If you’ve ever lived in an apartment, you know that your four-legged neighbors, as adorable as they may be, can be one of the biggest nuisances. Maybe the dog upstairs loves to jump, and it looks like someone is bowling there. Or maybe the puppy in the adjacent unit barks every time someone walks through the front door. And of course, no one likes to dodge an elevator accident. But this does not mean that you have to wait until you have your own home to also have a pet. According to veterinarians and animal experts, there are many dog breeds suitable for small spaces and multi-family homes. Read on for the top 10 dogs for apartments.
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The American Kennel Club (AKC) refers to Bichon Frizes as “irresistible canine comedians” who are charming and intelligent. However, despite their playful and cheerful personalities (which extend to both humans and other dogs), Bichons “don’t care too much about noisy neighbors or outdoor traffic,” according to cute simonMVB, MRCVS, Veterinary Consultant at FiveBarks.
In addition to being quiet, these dogs “have no undercoat, so they rarely shed,” he says. Deepanshu Bedi, director of marketing for CBD dog treat company Holistapet. This is important for small spaces that collect hair more easily, as well as for owners who have allergies. Keep in mind, however, that the AKC recommends daily brushing. Other than that, a Bichon Frize is very low maintenance, content with a daily walk and playing around the apartment.
Pet experts say that both French and English bulldogs make excellent apartment dogs, as they are not big barkers and require only moderate exercise. “They are incredibly calm and comfortable pups on the couch who enjoy lazing around and relaxing,” he says. joseph sneadCEO of Rainwalk Pet Insurance.
However, English Bulldogs are prone to breathing difficulties in the heat and do not do well on stairs. French bulldogs are the smaller of the two breeds, typically weighing less than 28 pounds, and are considered especially popular “with city dwellers,” according to the AKC.
“These compact but gentle dogs, also known as Frenchies…love to play and interact with humans, and a brisk walk is all they need for their physical activity,” says Bedi. “Best thing about this breed? They rarely bark (except in the face of danger or threat), which your neighbors will appreciate.” French bulldogs are also prone to breathing problems in hot weather, so make sure your apartment is air-conditioned.
If you’re worried about not being home enough with your pup, consider a Yorkshire Terrier. “Yorkies are known for being independent, so if you’re looking for a dog that’s content to spend time alone while you’re at work or out of the apartment, this may be the breed for you,” she explains. Jeff Netzleya Colorado-based dog trainer and creator of Dog Training Near You.
And of course his small stature is a bonus. “Adult Yorkshire Terriers average around seven pounds, so they won’t take up too much space in your home,” he says. Daniel Chaphill, co-founder of The Dog Tale. “This also means you’ll be able to easily pick them up when you’re riding the subway, going up the escalator, or walking into the grocery store.”
The AKC gives Yorkies a five out of five for affection, adaptability, and openness to strangers. They are also “long-lasting and hypoallergenic”, although their fur is more like human hair and requires a lot of maintenance.
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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is small, but not too small (he usually weighs between 13 and 18 pounds). “Their compact size and moderate energy levels make them ideal for apartment living, as they are generally content with two walks a day, as long as they get some quality time outside on the weekends,” he says. Alexandra BassettCPDT-KA, Head Trainer and Behavior Specialist at Dog Savvy Los Angeles.
Two other traits of this apartment-friendly breed are that “they tend to be really affable and friendly around strangers, as they weren’t bred to protect like some dogs, which means they don’t tend to be barkers,” Bassett notes. But perhaps the most important thing is its adaptability. “They can be upbeat athletes or shameless couch potatoes, depending on the lifestyle of the owner,” according to the AKC.
If you live in a Really small apartment, you may want a Really small dog like a chihuahua. Described by the AKC as “a small dog with a big personality,” this breed will not exceed six pounds eight inches in height. Plus, “they require little to no exercise and can be potty trained to use a urination pad or a small outdoor area,” he says. megan conrad, BVMS, an Oregon-based veterinarian and member of Hello Ralphie. This is especially important as these dogs do not do well in cold weather.
However, if you live in an apartment with thin walls, this may not be the breed for you. Chihuahuas have a loud, high-pitched bark and “will alert you to any small or large barking sounds.” muchConrad warns. But, if you’re looking for a guard dog, this could be a good thing. Plus, they’re known to love to cuddle.
The Maltese is another very small breed, typically weighing less than seven pounds. However, you should keep in mind that these dogs do require a fair amount of maintenance in the grooming department. Its long, silky coat “requires daily gentle brushing and combing against the skin to prevent knots and tangles,” notes the AKC. They will also benefit from “regular bathing and coat conditioning” as well as routine nail trims. That said, the Maltese barely spilled.
According to jacquelyn kennedy, founder and CEO of PetDT, these dogs are “great as lap companions” and “don’t need as much exercise as larger breeds.” He also says that they are extremely intelligent and therefore “can be easily socialized to adapt to elevators, neighbors and the ins and outs of apartment life.”
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Loved for their long, floppy ears and low bodies, Basset Hounds have a reputation for being couch potatoes. Of course, they require some regular exercise, and the AKC says “a daily walk at a moderate pace will suffice.” Inside the apartment, though, you won’t have to worry too much about your neighbors being disturbed by running and jumping, as they’d rather “snuggle up on the couch with their owners,” he says. melissa m brockboard-certified veterinarian and author of Pango Pets.
The AKC also notes that Basset Hounds love to be around other dogs, so your building’s shared dog park will be their favorite spot. They do have a loud bark, but they mostly sound outdoors as they were bred as sighthounds.
If you’re looking for a small dog that’s also hypoallergenic, the Toy Poodle checks both boxes, as they weigh between four and six pounds, and hardly shed or drool. Their curly coat requires trimming, so make sure you live near a reputable groomer that you can frequent every four to six weeks, according to the AKC. Living near a park is also recommended, as these are energetic dogs that love to play catch and run.
As Bedi points out, poodles are a highly intelligent breed, which makes them easy to potty train and eat (they are common dog show competitors, after all). If you are someone who moves frequently, this is an important trait.
Basset also suggests a Cavapoo, a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Miniature or Toy Poodle, for apartment dwellers, as they are also hypoallergenic and low-shedding, and have “the affable nature of a Cavalier with the intelligence of a poodle.”
The Miniature Schnauzer is a great versatile pet. They are “generally healthy, long-lived, and low-shedding,” according to the AKC, and they also have a friendly personality that makes them affectionate and great with children.
courtney jacksonveterinarian and founder of The Pets Digest, notes that the smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds is extremely intelligent and easy to train, “which is great for potty training and teaching commands like ‘quiet,’ which makes her Ideal for living in an apartment. “
Brock also suggests this dog, but notes that they are energetic. “They need to exercise every day, so make sure there’s room in your apartment for them to run every day.”
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Shih Tzus are small too, but they have huge hearts. Although most dogs enjoy affection and attention, this breed especially loves it. “A Shih Tzu’s idea of fun is to sit on your lap acting adorable while you try to watch TV,” says the AKC. Since they were bred to live in Chinese palaces, they are suitable for indoor living and don’t require a lot of outdoor space. A little walk and play in the apartment are more than enough.
Because of their lapdog nature, even temperament and minimal shedding, Shih Tzus “are popular with older folks,” Brock notes. They also don’t mind being charged, which may be necessary if you live in a city.