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Are you looking for a dog breed that is well-suited for apartment living? If you’re a dog lover, you probably understand that many types of dogs need wide open spaces, plenty of room, and a large backyard–none of which you may have if you live in an apartment.

Are there any breeds that prefer staying indoors and need less exercise? Are there any breeds that are known for being quiet, independent homebodies? What are the best dogs for apartments? In this article, we’ll take a look at what makes a good apartment dog as well as some of the top breeds for apartment living.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Dog for Your Apartment

When trying to find the best dog for an apartment, there are several things you should take into consideration. What is the dog’s overall personality or temperament? How large is the dog, and do you have enough room for him? And of course, what breeds are best for apartments? We’ll take a closer look at each of these considerations below.


Personality may be the most critical factor in determining whether a dog will be a good fit for an apartment. Lazy, low-energy dogs may be preferable if you don’t have a lot of space in your apartment or if you don’t have a lot of opportunities to exercise your dog. Dogs that bark a lot may get on the neighbors’ nerves, so choosing a quiet, laid-back dog is best.

Some dogs prefer staying inside or are better able to adapt to being inside a lot. These will make for good apartment dogs if you aren’t able to take them outside much.

Of course, personality is largely determined by breed, but this isn’t always the case. Every dog is unique, and just because a specific breed is supposed to have certain characteristics doesn’t mean the individual dog will have all of those characteristics. Make an effort to understand a dog’s unique personality when deciding if they will be a good fit for apartment living.


Generally speaking, smaller dogs adjust to apartment living much more easily than larger dogs. Most larger dogs need room to run and love spending time outdoors, whereas smaller dogs don’t mind more cramped spaces and may prefer staying inside.

Of course, this isn’t true across the board. As you’ll see, certain large dog breeds make for excellent apartment dogs due to their gentle or lazy nature, and some small breeds may be too active or noisy to do well in an apartment setting. Personality and breed are much more important factors when determining the best dogs for apartments.


Usually, dogs within a breed share specific characteristics, and some breeds are well-known for traits that make them well-suited for apartment living. Breeds known for being lazy, inactive, and quiet generally make the best dogs for an apartment.

In the following section, we’ll look at some specific breeds to consider when choosing an apartment dog.

Best Dog Breeds for Apartments

So what are the best dogs for apartments? The following ten breeds are all known for being good apartment dogs. Let’s look at their typical characteristics and discuss what makes each one a good fit for apartment living.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are adorable little long-haired dogs that were originally bred for life inside Chinese palaces. They are known for their gentle, loving nature. They require no more than basic exercise and will be perfectly content staying at home if you have to leave them for a while.

Shih Tzus get along well with children and other dogs, making them a great choice if you have a family. That said, they also do well on their own for periods. Their mild-mannered and easygoing personality is what makes them an excellent choice for apartment living.

Basset Hound

While many hounds have a reputation for being loud, basset hounds are quieter than most of their cousins. They are known for being gentle, easy to please, and only moderately active. Most basset hounds will be happy with getting a daily walk and will not need a lot of additional exercise, especially as they get older.

Basset hounds are good with kids and have a reputation for being lazy. If you have stairs in your apartment, they may want to be carried home after coming back from a walk, which is something to consider because they are rather heavy.

Bichon Frise

This gorgeous wooly little dog is hypoallergenic, friendly, and playful. Bichons love to be surrounded by people or with other dogs and may not handle separation well, making them the perfect breed if you work from home, have other dogs, or are retired.

Bichons are quieter than most small dogs, so they probably won’t be known for annoying the neighbors. They don’t need a lot of exercise, just a daily walk and plenty of playtime with their favorite humans.


Bulldogs are known for being lazy despite their tough, muscular appearance. Though they do require regular exercise, they don’t need a lot of activity–one or two short walks every day, and some time to play, are usually enough.

Bulldogs generally prefer cooler climates and may avoid going outside in the heat. If you can tolerate the snoring and the drooling, a bulldog will likely make for a happy, affectionate companion.


Greyhounds are known for being speed demons, but they are actually quite lazy by nature. These big dogs are just as much at home on the couch as they are on the racetrack. While they enjoy their daily walks and may occasionally enjoy a good run, they don’t have a ton of endurance, so they don’t need much exercise.

Greyhounds may need to be trained for dealing with separation anxiety, as they don’t like to be left alone. That said, if you’re home most of the time, a greyhound will likely be an incredibly loving and gentle companion.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This cute spaniel is the perfect combination of gentle and jovial, loyal and friendly. They don’t need a lot of space and will be happy with a daily walk or indoor playtime. They are extremely affectionate and will enjoy sleeping on your lap. They may bark some but will be quieter if you’re always there with them.

Cavaliers are great apartment dogs for retired folks or those who work from home and have a lot of love to give.


Another quiet small dog breed, the Maltese is one of the best dogs for apartments because of its gentle, quiet nature. It may require a couple of walks per day but will otherwise enjoy being inside, hanging out with its favorite human.

Malteses love people and are very loving and loyal. If you’re home a lot, your Maltese will probably enjoy spending time playing or napping in your lap.

Chinese Crested

These unique-looking dogs are somewhat more active than many dogs on this list, but they are easy to entertain with inside activities and sports. They are loyal and alert, always keeping watch for any harm that might come to their family.

Chinese crested dogs enjoy going for walks and playing rowdy games, but at the end of the day, they’ll be happy to settle down and take a nap with their favorite human.


Pugs are homebodies at heart. They need only moderate exercise and are happy to stay in the house when they’re not out for the occasional walk. They can be a little yappy if left to themselves too long, but they are adorable little couch potatoes that will be perfectly content if they have other dogs or humans to hang out with.

A word of caution: be careful not to overfeed them or give them too many treats, especially if they stay inside most of the time. Their lazy nature and love of eating may cause them to become obese.


Chihuahuas make good apartment dogs because they don’t need a lot of space. That said, they are fairly high-energy and will need plenty of exercise and playtime. They will also likely need some training because they can be extremely vocal. With the proper care and training, though, they can be lovable, personable apartment companions.

Chihuahuas are protective and loyal and will let you know if they hear an intruder, which can be great for a single person living in an apartment. They love their humans and don’t like being left alone, so they’re great companions if you’re at home a lot.


All of these dog breeds are likely to make for good apartment dogs, but remember that breed isn’t everything. If at all possible, take some time to get to know the dog beforehand so you’ll have an idea of their personality.

All these breeds possess traits that are ideal for living in smaller spaces with even smaller backyards, but not every pup will be a perfect fit for your household. Understanding each individual dog will give you a better chance at finding not only the right dog for your apartment but the best companion for you.

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