A small dog laying down on a carpet in a small room with its head perked up, wearing a collar and ID tag.

Best dog breeds for apartments

Team Walmart Pets

July 2, 2021


min read

Living in an apartment in a city shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life with a dog. However, before you jump head-first into pet parenting, you should carefully consider your lifestyle, space and the needs of the dog before selecting a furry family member.

Here, we’re going to break down the dog breeds that are the friendliest, the easiest to train and the quietest. In short—break down the dog breeds that could be best for you and your apartment living.

What dogs are best for apartments?

Contrary to popular belief, a certain square footage doesn’t limit you to small dog breeds. Depending on the amount of time you can reserve for outdoor play, some medium and large breeds could work for your home, too. Keep in mind that living with a high-energy, very active breed of any size will be very challenging if not given the exercise needed!

Make sure you check with your landlord and renters insurance policy regarding breed restrictions. Some complexes prohibit certain dog breeds of a certain weight on their upper floors. Then consider the route your dog will have to take to go potty. (Learn about potty training your dogs.) Do you live on the top floor? Is the elevator a long wait? Are the stairs conducive for the dog you have in mind?

Finally, do your research when it comes to the breed. Avoid overly vocal dogs as they could rub your neighbors the wrong way or worse, get you evicted from your apartment building. Instead, look for an easygoing breed that tends to be friendly and easy to train — this will help your dog stay calm when your not home, and help with those chance encounters with your neighbors in the lobby or hallway.

From quietest to most adaptable, these breeds grace the top of our list for best dogs for apartment living.

Quiet dog breeds for apartments

Pug: Pugs were bred for companionship, meaning they typically have a laid-back and affectionate nature that doesn't manifest in barking.

Other quieter dog breeds:

  • Borzoi
  • Boston Terrier
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • French Bulldog
  • Newfoundland
  • Pharaoh Hound
  • Pit Bull
  • Pyrenean Mastiff
  • Rat Terrier
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Rough Collie
  • Saarlooswolfhond
  • Shar-Pei
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • St Bernard
  • Stabyhoun
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Weimaraner
  • Whippet

Best dogs for small apartments

Dachshund: Due to their small size, Dachshunds don’t require much living space, but they do tend to be energetic and require daily exercise.

Other breeds that are best for small spaces include:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chihuahua
  • Chinese Crested Dog
  • English Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • Greyhound
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Maltese
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Mixed Breed Small
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Shih Tzu
  • West Highland Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier

Easy to train dogs

Border Collie: Border Collies are highly intelligent and obedient, making this active breed eager to learn. Just be careful keeping them cooped up in the city, as these dogs need lots of exercise.

Other breeds that are easy to housetrain include:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Boston Terrier
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Keeshond
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
  • Pit Bull
  • Rottweiler
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Shiba Inu
  • Shikoku
  • Shiloh Shepherd
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Standard Poodle

Friendliest dog breeds

Golden Retriever: The Golden Retriever’s intelligent, loyal and eager-to-please attitude make this breed a family favorite. These dogs do well with chance encounters in your apartment building.

Other friendly breeds include:

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Havanese
  • Irish Setter
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Mixed Breed Medium
  • Mixed Breed Small
  • Norfolk Terrier
  • Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
  • Pomeranian
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Pug
  • Scottish Terrier
  • St Bernard
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Most adaptable dog breeds

Standard Poodle: With its intelligent, calm and friendly nature, the Standard Poodle is a popular choice for people of all walks of life. Best of all? This easy-to-train breed tends to be adaptable to a variety of living spaces, including your apartment! 

Other easily adaptable breeds include:

  • American Cocker Spaniel
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • English Pointer
  • English Shepherd
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • Golden Retriever
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Large Münsterländer
  • Mixed Breed Large
  • Mixed Breed Medium
  • Mixed Breed Small
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Weimaraner
  • Welsh Springer Spaniel
  • Wirehaired Vizsla

Keeping lonely dogs company

Keep your dog comfortable and happy when you’re not home. It’s always good to have a comfortable dog bed and some dog chew toys. You can also fill a treat toy, like a Kong, with some snacks so they have something to do as soon as they’re by themselves.

Dogs and your apartment

Now you know that living in an apartment isn’t stopping you from living a new, exciting life with a dog. In fact, there are lots of dog breeds suitable for apartments that you can choose from. All it takes from you is some patience, some research and a commitment to training your new best friend. In no time, you and your new dog will love living in the city together.

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Photo by Matt Briney on Unsplash