8 best dogs for apartment living

best dogs for apartment living
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The best dogs for apartment living don't tend to be pooches with giant paws and long legs, even though they make for incredible companions. However, this doesn’t mean that people living in apartments can’t have a dog at all… it’s just the size of the canine that matters!

Ensuring you have the right dog for the quarters you’re living in is crucial for your pet’s health and mental wellbeing. A canine that doesn’t have enough space can become incredibly irritable and agitated, which could manifest into bigger problems as time goes by. 

As well as size, when choosing the best breed for your small living space, it’s important to also take into consideration the pup’s energy levels, their friendliness, and whether they are particularly noisy.  

Let’s take a look at some of the top breeds for apartment living.

1. French Bulldog

Small white and striped french bulldog puppy looking up at camera

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This adorable pointy-eared, wrinkle-faced breed has become increasingly popular over the years. Frenchies are known for loving their cuddles and having a fuss made of them. They may be miniature in size but they have big personalities, making them one of the best breeds to share your small apartment space with. 

Another positive for owning a French Bulldog is the fact that they don’t shed all that much and aren’t known for being yappy, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors.

It’s often reported that French Bulldogs do not require all that much exercise, yet that doesn’t mean you should let them lounge around on the sofa all day. As with all breeds, it’s important to ensure they remain fit and healthy with at least two walks a day of 15 minutes minimum. 

2. Chorkie

Chorkie puppy out for a walk

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Chorkies (a Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier cross) are quite possibly the perfect size for apartment living weighing between three to 10lbs – that’s no heavier than a house brick!  

Although they can be quite vocal breeds, they make up for their noise with their affection and playfulness and are often very loyal dogs. Known for being fairly energetic, Chorkies don’t require long daily walks – one or two short-medium length walks (1-2 hours per day) is enough to keep them exercised and entertained. Plus this can be topped up with indoor games for dogs and activities at home.

Despite their long hair, inherited from their Yorkshire Terrier side, this mixed breed is generally low-shedding. This makes them ideal for apartment living, especially for owners who may suffer from allergies. 

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Close up shot of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looking into camera with mouth open

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Historically bred as hunting dogs, nowadays Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s tend to live the life of a lapdog. Picture cold winter’s days and lots of snuggles from these beautiful, long-eared canines.

Cavalier’s are recognized as the original breed of Spaniel and possess a very calm disposition. They make wonderful life-long companions, with an average life expectancy of between 12 to 15 years. 

Belonging to the Toy Group, when it comes to size this breed commonly reaches heights no taller than 13 inches and weighs up to 18lbs, which is another reason why Cavalier’s can cuddle comfortably on your lap.

Depending on the owner’s lifestyle, they can be quite laid back when it comes to exercise or be upbeat athletes.  

4.  Pomeranian

Close up of Pomeranian outside with blurred background

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The smallest of the Spitz family, weighing in at between 4.5 and 5.5lbs, you could quite literally carry Pomeranian’s around with you, everywhere you go! 

What they lack in size they certainly make up for in bold personality. Pomeranian's are an incredibly obedient breed, as well as displaying intelligence and the ability to socialize, which makes them a wonderful all-around companion. 

Pomeranian’s are also quite energetic and are capable of going on long walks – providing you supply them with enough water, dog treats, and a few stops along the way to give their little legs a break. As a minimum, they should be walked for 20 to 30 minutes, twice a day.

5. Pug

Pug's head leaning on tabletop

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Known as one of the goofballs of the dog world, Pugs are incredibly friendly and never fail to put a smile on your face, even if it is for being a little mischievous!  

The breathing difficulties many of them suffer from may make you think that they need little to no exercise at all, but that’s not quite true. While Pug’s are known lazy logs, they do require small bursts of exercise every day in the form of a gentle walk.  Whilst out walking, it’s important to monitor how they are doing, especially during hot or cold weather, in which short bursts and indoor play are deemed best. 

Pugs love humans and often get on well with children and other animals. Although they’re not complete couch potatoes, they do love their sleep and can clock up an impressive 14 hours a day with their eyes firmly shut.

6. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

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Like many other dogs of a similar size, the Bichon Frise is ideal for apartment living. Obviously, their diminutive stature means they won’t be rattling around too much, but there are other reasons for their suitability for living in relatively confined spaces.

Firstly, they’re hypoallergenic, meaning the chances of them triggering any allergic reaction are pretty remote. Secondly, their exercise requirements aren’t all that stringent – a walk a day will generally be enough for them. Finally, they don’t take up too much room on the couch, which is the all-important factor, right?

In all seriousness, they’re incredibly lovable, and great with house guests, making them a top choice for all you apartment dwellers out there.

7. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu standing in amongst autumn leaves wearing dog coat

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We’ve always detected a slightly regal air around the Shih Tzu, which is no surprise, considering that they were originally bred to live in Chinese palaces. Your apartment may not have the same sense of grandeur about it, but the Shih Tzu will be more than satisfied with it.

As well as their small size, Shih Tzu’s love a cuddle, and are great lap dogs, so won’t mind chilling out all day while you’re out at work. They’ll expect attention when you’re at home, but that’s hardly any hardship. 

They can sometimes get overwhelmed when a lot of people are around, so they will need their own dedicated space for these occasions – a crate will do the trick – but should you be able to provide this, they’ll be perfect for apartment living.

8. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

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Playful and not particularly energetic, the Boston Terrier seems almost tailor-made for apartment living – and again, not just because they’re a bit miniature.

Nicknamed ‘the American Gentleman’, they live up to their name due to their keen and friendly disposition. They seem to live almost solely to keep their human happy, and it’s fair to say that they succeed in this regard.

Like similar-sized dogs, their exercise requirements are minimal too, meaning you don’t have to worry about them sitting around the apartment all day.

Chloe Petrylak

Chloe is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, who has more than ten years’ experience in creating animal-focussed content. From National Geographic to Animal Planet, Chloe’s passion for creating fact-filled features all about wildlife and the environment is evident. But it’s not just wild animals that Chloe’s fascinated by. Having written more than 75 articles for PetsRadar - and having her very own four-legged friend by her side - it’s no wonder that her love of dogs (and, of course, cats) has grown exponentially.  

Her website, www.chloemaywrites.com, and social media pages - @ChloeMayWrites on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - showcase her knowledge through daily facts and trivia tidbits. For example, did you know that snails have teeth?!