20 Best Small Dogs For Apartments (Cute and Adorable)

Best small dogs for apartment

For apartment dwellers, a pet’s size matters. Long legs, giant paws, and big muscled bodies don’t always go well when you are living in a small and cramped space. But, if you are a dog lover, life without one could be boring without that wiggling butt to greet you every time you get home.

There may be some limits on your options for pets if you are living in an apartment, but it is still possible to get one. Most rental units allow small and quiet breeds to prevent disturbance in the complex. Here is a shortlist of the adorable and best small dogs for the apartment that make excellent pets for modern-day apartment living.

Best Small Dogs For Apartments

#1. Chihuahua

Chihuahua Is one of the best dog for apartment

Topping the list of the best small dogs for apartments is none other than the well-loved and cute sized Chihuahuas. When you have a tiny and cramped space, you can expect a Chihuahua to be your ultimate ticket to the best of canine nirvana. These pets might be small in size, but they are huge regarding personality.

These little dogs need just short potty breaks as well as quick strolls in the park to stretch out their tiny legs. On top of that, they can get all the exercise they need as they scamper around your limited space. Although Chihuahuas are yappy, they are ideal for apartment buildings. They are well-behaved with proper socialization and regular stimulation with brain games. Before you know it, they will be too tired out that you no longer have to even let them out for the day.

#2. Maltese

best small dog for apartment

If you live in an apartment and plan to add a furry member to your family, you might want to consider getting a Maltese. Maltese are among the best apartment dogs, thanks to their qualities that make them ideal for apartment life. These miniature dogs are known for their relatively low energy without requiring high levels of exercise.

They can do fine by just roaming around the apartment or with a daily walk at the park. They are also famous for being quite active even indoors and can do fine with some regular indoor play sessions. These dogs are also well known for their ability to get along with other non-canine pets. Typically reaching around 4 to 6 pounds, this great apartment dog wouldn’t require too much space at all.

SEE ALSO: Facts About Teacup Maltese

#3. Maltipoo

dog for small apartments

The Maltipoo is a lovable crossbreed that apartment dwellers love and adore for many reasons. When you open your home and heart to a crossbreed, it is like opening a wonderfully wrapped gift for your birthday because you will never have any idea what you will find inside.

The Maltipoo is among the small dog breeds that you can find in many apartments. They have a cute size and the ideal combination of the behavior of a Maltese and Poodle. You can expect them to be always on the move, but they can do pretty well indoors too. Likewise, it wouldn’t hurt if you take them out for some regular walks now and then. Good-natured and friendly, this breed is something that you would love to have around your small space.

MUST-READ: Adorable Poodle Mixes

#4. Pomeranian

small dog breed for apartments

Pomeranians weigh roughly around 5 pounds, but their personalities are so much bigger. These are curious, alert, and with a keen interest in just about everything. Most of the time, their favorite spot in homes is by the windowsill. They get the chance to see as much action around the neighborhood. They also bark a lot, which will tell you right away when there is a passer-by.

Poms love being the center of attention, and they have naughty behavior to get their much-craved attention. This breed is ideal for active pet parents who can devote energy and time.

Poms have large bundles of fluff that call for more coat maintenance compared to other small breeds. But they make up for all of it with their cheerful and alert dispositions. They need a little exercise, but they like to have some mental stimulation while indoors.

MUST-READ:  Adorable Pomeranian Mixes

#5. Pug

best apartment dog breed

Pugs are famous for their spunky personalities and cute wrinkles on their faces.  They are also real experts when it comes to making friends, particularly with kids. More so, these babies feel very comfortable even inside close quarters.

Pugs also happen to have among the most recognizable qualities in the canine world. Many people will agree that they are well-loved by everyone. From singles, couples, and families, no one can resist this breed’s lovable and affectionate temperaments.

Pugs are also easy-going types of canines. They are ideal for both city apartments as well as rural homesteads. Aside from that, they also don’t need too much exercise. They are in doggie heaven as they follow you around your apartment and are content to squirming into your lap.

#6. Shih Tzu

Aparment Dog

The Shih Tzu breed is not usually of high energy, so it is much easier to meet all of their exercise requirements right inside your apartment. However, it would be best if you committed regular grooming to care for their handful of hair. Born and bred to be house pets, Shih Tzus can go well with just a short walk every day though they may also like some quality time in the park.

After a short stroll, they will be happy to cuddle with you on your couch. The Shih Tzu is a bona fide member of Toy Group. It means that they are tiny at around 9 to 16 pounds, making them ideal for small living spaces. However, they have less intensity compared to other miniature dogs. Therefore, you can be assured that they will be calm, relaxed, and collected once navigating in the common areas of your rental residence.

MUST-READ: Cute and Lovely Shih Tzu Mixes

#7. Yorkshire Terrier

Whenever somebody mentions this breed, you will probably imagine a dog’s classic image with a black and tan coat, feisty eyes, miniature size, and red bow on its head. Such small breeds are cheerful balls of energy that devote themselves to their owners. With early socialization training and regular walks, they will adapt smoothly to apartment living. Even if these little canines prone to barking, they respond well to training.

MUST-READ: Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed

#8. English Bulldog

Happy English Bulldog

Are you a fan of small dogs? This medium-sized canine is a little bigger yet still comfortable living in small spaces. Usually, English Bulldogs are low to medium energy. It only means that they do not mind lounging on the couch after their daily walk. Pet parents find their slobber adorable too. This dog does not like to move around. It is the reason why it’s one of the top pick apartment dogs to have. If this canine could talk, he’d tell you that he would consider hanging on the couch than at a dog park. If you do not like moving much, an English Bulldog is an excellent choice for you.

#9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs are some of the happy-go-lucky pets around. Because of their friendly nature, they can charm anyone they meet in the foyer of your building. There is no doubt that such small spaniels have energy. You have to carve out time for exercise daily to spent out their active energy and end the day in cuddles. You will be hard-pressed looking for a friendlier dog than this canine. Likewise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is excellent with other tenants and dogs in your place. They weigh about 13-18 pounds, so they will not take up much space. Adaptable and calm, these dogs make an excellent addition to anyone’s apartment.

#10. French Bulldog

French Bulldog Playing Ball

Have you ever wondered why some French Bulldogs are among the most famous dog breeds in numerous cities like New York? Pet parents living in apartments love these easy-going dogs because of their quiet nature and tiny size. They are good-natured and curious, yet they do not have lots of exercises. Avoid leaving your French Bulldog outside your patio or balcony on a hot summer day. Like most dogs with a short nose, they must stay in the air-conditioned unit when it gets hot outside.

Renowned for their fantastic personalities and oddly-shaped ears, French Bulldogs enjoy wriggling its way into your apartment. These little dogs do not often bark, which only means that the neighbors will not be complaining about excess noise. They require short daily walks to fulfill their exercise needs. Aside from that, these dogs enjoy cozying up to their human roommates.

#11. Havanese

White Havanese

Are you searching for an affectionate, happy puppy to keep you company in your place? There is no need to look further as Havanese is one of the small dog breeds with a good temperament. It is also renowned for being friendly and lovable. It is why it’s the right pet for a busy apartment complex. Havanese also requires regular walks, yet it isn’t something that any active city dweller cannot handle.

Since Havanese stays in about 10-15 lbs, this dog breed meets the size limits of any pet policy rules of your condo or apartment. Nevertheless, despite their small size, they are playful and sturdy enough to get along well with kids. Havanese also gets points for being alert, and even if it has a long coat that requires grooming regularly, he does not need lots of exercise or daily walks.

#12. Dachshund

Small Black Dachshund

Dachshunds are one of the small dog breeds for apartments. They are famous for their very short legs, allowing them to complete their exercise needs inside your small space residence. They are quite active and but they also like to cuddle when they are playing with you. After playing, these babies are quick to calm down when you are all done.

#13. Papillon


The name of this dog breed originated from the French word for butterflies. They have fringed ears that look the same as the wings of a butterfly. They are small and will not take up too much room in any apartment space. On the other hand, they are very active, requiring mental and physical challenges to be balanced.

#14. Bichon Frise

Cute dog for aparment - Bichon Frise

These little cuties are quiet, and they are ideal small apartment dogs. However, Bichon Frise has high energy needs. They are suitable for pet parents who are active themselves. These dogs may wish for trips and hikes often to the dog park. Although these are small dogs, they have a decent amount of energy, which means apartment-dwelling owners of Bichon will need to regularly commit to strolls around the neighborhood. However, this dog breed is easy to train and adapts well to small areas. They will not make much noise, which will keep you in good standing with people living below and above you.

#15. Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested Dog

These are one of the miniature dogs that tend to win the title of the World’s Ugliest Dog because of their unique and hairless look. Never let that deter you. Usually, these are affectionate with their family members and less confident around some strangers. They also have an excellent and soft double coat that requires full brushing each day to get rid of matting. The maintenance of the skin of this dog is almost the same as the human skin. It may be susceptible to dryness, sunburn, and acne.

Chinese Crested dogs have a temperament and personality that’s loyal, friendly, and intelligent. They also make excellent lap dogs or small family dogs. Such dogs form tight bonds with their owners and some of their family members, making them one of the adorable small apartment dogs.

#16. Miniature Pinscher

Black Miniature Pinscher

According to the American Kennel Club, this delightful dog breed is one of the best pets for small apartments or condo units. Although they look like a smaller version of the Doberman, Min Pins are an older breed from Greyhounds and Dachshund’s line. Despite their small structures, they are excellent watchdogs to have around. They will benefit from experienced pet parents capable of training them and handling their intelligence and energy. They may be left alone at home for long periods, but they should undergo early obedience training.

#17. Basenji


Basenji are hound dogs that hail from Africa. These pets are suitable for pet owners who can’t decide whether they like a dog or cat for their home. They have cat-like tendencies and grooms themselves a lot. This little dog is brilliant and independent. They are loyal and protective of their pack.

They don’t bark like their fellow doggies, but they can be very curious and prone to escape. Thus, you have to ensure that they are secure in their place, and they get enough vigorous activities to prevent boredom. This dog is one of the quiet small dog breeds, which makes them ideal for apartment living.

#18. Japanese Chin

best small dogs for apartments - Japanese Chin

Another ideal option, if you want to have an easy-going breed for your apartment, is the Japanese Chin. On average, they are only around 10 pounds, but they are incredibly active, a bit playful, and even comical. Like the Dachshund, they have looks that are unique and easily identifiable.

They can give you a lot of entertainment in your tiny apartment spaces. Chins are always full of life, but they also tend to be quieter than their cousin breeds. They are smart and always eager to please; thus, they are great companions for the urban lifestyle. These doggies do not require a lot of space, and housebreaking will be an easy and fun experience for both humans and pets. 

#19. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu

These small hunting dogs are a native of Japan. On average, they are just about 15-24 pounds, but they do feel like a big dog in a little body. Pet parents love their perfect blend of cheeky and loyal in a fluffy bundle. These fur babies may enjoy hikes and long walks with their owners, but they do not demand. They are usually quiet and are brilliant pets, making them highly-adaptable to apartment living. On the other hand, they can also be sneaky and prone to escape. 

In most cases, they are also reluctant to trust other people; thus, you have to keep them secure at all times. Similar to the Basenji, this breed is also known to groom themselves and for their cleanliness. Still, they require regular brushing as they are moderately shed. Their dedicated and quiet nature makes them one of the top selected dogs for small apartments.

#20. Italian Greyhound

best apartment dog breeds

This breed is another excellent choice for apartment dogs. Compared with their bigger cousins, these are not as highly-active and are on the quieter side. They have a sensitive and affectionate nature; plus, their fur is odorless! Greyhounds are the cheetahs of the doggie universe with slender frames and a tendency to run. Italian Greyhounds are only 7 pounds on average, but they have incredible speed and sturdy little frames. After giving them their daily dose of exercise, they are content to laze around and be sweet to their families.

These fur babies are the top choices for pet parents living in urban jungles around the world. And while there are limitations set for having pets when you live in condominiums and apartments, it is possible to take your best buddy with you. So, are you a fur parent living in an apartment or condo? If you are, what breeds are your fur babies? Comment down below!

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