So you binge-watched a ton of cute puppy videos on Youtube and decided to adopt a dog.
Keep in mind that having a fluffy friend is not all cuddles and tricks, it’s also a big responsibility. There are many factors to consider when choosing a pup and its breed, and one of the most important is your living situation.

If you are a lucky owner of a house with a huge backyard somewhere in the suburbs, you have more options than those renting a small apartment in a big city. You have to take into the account breed’s activity level, personality traits, and your rental’s pet policy. Most rental agreements can restrict pets based on breed and weight. Also, the number of pets a renter can have may be limited.

To help you with choosing your new best bud, we put together a list of dog breeds that will thrive in apartments and are allowed by the majority of pet-friendly apartment communities.

1. Basenji

Basenji apartment dog breed
Photo by Edvinas Bruzas on Unsplash

Two words, barkless dog.
Due to the unique anatomy of their vocal box, Basenji were chosen by hunters of Central Africa to flush game out for their owners as they couldn’t startle the pray. These dogs have low to medium activity levels which makes them great mid-sized dogs for apartments with thin walls.
Keep in mind that while these pups are highly intelligent, they can be pretty stubborn and require a lot of attention. Therefore, we recommend them for more experienced dog owners.

2. Poodle

Poodle appartment dog breed
Photo by -Andretti- on Pixabay

It’s not a coincidence that poodles are the second smartest and one of the most popular dog breeds. Poodles and doodles are hypoallergenic, easily trained and great with people and other dogs. The best part about it is that they come in different sizes: toy, miniature, and standard so you can choose a pup according to the size of your living space. Most poodles have a good amount of energy but don’t necessarily require a backyard. Nice long walks, training and some doggie puzzles should do the trick.

3. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise apartment dog breed
Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on Unsplash

These little fur-balls have a lot of energy and love about everyone they meet. Weighing under 15 lbs, Bichons are also hypoallergenic and barely shed which is why they could be great companions for people living in not-so-big apartments.
A word of caution, if you are a workaholic regularly clocking in overtime, you will have to hire a dog walker as these dogs have high energy levels and require a lot of exercise.

4. Shih-tzu

Shih-tzu apartment dog breed
Photo by Edson Torres on Unsplash

Bred as lap dogs for Chinese royalty, shih-tzu are perfect apartment dogs. They are calm, friendly and cute. Shih Tzus don’t need a backyard to feel happy and would rather chill on your lap while you are binging your favorite Netflix show.

5. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier apartment dog breed
Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash

Hypoallergenic yorkies are one of the most popular “urban” dogs. Maxing out at 8lbs, these little creatures can fit into most apartments and can be easily exercised indoors. Some people might defer that yorkies can be quite yappy, but it can easily be fixed with proper training.

6. Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear apartment dog breed
Photo by Jacklou-DL on Pixabay

Known for their “cotton-like” soft hypoallergenic coat and good temperament, Coton de Tulears will fill your life with joy and cuddles. Most landlords will be more than happy to accept these little (up to 13 lbs) charmers in their apartment complex. As Cotons build pretty strong bonds with their “humans”, they can get anxious when left alone for extended periods of time, so consider investing in a dog walker.

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel apartment dog breed
Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

If you are looking for a guard dog, these little snugglers are not for you! Cavaliers are so friendly and affectionate, they’ll happily welcome a burglar to your apartment and lick them to death. Sweet and loving, these relatively small pups are perfect companions and apartment dwellers.

8. Pug

Pug apartment dog breed
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Easy going and affectionate, your pug will easily get along with other dogs, cats, neighbors and landlords. They don’t require a lot of exercise and will gladly spend their days napping on the couch.
Some might think that all pugs should come with a pack of earplugs, since due to their anatomy they snore like nobody’s business, so we don’t necessarily recommend them for studio apartments.

9. Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested apartment dog breed
Photo by NataZotova from Pixabay

Dubbed as one of the world’s ugliest dogs, Chinese Crested have the most beautiful and kind souls. These love bugs are great emotional support dogs and companions especially for remote workers and homebodies since they require a lot of attention and are prone to separation anxiety. Chinese Crested usually get tired after 15-20 minutes of exercise and are pretty low maintenance. These dogs thrive in hot climates and don’t tolerate cold weather, so plan accordingly.

10. French Bulldog

French Bulldog apartment dog breed
Photo by freestocks-photos from Pixabay

These puppers weigh in around 20-25 lbs, which is below most rental weight restrictions. That and low energy levels make them perfect for apartments. Playful and smart, they don’t bark without a reason and could be great watchdogs.
Beware, if you prefer a low-key lifestyle and don’t enjoy attention, this dog is not for you, since almost every passerby will try to pet your dog and many will ask for a photo with her.

**Pro tip: use Petcube pet camera to keep an eye on your pet 24/7 when you can't be there.**

We hope that this list will help you find a pup that will be happy with you in your apartment. Just remember, that no matter how cute your new best friend is, you will still have to convince your landlord to let it live on the property.
Creating a nice pet resume advertising your pet’s best qualities and getting a renters insurance that covers pets should do the trick!

About the author

Sania Tran is a member of Apartment List's Pet-Friendly Living Initiative, proud owner of a 2-year old Corgi named Misha, avid Petcube user, and content manager at Apartment List.

Was this article helpful?

Help us make our articles even better

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback