HomeNewsMay 21, Best Small Dogs For Apartments: Breeds that Adapt Easily

    May 21, Best Small Dogs For Apartments: Breeds that Adapt Easily

    Best Small Dogs for Apartments  by Janice Jones

    |Last updated 05-21-2023

    The best small dogs suitable for apartment life will be friendly, clean, relatively quiet, and have moderate to low exercise demands.  Why did we choose these characteristics for our canine apartment dwelling companions?

    Let’s look at each trait

    • Size
    • Friendliness Towards Strangers
    • Cleanliness
    • Tendency to Bark
    • Exercise Demands
    Best Small Breed Dogs for Apartment DwellersBest Small Dogs for Apartments

    The Best Small Dogs for Apartments are
    well, “small”

    Size does matter even though some sites you reach may tell you otherwise.  Take the Great
    Dane, for example, may sites consider this breed to be the perfect apartment dog.  They may be friendly and quiet, but
    at a whopping 200 pounds, few apartment complexes are going to accept

    Size is important overall because more landlords are going to allow small sized dogs.  Some have a
    weight limit and all the dog breeds on this site would fall into their weight

    That does not mean that all small dogs make great apartment
    dwellers.  There’s more to
    successful apartment life than size, but if you must live with strict rules, choosing a small breed will keep
    you out of trouble. 

    Small dogs also require much less cleanup regardless if you plan on having
    an indoor potty system or plan to take the dog outside to do his business.

    The Best Small Dogs for Apartments are Friendly

    Living in an apartment building
    means that you are likely to bump into your neighbors, almost on a daily basis
    going in and out of your home.  Not only does having a friendly dog make
    you a favorite tenet it can also help you
    meet new friends. 

    Friendly dogs also keep you out of
    trouble.  Many dog bites that occur are from dogs that are wary of
    strangers, shy, aggressive,  or cannot get along with other dogs. 

    The last thing you
    want is for your dog to get into a fight with another dog or bite a person as
    you are leaving your building. 

    Just because your dog is friendly
    does not mean that he is incapable of getting into a fight or harming another

    Training and socialization are
    a must for any dog, but especially for those who live near others.  Few dog bites have been reported in breeds that
    tend to love everyone they meet, so they are in my mind, some of the best small dogs to live in apartments.

    The Best Small Dogs for Apartments are Clean

    Cleanliness is a relative term and what I think is spotless may be the next
    person’s grime.  If you live or are planning to live in an
    apartment or condo with long hallways to the exit, consider your dog’s overall

    How much does he shed?  How easy will it be to keep him sparkling
    clean?  Does this breed make a dash for
    every mud puddle, love to dig in any dirt he can find or roll in the smelliest

    Most dogs are capable of all of
    these, but choosing one that will be less likely to participate in these “fun”
    canine activities may be your best bet.

    Best Small Dogs for Apartments Should be Quiet

    Barking is a significant problem when living in an apartment
    or even a home which is situated close to
    the next door neighbor. Small dogs have traditionally gotten a bad reputation
    for being yappy and some are just that. 

    The best small dogs for apartment living will either be quiet or will be trainable to overcome their barking tendency.

    Some breeds are quieter than others.  If you
    chose a breed, that tends to bark, you would need to work on some training methods that will reduce their
    tendency to bark. 

    Exercise Needs

    All dog breeds vary in their activity level and their need
    for exercise.  All dogs, just like humans need exercise, but
    many breeds can meet most of these needs through short bursts of energy

    Even if you have a tiny space,
    a small dog can get much of his energy demands fulfilled by racing around a
    coffee table or a kitchen island.  A
    couple of decent walks will tire him out as well.  If you live near a dog park that has a separate area for small dogs, this is another
    option especially if your breed thrives on playing fetch.

    These are the best small dogs that I believe would make a great choice for apartment living.  Your dog not on my list?  Tell us about your dog using the form at the
    bottom of the page.  You might just find
    that I’ve added him the next time you visit this page.

    Best Small Dogs for Apartments  (Listed in Alphabetical Order)

    Every dog is different and even litter mates can vary widely
    in their temperament.  You will always
    find an example of a shy dog that belongs to a friendly breed or a quiet dog from
    a breed that is known for its propensity
    to bark. 

    If you are currently looking for a puppy or dog to add to
    your family, ask questions of the breeder or rescue personnel.  They can often let you know if the dog would
    make a good candidate for living in an apartment. 

    Bichon Frise



    Boston Terrier

    Brussels Griffon

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    Chinese Crested

    Coton de Tulear

    French Bulldog


    Japanese Chin





    Shih Tzu

    Yorkshire Terrier

    Pin for Future Reference

    Best Small Dogs for People Who Live in Smaller Spaces


    Living in an apartment with a dog requires certain characteristics such as friendliness, cleanliness, moderate exercise demands, and relatively quiet behavior. While size is important, small breeds are more suitable for apartments as they require less cleanup and are accepted by more landlords.

    Friendly dogs are preferred since they can make you a favorite tenant and help you meet new friends. Cleanliness is a relative term but choosing a breed that sheds less and is less likely to participate in canine activities such as digging and rolling in dirt is best.

    Barking is a significant problem in apartments, so breeds that tend to bark should be trained to overcome this tendency. Small dogs can fulfill their exercise needs through short bursts of energy indoors or with outdoor options like dog parks.

    The best small dogs for apartments are listed in alphabetical order on the website. Choosing the right dog for apartment living requires careful consideration of their temperament and needs.

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