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9 Best Dog Breeds for Small Living Spaces

Can you guess who will pop up on our list of “Best Dog Breeds”?

If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, there are many things you should probably consider first, including the best dog breed for your apartment. We’re not saying that cramped spaces mean you can’t own a pup. But there are a few things to take into consideration first.

Sure, if you want to adopt a large dog like a German Shepherd or a Husky, you’d probably want a space that’s big enough for Fido to roam free. But lucky for dog lovers everywhere, there are plenty of small dog breeds that would be more than happy in an apartment.

So what sets these so-called “best dog breeds for apartments” apart from other canines? Well, many of them are laid back and known for being polite or quiet, which is something your neighbors will thank you for.

But the most important thing when choosing a pup to adopt is selecting a breed that’s right for you and your lifestyle. So according to the American Kennel Club, these 9 adorable breeds adapt the best to small living spaces.

Best Dog Breed
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Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Moderate

Born a natural swimmer, the Barbet is a responsive, lively, and all-around agreeable dog breed. People who live in an apartment can expect a healthy mix of fun indoor games and lots of lounging around with this pup.

Besides that, a few walks a day will be more than enough to keep this breed happy. The Barbet doesn’t shed too much. But occasional grooming will keep this medium dog breed happy.

With a calm nature and easy living, this is one of the best dog breeds to have in an apartment or any small space.

Bichon Frise

Shedding: Low
Barking: Low
Energy: High

Completely charming and hypoallergenic, the Bichon Frise learns commands quickly, and they love just about everyone. Coming in at about 15 pounds, this playful companion won’t take up too much room in your apartment, either.

They’re frequently mistaken for Poodles, but the Bichon Frise is a great family dog, especially for those who suffer from allergies. As a smaller dog breed, this is one of the best dog breeds to tag along with you everywhere you go because they’re so friendly!

They can get pretty sensitive when left alone, though, so you should only consider this breed if you have sufficient time for indoor games, daily walks, and family activities.


Shedding: Low
Barking: Low
Energy: Moderate

Now this is the best dog breed to rename a 10-pound fluffball! Just like their ancestors from Cuba, Havanese dogs excel around people, perfectly content to fool around inside your residence.

It’s practically a new best friend if you want an outgoing pooch with a built-in entertainment system. You can let their silky fur grow long if you have the grooming time or shorten it for a more manageable schedule.

The Havanese tend to stick close to their owner’s side, which is how they got the nickname “velcro dog.” They’re super affectionate towards strangers, dogs, cats, and children. So this is one of the best dog breeds for those who have a big family.

They’re 100% house dogs, so they adapt well to smaller spaces. But they’re at their best if someone’s home during the day to keep them company.


Shedding: Low
Barking: Low
Energy: High

This is another one that’s one of the best breeds to adopt. Here’s what you need to know: They come in three sizes: Standard, Mini, and Toy. The Toy and Miniature poodles are the ones that’d be the perfect choice for you if you live in a tiny apartment.

Poodles are another best dog breed to get because they’re brilliant dogs and are very easy to train. They need regular walks and grooming to stay fit and mentally happy. And the best part is that sharp intelligence and a proud nature give this breed excellent people skills.

Elegant and clever, an active owner is the one who would best suit the needs of this dog breed. And be careful not to spoil or undertrain them. This allows them to think they’re alpha.

Best Dog Breed
Photo by ponpimonsa_bibi at Shutterstock


Shedding: Very Low
Barking: Low
Energy: Moderate

A joker at heart, Pugs are also one of the best dog breeds for apartments because of their size, exercise needs, sense of humor, and watchdog potential. They can be a bit naughty but loving. And pugs make it easy on apartment dwellers if they have a homebody personality.

Just be cautious if you live anywhere with extreme temperatures, and keep those treats in check. This breed’s love of food and couch potato tendencies make them prone to obesity.

They thrive on human companionship and love to be the center of attention. They’ll become heartsick if treated otherwise.

Shih Tzu

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: Low
Energy: Low

Initially bred to live inside Chinese palaces, this breed will settle for your smaller digs quite nicely. And spoiler alert: These caring little guys are particularly great with children and other pups.

Size, adaptability, character, and sociability make the Shih Tzu a perfect fit for our list of the best dog breeds for apartments. So whether you live in the suburbs or the city, this small dog will ALWAYS want to join you for cuddles when you’re in the mood.

And if you want to go out and explore mother nature, don’t worry! This breed is outgoing and loves meet-and-greet with strangers AND friends.

French Bulldog

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Moderate

This breed has recently soared in popularity with urban millennials. But what many don’t realize is that Frenchies were VERY popular back in 18th-century Paris.

A quick daily walk will sufficiently keep them in shape, and they rarely bark, which will even make your neighbors consider them one of the best dog breeds out there.

As an outstanding small-space dog, the French Bulldog loves to play with their owner as much as unwind on the couch. Their focus is mainly on being good family friends. And they thrive on human contact.

Owners of the French Bulldog need to be firm, consistent, and patient with a knack for training. Otherwise, this breed WILL get bored.


Shedding: High
Barking: Low
Energy: Very High

You wouldn’t have guessed that the fastest dog in town would adapt to small apartments, but the truth is that these expert sprinters really just like to lounge around most of the time.

If you simply take them to the dog park daily for a good exercise session, you’ll have yourself a sleepy sweetie while you go on about your business. Another thing that makes this pup one of the best dog breeds to get is that it’s very friendly toward people and other dogs.

And while they’d obviously make great jogging partners, they’re also content with leisurely walks. To bring out its sweet, mild nature, make sure your greyhound gets enough proper socialization, as well.

Best Dog Breed
Photo by bubutu at Shutterstock

Boston Terrier

Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: High

Dubbed “the American gentleman,” the Boston terrier is deserving of its dignified name. This small breed is playful and entertaining yet still small and eager to please. The Boston Terrier is a spunky breed of dog that’s affectionate and gentle.

If you’re looking for something with a much shorter coat, you’ve hit the jackpot with this breed. Small in size, they’re one of the best dog breeds for children and aging adults.

They DO have a tendency to overheat, though. So make sure they’re kept indoors when the scorching summer months begin to take their toll.

Need some help training your new pup? We recommend these yummy dog treats from Amazon!

Do you have any experiences you’d like to share with our readers about dogs and small apartments? Be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments, and let us know what you think about our top picks for the best dog breeds to have in small spaces. 

And if you found this article interesting, you should also check out: 7 WORST Dogs to Have as Pets, According to Vets

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