10 Small Dog Breeds for Apartments

Most dog breeds thrive well in large open spaces where they can play and run freely. However, some dog breeds can live in small areas since they love cuddling up with people and don’t require plenty of exercises. If you live in small spaces such as apartments, many dog breed choices are suitable for you.

These breeds are usually small-sized dogs, and they have many traits that make them suitable to keep in apartments and tight spaces.

These breeds, for instance, can thrive well with limited outdoor time. Here are some top 10 small dog breeds you can keep in your apartment.


Chihuahua is a small dog breed that comes in two varieties, namely the smooth-haired and long-haired Chihuahua. Chihuahuas make great apartment dogs, thanks to many reasons.

First, it is easy to keep your Chihuahua well-groomed and clean. Notwithstanding their small size, Chihuahuas have a big personalities.

The small size of this breed means it occupies little space, and hence it is suitable for dog lovers with smaller living spaces. Chihuahuas are strong yet mighty. They are easy to exercise, unlike other large dog breeds. You can even exercise your Chihuahua indoors.

Chihuahuas are intelligent and speedy learners. They can be overprotective to their owners whenever other pets and humans are around. Nonetheless, they make fantastic companions to their owners.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog has become a popular indoor dog breed in recent years. French Bulldogs are cute small dog breeds that are distinguished from their happy look and pointy ears. These dogs are easy to maintain and take care of since they don’t shed frequently, unlike most haired breeds. They rarely bark, making them excellent pets to keep in apartments.

French Bulldogs possess an affectionate and upbeat personality, which makes these dogs excellent companions. You can always expect to get plenty of loyalty and affection when living with your French Bulldog in your small apartment.


Pug is another small dog that is suitable for people living in apartments. Pugs are loyal and playful dog breeds. Pugs have scrunched faces that make them distinct from other small dog breeds. Their small size, inactivity, and quietness make pugs great indoor pets, especially for owners living in small apartments.

Pugs are clingy and don’t thrive well alone. These small size dogs thrive well on human companionship. Hence, pugs are suitable small dog breeds for apartment owners who like spending much of their time at home. Pugs have funny personalities, making them great entertainment pets for lonely apartment dwellers.

Pugs are also known for their excellent temperament. They are calm and dignified dogs compared to smaller breeds that people keep in apartments.


Pomeranians might be small in size, but these dogs are energetic and aggressive. They make great pets and companions for anyone who lives in small living spaces such as an apartment. Pomeranian isn’t an overly dependent dog breed.

Pomeranians need a couple of hours outdoors to exercise. Although Pomeranians are barkers, especially when they get agitated or restless, you can train your Pomeranian to bark less often.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise is a small, cute and playful dog. It doesn’t need plenty of room to thrive skillfully, thus making this adorable dog an excellent pet for apartment dwellers. The dog doesn’t bark like most indoor pet dogs, making it a lovely pet dog for city dwellers.

Bichon Frise is a great pet to have for owners with smaller kids owing to their playful nature. They have a similar appearance to poodles. These dogs are easy to train.

However, owners need a lot of time to clean and comb their coats.

Yorkshire terrier

A Yorkshire Terries is a small compact dog that makes a great companion and a worthy addition to small living spaces.  Yorkshire terrier also makes one of the friendliest and cutest dogs. Other than good looks, Yorkshire terriers are brave, clever, energetic, and determined. Due to their small size, Yorkshire terriers are built for apartment dwellers.

They also require less exercise, and they are easy to care for and maintain. These dogs don’t shed much hair like most canine pets, and they are quite affectionate with their owners.

Weighing an average of just 7 pounds, Yorkshire terriers are suitable for anyone searching for a small dog breed to live in their apartment.  They are also portable due to their small size.

Their small size also means that they don’t require vigorous exercise. Your Yorkshire terrier needs to jump up and down a couple of times, and that is enough to keep your dog physically and mentally stimulated.

Yorkshire terriers are excellent therapy dogs, thanks to their affectionate and friendly nature that enables them to revamp the lives of their owners.

Boston terrier

Boston terriers make excellent pet dogs for an apartment dweller. With perky ears, short muzzle, and bulging eyes, Boston terriers are just adorable. These dogs love curling up, and hence your Boston terrier will feel happy and comfortable while cuddling on your laps.

Boston terriers require minimal living space, and therefore they can do well in apartments. While these dogs are known to bark less frequently, there are suitable for deterring burglars who might attempt to break into your apartment when you are away. These dogs are pretty intelligent, and hence you can train your Boston terrier indoors.

Boston terriers express good social behaviors. These dogs are friendly with humans and other pets. They get along well with kids and strangers.  These dogs rarely bark, making them a favorite pet among apartment dwellers in cities where silence is paramount.

Perhaps the most significant advantage of these dogs over other smaller breeds is their long lifespan. Their lifespan can be between 12 to 15 years.


A Dachshund makes a great apartment dog due to its small size, and hence the breed doesn’t need plenty of living space. The dog needs a compact place to play, eat and sleep.  Dachshunds love playing and cuddling, making them perfect companions, especially for kids. These dogs interact well with humans and other pets.

It would be best if you took your Dachshund for a few minutes’ walk daily to maintain its health. The iconic pet dog is a beautiful pet dog for anyone living in apartments, and they won’t mind occasional barking.

Dachshunds are low-maintenance dogs, which perhaps is the most crucial benefit of having this breed in your apartment. These dogs shed less than smaller breeds, which means there will be little messes to clean. You have to groom and comb your Dachshund regularly.

Apart from their ability to fit in apartments and smaller spaces, Dachshunds are incredibly comical.  The funny dogs have antics that keep their owners laughing.  The humorous part makes them favorite companions for senior adults and small kids.

These breeds are also revered for their excellent temperament. They exude a lively personality, and they are very friendly, especially to kids. However, these dogs can be aggressive to strangers, and hence they make excellent watchdogs.


Corgi is cute and lovely.  The small pet dog has a unique long body and short legs.  Corgis make excellent pet dogs for several reasons. These dogs are friendly and personable, making these dogs excellent for apartment dwellers living with roommates or those who frequently get constant visitors.

Corgis are natural herding dogs, and hence they are known to keep watchful eyes on their surroundings. They are fond of taking views from apartment windows.

Corgis’ tiny size helps them fit nicely in apartments. They can thrive well in virtually any tight space. They can even live comfortably in crates, ensuring that your corgi wouldn’t wander around the apartment damaging your valuables. Corgis are nonetheless highly energetic and occasionally like taking walks outdoors.


Small but graceful, Papillion makes one of the best indoor pet dogs, especially among apartment dwellers. Despite its small size, Papillion is quite intelligent hence making the small canine highly trainable. Papillions are happiest when living with their families.

These dogs need daily physical and mental exercises.   They are playful and always eager to please their owners. They are especially great pets for senior adults who need company all the time.

Nonetheless, they don’t like to be lonely, and hence they aren’t suitable for apartment owners that leave their pets alone all day. If you are a busy pet parent, you should consider getting another Papillion to give each other company when you are away.

Most apartment dwellers complain about Papillion’s constant barking behavior. Papillons usually bark when they hear noises. But due to their intelligence, you can train your Papillion to bark when it is only necessary. Generally, Papillons enjoy living in apartments and tight spaces where other larger dog breeds can’t thrive.

Wrap Up

Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t own a pet dog. With all these small dog breeds mentioned here, you will ultimately find a suitable dog that can comfortably fit and live in your apartment.

However, it would help to confirm with the apartment owner whether they allow tenants to bring dogs into the apartment before you get a dog to your place.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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