What Are the Best Breeds of Dogs for Apartment Living and Why?

Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joy of having a dog. From small to medium-sized breeds, there is a variety of dogs that thrive in apartment living, providing the perfect companionship for you. When choosing a dog, it’s essential to consider factors such as the breed’s size, energy level, exercise needs, and tendency to bark. In this article, we will explore some of the best breeds for apartment living, and delve into why they are suitable for this environment.

Low-Energy Dogs Perfect for Apartment Living

Just because your living space is small doesn’t mean a dog won’t fit perfectly into your lifestyle. A breed with low energy, such as the Bichon Frise, or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, can be ideal for apartment living.

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These breeds are small in size, making them easy to manage in confined spaces. Additionally, they don’t require strenuous exercise, a short walk or play session indoors will suffice. These breeds also tend to be quiet, meaning they’re unlikely to upset the neighbors with persistent barking.

The Bichon Frise, recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), is known for its cheerful and friendly nature. This breed is also hypoallergenic, a boon for dog-lovers with allergies.

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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, on the other hand, is renowned for its adaptability and affectionate demeanor. This breed is also small in size, making it perfect for apartment living.

Medium-Sized Breeds That Are Apartment Friendly

If you’re looking for a slightly larger dog for your apartment, there are several medium-sized breeds that could be a perfect fit. Breeds like the Bulldog, Shih Tzu, and Cocker Spaniel are renowned for their adaptability to apartment living.

Bulldogs, despite their tough exterior, are known to be docile, friendly and require moderate exercise. Their calm demeanor makes them less likely to bark unnecessarily, making them a good choice for apartment dwellers.

Shih Tzus, on the other hand, are known for their affectionate nature and require minimal exercise. This breed’s adaptability and lower energy levels make them a good fit for apartments.

Cocker Spaniels are known for their cheerful and gentle nature. This breed is relatively easy to train, making them a great choice for first-time dog owners living in apartments.

Trainable Breeds That Are Great for Apartment Living

When living in an apartment, it’s critical to have a dog that’s easily trainable. Breeds like the Poodle and the Italian Greyhound are not only trainable but also adapt well to apartment living.

Poodles, regardless of their size, are renowned for their intelligence and ease of training. They’re also generally quiet dogs, which is a plus for living in close quarters with neighbors.

Italian Greyhounds are small, gentle, and known for their loving nature. They’re also relatively easy to train, and they require moderate exercise, making them an excellent choice for apartment living.

Small Breeds With Low Tendency to Bark

If you’re concerned about your dog’s noise affecting your neighbors, choosing a breed with a low tendency to bark can be beneficial. Breeds like the Basenji and the Shiba Inu are known for being quiet dogs.

The Basenji, often referred to as the "barkless dog," is a small breed with a unique, yodel-like sound called a "barroo," which is much less disruptive than a typical dog bark.

The Shiba Inu, despite being independent and somewhat stubborn, is generally a quiet breed. A well-trained Shiba Inu can be a delightful companion in an apartment setting.

Terrier Breeds That Thrive in Apartment Living

Terriers are a diverse group of dogs, but several breeds are suitable for apartment living. The Boston Terrier and the Scottish Terrier are two such breeds that can adapt well to living in an apartment.

Boston Terriers are small, friendly, and intelligent, making them suitable for apartment living. They require moderate exercise and are relatively easy to train.

Scottish Terriers, while independent, can also adapt well to apartments. They are known to be a quiet breed, and their need for exercise is moderate, making them a good choice for apartment dwellers.

What to Consider When Choosing a Dog for Apartment Living

Choosing a dog that is suitable for apartment living can be a daunting task. It’s essential to consider a variety of factors, including the dog breed’s size, energy levels, shedding frequency, and trainability.

Size is a primary consideration, especially if your apartment has limited space. Small to medium-sized breeds like the Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, or Boston Terrier could be a perfect fit due to their compact size.

Energy levels directly impact the breed’s exercise requirements. Dogs like the Bulldog or Shih Tzu are low-energy breeds and can thrive with moderate levels of physical activity. This is a significant advantage in an apartment setting where extensive outdoor spaces may not be available.

Shedding can be a concern in an apartment due to the limited space and the potential for allergies. Breeds like the Poodle or Italian Greyhound are known for their low shedding, making them ideal options. Remember to consider hypoallergenic breeds if allergies are a concern.

Trainability is key as well-behaved dogs are less likely to cause disturbances in small living areas. Breeds like the Poodle and the Boston Terrier are known for their high trainability, making them easier to manage in an apartment setting.

When comparing breeds, it is necessary to take these factors into account to ensure that the chosen breed is compatible with your lifestyle and apartment living.


Living in an apartment should not prevent you from enjoying the companionship of a dog. There are several breeds, from Bichon Frise to Scottish Terrier, that can thrive in an apartment environment. The key is to select a breed that matches your living conditions and lifestyle.

Factors like size, energy level, shedding frequency, and trainability need to be considered when choosing a dog breed. Low to medium energy dogs with low to medium shedding and high trainability are typically the best fit for apartment living.

Remember, regardless of the breed, every dog requires love, care, and attention. Your commitment to their physical and emotional well-being is ultimately what will make apartment living a positive experience for your canine companion. Moreover, a well-trained and loved dog is likely to be a quiet, peaceful neighbor, contributing positively to the apartment community.