What Kind of Dog Should I Get? 10 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

Updated on May 30, 2020
katleigh profile image

Dani is an avid animal lover with a special penchant for poodles, ponies, and rats.

Close neighbors and tight spaces are some of the major problems apartment living brings.
Close neighbors and tight spaces are some of the major problems apartment living brings. | Source

What Makes a Good Apartment Dog Breed?

City and suburban life bring new and unique struggles to pet ownership, especially for those who chose apartment living. There are a few important characteristics to consider when choosing a good dog breed for apartment living.

  • Friendliness. They must be able to get along well with their neighbors, both human and canine. Some dog owners may also have to share a building with small children or the elderly, so mouthy or temperamental dogs may not be a good choice. Relaxed breeds that are socialized at an early age are ideal for apartment living.
  • Volume. Good apartment dogs can't wake up the other residents. Hounds and typical watchdog breeds might be an instinctive first choice, but a bustling city full of strangers might unnerve your pooch and their threatening howls and barks may raise flags with your fellow tenants. With so many people coming and going, you're going to have to find a dog that can use her inside bark.
  • Energy. Highly energetic dogs can be a lot of fun, but their need for exercise and constant attention can be a strain if you don't have an active lifestyle. Dogs that are naturally high energy can also be destructive if left alone in small spaces for a long period of time, like when you're at work.
  • Size. While not all small dogs make perfect apartment dogs, breeds that are smaller in stature tend to adapt more easily to what can be a cramped lifestyle. Large breeds need more room for their large frames and can more easily wreak havoc when you're not home.

The Best Kind of Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

  1. Poodle
  2. Havanese
  3. English Bulldog
  4. Chinese Crested
  5. Maltese
  6. Shih Tzu
  7. Greyhound
  8. Pug
  9. Coton de Tulear
  10. Dachshund

Poodles are a popular choice for apartment living due to their high intelligence and adaptability.
Poodles are a popular choice for apartment living due to their high intelligence and adaptability. | Source

1. Poodle

Their elegant nature and regal appearance have drawn the eye of many admirers for years, but Poodles are much more than just a pretty face. The Poodle has the perfect mix of qualities to be the ideal apartment breed loyal, quiet, and tidy.

They were originally bred in Germany to be water retrievers, and have since retained many desirable qualities from their colorful history. They are highly affectionate dogs, not only to their owners but to strangers. Poodles are also incredibly intelligent, ranking second only to the Border Collie in many obedience tests.

Like many on this list, the Poodle requires lots of attention from their owner and a lot of time apart can stress out this breed. They also have a moderate exercise need, but they can be easily met with a happy walk in a dog park. There's no doubt a well-trained Poodle will garner attention from everyone you meet.

Havanese | Source

2. Havanese

The playful Havanese is a somewhat obscure breed, but one that will be in your heart as soon as you meet them. They are incredibly playful and affectionate, and their friendliness makes them great for apartment living. They aren't particularly calm, but it isn't due to nervousness but rather an almost insatiable desire to please their owners. In spite of this, they play well with children and adjust well to just about any living situation.

What makes the Havanese so perfect for apartment living is their unique combination of small size, affectionate nature, and love of their humans.

Bulldogs have a characteristically cute face with round, dark eyes and a flat nose.
Bulldogs have a characteristically cute face with round, dark eyes and a flat nose. | Source

3. English Bulldog

While they were originally bred to drive cattle and practice bullbaiting, the bulldog that we love and know today isn't a ferocious creature. Instead, these dogs make lovable companions that are well-adjusted for apartment living. English bulldogs today are well-loved for their charming personality and clumsy gait.

They are known to be good with children and happy to meet strangers, so they shouldn't be a problem if you have a lot of friendly neighbors.The bulldog is often a common mascot breed, so this may be a bonus if you live in a college town or are a devoted sports fan.

 Chinese Crested Dog
Chinese Crested Dog | Source

4. Chinese Crested

Though not for everyone, the Chinese crested is an incredibly loyal companion. These affectionate dogs have a face only a mother could love, but make up for it in their personality. The Chinese crested comes in two main coat variants: the regular hairless, and the recessive and aptly named Powderpuff.

Cresteds aren't very fond of strangers and can be a little nippy when nervous, so they aren't the best choice for people who live around children. However, if you're looking for a highly affectionate breed that will be happy to laze around all day under the covers, you've met your match with this apartment dog.

While they aren't particularly loud pets, they are better for those who don't live alone or who work from home.

Maltese puppy
Maltese puppy | Source

5. Maltese

Maltese have a personality that is best described as much bigger than they are. While they are generally a well-mannered breed, Maltese have a tendency to forget their small stature when meeting other dogs and thus require supervision when around other canines. However, they love the attention of people and respond well to training. They are gentle creatures with an almost royal gait and will quickly charm any human they come across.

Their most eye-catching feature is of course, their stunning white coat. They don't shed, which makes them great for people with allergies but grooming can become a problem if left unchecked.

The Shih Tzu can be a hard dog to resist.
The Shih Tzu can be a hard dog to resist. | Source

6. Shih Tzu

There are few dog lovers that can resist the happy yap of a Shih Tzu. They make excellent lap dogs and great companions for apartment dwellers. While they have the potential to be yappy, their ability to adjust to their environment and their friendliness with strangers make them a top choice for those living in small spaces with lots of people.

Their beautiful coats do require a lot of regular grooming, but the Shih Tzu is otherwise a low-maintenance dog. They are happy to spend time with you on the couch, but these little dogs have a tendency to gain weight. They are very playful, however, so as long as you are willing to play a game of fetch and monitor their food intake, you should have a happy, healthy Shih Tzu.

Greyhound | Source

7. Greyhound

While the Greyhound may be famous for their racing legacy, they make happy and well-adjusted apartment dogs. This beautiful breed is secretly full of couch potatoes; many Greyhounds prefer a nap on the sofa to a high-spirited game of fetch. Their grace and charm allow them to adapt well to apartment living but their sensitivity makes them ill-suited for socialites.

Because of their large size and natural athletic ability, a Greyhound will require more exercise than most breeds, but a brisk walk will suffice. If you're worried about their size messing up a small apartment, don't be. Their natural grace and gentleness allow them to be happy in all but the smallest of abodes.

Pugs are known for their sweet, lovable nature and small stature - both of which makes them excellent dogs for apartment living.
Pugs are known for their sweet, lovable nature and small stature - both of which makes them excellent dogs for apartment living. | Source

8. Pug

Pugs were bred in ancient China to be the ideal lap dog for royal families. While many may not see their majestic appeal today, they are still excellent companion animals for families looking for an affectionate pet.

Pugs tend to be low-energy and happy to stay snuggled up inside, so they do well in less active families. You might have to encourage this couch potato breed to exercise. What pugs lack up in energy, however, they make up for in neediness. These dogs do best when a family member stays home and really only become yappy when their person is away for long periods of time.

Coton de Tulear
Coton de Tulear | Source

9. Coton de Tulear

Closely related to both the Bichon Frise and the Maltese, the Coton de Tulear is both an affectionate and intelligent breed. Their long, silky coats can make them difficult to groom, but they are relatively healthy and otherwise low-maintenance.

The Coton de Tulear, often shortened to "cotons" by enthusiasts, is an exceptionally friendly breed that loves children and many have never met a stranger. One downside to this breed is their potential to be mouthy, but with consistent and early training this can easily be avoided. They do require a lot of attention and don't do well being alone, so the coton isn't a good breed for those with long working hours or have to be away from home for a long time.

The small size and beautiful coat of a Dachshund has won the hearts of many pet owners.
The small size and beautiful coat of a Dachshund has won the hearts of many pet owners. | Source

10. Dachshund

Dachshunds, affectionately known as Wiener dogs or simply "weenies" by their owners, can make a fun and playful addition to your family. While they don't warm up to strangers easily, they interact well with children and other dogs. Their small size and agreeability are the main features that put them on this list.

One of the biggest problems a dachshund owner might face is their tendency to howl or bark. While it might be endearing to you, it might be a problem to your neighbors. However, this can be overcome with persistent training and plenty of toys and activities to occupy their time. If left alone for too long, the dachshund can become a destructive breed, but much like their noise level, it can be easily overcome.

What is most important to you in choosing a dog?

See results

What is your favorite apartment dog breed?

See results

Where Can I Find An Apartment Friendly Dog?

  • Local animal shelter or rescue This option is an excellent first choice, especially if you're on a budget. While you may not think you could find a well-bred pooch in a local shelter, you can contact them and see if they have any breed-specific rescues. They may even have a contact list if they find any dogs that fit your needs, so you can save trips to the shelter.
  • An ethical breeder Though it may be more expensive, if you decide to purchase a dog from a breeder, it is best to choose an ethical breeder for many reasons. It is very important to find a dog that isn't subject to inbreeding, as it can cause a plethora of health problems.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Dani Merrier


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Rick Dissly 

      23 months ago

      Is there a breed of dog that has these characteristics:

      1) calm, can stay in a home alone all day

      2) medium to large size

      3) can occasionally also be a hunting dog

      4) doesn’t shed

    • katleigh profile imageAUTHOR

      Dani Merrier 

      2 years ago from Georgia, United States

      That was a computer issue on my part; I forgot to publish some capsules. Thank you for the heads-up and thanks twice for commenting!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Great idea for a hub, I'm sure there are many apartment dwellers who would like to have a dog-- but what happened to # 7-1?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)