15 Best Dogs Breeds for Apartments or Condos

dog sitting in living room

Westend61 / Getty Images

If you live in an apartment or condo and you live in a pet-friendly unit, you might debate getting a dog. Many dogs can thrive in small homes, particularly small to medium breeds, although certain large breeds aren't out of the question.


Any dog—regardless of breed—can become bored in a small space, leading to undesirable behaviors. So keep your dog exercised and try puzzle games or toys for mental stimulation.

Breed Characteristics

Dogs that make the best apartment or condo dwellers are breeds that are generally quiet and have low to medium energy. Smaller dogs tend to fit better in these homes, although some toy breeds tend to be yippy breeds and are too noisy for homes that have close neighbors.

Here are 15 of the best dogs for apartments or condominiums.

  • 01 of 15

    Basset Hound

    basset hound dogs for apartments

    Nick Noyas / Getty Images

    The basset hound is typically a low-key dog. The basset is moderately energetic but tends to get less active with age. Most basset hounds enjoy a daily walk but don't need a ton of exercise.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: Up to 15 inches

    Weight: 40 to 65 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat; colors include black, brown, tan, white, red, and lemon

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

  • 02 of 15

    Bichon Frise

    A Bichon Frise on a chair

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    Bichons are a favorite among small-dog enthusiasts. They're typically loyal and happy dogs with a medium energy level. Although many small dogs are known to be yippy barkers, the bichon isn't too noisy. Daily play sessions and walks should be enough to fulfill a bichon's exercise needs.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 9 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches

    Weight: 12 to 18 pounds

    Coat and Color: Alert eyes; soft coat; colors include white, white and apricot, and white and cream

    Life Expectancy: 14 to 15 years

  • 03 of 15


    Bulldog dogs for apartments
    Scott Van Dyke / Getty Images

    Medium-sized bulldogs have a moderate energy level. Regular exercise is necessary, but the breed has a pretty low tolerance for activity. A daily walk or two and some games are usually enough. Bulldogs are generally loyal, jovial companions. They're typically fairly quiet—as long as you don't mind some snoring.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 14 to 15 inches

    Weight: 40 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Color: Straight, short, fine-textured, smooth, and glossy; comes in red, white, fawn, or fallow (pale brown), or any combination of these colors, with or without such patterns and markings as brindle, piebald, ticking, black masks, or black tipping colors include fawn, red, white, brindle, and more

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

  • 04 of 15

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    The cute and serious Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is hunting in his house. The dog wrinkled its muzzle funny and prepared to hunt. Close-up photo.
    Tatsiana Volkava / Getty Images

    The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is typically upbeat and happy-go-lucky, yet calm and gentle. It has a medium energy level, benefitting from daily walks and games. But what it really thrives on is companionship. This dog can be moderately vocal but is generally happy to quietly snuggle on the couch.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 12 to 13 inches

    Weight: 13 to 18 pounds

    Coat and Color: Medium-length, silky coat; colors include black and tan, black and white, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15


    chihuahua dogs for apartments
    Tomoaki Takahashi / Getty Images

    Chihuahuas pack lots of personality into a tiny frame. The breed has a medium to high energy level, requiring daily walks and play, but its petite size means a small apartment is adequate space. Some Chihuahuas can be a bit vocal, especially when they hear potential intruders, but with adequate training you can curb barking.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 5 to 8 inches

    Weight: Up to 6 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth or long coat; most common colors include black, tan, fawn, cream, white, blue, silver, chocolate, and red

    Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

  • 06 of 15

    Chinese Crested

    chinese crested dogs for apartments

    Martine Roch / Getty Images

    The Chinese crested tends to be alert and affectionate, enjoying spending time with its family. Their small size and medium energy level make these dogs another great option for apartments. Despite their delicate appearance, they are strong athletes. Dog sports and puzzle games are ideal to exercise their minds and bodies.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 11 to 13 inches

    Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

    Coat and Color: Fur on head, feet, and tail (hairless); soft, silky coat (powderpuff); colors include black, blue, cream, and more; its hairless body is usually grayish-pink, often with white spots along the chest and belly

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 18 years

  • 07 of 15


    A greyhound on a sofa

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    You might know them for racing, but greyhounds are couch potatoes at heart. Although they enjoy a good run, they don't have enough endurance to need more than daily walks. These dogs tend to be highly affectionate and might loudly complain when left alone. Training for separation anxiety can help.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound (AKC)

    Height: 27 to 30 inches

    Weight: 60 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat; colors include black, blue, fawn, red, white, and brindle

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years

  • 08 of 15


    Maltese dog sitting on bed
    mixetto / Getty Images

    Playful yet gentle, the Maltese is a delight. It only requires basic daily exercise, including a walk or two and playtime. In addition, the breed is less likely to be vocal compared to many other small dogs. It loves nothing more than sitting in your lap and showering you with affection.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 7 to 9 inches

    Weight: Up to 7 pounds

    Coat and Color: White, with a long and silky single-layer coat without an undercoat

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15


    Poodle dogs for apartments

    Teppei Kaku / Getty Images

    Poodles of all sizes (toy, miniature, and standard) can do well in apartments. These dogs are intelligent and have moderate to high energy levels. Some poodles might need extra exercise to keep them happy in a small home. But fortunately, they tend to be disciplined and obedient with proper training.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: Standard: over 15 inches; miniature: 10 to 15 inches; toy: up to 10 inches

    Weight: Standard: 40 to 70 pounds; miniature: 10 to 15 pounds; toy: 4 to 6 pounds

    Coat and Color: Curly, dense coat; colors include white, apricot, black, brown, and gray

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 18 years

  • 10 of 15

    Shih Tzu

    A shih tzu puppy

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    The shih tzu is a happy, affectionate, and playful little dog that only needs basic daily exercise and general training. These dogs tend to become closely bonded with their favorite humans. But if you must leave them at home, they'll likely be happily relaxing while they await your return.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 9 to 10 1/2 inches

    Weight: 9 to 16 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long, flowing coat; colors include black, blue, brindle, gold, liver, silver, red, and more

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 18 years

  • 11 of 15

    Italian Greyhound

    Italian Greyhound
    RAUL RODRIGUEZ / Getty Images

    Italian greyhounds are miniature versions of greyhounds. They have similar qualities in a smaller package, they weigh 10 pounds versus 60 pounds. They are a little more manageable for new dog owners or those who gravitate towards smaller dog breeds. They are loving, cozy cuddlers but still like the occasional chance to go for sprint.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 13 to 15 inches

    Weight: 7 to 14 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short and smooth; comes in grey, black, fawn, chocolate, tan, cream, red, sable, or a combination

    Life Expectancy: 14 to 15 years

  • 12 of 15

    French Bulldog

    French Bulldog Sitting On Sofa At Home
    Jenifer Johnson / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Frenchies are popular in the U.S., but they've been a top dog in the French countryside since the 1800s. These dogs only need a daily brisk walk each day to keep them in shape. These dogs keep quiet too; they rarely bark.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 11 to 13 inches

    Weight: under 28 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, smooth coat in brindle, fawn, white, or combination of brindle and white or fawn and white

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15


    Close-Up Of Dog Lying On Rug
    Lam Ka Yan / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Pugs are content to hang out at home. These love bugs are comical, loving, good-natured, and playful. The pug is a little dog with a big personality, so it is ideal for those who want a compact but active companion dog. The even-tempered demeanor of this breed makes it a good choice for families with children. Beware to not overwork this dog, dogs with a flat face are prone to overheating in extreme temperatures. They are opportunistic eaters, so do not overfeed this breed for fear of this dog getting obese.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 10 to 13 inches

    Weight: 14 to 18 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, short double coat in fawn or black

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

  • 14 of 15


    Havanese dog lying on chair
    Scott Zdon / Getty Images

    This playful, affectionate Cuban dog can thrive in an urban environment, smaller living quarters, or palatial estates. This 10-pound dog can adapt to living almost anywhere. Havanese should get daily exercise, but it does not need a lot of it. These dogs are content to cuddle on your lap or play indoors.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches

    Weight: 7 to 13 pounds

    Coat and Color: Silky straight to very wavy with ringlets; comes in black, silver, white, cream, tan, fawn, gold, sable, and red

    Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

  • 15 of 15

    Boston Terrier

    Boston Terrier dog with head cocked
    Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images

    Boston terriers do not have great exercise requirements, but they do need some mental stimulation, enrichment, and attention. If they feel neglected, they can develop problem behaviors. They should still get at least one or two daily walks and might enjoy a canine agility course. Apartment and city living should be adequate for this breed.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-sporting (AKC)

    Height: 15 to 17 inches

    Weight: 12 to 25 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth, short coat; white muzzle and chest; rest of their body is black, seal, or brindle

    Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years

Breeds to Avoid

If you're on the hunt for a dog breed that can adapt well to apartment living, some dogs don't cut it. Dogs that need a lot of room to run, such as Dalmatians, and herding dogs like German shepherds or Briards, will feel too shut-in and get bored easily. They require a lot of regular exercise and mental stimulation.

Another apartment no-no is an excessive barker or howler, such as a noisy beagle or a Finnish spitz, the king barking dog of the canine world. Finkies have the unique ability to bark up to 160 barks per minute.

Article Sources
The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. How to Keep Pugs, Frenchies, & Other Flat-Faced Breeds From Overheating. American Kennel Club.

  2. Boston Terrier. American Kennel Club.

  3. 7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Finnish Spitz. American Kennel Club