Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > 15 Best Dogs for Apartment Life (With Pictures)

15 Best Dogs for Apartment Life (With Pictures)

pet owner with her chihuahua at home

While most pet lovers love dogs of all breeds, looks, and sizes, sometimes it’s just not possible to have a certain breed of dog in a specific dwelling. If you live in an apartment that allows pets and want a dog, you should first know which breeds can thrive in apartment living. Not every dog is going to be suitable or happy for living in a small space.

These are the top picks for the best dogs for apartment life. We’re sure you can find the right breed so you can be a happy pet parent for many years to come.

divider-dog paw

Top 15 Best Dogs for Apartment Living

1. Bulldog

female bulldog lying on grass
Image Credit: Piqsels
Height 14 to 16 inches
Weight 40 to 50 pounds
Life Expectancy 8 to 10 years

This breed is a medium-sized dog that has a moderate level of energy. They can live in any size house or apartment, and while exercise is necessary for them to be healthy, they can only stand a little activity. Full of personality, this is a dog that will have no problem lying on the couch and watching TV with their owner. However, Bulldogs are prone to various health problems, so make sure to keep an eye on your canine pal.

  • Full of personality
  • Can live in any size house or apartment
  • Prone to health problems

2. Chihuahua

chihuahua dog
Image Credit: HG-Fotografie, Pixabay
Height 5 to 8 inches
Weight Up to 6 pounds
Life Expectancy 12 to 20 years

Anyone who has ever owned a Chihuahua can tell you that they are highly intelligent dogs. They also have a whole lot of personality packed into their tiny bodies. They are easy to transport, which is why celebrities love them, and they’ve gotten the nickname, “purse dogs.” Chihuahuas love to cuddle, but it’s essential to note that they don’t do well in cold climates. Living in an apartment is fine for this breed, as long as they can be walked every day.

  • Intelligent
  • Loves to cuddle
  • Easy to transport
  • Doesn’t do well in the cold

3. Maltese

maltichon- bichon frise maltese
Image Credit: lunamarina, Shutterstock
Height 7 to 9 inches
Weight Up to 7 pounds
Life Expectancy 12 to 15 years

The Maltese is an extremely affectionate breed that makes a great lap dog. They only need to be walked daily and given interactive playtime to be happy. This dog sheds very little, but they do require constant grooming, so keep that in mind. This breed doesn’t do well in cold weather and can be stubborn and defensive at times, so they need to be socialized and trained early in life so they can be the sweet, loving animal that they’re meant to be.

  • Extremely affectionate
  • Makes a good lap dog
  • Sheds very little
  • Doesn’t tolerate cold weather
  • Requires constant grooming
  • Stubborn/Defensive

4. Shih Tzu

shih tzu puppy dog eyes
Image Credit: Angel Sallade, Shutterstock
Height 9 to 11 inches
Weight 9 to 16 pounds
Life Expectancy 10 to 16 years

The Shih Tzu is a loyal, affectionate pet that does great with children, making them an excellent choice for a family pet. While this breed does develop close bonds with their families, they will also be fine when left alone for a while if you have to work or go somewhere. The Shih Tzu makes an excellent lap dog. However, be warned that they can be extremely hard to housebreak, so make sure you start their training as a puppy. In addition, some dogs of the Shih Tzu breed have breathing issues, so make sure to keep an eye on your pet.

  • Loyal/Affectionate
  • Does great with children
  • Makes an excellent lap dog
  • Hard to housebreak
  • Some have breathing issues


5. Boston Terrier

Boston terrier
Image Credit: Eve Photography, Shutterstock
Height 15 to 17 inches
Weight 15 to 25 pounds
Life Expectancy 12 to 14 years

Not only are Boston Terriers super adorable, but they also don’t have high exercise requirements, and they require little grooming. This is a great dog for someone who’s never owned a dog before because they’re easy to get along with and are good with other pets and children. However, this breed does easily become obese, so you’ll need to keep an eye on how much you feed them. They can be a little hard to train and tend to suffer from separation anxiety. Apartment and city living is perfectly fine for this perky breed.

  • Great dog for beginners
  • Good with children and other pets
  • Requires little grooming
  • Can easily become obese
  • Can be hard to train

6. Poodle

poodle puppy standing
Image Credit: -Andretti, Pixabay
Height Over 15 inches for standard
Weight 40 to 70 pounds for standard
Life Expectancy 10 to 18 years

Poodles, no matter their size, do great living in an apartment. Most dogs of this breed are great with children, and they have a long lifespan of between 10 and 18 years. Poodles are also considered hypoallergenic, which means they could be okay to have around people who have mild allergies. However, Poodles do tend to develop bad habits easily, so they need to be socialized and trained as puppies. They also need to be groomed regularly to keep their fur from matting and becoming full of knots.

  • Great with children
  • Has a long lifespan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Develops bad habits easily
  • Requires constant grooming

7. Greyhound

greyhound standing on sand
Image Credit: David Mark, Pixabay
Height 27 to 30 inches
Weight 60 to 70 pounds
Life Expectancy 10 to 13 years


For most people, when they think of the Greyhound breed, they think of racetracks. While that’s true, these dogs also make great pets. In fact, these dogs are couch potatoes of the highest form, so while they enjoy running, they don’t need much more than a daily walk to be happy and healthy. They also don’t require much grooming and are quite docile creatures. It is essential to note that Greyhounds are fast runners, so keep a tight grip on their leash during walks. This breed isn’t bred to be a watchdog, so if that’s what you’re after, this isn’t the right choice for your needs.

  • Doesn’t require a great deal of grooming
  • Docile
  • Doesn’t need much exercise
  • Fast runner
  • Does not make a good watchdog

8. Basset Hound

Female Basset Hound
Image Credit: Ewa Studio, Shutterstock
Height Up to 15 inches
Weight 40 to 65 pounds
Life Expectancy 12 to 13 years

The Basset Hound is an absolutely adorable pet. This breed is mild tempered, loyal, and devoted to their family. Most Basset Hounds like to take a daily walk and then are happy just relaxing the rest of the day. They tend to be even less active as they age. The breed can be quite stubborn and hard to train, so socialize and train your pup as a puppy for the best results.

  • Mild tempered
  • Great for families
  • Loyal/Devoted
  • Can be stubborn and hard to train

9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

female cavalier charles king spaniel
Image Credit: BJkenel, Shutterstock
Height 12 to 13 inches
Weight 13 to 18 pounds
Life Expectancy 12 to 14 years


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed is a friendly breed. They are usually upbeat, happy, and eager to please their families. This breed is also easy to train and happy to just curl up on the couch with their family for companionship. However, it is best to watch what you feed this breed, as they are prone to obesity. A daily walk and a few games are perfectly fine for exercise with this perky little dog.

  • Friendly
  • Eager to please
  • Easy to train
  • Prone to obesity

10. Havanese

havanese on grass
Image Credit: Sandra Huber, Shutterstock
Height 8.5 to 11.5 inches
Weight 7 to 13 pounds
Life Expectancy 14 to 16 years


If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t shed much, the cheerful Havanese breed is what you’re looking for. This breed is happy in a small apartment or a huge house, and while they do need to be walked daily, they’re happy indoors lying on the couch the rest of the time. This breed gets along well with children and other dogs but does suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

  • Low shedder
  • Cheerful
  • Gets on well with children and other dogs
  • Suffers from separation anxiety

11. Pug

pug in a harness
Image Credit: maniablack18, Pixabay
Height 10 to 13 inches
Weight 14 to 18 pounds
Life Expectancy 13 to 15 years


A Pug is a joy to have around. These little dogs are great for apartment life, rarely bark, and do well with children. This breed is fun, adorable, and small yet really sturdy. Content to just stay at home and cuddle with the family they love, this little dog has a big personality in a compact body. Pugs do tend to snort, and you’ll need to give extra attention to the folds in their face when you’re giving them a bath. Make sure not to work your Pug too hard, as this breed does tend to overheat easily.

  • Rarely barks
  • Family friendly/good with children
  • Small yet sturdy
  • Snorts
  • Needs extra cleaning in the folds of their face
  • Overheats easily

12. French Bulldog

French Bulldog
Image Credit: Christel SAGNIEZ, Pixabay
Height 11 to 13 inches
Weight 19 to 28 pounds
Life Expectancy 10 to 12 years

The French Bulldog is a great family pet and loving to a fault and doesn’t bark often. This is a well-loved breed in America but loved even more in France. All it takes is a brisk walk once a day to keep this breed healthy and happy. However, be careful when taking this dog out on a warm day, as they tend to overheat easily. Also, while they can run, they aren’t capable of heavy exercise and physical activity.

  • Great family pet
  • Doesn’t bark often
  • Loving
  • Overheats easily
  • Can’t run or exercise extensively

13. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock
Height 13 to 15 inches
Weight 7 to 14 pounds
Life Expectancy 14 to 15 years

The Italian Greyhound is an adorable, affectionate mini version of the Greyhound. They weigh around 12 to 18 pounds but have the same characteristics as their larger counterpart. They are affectionate and great for families, but they tend to shed quite a bit and can be hard to train. Socialization and training early in their life are essential for them to be a great family pet and loyal companion.

  • Affectionate
  • Great for families
  • Sheds extensively
  • Can be hard to train

14. Bichon Frise

bichon frise on thee grass
Image Credit: Ieva Tvaronavicute, Shutterstock
Height 10 to 12 inches
Weight 12 to 18 pounds
Life Expectancy 14 to 15 years


The Bichon Frise is considered a hypoallergenic breed, which means this dog is suitable for some people who suffer from allergies. They are adorable, loyal, and happy most of the time. This is an active breed that doesn’t bark often. However, they do need constant grooming to keep their fur free of tangles and mats. You also need to make sure someone will be with your pet most of the time, as this breed suffers from separation anxiety if left alone.

  • Active
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Not an avid barker
  • Suffers from separation anxiety
  • Needs constant grooming

15. Chinese Crested

chinese-crested_Veronika Andrews_Pixabay
Image Credit: Veronika Andrews, Pixabay
Height 11 to 13 inches
Weight 8 to 12 pounds
Life Expectancy 13 to 18 years

The Chinese Crested breed is an athletic, easy-to-train dog with a unique look. This intelligent, alert breed does require quite a bit of exercise to be healthy and happy. They aren’t suited for families with young children, so it’s best that they are around older children instead. This breed also requires special grooming, so you might want to take your pet to a professional groomer to ensure that they’re groomed properly.

  • Athletic
  • Easy to train/intelligent
  • Unique look
  • Needs special grooming
  • Not for families with young children


Final Thoughts

This list contains our picks for the best dogs suited for apartment life. However, it’s important to note that no matter what size your dog is or what temperament they have, it can be easy for them to get bored in a small space. Avoid this by making sure they are exercised regularly and having plenty of games and toys available to keep them happy and healthy.

You may also want to read:

Featured Image Credit: zEdward_Indy, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets