Many people assume that if you’re going to have a dog in an apartment, a small breed is best. After all, apartments are small spaces, so that means a dog should be small too, right?
The reality is that it really depends on each individual breed. There are large breeds that do well in apartments, and small breeds that really do not.
When choosing the right dog for your apartment, it’s best to focus less on size, and more on the general traits each breed has. What you should be looking for in a breed is one that’s easy to train, fairly quiet, and doesn’t have energy levels that are too high. For example, a small breed like a Beagle isn’t likely to do as well in an apartment as a Pekingese, because Beagles tend to be extremely energetic.
But don’t worry, there are still plenty of small breeds that will do well in apartments! If you have a preference for small breeds and want to find the right one to live with you in your apartment, here’s a list of the 10 best small dog breeds you might want to bring home.
Originating from China, Pugs stand at about 10-13 inches at the shoulder and weigh somewhere between 14-18 pounds. You’ll recognize pugs by their short, wrinkly faces and curly tails.
This is a well-loved breed by many dog enthusiasts. They have great, calm temperaments, and incredibly expressive faces. Pugs are a fairly relaxed breed, and won’t require much exercise, which makes them great apartment dogs.
You will have to be mindful to make sure he gets at least a little exercise like a walk every day, as pugs are prone to obesity. Make sure that your heating and air conditioning work properly too since pugs don’t tend to do well in extreme temperatures.
These dogs were originally bred as companions for the Chinese emperor and his family. They stand at about 9-10.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh in at somewhere between 9 to 16 pounds.
Shih Tzus are super affectionate and have a longstanding history of being lapdogs which means they’re very loving and loyal to their owners. Their calm demeanors make them great for apartment life.
Be mindful that they’ll require a lot of grooming to maintain their beautiful, flowing coats. And because these dogs are also very intelligent, you’ll want to make sure you’re incorporating a lot of brain games into their daily exercise.
Weighing only 12-25 pounds and measuring up to 15-17 inches, Boston Terriers are able to pack a lot of personality into their little bodies. These dogs earned the name “the American Gentleman” because of their tuxedo coats combined with their polite mannerisms.
Owning a Boston Terrier means you’ll have a very intelligent, energetic, playful dog. If you live in an apartment, but you’re looking for a more active small breed, Boston Terriers will be perfect.
To help burn off energy, it might help to sign these dogs up for dog sports like disc or flyball.
These little dogs will weigh in somewhere around 12-18 pounds, and stand 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall. They most likely come from the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife. By the 13th century, the Bichon Frise had become a favorite of European nobles.
The Bichon Frise is a friendly, intelligent breed. Their hypoallergenic coats make them great apartment dogs if other tenants in your building have allergies. They’ll require regular exercise, at least one walk a day plus some extra playtime.
The Bichon Frise’s coat will also require professional grooming, so make sure that’s something you can afford and have the time for with these little dogs.
American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo Dog comes in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. We’ll focus on the two smaller sizes here. Miniatures measure 12 to 15 inches tall and 10 to 20 pounds, and Toys 9 to 12 inches and 6 to 10 pounds.
These dogs are very intelligent, making them easy to train. This will be helpful for you in your apartment, as you need to train your dog to be a polite neighbor. They’re super affectionate dogs, who will generally prefer to be inside with you rather than outside on their own.
Eskies can have a hard time being away from the owners for long periods of time, so that’s something to keep in mind. If you work part-time or from home, you can probably make living with an American Eskimo Dog work. But if you spend most of the day outside of your home, it might be better looking at a different breed.
These dogs once sat on the laps of Chinese nobles. These nobles were so fond of their Pekingese dogs, that stealing one of these pups was punishable by death.
The Pekingese measures between 6-9 inches, and weighs up to 14 pounds. These are tiny dogs that are incredibly loyal, and will expect royal treatment. They are very calm dogs, preferring to sit in your lap over going for a walk. Pekes can be stubborn which might make them hard to train at times, but overall they are relaxed, quiet dogs, making them ideal for apartments.
Pekes can tend to be prone to obesity. So while they’ll prefer to stay inside, it’s important to make sure you take them for a walk every day to help them maintain their weight.
These little dogs are easily recognizable by their long, sausage-like bodies and short legs, with Standard Dachshunds measuring 8-9 inches in height and Miniatures 5-6 inches in height. They were originally bred in Germany as badger hunting dogs, and are among the smallest of the hound dogs.
Dachshunds are a lively and active breed, so don’t expect a lap dog with these little guys. Their short legs do, however, allow them to be easily exercised indoors rather than outside. If you want a playful dog for your apartment, Dachshunds could be the perfect breed for you.
Dachshunds do tend to bark, so if you’re thinking of getting a Dachshund to live with you in your apartment, make sure you’re ready to train him to be a little quieter.
The Havanese is a small breed that measures 8.5 to 11.5 inches at the shoulder and weighs 7 to 13 pounds. These little dogs are intelligent, adorable little dogs that tend to attach themselves at the hip to their owners.
The Havanese is known for being a sociable, friendly breed, which makes them great for living in close quarters with neighbors. They’re highly intelligent, and love to please their owners. It’ll be easy to train to Havanese to be a polite neighbor.
Havanese can be pretty energetic, so make sure you’re able to take them for a brisk walk every day, or provide some vigorous indoor playtime.
The Manchester Terrier is a small, active breed, with the Standard Manchester Terrier weighing 12 to 22 pounds and measuring 15 to 16 inches tall. The Toy Manchester Terrier measures about 10 to 12 inches and won’t exceed 12 pounds. You’ll recognize these pups by their alert expressions, along with their sleek black and tan coats.
If you want a small apartment dog that can still keep up with you on your daily jog, the Manchester Terrier is perfect for you. They’re also very intelligent, making them easy to train.
Since these dogs can be quite energetic, you’ll want to make sure you have time to exercise them properly. They are also not a breed that does well on their own for too long, so it’s best if you’re home often to be with them.
Poodles come in 3 sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. We’ll focus on the two smaller sizes here. Miniature Poodles can be 10 to 15 inches tall, and weigh 10 to 15 pounds. Toys won’t be taller than 10 inches and weigh only 4 to 6 pounds.
Poodles are known for being incredibly intelligent dogs, making them perfect for apartment life, where training is very important. These are athletic dogs, so if you enjoy being active, Poodles could be the perfect small apartment dog for you.
Poodles will require frequent professional grooming, so make sure that’s something you can fit into your budget if you’re thinking of getting a Poodle.