If you live in an apartment or condo, this should be a factor you consider when adopting a dog: will your new family member be happy in close quarters?
Contrary to popular belief, the most important factor is not the size or breed of the dog, but the dog’s energy and your ability to ensure that its needs are met. Can you provide daily exercise and adequate physical and mental challenges? Will the dog live under rules, boundaries, and limitations with a calm and assertive Pack Leader?
In general, lower energy dogs, independent of breed, can adapt more easily to small spaces. But with that being said, there are certain breeds — and mixes — that are more likely to do well with apartment living.
- Yorkshire terrier
This breed has two particular traits that make them great for apartment living: they are small in size and pretty quiet. Typically, Yorkshire terriers are also social with other people and animals, so they’ll also adapt well to your neighbors and their companions.
Pugs are known for their cute face wrinkles and spunky personalities, but they are also adept at making friends — especially with children — and comfortable in close quarters.
- English bulldog
Not a fan of very small dogs? This medium-sized breed is a bit bigger but still comfortable living in a smaller space. They are typically low to medium energy, so they don’t mind lounging on the couch after their daily walk — though you will have to deal with the slobber!
- Chinese crested
This breed tends to win the World’s Ugliest Dog title year after year because of their unique (and often strange) hairless look. But don’t let that deter you! They are typically very affectionate with family members, but less certain around strangers.
While Chihuahuas are typically active, it can be easier to tire them out since they are very small. Chihuahuas also enjoy the company of others in their breed, so why not adopt more than one? But beware of one common problem behavior with this breed that can cause problems with apartment living: excessive barking.
- Shih Tzu
This breed usually isn’t high energy, so it’s easier to meet their exercise needs with apartment living. However, you are committing to regular grooming, most likely from a professional, to care for their hair.
- Great Dane
This suggestion may seem crazy — after all, Great Danes are huge! But they are also typically calm, quiet, and low energy. So if you’re willing to sacrifice the room on your sofa, they can be a great apartment companion.
- Bichon Frise
Small and quiet, these puffy cuties are often chosen as apartment companions — but there is one important caveat: they are often high energy. However, if you’re high energy yourself, taking frequent hikes and trips to the dog park, you’ll be a good match.
This breed’s name comes from the French word for butterfly, because of their fringed ears that look like a butterfly’s wings. They’re small and won’t take up too much room in your apartment, but they are high energy, requiring physical and mental challenges to stay balanced.
- Boston terrier
Another quiet breed, these terriers are typically small-sized with medium energy. They also have active minds, so they may require more mental challenges to avoid problem behaviors.
These are some of the best dog breeds for apartments, but the list isn’t exhaustive and doesn’t take into account mixed breeds, which can often be a great fit. Want to know which breeds are best to avoid? While there are no hard and fast rules, hunting and working breeds require more physical activity and mental challenges, which often makes apartment living harder for them. Dalmatians in particular are notoriously high-energy dogs that don’t do well in small apartments.
Remember, every dog — no matter how small or low energy — needs a daily walk. Also, dogs need an opportunity to relieve themselves about every four hours, so if you are unable to get your dog out of the house that often, train your dog to relieve themselves in a designated area of the apartment, like a litter box or an outdoor balcony.