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The Best Dogs for Apartment Living in 2024

The Best Dogs for Apartment Living in 2024

Are you a dog lover looking for a new furry friend, but worried your apartment space may not be the right environment for a pet? We have good news! Apartment living doesn't have to limit your ability to enjoy the companionship of a dog. With the right breed and some careful considerations, you can find the perfect furry baby who will thrive in your cozy space.

There are plenty of good apartment dogs out there; it's just a matter of knowing what to look for and understanding the specific needs of each breed. We'll share some of the best dog breeds for apartments and how to choose the right one for you.

How to Choose an Apartment-Friendly Dog

When you're looking for a dog for apartment living, consider the following factors to ensure both you and your new pet are comfortable:

  • Size: A small dog breed can often adapt better to limited living space, but larger dogs with the right temperament and energy levels can also do well.

  • Temperament: Look for breeds known for being relaxed and adaptable with a friendly and calm demeanor.

  • Energy Levels: High-energy dogs may struggle in apartments without plenty of exercise opportunities, while lower energy breeds can thrive with fewer daily activities.

  • Grooming Needs: Frequent grooming can be challenging in a small space. Low-shedding breeds help keep your living area clean and reduce the risk of allergies.

Small Dog Breeds Perfect for Apartment Life

Many people will opt for a small dog breed or even toy breeds if they live in an apartment environment. Small breed dogs typically need less physical space, making them more comfortable in smaller living areas. They're also typically easier to manage in terms of exercise and grooming, and often require less effort to keep happy and healthy in a small setting.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are one of the smallest dog breeds, making them ideal for apartment living. Despite their tiny size, they have a big personality and are known for their affectionate nature. Yorkies are relatively low-maintenance in terms of exercise, needing just a few short walks a day. Their small size also means they don't take up much living space, making them perfect for apartment living.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are another fantastic small breed for apartment living. These dogs are known for their sweet, gentle, and affectionate nature. They get along well with other pets and are great with children, making them a versatile choice for many households. Cavaliers enjoy moderate exercise, such as daily walks and playtime, which is easy to manage in an apartment setting.

Medium-Sized Breeds That Thrive in Apartments

Medium sized dogs are those that range in weight from about 20-60 lbs and are shorter than 27 inches when fully grown, such as a Basset Hound, Bulldog, or Boston Terrier. Many popular dog breeds fall within this category and make great apartment dogs.

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are a popular medium dog breed known for their charming and adaptable nature. They are medium-sized, with a sturdy build and a friendly, playful demeanor. Frenchies are relatively low-energy dogs, making them well-suited for apartment living. They enjoy short walks and play sessions but are also content to lounge around the house.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are another excellent medium-sized breed for apartment life. They are intelligent, friendly, and relatively low-maintenance. Boston Terriers are known for their moderate energy levels; they enjoy daily walks and playtime but are also happy to relax at home. They are also known for being relatively quiet, which is beneficial in an apartment setting. Their friendly and adaptable nature makes them great companions for individuals and families.

Low-Energy Large Breeds Ideal for Small Spaces

Some large dog breeds can make great companions for apartment living. As long as they get adequate exercise, several large dog breeds can thrive in apartment settings.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs, despite their large size, can be surprisingly well-suited for apartment living. Known for their calm and easygoing temperament, these gentle giants enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and are content with moderate exercise. A couple of good walks a day and some playtime are usually sufficient to keep them happy and healthy.


Mastiffs are another example of a large breed that can thrive in an apartment setting. Known for their calm and gentle demeanor, Mastiffs are typically low-energy dogs with minimal exercise needs. They enjoy short walks and are generally content with a relaxed lifestyle. Their size requires adequate space, but their low activity level makes them manageable in an apartment.

Hypoallergenic Dogs for Allergy Sufferers

Any dog lover who suffers from allergies can benefit from a hypoallergenic dog breed, but it is especially important for those who live in small, confined spaces such as an apartment. Many hypoallergenic dog breeds are also small dogs, making them great dog breeds for apartments.

Poodle (Toy, Miniature, and Standard)

Poodles come in three sizes – Toy, Miniature, and Standard – and all are hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for allergy sufferers. These intelligent and versatile dogs are known for their friendly and trainable nature. Poodles are also relatively low-shedding, thanks to their curly coat, which traps dander and reduces allergens.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is another excellent hypoallergenic breed. These small dogs have a cheerful and affectionate nature, making them great companions for just about anyone. Bichons have a curly coat that sheds very little, reducing the amount of dander in your home.

Quiet Breeds Suitable for Close Neighbors

Many apartment complexes have noise restrictions, and a constantly barking dog can be a violation that could result in a fine or even eviction. Proper training and the right distractions can go a long way in controlling barking, but the best apartment dogs are quiet breeds who are less prone to frequent barking.


Basenjis are known as the "barkless dog" due to their unique vocalizations, which sound more like yodels than traditional barks. This makes them an excellent choice for apartment living, where noise levels need to be kept to a minimum. Basenjis are small to medium-sized dogs with a sleek and athletic build.

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are another breed known for their quiet nature. While they can be vocal at times, they are generally quieter than many other breeds. Shibas are small to medium-sized dogs with a strong-willed and independent personality. They are clean dogs with minimal grooming needs, as their coat is short and sheds moderately.

Low-Shedding Breeds for Easy Maintenance

Shedding is another factor to consider when you live in a small space. Short-haired dogs tend to shed less, which helps keep your apartment cleaner and reduces the amount of pet hair accumulating on furniture and floors.

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhounds are a sleek and elegant dog breed known for their low-shedding coat. These small dogs are perfect for apartment living due to their compact size and minimal grooming needs. Italian Greyhounds are affectionate and enjoy being close to their owners, making them excellent companions.


Dachshunds, also known as "wiener dogs" due to their long bodies and short legs, are another low-shedding breed ideal for apartment living. They come in three coat types: smooth, longhaired, and wirehaired. Smooth-coated Dachshunds are the easiest to maintain, with minimal shedding and grooming needs.

Training and Socialization Tips for Apartment Dogs

Proper training can make all the difference when it comes to creating a happy and healthy life for an apartment dog.

Here are some training tips for apartment dwellers:

  • Start training as early as possible.

  • Teach basic commands like sit, stay, and come.

  • Give your dog a space of their own, such as a dog bed or kennel with a comfy blanket.

  • Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise.

  • Ensure consistency by having all family members follow the same training rules and commands.

Socialization is equally important and should be an ongoing process:

  • Expose your dog to different environments, people, and other pets.

  • Take your dog to a dog park or on walks around the neighborhood.

  • Regular socialization helps reduce anxiety and promotes positive behavior in various situations.

Managing Exercise and Activity Needs in an Apartment

Keeping your dog active and healthy is important for their well-being no matter where you live. Even in a small living space, there are plenty of ways to ensure your dog gets the exercise they need. Regular walks are a must for any dog, providing physical activity and mental stimulation. Aim for at least two walks a day, adjusting based on your dog's energy levels.

Interactive toys and puzzles are great for keeping your dog entertained and mentally stimulated. These can be especially useful when you need to leave your dog alone for a while. Consider setting up a small play area in your apartment where your dog can safely engage with their toys and burn off some energy.

If your apartment has access to a dog park or communal outdoor space, take advantage of it. This provides an opportunity for your dog to run around, play with other dogs, and get some fresh air.

Dog Breeds That Typically DON'T Do Well In Apartments

While many dog breeds can adapt to apartment living, some are better suited to larger homes with more space. High-energy breeds, such as Border Collies and Australian Shepherds often require more space and exercise than an apartment can provide. These breeds thrive in environments where they can run and play freely.

Large breeds like the Siberian Husky or American Eskimo dog also tend to struggle in apartments. Their need for extensive exercise and mental stimulation can be challenging to meet in a confined space. A high-energy breed is better suited to homes with large yards or access to open spaces where they can expend their energy.

Breeds known for excessive barking, such as Beagles and some terriers, may also pose challenges in an apartment setting. Constant barking can be disruptive to neighbors and stressful for both you and your dog. It's important to consider these factors when choosing a breed for apartment living.

Find Your Perfect Apartment Dog in 2024

Now that you know you have many dog breeds to choose from that make good apartment dogs, it's time to start your search! Once you've found the perfect companion, you can begin setting up your space and training your dog to thrive in an apartment setting.

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