10 Best Dogs For Apartments & Small Spaces
Living in a small space and bringing a pet into the situation can be a challenge. But just because you have a tiny home or small apartment doesn’t mean you can’t get an animal to share your life with. In fact, you don’t even have to compromise on the size of the animal.
Some people will opt for cats or small dogs even if they would prefer a larger breed, but there are lots of dog breeds of all sizes that can do well in small spaces. Some of the largest dog breeds on the planet are also some of the biggest couch potatoes. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are small dogs that are more prone to barking and aggression, while others are calmer and more suited to living in close proximity to others in an apartment and in a smaller space in general.
Apartment-Friendly Dog Breeds
Here are ten examples of dogs of all shapes and sizes that do well in small living situations. Some of the bigger dog breeds might just surprise you!
Let’s start with a medium-sized pup. Weighing in at about 60 pounds on his stubby legs, the basset hound is everybody’s favorite lazy doggo, and he’ll certainly live up to his reputation when you invite him into your apartment. He’s a calm boy and will be easily kept busy with treats, toys, and attention. Get ready to love on those long floppy ears as you lounge on the couch with your new friend, and be sure to buy him a red wagon to pull him around in just for fun!
For those who prefer a smaller dog breed, the Yorkshire Terrier may be the way to go. This adaptable seven-pound critter isn’t going to take up much space in your apartment, and he’s also a good choice for many people with pet allergies, because his hair is very similar to human hair. As small dog breeds go, this one is pretty friendly toward pets and people and doesn’t tend to be a barker, making him the perfect addition to your apartment.
The Newfoundland is a very large dog breed, but it’s also known for being extremely relaxed and friendly, as well as very smart and trainable. Your Newfie will be very good with kids and neighbors, but its stature makes it a good dog for keeping unwanted attention at bay. The Newfoundland is great dog breed for families with young kids or single people.
The Maltese only weighs around nine pounds and comes with the added bonus of less dog hair to clean up than most dog breeds, thanks to its silky coat and lack of undercoat. He’s also a quiet boy who desires lots of time with his owner, so he’s a great apartment dog, especially if you’re going to be around a lot.
Whether you prefer the smaller 20-pound French bulldog or its larger cousin, the 45- to 55-pound English bulldog, bulldogs are generally relaxed and lazy creatures who love cuddling up on the couch and don’t desire to spend all day long at the dog park. Their calm demeanor makes them the perfect dog breed for living in small spaces, particularly an apartment.
Your 12- to 18-pound Boston Terrier is the perfect small-space pet, as long as you’re home enough. This dog breed refers to have a tight bond with his human and spend as much time as possible with them. They’re great pets for those who work from home or are able to take their pet into the office. In exchange for your attentiveness, he’ll be easily trainable and your most adoring fan.
The Great Dane is the largest animal on our list, at around 130 pounds, but don’t let that stop you from considering him. He’s a massive animal, but he’s also a natural cuddler and loves to lean on his humans whenever possible. Sure, he’ll take up a lot more space than some of the other breeds we’ve discussed, but he’ll be a calm, quiet, and friendly companion, and you’ll likely find this dog breed easy to train. Plus, nobody’s going to mess with you while he’s around.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is calm and adaptable, as well as easy to handle at just 13 to 18 pounds. He will likely be one of the friendliest dogs you’ve ever owned, making him the perfect breed to have around other tenants’ animals in apartment common areas.
Just because a dog is bred to move fast doesn’t mean he likes to spend all his time moving. Greyhounds are known for being couch potatoes, and, while they’ll certainly require exercise, they may be able to burn up all their energy at the dog park in just a few minutes. This is a very trainable and adaptable dog breed who won’t mind spending time in a small space. He’ll likely be around 60 to 80 pounds.
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier is usually categorized as a pit bull, and many apartment complexes or homeowners associations will not allow these breeds. However, if you’re in a living situation where you are able to bring a pit bull into your home, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a great choice. This dog breed is easily trained and forms a tight bond with his owner, but he also tends to be more dog-friendly than other similar breeds (while still retaining the look of a fiercely protective guard dog). He’ll weigh somewhere around 55 to 65 pounds.
All dogs need to spend time outside and get exercise every day, so make sure you’re walking your dog on a regular basis to keep him healthy and prevent the bad behaviors that might come with boredom and frustration. Your new pet may also take some time to get used to the new sights, sounds, and smells of his new place, so be patient if he doesn’t behave perfectly right away. As amazing as dogs are, they weren’t built to intuitively understand all the rules and restraints humans place on them. But in time, we’re sure your new dog will become the perfect small-space companion for you.
When bringing dogs of any breed into a tiny living situation, remember to make some special accommodations for him, such as making sure there’s some open floor space for him to walk around, creating a space where he can sit and see out the window, establishing a firm routine, and being present for him as much as possible, especially in the early days, while he’s still getting acclimated.
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Elizabeth Morey graduated summa cum laude from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI, where she dual majored in English Literature and Spanish with minors in Writing and Business Administration. She was a member of the school's Insignis Honors Society and the president of the literary honors society Lambda Iota Tau.
Some of Elizabeth's special interests include Spanish and English linguistics, modern grammar and spelling, and journalism. She has been writing professionally for more than five years and specializes in health topics such as breast cancer, autism, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease. Apart from her work at GreaterGood, she has also written art and culture articles for the Grand Rapids Magazine.
Elizabeth has lived in the beautiful Great Lakes State for most of her life but also loves to travel. She currently resides a short drive away from the dazzling shores of Lake Michigan with her beloved husband.