20 Best Small Dog Breeds for Apartments

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Apartment living often comes with challenges like breed restrictions by landlords, noise limits, or confined spaces for people who want to keep canine companions.

The good news is that there are more than a few small breed dogs who are happy to share a small cozy space with their human companions.

Here’s our recommendation for the 20 best small dog breeds for apartments that could be a perfect fit for you.

What Is a Good Dog for Apartment Living?

An apartment-friendly dog is typically compact to keep up with the space restriction in most close quarters.

Dogs with less energy are also suitable for apartment living because you don’t need to expose them to too much physical exertion for exercise.

In addition to the above qualities, many apartment-friendly dogs are laid back, calm, and have reduced tendencies to bark.

It’s difficult to find a completely quiet dog breed, but the ones featured in our list are highly trainable.

This makes it easier to train them to reduce barking and adapt to the conditions in apartment blocks.

20 Best Small Dog Breeds for Apartments

1.    Basenji


Basenji with their short, low-shedding coat can be a great addition to pet parents who may develop allergies to pet hair or dander.

These lovely canines are also loved for their low vocalization nature, making them a great companion for people living within quiet neighborhoods.

In fact, Basenjis don’t bark! They instead express their feeling through a combination of other sounds like howling, yodeling, or yelping.

2.    Beagle


In addition to being social, Beagles are highly adaptable to diverse living conditions, making them a great choice for people living in small apartments.

These cute dogs love hanging around people, but they will also appreciate regular trips to the doggy park to release pent-up energy.

Keep in mind that beagles have a distinctive sharp bark. Make sure to provide the right training to curb excessive barking tendencies and maintain an amicable relationship with your neighbors.

3.    Bichon Frise

bichon frise

The Bichon Frise are cheerful and affectionate canines famed for their hypoallergenic coat. Bichons shed very little fur and they don’t require too much grooming to stay in top condition.

This impressive nature makes them a great choice for people who are likely to develop negative reactions to pet dander and hair.

Bichons are also brilliant dogs who need just a few repetitions to be trained in obedience and command.

These small pooches love constant human interaction and you’ll also like how easily they can get along with your immediate neighbor.

4.    Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

These compact-sized canines are energetic but don’t require tremendous physical exercises to stay in good shape.

Nicknamed ‘the American gentleman’ Boston Terriers have a laid-back personality that can blend within a small living space. Their lively nature makes them a perfect companion for city dwellers.

5.    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a true definition of a small dog with a big heart. They enjoy taking rounds in apartment blocks and they will gladly choose the stairs over the elevator.

These silky beauties are known to form close bonds with their immediate caregivers and their compact size makes them perfect for small-scale living.

6.    Chihuahua


Another natural fit for apartment living is the good old Chihuahua. These little dogs don’t need lots of interior space to run, thanks to their tiny size.

Pet parents living in closely packed units need to train their Chihuahua not to bark excessively since they can get too vocal when overwhelmed.

7.    Chinese Crested

Chinese crested

Owning a Chinese crested can be a perfect way to stand out in an apartment. Whether hairless or powder-puffed coated, these lovely canines will be more than happy to live in a small-scale house.

Allergic owners are better placed to choose the hairless ones because they are less likely to disperse pet dander. Just make sure you take good care of their exposed skin.

8.    Chow Chow

chow chow

The lion-maned Chow chows are surprisingly well-suited for apartment living. They have an independent streak and are less likely to get vocal.

These majestic canines can form unbreakable connections with their human caregivers and they only need moderate physical exertion to stay in good shape.

9.    French Bulldog

French bulldog

The popularity of the French Bulldogs has been on the rise in recent years, reaching its peak in 2022 when they were classified as the top dog breed in America by AKC.

Frenchies are slightly smaller than their standard Bulldogs cousins, making them a good addition to people living in close quarters.

These lovely canines have short coats that don’t call for too much grooming, and they love hanging around the house for extended periods. An evening brisk walk is enough to keep them physically fit.

10. Havanese


The small Havanese can barely take up huge space in your crib, plus they are good learners who can take up training within a short period.

Havanese require moderate physical and mental stimulation to keep them in good shape, and they rarely bark for no good reason (a huge win for your next-door neighbor).

11. Maltese


The small-sized Maltese don’t need a lot of space to run around, making them a good choice for urban dwellers in small-scale units.

These lovely canines have low energy levels, which means you won’t need to take them out each day for physical exertion.

A stable temperament and hypoallergenic coat round up the qualities you may be looking for in a good dog for your apartment.

12. Miniature Dachshund

miniature dachshund

The miniaturized version of the standard Dachshund won’t have a huge problem adjusting to apartment living conditions. Just make sure to offer the right training to reduce their vocal tendencies.

Pet parents with no outdoor space will love the mini-Dachshund because they don’t require too much exercise to stay fit.

Dachshunds love to burrow and because there’s no garden in your flat, it’s prudent to invest in a cave-style bed to satisfy their instincts to dig.

13. Miniature Poodle

miniature poodle

The small size of miniature Poodles makes them a great addition for pet parents living in flats. Poodles don’t shed too much hair, making them a good fit for allergic owners.

Mini-poodles can be too vocal towards strangers and neighbors. Just ensure you train them well to maintain a calm demeanor even in your absence.

14. Miniature Schnauzer

miniature schnauzer

The Miniature (even standard) Schnauzer can be excellent apartment pets thanks to their adaptable nature. They can form a good companion to anyone looking for a bold or playful canine buddy.

Despite their tendency to get noisy, these bold canines can be calm while indoors so long as they get enough avenues to expel excess energy.

The bushy beards and eyebrows may paint a false picture of their grooming needs. Miniature Schnauzers have a wiry coat that sheds very little fur, but you should brush them once a week to avoid tangling.

15. Pekingese


Pekingese are sometimes rightfully described as ‘big dogs trapped in a compact body’ because of their lovable spunk and lively character.

In addition to being entertaining, Pekingese are surprisingly quiet. They also love taking lessons and going for short walks across the blocks.

16. Pomeranian


Pomeranians come in different sizes, and the good news is that all of them are well-suited for small-scale living. Poms have a sassy and playful personality that adds to their score for apartment living.

These pint-sized pups can maintain a good shape with just a few short walks across the blocks and plenty of opportunities to play indoors.

The thick double coat covering these cheeky pups makes them heavy shedders, so make sure to adopt a regular grooming routine.

17. Pug


These lap dogs are always more than happy to stay indoors and snuggle on your lap all day. Their compact size and lazy demeanor make them an excellent apartment pet.

Pugs have a greater tendency to sleep than to exercise. But it’s always prudent to carve out a little space in your house where they can run around to expel pent-up energy.

18. Shih Tzu

shih tzu

Shih Tzus were originally bred to hang around the Chinese Emperor’s palace and sound an alert when visitors came knocking.

Despite their royal heritage, our modern-day Shih Tzus will happily share a small space with you without requiring too much.

These little guys are highly affectionate and also have a low-shedding coat which makes them a good fit for allergic individuals.

19. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgis were undoubtedly Queen Elizabeth’s favorite breed. Aside from staying in the royal palace, these little guys can also share a small-sized apartment with anyone who loves them.

Unlike most dogs featured in our list, the Welsh Corgi have considerable high energy, so it’s prudent to take them out for regular brisk walks to keep them in good shape.

Welsh Corgis can be too vocal, but the good news is that they respond to consistent training, so you can teach them to remain calm while indoors.

20. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire Terrier
Image Credit: Matt Walsh from Unsplash

The Yorkshire Terriers can be bouncy, but their compact size makes it possible to keep them satisfied in close quarters.

Untrained Yorkies can be quite noisy, so you’ll definitely want to tone down their vocal nature through consistent training.


And there you have it guys – the 20 best small dog breeds for apartments that you can consider today!

We’d love to know the particular breed(s) that you’re planning to keep, so feel free to share your favorites with us.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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2 Responses

  1. I would like to know if the dogs shown here are available. I live in a efficiency apartment and would like to see if one of these small dogs would be happy here.

    • Hello! Our article is just for the purpose of showcasing various small dog breeds with photos for informational purposes only. We do not have information about adoption availabilities. Thanks.

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