Small Breed Dogs for Apartment Living

Living in an apartment in the city can have countless perks, but one downside that dog people experience is how challenging it can be to adopt their dream puppy. While your landlord may not be okay with bringing a dog to your home, smaller breeds are known to cause less damage, and can easily be raised in a small apartment. In the event that you own your own home and have the liberty to adopt any pet, you still shouldn’t confine a large dog to a small apartment, as this can make your pet feel caged.

So without further ado, here are the best small dog breeds for apartment living.


Although small, Pugs are full of energy and are always in a playful mood. They love spending time with their owners, and they can be very affectionate. If you’re worried about hygiene, Pugs are also great when it comes to keeping your home clean. Despite their energetic nature, they cause very little damage to furniture and are very easy to keep clean. They’re not long-haired dogs, which makes grooming them very easy. However, you may have to pay attention to their facial wrinkles, as you’ll need to clean under the folds regularly.  You can also learn more about how long do pugs live as well.


Unlike their Pug counterparts, Bichons are long-haired dogs and are one of the most popular breeds to keep as apartment pets. However, it’s not grooming that you need to worry about when adopting this breed; Bichon Frise’s energy levels can skyrocket during the day, and it requires lots of exercise and attention. You’ll also want to watch out for its temperament, as it can be quite yappy and aggressive when it experiences fear or separation anxiety. A Bichon is otherwise a lovely pet to keep and can be very loyal and affectionate. If you’re planning to adopt this breed, always look to train it from a young age to be calm around strangers and other animals; otherwise, walking your Bichon will be a drag.

English Bulldogs

While it’s not as small as other breeds, an English bulldog certainly has the personality of a small puppy and is often allowed to live in apartment buildings due to its calm nature. This breed is very people-oriented, is tolerant around other animals, and will never attack any stranger. They’re not as energetic as other breeds, but that’s why they make the perfect apartment pets.

However, an untrained English bulldog can be aggressive around other dogs, if it has been previously trained to be a service pet or a watchdog. Ask the shelter or pet shop if the dog had previous owners to determine whether it needs to be retrained. On the other hand, this breed is considered very low-endurance, which means that you don’t have to have a yard or to walk it as much as you would need to with other dogs.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Small, cuddly, and energetic, this Spaniel breed instinctively loves being around people and other animals, and will always be up for cuddling with its owners. What makes it the perfect indoor breed is not its small size, but its keenness on being within the confines of its territory with its loving owners. They’re very lightweight, and love being carried or walked within familiar areas.

However, while you may not need to worry about this breed attacking smaller furry mammals, they have traditionally been bred to scare away birds, so they may not be the perfect pets if you also look after some birds. When you do walk this breed, it’s essential to buy a well-fitting leash, as they’re also notorious for running off to chase flying creatures.

Boston Terriers

If you’re looking for a dog with an adorable goofy personality and relatively low energy levels, Boston Terriers should be your go-to. Despite their small size, they tend to be very protective of their owners, especially if you have children. If you own other pets or have kids, your terrier will smoothly blend in.

But the downside is that they can be quite protective of their household members. So while they can be friendly with your guests, they may launch an attack, if untrained, in the event that your guest tries to interact with your other pets or your children.

When looking for the perfect dog breed for apartment living, it’s important to keep an eye out on temperament. Dogs like Bichons may require some extra training when they’re young otherwise, you may have to deal with uncontrollable aggressive behavior as they grow older. On the other hand, if you’re looking to raise a low-maintenance breed, you can opt for an English Bulldog or a pug.