Apartment-Friendly Dog Breeds: Small Spaces, Big Love

Apartment-Friendly Dog Breeds: Small Spaces, Big Love

Discover the perfect canine companion for your apartment living in our comprehensive guide. Explore apartment-friendly dog breeds that fit your space and lifestyle, ensuring a harmonious and happy coexistence with your furry friend. Find your ideal apartment pooch today!

Pug on couch. Apartment friendly dog breeds

A great way to make a new apartment feel like home? You already know what we’re going to say…

Having a furry friend around transforms any space you’re in and infuses it with love, happiness, and fun! Understandably, when you’re living in an apartment, you may have some hesitations about adding a dog into the mix — landlords may have restrictions (size, breed, etc.), and you want to ensure you can give your dog the best life possible in the best environment for them. So, before you start your search for a furry companion to bring home, let’s dive into some of the most apartment-compatible dog breeds.

First, some important things to consider

Of course, the first thing to consider is what your apartment will allow in terms of size and breed. Some are more flexible, while others can be incredibly strict on size and weight limits, as well as breeds they will accept. Once you’re clear on these parameters, you can hone in your search for the best dog for your and your living situation.


Whether there are size restrictions in place or not, it’s helpful to think about what size is most manageable for you, your living space, and your lifestyle. Will you be transporting your dog often from your apartment where size needs to be a big consideration? Do you have enough space to comfortably accommodate a larger dog? What about the entrance to your building — if you needed to, would you be able to carry your dog up and down many stairs?


One of the most important things to consider for people looking to introduce a dog to apartment living is a dog’s energy levels. Not having a yard to allow your pet to run around in may seem like a big limitation, but there are certainly ways to let your dog burn off some energy without one! Still, it’s important to keep in mind how much energy your dog has and how much capacity you have to keep your pet from becoming bored, understimulated, and potentially destructive when they need to let off some steam.


This comes down to personal preference, of course, but it’s important to keep in mind how much shedding your dog may do throughout the seasons and the upkeep that’s required to keep your space as clean and tidy as you’d like, and keeping your pet’s coat as clean and tidy as they’d like.

Personality traits

In addition to energy levels, personality traits matter, too! While we know every dog is different, some breeds are known to have particular personality traits that are important to consider for apartment living, namely: barking. Some dogs simply are more vocal than others, and in small, shared spaces that’s an important thing to consider for your peace and the peace of the neighbors you share walls with. Of course you’ll want to think about traits like compatibility with other dogs (as you may have neighbor dogs you’ll see and/or hear frequently), anxiety/separation anxiety (will they become boisterous when you’re gone?), and destructive tendencies (if they’re bored, are they going to chew the legs off your tables?).

Apartment-friendly furry friends

Ultimately, the choice is up to you when it comes to finding the perfect dog companion to bring home to your apartment — and if you’ve got the time to dedicate to training, you can work hard to help nip any bad habits in the bud to ensure you have a wonderful life together.

Here are a few popular apartment-friendly breeds, including a few bigger dogs that you might be surprised to find on this list!


Small in stature and with a generally calm demeanor, pugs are a popular choice for apartment dwellers! Their exercise requirements are minimal, making them an easy going companion to have around. Pugs are generally not considered to be “yappy” dogs like some small breeds can be classified as, so your neighbors will appreciate that, too!

Great Dane

Surprise! Big dogs can actually be great apartment dogs! If your building allows for it (and there’s an elevator option should you need to get up and down floors easily), a Great Dane could make for a wonderful apartment-living companion with their sweet demeanor, easy-going temperament, and low-energy and exercise demands. Of course, they’re going to take up a lot of space given their sizable stature, but in general, they’re well-suited to the apartment lifestyle!

Mini Schnauzer

These pups are clever, so training will be important! Still, their sweet-natured personalities, small stature, and lack of shedding make them a suitable option for apartment-living. Their energy levels are somewhere in the moderate range — they need some stimulation, but aren’t requiring multiple walks per day — so if you can give them some play time (inside or out!) you’ll be better able to keep their boredom (and potential bad habits, like whining or barking) at bay.


Another big dog option! Even tempered, docile, and just the right amount of lazy, Mastiffs make for surprisingly great apartment companions! They’re also not overly vocal, so your neighbors will appreciate this gentle, quiet, giant living next door! While they do need some exercise to keep their bodies healthy, of course, short walks and little spurts of play time should fit the bill. As puppies, they may have destructive tendencies, so long as you can see them through those early days with some stimulation and proper training, they’ll have a happy life with you in an apartment!


Smart, shed-free, and eager to please, Poodles are a fan-favorite of apartment dwellers for good reason! You’ve also got a range of size options to choose from when it comes to poodles, as small as “mini,” which may be especially ideal for small living spaces. They can be a bit higher energy, so making sure you make time for play time will be essential to keeping them happy in an apartment.

Yorkshire Terrier

Perfect for small-space-living, Yorkshire Terriers are tiny dogs that are great for an apartment lifestyle. It is important to know that this breed can have a tendency to be a little noisy, so it’s best to start training them early to understand the importance of “inside voices” to keep your neighbors happy. They do require some physical and mental stimulation, but their exercise requirements aren’t too demanding — some play time and running around inside (because they’re so small, they can make great use of running around smaller spaces!) can help burn off that energy.

French Bulldog

Here’s a breed that can keep quiet! It’s been said that French Bulldogs are not heavy barkers, which is great if you’re living in an apartment! While they do shed, it’s fairly minimal thanks to their short hair, so keeping up with tidying up after them shouldn’t be too demanding. These pups are also not particularly needy when it comes to exercise, and are happy to play indoors to get some stimulation, so make sure you’ve got some great toys at home to keep them entertained! Frenchies are known to be very connected to their owners, which means separation anxiety could become an issue — so be sure to find ways to manage this to keep neighbors, and your pup, happy and calm when you’re not home.


A corgi is said to be everybody’s buddy, so don’t be surprised if bringing a Corgi into your apartment building makes you a few new friends. Passing people, or other resident pups, in the hall shouldn’t be an issue with a Corgi by your side. These pups are a great mid-sized option for apartment dwellers! They do require a moderate amount of exercise, so as long as you can get them out for a daily walk and partake in some indoor playtime with them, they should be happy at home in an apartment!

English Bulldog

Want something a little bigger than a Frenchie, but with somewhat similar needs? Maybe an English Bulldog is the perfect fit for you and your apartment! Their exercise requirements are low — this breed doesn’t need a yard, thrives on particularly short walks, and enjoys indoor play time to avoid any temperature-related issues (they’re very sensitive to heat!). With their temperature-sensitivity in mind, it is important to ensure that your apartment’s temperature is controlled to keep them comfortable, happy, and healthy. English Bulldogs are also not very vocal — though they are known for snoring! — so barking shouldn’t be an issue.

Mastering the art of small-space entertainment

Despite limited space, there is so much you can do to keep your dogs mentally and physically stimulated in an apartment. This can include DIY enrichment activities, puzzle toys, and space-saving agility equipment designed for indoor use. Check out this great article we have on enrichment activities (that are also apartment-friendly) that you can try with your dog!

The bottom line…

Finding the perfect dog for your lifestyle may take some time, but it’s well worth the effort if you want to fill your heart and your home with the kind of love a dog can offer. The most important thing, when it comes to bringing a dog into an apartment, is being sure to take the time to consider all of a dog’s needs, and ensuring you can offer them an environment that keeps them happy, healthy, and content.