The Best Dog Breeds for Apartments and Small Living Spaces

Cute Maltese dog relaxing on sofa at modern living room


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Life is good with a faithful friend by your side

Fur-ever Roommate

Living in an apartment or studio doesn't mean you can't have a furry bestie. Though small dogs are typically easier to manage in compact living spaces, the size of your apartment shouldn't be the only factor to consider; some larger dogs have low energy levels and will be happy to lounge on the couch for most of the day. If you're moving into or living in a small space, here are some of the best dog breeds for apartments. 

Related: The Laziest Dogs in the World

Portrait of a cute Bichon Frise dog lying on a couch while owner working in the background

Bichon Frise

Aside from being ultra fuzzy and adorable, the bichon frise is also known for being one of the most good-natured and easy dogs to house train. While they can be high energy at times and make for excellent agility competition dogs, they're also happy to hang out at home and take lots of naps. Weighing an average of 10 to 16 pounds, they are easy to care for and don't require a lot of room to thrive. 

Related: 12 Plants That Are Toxic to Cats and Dogs

Puppy spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Known for being friendly, intelligent, and deeply loyal, Cavaliers make for great family pets, as they are gentle with kids and adapt well to new living spaces. Clocking in at no more than 18 pounds, the Cavalier makes for an ideal companion in an apartment or studio. They're also easy to house train and typically don't bark as much as, say, a Maltese. (Sigh, I know because I have one.)

For more great pet content, please sign up for our free newsletters.

Boston Terrier Puppy with Big Ears Indoors on Couch

Boston Terrier

Boston terriers are great apartment dwellers because of their small size and mild temperament. Known for being ultra affectionate, friendly, and smart, they can adjust well to small homes. However, they will require daily walks, since they are high energy dogs. Just let them have the zoomies every now and then; weighing an average of only 10 to 15 pounds, your downstairs neighbors won't mind. 

Purebreed saluki sitting at sofa looking at camera


While it may seem strange for the world's fastest dog to make this list, greyhounds actually love to sleep, clocking in more than 18 hours of sleep per day. Though they require daily walks and exercise, you can rest assured that they're just as happy snoozing during the week. Just be sure to let them stretch their legs and sprint away at the dog park every now and then. 

happy dog

Basset Hound

Though large, the stocky basset hound makes a great apartment companion because they have some of the lowest exercise requirements. Just one walk per day should suffice in keeping your floppy-eared basset hound happy, healthy, and stimulated. Known for being steadfast and loyal to a T, basset hounds love to spend most of the day napping. Their only downside? They tend to drool a lot. 

Italian greyhound
Image Source/istockphoto

Italian Greyhound

Weighing a third of their racing cousins, Italian greyhounds are the pocket-sized version of their larger counterparts. Known for being loving, quiet, and gentle, Italian greyhounds weigh around 10 pounds when fully grown — and like their cousins, they also love to sleep. While those who own Italian greyhounds say they can be somewhat harder to house train, they are light and low maintenance enough to make for good apartment dogs. 

brown chihuahua sitting on floor. small dog in asian house. feeling happy and relax dog.


Despite being the smallest dog breed (weighing four to five pounds on average), chihuahuas are known for their fierce temperament and tendency to bark. But being so compact, they have virtually no exercise needs and require very little living space. Go ahead and sign that studio lease — your chihuahua will love it. 

a bored french bulldog lying down and resting on sofa looking outside
Edwin Tan/istockphoto

French Bulldog

Known as the petite version of its larger cousin, the English bulldog, these small breed dogs have been a favorite of city dwellers because of their size and amenable nature. French bulldogs are fairly quiet and don't shed much, making them ideal for small apartments and living spaces. They also don't require much exercise, with one walk per day enough to keep them healthy and happy. 

Beautiful happy young Bichon Havanese dog


Just like their ancestors who roamed the Cuban capital, Havanese make for great city-dwelling pets because of their compact size and easy-going nature. Friendly and smart, they are also hypoallergenic and do not shed, making them ideal for those who suffer from pet dander allergies. However, the do require routine grooming, as their silky fur can grow quite long.

Shih Tzu Dog Portrait

Shih Tzu

Like its scruffy Havanese cousin, Shih Tzus make for popular apartment pals because they are small, affectionate, and love being lap dogs. Typically great with kids and other pets, Shih Tzus are easy to care for and do not require much exercise. However, they have been known to bark if not properly trained, and will also require routine grooming.

Cute Coton by Tulear dog playing

Coton de Tulear

Ideal for retirees or people with mobility issues, the Coton is a friendly and adaptable breed that is happy hanging out alone or napping on your lap. Known for being exceptionally well-behaved, these shaggy-haired dogs do not bark much — and, despite having long fur, do not shed. They also don't require a lot of exercise, with one or two short daily walks sufficing. 

Little pug in summer park


Pugs — loving, goofy, and a bit mischievous — make excellent apartment pets because they are small and don't require a lot of exercise. However, because of their sensitive skin, they do not adapt well to extreme temperatures, and may be inclined to itch and scratch in the summer. Pugs are also known for their voracious appetites, so be sure to have your pantry well stocked with treats — just don't go overboard, as they are prone to obesity if overfed

Bulldog sleeping

English Bulldog

Despite their stocky muscular frame, English bulldogs are known for being lazy couch loungers. A daily stroll should be enough when it comes to exercise, and you'll appreciate their affectionate and loyal demeanor. But because of their short faces, cities in hot climates typically don't make the best homes for these larger dogs, as they can sometimes suffer from breathing issues.