Living in a smaller apartment and longing for the company of a dog? Great news, there are plenty of dogs who would enjoy the apartment lifestyle.
We’ve put together a list of breeds that are a great choice for apartment dwellers. These dogs tend to be calmer, lower energy dogs who would prefer to snuggle on the couch with you than run a 5K. Note that low-maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. These dogs still need attention, training, mental and physical exercise, grooming, vet care, and adequate nutrition. If that all sounds overwhelming, maybe dog ownership isn’t right for you at this time. You may want to consider volunteering at a shelter or becoming a short term foster - these experiences will help you get your puppy fix without the commitment!
Related reading: Best dogs for apparment living
Seven best breeds for apartment dwellers
These small dogs average around 7 pounds and were bred to enjoy being lapdogs. The Maltese’s playful and charming personalities make them great pets. As a bonus, they are low shedding dogs so you won’t have to spend hours cleaning up dog hair. They do require some training and tend to do well when there are plenty of high-value treats.
These friendly pups do well in both the city and the country, and their friendly personalities makes them an ideal pet. Be advised that the English Bulldog can weigh up to 50 pounds when full grown, this might be an issue if your apartment has a weight limit for dogs. While these pups are happy to spend time with you on the couch or in your favorite chair, they do need a moderate amount of exercise to keep from gaining too much weight. A few long walks or a romp in the dog park should be adequate.
Described as lively and charming, the Shih Tzu is also a breed that is child-friendly. Even if you don’t have kids of your own, being in the city may mean seeing lots of children walking to school or out for brunch with their families. Shih Tzus do well in urban environments. Note that they have long hair that will require some upkeep. Some owners prefer to keep their dog’s hair cut on the shorter side.
Cavalier King Charles
These adorable dogs are great companions for those who live in the city. Their expressive and friendly faces are sure to help them win over lots of friends. Cavalier King Charles graceful and elegant. They are happy to follow your lead and be fit and active or live a life of leisure - if you choose the latter you want to be sure to watch your pup’s weight as cavaliers are prone to obesity.
Adorable and adaptable - that should be the motto of Pugs! These dogs live to delight their owners and do well in the city, suburbs or the country. They’re big personalities in small packages, a full-grown pug is usually between 14 and 18 pounds which makes them an ideal candidate for apartment dwelling.
You might confuse these pups for the first breed on our list, the Maltese as these dogs are also small and white! The Bichon Frise is a slightly larger breed topping out around 15 pounds. They are full of personality! You can easily train them to perform tricks to the delight of their ‘audience’ - who cares if it’s just the neighborhood kids?
We’d be remiss to put together a list that doesn’t include an option for a mixed breed rescue pup. As with any mixed breed, not all dogs will be ideal apartment dwellers. Visit your local shelter or rescue and speak with an adoption coordinator about your home, lifestyle and desired characteristics - you never know, the pup of your dreams might just be waiting for you to adopt.
Breeds that are less suitable for apartment living
While these dogs could be excluded simply for not being small, they are also probably too active to do well in a really urban environment. Huskies prefer cooler temperatures and require a higher than average amount of exercise.
While these adorable medium-sized dogs are incredibly smart, they are not bred for the apartment life. Border Collies need a lot of exercise and a job to do in order to truly thrive. Some border collie owners even have had to rent sheep for their pups to herd!
Like Border Collies, Great Pyrenees are working dogs. They will get pretty stir crazy if you keep them cooped up in an apartment. Many of these dogs work on farms and spend their days protecting livestock like sheep and goats. Hopefully, you don’t have any of those in your apartment, it would be pretty crowded as these pups can weigh about 100 pounds.
Jack Russell Terriers
While Jack Russells look like they’d be the perfect size for an apartment, they’re still not really suitable for the city life. They have endless energy and need a lot of exercise.These dogs can jump high, dig and escape from pretty much anywhere. They tend to be happiest when they have a lot of space to run and play!
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