44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living

Small dog breed owners are on the rise as apartment living has been more popular than ever. A 2016 Census of Population found that 10% of Australians (2,348,434) live in apartments. This totals 1,214,372 occupied apartments, with nearly half (47%) residing in NSW. There is now 1 occupied apartment to every 5 houses in Australia, compared to 1 every 7 houses in 1991.

While Australians are taking up apartment living, dogs have become the most common Aussie pet. So common, in fact, there’s 1 dog per 5 people, with a total estimation of 4.8 million dogs in Australia.

Most owners will know how hard it can be when choosing the perfect dog breed as there are countless cute breeds of dogs. However, choosing the best dog breeds for apartments can be made easy with the right information. When choosing a good apartment dog, there is much more to consider than simply browsing the smallest dog breeds. Dog shedding, barking and energy requirements are critical factors to look over before you commit.

To make things simple, we have prepared an extensive guide for apartment dwellers and dog lovers alike. So sit, stay, and check out our list of the 44 best dog breeds for apartment living.

Title 44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Affenpinscher2

1. Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher is a feisty smart breed full of character and energy. They are an ideal dog for apartment living, although there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Difficult to housetrain. Having access to a backyard or dog park will be essential to keep this excitable breed healthy.
  • Socialisation with other dogs and humans in a must! Inviting friends over, going for walks and visiting dog-friendly cafes is recommended.
  • Training needs to be early and consistent. Puppy schools are a go-to for some.
  • Not your favoured breed if you have children and toddlers.

A quick learner, the Affenpinscher adjusts readily to change and gets along well with other dogs and cats. However, they dislike rodent pets such as hamsters and ferrets.

Shedding: Very Low
Barking: Mod to Low
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - American Eskimo Dog

2. American Eskimo Dog

Lucky for apartment goers, this breed isn’t suited for life in the backyard. The American Eskimo Dog is an intelligent dog breed that thrives in family activities – great with kids! To ensure your Eskie lives a happy and healthy life, follow these recommendations:

  • Do not leave them alone for long periods.
  • The Eskie excels in brain activities. Be sure to train them from a young age in agility, tricks and obedience or suffer him outsmarting you!
  • Eskies like to announce when strangers come and go. Distraction techniques and training will help with this.

An all-round good apartment dog, do not trust them with small pets – instinct may take over!

Shedding: Very High
Barking: Mod to High
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - American Hairless Terrier

3. American Hairless Terrier

The American Hairless is a through and through house pet, coming in both coated and hairless varieties. Protective of their pack leaders, this small dog breed makes for a great watchdog. Both types of breed barely shed, so a once-a-week light brush is plenty! The AHT needs exposure to people and dogs between 7 weeks and 4 months to grow into a good apartment dog. Puppy school is a great choice. Daily walks with some extra play inside is enough exercise for this small breed.

Shedding: Very Low
Barking: Low
Energy: Moderate

4 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Australian Terrier

4. Australian Terrier

If your apartment is upbeat and active, the Australian Terrier is the perfect clown-like dog for you. Nicknamed the ‘bossy’, this cute breed of dog is happiest when part of family life. The bossy has such respect and attachment for its human, it will match their moods. To keep your Aussie Terrier from chewing and ripping your apartment to pieces, exercise several times a day and never, ever, let him get bored. Dog and child friendly, but not guaranteed – ensure supervision. If you’re the proactive type, the bossy is an entertaining and fun dog for your apartment.

Shedding: Very Low
Barking: Very High
Energy: Very High

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Liv

5. Barbet

Born a true swimmer, the barbet is a joyful, responsive and agreeable cute dog breed. Apartment goers can expect a mix of lounging around and fun puzzling indoor games. Additionally, several walks a day will keep the barbet happy. The Barbet doesn’t shed much, but occasional grooming will keep this small dog breed happy. For more details on grooming, view here. Calm natures and easy living, the Barbet can be up with the best dog breeds for apartments.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Moderate

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - basenji

6. Basenji

The Basenji, an extremely unique breed for devoted owners. I only recommend you get a Basenji if you meet the following:

  • Willing to learn and invest lots of time in taming this breed.
  • Do not own other pets.
  • Appreciate the flaws of this breed.

The Basenji is one of the manipulative types and is renowned as an escape artist. If not exercised enough, they can get highly destructive. If you do wish to invite this breed into your apartment, be sure to keep possessions off the ground as anything found is anything chewed!

Shedding: Very Low
Barking: Mod to High
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Basset Fauve de Bretagne

7. Basset Fauve de Bretagne

No matter your household type – small or large, the Basset is a good apartment dog if none of your troops have allergies. Friendly and active, take them for an hour walk daily with some extra games in the mix. Their small size makes them some of the best dog breeds for apartments. If your apartment is the warmer type, cut their hair accordingly.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Low
Energy: High

44 Best Dod Breeds for Apartment Living - Basset Hound

8. Basset Hound

If you’re after a laid back family friend that is kid-friendly, look no further than the Basset Hound. This cute dog breed is relatively easy to take care of and is somewhat lazy so grab a comfy bed. One thing to consider is their potential to drool. This good apartment dog has great endurance, so long walks once a day is enough exercise. They’re a big dog on little legs and can be quite heavy to carry – food for thought if you have stairs.

Shedding: High
Barking: High
Energy: Low

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Bedlington Terrier

9. Bedlington Terrier

The next best thing from a pet lamb is the Bedlington Terrier. Obvious from its appearance, the lamblike dog breed is the centre of attention in your household. Also, relative if you’re a one-man-band. This dog is a small to medium apartment dog and can create some household maintenance. Keys to making a smooth upbringing in your apartment include:

  • Early socialisation with pets.
  • Moderate exercise and mental stimulation. Jogging, walks, fetch and hikes – this dog breed will match your speed.
  • Regular grooming

Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Bichon Frise

10. Bichon Frise

Often mistaken as a Poodle, the Bichon Frise is a great family dog recommended for those with allergies. As a small dog breed, they make good apartment dogs and get along with additional animals and people. The BF gets sensitive when left alone, so only consider this breed if you have time for daily walks, indoor games and family activities.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Low
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Biewer Terrier

11. Biewer Terrier

If playful, energetic and fun is you, look into the Biewer Terrier. Pronounced ‘beaver’, this cute breed of dogs are suited to those without backyards – great for apartments! They’re also highly adaptable to most living situations benefiting those who apartment hop. This breed is quite yappy at times, especially with strangers lurking about. Socialisation in puppy-hood can help.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Bolognese

12. Bolognese

The Bolognese is one for the consistent and patient type. A true companion dog and family lover, but also manipulative. Your apartment may be off to a messy start as housetraining is difficult, however, stick to your guns and you’ll have a best buddy for life.

Shedding: Low
Barking: High
Energy: Moderate

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Border Terrior

13. Border Terrier

If you’re an active family, you’ll love the Border Terrier. Born with a powerful drive to dig and hunt, this small breed of dogs are determined, energetic, friendly and loving. Make sure to spend as much time together as they revert to destructive and noisy behaviours when left alone.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: Very Low
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Boston Terrier

14. Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a spunky breed of dog that is gentle and affectionate. Small in size, they make good apartment dogs for children and the elderly. They have a tendency to overheat, so ensure they’re kept indoors in temperate climates.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Brussels Griffon

15. Brussels Griffon

A lively and affectionate breed, the Brussels Griffon is a good active apartment dog with a great sense of humour. Sensitive and high-strung, you’ll find the Griffons tend to bond closely with one member. They usually get along with other pets but can become fear biters if trained roughly.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: High
Energy: Very High

16. Bulldog

The Bulldog is one of the more popular dog breeds for apartments. This breed suits the easy-going family with young kids. Brief walks and a nap in their master’s lap is this breeds speed. However, monitor their food intake as they can be lazy and become overweight.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: High
Energy: Low

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Cairn Terrier

17. Cairn Terrier

A sensible & friendly breed the Cairn Terrier needs to be with his family, ranking as one of the best dog breeds for apartments. Curious and quick to learn, this cute breed of dogs need to know who’s the leader, or will take lead! This pet is for anyone who wants an alert and independent dog with a take-charge persona on life.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: High
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Cardigan Welsh Corgi

18. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is more or less a watchdog with a friendly expression. Perfect for those with potential unwanted strangers around your space. Consider the following:

  • Need to prepare structured daily exercise.
  • Socialisation to as many things at a young age.
  • Food intake monitoring.
  • Quiet command to prevent angry neighbours.

Shedding: High
Barking: High
Energy: Moderate

44 Best Dod Breeds for Apartment Living - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

19. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

An athletic breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be some of the best apartment dogs. They’re very attached to their people, so much you may find them following you everywhere! This cute breed of dog is eager to meet everybody – great for popular apartments. This one is for the hikers, runners, beachgoers and dog sport enthusiasts.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Moderate

44 Best Dod Breeds for Apartment Living - Cesky Terrier

20. Cesky Terrier

The Cesky Terrier is a great apartment dog to add to your family. Expect weekly brushing and clipping every six to eight weeks. A successful therapy dog, the Cesky only needs moderate amounts of exercise.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Low

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Chihauhau

21. Chihuahua

Larger-than-life, the Chihuahua loves nothing more than being with people. One of the smallest dog breeds, the Chihuahua is amongst the top ten watchdogs recommended by experts. Set aside 20-30 minutes of exercise each day for this curious explorer. A good apartment dog and wonderful travel companion, the Chihuahua can’t be left unattended.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Moderate

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Chinese Crested

22. Chinese Crested

If you’re after a quiet apartment dog, the Chinese Crested is not for you. Destructive and noisy behaviours are a result of separation anxiety – be sure to spend lots of time with this breed. Highly intelligent, the Chinese Crested can almost read your mind and is likely to lay in your bed for hours. Unless trained from a young age, this wonderful family dog is likely to bite strangers.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Low

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Cocker Spaniel

23. Cocker Spaniel

Trustworthy, gentle and loving, the Cocker Spaniel loves to please his humans. Their small size makes them good apartment dogs with children, pets and the elderly. An excellent therapy dog, quiet commands are recommended to control their barking habits.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: Moderate
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - French Bulldog

24. French Bulldog

An exceptional apartment dog, the Frenchie loves to play as much as relaxing on the sofa. His focus is on being a fantastic family friend, thriving on human contact. Owners of the French Bulldog need to be consistent, firm and patient with a creative flair in training, otherwise, he will get bored.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Moderate

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Coton De Tulear

25. Coton De Tulear

Bred to be a human companion, this small dog breed is best suited to retiree’s, empty nesters or the worker from home. Always ready for a good time, the Coton De Tulear is a flexible traveller and will adapt to your needs. He is great for walks, and inside games will easily satisfy his exercise needs.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Low
Energy: Moderate

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Liv

26. Dachshund

An excellent family companion, the Dachshund has been close to the top of the most popular dogs since the ’50s. Their small size and ease of care make them some of the best dogs for apartment living. Active indoors and out, this cute dog breed loves to be close with his humans.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: Very High
Energy: Moderate

44 Best Dog Breeds For Apartment Living - Havanese

27. Havanese

The Havanese is one to stick close to his owner’s side, hence the nickname ‘velcro dog’. Super affectionate towards dogs, strangers, cats and children, the velcro dog is a good addition to the family. A 100% house dog, they adapt well in apartments. Versatile and wonderful, they do best if someone’s home during the day to keep company.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Low
Energy: Moderate

Greyhound

28. Greyhound

One would think the Greyhounds favourite task is running when really, all they love to do is sleep. With many royal fans, this good apartment dog is friendly towards people and dogs. They are obviously great jogging/running partners, but are also satisfied with walks. Ensure your greyhound gets socialisation to bring out their sweet, mild nature.

Shedding: High
Barking: Low
Energy: Very High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Japanese Chin

29. Japanese Chin

Small breeds of dog like the Japanese Chin are not suited to outdoor living and fenced yards, making them good apartment dogs. A cat-like nature defines this breed’s desire to climb things and get high up in his living space. With all the qualities of a companion dog, the Japanese Chin benefits those who cannot get around easily and families with older children. Intelligent and well-mannered, he enjoys a daily walk or play-session.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Low

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Lhasa Aspo

30. Lhasa Apso

If you’re after a loyal family companion, the Lhasa Apso is a great choice. Although not entirely a kid dog, the mischievous and sturdy small dog breed enjoys sharing life with family. To ensure a successful addition to your family you must think carefully about:

  • Early socialisation and training.
  • Emphasis on dental care.
  • Frequent grooming or becoming friends with a professional.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: High
Energy: High

4 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Lowchen

31. Lowchen

Considered one of the toy dog breeds, the Lowchen is playful, gentle, robust and energetic – perfect for adults and kids alike. This breed is easy going, getting along with most pets and fitting into any apartment with dogs. Small breeds of dogs with big personalities like the Lowchen strive when with their people. Allow 20 minutes a day to exercise this breed with emphasis on quiet command training.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: High
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Maltese

32. Maltese

Gentle and fearless, the Maltese is devoted to his people. So much they require a lot of human attention. Quick learners when rewarded for their efforts, this cute breed of dog excels as a companion and therapy dog. I do not recommend this dog for:

  • Owners who work long hours.
  • Families with toddlers or small children.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Low
Energy: Moderate

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Manchester Terrier

33. Manchester Terrier

A lover of long walks, the Manchester Terrier is a terrific watchdog. Loyal, hearty and eager to learn, try to avoid separation anxiety. This will lead to noisy behaviours in a breed that is already known to be vocal. Exercise and training are great prevention tools! As the Manchester Terrier is sensitive, they’re unsuitable for children families.

Shedding: Low
Barking: High
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Miniature Pinscher

34. Miniature Pinscher

A skilled escape artist and dynamite personality bring a new meaning to independence – this breed is his own dog. Fearless and energetic, the Miniature Pinscher can be quite the handful. Qualities of a strong pack leader, correct training and handling will prevent this small breed of dog from becoming a tyrant in your apartment. Not a good choice for first-time owners.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Very Low
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Pekingese

35. Pekingese

If you’re willing to make room for a truly individual personality, the Pekingese may be for you. Well aware of his ancestral royalty he will greet you with dignity and pride, demanding that respect in turn. Very loving and affectionate with their family, this small dog breed likes to think they’re in charge of everything. A self-important attitude can make training difficult – don’t be harsh. For the right owners, they make some of the best dogs for apartment living.

Shedding: High
Barking: High
Energy: Low

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Pomeranian

36. Pomeranian

Cute breeds of dogs like the Pomeranian have much more to offer than their fluffy appearance. Compact and active, this breed is a loyal family friend best suited to the elder or busy owner. They enjoy long walks, meeting people and sightseeing.

Shedding: High
Barking: Very High
Energy: Moderate

37. Poodle

Keen intelligence and a proud nature give the Poodle great people skills. Elegant and clever, active owners best suit the needs of this small dog breed. Be careful not to spoil or undertrain, this will allow them to think they’re alpha.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Low
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Pug

38. Pug

A clown at heart, Pugs are amongst the best dog breeds for apartments due to size, sense of humour, exercise needs and watchdog potential. Thriving on human companionship, the Pug loves to be centre of attention and is heartsick if otherwise. If you’re into pug-parades, pug dress ups and pug get-togethers, you’ve found the best apartment dog.

Shedding: Very Low
Barking: Low
Energy: Moderate

39. Schipperke

If your apartment complex has strict noise rules, maybe wise to consider another breed. Nicknamed the LBD, (little black devil) the Schipperke is a patrol dog destroying mice and other vermin in his way. Easily lead to trouble by his curiosity, this breed of dogs do well when given a job to do. If well trained and attended to, he’ll be forever well-behaved. Set aside at least 30 minutes a day to burn off excess energy.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: High
Energy: Very High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Shiba Inu

40. Shiba Inu

If socialised well and not harshly treated, the Shiba Inu is a good family dog with a spirited personality. Keeping them in a fenced and enclosed area is essential – good apartment dogs. Bold and fiery, this breed is generally suspicious on strangers and loves a chase – ensure you have a durable dog leash! Training should start early to develop proper canine manners. First-time owners may get frustrated with this breed. Work with a trainer who understands this breed for best results.

Shedding: High
Barking: High
Energy: High

41. Shih Tzu

Size, personality, adaptability and friendliness make the Shih Tzu the best dog breeds for apartments. Whether you’re in the city or suburbs, this small dog breed will join you for couch cuddles every time. If you have children and pets, do not worry! This breed is outgoing and loves a meet and greet with friends and strangers.

Shedding: Moderate
Barking: Low
Energy: Low

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Silky Terrier

42. Silky Terrier

Small breeds of dogs like the Silky Terrier can add a lot of love and spice for the right owner. They’re happiest when they can spend all day in your company. This breed is a terrier however, and terrier traits must be considered:

  • Digging.
  • Barking.
  • Chasing.

To avoid unwanted habits, ensure to keep up daily mental and physical exercise.

Shedding: Low
Barking: High
Energy: High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Toy Fox Terrier

43. Toy Fox Terrier

The Toy Fox Terrier is a loyal and loving dog breed ready to amuse their family. A devoted companion, they’re extremely protective of their humans. If you need someone to cuddle and binge-watch Netflix, this breed is for you. A good apartment dog is a house trained dog, and the Toy Fox Terrier house trains really well.

Shedding: High
Barking: High
Energy: Very High

44 Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living - Yorkshire Terrier

44. Yorkshire Terrier

If you’re a dog orientated family, the Yorkshire terrier will do well in your care. Lots of attention is needed with this feisty yet loving breed. They do well in apartments, just make sure to get out for some exercise each day. They can be aggressive with strangers and dogs so make sure to socialise and train them from young.

Shedding: Low
Barking: Moderate
Energy: Very High

With thousands of breeds walking among us, I hope this has shed some light on the best dog breeds for apartment living. For more insight on raising dogs in your apartment, visit 8 Must Know Tips For Living In An Apartment With Dogs

This is a guest post from Sean Mulcahy.

General FAQ

Can a dog live in an apartment?

Various breeds and sizes of dogs are perfectly comfortable with apartment living. However, you as the tenant should be mindful of the dog's needs and your neighbours' needs as well.

Which dog is best for apartment living?

Some of the best dog breeds for apartment living are Affenpinscher, American Eskimo Dog, Australian Terrier, Barbet, Pug, Bichon Frise, and others.

Are boxers good dogs for apartment?

Boxers are fairly active dogs and they can be occasionally high-maintenance. There are a wide number of other breeds that are better suited for apartment living. All this said, you can still own and raise a boxer inside an apartment, presuming you give it plenty of exercise.