Best 10 Dogs For Apartments – Plus Complete Guide

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Many people who live in small houses or apartments are under the misconception that they can’t have a dog in their lives. This is simply not the case. If anything, you may even find more time to get them out and about, than someone who has a big yard or a garden.

If you are going to provide a good life for a hound by keeping them happy, healthy and cared for, it doesn’t matter what space you live in. It is not cruel to keep dogs in small houses or apartments as long as you are a responsible owner.

So, if you’ve ever wondered, “can I keep a dog in an apartment?”, the answer is, yes!

This guide will help you with the things you need to consider, before you bring a dog into your apartment.

Do You Need Permission From A Landlord?

You’d be surprised how many pets end up in shelters because the landlord said, “no”! 

I can’t think of anything more heartbreaking for you or your dog, if you have to find another home, or surrender them to a shelter. Please check first.

Pomeranian with handbag

Need To Consider Neighbors?

Living in close proximity to other people can be challenging at the best of times. We are all affected by what our neighbors do, and how they live their lives. 

Some people are terrified by dogs, even small ones. If there’s a chance that your neighbors will be in close proximity to your dog at any time, it may be a good idea to let them know your plans.

If you live in an apartment building, getting a wet and muddy dog home after a walk can be tricky. You may need to carry a towel with you to rub your hound down before you go into the building.

What will you do with poop bags? Is there a disposal bin outside? Will you have to store them in your apartment till rubbish collection day?

Training may be required if your dog barks or howls for no reason, or suffers from separation anxiety. This article will help you learn about ways to deal with anxiety in dogs.

It’s always good to have these details worked out in advance. With consideration on your part, your neighbors will probably enjoy your dog as much as you! And it’s always good to have dog-sitters nearby.

Space For The Hound

How much room is there for your prospective dog, and their bed, toys, coat, leash and bowls? Dogs love knowing where their particular spot is in the home. Their bed is their castle, and they need one to feel a sense of place and belonging. Dogs require appropriate sized beds. Is there room for one, without tripping you up? 

The water bowl should be available to them 24/7. Where will that go? It’s just as important to keep yourself safe as it is to look after the needs of your best mate.


Establishing a Routine

Dogs feel safe and secure with a routine. They are extremely habitual. My dog knows when it’s time for me to get home from work. She stands at the window from 5.25pm, every day.

Apartment dogs need their outings to be regular and timely. They need a good walk every day, plus a couple of toilet trips as well. Routine play-times are something they’ll start to anticipate, too.

Indoor Games With Your Dog

Dogs without a yard or garden will benefit from some indoor activities. There are lots of ways to keep them entertained with daily play-times. Fetch, ball-chase and tugging games are all easy things for you to provide, that they love to do. For the most part, they just adore being with you, no matter what you’re doing. 

This article will help you discover some great activities for indoor exercise.

Where To Find Your New Dog

There are so many wonderful dogs in animal shelters, just waiting for their forever home. Always consider adoption if possible. This article will give you all the information and help you will need, if you decide to adopt.

If you want to go and buy a dog from a breeder, make sure they are reputable. Please, never buy from a puppy mill. They are cruel, inhumane establishments that can only survive because people buy from them.

What Are The Best Breeds Of Dogs For Apartments?

I’ve done a lot of reading about the various breeds that are recommended for apartment living. You have to keep in mind that all dogs are trainable, so may be suitable despite their particular breed. The temperaments of specific dogs come into play. The age of a dog is also important. Older, or dogs with health issues may not need as much exercise. Having said that, here’s my round-up of the most appropriate dogs, based on my research.

Mutt (mixed breed)


These are probably the most common dogs available, and definitely obtainable in abundance at shelters. Mutts are no less of a dog, just because they don’t fit a standard. They often have wonderful temperaments and good health, simply because they haven’t been bred from the same pedigree line repeatedly. It’s often hard to tell what the mixes are. They may be a few breeds, all in one. 

The trick is to spend some time with a dog before you commit. You’ll get a feel for them, and you can always stipulate a week’s trial period if you’re not sure.

Basset Hound


These distinctive dogs have long, droopy ears, short legs and beautiful eyes. Bassets are a popular choice for apartment life, due to their very laid-back nature. They are very loyal, and will happily spend time in the house with you.



Despite their amazing speed and hunting history, these gentle dogs are well suited for domestic life. They are graceful, elegant and quite happy to stretch out on your sofa. Beware though, if you (or your neighbors) have a cat, you will need to make sure your new dog is feline friendly.

Yorkshire Terrier


Yorkies are extremely popular little terriers. Originally bred in Northern England for catching rats, they are now universally accepted as a lapdog. They are certainly spirited little dogs, and will keep you amused with their cheerful nature.



These little dogs are perfect for apartment life. Chihuahuas love being a lapdog. They are loyal and happy companions. Not good for small children due to their tiny size, and don’t tolerate cold conditions for the same reason.



Both the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi have very similar temperaments. They are easy to train, joyful and loyal. The royal family of Great Britain are regularly seen with their corgis, so palace life definitely suits these hardy little dogs.



These easy-going hounds make the ideal house dog. Pugs are an extremely popular breed. Their happy, mischievous nature and adorable facial expressions make them great company for anyone. They will gladly sit around the house as long as you let them, so apartments are great for Pugs.



Famously amusing, these dogs are the perfect companion. Self-assured and robust, the Affenpinscher is a fearless friend, well suited to apartment life.

Bichon Frise


The Bichon has a hypoallergenic coat, so if you have allergies and really want a dog, this may be the one for you. They are excellent companions and house dogs, easy to train and generally very sociable.

French Bulldog

French bulldog

A city dog, through and through, the French Bulldog is renowned for its easy going nature. Perfect apartment or small house dog, they are extremely sociable companions and great for the whole family.

Final Thoughts

Living in an apartment or small house is no reason to be without a hound. The ten breeds I’ve recommended here are some of the most popular for apartment living. If you like a different breed, explore the temperament and characteristics to see if they might be a good fit for your home and family. There are many websites you can use, but I recommend the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a starting point.

Enjoy the process, and don’t forget to think about adoption, if you can. 

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