Best Dog Breeds For Apartments: Top 5 Small Space Pups Most Recommended By Pet Experts

If you’re one of the many people who have considered dog ownership, you’re probably well aware of the benefits. From getting extra steps in on walks to enjoying puppy snuggles, there are countless reasons to welcome a dog into your family. However, many potential dog owners hesitate due to the common misconception that a big yard and tons of time for exercise is a requirement of being a good puppy parent. While it’s true that some breeds require lots of mental and physical stimulation to lead happy and healthy lives, the best dog breeds for apartments are more than content with spending much of their time napping next to you on the couch. Even if you live in an apartment with little space, you can still provide a furry friend with a wonderful life full of love and fun.

Exercise is an important part of a healthy dog’s life. But for many breeds, a walk around the neighborhood is more than enough to keep your canine best friend happy. In fact, a recent survey of 2,000 dog owners finds the average dog owner logs more than 1,000 miles and plays 2,080 games of fetch while walking them each year. The study found that the average dog owner takes their pet out ten times a week, with each trip lasting about 34 minutes. The average length of these walks is just under two miles. These walks provide much needed stimulation for furry friends, leaving them ready to rest once they’re back in your apartment.

Your dog won’t be the only one who benefits from the care you give them. Research says pet owners are actually happier than their pet-free counterparts. In a global analysis using artificial intelligence, researchers with Petplan have found that pet owners worldwide are significantly happier than their neighbors without a pet. In fact, pet ownership increases overall happiness by more than 22 percent globally. Using images of people with their pets, researchers conclude that the average happiness score among pet owners is 59.3 percent, compared to the average happiness score of just 36.8 percent.

Whether you live in a penthouse or a studio, well cared for apartment dogs can live full and happy lives. Of course, it’s important to choose a breed that doesn’t require too much exercise and can be satisfied living in closer quarters. But believe it or not, you may even struggle to narrow down your choices among the long list of the best dog breeds for apartments. To help start your search for your perfect apartment pet, StudyFinds searched the internet for opinions from pet experts. This list includes the most frequently recommended breeds, but as always, be sure to let us know in the comments if you have a favorite that we missed.

The List: Best Dog Breeds For Apartments, According to Experts

1. Bichon Frise

This little ball of fur and fun makes for a phenomenal apartment dog. Thanks to its small size and eager-to-please nature, a Bichon Frise can live a full and happy life in a house or a high rise. “One of the most affable, adorable breeds on the planet, the bichon frise is a happy-go-lucky people pleaser who is easily one of the best apartment dogs,” says Daily Paws. “While they can make excellent agility competition dogs, they’re also more than happy to spend long stretches quietly on the couch. And at right around 15 pounds, they’re not going to keep your downstairs neighbors on edge!”

white dog lying on grass
Bichon Frise (Photo by Matt Briney on Unsplash)

“The Bichon Frise is a small companion dog weighing between 12 and 18 pounds, and standing 9 to 12 inches tall. It is a cheerful breed that is highly adaptable and friendly, making it ideal for families with younger children,” explains Highland Canine Training. “A medium energy dog, the Bichon Frise does not have high exercise requirements. A short stroll around the local neighborhood is enough to keep them healthy and satisfied. They are eager to please their owners and easy to train. These traits, coupled with their hypoallergenic coat, make the Bichon Frise an excellent breed for apartment living.”

As an added bonus, the Bichon Frise’s hypoallergenic coat means that even those with allergies don’t have to miss out on man’s best friend. As Good Housekeeping puts it, “hypoallergenic and and utterly charming, Bichons learn quickly and love just about everyone. Clocking in at around 15 pounds, this is a playful companion that doesn’t take up too much room on the couch either.”

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Looking for a dog that has lots of love to give? The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is an affectionate, relational, and well-behaved dog that makes for the perfect addition to your apartment home. As Daily Paws puts it, “Cavalier King Charles spaniel parents will tell you these remarkable little guys are the perfect family pet. Cavaliers are also just about the perfect apartment dog! These incredibly intelligent, deeply loyal little dogs are quiet, friendly, and small enough to fit into even the coziest of studios with ease.”

brown and white long coat small dog on grey concrete road during daytime
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo by Courtney Mihaka on Unsplash)

“Often described as the ‘king of lapdogs’, the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel typically creates a deep bond with their family. A smaller living space where they can keep an eye on their owner is the dream life for these dogs – in fact, they can be quite clingy,” notes Highland Canine Training. “The King Charles Cavalier Spaniel is well-suited for apartment living. It is an especially suitable dog breed for those living a busier lifestyle who may not spend all day at home. They thrive when provided with either indoor or outdoor activities, and they are easy to train.”

This pup is a particularly good fit for you if you live in an apartment but love to stay active when you do venture outside. As Man of Many explains, “the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be some of the best apartment dogs. They’re very attached to their people, so much you may find them following you everywhere! This cute breed of dog is eager to meet everybody – great for popular apartments. This one is for the hikers, runners, beachgoers and dog sport enthusiasts.”

3. Greyhound

These long-legged dogs look like they could run for miles, but their favorite place is more likely to be curled up on the couch next to their favorite person. If you want a pet that loves to be around people, enjoys both exercise and resting, and is more than satisfied living in an apartment with their people, look no further. As Man of Many puts it, “one would think the Greyhounds favorite task is running when really, all they love to do is sleep. With many royal fans, this good apartment dog is friendly towards people and dogs. They are obviously great jogging/running partners, but are also satisfied with walks. Ensure your greyhound gets socialization to bring out their sweet, mild nature.”

Greyhound (Photo by Juan Gomez on Unsplash0

“As one of the oldest purebred dog breeds, the Greyhound has proved itself a welcome fixture of all kinds of living spaces, from the palaces of Ancient Egypt to, potentially, your new apartment,” says Hello Landing. “Their agility and lithe build make them cunning hunters and the fastest of all dog breeds. They may be large dogs, but Greyhounds make great flatmates because they have calm, friendly demeanors, don’t need a lot of exercise, [and] are relatively quiet dogs.”

Still skeptical that this speed racing pup could be content to live in a studio apartment? Experts say that a greyhound that receives proper exercise and stimulation on walks and runs will be perfectly happy to spend the rest of the time relaxing in your apartment. “We know, it seems counterintuitive for the dog kingdom’s fastest member to make a list of best apartment dogs,” notes Daily Paws. “But here’s the secret about greyhounds: they have two speeds, sprinting and napping. So while they are happily going to accentuate your active lifestyle on weekends and evenings, life inside your urban dwelling should still be hunky-dory!”

4. French Bulldog

These unique looking pups have grown increasingly popular over the years for not only their looks, but also their friendly and lovable temperaments. They make a great addition to the apartment lifestyle, as long as you give them proper attention and training. “An exceptional apartment dog, the Frenchie loves to play as much as relaxing on the sofa,” claims Man of Many. “His focus is on being a fantastic family friend, thriving on human contact. Owners of the French Bulldog need to be consistent, firm and patient with a creative flair in training, otherwise, he will get bored.”

brown and black French bulldog lying on white fur area rug
French bulldog (Photo by Alexandru Sofronie on Unsplash)

“Seemingly created for apartments, French bulldogs have long been favorites among urban dwellers. They’re small, they don’t tend to bark a lot, and they’re very low shedders, all of which help make these guys ideal for apartment life,” lists Daily Paws. “As an added bonus, a brisk walk should be all they need in the way of exercise. When not quietly playing on the living room rug, these little guys are more than happy to play the role of lap dog, or snooze in a warm patch on the floor.”

If you work in an office, a French bulldog is a surprisingly independent breed (though they still love to spend time with their people!). “Their irresistibly chunky little bodies and too-cute bat ears make it hard to say goodbye when you leave for work. But don’t feel too bad. Frenchies are one of the dog breeds that can be left alone,” explains Reader’s Digest. “They adapt well when your routine is consistent. They might not even get off the couch to say goodbye. In fact, give them the remote, and they might watch Animal Planet while you’re gone because they’re a tad bit on the lazy side. When you get home, though, they’ll be ready to play.”

5. Boston Terrier

This pocket-sized pup is an ideal candidate for apartment living. Intelligent, outgoing, and affectionate, a Boston Terrier will be content snuggling on the couch or making friends in the elevator. “This dapper fellow makes one of the best apartment dogs purely because of his ideal combination of size and temperament,” notes Daily Paws. “Almost universally friendly, loving dogs, Boston terriers are also small enough to be able to get almost all of their exercise needs indoors and not annoy your downstairs neighbors while they do it!”

black and white short coat medium sized dog walking on beach during daytime
Boston Terrier (Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash)

“The Boston Terrier is an energetic and playful dog breed with an average height of 10 to 17 inches and weighing between 10 to 25 pounds. They shed very minimally and adapt to living in an apartment quickly,” says Highland Canine Training. “This small dog breed with a playful temperament is an ideal choice for urban dwellers looking for an active breed. Although they have high exercise needs, introducing various indoor games can be a great outlet for their energy. Overall, the Boston Terrier is a relatively low-maintenance dog that can thrive in an apartment setting.”

If you aren’t up to the challenge of managing the high-maintenance coats of long-haired breeds, the Boston terrier may be your perfect match. These pups require very little grooming to keep their coats in top shape. As Good Housekeeping puts it, “if you’re looking for something with a much shorter coat, you’re in luck. Nicknamed ‘the American gentleman,’ the Boston terrier is deserving of its citified name. This small breed is lively and amusing, yet still compact and eager to please.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.


  1. Daschund not in the list. Very poor choice for “Best Dog Breeds for Apartments”. Greyhound in the list?? Person who compiled probably doesn’t know much about dogs!!

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