Best Apartment Dogs

Most dogs that are suitable for apartments will be small, but that does not mean that all small dogs make suitable apartment pets. In fact, there are larger dogs that would make better apartment pets than some smaller breeds! Take the Great Dane, for example. You may be surprised to find that these dogs would be more suitable for an apartment than a Jack Russell. Why? It all comes down to a breed’s activity level. Despite their huge size, Great Danes are quite placid and require only a certain amount of exercise per day. They are not very active and tend to enjoy lounging about. The smaller Jack Russell, on the other hand, can be quite active, boisterous and requires lots of exercise. An apartment will frustrate a Jack Russell, while a Great Dane can be very comfortable in the same apartment.

Therefore, the best apartment dogs chosen for this article have two particular qualities:

1. They are happy with a certain amount of exercise per day

2. They tend to be comfortable indoors or in smaller spaces

Here are 9 of the best apartment dogs

1. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu can be a great family pet. They need an active, busy owner or family; these dogs love to be where the action is! Surprisingly tough, these dogs do well with children. The Shih Tzu also make great companions to other pets; always supervise introductions to ensure a smooth start to their friendship.


This dog requires consistent training by an experienced handler due to stubbornness or a need for variety. Due to their short attention span, the training sessions should be short, frequent and fun. They are a highly intelligent dog, with a stubborn streak. Shih Tzu’s must not be overfed, as they tend to gain weight quickly. They can also be a great watchdog.

2. Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher is not recommended for houses that have very young children as this breed tends to guard food and toys. Older children must be taught how to gently handle the Affenpinscher. The Affenpinscher enjoys being with her family and other pets, with whom she is properly socialized. A mark of her terrier ancestry is the Affenpinscher’s tendency to challenge, or become hyper-excited around unfamiliar (sometimes larger) dogs. Take care to ensure the dog is socialized with other dogs as a puppy, so she is less likely to acquire this habit.


This breed requires consistent training by an experienced handler due to stubbornness or a need for variety. Cheerful and mischievous, the Affenpinscher requires fun and variety in training sessions. Repetition will bore the Affenpinscher and slack handling will cause the dog to rebel. The Affenpinscher is capable of learning new commands very quickly.

3. Basset hound-dog


Basset Hound is a good family dog. They are highly affectionate with children and get along great with other dogs. This breed requires consistent training by an experienced handler due to stubbornness. Basset Hounds can be stubborn, and so patient and positive handling is required. The best trained Basset Hound can be difficult to handle when she’s picked up a scent! Keep in mind that the Basset Hound has been known to excel in competition obedience, so good training does have a positive impact on this breed.

4. Beagle

Beagles are typically good with other dogs as they were originally bred to hunt in packs. However, Beagles may not be good with other small pets due to their natural hunting instincts. The Beagle is excellent with children; she makes a lovely, merry and ever-ready play companion! They are easy to train, like to please, but can be distracted easily.


Generally obedient, the Beagle is easily distracted by smells around her. Beagles require firm and patient training. The Beagle can be single-minded at times and it can be hard to hold her attention when she is carried away with a scent. Therefore, it is recommended that the training sessions for a Beagle are short and fun.

5. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise need regular human interaction and affection to be happy. These dogs are highly social and expect their owners to take them wherever they go. They are good to children as well as other dogs.


Bichon Frise are intelligent, bright, and attentive and motivated to learn. Bichon Frise’s are considered very intelligent and can be taught many little tricks that will impress any audience! This is an easier dog to train because she is highly motivated to please her owner, although keep in mind that housetraining may take more time and patience.

6. Bolognese

The Bolognese can get along well with children. As the Bolognese is small, it is recommended families with very young children take special care that no harm comes to this sensitive little dog. Although the Bolognese gets along with other dogs and pets, this breed will happily become a family’s only pet.


They are intelligent, bright, and attentive and motivated to learn. These intelligent dogs are relatively easy to train as they love to please their owners and find learning easy. As this dog is very intelligent, variety and fun should be central to any training session.

7. Boston Terriers


Boston Terriers are great family pets. They are good with strangers, elderly people and children. This is an affectionate breed that wants the owner to treat her like a family member. Despite being ‘terrier’ by name, Boston Terriers are not ‘terrier’ by nature. As such, if socialized well, the Boston terrier typically gets along with other household pets and dogs. The Boston terrier can do anything to please her owner, making her very trainable. These dogs are incredibly clever and quick to learn.

8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier is an excellent companion for dogs and other pets in the family. As they love to chase, proper socialization is required so the Cavalier learns how to get along with her animal companions and not to give them a chase in the house. Cavaliers are a peaceful breed that tries to get along with any dog, even those of a larger size! Early socialization with other dogs will enable the Cavalier to harness her natural friendliness and confidence with other dogs. Cavaliers are generally good with children, however these dogs can be especially fragile and should not be left alone with younger children who may accidentally harm them.


The Cavalier’s primary motivation is to please her owner and attract positive attention; this makes them great dogs to train in either obedience or tricks. The Cavalier is intelligent, quick and very responsive making her easy to train. Positive methods coupled with consistency will serve the Cavalier well.

9. Chihuahuas

As Chihuahuas are very loyal dogs, they may show aggression towards others when in the arms of their owners. This may seem funny and harmless at first, but this behavior must be firmly discouraged from the beginning. If allowed to develop, this behavior may result in the Chihuahua actually biting and nipping at anyone, even other family members. Once this behavior is ingrained it will be difficult to reverse. The Chihuahua needs extensive socialization to be tolerant of others throughout her life. This breed will need a firm and consistent owner. Chihuahuas want to please their owners, so teaching them obedience and house rules can be a pleasure, if done well.


It’s also important to consider the size of your apartment when choosing a breed. The most important question to ask is: “Will the dog be able to wander around comfortably in my apartment?” Some apartments will simply be too small for a larger breed. You must also consider how much free space your apartment has. It’s important to be honest with yourself when it comes to the size breed your apartment can house. In this way, you won’t feel guilty about your dog’s comfort level.

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