Just because you live in an apartment or small home, doesn’t mean you have to give up all hope of owning a four-legged friend! In fact, having dogs in apartments is more commonplace than you’d think, as there are thousands of small dog owners in cities throughout the world.
Keeping a larger breed such as a St. Bernard or Great Dane in a flat may be a bit like having a bull in a china shop, and medium or large breed dogs probably won’t be particularly happy living in more limited spaces, but there are lots of smaller dogs who will be able to adapt to apartment or small home living fairly easily.
You’ll need to bear a few things in mind though, such as ensuring you provide plenty of entertainment for them, making sure there’s plenty of green space nearby for walks, and thinking carefully about where your pup’s going to go to the toilet. It’s also important to make sure you or your dog-sitter have the time to take your pup out on a regular basis, as all dogs need access to light and fresh air and should have the opportunity to stretch their legs, run and sniff around as well as interact with other dogs. No one likes being cooped up all day, and that includes our dogs! With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best dogs for apartments.
9 best dogs for apartments
Here are some of the best dogs for apartments that tend to adapt to living in smaller spaces relatively easily. Bear in mind that each pup is different though and just because they’re more predisposed to being good apartment dwellers, this doesn’t guarantee that every individual will be well suited to apartment living. It’s also important to consider the age of your dog, with younger dogs and puppies often requiring more training, exercise, socialisation and human interaction. Conversely, many older dogs will be calmer and more content to rest for longer periods, but they will still need fresh air and a walk in the sunshine. Again, it all comes down to the personality and needs of each individual dog.
1. Bichon Frise
These small charming dogs are widely considered some of the best dogs for apartments. However, the Bichon Frise is surprisingly active so you’ll need lots of time and space for walks, games and playtime and, if you’re not lucky enough to have a garden space, you’ll at least need to have a nearby green area for them to wander and run around in!
2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is often seen trotting through the streets of many a fashionable city and they tend to be good apartment dwellers. Cavaliers are often happy to go for a walk or run around the park, then come home and plonk down on your lap for plenty of cuddles afterwards. One thing to be aware of though is that, like many toy breeds, they can get very attached to their humans, so they’re generally not suited to homes where they’ll be left alone for most of the day.
It’s probably not surprising to learn that this pint-sized pup is one of the best dogs for apartments. However, although this breed is miniature in size, these dogs will still require a green space for regular exercise and socialisation. Chihuahuas are also often very sociable creatures, and so need regular contact with their owners.
4. Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested dog breed is a bit unusual in appearance and comes in two varieties: the hairless variety which has pink spotted skin and a mane, tail and feathers of long hair, and the powderpuff variety which is covered in a long, silky coat. These dogs are often relatively laid-back, but they usually have very playful natures too, so owners should make sure they have time for activities and opportunities to run around outside with these dogs!
5. French Bulldog
Compact in size, the French Bulldog has been a long-standing favourite amongst city slickers and apartment dwellers and for good reason! They’re very adaptable and often love to be around their owners, and they also tend to be rather sociable with other people and pets. No wonder they’re widely considered one of the best apartment dogs! However, as with all other dogs, these pups need regular access to green space to run around and socialise. It’s also important to consider that this breed is brachycephalic, meaning that – due to their ‘squashed’ facial conformation – their airways are restricted and this makes them prone to breathing difficulties.
Also known as the ‘Velcro dog’, the Havanese is a small and cuddly breed that often loves to be with their family. Havanese dogs are usually happy to spend time with their people snuggled on the sofa, but this pup is also surprisingly full of energy and will regularly want to go out for adventures, as well as engaging in playtime.
Their love of companionship does have a downside though, as they can be more prone to separation anxiety.
7. Italian Greyhound
Although Greyhounds are too large for small apartments, the Italian Greyhound breed is often much better-suited to apartment living. Weighing around 5kg (the same size as the average cat!) this breed often possesses similar characteristics to a full-size Greyhound, and adores sofas and snuggles. However, like larger Greyhounds they will also need regular access to a large green space so they have the opportunity to sprint around and burn off steam! And, like the full-sized Greyhound Italian Greyhounds are also a sighthound breed, meaning that they often have a natural tendency to chase small furries – so it’s best they don’t live with small pets, and owners should keep a close eye on them when on walks where there may be rabbits and squirrels about!
This companion breed is incredibly charming and playful and will quite happily adjust to living in an apartment. Known for their dazzling floor-length white coat, which makes them look nothing short of ethereal, the Maltese will need regular coat care and grooming by either an experienced owner or groomer to prevent their coat from becoming matted and uncomfortable. One thing to also be aware of is that Maltese dogs make fantastic watchdogs, so they may have a tendency to bark at your neighbours if you’re not careful.
9. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most popular apartment breeds as they’re small, adaptable and can often happily find entertainment indoors – that’s not to say they won’t need walking though! Again, as is the case with many toy breeds, they can be wary of strangers so plenty of socialisation and training will be required in puppyhood. That’s our guide to the 9 best apartment dogs! Want to discover more dog breeds? Read our guide to low-maintenance dog breeds, next.