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13 Great Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

If your living space is rather small and you are looking for a fun, affectionate four-legged flatmate, you needn’t worry; the right doggy canine for your home is out there.

Some dog breeds adjust to apartment living much better than others, and while size is important, it’s not the only thing that matters. Low to moderate energy levels, a quiet temperament, and friendliness towards people as well as other animals, are all traits of a well-behaved city dog. Here are 13 candidates that have the potential to become great apartment dogs.

1. Basenji

This breed comes from Africa and was originally used as a hunting dog. Light but muscular, the Basenji is the perfect athlete. What sets this dog apart is that he is completely barkless, therefore making him the ideal companion for an apartment owner. The Basenji is a quiet dog that enjoys running, so daily exercise is essential. Don’t let his quiet demeanor fool you; a bored Basenji can be mischievous. He can get into trouble in a flash, so make sure your dog is secure whether in your space or having fun outdoors.

2. Bichon Frise

These adorable white fluffy dogs barely reach 11 inches in height. Their size, as well as their cheerful personality, make them ideal companions for people with homes of all sizes. A Bichon Frise will adapt to your lifestyle and living space easily. They are affectionate and watchful, but will only bark if someone is at the door. While these dogs do enjoy cuddling, they are also quite energetic, so daily walks and games are necessary. Grooming also is a daily affair since the coat needs frequent brushing and combing.

3. Boston Terrier

This breed is another known for its adaptability. Developed in the U.S. during the late 1800s, the “American Gentlemen” are well-known not only for their American roots but also for their fine manners. Boston terriers are small and light (15 to 17 inches, 10 to 25 pounds) and content with whatever space you have available. They tend not to bark much, which is another plus. Although they are low-energy dogs, don’t neglect taking them for a walk around town on a daily basis.

4. Bullmastiff

Bullmastiffs are rather imposing dogs and, at first glance, they can take up quite a lot of space. After all, they can easily reach 24 to 27 inches and 100 to 120 pounds. What makes Bullmastiffs a good option for smaller spaces, however, is their calm and relaxed attitude. These dogs rarely bark and do not move around much; they prefer to relax on their favorite spot while getting their short, easy-to-groom coats brushed. This breed is perfect for people who are less active and have a more relaxed lifestyle.

5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This adorable, friendly toy spaniel comes with a royal stamp of approval and will definitely fit right into your cozy home. This breed will adapt to your lifestyle with ease. Cavaliers enjoy walks and playing, but are also partial to cuddling, so they might find your lap to be the most comfortable place in the apartment. Early socialization is a must as some dogs tend to be shy. Nonetheless, Cavaliers get on well with people and other animals.

6. English Bulldog

Bulldogs aren’t particularly busy canines; they prefer the comfort of a sofa to the exertions of a dog park. Nonetheless, because obesity is a health issue for these dogs, you shouldn’t omit a daily walk, going as far as their short legs can take them. Bulldogs are calm and easy to train. They don’t usually bark, but they come with a few other challenges such as snoring, drooling, and flatulence. If you can overlook these charming habits, this might be just the right flatmate for you.


7. Great Dane

This giant breed (28 to 32 inches, 125 to 180 pounds) was developed in Germany, originally to hunt wild boars. Great Danes are elegant, regal, and quite imposing. Surprisingly enough, these majestic giants adapt to apartment living with little trouble. While puppies need regular exercise, adults are much calmer and have lower energy levels, though they still enjoy a morning and evening walk. Great Danes are patient and friendly, and they’ll keep you quiet company when you have a relaxing night in.

8. Greyhound

The fastest dog on the planet may not seem like a good fit for small apartments or condos. Without question, greyhounds require their fair share of exercise and the chance to run at least once a day. Apart from that, however, they love spending time indoors, snuggling on the sofa. These highly adaptable pooches make wonderful pets as they are smart and easy to train. Greyhounds are also people-oriented, so they will get on just fine with the neighbors.

9. Havanese

This breed is sturdy but small, reaching no more than 11 inches in height, and can fit in just about any type of home. The Havanese, while playful and mischievous, is not overly active and is a delightful companion that will stay by your side at all times. They are intelligent and enjoy training, especially when it includes fun and games, which makes them good at many canine sports. What’s more, they are friendly and behave well towards neighbors, children, dogs and small pets.

10. Poodle

Poodles come in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. The first two are great for apartments and small condos. They both enjoy their daily walks but can also play in the house. Keep in mind that grooming a poodle of any size is a complicated process. On the plus side, poodles are bright, intelligent, and easy to train, provided you keep the lessons firm but fun. Miniature poodles are the calmest of the three, and they love snuggling as much as playing. These dogs are great companions for people who spend time at home.

11. Pug

This adorably clownish dog is the largest of the toy breeds. Pugs are friendly and playful, but they’re also quiet. They don’t bark as much as many other breeds so you won’t be getting any complaints from your neighbors. They make great companions for people of all ages, and they get on just fine with humans, other dogs, and even cats. This easygoing canine loves lounging around alongside you more than anything, but still needs daily walks around the block to stay healthy.

12. Shih Tzu

A friendly, affectionate, and calm companion breed, the Shih Tzu will adapt to your living environment with ease. They are happy and playful but don’t demand much exercise. Nonetheless, daily outings are essential as obesity can be an issue with this breed. These delightful dogs love being close to their people at all times. They tend to bark somewhat more than you’d probably like, but with patient house training, they will make great roommates.

13. Yorkshire Terrier

This tiny terrier comes with a whole lot of personality and loves being the center of attention. Yorkshire Terriers are active little dogs, but they can easily get their exercise indoors. Reaching no more than 7 pounds, they are ideal for residences where space is at a premium. Yorkies are protective of their territory and their people; they may bark at strangers, but they usually adapt quickly to new people and situations. Early socialization and house training are essential for this affectionate and self-important companion.

When choosing a breed that will be a right fit for your apartment, remember that you should look at each dog as an individual. The list above is far from exhaustive, and it can only provide you with a general picture of how and whether your pet’s personality and temperament might meet your needs. Also, while there are several other excellent breeds suitable for apartments of all sizes, you ultimately might set your heart on an adorable mutt after all.


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“29 Dog Breeds That Will Fit in Your Apartment”., TotallyHer Media, Accessed 18 Sept 2018.

Castello, Simone. “13 Best Apartment Dogs”,, Reader’s digest Magazines Ltd., Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.Palika, Liz. The Howell Book of Dogs: The Definite Reference to 300 Breeds and Varieties. Wiley, 2007.

Tokit, Amy. “Top 10 Best Dog Breeds For Apartments”,, Vertical Scope Inc., Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.

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