Whether you're living in a teeny tiny apartment because you want to, or because you pretty much have to, that shouldn't necessarily stop you from getting a dog. As long as you have the time and energy to take care of one — and your landlord is OK with it — then you might want to look into the best dog breeds for small apartments, and get to adopting.
Of course, any type of mixed breed dog will do, so feel free to find a mix of the breeds listed below, or go completely off in another direction. As long as the dog matches your lifestyle, you'll have found the "best" breed for you. But if you want a pet that's under the usual apartment weight limit — which, if you check your lease, is usually around 30 pounds — then you should obviously look for smaller breeds.
After taking size and weight limits into account, you might also want to look for dogs that tend to be happier in smaller spaces, as well as busier places with lots of noise. "Generally you would want a breed that is fine with just going for a walk once a day," Dobie Houson, an animal communicator and award-winning author, tells Bustle. "You also want to consider how much they shed, are they prone to barking, and do they get along with all types of people and other dogs, since they will likely encounter this coming and going from the apartment."
While each and every breed can be walked, brought to the park, and trained not to bark, there are a few types that tend to fair better while livin' that apartment life. Here are a few breeds experts say may be the best choice, if you're planning on being in a small space.
If you want to take your neighbors into account, a Basenji may be your best best. They don't shed much, have medium to low energy levels, and are the only breed that doesn't bark, says Houson. Again, any dog can be trained not to bark. But when it comes to sharing cramped quarters, a breed that literally can't may be a good choice — especially if you live somewhere where your noise levels have been a problem in the past.
English and French bulldogs are a breed that don't mind living in smaller spaces. "These breeds love to sleep, are low energy, and get along with everyone," says Houson. While they need exercise just like everyone else, they often don't like being outside for long periods of time (especially in heat) and therefore don't require a huge backyard or lots of space to roam in.
Welshies, or Welsh Terriers, are perfect for someone looking for a dog that doesn't shed. "Full grown, Welshies are a 'square dog' that’s about 15 inches by 15 inches. They weigh about 17 to 20 pounds, are very quiet, and they do not shed," Camille DeSantis, president of the Glyndwr Welsh Terrier Club, tells Bustle.
They're also down to do whatever you do. "Welshies are very adaptable to their owners’ lifestyle: if you are active, they are. If you’re a couch potato, they are," says DeSantis. "Really a great choice and they meet renter apartment guidelines."
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Another smaller dog that doesn't require a ton of exercise, and thus won't feel cramped in a smaller living environment, is the Cavalier. "They do well getting the usual two walks a day as long they also get some quality time with their dog parents on weekends like going on hikes and adventures," Alexandra Bassett, lead trainer and behaviorist at Dog Savvy, tells Bustle.
They also don't mind noise. "If a dog parent makes an effort to get them acclimated to all the everyday sounds of apartment life, they tend to not become barkers (a plus when living in an apartment)."
You should aways check with your landlord to make sure certain breed types and sizes are OK before moving forward with an adoption. But that said, some larger dogs, like greyhounds, may be a good choice. As Houson says, greyhounds are "surprisingly very low key despite being racing dogs, and they shed very little."
Another gentle giant (and I do mean giant) is the Irish Wolfhound, which may do well in a smaller apartment if they have the right temperament. "They're extremely sweet and calm dogs, making them ideal for an apartment," Nicole Ellis, a pet expert and certified dog trainer with Rover, tells Bustle. "The one caveat is they're leggy and long, so make sure to watch where you step in case he or she is sleeping underfoot."
Again, if you're cool with huge dogs, then a Mastiff may be a good choice. "While puppies can be active, Mastiffs do mellow out quickly and with a nice walk each day will be very content snoozing in your smaller living place," says Ellis. "Be prepared to clean up some drool though."
The Bassett Hound is another quiet breed, which usually weighs in at around "50 to 70 pounds, but they're compact and known to be 'loafers,'" Ellis says. "By no means are they considered a small dog, but they are more than content sitting on the couch watching television in a smaller environment." With some daily exercise, and lots of attention, they'll likely be perfectly happy.
Everybody loves a pug, and for good reason. As Houson says, they are very friendly, and know how to entertain themselves. But they get bonus points for the fact they're smaller, lower energy (like bulldogs), and tend not to shed.
Shih Tzus are "small, low energy, lap dogs," Houson says. And ones that are very easy going. They typically weigh between 9 to 16 pounds, so well within the limits of most leases. A Shih Tzu, or a mix thereof, may be the perfect little guy for your small space.
Poodles, especially the miniature kind, make great companions in smaller apartments — and just life in general. They're "super smart, easy to train, and low key," Houson says, which means you can teach them to be quiet while you're out for the day, so they don't annoy the neighbors.
Keep in mind that Great Danes are huge — even though they can seem a manageable size as a puppy. But if you're looking for a large breed, Houson says these guys are "low key, couch potatoes," as well as super low-maintenance, and a "good choice for those looking for a large dog."
Like poodles, Houson says Bichons are small, they don't shed, and they tend to be on the quieter side. So if you're looking for a breed that won't yap the day away while you're at work, they may be a good bet.
Keep in mind, though, that all dogs are different. You will almost certainly have to train yours to be well-behaved. But that's just one thing in the long list of considerations to make before adopting a dog.
"When considering adopting, first think about how much time you are away from home," Brenda Crossley, RVT, veterinarian program director at Carrington College, tells Bustle. "The potential owner really needs to consider why they want a dog and how much time they are willing to devote to that new family member."
You should also check the lease and/or talk with your landlord. Once all those boxes are checked, then you can start scouring pet adoption websites and visiting shelters to see which dog is right for you.