Best dog breeds for apartment dwellers

You’ve found an apartment building that will allow dogs, but what kind of pooch should you get?

According to the American Kennel Club, some breeds are better suited for apartment dwelling than others.

The size of your living space isn’t the only factor to consider, the AKC says on its website. Often, the dog’s temperament matters more.

For instance, some larger dogs are “low energy” and “content to lounge on the sofa,” and some smaller, “high energy” dogs will cope just fine with “indoor playtime or a brisk walk,” according to the AKC.
And keeping your neighbors in mind, it says you’ll want a dog that doesn’t “bark incessantly” and is “polite when meeting other people” such as in the elevator, lobby or stairwell.

Here are 10 breeds the AKC considers “medium energy” and best for apartment living based on their personality traits and exercise needs.


Havanese “make perfect city dogs,” according to the AKC, citing the breed’s small yet sturdy bodies, adaptable nature and easy way with people. The breed is characterized as outgoing, funny, intelligent, curious, sociable and somewhat active. On its website, the AKC says: “Havanese enjoy a good romp, but have no special exercise needs.” And although they take their jobs as watchdogs seriously, they normally “won’t annoy you with a lot of yapping.”
(Credit: Animal Planet)

French bulldog

The French bulldog is known for being playful, smart, adaptable and completely irresistible, according to the AKC. These dogs are considered small and not very active. They require minimal exercise, preferring to snooze most of the day, and brisk walks will keep them trim. Plus, “you won’t have to worry about a yappy dog bothering your neighbors,” the AKC says on its website, “because Frenchies rarely bark.” French bulldog puppies are consistently among the most popular breeds in NYC and the U.S.
(Credit: Getty Images / Emmanuel Dunand)

Bichon frise

The bichon frise is characterized as being small, playful, curious and peppy. These dogs do need daily play sessions and walks, and are known for experiencing sudden bursts of energy called the “bichon blitz,” which usually prompt the dog to sprint around its space, the AKC says. But these surges in energy are usually followed by some serious cuddle time, it adds.
(Credit: Nancy Borowick)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is characterized as small, affectionate, gentle and graceful. The breed is known for getting along well with children and other dogs, and, good news for your neighbors: They also tend to be quiet. In terms of exercise, the AKC says these dogs do equally well with active types and homebodies, but do require at least one satisfying walk each day. “They can be loyal hiking partners or shameless couch potatoes, depending on the owner’s personality.”
(Credit: Nicole Brown)


Greyhounds are characterized as being independent, gentle, noble and sweet, but intense when on the run. These dogs are large and require some exercise. “If allowed ample exercise on a daily basis, you will be rewarded with a dog that is sound in mind and body, and is a joy in the home,” the AKC says on its website.
(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are characterized as outgoing, affectionate, playful and charming, according to the AKC, which says the breed’s sole purpose is to be a companion and house pet. They’re classified as small in size and only “somewhat active.” The AKC says daily walks and indoor playtime should keep these dogs happy.
(Credit: Getty Images / Matt Cardy)


Bulldogs are known for being calm, courageous and friendly, according to the American Kennel Club. They are classified as medium-sized and not very active. “Bulldogs won’t beg to be exercised,” the AKC says, “but they require regular walks and the occasional romp.”
(Credit: Animal Planet)


The Maltese breed is characterized as gentle, playful, affectionate and fearless in a “charming toy-dog way,” according to the AKC. These dogs are small and only somewhat active. The Maltese is a “classic lapdog,” the AKC says, but these pooches still enjoy brisk walks, playtime and learning tricks.
(Credit: Discovery)


“Pug people say their breed is the perfect housedog … happy living in the city or the country,” the AKC states on its website. The breed is characterized as being small, even-tempered, charming, mischievous and loving. Pugs are not known for being “natural athletes,” the AKC says, but they do have strong legs and “endless curiosity,” so they require some exercise.
(Credit: Getty Images / Michael Nagle)

Chinese crested

Chinese crested dogs are lively, alert, playful, loving and affectionate, and “totally devoted to their humans,” according to the AKC. These dogs are small and require only some exercise. “They are the ideal companions around the house,” the AKC says on its website.
(Credit: Getty Images / Brad Barket)

Best dog breeds for apartment dwellers

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