Having a small apartment should never stand between you and fulfilling your dream of having a loving dog. Low maintenance dogs for apartments make great companions even if you have a tiny living space.
Large-breed dogs can be challenging to keep in an apartment, but several small and medium-breed options will keep you company in a small area with no issues. Keep on reading to learn more about the best low maintenance dogs.
The Best Low Maintenance Dogs for Apartments
When you’re looking for apartment-friendly dogs, you need to think about the size of the dog and its activity level. Lots of dogs would happily cuddle on the couch with you and enjoy spending the rest of their lives in your apartment.
Here are the top low-maintenance dogs that you can adopt even if you don’t have a backyard.
The Chihuahua is an expressive loyal watchdog. Each dog has a unique character, so your dog can be timid, stubborn, eager to please, or feisty.
In all cases, this dog is an excellent choice for an apartment due to its tiny size and good nature. It’s also a famous companion of various celebrities.
This dog will probably live for a long time, is easy to keep, and doesn’t need much exercise. However, it’s physically fragile and requires a lot of supervision, especially if there are children and bigger pets in the house.
It’s an excellent travel companion, won’t bark or shed much, but can bite if it feels threatened, so discipline is crucial.
2. Basset Hound
The Basset Hound is a kid-friendly family companion. It’s easy-going but needs an adequate amount of training to stay fit and healthy.
It responds appropriately to consistent positive training. However, it’s known to shed, and will bark or howl, especially when it’s bored.
The Dachshund loves to snuggle with its owner under the bedsheets and fills your home with laughter due to its joyful nature. It enjoys the companionship of other pets, especially their own breed, so owners are likely to keep them in pairs.
This dog enjoys daily walks but needs to be on the leash because it’s a chaser by nature. This is an alert watchdog, so you should expect it to bark a lot. It sheds moderately, and typically lives a long life.
This toy-breed dog is a joy to keep in your apartment. It rarely barks and doesn’t shed much, but socialization is crucial to keep this dog under control. The coat needs regular brushing to keep it in good condition.
Affenpinschers love their family and get along well with other pets. However, they need proper house training and firm control because the dog can be rather stubborn. Nevertheless, this dog takes itself very seriously, so it’s always fun to watch.
5. Brussels Griffons
This dog has a high-spirit and strong personality despite its small size. It’s rather curious and will attempt to explore and climb when you’re not paying attention.
It’s not eager to please and has a mind of its own, but can get well with other pets in the house.
Brussels Griffons need moderate exercise and are easy to carry around. It has a short coat that doesn’t require much care, but it tends to shed moderately.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This gentle dog will enjoy snuggling on a soft pillow or sitting in your lap. Despite its loving nature, this small dog can be a real chaser. If you’re taking your dog for a walk, you should keep it on a leash as it’s expected to chase squirrels, birds, and even butterflies.
Daily exercise is essential for this dog; otherwise, it will become too fat. It appreciates the companion of its owner, other family members, and even pets because it doesn’t like to spend a lot of time on its own.
It barks moderately and is always eager to please. The coat sheds and needs regular combing and brushing.
7. Bichon Frise
Your Bichon Frise is a playful companion and loves to snuggle on the couch or bed with you. It’s a peaceful pet that gets along well with kids and other pets but can sometimes be too shy or timid. Early socialization is essential to boost the dog’s confidence.
It doesn’t shed much but is expected to bark a lot. Housebreaking is rather tricky, and it suffers from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods.
8. Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier needs regular exercise but is highly adaptable, so it will live happily with its family in a small apartment.
This is a playful dog that appreciates continuous interaction. It’s rather bossy with other pets, but can still co-exist with them, under the supervision of a confident and patient owner.
It doesn’t shed too much but tends to bark a lot. It’s rather stubborn but will respond to praise and continuous discipline.
9. Lhasa Apso
Many people love the Lhasa Apso because of its gentle and loving personality. However, this little dog is very proud, dignified, and is more strong-willed than other smaller dogs.
It becomes a good house dog if you can establish a relationship based on mutual respect, as this dog is rather stubborn.
Early socialization is crucial because this dog can become extra cautious around strangers, and might even bite when it feels threatened.
It needs lots of brushing and combing, and the coat sheds moderately. You can also clip it short for easier maintenance.
Although Bulldog puppies are rather active, the adults are somehow lazy and will spend most of their time snuggling on the sofa.
It’s an excellent choice for apartment living because it’s friendly, obedient, and has a sweet nature.
Your bulldog doesn’t bark much and can be quite sensitive. It’s not easy to carry around as it usually has a heavyweight body. It sheds moderately and doesn’t need a lot of exercise, so it will work for you if you’re too busy with house chores, work, or studies.
11. Japanese Chin
This dog is less hyperactive than most breeds, so it doesn’t need a lot of exercise. It appreciates comfort and loves snuggling on the couch while playing with soft pillows.
It’s an excellent companion for elderly people and those who don’t leave the house that much.
The Japanese Chin has a good nature and gets along well with other pets. It’s polite with strangers but needs regular brushing as it tends to shed heavily.
This is a people-oriented toy dog that loves to spend most of its time close to its owner. It enjoys spending time in your lap and can become overly dependent. If you have time, your Havanese will learn cool tricks quickly.
It’s a good addition to the family because it gets along well with other pets, children, and everyone else in the family. It doesn’t need much exercise, but it’s rather challenging to housetrain.
The Havanese is an excellent watchdog, but it’s not aggressive. It barks and sheds moderately.
The Bolognese is rare to find, but it’s an exceptional family pet that appreciates companionship. This dog will work for you if you’re always staying at home or don’t spend long hours at work.
It sheds lightly and can be suitable for people with allergies. It barks a lot, sheds moderately, and needs regular combing to keep the coat in good condition.
14. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers have unique personalities as some can be extremely shy and calm, while others can be highly energetic and high-spirited. In both cases, Boston Terriers are playful loving dogs that love to chase balls and spend time with their loving family.
It’s a suitable dog for elderly people, and usually becomes attached to one person in the family. The coat is easy to care for and doesn’t shed much.
It’s also a suitable choice for first-time owners.
15. Australian Terrier
The Australian Terrier is suitable for a stay at home parent or someone who spends more time at home as it appreciates your companionship.
It’s an active dog that needs daily walks and regular play sessions to keep it stimulated and entertained.
It’s an excellent choice for apartment living because it doesn’t shed much. It’s also one of the healthiest breeds and can co-exist happily with other pets. It barks a lot and won’t be happy if you spend more time away from home.
The Maltese is a bright and sweet toy dog and should be kept away from other larger pets for its own protection. It’s naturally peaceful and won’t act aggressively around people or pets, so you might need to look out for it, especially when it’s outside.
This dog is sensitive and responds well to training, so it can compete in obedience and agility competitions. It sheds lightly and can be a good choice for people with allergies.
It suffers from separation anxiety when left alone for long hours and isn’t recommended for families with smaller children that might not be cautious while handling the dog.
The Greyhound remains calm and independent when it’s indoors. It loves to snuggle with its owner under a warm blanket and will sleep contently in your bed as you’re watching TV. However, once you bring it outside, the dog can outrun a horse in a sprint.
The Greyhound is a natural hunter and racer. However, when it’s past its racing prime, it can become an affectionate family companion due to its good nature.
It’s a sensitive dog that doesn’t respond well to loud voices. It doesn’t bark much but sheds more than other dogs.
People think that the Basenji is suitable for apartment living because it doesn’t shed much. However, this dog will only work for you if you’re willing to give it the time and energy it needs.
This dog is easy to housebreak and can make an excellent watchdog. Nevertheless, it needs regular exercise and a devoted owner. Otherwise, it can become too anxious and stressed.
19. Chinese Crested
This dog is people-oriented and will love to stay close to its person all the time. Separation anxiety is common in Chinese Crested dogs, as they might engage in destructive behaviors like chewing.
This breed won’t work for busy owners and people who spend a little time at home because the dog values people’s companionship.
This dog doesn’t shed much, but house training can be a little difficult. It has a high energy level, so daily exercise and play sessions are essential. It barks and howls, especially when it’s left for long periods on its own.
20. English Cocker Spaniel
This dog loves to please people and is generally gentle and affectionate. Some dogs can become too clingy and need continuous attention.
It’s a good dog for apartment living and gets along well with other pets, children, and elderly people.
The English Cocker Spaniel is a good therapy dog but needs regular exercise and walks. It sheds and barks moderately and needs to be taught to be independent. Nevertheless, if you spend a long time away from home, this dog can suffer from separation anxiety.
21. Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear is one of the most adaptive dogs. It’s a good travel companion, loves to please its owner, and enjoys playing and regular walks.
This dog is an excellent choice for retired couples and people who work from home because it suffers from separation anxiety when left for long periods on its own.
It doesn’t shed much and works for people who suffer from allergies. It’s polite with other people and pets but forms a strong bond with its family, so it might be a bit conservative with strangers. The coat needs to be brushed frequently, but it can be clipped short for easy maintenance.
This independent and confident dog loves to spend time with its owner and doesn’t mind spending the whole day snuggling with its person on the sofa. However, it can also engage in playful sessions with bursts of activity that bring joy to the whole family.
The Pekingese is a sensitive dog and doesn’t like to be scolded. It has large expressive eyes and gets along well with people and other pets.
The dog tends to snore when it’s sleeping and barks loudly. The long coat requires regular brushing and sheds heavily.
23. American Eskimo Dog
Eskies are intelligent and fun dogs that need continuous physical and mental exercise. If you’re looking for an affectionate dog that would provide you with unconditional love, this one would be the right dog for you. It gets along well with kids, but might be jealous of other dogs in the house.
Early socialization is needed to make sure that the dog doesn’t get too suspicious or anxious around strangers. It quickly learns tricks but barks a lot.
You should also know that your American Eskimo dog will shed frequently.
There are lots of good dogs that can live happily in your apartment.
Apartment-friendly dogs are low-maintenance, don’t shed heavily, and won’t bother the neighbors with their continuous barking. These dogs don’t need a backyard or a big garden where they can run all day, so they can spend their time happily while you’re both chilling in your apartment.
The dogs on our list love to spend time with their owners, but some of them suffer from separation anxiety when they’re left for long periods on their own.
Even if your dog doesn’t have a high energy level, it still needs regular exercise and play sessions to keep it in excellent shape.
- General Dog Care by ASPCA
- 4 steps to a happy, healthy “low maintenance” dog by Animal Wellness