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12 Small Dog Breeds for Small Apartments

A woman in her apartment holding up her dog

Good things sometimes come in small packages. This is especially true if you are talking about dogs and small apartments. Here are a dozen small breeds that will be happy in small places. And if they are happy, you will be happy, too.

What makes a good apartment dog?

Size isn’t everything. For a small space, you want a dog that isn’t too active. You also need a dog that doesn’t bark excessively. When looking for a forever friend, small dogs are great choices because they tend to have a longer lifespan.

Check out these dogs, up to 10 kg–you are sure to find one that will fit you, your lifestyle and your small home.

1. Basenji 

Size and characteristics

Up to 45 cm, 10 kg

Independent, smart, minimal barking

This unusual breed is also known as the “barkless dog.” Their characteristics make them a good choice for an apartment. They are energetic, so be ready to run and play with them. They are pretty good with family, kids and other dogs, and they have short coats and tend not to shed much. You shouldn’t have much trouble teaching them tricks or how to behave. You can bet that if you have one, you will be asked about them as you take them for walks or to play in the dog park because they have a beautiful gait when they trot and run. Bring one home and you will fall in love with this unique, distinctive breed.

2. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise in a grass field

Size and characteristics

Up to 30 cm, 6 kg

Friendly, trainable, moderate barking

This small breed has a white hypoallergenic coat, but don’t let the simple exterior fool you, they balance beauty with intelligence–each boasting a unique personality. They are great with family and friends, and they are wonderful with little kids who usually can’t get over how soft their fur is. They are energetic and need plenty of mental stimulation, so you won’t have a boring evening once they are part of your life. They are moderate barkers and love to please and play with their human parents.

3. Boston Terrier

Size and characteristics

Up to 45 cm, 8 kg

Friendly, energetic, low barking

This quiet breed is a dog that loves everyone, including other dogs. They are smaller, growing up to 10 kg and enjoy going for walks–because they get to meet other people and other dogs. They are very bright and easy to train, so you can spend evenings teaching them tricks or curled up on the couch with them, watching your favorite shows. Their short coat is easy to maintain, and their antics will keep you smiling.

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in a field of flowers

Size and characteristics

Up to 30 cm, 6 kg

Friendly, trainable, moderate barking

Few dogs have a better disposition than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This small variety of spaniel has big eyes that you will fall in love with and a gentle nature that suits them well for family life, but they are energetic and playful as well. They have medium-length hair but do not shed much. They are quick to learn tricks and are well-behaved, and it won’t take them long to be potty trained or to learn leash etiquette. They are not hyper, nor are they just couch potatoes. They will adapt well to life in an apartment, provided they get their regular walks and playtime with their human parents.

5. Corgi

Size and characteristics

Up to 30 cm, 16 kg

Friendly, trainable, moderately high barking

Welsh Corgis are short but thick dogs bred to herd cattle. But don’t think they are rough and gruff–they are loving and devoted to their family. They love to play with people and other dogs and do well with children. These energetic dogs do need to spend quality time with their human parents and they do love to bark, so you might want to prepare the neighbors. Make sure that you can keep these dogs busy, and plan on many long walks to help them burn off that extra energy that they were born with. Do that and they will reward you with all the fun and play you could ever ask for.

6. Dachshund

Size and characteristics

Up to 24 cm, 14 kg

Affectionate, trainable, high barking

No one can mistake a dachshund for any other breed, and if you are looking for a great apartment dog, this might be it. They are wonderful family dogs, but you need to watch them around children because they aren’t the most tolerant. If you have another dog, more than likely a dachshund will get along with it just fine. They are energetic and playful, they are easy to teach tricks and pretty easy to train. They do like to bark, but that will come in handy as they protect their people and their home. They aren’t hyper so you don’t need to burn off much energy during their walks, and they like to play but can also entertain themselves. They will make a great addition to your family.

7. Havanese


Size and characteristics

Up to 20 cm, 7 kg

Bright, friendly, moderate barking

The only breed originating in Cuba, Havanese are adorable little dogs that have a bit of fight and a bit of playfulness in them. You will enjoy, as much as your dog, brushing its long hair and taking it for walks around your home. They are bright and easy to train and learn tricks really well. They are great with the family and easy-going and playful with little children. They are great with other dogs and will adapt well to changes in their schedule. They are good watchdogs and will bark but only a moderate amount. You will have trouble finding a better apartment pal than one of these little cuties.

8. Italian Greyhound

Size and characteristics

Up to 36 cm, 7 kg

Friendly, trainable, moderate barking

Interested in getting a greyhound but afraid of their size? Then take a look at the Italian greyhound. It has all of the noble qualities of its larger cousin but in a smaller size. They are quick and love chasing prey, so keep them on their lead. These charming dogs will beg for your attention and they love to entertain their people. They are moderately energetic and intelligent and easy to train and teach tricks. They are great with people and other dogs, but watch them around toddlers. You will fall in love with your Italian greyhound the moment you first set eyes on it.

9. Maltese

Size and characteristics

Up to 24cm, 4 kg

Playful, gentle, moderate barking

This beautiful breed loves its family but doesn’t like to share them with other dogs. They can be a little touchy, so watch them around very young children. They don’t need a lot of attention and are good at entertaining themselves, but be ready to spend time brushing their long, silky hair. They don’t bark a lot and they are protective of their people. They can be independent so you will have to work with them on their basic commands and tricks that you want to teach them. This tiny breed packs a lot of love and beauty into its tiny frame.

10. Miniature Schnauzer

Mini schnauzer

Size and characteristics

Up to 35 cm, 9 kg

Friendly, trainable, high barking

These dogs were bred to keep farms rat-free. They are aggressive with prey, but loving and affectionate with their family. They are great with kids but don’t like to share their people with other canines. They are bright and energetic. They take well to training and are happy to learn new tricks. Keep these little beauties busy with toys and games, and they will thank you by watching over you and yours vigorously. They do bark and their coat will need a lot of attention, but that is a small price to pay for the love and enjoyment that they will bring into your life.

11. Pug

Size and characteristics

Up to 32 cm, 9 kg

Friendly, trainable, low barking

This breed might be the best choice for apartment dwellers. They are small but muscular, but their tiny frame is full of love for those that they live with. Kids just adore them and they just adore kids. They love to play: with friends, family and even strangers. You will have no problem teaching them leash etiquette or where to go potty. They take quickly to commands like sit, stay, down, etc. And you will both love expanding their repertoire of tricks. They don’t make the best watchdog, in part because they are so loving and because they just don’t bark much. Add this little ball of love to your home, and you will have those big brown eyes and wrinkled forehead to enjoy for years to come.

12. Yorkshire Terrier

A yorkie looking from behind a curtain

Size and characteristics

Up to 20 cm, 4 kg

Friendly, bright, high barking

Don’t let their dainty, silky coat fool you. They are tenacious and energetic. They are great family dogs and do exceptionally well with kids. They are fine with other dogs but are probably best in a one-dog family. They will guard your family with the determination of a much larger dog, and their bark is vicious sounding enough to scare unwanted guests away. But they are surprisingly good with strangers when you are out for a ramble together. They are bright and easy to train, love learning tricks, but plan on some time with them and a brush, the long lustrous coat comes with a cost.

When it is all said and done…

The best dog for your small place is…the one you like best. While most of the dogs listed are small, some are medium to large. Some are protective and bark, others love everyone and every dog they see. Take your time as you make your decision. Meet your dog before you bring them home because there is quite a bit of variation within the breed, both in looks and temperament. Give your new doggo a forever home, and in return, they will give you years and years of love.