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Small (and Large) Breeds for Small Spaces: 14 Best Dogs for Apartments

Pug - Small Apartments

Just because you don’t have a backyard doesn’t mean you can’t have a canine companion in your home. Whether your living space is small in square footage, packed in tight with neighbors, or on a bustling city street, there are plenty of dog breeds that make amazing pets and will thrive in apartment settings—if your building or landlord permits pets, of course. 

Important factors to consider when starting the process of adopting a furry friend for your small-scale life include pup size and energy level. Will you have enough room for the dog to stretch out and store all of their supplies? Will they require tons of exercise, or tear apart your tiny home if they don’t get enough? 

You should also keep in mind how vocal your new pup may be, as well as how social they are. Living in an apartment setting, you’re likely to have neighbors within earshot, so a dog who is prone to barking at all hours of the day may cause some tension with your fellow tenants. Your pet is also likely to encounter a lot of new people and other dogs each day, even on quick potty breaks or trips around the block. Having a friendly, easy-going pooch will make these excursions out of the house much more pleasant for everyone. 

The characteristics of some breeds naturally make them better apartment dwellers than others. There are also some breeds that have made their way onto some apartments’ prohibited list, whether it be because of size, grooming (and cleaning) needs, or temperament. While this list can seem restrictive, there are still plenty of options! 

King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are renowned for their apartment-appropriate etiquette. These pups are considered a toy breed, so they are small and exhibit minimal shedding. They are also fairly quiet and docile, so you can expect them to be mellow and not bark much. CKC Spaniels are very athletic and do require exercise, but they also tend to be cuddly lap dogs who love to keep their people company. In fact, this breed is known to be very friendly and loves both humans and dogs. 

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise 

Bichon Frises are widely considered low-maintenance dogs. They’re small, lightweight, and don’t bark much, so taking up too much space or bothering neighbors shouldn’t be an issue. Bichons are also hypoallergenic dogs, which are often preferred for shared spaces and rentals. Property managers and landlords may be more willing to house dogs who don’t shed much so that cleaning is easier. These pups are easy to get along with and are more than happy to spend long stretches quietly on the couch—what more could an apartment pet parent want? 

Chihuahua

Chihuahua 

The world’s smallest dog breed, Chihuahuas are an obvious choice for those looking for a little dog to bring home to their little apartment. These tiny pups don’t require a lot of exercise, and virtually no needs that can’t be met from the comfort of the couch. Chihuahuas can be loyal, loveable cuddlers, but are also prone to yappy barking if not trained. 

Boston terrier

Boston Terrier 

Boston Terriers don’t require a lot of space to feel at home and are often considered to have the perfect combination of small size and calm temperament. Not the most energetic dogs, Boston Terriers can get almost all of the exercise they need from the comfort of the apartment. They also don’t bark much. 

Dachshund

Dachshund 

Often referred to as wiener dogs, these long bodies with short legs are nice and small, perfect for tight homes. As long as they get enough exercise, they’ll be happy to live in an apartment setting. Similar to other small breeds, however, Dachshunds are prone to yippy barking if not properly trained, so pet parents in apartments should be aware of this vocal tendency to mitigate any loud annoyances.  

French Bulldog

French Bulldog 

French Bulldogs are another great option for apartment residents. Frenchies don’t bark much and their small stature makes them great dogs for small spaces. They require less exercise than many other four-legged friends. An added bonus is that Frenchies don’t shed a lot, so you won’t have to worry about your apartment filling up with dog hair in the blink of an eye. 

Bensji

Basenji 

Basenjis are known for their cat-like tendencies—they groom themselves far more than other canine breeds do and are fairly calm and reserved. They also don’t bark like other dogs—while they’re generally very quiet, any vocalizations that they do produce are more like yodels. 

Pug

Pug 

Pugs are all-around great small space dogs. Their compact size means they don’t take up too much room on the couch and can easily maneuver around tight living spaces. Pugs also tend to be homebodies in nature and are one of the lower-energy small breeds—they can be perfectly happy to chill in your studio all day. These relatively lazy pups are also highly food-motivated, a combination that makes them prone to obesity. Make sure they’re getting off the sofa every once in a while and eating healthy. 

Basset

Basset Hound 

Basset Hounds make wonderful pets for compact spaces. While they can get up to 75 pounds, their short height often helps them stay in the “small dog” category. Just as their floppy ears and droopy faces suggest, these pups are pretty lazy—a short walk around the neighborhood will tucker them out and you’ll have a couch potato pup for the rest of the day. 

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu 

Small in stature and not too loud, Shih Tzus are very popular apartment companions. They are also friendly and get along with other dogs, so sidewalk encounters are more likely to be playful than reactive. 

Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier 

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are small in size but big in personality. There are lots to love about these tiny companions. Yorkies tend to be quiet and calm, making them excellent apartment tenants. They are also quite social and love to meet new people and other pets. 

Bulldog

English Bulldog 

English Bulldogs’ smushed faces and thick builds may make them appear aggressive and scary, but these cuties are actually quite gentle and friendly. They tend to be easy-going, couch-friendly dogs who don’t need much exercise. While they’re a little on the larger side of dog breeds, English Bulldogs are perfect for a small home, as they’re happy to lazily lounge around all day. 

Greyhound

Greyhound 

Size isn’t always the be-all and end-all when it comes to apartment-friendly breeds. There are a few exceptions, including Greyhounds. While they are the world’s speediest dog breed, Greyhounds are considered “mellow house dogs,” according to the American Kennel Club. You can say they have two speeds: sprinting and napping. Beyond a regular walk or trip to the dog park, Greyhounds don’t actually require much exercise. They are calm dogs with a love for relaxing. 

Dane

Great Dane 

Like Greyhounds, Great Danes are actually big, lazy pups. These gentle giants tend to have mellow personalities and don’t require much exercise. If anything, they prefer to cozy up on the couch (if it’s big enough to fit them) all day. 

Potty training in an apartment 

Housetraining your furry friend can be a unique challenge for apartment residents. Particularly if you live on a high floor, getting from your unit down either the elevator or staircase and outside all in time for your pup to go potty in an appropriate place is quite a feat. For a number of possible reasons, small dog breeds tend to be a little more difficult to potty train than larger breeds. While it’s no substitute for regular walks and ample exercise, training your little apartment pup to use a pee pad might be a good option to help avoid accidents around the house. For larger breeds, pee pads may be more of a hassle than help just because of size and distance from the “target.” 

Setting a schedule

It’s also important to consider your own schedule—some dogs need multiple walks and potty breaks a day. If you can’t be home to fulfill these needs for your dog, you may want to look into hiring a dog walker. Having someone in the house throughout the day can do wonders for apartment pups—they not only have a chance to go to the bathroom, but the extra company can prevent your pooch from getting stressed or bored, which often leads to disruptive and or destructive behavior (i.e. barking or furniture shredding). 

Definitively identifying the best dogs for apartments is a largely subjective task. Each landlord and property will be different, with varying pet policies. If considering getting a pup for your tiny home, it’s important to keep in mind their size, energy levels, propensity for barking, and friendliness. There’s a lot that goes into what makes a dog breed apartment-friendly, but most important is often the individual dog and your relationship with them as their owner. 

Bottom line 

If you are worried that, even after ample physical exercise and mental stimulation, your pup either is or will be stressed living in an apartment setting, you may consider CBD. ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA chews, soft gels, and oils can help put your dog’s mind at ease and support a calm demeanor while they adjust to their small space and or a new environment. In addressing your dog’s short-term and or long-term stress, ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA can lead to improved overall well-being. And we all want a happy and relaxed pup! 

For any questions about ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products or how CBD can help your canine friend live their best life, give us a call (844-673-7287) or send us an email ([email protected]). We are here to help.  

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