Top 8 Best Dogs for Apartments

Lancaster Puppies

Apartment hunting with your dog isn’t easy. You’re looking for a space you can afford but you also read over the fine print in your lease and discovered that the place you want has pet size, age, and weight restrictions. Many apartments, condos and rented houses won’t allow dogs over 25 pounds and only one per unit.

You’re ready to shell out the pet deposit, pay pet rent, and even pet insurance. You’re looking for a pup that thrives in tiny living spaces, has a reasonable energy level, isn’t too noisy, and is friendly enough to keep the neighbors from complaining. Tall order? 

We’ve rounded up the top 9 dogs best-suited for apartment living. Just remember all dogs will have their individual traits and this is a general rule for their personalities.

Bichon FriseBichon Frise

This magnificent dog has a fluffy white, semi-hypoallergenic coat that feels plush and velvety to the touch. Bichons shed less than many other breeds which makes them suited for people with allergies.

The pooch will grow to a foot tall and weigh 12-18 pounds when fully grown. Since they’re small, Bichons don’t need a ton of space to move around which makes them perfect for apartments.

These happy-go-lucky non-sporting dogs seem to have a smile on their face whether they’re curling up on the couch for a quiet night of Netflix or whether they’re taking a brisk walk around the urban neighborhood.

These toy dogs enjoy watching people through windows while you’re at work and moderate exercise, walking, and romping when you get home.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are ideal for apartments because of their size. They’ll weigh 10-25 lbs. and stand up to 17 inches at the withers. This falls within apartment guidelines.

Dubbed “American Gentlemen,” these short, compact, and easy-to-train pups are great for small spaces like studio apartments. Their gentle but plucky disposition makes them ideal for singles and the elderly.

Boston’s can be energetic. They need brisk walks around the complex to stay healthy and happy.

However, they don’t require much grooming. A gentle brushing with natural bristles is enough to keep the dog clean-cut and polished. Make sure to brush in the direction the hair’s growth and give them a bath about twice a year unless they’re coated in mud. Since they don’t require much grooming, your roommate won’t complain about dog hair all over the place.

These loving, devoted, and enthusiastic little dogs love to go on adventures just as much as they love to snuggle under covers. Just don’t be surprised if they snore more than you do.

Cavalier King Charles SpanielCavalier King Charles Spaniel

Looking for a quiet, apartment-friendly cuddle bug that’s big on belly rubs? Look no further than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Their sweet face and big eyes will welcome you home.

This toy dog gets attached to their owners, so they enjoy smaller spaces. (It’s less space to cover when they’re following you around.)

Cavaliers King Charles Spaniels are super loyal, affectionate, and eager-to-please. These little dogs have big hearts, get along with everyone—even your nosey neighbors in the complex—and aren’t known to disturb people by being yappy.

Weighing between 13 to 18 lbs., Cavaliers are smaller than Boston Terriers, and don’t need much room to roam. These well-balanced dogs are renowned for their good behavior which will make your co-op board happy.

These mild-mannered and outgoing dogs prefer to curl up on your lap because they’re fiercely loyal, love a good nap, and crave human contact. It’s best not to leave them alone for too long as they can get separation anxiety. If you’re elderly, telecommute, or are a stay-at-home parent, you’ll find you have a little shadow that follows you everywhere. 


These cute, lively little dogs with a famous silhouette do well with indoor exercise. Their legs are so short, it’ll be a workout to just to walk around your apartment. Most standard sized Dachshunds grow between 16 to 32 pounds and mini Dachshunds are under 11 pounds.

Still, it’s best to take these sausage dogs on a walk for exercise because they’re prone to obesity and with too many treats they’ll start looking like a fat little bratwurst. Afterward, a Dachshund will most likely get a nap. Wiener dogs wind down quickly.

Believe it or not, these pint-sized cuddle buddies were once bred to hunt vermin like badgers and rabbits. The name Dachshund means “badger” from “Dachs” and “hund” for “hound dog.” Though they’re athletic, they’re not distance runners and aren’t built for jumping, but they are remarkably intelligent and want to please their owners.

They may be short on size but they’re big on personality. Their strong bark makes them an excellent watch dogs for your small space. Plus, if you end up with a mouse, you’ll have a little fellow to get it for you.

French BulldogFrench Bulldog

Get ready to fall in love with a plucky little snoring dog with signature bat ears. Frenchies are dense and weigh in between 16 to 28 pounds. Their silly and charming disposition has been known to fascinate neighbors, strangers, and children. Their big, expressive eyes suck you in and make you fall in love.

Historically they’ve been fashionable with many groups of people: from high society women to writers, artists and designers. The Rockefellers and the J.P. Morgans reportedly had these pups, but of course, they lived in bigger housing.

This small breed domestic dog typically gets along well with other pets because they’re not overly boisterous. Frenchies don’t need tons of exercise, and since they’re small, and easy-to-groom, they’re fairly low maintenance. Frenchies are not good swimmers so it’s best to exercise them by walking or playing a game of fetch.

Your close-quarter neighbors will appreciate that the dogs barely bark without reason, but they do snort, snuggle, wheeze, snore and fart a lot. They’re just as comfortable in an apartment as they are on the farm.


The Havanese, Havana Silk Dog, or Spanish Silk Poodle, is shorter than a foot tall, is a happy, outgoing dog that’s great with pets. They may grow up to 13 pounds, but this small, sturdy dog has a history of being a pampered lap dog for the aristocracy and is now becoming popular with American urbanites.

There’s a good reason. Owners dub them “Velcro dogs” because they never want to leave your side and are easy-to-tote. Since they’re so attached, it’s best to crate train when you’re away for long periods of time as they can get separation anxiety and may be destructive.

This cherished playmate is great for families with allergies because they have a very soft double coat of continuously growing silky hair that’s more hypoallergenic than other breeds. No dogs are completely hypoallergenic, though some dogs may not aggravate allergy symptoms. This small dog will shed less danger than larger breeds and the National Dog of Cuba will require grooming.

This small, quiet and adaptable pooch won’t annoy your neighbors with yapping.


If you’re a homebody who prefers to lounge around after work, get ready to meet the ultimate companion dog. This toy dog has always enjoyed a life of luxury and has been a pet of royalty around the world. Their only job has been to keep people company, but the breed gets along well with non-canine species, too.

These gentle, affectionate, and full of energy pups shed less than other dogs and are pretty low maintenance. They’re covered in long, silky white hair that needs to be groomed but much like the Havanese, it will create less dander than larger dogs.

It may take some time for the pup to adjust to it’s new surroundings. A Maltese will bark at unfamiliar sounds, so it might be wise to explain to your neighbors that the pup is getting used to it’s new home. 


Pugs do well in the city and the country and were bred to be companions. If you want a slightly lazy, small, and mischievous dog you’ve found it. These popular city dwellers love to entertain. Pugs will make you laugh with their breathing, snorting, farting, and various other sounds. These dogs aren’t known to be yappers but will reverse sneeze when they get too excited.

Pugs weigh between 14-18 lbs. but their cobby bodies easily put on weight. They’re great at begging, have a hearty appetite, and the Pug Dog’s metabolism slows down with age.

Don’t be surprised if your neighbors come out to pet your dog when you take it for short walks. This breed gets a lot of attention for it’s wrinkly face, rose or button ears, and curly tail. They get along well with pets and people.

Provided you can control the temperature of your apartment and keep it moderate, Pugs do well in apartments, but they’re sensitive to extreme temperatures.

If you’re looking for a low activity dog that loves to cuddle and doesn’t need much room to roam, you’ll love adding a Pug to your apartment.

In the end, regardless of the breed you choose, give your pup time to get used to his new apartment and that it’s ill-advised to leave your dog alone for long periods of time. 

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