The 51 Best Apartment Dog Breeds for Small Spaces

Not everyone is blessed with enough space in their home to accommodate a large dog breed. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joys of owning a furry friend altogether.

There are plenty of amazing apartment dog breeds that will make great companions, even in small spaces. So if you’re looking for a new addition to your family, but don’t have room for a Great Dane, check out our list of the 51 best apartment dog breeds.

You might be surprised at how much personality some of these little guys can pack!

51. Bulldog

Stocky and compact, a Bulldog tops our list of the best apartment dog breeds. These are easy-going creatures that enjoy curling up on the couch or on your lap. Sprinting around in your small apartment is not exactly their tendency.

During the hot weather, nothing keeps a Bulldog more content than being indoors in a cool room. But be sure to give them some exercise to keep them nice and trim. An hour of brisk walk a day will suffice to maintain their optimal health.

50. Greyhound

Greyhounds are excellent apartment dogs for a number of reasons. For instance, they are naturally calm and mellow. These are adaptable canines that can be comfortable no matter where they are.

Another thing about Greyhounds is that they do not require hours of grooming. Because of their short coats, grooming takes a shorter time than with long-coat dog breeds. Lastly, these dogs do not require plenty of exercises – about an hour a day is more than enough.

49. Siberian Husky

These medium-sized breeds are a favorite among apartment dwellers. They possess an innate friendliness that makes them easy to get along with. It is their amiable nature that draws so many canine lovers to this breed so quickly!

Siberian Huskies are smart pooches that are easy to train. You should have no problem with house-training your pup. And one important thing – Siberians do not have much of that dog odor. Another plus point for this breed!

48. Affenpinscher

Image from Pet Plate

Affenpinschers are fondly nicknamed “Monkey Dog” because of their ape-like appearances. These dogs are a spitting image of the Ewoks or Wookies from Star Wars, thanks to their large, expressive eyes and their hairy faces.

But more than their striking looks, these canines are endearing creatures. They are small, fastidious dogs that should be perfect in any apartment. This is the kind of dog that you will never have a problem within a small space as they are easy to please.

47. Tibetan Spaniel

Image from K9Cuisine

Measuring 10 inches right at the shoulder, The Tibetan Spaniel is a relatively tiny breed. They are like little lions, mainly due to their signature “lion’s mane” that gives their necks a fluffy appearance. 

Any apartment dweller will find this breed quite suitable in their small space. Tibbies are compact, gentle dogs with a warm personality and a big heart – all in such a tiny, little package!

46. Boxer

Muscular and strong, Boxers are a joy to have in every home. They are upbeat dogs that work well with adults and children alike. While they may be slightly bigger than the other dog breeds in this list, they are one of the most mellow. This is why they make such amazing apartment pets.

As the name implies, Boxers are like athletes. They are sturdy and active creatures with a touch of gracefulness in their movement. A great dog indeed for every home!

45. Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier is renowned for its egg-shaped head and pointed erect ears. They may come in white coats while others may have a brindle striping feature. These canines are loving pets that do well with humans and other pets.

Another great quality of the Bull Terrier is its versatility. They can adapt easily to any environment, which is why they should make a good apartment dog for the family or solo homeowners.

44. Miniature Schnauzer

Next up, we have the Miniature Schnauzer. These are stocky dogs that are a smaller version of the Standard Schnauzers. They also possess the same human-like expression as their larger cousins, thanks to their bushy eyebrows and beard.

Minis are trainable pets. They are small enough to fit in an apartment life but they have the stamina to get along with kids and other animals. These are the family-oriented pooches that you can rely on to watch over your home and household.

43. Chow Chow

Image from Eusoh

What’s impressive about Chows are their innate cleanliness. In fact, they are quite fastidious canines – just like cats! They also have very minimal odor, so it should not be an issue having these pups around in a small apartment. 

Housebreaking is fairly easy with  a Chow. When well-socialized, these dogs maintain a dignified and refined personality. Most importantly, their serene personality enables them to adapt quickly in any kind of lifestyle.

42. Standard Poodle

Standard Poodles are about 15 inches at the shoulder – a compact size that should fit right into your apartment. But more than the small size, these dogs are highly versatile creatures. They can do well in the city, countryside, and any home – large or tiny.

In addition to their moderate build, Poodles are quick-witted, trainable canines. This is why apartment folks will have no problem having these pups around because of their mild and pleasant demeanor.

41. Border Collie

Image from 1-800-PetMeds

Bred as herders, Border Collies are intelligent and obedient dogs. They are athletic canines that fare quite well in agility training. This is why they are a great choice for apartment dwellers looking for their first pet – Borders are trainable canines with a desire to please their owners.

Aside from their lovable personality, these dogs are fiercely loyal to their families. They are always ready to protect their humans, although Borders are rather aloof with strangers.

40. Whippet

Image from 1-800-PetMeds

A smaller version of the Greyhound, Whippets are about 18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder. They are sighthounds with a slim and elegant body resembling that of a nimble athlete. 

One of the best things about Whippets, which makes them a good fit for apartment dwellers, is their serene personality. These canines are not yappers. They are low-maintenance pups that will bring joy (and peace and quiet!) to every home.

39. Bullmastiff

Bullmastiffs may be pretty bulky but a bit smaller than their larger counterparts, the Mastiffs. These dogs have the same, broad head, deep muzzle, and an air of confidence in them. This is why Bullmastiffs are excellent family companions that have a strong desire to protect their loved ones.

These canines may be large but you’ll be surprised to know that they are actually outstanding apartment pets. They do not require much exercise or a vast space to romp around. A true sweetheart, Bullmastiffs will be more than happy to snuggle up with you.

38. Toy Fox Terrier

Image from Instagram:@tftgypsy

Picture a lapdog with the tenacity and wits of a terrier, and you’ve got a Toy Fox Terrier. This canine’s comedic talent housed in a 12-inch tall body is enough to brighten up your compact abode. 

Toy Fox Terriers may be small but they are not at all frail. These are sturdy and agile pooches that are always eager to do anything with their owners – play, cuddle, or entertain. Wherever they may be, expect them to always showcase their charismatic selves!

37. Papillon

The Papillon is another tiny dog that is popular among apartment dwellers. These little fur babies have their signature wing-shaped ears, which give them their name, “Papillon” or butterfly, in the French language.

Paps are robust canines that do well no matter what environment they are in. They thrive in the country or in the city, whether in cool or warm climates. Want a dog that can learn tricks easily? Then, a Papillon fits the bill!

36. Australian Silky Terrier

Image from Instagram:@charliethesilkyterrier

The Australian Silky Terrier is a tiny, feisty canine packed with high spirits and energy. These pooches are 10 inches tall, which should fit right into your lap. This is why Silkys are a great apartment dog.

What is most special about this breed is they are not yappy. They are refined little canines that rarely ever bark. And since they do not shed as much, it should not be a problem keeping your home clean and dog hair-free.

35. Shar Pei

Image from Pet Plate

Compact and sturdy, Shar-Peis are another well-loved apartment dog breed. Their unique features include a hippopotamus-like muzzle, a somewhat scowling expression, lots of loose skin on the neck, shoulders, and head, and a sandpapery thick coat. 

But what makes them a clear choice for apartment dwellers in search of a pet is their personality. Shar-Peis are mild-tempered and serene canines. They are easy to please and very mellow, so they can adapt to any environment.

34. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Image from Pet Plate

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are comedic dogs packed in a 10-inch package. Though they are built low and long, these canines are amazingly agile. They thrive with activity but also enjoy cuddling up with their owners.

These pups are highly trainable canines, thanks to their innate intelligence and sensitivity. They may bark a little but only when triggered by strangers. Otherwise, Pembrokes are laid-back creatures that anyone can get along with easily.

33. Little Lion Dog

Image from

Standing at a little over 21 inches tall at the shoulder, the Little Lion dog is a small but artfully balanced canine. They resemble a mini lion – a plumed tail and a thick mane – which earned them their name.

But the Little Lion is more than just good looks. These dogs are naturally sweet and affectionate fellows. More than anything, they love being on your lap and snuggling up with you. This is why they are excellent apartment dogs that are content with a little space, as long as their need for togetherness with the family is met.

32. Doberman

Image from PetHonesty

If what you look for in an apartment dog is one that will keep you feeling secure and safe, then the Doberman is a perfect choice for you. They are alert and fiercely loyal dogs that are ready to stay on patrol to ward off intruders in your abode. 

Dobermans have a sleek body with a single coat, which means these dogs are moderate shedders – a suitable option for apartment dwellers. This also makes them easy to clean as Dobbies have short coats.

31. Coton de Tulear

Image from Instagram:@love_cotondetulear

Coton de Tulears are the epitome of cuteness and charm. They have immaculate white, cotton-soft coats, thus the breed’s name. Their main goal in life is to offer companionship, entertainment, and affection to their owners.

Cotons are witty creatures with a penchant for amusement. These adorable jesters are hardly ever demanding, and they do perfectly well in small apartments.

30. Italian Greyhound

Image from Wolf Spring

Smaller than a Greyhound, these 13-inch tall canines are bred for companionship. They are sleek and elegant dogs with fine-boned legs made for chasing their prey or playing with their favorite humans.

A unique trait of the Italian Greyhound is its affectionate personality. They love being on your lap and snuggling up. This is why they are beloved apartment pets – non-demanding, mellow, and low-shedding. What more can one ask for?

29. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinschers are small canines (about a foot tall) with a big dog personality. They are loyal and dedicated pets that can be quite demanding of their owner’s attention. 

Apartment dwellers will find how easy it is to keep a Min Pin in their tiny home. For one, these dogs have smooth, low-shedding coats. One does not have to always clean up after their dog because of this feature. Also, these dogs are satisfied with playing indoors even with minimal space.

28. Shiba Inu

Image from DogTV

Shiba Inus are outstanding apartment pets. These medium-sized breeds are naturally serene and trainable. Housebreaking a Shiba is easy as they have a strong desire to please and obey their owners.

In addition, Shibas are independent dogs. They are perfectly fine without constant attention. So, if you have a 9 to 5 job, you can be sure that your pooch is able to handle being alone. Once you get back home, however, be sure to provide ample exercise to your pet as this can eliminate negative behavior.

27. Golden Retriever

Image from DogTV

Golden Retrievers are energetic and playful gundogs. They are versatile creatures, which makes them suitable for apartment living. Plus, these canines do not bark much, so you can keep your neighbors happy, too!

But one thing to note about Goldens – they require plenty of exercises. When left alone for hours, be sure to take your pooch out to burn that excess energy. A game of fetch or just about any outdoor play should suffice to keep your fur baby happy.

26. Lhasa Apso

Image from Canine Sciences

Lhasas may be petite but they are hardy and robust. They have that gorgeous floor-length coat that drapes on the sides of their body. These dogs also have signature feathery tails and expressive oval-shaped dark eyes. 

But what makes them perfect apartment dogs is their personality. They are well-balanced canines that do well in any kind of environment. These dogs are a breeze to please and are content with a small space.

25. Labrador Retriever

Image from Canna Pet

If a small house is hindering you from owning a Labrador, then worry not – Labs can do fine in apartment living. They are companionable and adaptable housemates that can easily fit even in a modest-sized home.

But just like with any big dog in a tiny house, you need to provide outdoor exercise to your pooch. Head off to the nearest park and take your pet for a walk or a game of Frisbee to keep your Lab physically and mentally fit.

24. Griffon Bruxellois

Image from Instagram:@grumpygriffons

Weighing about 5 to 15 pounds, the Griffon Bruxellois are great apartment pets. They are easy to train, so housebreaking your Griff should be fairly effortless to do. And with their small size, they do not require much space in the house.

Do note that these dogs are prone to separation anxiety. They prefer to be with their special human a lot, so if you work long hours away from home, be sure your pooch has a companion to prevent them from being lonely.

23. Japanese Chin

Image from DogTV

Japanese Chins thrive on being indoors. They do not need much exercise, which is why apartment dwellers would find these dogs a good fit in their homes. And with their small size, a compact home space should work perfectly fine.

Chins are genuine cuddle bugs. These canines are very much content just to be with their owners. With their adorable looks and mellow character, no wonder this breed is well-loved by canine fans.

22. Pekingese

Image from DogTV

These compact toy dogs are aristocratic by nature. After all, the Pekingese were bred to reside in palaces. Thus, they possess an innate serene nature, which is a good trait for apartment dwellers looking for a pet that is easy to live with.

If you have overactive little kids in the house, though, this may not be a good fit for Pekes. While these dogs tolerate young children, they are never up for roughhousing.

21. Beagle

Image from DogTV

Beagles are merry, companionable dogs with their trademark houndy ears hanging low and tricolor coats. They stand about a foot tall at the shoulder, while other varieties grow as tall as 15 inches. 

These are energetic dogs that require ample playtime. But because of their mellow personality, Beagles can live comfortably in an apartment. They can also be left alone for a few hours if your work requires you to, as long as you fill their need for affection once you get back home.

20. Pomeranian

Image from DogTV

Pomeranians are toy dogs that are a typical choice for pets by apartment dwellers. After all, they are tiny canines that can be perfectly fine with just minimal walks. These fluffy pooches are active but a few games indoors should suffice for their need for exercise.

As these are perky dogs, expect to get plenty of laughter from their innate comedic skills. Poms can also do well with kids, as long as they are treated gently.

19. Basset Hound

Image from DogTV

A cross between a sad clown and a hound dog, the Basset Hound is such a sweet charmer. They are about 14 inches tall at the shoulder and known for their massive paws, mournful eyes, and low-hung velvety ears. 

Bassets are mild-tempered creatures. They are generally agreeable when at home, which makes them suitable for apartments. Once on the trail, however, they can let out a loud and ringing bark to scare away their foes.

18. Chinese Crested Dog

Image from DogTV

Apartment folks who want a dog that hardly ever shed will adore the Chinese Crested dog. These canines come in two varieties – the hairless and the short-coat. Either way, they will never leave a trail of hair behind them. And yes, there is zero odor to these pups, too!

One thing to note about the Chinese Crested is that they require special care, especially during the chilly months. They get cold easily, so they need to wear something warm. Better yet, let your pooch snuggle up with you to keep him nice and cozy.

17. Havanese dog

Image from Fuzzy

The Havanese is your typical city dog – sociable and adaptable with a penchant for making people laugh. These comical extroverts command the admiration of humans, and they do receive it all the time because of their cute and cuddly looks.

If you need a reliable watchdog in your tiny abode, the Havanese is a solid choice. They are alert pups that are protective of their families. But at the same time, they do not bark as much, which makes them great apartment pets.

16. Basenji

Image from Canna Pet

Coined as a “cult breed”, Basenjis are hard to come by. But for those who own this dog breed can vouch for how truly special they are. These canines are mellow creatures who don’t bark; instead, they create a yodeling/ chortling sound. 

Another unique trait of the Basenji is their fastidiousness. They love to groom themselves just like cats. This is why apartment dwellers will love having these dogs around because of their tidy quality – and they look quite adorable, too!

15. Maltese

Image from Canine Sciences

Maltese possess a good amount of charm. After all, who could ever resist their perfectly white, silky coats, tiny gumdrop nose, and expressive, large eyes? They exude an air of aristocracy and balance, which add to their enigma.

But beyond their innate great looks is their gentle personality. These low-shedding elegant toy dogs are mild-mannered. They rarely ever bark and can get along well with humans and other animals in the household.

14. Great Dane

Image from Canna Pet

Towing over most dog breeds, the Great Dane is a muscular breed that is about 32 inches tall. But these are your sweet giants that are naturally people-pleasers. With intruders, however, these canines can be intimidating. They are bred to protect their family and are fiercely loyal to their favorite humans.

While they may seem too big for apartment living, they can actually adapt to a small space well. They do require some exercise, so it is best to take them out for regular walks to keep them fit.

13. Dachshund

Image from ChomChom Roller

Their extraordinary build – short legs, long body – makes them suitable for apartment living. After all, they are not designed for leaping and long-distance running. These dogs should be more than OK to live in a relatively small space.

Dachshunds are tireless dogs, despite their rather cumbersome body structure. They are vigilant canines with an innate devotion to their owners. With their affectionate and gentle nature, these pups have won many dog lovers’ hearts!

12. Boston Terrier

Image from Bissell

Portable and people-oriented, Boston Terriers are your typical city canines. They are small and compact dogs that can fit in a tiny space. A brisk walk outdoors or playtime indoors should suffice for these agile pooches.

Looks-wise, Bostons do not disappoint. These are your dapper dogs with a tuxedo-like coat in black and white (or sometimes in brindle). They are always game for anything, just as an excellent companion dog must be.

11. Poodle

Poodles come in different sizes but the Toy Poodle is the smallest of them all. They are under 10 inches tall and with a proportionate build. This is why they are great apartment pets – compact and space-friendly.

As for their personality, these dogs are highly trainable. You can easily teach them tricks and housebreak them with success in as little time as possible. With their intelligence and sensitivity, owning a poodle should be easy peasy.

10. Yorkshire Terrier

An urban favorite, Yorkshire Terriers are dainty toy dogs famous for their gorgeous silky coat of golden tan and deep blue. Their coats closely resemble human hair, which makes these dogs low-allergen. This is why apartment dwellers with allergies can safely own a Yorkie without triggering their allergy symptoms. 

Feisty and brave, Yorkies are compact-size canines with a big dog persona. They are natural-born comedians and charmers, which is part of their appeal.

9. Shih Tzu

Standing at about 8 to 11 inches tall, the Shih Tzu is a sight to behold. These small dogs prefer to stay indoors and sit on your lap, or keep cozy in their favorite bed. This is why apartment fellows should have no issue welcoming this breed into their homes. 

These canines have a knack for staying as adorable as ever. A well-conditioned Shih Tzu is neatly groomed and very affectionate even to young children. They do not bark frequently, so that is another plus point if you are living in a small space with this dog.

8. Bichon Frise

Image from Embark Vet

For a Bichon, everybody is a friend. This is why they are always mellow and gentle to everyone they meet. These pups have a hypoallergenic plush coat, which is perfect for folks suffering from allergies. 

If you live in a tiny space, you will have no problem having a Bichon with you. These are adaptable creatures that come in a small package. They also work well with kids and other dogs.

7. Chihuahua

Image from Embark Vet

When one thinks of an apartment dog, a Chihuahua comes to mind. And why won’t it? After all, these tiny dogs are compact, adaptable, and trainable fellows.

Chihuahuas, however, require early training. They are clever scamps that are obedient to their owners, supposing you train them sooner rather than later. Socialization is also important to teach them how to get along with your household members and other pets in the home if there are. 

6. French Bulldog

Image from Embark Vet

Frenchies are a spitting image of a Bulldog – just smaller in size. They also have their signature bat-like ears but the same heavy wrinkles on the face, a square head, and a button nose like that of a Bulldog.

What apartment dwellers will love the most about Frenchies is their mild temperament. They are alert canines but not a huge fan of barking. They adapt easily to any lifestyle, and these dogs thrive even with minimal exercise.

5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Image from Fuzzy

Their name aptly fits their regal appearance – silky, soft coats and a well-proportionate body structure. The Cavalier is a toy spaniel that barely reaches 14 inches at the shoulder. They are a perfect apartment pet for homebodies or active folks alike.

One thing to note about the Cavalier is their versatility. They would not hesitate to be couch potatoes if their owner wants a TV buddy. But at the same time, they are always game for outdoors and playtimes.

4. Pug

Image from Fuzzy

Pugs are your typical house dogs. They are content in an apartment space, as long as they get to spend quality time with their owners. These canines also do well with a pack or as the only pooch in the house.

As for their character, Pugs are adorable in every way. Their trademark feature is their wrinkled brow and sparkling eyes – both responsible for their human-like expressions that are a delight to their owners.

3. King Charles Spaniel

Image from Pet Plate

The quiet temperament and compact size of King Charles Spaniel make them a great candidate for apartment living. These elegant pooches with silky coats and a body roughly surpassing 13 inches of length are a solid choice for folks wanting to keep a dog in a modest-sized space.

When kept indoors, be sure to give them at least an hour of playtime to keep them mentally and physically fit. A small yard should also suffice for their exercise. Better yet, you can take them for a walk in the neighborhood or a nearby park.

2. Newfoundland

Image from Wolf Spring

While Newfies may be massive and bulky, they are surprisingly apartment dogs by nature. These canines are some of the sweetest and most affectionate breeds. They are gentle and mellow, so there shouldn’t be any problem having these pooches in your tiny abode.

Another cool thing about Newfies is that they love to cuddle. They are satisfied with snuggling up with you and will not demand hours of playtime. But be sure to spend quality time with your four-legged buddy and provide ample exercise.

1. Bolognese dog

Image from Instagram:@spendy_brl

Stocky and small, the Bolognese dog is an excellent apartment dog breed. If space is an issue at home, this pooch should fit right in perfectly because of the modest size it comes with.

Plus, this is the kind of pup that is a bit on the inactive side. The Bolognese should be content even without a roomy area to romp around! Just be sure to not leave your furry pal alone for too long, as this breed is prone to separation anxiety.

Is It Cruel To Have A Dog In An Apartment?

There is nothing wrong with keeping a dog in your apartment. The most important thing is that you provide them with some exercise such as a game of fetch or a brisk walk outdoors. They would also need ample attention, especially if you leave them alone for a few hours a day.

What Is The Least Smelly Dog? 

Some of the least smelly dog breeds include the Siberian Husky, Maltese, Basenji, Whippet, and the Bichon Frise. If you are looking to have a dog in your apartment, a breed that lacks odor should be perfect.

What Breed Of Dog Can Be Left Alone During The Day?

Certain dog breeds like Chihuahua, Pug, Basset Hound, Chow Chow, Shar Pei, and the Bull Terrier are prone to separation anxiety when left alone during the day. However, there are dog breeds that have no problem with some alone time.

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Pete Decker