What Are the Best Dogs to Have if You Live in an Apartment

Apartment living isn't for everyone. For some people, apartments are fun. They love having close neighbors, potentially smaller spaces, and don't mind not having a backyard. But other people need the added space of a house to feel truly happy. Your dog isn't any different. If you live in an apartment, you'll need to ensure you have a dog breed that will love it as much as you do

Here are a few considerations when choosing a dog to live in your apartment:

  • The size of the dog. Will it be happy in the space you have?
  • The amount of barking. Excessive barking can be disturbing to your neighbors as well as your family.
  • The dog's activity level.
  • The dog's comfort levels with sounds of the city and close neighbors.

Following is a list of the best dogs to have if you live in an apartment. 

Related: The Top 10 Rated Dog Essentials You Need to Own

The French Bulldog

 A cream French Bulldog laying on a floor

French Bulldogs top our list because they are intelligent, mild-mannered, pleasant dogs who make great apartment-dwellers. They're small dogs, so they don't take up a lot of space. And unlike many small dog breeds, they aren't inclined to excessive barking. French Bulldogs have a calm temperament, which your neighbors will appreciate. They max out to 30 lbs, so they fit perfectly into a dog tote for trips around the city. 

The only other thing for you to think about with a French bulldog is that they're prone to overheating and respiratory problems. This breed is brachycephalic, which means their narrow nostril openings and tracheas make breathing difficult for them in hot or humid weather. Air conditioning in hot weather is a must for these dogs.  

Pugs

 

A fawn pug walking outside wearing black and white dog shoes

Pugs aren't just super-cute; they make excellent apartment dogs as they are friendly, calm, and can keep their barking to a minimum. These dogs are loyal, affectionate, and a little mischievous. They are great with kids and other animals, but they are famed foodies. You have to watch their intake and ensure they exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.  

Like the French Bulldog, they are brachycephalic. So they are prone to respiratory problems in high heat or humidity. Air conditioning is a must for these dogs in hot weather. 

Related: Do Dogs Really Need Shoes for Snow?

Yorkshire Terrier

An adorable Yorkshire Terrier in a brown dog sweater

Yorkshire Terriers are perfect for apartment life. They're tiny, easy to train, and they're entertaining and engaging. These loveable dogs are high-energy but can easily be exercised conveniently indoors. They are loyal and will live happily with your children. Yorkshire Terriers are hypoallergenic (don't shed), but they do need early and consistent training and socialization to curb their excessive barking tendencies. 

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog wearing pink dog sneakers.

These intelligent, lively little dogs make great companions and excellent apartment-dwellers. They are affectionate and enjoy receiving loads of attention from you. But they also enjoy running and flushing out birds for sport. These Spaniels are one of the biggest toy breeds, but they love being active outdoors hiking, sports, or running on the beach. Cavaliers have even been used as therapy dogs. 

Related: RIFRUF Pack Stories: Caesar the French Bulldog

Greyhound

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog wearing pink dog sneakers

This tall, lanky dog, known for its speed, may not seem like a good choice for living in an apartment, but they're a surprisingly great fit. As long as you give these runners a brisk, daily walk, they're happy to be at home. Their calm nature makes them great family pets but not so great for small rodent-type pets. Hamsters, and the like, may look more like small game for them and can get your greyhound over-excited in the apartment.   

Dachshund

A little Dachshund in black dog sneakers being held by his owner.

Dachshunds are sociable, athletic, and playful dogs that can live happily in an apartment. These loyal dogs enjoy outdoor activities with their owners and love to be lap dogs at home. They thrive on their owner's attention. The Dachshunds' small size makes them a great fit for your apartment and also for city life.

Like many small dogs, they are inclined to bark a lot. But early training may help.  

Maltese

A little Maltese in frilly clothes and pink dog sneakers

This well-mannered and affectionate dog is a joy to have around. This toy dog is surprisingly fearless, gentle, and they love their owner's attention and enjoy pleasing them. Maltese dogs are fast learners, are minimal barkers, and make great companions or therapy dogs. Despite their long, silky hair, they are low shedders, live long, and like to make friends with other dogs. They're stubborn dogs, which makes training a little challenging, but they're very responsive if you use a reward-based training system. 

Maltese dogs don't do well in homes with small children or owners who work long hours. 

Poodle

A little brown poodle in black dog sneakers.

Our final choice of apartment-worthy dogs is Poodles. These quiet, low-shedding, high-energy dogs are intelligent and charismatic. Poodles are easy to train and do well with other dogs and animals. They're obedient dogs who need plenty of exercise to be happy ad healthy. Poodles can bore easily, so don't forget to keep them occupied with play and toys. 

Related: The Humanization of Dogs

Bichon Frise

A white Bichon Frise in green dog shoes.

The Bichon Frise is a small-sized hypoallergenic dog breed. It is known for its cheerful and gentle temperament. This dog breed can be vocal, but it's always an expression of joy.

Bichon Frise's were bred to be companions for people in apartments or condominiums. They love to play games and will do just about anything you want them to do with the right incentive, such as a treat or a toy. Before we forget it’s also good to mention that these dogs are hypoallergenic, which means you don’t got to worry about sneezing. 

Boston Terrier 

 

A spotted boston terrier wearing white RIFRUF dog sneakers

The Boston Terrier is a low-maintenance companion. They are small dogs that can be easy to live with and take for walks, and they don't need a lot of space to run around or even potty. Take them for a daily walk, and they will be happy.

Many apartments have size restrictions, but the Boston Terrier will often stay under 25 pounds, making them perfect for almost all buildings. These friendly dogs can be curious and may be prone to helping any maintenance people who enter your home.

Chihuahua

a small white chihuahua walking outdoors with cream dog sneakers

The Chihuahua is a small, low-maintenance dog that won't take up much space and will be happy to share your bed with you at night. While they can be vocal, their small size allows them to travel with you easier than many other dogs. Chihuahuas don't need a lot of brushing and can often live upwards of 20 years. Making them perfect for living in bustling cities. They can even be potty trained like cats!

Corgi

A corgi dog walking outside in pink RIFRUF Caesar sneakers

Both the cardigan and welsh corgi are a great choice of dog for apartment living. They are small, low-maintenance dogs that don't take up much space and are happy to just hang out with their family. They are also great with kids and other pets.

Miniature Pinscher

 

 A black Miniature Pinscher posing with new RIFRUF sneakers

Miniature Pinscher dogs are perfect for apartment living with owners who want a companion that stays small. They are affectionate and bark when they need something, but otherwise, they'll eat up all their energy playing in the house or sleeping, so you don't have to worry about them getting into too much trouble.

Pup Tip: These dogs are prone to get cold and freeze in low temperatures, so if you live in a cold place, make sure they have proper attire and that your apartment stays warm. Check out RIFRUF for shoes to keep your dog safe in the winter!

Schnauzer

A gray Schnauzer wearing black dog shoes

The schnauzer dog is a good choice for individuals living in an apartment. This dog breed comes in a few different sizes and does not need too much exercise to maintain its weight.

The schnauzer breed of dog can actually be quite demanding with their time, so it is crucial to make sure you have the time to give them. These dogs are brilliant and will teach themselves new things if given the opportunity.

Related: How often should you walk your dog?

Shiba Inu 

A small Shiba Inu wearing RIFRUF dog sneakers inside an apartment

The Shiba Inu is a great choice for people who live in apartments. They are a small, low-maintenance breed of dog that doesn't take up much space. Overall, they are a chill breed and often don't need a lot of extra outside time. Daily walks are usually enough for these small dogs.

Welsh Terrier

 

A small Welsh Terrier wearing black RIFRUF dog sneakers

Welsh terriers can live pretty well in apartments if they are exercised on a daily basis. The Welshie makes an excellent friend for individuals with allergies as they are considered a low-shed breed. Just be sure to give this dog a good hour of exercise a day if you live in a small apartment. Otherwise, they may become destructive.

Affenpinscher

 A small black Affenpinscher dog laying down in the park

Source: Vet Street

This is another little dog with loads of energy and an engaging personality. They are great apartment dogs because although they are active, they don't need to be outdoors all the time. They adjust to change easily and learn quickly. 

If you choose to have an Affenpinscher, they can be challenging to train, so you should housetrain and socialize them early and be consistent. If you have small children or little pets, you may want to reconsider and choose a different breed.

Havanese

Small tan Havenese dog sitting on grass

Source: Bubbly Vet

This purebred dog is excellent for apartment life because they're quiet, easy to train, and energetic. Havanese dogs prefer to be indoors close to their families over spending time outdoors, earning them the nickname 'velcro dogs.' They don't enjoy being left alone at home for long periods. Companionship makes them happy and eager to please. These little dogs do great in dog sports, circus performing, and dog jobs like working with the disabled.  

American Hairless Terrier

 

A greyish American Hairless Terrier walking in New York

Source: Love to Know

American Hairless Terriers are great house pets and are bred in coated and hairless types. These little dogs are amazing as watchdogs and hardly shed their hair. A light weekly brush is more than enough for them. If they get plenty of socialization early on, they make good apartment dogs. They are minimal barkers and moderately active. All they need is a daily walk and play to be happy and healthy.  

Japanese Chin

A black and white Japanese Chin dog

Source: Daily Paws

Japanese Chin dogs love to climb inside your apartment, much like cats. But this small breed is also a great companion dog, especially for people who aren't active or families with older children. They are good-natured and intelligent and enjoy a daily walk or playtime. Japenese Chin dogs bark minimally.   

Great Dane

A white and black Great Dane laying on the beach.

Source: Rover

Great Danes are large dogs, and you might think that they're not suitable for apartments, but not so. They are great for apartment living because they are quiet, mild-mannered dogs. They're also intelligent, a little stubborn, and active. But they're fine as long as you schedule regular exercise and play. 

Great Danes are great with families but not so good with other dogs unless they've been socialized from puppyhood. Their stubborn streak makes training them a challenge, so it must be done early. Finally, if you move a lot, a Great Dane might not suit you as they don't adjust well to new environments or surroundings.  

Related: Do Dogs Really Need Shoes for Snow?

Basset Hounds

basset hound inside of an apartment

Basset Hounds are bred for hunting, but their friendly, relaxed nature makes them excellent apartment pets as well. They need a moderate amount of activity to maintain their healthy weight. After they've been exercised, they're happy to spend the rest of their days lounging lazily around the home. These dogs' personalities make them wonderful companions and family dogs. 

Basenji

Basenji dog laying down with it's owner at the beach

Basenji dogs are great apartment dwellers because they are so quiet. They are minimal barkers, although they do yodel on occasion. Basenjis are alert, curious, and affectionate dogs that your family will love. They are also playful and energetic, requiring regular exercise and play. If you move home often, the Basenji may not be the breed for you. They don't settle quickly in new environments. They also don't get along well with other dogs unless they've been trained and socialized from puppyhood. Basenjis can be a little challenging to train for new dog parents. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Dogs for Apartments

Owning a dog is a great experience. They are fantastic companions, and they're fun to have around. But if you live in an apartment, you should give a little consideration to the breed of dog you get because all dogs aren't suited to limited space and close neighbors. Some dogs will bark far too much and become a disturbance to your family and your neighbors. Try to find a breed that suits your lifestyle, activity level, space, and family size.  

Does your environment include scorching sidewalks in the summer or icy snow in the winter? Your dog’s paws really need protection, and that’s what we’re all about! Check out our product line at RIFRUF to learn more.

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