After all, dogs need a big home with a huge yard, right?
Well, not exactly.
So, if you have been staring longingly at every dog you pass in the street, settle down to read this list of low maintenance dogs that will happily share your apartment with you.
We’ll consider their personalities and exercise needs. But, bear in mind that each dog is an individual.
Related Reading: The 10 best mixed dog breeds for apartments
This means that whilst we can provide a guide, it’s not possible to say for certain how any dog will behave, regardless of breed. That means that you might find yourself with a French Bulldog that barks a lot, or a Havanese dog that wants to run around 24/7.
OK, that’s the disclaimer out of the way. So, let’s kick things off with some pint-size pups ideal for small apartments:
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Standing at just 10-13 inches, the Pug packs a lot of personality for its diminutive size. Clown like and eager to please, the stocky little Pug is an ideal companion dog.
Often happiest curled up on their owner’s laps, Pugs have a reputation of being couch potatoes; ideal for apartment living!
However, with a little persuasion, they can also be persuaded to join their owners on regular walks (important, if you don’t want them to become obese).
But, be careful. Because of their short faces, Pugs can easily become overheated in hot and humid weather. So, if it’s hot and sticky out, try exercising your Pug indoors where the air-conditioning can keep them cool.
When it comes to grooming, these little dogs are very low maintenance. Their short coats mean that you won’t have to deal with tangles or pay for hair cuts, but they do shed quite a lot!
To reduce the amount of dog hair on your furniture, brush your Pug once a week to remove some of the dead hair.
And, as an added bonus for apartment life, Pugs are known for being quiet dogs who are less prone to barking than other breeds. Your neighbors will barely know you have a dog!
The Shih Tzu
Ah, the little lion dog! Standing at just 8-11 inches the sweet and stubborn Shih Tzu is built for small places.
This pint-sized pup was bred solely to provide companionship, and this makes him the ideal companion for curling up on the sofa. In fact, providing he gets a couple of brisk walks a day, the people loving Shih Tzu will be more than happy to spend the rest of his days playing games and sitting on your lap.
But be careful when it’s hot and humid, the flat-faced Shih Tzu is another breed that is susceptible to overheating.
And beware, the Shih Tzu isn’t a breed that does well home alone. They love their families and are happiest in homes where someone is around for most of the day.
Now, when it comes to grooming, Shih Tzu’s aren’t quite as low maintenance as some of the other pups on this list.
Their signature flowing locks need regular brushing, and they need regular trims to keep them looking neat.
However, if you want to keep the Shih Tzu as low maintenance as possible, trimming their fur into a ‘puppy cut’ greatly reduces the amount of brushing they’ll need.
At just 5-8 inches tall, and weighing no more than 6 pounds, the tiny Chihuahua was made for small spaces.
Because of his small size, the Chihuahua can get enough exercise playing in even the tiniest of apartments. But regular, short walks will still make him happy. Just be prepared to carry him home if he gets tired!
The Chihuahua has two different coat varieties- long and short. And these different coats have different grooming requirements. So, if you want to minimize the amount of time spent grooming, choose a pup with a short coat to share your apartment.
Despite their tiny size, the Chihuahua has a big personality. They are affectionate and loyal, but without regular training, they can become bossy.
So, don’t be taken in by those big eyes, and be sure to set ground rules as soon as you bring your pup home. Properly trained, the Chihuahua makes a fantastic low maintenance companion for apartment dwellers.
The Russian Toy
At 8-11 inches, and weighing up to 6.5 pounds, the Russian Toy is a delicate little dog bred to curl up on your lap.
But despite his tiny size, the Russian Toy does enjoy a short walk and playtime at home. But be careful not to let him overexert himself.
If you are looking to make your pet as low maintenance as possible, choose a short-haired Russian Toy. Whilst their long-haired brothers and sisters may be super cute, the short-haired Russian Toy requires far less grooming.
As a terrier (albeit a tiny one!), the Russian Toy will need regular training to prevent him from becoming stubborn and headstrong. But providing you don’t let him become the boss, he is a charming addition to any apartment.
The Bichon Frize
With his cloud-like coat and outgoing personality, the Bichon Frize is a popular apartment dog for good reason.
His confidence makes him an ideal option for city life, and his cute face ensures that he gets attention whenever he’s out on the town.
And, with regular walks and play-times, the friendly Bichon Frize will be more than happy to relax in an apartment with you! (Plus, standing at 9.5-11.5 inches, he won’t take up all of the room on the sofa either).
Although his coat needs regular grooming to stay in good condition, it’s well worth the extra effort for allergy sufferers. Because of their double coat, Bichon Frizes’ are far more allergy-friendly than many short-coated dogs.
Intelligent and full of personality, the quirky looking Affenpinscher is a great option for apartment dwellers.
Standing at just 9-11.5 inches, this dog is packed full of personality, and he is fairly sturdy despite his size.
After a brisk walk to the dog park, the self-assured little Affenpinscher is happy to play in small quarters. And, his clown-like personality is sure to keep you entertained.
In terms of grooming, the Affenpinscher requires regular brushing to keep his wiry coat in good condition.
The French Bulldog
The affectionate little Frenchie is a popular apartment dog and with good reason.
Despite being alert and intelligent, the French Bulldog doesn’t like the sound of his own voice much. Perfect if you don’t want to annoy your neighbors with the sound of early morning barking.
At just 11-13 inches tall, the Frenchie doesn’t take up much room in an apartment, and they don’t need much grooming. In fact, with their short coats, you’ll only need to brush them once a week to get rid of dead hair.
When it comes to exercise, the French Bulldog is happy with short walks and indoor play sessions.
Be careful when it’s hot and humid, the Frenchie is another dog whose flat face makes him susceptible to overheating.
Standing at just 8.5-11.5 inches, the sociable little Havanese is a popular dog with apartment dwellers.
Bred as companion dogs, this breed doesn’t need much exercise. In fact, a short daily walk will be plenty to keep him content. Providing he has the opportunity to play at home, of course!
For most of the day, your Havanese will be happy to relax in your apartment with you. But beware, this loving little dog doesn’t do well alone. And this means he is best suited to owners who are around for most of the day.
To keep the Havanese’s coat in good condition, regular grooming is required. However, many owners choose to clip their dog’s hair, which makes it much easier to maintain.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Sweet and even-tempered, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a perfect low maintenance apartment dog for families. And at just 12-13 inches, he has the look of a sporty spaniel without the size.
Great with children, the aristocratic little Cavalier will happily spend long hours playing. But he takes his lead from his owners when it comes to activity levels.
If you’re more of a couch potato, your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be happy curling up at home with you. But don’t forget to take him for walks!
Although he may be happy to relax instead of heading to the dog park, regular exercise will prevent your pup from becoming overweight.
When it comes to grooming, the Cavaliers’ coat needs regular grooming to stay in good condition. However, their silky fur is easy to maintain and they’re not prone to matting.
The Boston Terrier
With his tuxedo-like markings and impeccable manners, the Boston Terrier has earned the adorable nickname of ‘the American Gentleman’.
And, standing at 15-17 inches, this little gent is a great option for would-be dog owners living in an apartment.
His low maintenance coat will only need the occasional brush to remove loose hairs, and a couple of brisk walks a day should keep him trim and happy. Though don’t expect the mischievous Boston Terrier to spend all day lazing around, he loves to play!
Luckily, his small size means that the Boston Terrier can play an exciting game of fetch in even the smallest of rooms.
But be careful if you spend long hours away from home, the Boston Terrier is prone to becoming frustrated when left alone. And that can lead to all kinds of disruptive behaviors!
Big dogs suitable for apartment life
Fancy something a little bigger? No problem. People often believe that only the tiniest of dogs are happy in an apartment, but that’s not necessarily true.
Some bigger dogs are the ideal couch potato indoors, and some smaller pups have more energy than you can shake a stick at.
Related Reading: The 10 best large dog breeds for apartment life
So, let’s take a look at some of the best low maintenance dogs, that won’t fit in your handbag:
If you are looking for an active companion for walks, the Barbet is a great option.
Standing at 19-24.5 inches and weighing 35-65 pounds, the solidly built Bardet definitely doesn’t feel like a toy breed. And, Intelligent and highly trainable, he will happily learn tricks and join you for agility training.
And providing he gets regular walks and playtime, the Barbet is more than happy to chill out in an apartment with you.
Now, with his adorable curly coat, the Barbet does need regular grooming. But, because of his easy-going nature, combing the Barbet is usually an enjoyable bonding experience for all involved.
Standing at 27-30 inches, the Greyhound is built for speed. But that doesn’t mean they want to run around all day.
In fact, many people are surprised to learn that Greyhounds are a fairly low maintenance breed. Even if you live in an apartment.
When it comes to exercise, Greyhounds are quite laid back…
Of course, they need regular opportunities to sprint. After all, the sporty Greyhound has been bred for speed. But they have not been bred for endurance.
Plus, with only a short coat to maintain, their grooming needs are low maintenance too.
But be careful when out and about; the Greyhound is a sight-hound. And that means that they love to chase prey. So, keep your new friend on a leash unless you’re in an enclosed area, and consider using a muzzle if you are walking in areas with other, smaller animals.