Share on Facebook

The 15 Best Dogs for Apartment Living

If you’re looking to adopt a furry friend and want to make sure they’re one of the best apartment dogs, check out the list below.

A midsection of teenage girl with a dog sitting on a sofa indoors, working on a laptop.Halfpoint/Shutterstock

The best apartment dog for you

Before adopting a new dog it’s important to think about what breed will best fit into your lifestyle. Your living arrangements play a big part in that. If you live in an apartment you need to take into consideration how much space you have, the rules of your apartment, how noisy the area you live in is, and how much time you have to exercise your pup. You’re most likely not going to be able to open your back door and let your dog run around in the grass, and longer walks to open spaces will be required to keep your dog in good health. That being said, any breed of dog can live in an apartment as long as you give it the care and attention it deserves and needs to stay healthy; however, these dog breeds, provided by Nicole Ellis, Rover’s resident dog trainer on The Dog People Panel, are slightly better suited for high-rise living.

portrait of cute cavalier spanielFotyma/Shutterstock

King Charles Cavaliers

The King Charles Cavalier is one of the best dogs for apartment living. They are very sweet dogs the acclimate well to inner situations and locations, says Ellis. They require some exercise but also love to snuggle up on the couch with you. If you want to get a new dog, but you’re on a budget, check out this list of the most (and least) expensive dog breeds.

irish wolfhound Gerard Lacz/Shutterstock

Irish Wolfhounds

Irish Wolfhounds are leggy and long, so Ellis recommends always watching where you step if you’re living in close quarters in case they’re sleeping near you. They’re also very sweet and calm dogs. Never lose your dog again with the best GPS trackers on the market. 

Affenpinscher waiting on dog show apolda/Shutterstock


An Affenpinscher is one of the best apartment dogs because they are fun and playful without requiring too much exercise. “A nice game of indoor fetch or scent work will leave them tired while you are off for the day with work and errands,” says Ellis. Here’s how to pick the best dog breed for you.

great dane dogbelu gheorghe/Shutterstock

Great Danes

Even though Great Danes are big and might take up an entire room in your home, they’re one of the best dog breeds for apartments. Ellis says they’re gentle giants because of their calm demeanor, making them great for small space living.

Italian greyhound sleepNASTIA KHITIAEVA/Shutterstock


When people think of Greyhounds, they think of these dogs racing and being super active. While they do run fast, they don’t require long exercise. They make the perfect exercise buddy for a morning run or workout in the park, says Ellis.

Cute pug dog breed lying on blanket on white bed in bedroom smile with funny face and feeling so happiness after wake up in the morning,Healthy Purebred dog ConceptYuttana Jaowattana/Shutterstock


It’s probably not a surprise that pugs make some of the best apartment dogs. Their breed does really well in small places and they don’t need a ton of exercise. They love meeting new people and seeing new sights though, so they’ll have a great time exploring the city with you. These are the most popular dog breeds in every state.

Boston terrier dog on brown terrace looking at camerabubutu/Shutterstock

Boston Terriers

“They do require exercise, so this isn’t the dog for the couch potato,” says Ellis. Boston Terriers aren’t shy in new situations so they make a great companion for running errands.

Happy little orange havanese puppy dog is sitting in the grassDorottya Mathe/Shutterstock


The Havanese is one of the best dog breeds for apartments because they tend not to bark a lot so they won’t annoy your neighbors. They’re just as happy going out on adventures as they are lounging on the couch. One thing to keep in mind with the Havanese is that they require regular grooming.

Cute shih tzu puppy is sitting and looking to usPattarit S/Shutterstock


Just like the Havanese, Shih-Tzus do require grooming, says Ellis. They’re a great breed that doesn’t require a lot of exercise and does well in a small home. If you’re worried about leaving your dog at home, try these tips to keep your pet happy while you’re at work.

Dachshund puppyBarbi Macon Photography/Shutterstock


Dachshunds are playful and energetic and are great in small dwellings. However, without proper training early on they can bark a lot.

White Bichon Frise on bed NivCube/Shutterstock

Bichon Frise

“The Bichon Frise does not shed much which is great for keeping your apartment clean (and if you have allergies),” says Ellis. “But they do require brushing and grooming.” They’re also some of the best apartment dogs because they don’t bark much, love tagging along with you wherever you go, and make great family pets.

Adorable Brussels Griffon dog on sofa at home. Cute friendly petNew Africa/Shutterstock

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon dogs are best known for looking like little Ewoks. They have very sweet temperaments and they’re not very vocal and love being around people. They’ll be more than happy to squeeze onto the couch with you and the rest of your family. Make sure to learn about these things your dog wishes you knew.

Two lovely, cute and beautiful domestic breed mammal chihuahua puppies friends lying, relaxing in dog bed. Pets resting, sleeping together. Pathetic and emotional portrait. Father and daughter photo.Benevolente82/Shutterstock


“We all know a barky chihuahua, but they aren’t all that way and with training are incredible pets,” says Ellis. “Content in an apartment they don’t require an immense amount of attention or exercise and are also happy to join you on your outings.”

Chinese Crested Dog standing in the countryside looking across the side with hair blowing in the wind and tail up. A mostly hairless dog in a park, countryside meadow or field of grass. greenIan McGlasham/Shutterstock

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested is a laid-back breed that would always rather be snuggled up on the couch. They do still require some exercise though, even if you need to bribe them with treats to do it.

French bulldog lying down tired after walkPatryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

French Bulldogs

Frenchies are known for their “lazy” behavior making them perfect for apartment living, but they do get energetic when it’s time for play or a walk. Because of how popular this breed is, Ellis recommends researching common health conditions (as you should with all breeds) before you consider adopting. To bond with your pooch even more, learn about the secrets your dog’s tail is trying to tell you.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.