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14 Best Apartment Dogs: Breeds That Are Perfect For Apartment Living

Discover the best dog breeds for smaller homes

By: Modern Pets

Last Updated:


The Best Apartment Dogs For You! These Dog Breeds are Ideal for Apartment Living

Are you looking for the best breed for apartment living? Unfortunately, a lot of dogs aren't suited to live in an apartment or smaller home, which can make it difficult to find a furry companion when living in the city. We've put together a list of the best paw-some dog breeds (in no particular order) that are great for smaller homes! When you are choosing the right dog for you, also keep in mind characteristic like friendliness, energy levels, grooming needs, and sociability to make sure you get the right match. 


#1 American Eskimo:

American Eskimos, or Eskies, love to be loved. They like being close to their humans, which is why they do well in apartments. They love to play, so need to be taken out for exercise several times a day. If they don’t get enough stimulation and become bored, they will turn to destructive behavior to keep themselves entertained. If left alone for too long, an Eskie can develop separation anxiety, which leads to high pitched barking that will definitely annoy your neighbors. Ensuring your Eskie has another furry companion is key. Another dog is best as small animals such as rodents or reptiles may turn into chew toys. If you’re out of the house for long periods during the day, a doggie daycare is a great place for these little balls of fluff to get plenty of exercise and socialization. 


#2 Bichon Frise:

These happy-go lucky dogs make great family pets due to their affectionate nature. They may be small, but they’re resilient and high-energy, meaning they love to play. They should be taken out for daily walks, but because they’re so little, an apartment gives them plenty of room to run around in between outings. They shed very little, which is great for keeping small living spaces clean. They do require quite a bit of grooming maintenance though, so time needs to be set aside for a daily brush. They also don’t bark much, unless neglected for too long, which is another plus for city-dwellers living in close proximity to neighbours. They can have trouble with housetraining, but are great with other obedience training. They need a firm but gentle hand, as scolding can damage their confidence and
trust in you.


#3 Havanese:

The Havanese is similar to the Bichon in that they’re affectionate little bundles of fur that have more energy than you would think someone their size would have. They get very attached to their humans and will loyally stay by their side at all times. Unfortunately, this means they are prone to separation anxiety. As long as someone is with them during the day, they do just fine, and don’t bark unnecessarily- well, what they consider unnecessary anyway. They like looking out windows and will often bark at passersby just to say hello. They need lots of exercise and do well in households with others pets or children. 


#4 Shih-tzu:

The Shih-tzu loves being the center of attention. They note only love to be doted on, they need to be. Most Shih-tzu become spoiled because of this. However, they are prone to obesity so treats need to be limited. They are not super active dogs, but do still need daily walks and engaging toys. Be careful of exercising them in hot weather though. Shih-tzu can get heat stroke very easily. They’re a very sweet breed, and you will be hard-pressed to find a grumpy one. They have a long, flowing coat that needs a lot of attention to prevent mats and buildup of foreign objects.


#5 Affenpinscher:

These spunky little guys are full of personality! Their French nickname should tell you everything you need to know about them -mustachioed little devil. Affenpinschers think they’re a very large dog and as such, aren’t afraid of anything. They make great guard dogs and won’t hesitate to let everyone on your block know something suspicious is going on. They’re also quite the hunters so your home will always be rodent free. They’re eager to learn, but very stubborn so do best with owners who have a sense of humour and can laugh at their
little clown. 


#6 Brussels Griffon:

The Brussels Griffon is intelligent and knows it. They know they’re adorable and important and won’t hesitate to let everyone know. They need to be the center of attention at all times. They can be a bit moody, particularly if they aren’t getting enough attention. Because they are so sensitive, they can become fear biters if treated roughly. They like to bark but can be trained to be quiet. Griffons do very well with agility and obedience training, but are prone to heat stroke, so need to have eyes on them at all times. 


#7 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:

Cavaliers have a sweet expression that is hard to resist. Their personalities reflect this, doing anything to please their humans, but become sad and distant if punished too harshly for bad behavior. They’re very dependent on their owners and will constantly be at your side. They do best in homes where someone can be with them all day and are the definition of a lap dog. They require regular grooming especially in the spring when they may shed a bit more. The Cavaliers’ instincts may take over when outdoors, so should be on a leash at all times so they don’t go running after birds or squirrels. They're quite good at manipulating their humans with their adorable eyes, but treats should be limited as they gain weight
quite easily.  


#8 Boston Terrier:

These cuties may be small, but they’re full of energy! They love to play so need lots of toys and time outside for walks or to play fetch. They love people and do well in homes with other pets or children. Some can be picky eaters, while others gobble their food down with no problem. They are prone to digestive issues, however, so may become gassy after meals. Bostons are well-mannered and eager to learn. They boast colourful personalities that often leave owners laughing.  


#9 Yorkshire Terrier:

Yorkies are one of the smallest dog breeds, and as such, don't need much room for exercising. These feisty little guys can be stubborn if they don't get their way. They are known for being yappy, but they can be trained to keep the barking to a minimum. They love to snugglewith their people and do well with other family pets. However, they can be wary towards other animals they meet on walks, and dislike small children who haven't yet learned to go slow and be gentle with animals. Yorkies shed very little, but need to be brushed regularly to keep their long, straight coat clean. 


#10 Toy Poodle:

There are three different sizes of Poodle, but only the Toy poodle is the most suited for apartment life. These dogs are highly intelligent, loyal, and active. They respond well to commands, so do very well in sports such as agility and obedience training. Poodles are hypoallergenic and and shed very little but do have high grooming needs. Their curly hair gets tangled very easily so regular brushing and bathing is a must. 


#11 Pomeranian:

Pomeranians are another breed who think they're bigger than they really are. They will take on a larger dog without a second thought, which can sometimes get them into trouble. As long as they are properly socialized at a young age, they can get along with other pets in the house, or other pets they encounter on the street. However, they don't do well with children who may pull on their soft coat or accidentally tread on them. Poms are quite independant and are happt doing their own activities. This does not mean, however, that they don't love cuddles. Poms are quite happy to curl up on your lap for a nap, especially as they get older.


#12 Chihuahua:

Chihuahua's are the smallest dog breed, but don't let their small size fool you-their super sassy! They love to have fun, and if you can persuade them that competing in competitions is fun, they'll do very well in activities like agility and obedience training. Chihuahua's llike to keep busy. They'll follow you around the house, and love being involved with your daily outings. Because they are so small, they're easy to take anywhere. They make excellent watch-dogs since they think they're bigger than they really are, but love to curl up with their humans for lots of cuddles.


#13 Basenji:

If you're looking for a dog who acts more like a cat, the Basenji is for you! These unique looking dogs are very diligent about cleaning themselves, dislike getting wet, and are very selective with their love. Only those "worthy" of their love are allowed to pet them. Basenji's love to chew-anything within thier grasp is fair game. They are also well-known escape artists, so keeping doors closed and always using a leash on walks is a must. Basenji's don't bark much, but do make a wide ragne of other noises, everything from a screech to a yodel. These may sound like less than ideal qualities, but Basenji owners say there's no substitute for this independent breed. 


#14 Miniature Pinscher:

The Min Pin is a very self-assured breed. If not trained properly from a young age, they can become unruly and disobedient. However, Min Pins are very receptive to training and will soak up anything you teach them. They are another breed that is very protective of their home and family. They have a tendancy to chase away strange dogs, cats, and other small animals from their territory. Min Pins are extremely curious and love to chew, so new toys are likely to be destroyed quickly in an attempt to discover their secrets. Because they are so strong willed, they are not recommended for beginner dog owners. 



This is just a handful of the many best apartment dogs. Which one is your favourite? Learm about more dog breeds here!


Last Updated:

By: Modern Pets
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