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Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

Living in an apartment brings with it many challenges. It’s smart to pick a dog breed that adapts well to apartment life, including those with fewer exercise needs, breeds that vocalize less, and dogs that don’t need as much space. Here are some great small breeds that are the best dogs well-suited for apartments and apartment living.

French Bulldog

A friendly, affectionate small breed that does well in apartments, French Bulldogs make great companions. They were historically bred to help keep lace workers warm by sitting on their laps. Luckily for you, they’re just at home on a lap in an apartment!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A favorite lapdog of royalty, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel does great in small spaces. These companionable pets are great for families — always eager to please and play a game or show off some tricks. While they do enjoy a hike or the occasional sporting experience, they also delight in being on the receiving end of a belly rub while relaxing on your living room carpet.

Shih Tzu

While you may think the Shih Tzu hails from China, they’re actually a breed that originated in Tibet. Considered holy, they often kept monks company during meditation. In the modern day, Shih Tzus are one of the best dogs for apartments, and their easy-going nature makes them perfect for apartment living. 

Bichon Frise

While the Bichon Frise does require regular trips to the groomer, they’re still great apartment companions. They’re friendly and smart. And, their high trainability makes it a breeze to train them to use a potty pad or doggie litter box for apartment life. The biggest caveat with this breed is that you need to ensure plenty of playtime and exercise outside of your apartment walls, avoiding leaving this pooch bored and unattended for too long of a time.


If a smart breed is what you’re looking for, the Pomeranian is perfect! These small dogs adapt well to apartment life. Notwithstanding, they do need a little extra exercise compared to some other breeds. Pomeranians also make great service dogs — including those who can be trained for seizure detection — for people who need extra assistance but can’t have a larger breed.

Yorkshire Terrier

An iconic breed of city life and apartment living, Yorkshire Terriers have earned the reputation for a reason. They’re small, friendly, and energetic dogs who love to please their owners, making them another breed that tops our list of best dogs for apartments. They need a bit more exercise, but yorkies are always eager to take a stroll through the neighborhood with you.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are a breed that calls America home. Bred to create a smaller version of dog similar to the Bull Terrier, they quickly rose in the ranks as a popular small breed. Boston Terriers are smart, gentle, friendly dogs who do well with families in any situation, including those residing in apartments.


The Maltese is an ancient breed, serving as a companion for thousands of years. They’re small, affectionate, and adaptable dogs, making them great for apartment dwelling. While they do have some higher grooming and exercise requirements, they’re well-behaved and easily trainable, making taking care of them a breeze.

Small breeds, small space, lots to love

While any dog can adapt to apartment living, these breeds make up some of the best dogs for apartments. However, it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual. Some may have higher or lower exercise needs compared to others. It’s always best to spend time together before and after adopting a dog to make sure all of their needs are met, including exercise, mental stimulation, and training — no matter where you live.

If you’re looking for ways to help keep your dog entertained in an apartment, check out some fun indoor activities. You can also learn how to train a dog to use an indoor potty doggie toilet to make potty training easier.

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