policies of your apartment complex, including any size or breed restrictions, and ensure you have the time and resources to dedicate to pet care and training. With the right match, living in a small apartment can be a joyful and fulfilling experience for both you and your new furry friend.

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