There's a breed of dog for every person and lifestyle. But just because a certain breed is a match for your personality, it doesn't necessarily mean that breed is a good choice for you. If your home is a small apartment in a big city, it's not a good idea to adopt a breed that needs a lot of time and space outdoors. Fortunately, there are still plenty of options to fit your life. We'll show you 12 dog breeds that are perfect for apartment living.
The Boston Terrier’s nickname is “the American Gentleman,” and it’s not just for their black-and-white, tuxedo-like coats. They are also polite as a dog can be, and therefore ideal apartment pets. They’re quiet, so they won’t annoy your neighbors, and they bond closely with their owners, showing undying affection and loyalty. They’re also conveniently small, and require only moderate amounts of exercise. Brisk city walks should be enough; no sprawling backyards necessary.
English Bulldogs are apartment superstars. Not only are they loyal and lovable, but they have one particular trait that sends their apartmentability sky-high: they’re super duper lazy. There’s little these couch potatoes love more than loafing on the couch with you in your studio apartment and watching TV. A bulldog is a layabout bachelor’s dream pet. They require a minimum amount of grooming or exercise, and they’re also very quiet, in large part because they’d rather just take a nap then bother to bark at anything. Got kids? Great. English Bulldogs are almost endlessly patient, and therefore wonderful with children. They’re prone to breathing issues and don’t tolerate heat well, so invest in an air conditioner if you want to adopt one of these otherwise low-maintenance pals.
Can’t decide between a Boston Terrier and an English Bulldog? Why not combine the best of both worlds and bring home a French Bulldog? Frenchies boast almost all the traits of English Bulldogs (quiet, patient, loyal and happy just to relax with you) and the smaller size of the Boston Terrier. In fact, they are so similar in appearance to Boston Terriers that many people have difficulty telling the breeds apart. Frenchies may not be quite as lazy as their English cousins, but they make up for it with their small size and lighter weight.
Years of being toted around in starlets’ purses may have given this breed something of a privileged diva reputation, but they’re actually quite gentle and low-maintenance. After all, how many other breeds are patient enough to tolerate being kept in a purse in the first place? Their tiny size means they can make it in even the most closet-y of New York studio apartments, and even longhaired chihuahuas require only moderate grooming. Keep in mind, though, that Chihuahuas can be a bit loud, so think twice if your pad has thin walls.
Dachshunds make wonderful family dogs, due to their playful nature, and how good with kids they tend to be. They’re also small and adaptable to just about any living space and lifestyle, including small apartments. They don’t require a ton of exercise, but be careful, because the breed is prone to obesity. Also, like chihuahuas, they can be barky, so consider the noise level you’ll be able to get away with.
On first thought, a Great Dane may seem like the very last dog breed you’d pick to live with you in your tiny apartment, but looks can be deceiving. These infamously enormous dogs are actually quite gentle giants. Like English Bulldogs, they’re content to loaf around all day, and will probably spend most of their time curled up on your couch, relaxing. Great Danes are also perfectly quiet; you’ll hardly even know they’re there! And since they’re easily trainable, you’ll be able to work through any behavioral problems you might encounter. Apartment life with one of these sweet dogs should be pretty smooth sailing.
Like the Great Dane, a Greyhound at first glance is a surprising choice for an apartment dog. Surely a racing dog needs a huge yard in which to run huge laps all day long, right? Actually, the opposite is true. Greyhounds tend to be calm and relaxed. Even if you’ve got a former racer, remember: that dog is retired. Its running days are over. Now it just wants to curl up with you and hang out, go for the occasional walk, no big whoop. Bonus: their short hair makes for very low-maintenance grooming, and won’t fill your tiny apartment with sheddings.
Pugs are hugely popular dogs among city dwellers, and it’s not just because of their peppy demeanors and adorably smushed faces (although that has a lot to do with it). Pugs are highly affectionate dogs. They want to be wherever you are, and will loyally follow you around your apartment all day long. They have energy, and will gladly join you for walks, but they’re also content to nap. They do require some grooming, because all those folds in their mugs need to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Also, their breathing issues mean that air conditioning is a must during warmer months, and you should be OK with a lot of doggy snoring.
The ever-popular Yorkie is a teeny-tiny toy breed that makes a great companion for apartment. They’re wee enough to share space with you comfortably in even the smallest of studios. Adaptable and friendly, your Yorkie will charm just about anyone you meet on walks around the neighborhood. It should be noted that this breed can be a little bit barky, but because they’re intelligent and easy to train, you'll have no trouble curbing your Yorkie’s yappiness if need be.
Havanese dogs are small and adaptable to any kind of living situation, including apartment life. They’re playful, but they’ll burn enough calories charging around your home that gobs of outdoor time won’t be necessary. That said, they’re relatively quiet, so they won’t disturb your neighbors with lots of yapping. One caveat: Of all the breeds on this list, the Havanese is the most high-maintenance in terms of grooming.
CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL
Similar in size and temperament to the Boston Terrier, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is another fiercely loyal breed that craves attention. In fact, these apartment-perfect dogs are best for stay-at-home moms and telecommuters, since they love their owners so much that leaving them alone for long periods is not ideal. But they’re quiet, kid-friendly, and even though they’ll keep up with you if you want to take one on a long hike, they’re just as happy curling up with you on the couch.
Next: More Dog Breeds for Apartment Owners
With all that long, fine fur, you gotta figure the Maltese needs a lot of grooming upkeep, right? Not quite! They’re surprisingly low-maintenance. That’s all top coat, and Maltese dogs aren’t prone to excessive shedding, so you’ll get to enjoy their attractive looks without a ton of vacuuming. And like a lot of the best apartment breeds, these snuggly dogs are highly affectionate and quiet. That’s a great pet and a great roommate in one.