35 Apartment-Friendly Dog Breeds for Small Spaces

french bulldog in an apartment

Even if you’re living in a smaller space, the joy and companionship of a dog is still within reach. Selecting the right breed for your apartment requires consideration of factors like a dog’s energy level, noise tendencies, and size.

But don’t worry, you don’t need to navigate this process alone! In this guide, we’ll introduce you to 35 dog breeds that are generally well-suited for apartment living. These dog breeds can comfortably adapt to smaller spaces and thrive in an urban environment.

Whether you’re partial to petite pups or are open to larger breeds with a calm demeanor, we’ve got you covered. Read along and let’s find your dream pet.

1. French Bulldog

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French Bulldogs, affectionately known as “Frenchies”, are perfect dogs for small living spaces. Weighing between 16-28 pounds, their compact size makes them ideal for apartments. They’re known for their easygoing nature and are more inclined to curl up on the couch rather than bounce off the walls.

Despite their playful demeanor, Frenchies require minimal exercise, a brisk daily walk or a short play session is usually sufficient for these little fellows. This makes them less demanding than other breeds and well-suited for apartment living where outdoor space may be limited.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, weighing between 13-18 pounds, are well suited for small living spaces due to their compact size. Despite their royal heritage, they’re down-to-earth and incredibly affectionate. Their outgoing and friendly nature makes them great companions.

They are known for their adaptability and are comfortable in indoor spaces, making them perfect for apartment living. These Spaniels thrive on companionship and love being close to their owners. Whether you’re lounging on the couch or working at your desk, expect your Cavalier to be by your side, offering unwavering love and loyalty.

3. Boston Terrier

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Boston Terriers, affectionately called the “American Gentleman,” are friendly canines that excel in compact spaces. Weighing between 12-25 pounds, their small stature is a perfect fit for apartments. Their heartwarming personalities are complemented by an affable demeanor, making them beloved pets.

Boston Terriers are low-energy dogs, requiring moderate exercise which aligns well with apartment living. An added advantage of this breed is their minimal grooming needs. Their short coat requires only occasional brushing, making them a low-maintenance choice for busy urbanites.

4. Pug

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Pugs, with their distinctive wrinkly face and big, soulful eyes, are a breed that is impossible to ignore. Their compact size, typically between 14-18 pounds, combined with their charming, almost human-like expressions, makes them an endearing choice for apartment dwellers.

Pugs are known for their loving and friendly temperament. They are social creatures who thrive on attention and are happiest when they’re part of your daily activities. Despite their playful nature, Pugs are low-energy dogs that prefer lounging indoors to vigorous outdoor activity. They require only moderate exercise, such as a leisurely walk or a short play session, making them a good match for the laid-back lifestyle of an apartment.

5. Chihuahua

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Chihuahuas are ideally suited for apartment life. Weighing a mere 2-6 pounds, their diminutive size makes them perfect for compact living spaces. Despite their tiny stature, Chihuahuas pack a big personality, often displaying a confident and spirited demeanor. They’re known for their loyalty and enjoy being the center of attention.

While they don’t require much physical exercise, Chihuahuas are intelligent and benefit from mental stimulation, so interactive toys and games are essential. Their small size, lively character, and adaptability to indoor living make Chihuahuas a fitting choice for apartment dwellers who can provide them with the mental engagement they crave.

6. Shih Tzu

shih tzu lying on the floor
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Shih Tzus, often weighing between 9-16 pounds, are a compact breed well-suited to apartment living. Their small stature doesn’t affect their mighty personality, which is usually filled with affection, playfulness, and a touch of stubbornness.

Shih Tzus also have a low-shedding coat, making them a fantastic candidate for those who appreciate a cleaner living space. Known for their love of indoor play, Shih Tzus are happy to amuse themselves with a toy or a game of fetch in the living room. With their adaptable nature and manageable exercise needs, this breed is a lovely fit for cozy apartments and their residents.

7. Italian Greyhound

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Italian Greyhounds, known for their slim build and elegant appearance, are another apartment-friendly breed. They are small, typically weighing between 7-14 pounds, but their slim bodies and fine-boned structure give them a distinctive, graceful silhouette. These dogs have a smooth, short coat that requires minimal grooming — a plus for keeping your apartment clean.

Despite their sprinter heritage, Italian Greyhounds have a surprising love of relaxation and can often be found lounging on the couch. Their ability to chill out indoors, combined with their low maintenance needs, makes them an excellent choice for apartment living.

8. Dachshund

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Dachshunds, commonly known as ‘wiener dogs’ due to their long bodies and short legs, are a delightfully compact breed ideal for apartment dwellers. With an average weight between 16-32 pounds, their small stature is accompanied by a vibrant personality brimming with curiosity and playfulness.

Their love for burrowing makes them frequent cuddle buddies, often snuggling into the coziest corners of your apartment. With their size, moderate activity needs, and endearing personality, Dachshunds certainly earn their spot in the realm of apartment-friendly dog breeds.

9. Bichon Frise

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Bichon Frise, a small breed weighing between 10-20 pounds, is a bundle of joy and energy. Compact yet brimming with enthusiasm, this breed’s cheerful disposition makes it a delightful companion. Its low-shedding, hypoallergenic coat, requiring regular grooming, is a boon for keeping your apartment clean.

Bichon Frises adapt well to smaller spaces and can get adequate exercise indoors. Their ability to entertain themselves with toys and human interaction, coupled with their love for snuggling, makes the Bichon Frise an excellent apartment-friendly choice.

10. American Cocker Spaniel

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The American Cocker Spaniel, a medium-sized breed weighing between 20-30 pounds, is renowned for its friendly, amiable nature and adaptability to smaller living spaces. Despite their engaging and lively disposition, they transition well to apartment life, becoming the perfect indoor companions.

Their exercise requirements can typically be met with daily walks and indoor play, ensuring their physical needs are fulfilled. This blend of moderate size, sociability, and adaptability makes the American Cocker Spaniel a delightful choice for apartment dwellers.

11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Pembroke Welsh Corgis are a delightful mix of compact size and high intelligence, making them a great fit for apartment living. Weighing around 25-30 pounds, these dogs are small enough for tight spaces yet packed with a playful, energetic attitude.

Their intelligence, however, means they require plenty of mental stimulation to keep them happy. Engaging them with puzzle toys and interactive games is a must. Overall, their small stature and need for mental engagement combine to make Pembroke Welsh Corgis a charming, apartment-friendly choice.

12. Japanese Chin

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The Japanese Chin, with its small size and regal appearance, is an absolute delight for apartment life. Weighing between 7-11 pounds, this petite breed exhibits an aristocratic charm that belies its compact frame.

The Japanese Chin is known for its preference for indoor living, making it an ideal companion for smaller spaces. This breed is incredibly affectionate and thrives on human interaction. Its manageable size, coupled with its endearing personality, makes the Japanese Chin an exemplary choice for apartment dwellers.

13. Pomeranian

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Pomeranians, with their fluffy coats and lively personalities, are like small bundles of joy perfect for apartment living. This tiny breed, weighing just 3-7 pounds, is renowned for its stunning double coat of fur, a feature that adds an adorable fluffiness to their overall appearance.

Their petite size makes it easy for them to adapt to small spaces, making them an excellent choice for apartment dwellers. Their captivating charm, combined with their adaptability, ensures Pomeranians offer delightful companionship in even the tightest of living spaces.

14. Miniature Schnauzer

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Miniature Schnauzers, weighing between 12-20 pounds, are perfect for smaller living quarters. They boast a spirited and lively nature, making them a joyous addition to any home. Renowned for their distinctive beards and eyebrows, they also have a hypoallergenic coat, which is a boon for dog lovers with allergies.

Their adaptable nature and manageable size make them suited for apartment life. Ensuring they get sufficient exercise and mental stimulation, these compact companions can thrive joyfully even in the smallest of spaces. Their combination of size, hypoallergenic qualities, and spirited personality makes the Miniature Schnauzer a fantastic choice for those living in apartments.

15. Havanese

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Havanese dogs, weighing somewhere between 7-13 pounds, are compact yet full of life, making them ideal for apartment life. These little dogs are known for their sociable and affectionate demeanor, always up for a cuddle or a playful bout. Their small sizes allow them to adapt well to limited spaces, and their friendly natures make them wonderful companions.

One of the key features of the Havanese breed is their beautiful, silky coats that don’t shed, perfect for those with allergies. Their loveable traits and low-maintenance grooming needs make the Havanese a fantastic choice for apartment dwellers seeking an affectionate, companionable pet.

16. Pekingese

pekingese lying on grass
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The Pekingese, tipping the scales at just 7-14 pounds, is a compact canine with an air of dignity. This breed is recognized for its lion-like mane and unique rolling gait. Though small in size, the Pekingese exudes a royal demeanor, serving as a perfect companion for indoor relaxation.

These dogs possess a calm nature and are quite content with short walks, making them an ideal match for apartment dwellers with a cozy lifestyle. Their preference for restful indoor environments, coupled with minimal exercise needs, positions the Pekingese as an excellent choice for those living in compact spaces.

17. Shetland Sheepdog

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Shetland Sheepdogs, affectionately known as Shelties, are small-sized dogs that typically weigh between 14-27 pounds. Originating from the Shetland Islands of Scotland, their heritage lies in herding livestock in harsh environments. Renowned for their intelligence, Shelties are swift learners and can easily adapt to apartment living.

Their compact size and quick wit make them excellent for small spaces, while their herding background means they are active and alert. Despite their energetic nature, Shelties are also quite content with indoor play and mental stimulation, making them a great choice for those living in apartments.

18. English Bulldog

english bulldog walking in a park

English Bulldogs are compact yet sturdy dogs, boasting a distinctly muscular build that belies their gentle and docile nature. Weighing in between 40-50 pounds, their robust physique is perfectly suited to small, apartment-style living.

Notorious for their calm demeanor, English Bulldogs are content with a less strenuous lifestyle, requiring fewer exercise sessions compared to other breeds. Their love for lounging around, coupled with their minimal need for physical activity, makes these dogs an ideal fit for less spacious living conditions.

19. Yorkshire Terrier

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Yorkshire Terriers, often referred to as Yorkies, are petite dogs weighing up to 7 pounds, yet they possess an outsized personality. Though small in stature, they are huge in character, with a vivacious, adventurous spirit.

This tiny breed adapts well to apartment life due to their small size and in-home playfulness. Their small size, coupled with their lively demeanor and intellectual curiosity, make them a delightful companion for those dwelling in more confined spaces.

20. West Highland White Terrier

west highland white terrier lying on green grass
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West Highland White Terriers, affectionately known as Westies, are small dogs with a weight range of 15-20 pounds. Despite their compact form, Westies exhibit a spirited character, full of enthusiasm and zest. They are sturdy and active, yet their minimal shedding makes them a neat addition to any small apartment.

Their adaptability is a key trait, comfortably adjusting to smaller spaces without sacrificing their playful disposition. Westies’ combination of size, spirited character, and low-shedding coat makes them an ideal choice for apartment dwellers.

21. Toy Poodle

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Toy Poodles, the smallest of the Poodle breed, typically weigh between 4 to 6 pounds, making them an excellent choice for apartment living. Despite their small size, they are renowned for their exceptional intelligence and quick-wittedness.

These pint-sized canines are known for their hypoallergenic coats, an advantageous trait for those with allergies. Their size, combined with their smarts, makes them easily adaptable to life in smaller spaces. The Toy Poodle’s compact stature, keen intellect, hypoallergenic nature, and aptitude for apartment living make them a popular breed among city dwellers.

22. Shiba Inu

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Shiba Inus, known for their compact build and spirited independence, are an interesting choice for apartment dwellers. Weighing between 17 to 23 pounds, these agile canines fit comfortably into smaller homes. Their self-reliant nature is balanced by a need for mental engagement, making puzzle toys a must-have.

Though Shiba Inus possess a strong instinct for exploration, their adaptability allows them to comfortably inhabit apartment spaces. However, sufficient exercise and mental stimulation are key to maintaining their happiness. With their compact size, unique personality, and ability to adapt, Shiba Inus can be a delightful addition to any apartment.

23. Cairn Terrier

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Cairn Terriers, weighing between 13 to 14 pounds, are a compact yet adventurous breed, perfectly suited for apartment living. These lively little dogs carry a spirit of adventure in their small frames. Despite their desire for outdoor exploration, they adapt well to indoor environments, making them an excellent choice for apartment dwellers.

One of the Cairn Terrier’s distinguishing features is their weather-resistant double coat, allowing them to cope with various climates. This breed’s small size, adventurous spirit, adaptability to indoor living, and resilient coat, all contribute to their suitability for life in an apartment.

24. Miniature Pinscher

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Miniature Pinschers, often weighing no more than 10 pounds, are a compact breed with a robust personality. Despite their small stature, these dynamic dogs have energy levels that rival larger breeds. They are known for their vivacious spirit and bold approach to life, making them an exciting addition to any small space.

However, their high-energy disposition necessitates daily play and ample exercise to keep them content. It’s essential to provide them with mental and physical stimulation to match their energetic spirit. These spirited little dogs, with their small size and lively personality, are well-suited to apartment living, given the right exercise and play regimen.

25. Brussels Griffon

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Brussels Griffons, typically weighing between 8 to 12 pounds, make for an excellent apartment companion due to their small size and charming personality. They have a winning combination of playfulness and tranquility that fits nicely into a cozy apartment setting.

These dogs are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners, often bonding closely and becoming protective. However, they do crave social interaction and can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. Their low-maintenance coat and adaptable nature make them well-suited for apartment living. Just be sure to provide them with ample social interaction and stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

26. Miniature Bull Terrier

miniature bull terrier lying on a rug
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Miniature Bull Terriers, weighing between 18 to 28 pounds, are a compact version of the larger Bull Terrier breed. They pack a lot of personality into a small, robust frame making them perfect for small space living.

While they require a fair amount of exercise to expend their energy, they are also known for their amusing antics and love of play, keeping their owners entertained. However, they thrive on human companionship and can be prone to destructiveness if bored or left alone for too long.

27. Rat Terrier

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Rat Terriers, weighing in at 10 to 25 pounds, are an ideal match for apartment dwellers due to their compact size and versatile nature. These dogs are known for their intelligent, playful demeanor and can adapt well to an indoor lifestyle, provided they receive regular exercise to keep them mentally stimulated and physically fit.

Rat Terriers are quick learners and highly trainable, forming strong bonds with their owners. They require social interaction and can become anxious if left alone for extended periods. With a manageable size and an endearing personality, Rat Terriers can be an excellent choice for small living spaces, as long as they’re given the attention and activity they need.

28. Toy American Eskimo Dog

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Toy American Eskimo Dogs, with an average weight of 6 to 10 pounds, are a small-sized variant of the American Eskimo Dog breed. Despite their petite size, they possess a lively and friendly temperament which makes them a joy to have in small apartments. These dogs are smart, agile, and enjoy engaging in play or light exercises.

However, they need mental stimulation to prevent them from developing nuisance behaviors. Therefore, even in a small space, a Toy American Eskimo Dog can thrive, as long as they get the necessary physical activity and mental engagement. With their compact size, affectionate nature, and bright intelligence, they are a wonderful choice for apartment living.

29. Basset Hound

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Basset Hounds, with their distinctive droopy ears and short legs, weigh between 40 to 65 pounds. Despite their larger size compared to other breeds on this list, they are known for their calm and laid-back nature, making them suitable for apartment living.

These dogs are friendly, good-natured, and are less likely to be bouncing off the walls. They are comfortable lounging around most of the day but do require regular walks to maintain a healthy weight. Their keen sense of smell can lead them to be easily distracted during walks, so keeping them on a leash is recommended.

30. Papillon

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Papillons, often recognized by their elegant, butterfly-like ears, typically weigh between 5 to 10 pounds. Known for their friendly and intelligent nature, they make excellent companions for apartment dwellers. These dogs are active and enjoy an ample amount of playtime, making it essential to keep a variety of toys handy.

Despite their energy, they are very adaptable and can comfortably live in small spaces. Regular walks and mental stimulation, like puzzle toys, are key to keeping a Papillon happy and healthy in an apartment setting.

31. Norfolk Terrier

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Norfolk Terriers, small but sturdy, typically weigh around 11 to 12 pounds. These dogs are known for their energetic and friendly nature, making them excellent apartment companions. Despite their small size, they possess a strong drive for exercise and play, requiring daily walks and plenty of interactive toys.

They’re very sociable, enjoying the company of their owners, other dogs, and even strangers. Norfolk Terriers adapt well to apartment living due to their size, but their high energy levels mean they require mental and physical stimulation to stay happy.

32. Chinese Crested

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Chinese Crested dogs, usually weighing between 10 to 13 pounds, are ideal for apartment living. Recognized for their unique appearance with hairless and powderpuff varieties, these dogs are affectionate, playful, and tend to bond deeply with their owners.

They’re relatively low-energy dogs but enjoy a good play session or a gentle walk. With their adaptable nature, they can easily adjust to the limited space of an apartment, provided they receive sufficient love and attention. These dogs are also hypoallergenic, making them an excellent option for allergy sufferers.

33. Scottish Terrier

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Scottish Terriers, popularly known as “Scotties,” weigh between 18 to 22 pounds and display a unique blend of tenacity and affection. These dogs are known for their distinctive appearance, highlighted by their wiry coat and bushy eyebrows. Although Scotties have a reputation for being somewhat independent and stubborn, they are exceedingly loyal to their owners.

Scotties don’t require excessive space to be happy, making them suitable for apartment life. However, they do appreciate a good walk or play session to expend their moderate energy levels. These dogs also have a robust bark that can be curbed with proper training, making them well-suited to living in close quarters with others.

34. Australian Terrier

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Australian Terriers, often weighing between 15 to 20 pounds, are small but hardy dogs with a spirited and affectionate demeanor. They are known for their rough coat, expressive eyes, and confident attitude. Although they possess a high energy level, their compact size makes them perfect for apartment living.

They are generally good with people and other pets, though early socialization is beneficial. Despite their small size, Australian Terriers are known for their strong protective instincts, so proper training is important to ensure they don’t become overly territorial. A well-trained Australian Terrier can be a wonderful companion in a small apartment.

35. Coton de Tulear

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Coton de Tulear, often weighing under 15 pounds, are known for their soft, cotton-like coats and charming personalities. These dogs are sociable, easily adaptable, and highly affectionate, making them great companions for apartment dwellers. Despite their small size, Cotons have a lively spirit and enjoy short bursts of play.

Their moderate energy levels mean they are not excessively demanding of exercise, though they do appreciate a daily walk or play session. Cotons are generally quiet dogs, which is ideal for apartment living. Training and socialization from an early age can help ensure that these dogs become well-behaved and friendly neighbors.

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