In choosing the best dog breed for your apartment, there are many factors to consider. Of course, you should choose a dog that matches your personality and activity interests, but there are factors specific to apartment life that can help you determine if the dog breed will match your lifestyle.
In the infographic below, we take a data-minded approach using statistics and information from the American Kennel Club and Dog Time. We’ve ranked the characteristics of each apartment-friendly dog breed to help you pick a pet that matches your lifestyle, personal preferences and apartment setup.
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Before choosing a dog, consider some questions:
Exercise: Would you prefer a lapdog or one that matches your active lifestyle?
Shedding: How much dog hair are you willing to vacuum?
Neighbors: Do you often see your neighbors and want a dog that’s ok with strangers?
Schedule: Are you away from home most of the day and need a dog that can be alone?
Barking: What’s your apartment setup, and how soundproof are your walls?
Pugs: In our previous infographic on The Best Dog Breeds For Apartments, pugs were one of the top breeds for apartments because their general friendliness makes them well-suited to city life. In this data-first approach, playful pugs are still the top pick for small dog breeds because of their infrequent shedding, low rate of barking, and above average friendliness towards strangers. They do need moderate exercise, but they are typically content to be mostly inactive. The breed does form high attachments to its owners, so be aware that these dogs are not tolerant if you’re often away from your apartment for long periods of time.
Shih Tzu: Another excellent dog breed for apartment dwellers is the Shih Tzu. At 9-16 pounds, these small dogs are calm-natured and affectionate towards strangers. Another benefit is that they have low exercise needs. This breed received average rankings for its tolerance for being left alone and its moderate amount of shedding. If your primary concern is about noise, this may not be the right dog breed for you because they typically have high rates of barking.
Bichon Frise: With its short bursts of energy, the Bichon Frise is a small (12-18 pound) breed that may be a great match for your apartment lifestyle. It is very friendly to strangers and typically barks infrequently. This breed needs daily walks. Although it has a low rate of shedding, be aware that it is difficult to groom. Like the Pug, the Bichon Frise has a high rate of attachment to its owners and does not tolerate being alone well.
Chihuahua: At just 3-6 pounds, these teeny tiny dogs like to run, but they are mostly an indoor pet, making them an excellent choice for sharing your pet-friendly apartment. In addition to their minimal exercise needs, they are easy to groom and have a low rate of shedding. Although the breed can be feisty, they only bark moderately. Keep in mind that the breed is untrusting and often unfriendly to strangers, making them a bad match if you frequently have dinner parties. Chihuahuas also have a high attachment to their owners, so they are not well suited to being home alone for extended periods of time.
Lhasa Apso: This long-haired small dog breed weighs in at just 12-18 pounds. If you’re looking for a small dog that doesn’t mind if you’re gone a lot, the Lhasa Apso might be a good choice because of its above-average tolerance for being alone. It needs regular brisk walks to accommodate its moderate energy levels. On the downside, its long coat needs daily brushing and frequent bathing. It can be aloof with strangers, and it barks frequently.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: This charming small dog breed weighs about 10-18 pounds. It’s very friendly to strangers, which will make for pleasant daily walks. It’s a moderate barker and average shedder. Some down sides for this breed are that, like many other small-sized dogs, it has a high attachment to its owners, making it difficult if you are away from home often. And it can be difficult to housetrain, which means that you may spend more time apartment cleaning than you’d like.
French Bulldog: The playful French bulldog is a medium-sized apartment-friendly breed, weighing under 28 pounds. It has above average friendliness towards strangers and low exercise needs. The breed is an average barker and average shedder, while also being easy to groom. However, this may not be a good breed for those who are away from home for extended periods of time because they love human contact.
Basenji: The Basenji is an active breed of dogs with high exercise needs. For apartment dwellers who have limited exercise facilities, this may not be ideal. But for dog owners who are active themselves or who live near dog parks where Basenjis can run, this breed may be a good match for your apartment lifestyle. Here is what makes this breed great for apartment dwellers: they’re quiet, they don’t mind being left alone for extended periods of time, they don’t shed much, and they’re easy to groom. Sounds great, right? In addition to needing their exercise, the other potential downside is that they can be suspicious of strangers.
Whippet: Weighting 25-40 pounds, the Whippet is a medium-sized dog that is calm-natured with spurts of activity. It has above average friendliness towards strangers.
It’s a quiet breed that is a low shedder and is easy to groom. This breed has an above average need for exercise, and it has a low tolerance for being left alone for extended periods of time.
Basset Hound: The easy-going Basset Hound weighs between 40 and 65 pounds. It’s very friendly towards strangers and has below average exercise needs. This breed has an average tolerance for being left alone. Keep in mind that basset hounds have an above average tendency to be vocal with their classic howl, so you should look at how soundproof your apartment is before getting this breed. They are also high shedders and typically have a high amount of drooling, so be prepared to do some cleanup.
Welsh Corgi: This is a very active breed. Weighing up to 30 pounds, be prepared to give your Welsh Corgi plenty of exercise. In fact, this breed can benefit from some of these apartment hacks for dog owners that include indoor games and puzzles to keep your pooch entertained. The breed is typically very friendly towards strangers and has a low tendency for barking. It’s average in its tolerance for being alone and although they are high shedders, they are easy to groom.
Bulldog: At 40-55 pounds, Bulldogs are known as a lazy breed. They are very friendly toward strangers. They have average exercise needs and average tolerance for being alone. However, they do have an above average tendency for barking and they are high shedders who also tend to drool.
Dachshund: Although these sweet dogs need regular exercise to accommodate their moderate energy level, their short dachshund legs mean they only need a small amount of walking in order to get plenty of exercise. Weighing 16-32 pounds, dachshunds have an average tolerance for being alone, and they are moderate shedders but are easy to groom. Bear in mind that they can be very vocal, and they are not typically friendly to strangers.
Standard Poodle: Weighing 40-70 pounds, playful standard poodles make an excellent apartment dog. They are typically quiet dogs who are friendly to strangers. And they are infrequent shedders with a hypoallergenic coat, which is a bonus if you have allergies or you hate cleaning. Keep in mind that they have an above average need for exercise, and they have a low tolerance for being left alone for extended periods of time.
Irish Wolfhound: The Irish Wolfhound is a large and athletic breed. But if you give them plenty of exercise, their mellow temperament make them a good match for apartment living. Your neighbors will appreciate that they’re very friendly towards strangers, and they have a very low tendency to bark or be vocal. They are moderate shedders, and they have a low tolerance for being left alone for long periods of time.
Mastiff: These gentle giants weigh 120-130 pounds, but they’re docile beasts. Like many large dogs, they have an above average need for exercise and activity. Mastiffs are quiet dogs with an average tolerance for being alone. They shed an average amount, but they do drool quite a bit. Also, they are less friendly to strangers than other breeds.
Greyhound: Greyhounds can be calm dogs if they are exercised, but their exercise needs are less vigorous than other large dogs like the Mastiff. Greyhounds are very friendly toward strangers, but they can be very vocal. They have a low tolerance for being home for extended periods of time, and though they are typically shed and drool at high rates, they are easy to groom.
Great Dane: When exercised, these 100-200 pound dogs are very easy going. Expect to give them 2-3 walks per day to keep them happy. Keep in mind that they can be barkers, they have a low tolerance for being alone, and they shed and drool at high rates but are easy to groom. They’re also very friendly to strangers, so your neighbors and passersby will enjoy interacting with these large dogs.