6 Dogs That Are Perfect For Apartments

Discover the best dogs for apartment living, including small and quiet breeds, low-maintenance dogs, and those that thrive in indoor environments.

Dec 28, 2023By Natasha Elder
dogs good for apartments

For many people (and for many reasons), apartment living is ideal. But for dog owners, it can be a challenge. Challenging, but not impossible. To overcome possible issues like space limitations and noise restrictions, it’s important to choose a breed that is well-suited for apartment living. Let’s take a look at the six best dogs for apartment living and find out what makes these breeds the top choice for apartment-dwelling dog lovers. Spoiler alert: don’t think small spaces automatically equal small breeds!

Bichon Frisé

white bichon frise resting carpet
Image credit: Matt Briney on Unsplash

Let’s start with one of the more obvious choices for apartment living: the BichonFrisé. A fluffy little companion dog, the BichonFrisé is known for having a cheerful, affectionate, and friendly temperament. They are also very trainable and eager to please their owners.

What makes the Bichon Frisé a great dog for apartment living is their small size (they generally stand just nine to 12 inches tall and weigh between 12 to 18 pounds) and low barking level. They don’t need a great deal of exercise and have moderate energy levels, so as long as they get their daily walk, they can do just fine without a garden. The cherry on top is that the BichonFrisé rarely sheds, which not only makes them a brilliant breed for people who live in apartments but also great pets for people with allergies.

Great Danes

huge brindle great dane couch
Image credit: George Pagan on Unsplash

Despite their massive size, Great Danes are some of the best apartment dogs because of their incredible temperaments. They’re known as gentle giants for a reason–– in fact, for several! Great Danes are known for being soft, sensitive, calm, loving, gentle, and reserved. They’re highly trainable and surprisingly low maintenance for their large size.

Great Danes are usually pretty quiet and only bark to alert, which means that your neighbor is not likely to file a noise complaint against you. They are also notorious couch potatoes, although you may want to invest in a dog-only couch if you value your personal space. Because of their great size (they generally stand 30 to 32 inches tall and weigh between 100 to 120 pounds), they won’t be a great fit for super small or studio apartments but are incredibly well-suited to bigger apartments.


black affenpinscher splayed tiled floor
Image credit: My Jian

The list of things the Affenpinscher is known for is a long one. This German dog breed is full of energy, is comically territorial, and has a personality that is frequently described by words like bold, fearless, courageous, and confident. To add to the already long list, Affenpinschers are also a solid breed choice for people who live in apartments.

Affenpinschers are small (usually standing nine to 11.5 inches tall and weighing between seven and 10 pounds), so you won’t need to worry about them taking up too much space. Plus, these dogs have a low-shedding coat, minimal exercise requirements, and are generally quiet – although they are wary of strangers so you might want to keep them away from the windows if you have a street-facing or ground-floor apartment.

Chow Chows

up close white chow chow sofa
Image credit: Lemuel

Another dog breed that is surprisingly well-suited to apartment living is the Chow Chow. In the battle of cats vs dogs, the Chow Chow is a true conversation starter as – though it is very much a canine – it is widely regarded as the cat of the dog world. This beautiful medium-sized dog breed is known for its aloof and reserved personality, cuddly teddy bear-like appearance, and being super clean.

Chow Chows have one of the lowest barking levels of all dogs. They are not vocal at all and are only known to bark in very specific circumstances or if trained to do so. If you have a Chow Chow, your neighbors may not even realize you have a dog at all! Though Chow Chows are on the larger side (typically measuring in at 17 to 20 inches tall and tipping the scales at 50 to 75 pounds), they are very lazy and low energy. Due to their thick fluffy coat, they also struggle with the heat, so a lot of the time, they prefer being indoors where it’s cooler for them.

French Bulldogs

french bulldog chilling sofa lazy
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What list of apartment-friendly dogs would be complete without mentioning the French bulldog? Known for being friendly, playful, affectionate, patient, and alert (on top of being great dogs for families with children), this incredibly popular breed is also a stellar choice for apartment living for a variety of reasons.

French bulldogs are small (normally standing 11 to 13 inches tall and weighing around 16 to 28 pounds) and have low exercise requirements. They are known to be a low-bark breed. Despite not barking a lot, they are very alert and are hyperaware of their surroundings so if your apartment receives a lot of passers-by, your Frenchie may be prompted to bark a little more than they usually would.

Senior Dogs

old golden retreiver resting floor
Image credit: Linoleum Creative Collective on Unsplash

This last dog is not a specific dog breed, but rather a specific dog type: old dogs! There are many reasons to love senior dogs, and one of them is that they make great apartment dogs. Depending on the size and breed of the pooch in question, a dog is usually considered a senior dog when they are between the ages of six and 12 years old.

More often than not, senior dogs are fantastic apartment dogs because they are less likely to exhibit common behavioral issues like chewing up fittings and furnishings. Mature dogs tend to enjoy a slower pace of life, require less exercise, and aren’t prone to bouts of noisy hyperactivity the way younger dogs are.

Natasha Elder
By Natasha Elder

Natasha is a mother, a wife, a writer, and a serial cat owner. Though she is currently in mourning, her heart not ready for another feline family member just yet, she has always lived life with four paws beside her. She loves – you guessed it – cats, as well as creatures of the fluffy, scaly, and finned variety. Natasha longs to meet Sir David Attenborough one day and is passionate about responsible pet ownership