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Best Dogs for Apartments and Small Spaces

What are the best dogs for apartments? Even living in a small space, you can have a canine companion! See which breeds make the best dogs for small apartments so you can start your adoption search.

Living in an apartment shouldn’t keep a dog lover from owning a lovable canine. Many dogs, particularly smaller ones, can thrive living in a smaller area. Owners just need to be sure that the dog is taken out regularly, walked, and given exercise whether the exercising is indoors or out.

Brown and white chihuahua lying on bed in apartment - best dogs for apartments

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The Best Breeds of Dogs for Apartments

Small sized breeds are the obvious choice for apartment dogs. As an added bonus, many small dogs are low shedders. Consider these breeds of dogs for apartment living:


Developed in China in ancient times, Pugs were a particular favorite at Buddhist monasteries. Pugs are easily adaptable, playful, and make great lapdogs.

They can be protective watchdogs and with their pleasant personalities, they like to please their owners. Pugs do not do well in the heat and should not be kept as an outdoor dog.

Lhasa Apsos

Lhasa Apsos originated in Tibet where their role was that of companion and watchdog. Not only are they lapdogs, they love to sleep on the bed at night.

Lhasa Apsos are intelligent and easy to train. They don’t require a lot of exercise, but should be walked or played with every day. These tough, little dogs should not be kept outdoors and do great with apartment living.

Black miniature poodle sitting in front of bed - dogs in small apartments

Miniature Poodles

It is uncertain whether Miniature Poodles originated in France or Germany. What is known is that they were used for water retrieving and performing.

Miniature Poodles are smart, obedient, and very good with children. They interact well with other dogs and love to play, run, and swim. Some Miniature Poodles tend to bark a lot, so take caution when selecting one for apartment living.

Bichon Frises

Since their origins in the Mediterranean, Bichon Frises have always been companion dogs. They are outgoing, friendly towards strangers, and especially good with children.

With their high energy level, Bichon Frises need daily exercise. Unlike other breeds of dogs, the Bichon Frise does very little shedding, although it should be brushed a few times a week to keep from matting.

Yorkshire Terrier dog in profile - best dog breeds for apartments

Yorkshire Terriers

The Yorkshire Terrier comes from England, where it was once used for hunting vermin. These spirited, working class dogs are great in apartments because they can get all the exercise they need indoors (although they love to go for long walks).

Yorkies, as they’re called, can be yappy and stubborn, but make wonderful pets. Although they aren’t great protectors, they do make good watchdogs, especially as dogs in small apartments.

Boston Terriers

Bred in the United States by crossing an English Terrier and a Bulldog, the Boston Terrier has always made a great companion dog. The devoted Boston Terrier is well mannered and does well living in an apartment.

They love to play, especially chasing balls and playing games. Sensitive to its owner’s wishes, Boston Terriers also make good watchdogs.

Dachshund sitting on bed - apartment dogs


Originally a hunting dog from Germany, Dachshunds are independent dogs that enjoy running, jumping and playing. They do well with children within the family, but don’t always take to strangers.

They make good apartment dogs as long as they are taken out for walks and some exercise. The Dachshund has become one of the most popular hounds in America.


From its origins in Malta in ancient times until today, Malteses have always been lapdogs. These sweet dogs are gentle, affectionate, and trusting.

Malteses should be indoor dogs and can get plenty of exercise by playing indoor games. Maltese are considered to be a very healthy breed of dog. In order to keep their fur from matting, Maltese should be combed every one to two days.

Many dogs can do great with apartment living as long as they get proper exercise.

More About Choosing a Dog Breed

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