Some dogs are made for apartment living. Some dogs (lookin’ at you, Great Danes!) are not.
Every dog has a distinctive personality regardless of breed, but how can you make the most informed decision possible when you live in an apartment and are considering getting a dog? Based on common breed characteristics, here are the best dog breed for apartment dwellers.
English bullies are nothing if not lazy. Okay, so maybe they’re not all lazy, but they’re not shaped like baked potatoes for nothing. Bulldogs are generally relatively inactive – that doesn’t mean you don’t have to walk them to keep them healthy! – and they’re also surprisingly snuggly. They’re compact and slow-moving enough to fit nicely in your apartment but head’s up: they do need some maintenance. They tend to slobber and shed quite a bit, but you’ll never have to take them in for grooming!
Bichons are generally pretty tiny which makes them ideal for tight spaces. They have a good bit of energy but aren’t manic; two walks a day and a few minutes of interactive play is usually enough to keep them stimulated. They’re also an incredibly cuddly breed! Bichons are easily trained (they’re smart!) and get along well with others, not to mention being pretty quiet which will make your neighbors happy. And, bonus, they’re also relatively hypoallergenic!
Pugs are clickbait and we all know it. If you’re looking for a dog to up your Insta follower count and provide you with unconditional love? A pug is it. Because these brachycephalic dogs are sensitive to extreme temperatures they love being indoors, and they don’t need a ton of physical activity the way, say, a Border Collie does. They usually only weigh about 15-20 pounds but don’t let them become too lazy. Pugs have a tendency to become overweight.
These dogs were born to live in city dwellings, hence being named after Havana. Long on hair and short on poundage, Havanese are perfectly happy napping and exploring your apartment. They do need moderate amounts of exercise to keep from becoming mischievous so be sure not to skip any walks. And you might want to groom your Havanese’s fur on the short side so brushing doesn’t become cumbersome. A great (and even smaller!) alternative to the Havanese is the Maltese, another great apartment dog.
All Terriers have moderate energy to burn but they usually do so pretty well during a set of daily walks. Boston Terriers are short, compact, and small and they’re whip-smart, making them easy to train to live in a small space. Because their minds are so active it’s best to give them a window perch so they can watch the world go by.
Naturally curious, Spaniels are funny and personable. Tibetan Spaniels don’t need a ton of exercise but they do need a good bit of stimulation…they’re actually great dogs for those who work from home. Their tiny size, about 10-15 pounds, is what makes them so perfect for apartment living, as is their preference for being snuggled up next to you. ProTip: They like it cool, so keep that thermostat on low.
Thinking of a rescue dog? Great idea! While you might not be able to 100% verify a rescue dog’s breed, you can always look for a few key characteristics.
Adult rescues are already fully grown and their temperaments usually pretty set in stone. As for rescue puppies, look for a dog who’s not reactive to loud noises and can remain focused on you, and check those paws! They really can be an effective indicator of growth potential. You can also roughly double a 4-month old puppy’s size and weight to get a somewhat reliable estimate of adult size.