20 Best Apartment Dog Breeds


I have recently had lots of older friends downsizing to condos and younger friends renting or buying their fist apartments.

They all seem to want a new “furbaby” and have been asking me which dog breed they should get.

We asked community members and experts we work with to help us share some insights.

Should I get a dog if I live downtown in an apartment?

Whether you are living in a condo or a castle, there’s a breed of dog that will match your space, personality, time, budget and lifestyle.You don’t need to live in a huge house with a yard in the suburbs to have a canine companion.  However it is important to choose the right breed and be a responsible pet parent. You need to understand what dogs were bred for and their characteristics. Then you need to give them the mental and physical stimulation they require to set them up for success. Some breeds may surprise you.

 Does Size Matter when it come to Condo Canines?

Obviously a smaller dog fits well in a smaller space. However, size is not always the best indicator of whether a dog will be the right match for you if you live in a condo or apartment. There are high energy small dogs and low energy big dogs. There are noisy dogs that might drive your neighbours crazy.

You probably want a friendly, easy going dog that is not guard and try to eat your neighbour or their dog in the elevator. Maybe you want one that does not drool and shed excessively if you do not have a garden.

Certain dogs, like border collies, were bred for herding and hunting and tend to need more activity, space and stimulation.

Others dogs like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Pugs (like my Rescue Pug Kilo), were bred as companions and love cuddling on a couch. They can be great in small urban spaces.

Not all small breeds are ideal for condo living. Some small breeds are very vocal, which will decrease their popularity with neighbours.

If given the right type and amount of exercise, some large breed dogs like Great Danes may be very docile.  They can be excellent dogs for apartments, as long as you don’t mind sharing your small space with a gentle giant.

Dolce the great dane at audition

Below is a list of breeds that are considered good choices for apartment living. If a breed you favour isn’t listed there, it does not mean that it can not live in an apartment. This list simply covers breeds we considered best suited for apartment life based on their characteristics. Almost any dog can live in an apartment, as long as it gets enough of the right daily exercise and consistent training to keep stimulated.

snoozing bulldog on couch

The key to keeping your dog happy and out of trouble is to provide a constant schedule that includes exercise, training time and social time. No one likes the heartache of coming home to a ripped garbage bag or a chewed chair leg! Checking out different neighbourhoods and having a variety of experiences with your dog will ensure he or she gets the best of indoors and outside. All dog breeds need daily action. Small dogs are not like indoor cats and usually require more than a quick in and out for a bathroom break.

Top 20 List of Best Dogs for Apartments

Click on a dog from our list of best breed for apartment living below and learn more:

Basset Hound

basset hound snoozing

Bichon Frise

TH bishon sheby-paws-up

Boston Terrier

frankie the boston_terrier

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cute King Charles Spaniel puppy


Chihuahua Rescue Harley


Chinese Crested

chinese crested at Woofstock


Welsh Corgi doing agility


Muttely Cyrus Doxie Puppy

English Bulldog

english bulldog at event

French Bulldog

smiling french bulldog

Great Dane



TH greyhound after the track


maltese black and white cute rescue

Miniature Schnauzer



TH Pepper Pom at Global


Pug in a red sweater

Are you sure red’s my colour…

 Shih Tzu

shih tzu

Toy Poodle


Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Choosing a breed

The number one thing to remember is to select a dog that matches your energy level, time and lifestyle.  

Don’t just get a dog because you like the look of one particular breed. Remember, you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover.

Don’t forget to take our fun Dog Breeds Quiz to see who your best match might be for fun!

Use our helpful breed library for information and facts on the tiniest of toy dog breeds to the largest of gentle giant dog breeds.  Talk to a local vet or trainer. Chatting to others with dogs may also help you choose or understand that breed and how well suited it might be to your home.

Be Responsible if you do get a dog

The key to keeping your dog happy and out of trouble is to provide a constant schedule that includes exercise, training time and social time. No one likes the heartache of coming home to a ripped garbage bag or a chewed chair leg! Checking out different neighbourhoods and having a variety of experiences with your dog will ensure he or she gets the best of indoors and outside.

Adopt a Rescue

Once you do your research and find a dog suited to your lifestyle, living arrangement and needs, why not adopt a rescue dog? Most dogs in shelters are there because of poor research done by the owner or circumstances beyond their control. Misinformed owners often end up frustrated and surrender a perfectly great dog. Help a dog in need who deserves a second chance. You both deserve to have the right match. Then try enrolling in some training classes. It will help both of you with the transition and will help you teach your dog the correct condo manners.

Try PetFinder to find a dog near you looking for a forever home!


If you already have a dog and think your dog is best at anything (best walking buddy, best companion, best eater, best scent breed etc), add a comment and/or photo below and I’ll enter you in the Talent Search for the chance to win a $50 VISA Gift Card and a feature of your dog and blog.

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  • We live in a condo, and I do very well… except… I have separation anxiety, so I bark when left alone! Uh-oh.

    Great post!


    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      I’m sure you are wonderful- I don’t blame you for not liking to be left alone. Kilo the Pug barks until he nods off.

  • We have always been frustrated with apartments and hotels allowing only small dogs. Unless you have a very small apartment, a large dog is usually so mellow and doesn’t need much room, they tend to me quieter too. Mom lived in apartments with 80 and 100 lb dogs together and never had a problem. As long as you take them out for exercise, they just hang out in the house and rarely run around or make noise.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      We agree Emma. It is a surprising fact to some people. That’s exactly why we think it is important to talk to people who have lived with different breeds and do your research. Have a great week! We think you are the best scent hound we know by the way.

  • Cathy Connolly 3 years ago

    Really good information for anyone looking for a dog to fit their lifestyle.

  • Great info! I think temperament matters more that size! 🙂

  • Bentley is proud to be a candidate for apartment living. I don’t see where to add a photo, but he is the best at sitting up for a conversation.

  • So TRUE that small dogs are not like indoor cats. We’ve noticed in our temp community many small dogs hardly go out … one reason they bark so much when they see Sugar 🙂 Have a great Monday. Golden Woofs

  • Very interesting! I’m certainly not one to judge, but I’ve wondered if the great dane living a building over (I live in a large apartment complex) would be happy living in an apartment. Good stuff to know.

  • Very helpful information. More people should take this into account before they adopt a dog.

  • Nice and informative post. I see that Mini Schnauzers are on the list. We live in an apartment and Simba does great 🙂

  • In our area it is very difficult to find apartments that allow dogs, of any size. Those landlords that are wise enough to allow them rarely have an empty rental unit! It’s really unfortunate though, because many more allow cats, and cats can be just as destructive as dogs. It’s really discrimination of a sort, I think.

  • You’re so right, researching a do breed before you bring one home is very important! Great choices for good apartment dog breeds. I would also add the sweet gentle Japanese Chin

  • Harley seems to be fine anywhere – as long as were together. Jax on the other hand is questionable. So far at his age he’s seems to need a lot of space. Perhaps it’s just the puppy in him.

  • We had a beagle when we lived in an apartment and she did great. Not a breed I’d normally recommend since they can be howlers, but she was very quiet! (I think because we were on the 11th floor so she couldn’t see what was going on on the street!)

  • Sand spring chesapeakes 3 years ago

    Great post people need to research breeds before jumping in to one whether they live in a apartment or not.

  • Great list for apartment and condo dwellers. I would love to have a Great Dane one day! I wish they had longer lifespans though.

  • We think Golden Retrievers make the perfect pet! This is a really great round up and so important to consider lifestyle and living quarters when getting your perfect pal!

  • Vanessa and Happy 3 years ago

    I have a chorkie. I didn’t do research before buying him but god sent me my soul mate 🙂 He is PERFECT! They are quiet, extremely cuddly, GREAT travel companions. They’re characters are much like children. I love him like a son and nothing can ever take us apart, buddies for life <3

  • Yorkies are pretty good apartment dogs but they still need exercise! Also I don’t think that’s a Maltese?

  • Regular and consistent exercise and training are key. 1 labX & 1 shepX living in condos since adoption going on 7 years with 1 and last 4 years with both. Smallest condo was 485 sqf. Currently in 910 sqf which is huge by comparison. No issues.