Information

Which Dog Breeds Are Best for Apartment Living?

Which Dog Breeds Are Best for Apartment Living?


Robert is a life-long dog-lover and the co-creator of Telemark's Guide to Dogs, an interactive CD-ROM filled with dog information & photos.

The Top-Rated Dog Breeds for Apartments

To compile our list, we used the DogSpotters Dog Breed Selector, an interactive tool that allows you to find dog breeds that match your lifestyle, preferences, and physical requirements. There are several dog breed selectors available on the Internet, so we chose the one that allowed us to look for the specific things that make for "apartment friendly" dogs.

We looked for dogs that match the following criteria:

  • Small breeds
  • Not heavy shedders
  • Require a minimum amount of grooming
  • Don’t require a lot of exercise
  • Comfortable being left on their own sometimes
  • Not excessive barkers

It's important to note that these are overall breed characteristics. Individual dogs may vary! Also, training can have an impact on specific dog behaviors (e.g. training may discourage barking or barking may occur more frequently from being left alone for a while).

Australian Terrier

The Australian Terrier is a sturdy, alert, and amusing little dog. It's good with considerate children and other pets and is not "snappish."

TraitThis Breed

Size

Very small (< 10 inches, < 15 pounds)

Coat

Medium

Grooming

Regular grooming needed

Shedding

None (or very light)

Exercise

Very little exercise needed

Independence

Moderately dependent on people

Barking

Average barking

Training

Easy to train

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Welsh Corgi is the favorite dog of Queen Elizabeth II of England who has raised more than 30. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the closely related Pembroke Welsh Corgi are highly intelligent, obedient, protective, and robust. The breed is generally good with other non-canine animals and with other Corgis but can be combative with other dogs.

TraitThis Breed

Size

Small (9-15 inches, 15-35 pounds)

Coat

Medium

Grooming

A little grooming needed

Shedding

Seasonally shedder

Exercise

Moderate exercise needed

Independence

Not particularly dependent or independent

Barking

Average barking

Training

Easy to train

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A beautiful small spaniel and a very loyal and enthusiastic dog. This dog loves to play chase, so keep a tight leash on your dog when he's around squirrels, balls, cars, kids, or pretty much anything that moves! Its long hair gets mats easily, so this dog requires regular brushing.

TraitThis Breed

Size

Small (9-15 inches, 15-35 pounds)

Coat

Feathered

Grooming

Regular grooming needed

Shedding

Average shedder

Exercise

Moderate exercise needed

Independence

Very dependent - needs people a lot

Barking

Not much barking

Training

Easy to train

Chinese Shar-Pei

This breed is devoted and loyal to his family but reserved with strangers. The Shar-Pei must be properly socialized or can become quite aggressive. These dogs become bored easily, so training needs to be varied, upbeat, and fun.

TraitThis Breed

Size

Medium (12-24 inches, 30-55 pounds)

Coat

Short

Grooming

Very little grooming needed

Shedding

Average shedder

Exercise

Moderate exercise needed

Independence

Moderately dependent on people

Barking

Not much barking

Training

Easy to train

Glen of Imaal Terrier

Though not overly inclined to bark, the Glen of Imaal Terrier has a deep voice that makes the dog sound much bigger than he is. This dog is playful and active, but can be feisty with other animals, especially dogs of the same sex.

TraitThis Breed

Size

Medium (12-24 inches, 30-55 pounds)

Coat

Medium

Grooming

Regular grooming needed

Shedding

None (or very light)

Exercise

Moderate exercise needed

Independence

Fairly independent

Barking

Not much barking

Training

Not easy to train

Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is inquisitive, fast, and agile. Unless well-trained, he will happily jump from chair to counter to table! The breed is sensitive to cold temperatures; this dog needs to wear a sweater to go out in cold weather. Italian greyhounds are naturally timid and startle easily, so be sure to gently expose your dog to a variety of sounds and situations.

TraitThis Breed

Size

Very small (< 10 inches, < 15 pounds)

Coat

Short

Grooming

Very little grooming needed

Shedding

None (or very light)

Exercise

Very little exercise needed

Independence

Very dependent - needs people a lot

Barking

Average barking

Be Sure Your Apartment Is Dog-Friendly

Whatever breed you choose (or currently own), it's important to find a place where you and your canine companion will be comfortable. Many apartment complexes are advertised as dog-friendly, but most are really just "dog tolerant."

To find an apartment complex that is really dog-friendly, look for these things:

  • An office staff that welcomes dogs and keeps treats on hand
  • Places where your dog can do his business, ideally with nearby poop-bag dispensers
  • Nearby parks or places to walk your dog
  • Nearby dog-friendly businesses and restaurants with outdoor seating where dogs are welcome
  • Other residents with dogs! (Talk to other residents to learn about any issues or problems.)
  • Dog walking or dog-sitting services available

Note that some apartments have restrictions on dog breeds or dog size. Most require additional deposits and may charge higher rent for dog owners. When considering an apartment, look for specific restrictions on their website and in the lease.

© 2019 Robert Nicholson


19. Xoloitzcuintli

Known as the Mexican Hairless, the Xolo is known to be calm, sweet and loving. He is strongly attached to his family and needs to be near them. He is even a good watchdog and tends to be protective of his family and territory.

He is a dog that needs a moderate amount of daily physical activity, such as regular walks of about 30 minutes. Although he is also very good at participating in dog sports, he especially excels in agility.

The Xolo is a people-dog and a great companion. He needs to spend time with his family, or he can become destructive to get some attention.

He is an easy and quick dog to train, both in obedience and in house-training. Although you have to keep the training sessions short, fun and exciting so that he doesn’t get bored.

He is a pet that needs to live indoors because of his hairless body. He can not be in the sun for long periods.

Since the Xolo is a calm, relatively quiet dog with a moderate energy level, he adapts very well to apartment life.


Shih Tzus

It’s not very surprising that these tiny, snuggly dogs are perfect for apartments. They don’t require much maintenance or feeding, and due to their tiny nature, they’re best left indoors, where they’re not susceptible to extreme temperature changes. But while they’re not overtly energetic, they will bark at strangers in your building, so make sure your neighbors get to know the dogs well.


Hypoallergenic Apartment Dogs

#7: Whippet

Another medium sized dog to consider for an apartment is the Whippet. The dog breed is lean, and they don’t require constant attention. Indeed, whippets like to spend a lot of time just sleeping, although they naturally also require plenty of activity. You need to be willing to take the whippet out for exercise regularly.

The breed is hypoallergenic, and it doesn’t shed much fur. One other benefit to having a whippet as an apartment dog is the fact these dogs don’t bark a lot. While the smaller breeds can sometimes get feisty and vocal, whippets don’t like to make a sound.

Xoloitzcuintli(Mexican Hairless)

The Xoloitzcuitli (pronounced 'show-low-eats-queens-tlee') is also called the Mexican Hairless dog. It comes in 3 sizes Toy, Miniature, and Standard. Somewhat confusingly, some do have a coat, although it is very short and fine.

The Hairless type does not shed at all, and is ideal for people with allergies to dog hair or dander. They are energetic as puppies, but calm down after 2 years of age. Adults are generally calm and reserved, and rarely bark. They make good watch dogs.


The 15 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Dwellers

Not all dogs are well-suited to apartment living. These adorable pups have what it takes to make the most of small spaces.

Related To:

Chihuahua

Sassy and loyal Chihuahuas have lit up the big screen in films like Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Legally Blonde. These pint-sized pups prefer to be close to their owners and do well in small spaces, like apartments. They also don’t need a lot of exercise, but if you go out in the cold, keep him warm with a sweater. Chihuahuas can lose body heat quickly. Inside, you may find that this pup’s favorite spot is on your lap, settled in for a Netflix marathon.

French Bulldog

French bulldogs are well-mannered and affectionate. They love to play and spend quality time with their humans, making them fantastic companion dogs. However, they also value their beauty sleep (Frenchies can sleep 12 to 14 hours a day). These pups are compact and don’t require a lot of activity. French bulldogs also don’t bark much - at least not for no reason - and have much love to give. No wonder Frenchies are the most-hashtagged dog breed on Instagram.

Havanese

The lesser-known Havanese is the national dog of Cuba. This small, spunky pup is also the only dog breed native to this tropical island nation. Havanese doggos love to play, but always with a watchful eye, making sure their owner is near. This pup’s not clingy he’s just loyal to his human. The Havanese does well in small spaces and doesn’t shed much, despite its thick coat of fur (a bonus for those with allergies).

Lowchen

In German, Lowchen means "little lion dog," but this dog is more friendly than fierce. Once among the rarest dogs in the world, this toy pup’s numbers grew in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, he’s a popular companion dog, especially in Europe. This pup is smart, playful and one of the healthiest breeds, often living 15 years or more. The Lowchen is gentle and devoted without high exercise needs. He’s no couch potato, but he will make a good sofa pal in a small apartment.

Shih Tzu

The lovable shih tzu may have been bred as a lapdog, but this gentle pup enjoys frolicking at the park, too. However, he can easily get all the exercise he needs roaming about your apartment. This cuddly canine is eager to be your best friend and a loving companion for life. As a bonus, the shih tzu tends to be less yappy than other toy breeds. It’s hard to go wrong with such a friendly and good-tempered pooch.

Yorkshire Terrier

It’s hard not to love a Yorkshire terrier thanks to his gentle, affectionate nature. Yorkies are petite pups that can get a day’s worth of exercise scurrying about your apartment. With strangers, they can be cautious, even feisty, but they’re simply being protective of their humans. These cuddle-bugs will love a good snooze on your lap, but you’ll want to acclimate them to the world outside your apartment. This will help ensure a secure and social pooch.

Bichon Frise

The clever and charming bichon frise loves to be around people and is thankfully hypoallergenic, a plus for allergy sufferers eager to add a furry friend to their lives. The bichon frise is also a great pick for first-time pooch owners given their calm, even-keeled personality. These small pups don’t need a lot of exercise - a romp around your apartment will do - but these doggos are so adorable you may want to show them off around the neighborhood.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Sex and the City fans may instantly recognize the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, the breed owned by Charlotte York in the series. This loving and friendly dog is well-known for its comforting nature, snugly falling into place on your lap. Thanks to its small size - the breed tops out at 18 pounds - they don’t need much to stay active, but they can also be taken out for long walks. A small apartment is fine for this pooch, though you may find he keeps close wherever you roam.

Boston Terrier

Nicknamed "American Gentleman" for his tuxedo-like coat, the Boston terrier is a gentle, loving pup that’s eager to please and doesn’t require much exercise. A couple of daily walks is just fine for this doggo. Thanks to their short hair, Boston terriers are easy to groom and won’t shed much on your furniture. It’s easy to fall in love with this pup at first sight thanks to his inquisitive expression and large eyes that seem to peer deep into your soul.

Corgi

We all love the Royals, and by association, we all love corgis. Queen Elizabeth herself has owned more than 30 corgis since taking the throne in 1952. These fluffy and adorable pups have little legs that don’t require long walks, making them well-suited for small spaces. They’ll do just as well in big spaces too, like Windsor Castle. However, this loving doggo does like to shed, so brush him regularly and keep several lint rollers within easy reach around the apartment.

Maltipoo

A cross between a Maltese and a toy poodle, the Maltipoo is, in one word, adorable. This little furball is smart, sweet and friendly. He’s also well-suited for apartment life, weighing in at just 10 pounds and not needing loads of exercise. He may scamper about your living space from time to time, but he’s equally keen to cuddle up with you on the sofa. A good choice for first-time dog owners, Maltipoos are relatively easy to train and are fast learners.

Chow Chow

The chow chow may be larger than many other apartment-friendly dog breeds - they can weigh up to 70 pounds - but they’re not especially active and will do just fine in smaller spaces. Chow chows are also quieter and more independent than smaller breeds, but their soft, fluffy coats draw you in for a warm hug. These pups are protective, so socialize them to ensure they are comfortable around family and friends. Keep their heavy coats trimmed in the summer to stave off grouchiness.

Whippet

The whippet is another medium-sized dog that does just fine in an apartment. These doggos may not make good watchdogs, but they do make loyal and loving companions. A relative of the greyhound, whippets aren’t fluffy or furry, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love a good cuddle. They’re also calm and love themselves a good snooze session on the couch. More prone to cold than other breeds, keep them warm with a jacket or sweater in winter months.

Greyhound

A greyhound may be able to hit speeds of 45 miles per hour, but despite popular belief, they don’t need lots of exercise. Instead, a couple of daily walks will do, but more for the mental stimulation than the physical activity. You may find that a greyhound’s favorite space in your apartment is your sofa, like the entire sofa, since they can weigh in at nearly 90 pounds. These gentle giants rarely bark and agreeably adapt to new living situations.


Watch the video: 7 Large Dog Breeds For Small Apartments and Tiny Homes