What Are the Best Breeds of Dogs for Apartment Living with Limited Space?

Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you have to give up on the dream of owning a dog. With an array of breeds known for their adaptability to confined spaces, you can find a new four-legged friend to share your home with. The key is understanding which breeds best fit into apartment living. Dogs are not just sorted by size but also by their energy level, exercise needs, and training adaptability. A small dog might seem like the obvious choice for small spaces, but some small breeds can have high energy levels that don’t mix well with apartment living. On the other hand, some medium dogs may have a lower energy level and be perfectly content in an apartment. This article will guide you through the best breeds of dogs for apartments and what you need to consider when choosing your pet.

The Best Small Dog Breeds for Apartments

While size isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a breed for apartment living, it’s often the first one people think of. Let’s explore some small breeds that are known for thriving in apartments.

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Bichon Frise

This fluffy white breed has a cheerful disposition that will brighten your home. They are small but sturdy, only weighing between 10 to 20 pounds. Bichons don’t shed much which is a bonus for keeping your apartment clean. Their energy level is moderate, meaning they will be up for a walk around the block, but also content with a good cuddle on the couch.

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs, or "Frenchies" as they are affectionately known, are popular apartment dwellers. They have a low to moderate energy level and require minimal exercise. This breed is known for its love of human companionship. They won’t mind being cooped up in an apartment as long as they are with you.

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Boston Terrier

Don’t let the terrier in their name fool you, Boston Terriers are nothing like their high-energy terrier cousins. These dogs are known for being good-natured and easygoing. They don’t require much exercise and they will gladly spend their time lounging around the apartment with you.

The Best Medium Dog Breeds for Apartments

Don’t assume that medium-sized dogs are out of the question for apartment living. Here are some medium-sized breeds that can thrive in smaller spaces.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Despite their royal name, these dogs are down-to-earth and adapt well to various living situations, including apartments. Cavaliers have a moderate energy level. They enjoy a good play session but will also happily curl up for an afternoon nap.


Not to be confused with their French cousins, Bulldogs are a larger breed, but they are well-suited to apartment living. They have a low energy level and are known for their love of lounging. Bulldogs don’t require much exercise, and they’ll be more than happy to spend most of their time relaxing with you in your apartment.

Shih Tzu

Originating from China, these dogs were bred to be companions. Shih Tzus are friendly and adaptable, making them great pets for apartment dwellers. They have a low to moderate energy level and enjoy short walks and play sessions.

Low Energy Breeds and Exercise Needs

While considering the size of a dog breed for apartment living, it’s also important to consider the dog’s energy level and exercise needs. A high-energy dog, regardless of its size, might not be the best fit for an apartment unless you’re able to provide them with enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Dogs such as the Bichon Frise, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bulldog, and Shih Tzu are all known for having lower energy levels, making them great companions for apartment living. These breeds are content with short walks and play sessions, making them ideal for living in apartments.

Training and Adaptability in Apartment Dogs

In addition to size, energy level, and exercise needs, the dog’s ability to adapt to apartment living and training also plays a huge role in determining if a breed is suitable for apartment living. Dogs that are flexible and can adapt to different situations tend to do well in apartments.

Breeds like French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus are known for their adaptability. They can easily adjust to their owners’ schedules and are usually fine being left alone for longer periods during the day.

Meanwhile, breeds like the Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are known for being easy to train. This can be a huge advantage in an apartment where you don’t want your dog barking excessively at neighbors passing by your door or not being housebroken.

Choosing the right breed for apartment living may require some extra research, but it’s worth it to find the perfect companion to share your space with. Whatever breed you choose, remember that every dog is an individual. The key is to find a dog whose energy level, exercise requirement, and temperament match your lifestyle.

Best Large Dog Breeds for Apartments

While small and medium-sized breeds are often recommended for apartment living, some large breeds also adapt surprisingly well to smaller spaces. Let’s delve into some large breeds that can comfortably live within the confines of an apartment.


Contrary to what many assume, Greyhounds, known as the Ferraris of the dog world, can actually make excellent apartment dogs. Despite their ability to reach high speeds, they have a surprisingly low energy level and are often called "45-mph couch potatoes." They enjoy lounging around and don’t require excessive exercise, making them a wonderful fit for apartment living.

Great Dane

Great Danes are another large breed that can thrive in an apartment. Despite their imposing size, they have a moderate energy level and are known for being gentle giants. They love to relax and are quite low-energy indoors. However, they do require regular walks to maintain a healthy weight.


Another gentle giant, Mastiffs, are well-suited for apartment living due to their low energy level. They are peaceful, loving, and adore being with their family. They are known for their extreme loyalty and protective instinct. Due to their massive size, they need to be trained from an early age to ensure they are respectful and gentle in the apartment.


Choosing the right dog breed for apartment living is a crucial step towards ensuring a harmonious living arrangement. It’s essential to consider factors like the dog’s size, energy level, exercise needs, and adaptability to living in confined spaces. Breeds like the Bichon Frise, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Greyhound, Great Dane, and Mastiff have proven to be some of the best dogs for apartment living.

However, it’s crucial to remember that individual personality and temperament can vary greatly within a breed, and training plays a significant role in how well a dog adapts to apartment living. Ensure proper training and provide ample mental and physical stimulation to keep your dog happy and healthy.

In conclusion, there are numerous breeds, from small to large, that can adapt to life in an apartment. The key is to find a dog that matches your lifestyle and energy level. So, don’t be disheartened by the limitations of apartment living. There’s a four-legged friend out there that will be more than happy to share your apartment with you.

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