Urban Paws: Dog Breeds That Are Perfect For Modern Apartment Life

By Sachin P

It goes without saying that every pet lover would likely choose a home with a large backyard for their beloved four-legged companions. However, that’s not always possible, especially for city dwellers. But that doesn’t (and shouldn’t) stop anyone who wants a dog from getting one. There are plenty of dog breeds that are apartment-friendly and will fit well in a home of any size.

Both small and big breeds make good residential dogs and thrive in urban environments. The dog’s size, physical activity requirements, socialization needs, toileting alternatives, and “vocality,” must all be taken into account when choosing the ideal apartment dog. So let us help you with that and go through some breeds to consider if you’re looking for an apartment-friendly dog.

Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is one of Scotland’s first working dogs. As the name implies, it is a terrier breed with Scottish Highlands origins. The breed was used for hunting and pursuing prey between cairns throughout the Scottish Highlands, so it was given the title Cairn.

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Their small stature makes them a perfect fit for medium-sized apartments. They are brave, inquisitive, little creatures with inquiring minds. When you’re not interacting with them, offer the lapdog a good cuddle because they flourish when they receive frequent human company.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

After it was crossed with flat-nosed breeds throughout the late seventeenth century, the Cavalier King Charles underwent a significant transformation. Its past was intertwined with that of the diminutive King Charles Spaniel. Since then, breeders have made an effort to produce a dog that resembles Charles II’s spaniel.

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The ideal combination of a loving lapdog and an active friend may be found in this little dog breed. They’re gentle, making them perfect for first-time dog owners and families with small children. Given their small size, you won’t struggle with space with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


Dachshund is a hound-type dog. They are available in many colors and can have silky, wiry, or long hair. It was created to scent, pursue, and drive out badgers as well as other creatures that live in burrows. That certainly explains their shape.

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These energetic puppies are adorable and easily adjust to multiple regular walks. Dachshunds are good watchdogs as well. They are intelligent and loyal, but they could also be self-sufficient, so you do not need to keep an eye on them constantly.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers are classified as “peppy,” but they are reserved dogs with strong protective instincts yet without the tendency to bite. Four shades are used to identify miniature Schnauzers around the world. If you want a dog that is highly faithful and gets along with everyone…

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…then a small schnauzer is indeed the best choice. They love following you around and acting as your little shadow. They are lively, brave, great watchdogs, entertaining, and incredibly bright. A little tip for future owners: to keep their hair from matting, they must be routinely clipped or cropped.


Barbets are an uncommon breed with a variety of hair colors. They can be either black, brown, or a combination of black and white, as well as brown and white. On dogs with black or brown coats, white chest markings and paws or legs are typical.

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Barbets are a joyful, social, and handsome breed that are also excellent swimmers. Apartment dwellers can expect a variety of enjoyable and soothing indoor doggy puzzle games to keep their pup entertained. One of the benefits is that the Barbet is well known for its placid temperament.

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are well-loved the world over. The Basset dog was initially developed as a hare-hunting scent hound, and only bloodhounds have a better perception of smell and feel of the ground—they’re so low, it’s no wonder they’re adept at tracking scents.

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Your greatest option, if you’re searching for a laid-back, family-friendly dog, is a Basset Hound. They have a tendency to be slightly lazy, which makes this cute dog breed generally simple to tend to. One of the major downsides, however, is their propensity to drool.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is the tiniest of the six founding and distinctive spitz breeds of dog that are indigenous to Japan. Its moniker translates literally to “brushwood dog,” which stems from the fact it was originally employed to flush out prey.

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It’s a charming family dog with an outgoing attitude who likes to build close relationships with its masters. If properly trained and socialized, they can make wonderful apartment dogs. This breed is feisty and fearless, but it can be apprehensive of outsiders.

English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel breed stands out among dog breeds for one thing: it’s known for having one of the widest ranges of puppies in a litter. It is a compactly formed, cheerful, and athletic dog. The name derives from their early days as hunters of woodcock birds.

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There are “house” and “field” cockers, also known as “working” cockers. The Cocker Spaniel is a loving, devoted, and loyal dog who takes pleasure in making their people happy. Because of their small size, they make ideal apartment dogs for families with children, other pets, or senior citizens.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is one of two distinct dog breeds recognized as Welsh Corgis, which emerged in Wales. The second type is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. It is one of the earliest breeds to exist in the British Isles.

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The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is renowned for its great loyalty. Corgis are excellent occupants for an apartment featuring windows because of their keen attention to detail. They do not really mind living in tight spaces, which is easy, given how little (and adorable) they are.

American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terriers start their lives with a fine coat of hair. Then that gradually falls out of their nose backward until they become completely hairless. This usually happens by the age of six weeks. They’re not completely bald, though. They keep their eyebrows and whiskers.

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The American Hairless Terrier is a powerful guard dog who may act as your personalized watchdog in spite of its tiny size. Additionally, they are hypoallergenic. This makes them ideal for dog lovers who are either allergic or have relatives who are.

Toy Fox Terrier

Toy Fox Terriers are small dogs with robust and athletic appearances. Distinguishing characteristics are a short, shiny, mostly-white coat, a head that is mostly complete, as well as a brief, high-set tail. The Toy Fox Terrier is a devoted and friendly canine breed.

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It just loves to amuse its owners. If you’re looking for somebody to snuggle with while binge-watching Netflix, this breed is perfect. This breed is also an outstanding learner, making them superb apartment dogs. They’ll pick up on housetraining rather well.


Other names for the Schipperke include “little black fox” and “little black devil,” and they sometimes are referred to as the “Tasmanian black devil” in Australia. Schipperkes need a lot of exercise and can occasionally exhibit high levels of activity.

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These include running quickly before turning into swift, nimble criss-cross movements. However, Schipperke are also capable of taking long naps. Consequently, they are less active than the Jack Russell Terrier. This breed might not be for you if your apartment complex has stringent noise restrictions.

Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier is one of five terrier breeds that emerged in Scotland. It was originally a part of the highland breeds that have previously been lumped together under the name Skye Terrier. Scottish Terriers manage to get along great with kids.

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The fact that these long-haired puppies are naturally independent means that they make excellent buddies and won’t become jealous if they are not the focus of attention at all times. This is perfect for pet parents who don’t work from home.


Since the 18th century, several royal owners have popularised Pomeranians. The tiny variety of Pomeranians gained popularity because Queen Victoria had one. Only within Queen Victoria’s reign did the breed’s size drop by half. Overall, the Pomeranian is a strong, robust dog.

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This breed is a loyal family companion who enjoys going on adventures, meeting new people, and going for long walks. They typically take pleasure in being the focus of attention and messing around. They can make fantastic pets for families, but you might want to consider another dog if you have younger children at home.

Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier is a smooth-haired terrier breed. It was initially created in the 19th century to eradicate pests, particularly rats, in which it was quite effective. In fact, it became so effective at the job that it frequently turned up in rat-baiting pits.

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This breed is extremely observant and intelligent and does well in apartments. They’re ideal for small living quarters due to their compact size. But Manchester Terriers need their owners around frequently since, if left unattended, they could become disruptive and start barking constantly.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne

This breed is similar in size to the Basset Hound, but it is lighter throughout its body and with longer legs. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is quite the little hound. If no member of your home has allergies, the basset is a suitable residential dog.

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That’s regardless of the size or type of your family. These are lovable, joyful, sociable dogs who get along well with kids. It’s also worth noting that because they are scent hounds, they have a strong desire to hunt, so they might not be the right fit for every household.


Fun fact: breed registries only accept solid colors for the unique dense, curled coat of poodles; other colors and patterning are not accepted. Poodles are smart and lively dogs who are especially adept at learning. They are highly intelligent and simple to teach.

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Poodles make wonderful companions for apartments. Poodles were commonly used in circuses because of their intelligence, docile temperament, athleticism, and good appearance, especially in France. Additionally, one benefit of their curly coats is that they don’t shed much, although regular brushing is required to prevent matting.


The term “Maltese dog” can refer to several different breeds. Aside from the modern ones you might find at a friend’s house, it also refers to an old variation of miniature canine from Italy that is frequently connected with the island of Malta. The modern type shares genetic ancestry with the breeds of Bichon, Bolognese, and Havanese.  

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They adapt nicely to many different settings, particularly apartments/flats. Additionally, since they are renowned for being incredibly dedicated to their owners, keeping one by your side will ensure that you do not feel isolated. The Maltese breed makes a kind, affectionate, and lively family dog.

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso originated in Tibet—military personnel arriving from the Indian subcontinent in the early 20th century brought some Tibetan dogs to the United Kingdom. It is a breed of non-sporting dog. These dogs have functioned as an indoor sentinel.

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These miniature dogs with long hair are thought to be “easy keepers,” nice dogs, and good friends. They like going on outings and meeting new people. It’s worth noting that they can also be distant, obstinate, and bark loudly and sharply since they were bred to be guard dogs.

Japanese Chin

This breed is regarded as having one of the most feline-like attitudes among dog breeds; it is vigilant, smart, and autonomous, and it cleans and wipes its face with its paws. They enjoy sleeping in high places, have perfect balance, and prefer to lurk in surprising places.

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Despite their cat-like behaviors, they’re still dogs at heart. Japanese Chins are normally a pleasant breed and are devoted to their owners. Although Japanese Chin enjoys comfortable settings, they also adapt well to unfamiliar circumstances. All of these features make them fantastic therapy dogs.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is among the most commonly listed dogs in a variety of nations, notably Australia, the United Kingdom, as well as the United States. The French Bulldog is a perfect urban dog breed and has earned a name as a perfect family pet.

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They are definitely down for both lounging on the sofa and going out for a simple walk. Their easygoing, laid-back attitude makes it a flexible dog breed. Your neighbors will value it as well because they don’t bark often. Similar to other companion dog breeds, the French Bulldog needs frequent interactions with people.

Bichon Frisé

It’s common to see the Bichon Frisé portrayed as the French dog. The French transformed the Bichon breed kind into a docile lap dog variant. This is despite the fact that they were originally Spanish and were used as sailing dogs and occasionally as herding dogs.

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Bichons have vivacious, jovial personalities, and their stunning coats are hypoallergenic. It’s wonderful to know that this attractive dog breed gets along well with kids and even other canines. Plus, to see them frolicking around the house like a puffball is so pleasing to the eyes!


The beagle was created largely for the sport of beagling or hare hunting. The beagle is the most common breed employed as a detection dog for forbidden agricultural goods and foods in quarantine all around the world. That’s because they have an excellent sense of smell.

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The beagle is a total people dog that is ideal for families and is happy wherever its owner is because of its sociable pack mentality. But because of its brains, enthusiasm, and high spirits, it requires a lot of interaction and vigorous play.


The Havanese is a small dog with a strong build, dropping ears, and a tail slung across its back. The coat is thick, lengthy, smooth, and available in various hues. The Havanese is known for its bouncy movement, which sets the breed apart from all others.

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It also has a vibrant attitude and an inquisitive nature. These canines are the only breed native to Cuba, and are well known for their extroverted, sociable dispositions and playful natures. Apartment life suits Havanese wonderfully. It certainly has the looks for it!


The iconic dog got its name from a state in Mexico. As you probably already know, the Chihuahua is one of the tiniest breeds of dogs. Registries’ current breed standards call for an “apple-head” or “apple-dome” shaped skull. It is typically maintained as a pet or for display.

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The small size of this dog type makes them perfect for apartments. Despite their small stature, they exude charisma and confidence, which makes these a perfect choice for city dwellers. Nevertheless, be aware that most Chihuahuas like to be heard, and they’ll be loud and mouthy.


The name Pekingese derives from the Chinese capital Beijing (Peking). This breed was preferred by the nobility of the Chinese Imperial court as a companion dog. Due to its distinctive look, the breed has a number of traits and associated health problems.

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They are small dogs that weigh just under 15 pounds and are very loving. However, due to their independence, they do not really mind enjoying moments at home alone themselves. They make the most dedicated friends and form close ties with their chosen individuals.


The breed dates back to the 1600s and is of German heritage. The word “affenpinscher” comes from the German word “affe” (ape, monkey). The name, which in English translates to “monkey terrier,” is thought to have originated from how almost simian the breed’s small face appeared.

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You’ll never get bored of their companionship as they are full of character and work well in small areas. They rarely fail to cause their masters to giggle with their youthful mannerisms. This breed is commonly referred to as “mustached little devils” in French.

Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan Terriers were traditionally kept as mascots, friends, watchdogs, and livestock dogs, as well as good luck charms. They also were employed to recover items that had fallen off mountainsides. The Tibetan Terrier is a strong, square-framed, medium-sized dog with a matted coat.

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Their height and weight vary drastically. Tibetan Spaniels are versatile dogs that can live in apartments provided they receive consistent training and daily walks. However, they detest investing time at home by themselves. These dogs are a friendly, social breed; thus, they enjoy the company.

Silky Terrier

The Silky Terrier needs to be just a little bit taller than long to make it squared (about one-fifth longer than the height at withers). This dog’s physique should be substantial enough to perform this job since it was traditionally employed for killing and hunting snakes and rodents.

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To keep the coat silky, it needs to be shampooed and groomed frequently. Notwithstanding his diminutive size, he makes a great watchdog because he informs you right away if anyone or anything unusual enters his domain. It’s a full package in a smaller size.

Australian Terrier

The Australian Terrier is a breed that is small and has short legs. It has an untrimmed medium-length double coating that is rough and scruffy. The muzzle, lower legs, as well as feet have shorter fur, and the neck has a ruff.

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It’s the ideal puppy for a boisterous, high-energy family. In fact, the best place for this gorgeous pooch to live is with a family. Due to the breed’s high level of activity, you should take your Aussie Terrier for multiple daily walks and ensure that they are never, ever bored.


Among well-known hunting dog breeds is the Basenji. It was created from genetic material that came from central Africa. The FCI classifies the breed as primitive and Spitz. The Basenji’s peculiarly formed larynx causes it to sound like it is yodeling.

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It’s called “the barkless dog” because of this characteristic. Basenji are great companions and watchdogs who can keep you alert and energetic. But, when they are still puppies, they like to chew, so take care not to leave any items on the floor that they could find tasty!

Griffon Bruxellois

In Belgium, both commoners and nobility began to take an interest in the Griffon Bruxellois, mostly in the late 19th century. The first edition of Belgium’s kennel club studbook contained a registration for the first Griffon Bruxellois in 1883. Queen Marie Henriette helped the breed become more well-known.

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She frequented the dog shows in Belgium with her daughter because she really loved dogs! Brussels Griffon is that one breed that is great for apartments, almost like it was tailor-made for that purpose. Despite possessing grumpy looks, these so-called bearded pooches are kind little creatures.

Chinese Crested Dog

The Chinese Crested Dog can be pretty weird looking. It is one of those dog breeds that are without hair. The Chinese Crested Dog is available in three varieties—the Hairless, the Powderpuff, and the Hairy Hairless—without hair, with hair, and a mixture of the two, respectively.

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All of these varieties can and will be born within the same litter. Irrespective of the breed, these canines are exceptionally loving, smart, and active. They like being near their master, whether they are at home or out and about.

American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog is an excellent companion dog breed. Contrary to its name, it’s actually German in origin, part of the Spitz family of dogs. Because of its recent hybridization with wolves, it is regarded as an ancient dog breed. It has a very lovable disposition.

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The ancestors were known as German Spitz, but in the First World War, the name was changed to “American Eskimo Dog” as a response to anti-German sentiments. American Eskimo dogs have excellent family skills, get along well with kids, and are extremely intelligent.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are distinguished by their long coats, floppy ears, stout and short postures, huge wide eyes, and small snouts. They are widely regarded for their pleasant dispositions and fun personalities. They are capable of changing with the times. However, they aren’t thought of as being a docile breed.

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That is because of their fiercely independent character. Whether you reside in the city or the suburbs, this little pup will always accompany you on the sofa for cuddling. To properly care for the dog, though, you might need to watch over your youngsters.

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher is shown in historical artifacts and artworks as a very ancient breed, although the true record only dates back about 200 years, making it unclear where the breed actually originated. The shorthaired German Pinscher has been added to the family tree.

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That’s according to several historians and others who have studied the history of the breed. As long as you possess the qualities of an effective leader of the pack and give this small breed of dog the necessary training and care, they probably wouldn’t take over your flat.

Coton de Tuléar

The small dog breed known as the Coton de Tuléar was named after the city of Tuléar in Madagascar. This breed is believed to have come about as a result of a bunch of little white dogs swimming out across the Malagasy channel after a shipwreck.

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The best candidates for this tiny dog breed are pensioners, empty-nesters, or remote professionals. You won’t ever feel lonely thanks to the company of a Coton de Tuléar. Even if he likes to walk, he may easily get the daily activity he needs by playing video games indoors.

Japanese Spitz

We’ve mentioned a few Spitz breeds before (Shiba Inu and American Eskimo Dog), but we can’t forget another Spitz breed. Relative to other breeds, the Japanese Spitz (Nihon Supittsu, in Japanese) is relatively new, only coming about in the 1920s-1930s.

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Standing just over a foot tall, these fluffy fellas are a little bitter than their Pomeranian cousins, but they’ll still comfortably fit into a small apartment. Japanese Spitz thrives with constant companionship. They’re generally calm, but bursts of energy make them great with kids.

Portuguese Water Dog

As you can probably guess from their name, Portuguese Water Dogs, aka Porties, were bred to be swimmers. Though they’re a little bigger than some of the other breeds on this list, their real appeal comes in their temperament and their coat.

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One of the biggest issues with having a dog in an apartment is their loud barks—something you don’t need to worry about as much with these docile dogs. Another big bonus with these puppers is that they’re hypoallergenic. That means no dog hair coating your apartment!

Italian Greyhound

People don’t normally associate greyhounds with small dogs, but the Italian Greyhound stands out from the rest. Also known as an Italian Sighthound, these dogs are the smallest among all the sighthound breeds, standing at an average of 35 centimeters tall at the withers.

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And, of course, they don’t weigh much either. You can easily lift up these 11-pound dogs and don’t need to worry about them breaking any furniture in your home when they get the zoomies. Originally bred as hunting dogs, the AKC now classifies them as a toy breed.