The 10 Best Dogs for Apartments, According to Vets

If you’ve ever lived in an apartment, you know that your four-legged neighbors, as adorable as they are, can be one of the biggest annoyances. Maybe the dog upstairs likes to jump, and it looks like someone is bowling up there. Or maybe the pup in the adjacent unit barks every time someone walks past the front door. And, of course, nobody likes to avoid an accident in the elevator. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you have your own home to have a pet too. According to veterinarians and animal experts, there are many dog ​​breeds that are well-suited to small spaces and multi-family living. Read on to learn more about the 10 best dogs for apartments.

READ NEXT: 5 low-maintenance dogs you barely need to walk.

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The American Kennel Club (AKC) refers to the Bichon Frize as “irresistible canine comedians“who are charming and intelligent. However, despite their playful, playful personalities (which they extend to humans and other dogs), Bichons “are not overly bothered by noisy neighbors or outside traffic,” according to Linda SimonMVB, MRCVS, A consultant veterinarian at FiveBarks.

Besides being quiet, these dogs “have no undercoat, so they rarely shed,” explains Deepanshu BediCBD Marketing Director dog treat company Holistapet. This is important for small spaces that pick up hair more easily, as well as for owners with allergies. Note, however, that the AKC recommends daily brushing. Other than that, a Bichon Frize is very low maintenance, content with a daily walk and play in the apartment.

A man reclining in a brown leather armchair with his smartphone and his French bulldog resting on his lap.

Pet experts say that French and English Bulldogs make great apartment dogs because they are not big barkers and only require moderate exercise. “These are incredibly easy-going, couch-adapting puppies who love to laze around and relax,” says Josh SneadCEO of Rainwalk Pet Insurance.

However, English Bulldogs are prone to breathing difficulties in the heat and do not tolerate stairs well. French Bulldogs are the smaller of the two breeds, typically weighing less than 28 pounds, and are considered particularly popular”among the townspeople“, according to the AKC.

“These compact yet gentle dogs, also known as Frenchies…love to play and interact with humans, and a brisk walk is all they need for physical activity,” Bedi notes. “The best thing about this breed? They rarely bark (unless in danger or threat), which your neighbors will thank you for.” French bulldogs are also prone to respiratory problems in hot weather, so make sure your apartment is air-conditioned.

Yorkshire Terrier dog eats a snack - Image
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If you’re worried about not being home enough with your pup, consider a Yorkshire Terrier. “Yorkies are known to be independent, so if you’re looking for a dog that will be content to spend time alone while you’re at work or out of the apartment, this might be the breed for you” , Explain Jeff NetzleyColorado-based dog trainer and creator of Dog training near you.

And, of course, their small size is a plus. “Adult Yorkshire Terriers average around seven pounds, so they won’t take up too much space in your home,” says Daniel Caughillco-founder of The story of the dog. “It also means you can easily pick them up when you take the subway, go up escalators or walk into the grocery store.”

The AKC gives Yorkies a five out of five for affection, adaptability, and openness to strangers. They are also “long lasting and hypoallergenic“, although their coat looks more like human hair and is high maintenance.

READ NEXT: The 7 best dogs that barely bark, according to vets.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is small, but not too small (he usually weighs between 13 and 18 pounds). “Their compact size and moderate energy levels make them well-suited to apartment living, as they are usually content with two walks a day, provided they get some quality time outdoors on the weekends. “, Explain Alexandra BassetteCPDT-KA, lead trainer and behavioral specialist at Los Angeles dog savvy.

Two other characteristics of this apartment-suited breed are that “they tend to be really affable and friendly to strangers, since they weren’t bred to guard like some dogs, which means they don’t have tendency to bark,” Bassett notes. But perhaps most important is their adaptability. “They can be optimistic athletes or shameless couch potatoes, depending on owner’s lifestyle“, according to the AKC.

Young African American woman sitting with her pet Chihuahua and using laptop at home
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If you live in a really small apartment, you might want a really small dog like a Chihuahua. Described by the AKC as “a tiny dog with a huge personality,” this breed will not exceed six pounds and eight inches in height. Megan ConradBVMS, an Oregon-based veterinarian and member of Hello Ralphie. This is especially important because these dogs do not do well in cold weather.

However, if you live in an apartment with thin walls, this might not be the breed for you. Chihuahuas have a loud, high pitched bark and “will warn you of any small or big sound while barking. a lot“, warns Conrad. But, if you are looking for a guard dog, this could be a good thing. Plus, they are known to love cuddles.

Maltese dog sitting on the bed at home with his leash
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The Maltese is another very small breed, usually weighing less than seven pounds. However, you should know that these dogs need decent maintenance in the grooming department. Their long, silky fur “requires daily gentle brushing and combing to the skin to prevent mats and tangles,” the AKC notes. They will also benefit from “regular baths and coat conditioning,” as well as routine nail trims. That said, Maltese barely shed.

According Jacques Kennedy, founder and CEO of PetDT, these dogs are “excellent as lap companions” and “don’t need as much exercise as larger breeds.” She also says they are extremely intelligent and as a result “can be easily socialized to adapt to elevators, neighbors and the ins and outs of apartment living”.

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Basset Hound
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Beloved for their long, floppy ears and low-to-the-ground bodies, Basset Hounds have a reputation for being couch potatoes. Of course, they require regular exercise, and the AKC says “a daily walk at a moderate pace will fill the bill. Inside the apartment, however, you won’t have to worry about them bothering your neighbors by running and jumping, as they’d much rather “snuggle up on the couch with their landlords.” ,” says Melissa M. Brocka certified veterinarian and author at Pango Pets.

The AKC also notes that Basset Hounds like to be around other dogs, so your apartment building’s shared dog park will be their favorite spot. They have a loud bark, but they mostly sound outdoors since they were bred as hunting dogs.

Brown toy poodle with tongue out on white bed
Shutterstock/Lim Tiaw Leong

If you’re looking for a small dog that’s also hypoallergenic, the Toy Poodle ticks both boxes, as it weighs between four and six pounds, and it barely sheds or drools. Their curly fur requires cutting, so make sure you live near a trusted groomer that you can visit every four to six weeks, according to the AKC. Living near a park is also advisable, as they are energetic dogs who like to play catch and run.

As Bedi notes, Poodles are a very intelligent breed, which makes it easy to teach them where to go to the bathroom and to eat (they are, after all, common competitors at dog shows). If you are someone who moves frequently, this is an important trait.

Basset also suggests a Cavapoo – a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Miniature or Toy Poodle – for apartment dwellers, as they too are hypoallergenic and low-shedding, and have “the affable nature of a Cavalier with the intelligence of a Poodle.”

Miniature Schnauzer laying in the grass
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The Miniature Schnauzer is an excellent all-round pet. They are “generally healthy, long-lived, and low loss“, according to the AKC, and they also have a friendly personality that makes them affectionate and great with children.

Courtney jacksonveterinarian and founder of The summary of petspoints out that the smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds is extremely intelligent and easy to train, “which is ideal for potty training and teaching commands like ‘quiet’ which make them ideal for apartment living. “

Brock also suggests this dog but points out that he is energetic. “They need daily exercise, so make sure there’s room in your apartment for them to run around every day!”

READ NEXT: 6 questions to always ask when adopting a dog, according to veterinarians.

Shih Tzu in the grass

Shih Tzus are also small, but they have huge hearts. Although most dogs appreciate affection and attention, this breed especially loves it. “A Shih Tzu’s idea of ​​pleasure is sitting on your lap acting adorable when you’re trying to watch TV,” says the AKC. Since they were bred to live in Chinese palaces, they’re well suited to indoor living and don’t require a lot of outdoor space. A short walk and play in the apartment is more than enough.

Because of their lap-dog nature, even temperament, and minimal shedding, Shih Tzus “are popular among seniors,” Brock notes. They also don’t mind being carried around, which may be necessary if you live in the city.