Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

Best Apartment Dogs for People with Small Living Spaces

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6 min read

Best apartment dogs

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  • What makes these Small Dogs Different from Other Dogs?
  • Best Small Dog Breeds for Apartment Living
  • Why are Small Dogs Better than Big Dogs?

Small and toy dog breeds are best and ideal for apartments and small living spaces. Being small in size means that they offer the best of both the worlds; small size and love, companionship and care of a large dog.

Small spaces and cramped apartments do not mean that you cannot have a furry friend at home. If you are a lover of ‘gentle giants’ like a Great Dane or German Shepherd then you do need sufficient space for him. But, what if you do not have a big house or apartment? Luckily, there are a number of dogs that are small in size and perfect for apartments.

What makes these Small Dogs Different from Other Dogs?

There are a number of things that make these dogs different from their larger counterparts. They are comparatively small in size, easy going, hypoallergenic or low shedding and do not make noise. Besides, many of them are easy to train and are happy to accompany you everywhere or say at home and be a couch potato.

However, when choosing a breed, make sure that it is right for you and both of you can survive and live together. As per the American Kennel Club, these small dog breeds are not only cute and handy but they make great apartment dogs also.

Best Small Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

Below is a roundup of 18 small breeds that have a big heart and personality:

Bichon Frise

Weighing just around 15 pounds, Bishon Frise makes a friendly and playful companion. They are quick to learn and they love being around people and playing with them. Being small in size, they take minimal space and shed less hair also.

Related: Hypoallergenic Dogs Breeds that Don’t Shed

Biewer Terrier

Historically, they are close cousins of Yorkies and are known for their mild and quiet temperament. They weight about 4 to 8 pounds and they are perfect to fit in your hands easily. They are a great apartment and lapdogs.


Though they look like a Havanese, they are an entirely different dog breed. They are bred to be playful companions and are from the Mediterranean. They have a rich coat but, lucky for you, they shed less and are great if you have allergies

French Bulldog

These dogs gain popularity in the 18th century and also due to the breed loving millennial generation. Besides being small, they occasionally bark, which is great if you have a quiet neighborhood. They do not need extensive exercise and a brisk walk is all they need.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs are known and treated as toy dogs and love to go on walks. They weigh about 13 to 18 pounds, which means that all you need is a medium-sized doghouse or some space in your room to accommodate him.


Bulldogs generally have a very muscled stature, which also gives them a look of being extremely tough and aggressive. Despite it, they are quite lazy and do not really like the idea of long walks and intense exercise. With them, brisk strolls are the right way and they make the best guard dogs.


Havanese dogs are true furballs and weigh just about 10 pounds. They are happy to live with you in your apartments and make a very entertaining companion. Their hair is silky and you can cut them short for easy grooming and maintenance.

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhounds are the mini versions of the racing greyhounds and weight approximately 10 pounds. They love to snuggle with their companions and still have their impressive speed. However, they are quite the escape experts and should not be allowed off-leash

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested is one of the rare and unique dog breeds. They have a distinct look and are hairless except for their head, tail and feet. Since they have a hairless coat, they do not shed or cause allergies. But they will need protection from the sun’s UV rays.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus were bred to live inside the Chinese palaces and accompany their residents. Given their homely nature, they are happy to accompany you in your small apartment also. Besides, if you are a parent, this dog will make a perfect companion for your kids.

Boston Terrier

Having earned the nickname ‘the American gentleman’, these dogs have shorter coats. As far as their personality is concerned, you are yet to find a livelier and amusing companion than a Boston terrier. Plus, they are always eager to please you.


Besides being sprinters, these dogs love to stay at home and sleep and rest their days away. When thinking about exercising your dog, good walking or running sessions at a dog park is enough to get him all sleepy and peaceful. Bring one home for a great companionship.


Affenpinscher is a loving, affectionate and energetic dog. They are somewhat difficult to housetrain and to keep them healthy and active, you will have to take him to a nearby dog park. However, it is not ideal if you have kids and they can tolerate other cats and dogs only after ample training.

American Eskimo Dog

These dogs are best to have with families. They are great with kids and once you bring one of these home, you must not leave him alone for a long time and they will need training and brain activities to excel. Great for apartment living.


Pugs are loving and mischievous by nature and make great dogs for people living in apartments. Since they are prone to obesity, you must limit the amount and frequency of treats and make a functional exercise schedule for him.

German Spitz

With its fox-like look and eagerness to please you, these dogs are great for apartment dwellers. They are extremely devoted and attentive to their human companions. However, be careful as they may bark at strangers so it is important to train them.

Bedlington Terrier

If you want to bring in a unique dog breed then this breed is the best. They have unique and distinct fleece that makes them stand out from the crowd, and they also shed less. They are very active and will need long daily walks to stay healthy and active.

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds make great family dogs as they are friendly with kids and are easy to take care of. But, they are big on drooling and have immense endurance. For exercise, long daily walks are quite enough but beware of the stairs. Since they are like a big dog with small legs, stairs may not be a good idea.

Some people think that small dog breeds are less healthier than their larger counterparts, which is not true. Every dog has its pros and cons and size has nothing to do with it.

Related:Top Healthiest Dog Breeds with Least Health Issues

Why are Small Dogs Better than Big Dogs?

Having a smaller dog breed at home has a number of benefits. Some of these benefits are given below:

  1. Small dogs make less mess that is easy to clean; being small, they cannot reach the tables and mess around with food
  2. Small dogs have lesser stink that larger dogs, especially in summers
  3. Small breeds are easier to manage and control and all it needs to control them is picking them up
  4. They need less exercise than the larger dogs
  5. Research proves that6 small dog breeds live longer than large ones, which means that you get a companion for life, quite literally
  6. Small dogs are more economic friendly as their food, medication and clothing cost much less than a large dog.
  7. Small dogs are easier to cuddle as you can lift and hug them easily, than if compared to a large dog

Dogs make great companions and family members but bringing one into your apartment could be challenging. These small breeds make it easier for you to get a canine companion. However, if you are getting a dog as an ESA then you must get your genuine ESA letter to live and travel with him freely and peacefully.

See if you qualify.

Harper Jefcoat


Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and expert author at the RealESALetter.com. With a deep-seated passion for animals, Harper brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to his writings. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he aims to help pet owners understand and care for their furry friends better.

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