36 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

There are not many people out there who don’t think, awwww, when they see a teeny tiny pooch. Not only are they full of personality to match that of a Great Dane, but you can also pack all that canine sass into your purse.

Whether you are here because you are moving into your very first apartment or you’re looking for a new addition to the current canine clan, we have something here for everyone. From the cute and calm, to the amusing and lively, we have found all kinds of personalities to suit you and your lifestyle.

These dogs aren’t just for apartment living, but they can handle the apartment life, unlike other bigger dogs. So, in no particular order, here are some of our favorite dog breeds for apartment living.

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1. French Bulldog

french bulldog
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The French Bulldog is the most popular smallest dog in America right now, so this guy is a big contender for the apartment lifestyle. His small but stocky body gives this guy some oomph when it comes to playtime, and he can handle a little roughness. His cheeky smile and distinctive bat ears are enough to make everyone’s heart melt.


2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Featured Image Credit: Mário Simoes, Wikimedia Commons

This guy has always been popular as a lap dog, particularly with the Royals and other nobility. He is calm and sweet, and although he likes to play with his humans, he loves to be the receiver of belly rubs and attention much more. He is affectionate and gentle, making him a great addition to those with small children. This guy craves human company, and he hates to be left alone.


3. Pug

Pug

The Pug is small in stature but big in personality. So much so that he is also known as the Dutch Mastiff, where he originates from in the Netherlands. He is loving and affectionate, and like a cat, he snuffles when he is happy. This guy is very mischievous, and so, if you can’t hear him, he’s probably up to no good. He’s energetic and needs a fair bit of exercise.


4. Havanese

Havanese
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The Havanese has the personality of a clown, always looking to make his family laugh with his cheeky antics. He has a long and silky coat that needs a lot of grooming, but he’ll love the pampering attention that you give him. He is known to be a vocal watchdog, so if this is what you are seeking, he could be the one for you. Maybe not if you have noise-sensitive neighbors, though.


5. Dachshund

Dachshund

The Weiner is one of the most iconic city dogs, and for good reason. He is a big personality dog who loves to strut his long body around. He is also another vocal dog, but with proper training, this can be overcome. He loves to be around his humans and be part of the pack, this guy isn’t just a pet, darling. He is spunky and lovely, but boy, does he knows it!


6. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier looks a lot like the French Bulldog, but the skinnier sibling. He is just as fun and spunky and a little less lazy and stubborn. He is also known as the American Gentleman because of his typical black and white tuxedo coat. So, if you are looking for a posh-looking companion, this guy could be the one for you.


7. Shih Tzu

black shih tzu
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The Shih Tzu is a fantastic little lion looking dog, and his hair is long and luxurious. He is a sweetie pie, and he loves to hang out with the younger members of the family, making him a good option for young families. He is playful and fun, but his idea of heaven is snoozing away in your lap as your stroke him. He is calm in the home and makes a great apartment doggo.


8. Maltese

Maltese

The Maltese is a big bundle of white fun fluff. He weighs less than 7 pounds, meaning you can slip him into your purse, and you’ll never have to leave him home alone. His long silky coat, elegant gait, and dark brown eyes give him a charming appearance. He can be stubborn, but with proper training, he’ll be eager to please you.


9. German Spitz

German Spitz

This guy is one of the rarer smaller breeds, but he is making a big impression with apartment dwellers. He is suspicious of strangers, so he makes a good watchdog, so just as long as you don’t have any noise restrictions in place, this guy should fit in well with your lifestyle. He is energetic, playful, and robust enough to take on playtime. This foxy looking pooch is very sociable once he gets to know people.


10. Italian Greyhound

italian greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is another pooch that would prefer to be lazing on the couch over long adventurous walkies. But be careful when you are out and about because he has a high prey drive, and he’ll be off like a shot if he sees something. He is a sensitive pooch who needs an attentive owner to look after him, but in return, he will shower you in doggy cuddles and kisses.


11. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

No, contrary to popular opinion, this guy is not a mini Doberman, he is a different breed altogether. But if you are looking for a mini Doberman guard dog lookalike, he makes a fantastic option. He is full of character, and he is known as the ‘King of Toys.’ The Min Pin makes a wonderful apartment dog because he is so tiny and doesn’t need access to a yard. All he needs is a fun-loving master and a good time.


12. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier

The Yorkie is another city-dwelling doggo who prefers the high life. He also weighs less than
7 pounds, and can fit in the crook of your arm or your purse, so there’s no reason to leave him at home. He is affectionate and sweet and will shower you in kisses if you’re a good dog mom or dad. If you neglect him, he’ll be super sulky and make your life difficult. He is described as energetic and tomboyish.


15. Bulldog

Bulldog

The Bulldog is suited to apartment living because he is super chill and laidback (read: lazy). He is a chunky monkey, and he’s one of the biggest on this list. But if you’re after a more substantial apartment dog with love handles, this boy is the one for you. He is stubborn as heck, but this is all a part of his charm. He is courageous and loyal and will protect you in the face of danger if he feels the need to.


14. Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher
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The Affenpinscher is one of the rarer dogs on this list, but he is becoming increasingly popular. His scruffy yet neat coat and big googly eyes give him a quirky appearance, and you’ll undoubtedly be stopped in the street. This unique apartment dog is confident and famously funny, and he’ll like to think that he is the protector of the house. He likes to think of himself as part of the human gang rather than the pet. He’s active, and you’ll be in for hours of entertainment with this guy around.


15. Bichon Frise

bichon frise
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The Bichon Frise has had a hard life, and he was a firm favorite of the Royals. But after some trouble, he was thrown out to the streets and had to survive as a street performer. Thankfully, he has lept back into the limelight, but he has kept his circus performing personality. He is funny and lovely, and as long as you are laughing, he is content. Small and fluffy, this guy is a delightful doggy and will thrive in apartment life.


16. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a funny and stubborn little dog, but he is so much fun that he can get away with it. He is friendly and loves both his friends and strangers alike, and he needs to be the center of attention otherwise, he’ll turn into a diva. With his majestic mustache and prominent eyebrows, this little Schnauzer has got lots of swag. This is great if you are a stylish city dweller looking for an equally proud pooch.


17. Pekingnese

Pekingnese puppy
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The Pekingnese was initially bred to live in the palaces of China, and he is a posh pooch for sure. He looks likes a footstool crossed with a lion, and under all that hair of his is a stocky little fella. He prefers the chilled life, and although he doesn’t mind living with children, he is too tolerant of over-excited hands. He is an alert dog who will always let you know when there is something untoward around.


 18. Scottish Terrier

scottish terrier
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The wee pooch is Terrier by name and nature. So much so that he has earned himself the nickname ‘the Diehard.’ He has a vivid personality that is very human-like, but he can be aloof with strangers and a little grumpy if he doesn’t like them. He has a high prey drive, and the local cats aren’t going to be his biggest fan. He also makes a fantastic little watchdog, which is excellent if you are seeking a canine alarm.


 19. Silky Terrier

Silky Terrier

The Silky Terrier is very similar to the Yorkshire Terrier, but he is a different and slightly bigger breed. If you hadn’t already guessed it, his coat is silky and feels a lot like human hair. He is friendly, peppy, and a fast athlete. He needs to live with an active family, but he is happy to snooze when he has completed his exercise for the day. He is a happy-go-lucky dog who has a real zest for life.


20. Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel

This guy is smaller than his Tibetan Mastiff cousin, but he is still has a big dog personality. Although he is a terrier by name, he is not a terrier by nature. In fact, he is a sensitive little soul who needs to be treated with kindness and love. He was used to guard the monasteries in Tibet, so when it comes to strangers, he will defend you and your apartment with pride. This guy needs a lot of grooming.


21. Toy/Miniature Xoloitzcuintli

Miniature Xoloitzcuintli
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This guy, on the other hand, does not need any brushing, but he does need moisturizing. He is either completely hairless or has a very short, thin coat. He is the ancient dog of the Aztec gods and has an alert nature who is always listening. He is calm in the home and has a serious adult demeanor. You need to invest in lots of doggy sunscreen for this guy.


22. Whippet

Whippet
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This is the slightly bigger version of the Italian Greyhound, and he is one of the biggest pooches on this list. Because he is so skinny, he is suited to apartment living. He is so sweet and sensitive, meaning he needs to be homed with a family that can spend a lot of time with him. He has a high prey drive and loves to run free, but happy to curl up on the couch after a little bit of adventuring. He is graceful and a low maintenance pooch.


23. Chinese Crested

chinese crest
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This kooky looking pooch is usually part hairless and part hairy, with his hair being on his head, feet, and tail. This guy is ideal for those who do not like dog hair or doggy odor because he is free of both. He can also come with a coat, and he is affectionately known as the powderpuff. He is a happy and lively pooch who loves a good game of fetch in the yard with his human pack. He is sweet and affectionate and loves to cuddle up on your warm lap.


24. West Highland Terrier

West Highland White Terrier
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This guy is also known as the Westie, and he is an energetic and entertaining little guy. His coat is shaggy and brilliant white with triangle ears poking out his jacket. He is a sturdy terrier who loves to chase rats and cats, but his spunky personality is what people love about him. He is very loyal and likes to be by his master’s side at all times. He is a smiley canine who brightens up everyone’s day.


25. Corgi

Corgi

The Corgi is a funny pooch who has the fluffiest butt on this list. And with his big bat ears and wide grin, he is super popular with dog lovers. This guy is very energetic, and he might just try to herd children or other animals in the home. As long as you train this behavior out of him and everyone will get along just fine. He is affectionate and loving without being too needy, which is why he is excellent for apartment living.


26. Toy/Miniature American Eskimo Dog

Miniature American Eskimo Dog
Image Credit: CC0 Public Domain, pikist

This guy comes in three sizes, and the toy and miniature versions are great for apartment living. He is feisty and energetic and is always on the go, so he must get his exercise. But after a thorough exercise session, he will happily sit down for a snooze. This fluffy little canine cloud is perky and always eager to please, and he needs his daily fix of belly rubs and attention to be happy. His coat is high maintenance, and he needs regular brushing.


27. Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is a quirky looking pooch with human-like eyes and a scruffy mustache. He comes in four colors in either a rough or smooth coat. This guy is comical and jolly, but he does not appreciate the over-excited hands of young children. He does not like to be left alone, and he needs to be home with a family that can spend most of their day with him.


28. Chihuahua

chihuahua
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The Chihuahua is one of the most famous small dogs and holds many Guinness records for being the smallest pooch ever. So he is excellent for apartment living, no matter how tiny it is. He has a lot of feisty personalities packed into his little body and will stand up to the largest of dogs if he feels as though they are in the wrong. He is charming and sassy, but graceful and totally adorable. Don’t leave this guy alone for too long, or he’ll sulk for days.


29. Cocker Spaniel

english toy cockerspaniel
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The Cocker Spaniel is one half of Disney’s famous, Lady and the Tramp. The Cocker Spaniel is merry and loves to frolic his stuff about the town. Formerly, he was a hunting dog, but now he is more likely to be found on the laps of his family. He is intelligent and picks up commands quickly, but he can be quite the spoilt pup if you allow him to be.


30. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin
Image Credit: CC0 Public Domain, pikist

If you can’t decide between a cat and a dog, the Japanese Chin might be the perfect solution for you. He is often described as feline-like and is meticulous in cleaning himself, and he’ll jump onto tables and shelves if you let him. He has the look of a typical Asian pooch who was chosen by royals to sit in their laps. Which is why he is happy to accept the job of your new apartment doggo. He is a generally quiet and charming pooch.


31. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso has a voluminous coat making him look much more significant than he really is. If you are seeking a dog small enough for your apartment but one who is jam-packed full of personality, this could be an excellent option for you. He is elegant and regal but full of canine comedy. He’ll provide you hours of entertainment and act guard when you need him to.  He looks almost identical to the Tibetan Terrier.


32. Papillon

papillon
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Despite his sweet appearance, he is a hardy character who is full of beans. He is an upbeat doggo who loves to play with his human pack and other dogs. He is athletic and a fantastic participant in most sports, so if it’s a small playmate that you’re after, this guy is an excellent option for you. He is happy-go-lucky and adaptable to most types of families, making him a suitable apartment dog.


33. Pomeranian

pomeranians on chair
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The Pomeranian is one of the smallest fluffiest pooches on this list, and he is a handbag dog for sure. He is quick on his paws and loves to mess about, so you can be sure that you’re getting a cheeky canine for sure with this one. He is inquisitive, which is a trait that often gets him into trouble, but this is all a part of his charm. He is bold and bolshy, and a real character, great if you are seeking canine entertainment in a small package.


34. Russian Toy Dog

russian toy dog
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The Russian Toy dog is a lot like the Chihuahua. So, if you’re looking for a typical small dog with a big personality, but you’re after something a little different for your apartment, this rare breed could be a fantastic choice for you. He is a dinky dog that never weighs above 7 pounds, and he comes with either a short or long hair jacket. He is loyal and charming, and would happily snooze the day away in your lap.


35. Schipperke

Schipperke
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This is another rare pooch, and he is a lot like the Pom in personality. He also looks a little like the Pom with his round body and fluffy coat, but much foxier looking. He is alert and curious, which always leads him into mischief, but this is all a part of his charm. He is a traditional boat dog, and as such, he is a natural around water. If you live near to water, or you have a rat issue, this dude could be the one for you.


36. Toy / Miniature Poodle

miniature poodle
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The Poodle comes in three sizes, and the toy and the miniature are an excellent option for apartment living. He is super intelligent and picks up ticks quickly, so if you’re seeking a talented and obedient pooch, this could be a superb option for you. These smaller options are built to be companion dogs suited to life on your lap, and they love to be spoilt and pampered.


The Wrap Up

So, there you are, our best dog breeds for apartment living. These guys have their small size in common, but there is a variety of personalities to suit different types of families. Just be sure that you can meet their needs, and you, them, and your apartment will live happily ever after.


Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock