Let’s be honest: not all dog owners have huge yards where their dogs can run. Truth be told, not all dogs need that. Good apartment dogs will be perfectly happy in a smaller living space so long as they get daily exercise.
What makes the best apartment dogs? It’s not a matter of size, like many people think. It’s a combination of temperament, lower energy, and happiness staying close to their family. These 7 dogs make good options for dog lovers in apartments, condos, and other smaller living spaces (even boats, as you’ll see).
Originally bred as companions for royalty in China, these dogs have the calm composure that would have been expected of a palace pup. Low energy and affectionate, he’ll be happy sitting at your feet as you relax. They're likely to let out a warning bark if they find cause for alarm, but generally are not yappy or noisy.
Keeshond (pictured above)
This dog is the Dutch variation of a Pomeranian, Chow Chow, and other Spitz type dogs. Bred for life on boats, they’re accustomed to small spaces so long as they get a moderate amount of exercise. Keeshonds are very affectionate and thrive when they are close to their family. Without this companionship, they sometimes become anxious and vocal. Give them enough attention, though, and they’ll be happy at your side.
Read More: How To Spot Dog Anxiety Symptoms
There’s a reason why they’re called the 45-mile-per-hour couch potato. They’re bred for sprinting, not marathons, so this is the perfect dog for apartment-dwellers who love to run. A Greyhound will be a great companion for your morning run, then perfectly satisfied lounging on the couch the rest of the day.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Like the Pekingese, this dog has royal origins. His favorite place to be is beside you, whether that’s on a long walk or curled up with a good book. If you want a low-energy cuddle bug that doesn’t exceed 20 pounds, this is the dog for you.
Talk about low-maintenance: these dogs require short walks and cool environments, making them perfect for indoor life. Puppies have more energy, as puppies usually do, but they quickly grow into calm, gentle pets. A bulldog will be happy with a short visit outside supplemented by following your every move inside.
These dogs have big hearts, not big energy. So long as your space is large enough for a Mastiff to comfortably move around and you’re up for a daily stroll, a Mastiff will be good in your home. Be prepared for a big head in your lap each time you sit down. Gentle giants indeed. Depending on your size preferences, you can choose from a few sub-breeds, such as the 100-pound Neapolitan Mastiff all the way up to the 200-pound (or larger) English Mastiff, like the one pictured at left.
Mystery lovers, here’s your dog. Bloodhounds, often known for their tracking abilities, range from 80-110 pounds and do fine in an apartment so long as they get a good walk each day. They are loving and affectionate without needing constant attention. Their intelligence and innate desire to work means they do great with good training.
These are just 7 of the best apartment dogs, but there are many more. Plus, traits vary even within a breed. When choosing a dog for a small living space, keep these factors in mind:
• Does the dog do well in close quarters with its family?
• Is its energy constant, or will the dog be more relaxed after exercise?
• Will it be satisfied with the amount of exercise I can provide?
• Is it extremely vocal or will it keep noise to a minimum?
With the right combination of traits, you can choose a good apartment dog from these and dozens of other breeds.
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Photo credits: Keri (top), Alejandro Rojas (bottom)