The Top 10 Dogs for Apartment Living

“What dog will do well in my apartment?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions here at the Dogguide. We decided to address this inquiry with a list of our favorite breeds that could be right for living in a smaller sized dwelling.

Now, when you read our list, you may think we may have made some mistakes! You are going to notice some *very* large dogs listed as suitable choices for apartment life. Don’t let the size of the package fool you! Large dogs do not necessarily need large amounts of exercise and often they are quite placid inside the house.

Most of the dogs on this list of the best apartment dogs were chosen for their ability to fall into the categories of: Easily groomed, quiet and low activity. However there are exceptions on this list, and we will point these out where they are needed.

bichon frise
Photo by annaiscuteinlv

Bichon Frise: The Bichon Frise is a popular member of the Toy group. This white powder-puff of a dog is known for its playful and gentle nature. While incredibly social with human beings (as well as having a reputation for getting along well with other animals), the Bichon is a quiet dog who is not prone to the “yippyness” that comes along with some of the toy breeds. A Bichon Frise should be able to get adequate exercise with daily walks in the park and some indoor games. These aspects make them an ideal companion for those looking for a small apartment dog. Please note that while the Bichons coat is low shedding, it does need *daily* grooming to keep the hair from matting. Also as with any pure white animal, maintenance must be done to keep their color clear from dirt!

Photo by snasent

Chihuahua: These little dogs are probably the stereotypical “toy” breed! They are what most people think of when they picture a dog suited to live in a small space. However, a Chihuahua is a little dog that often has a big attitude! This can lead to barking issues that may become a problem if you live in a large apartment building where your neighbors may be disturbed by the noise. Besides their talkative nature, the Chihuahua is an ideal dog for apartment life. They require little exercise and will be happy with a few short potty breaks and then indoor playtime. Their grooming requirements are quite minimal; weekly brushing should keep shedding down.

Photo by tee4tia

Poodle: (all sizes): There are three different sizes of Poodles and I believe all of them can make excellent apartment companions. The Standard and Miniature Poodles are members of the Non-Sporting group, while the Toy Poodle is a member of the Toy group. All sizes of Poodles are highly intelligent and are easily trained. They enjoy mental stimulation and excel in activities such as agility and obedience. The Toy Poodle requires the least amount of exercise of the 3 sizes, only requiring short outdoor time and then indoor play. The Miniature and Standard Poodles would require at least an hour of daily walking as well as indoor stimulation. Poodles also generally love the water! The Poodle sheds very little to not at all, but there is a great deal of grooming involved in the care of the coat. Elaborate show cuts must be maintained on a daily basis. “Puppy Cuts” are much simpler and easier for the pet owner to keep up with. Be prepared to make friends with your groomer if you decide the Poodle is the breed for you!

Photo by Danz in Tokyo

Pug: This little snorting member of the Toy group is quite the character! Their funny dispositions and waddling gait draw attention to them wherever they go. Pugs are friendly, affectionate, laid-back dogs that are known to get along with other dogs (as well as cats!). They are usually not prone to barking without good reason, so your neighbors should be happy if you choose this breed. Pugs require regular short walks, but care must be taken because of their brachiocephalic (flat-nosed) nature. Their flat noses can cause breathing issues in warm weather and they must not over exert themselves. Grooming needs to include, a daily cleaning of the facial wrinkles to remove dirt and debris, as well as brushing to prevent excess shedding.

Photo by Nikonbabe

Mastiff: The Mastiff is by far the heaviest dog on our list! This member of the Working group may look imposing, but they are truly gentle giants. What most people don’t expect is that this giant breed has a very low energy level due to its massive size. The Mastiff is a calm and even tempered dog who makes an ideal family pet. They are not prone to barking for fun, but will alert if there is any sign of suspicious activity. A few 20 minute walks a day are adequate exercise for the Mastiff and lots of mental stimulation and socialization are a must for this breed. Grooming requirements consist of brushing to prevent excess shedding.

Photo by Redsnapper9

Greyhound: Greyhounds are members of…you guessed it…the Hound Group! These dogs are exceptionally mellow, gentle and quiet. While you may think of them as canine athletes, they are more accurately described as couch potatoes! Most Greyhounds like nothing better than to lay on a comfy bed for much of the day. Greyhounds do need regular daily walks, but they do not need excessive amounts of exercise. All exercise must be done on leash as they will chase anything fast moving and you will NOT be able to call them back. Their grooming needs are minimal.

Photo by kpop

Schipperke: The Schipperke is an extremely curious, highly intelligent member of the Non-Sporting Group. These little dogs have a lot of energy, so they are a good choice for the more active apartment dwelling sector. They will need a few daily walks and rigorous indoor play to keep them stimulated. Schipperkes can be noisy at times as they are always aware of what is going on outside of their homes. Grooming requirements include bi-weekly brushing.

great dane
Photo by Nick C Carlson

Great Dane: Another one of our favorite giant breeds has made it onto this list! The Great Dane is a member of the Working Group and can be a great pet in many different living situations, including an apartment! Great Danes are smart, friendly, loyal and make excellent companions. While they are very good watchdogs, they are not huge barkers and thus will not get you evicted! The Great Dane is usually fairly inactive in the house but will need a decent amount of exercise per day. If you have an active lifestyle, this may be the dog for you! Danes have very short fur and can be brushed easily to remove dead hair.

french bulldogs
Photo by sara.musico

French Bulldog: These little dogs have recently experienced a boom in popularity. A stout member of the Non-Sporting Group, the French Bulldog is a friendly, outgoing companion. Like other bulldogs, they do have a stubborn aspect to their personalities and can be considered headstrong at times. They are another brachiocephalic (flat-nosed) breed, thus exercise needs to be carefully monitored and kept to a minimum in warm weather. Their grooming needs are minimal and they do fine with a basic brushing to prevent excess shedding.

italian greyhound
Photo by mute*

Italian Greyhound: These little Hounds are very affectionate, gentle and submissive. They can also be exceptionally high-strung and timid at times. They are a complex breed that requires a patient owner who has a desire to understand them. Italian Greyhounds need to be handled carefully to prevent injury to their fragile limbs, thus they are not a good choice in households with young children. They are quiet and require a few short daily walks to keep them happy and healthy. Italian Greyhounds have exceptionally short coats and thus shed little hair, making them incredibly easy to groom.


Dog Resources

Raising Your Dog

Dogs By Size

Dogs By Group

petside media network

Breeds: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z