If you live in an apartment and you want a dog, small dogs are a great choice. There are a lot of small dog breeds, and they fit into any almost anyone’s lifestyle. Whether you’re highly active or a couch potato, there’s a small dog out there for you. So read on to learn about the best small dogs for apartments.
Related: Tips for Small Dog Training Success
Small Dogs for the Less Active Person
There are several small dogs that are perfect for people who don’t necessarily want to take a daily hike or for those who are home bound. These breeds are known for wanting to snuggle, watch television, and generally be mopes. =D
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
It may surprise many of you that this breed made the list, but it’s actually a consummate family dog. That’s why it’s tops on my list of small dogs for families living in apartments. Its strength and tenacity have been bastardized by dog fighters for years, but this is NOT the true nature of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I worked at a vet for seven years, and I’ve seen many, many Staffordshires. I can say from experience that this breed is EXCELLENT.
This is one of the best small dog breeds for apartments because it is intensely loyal, protective, and loving – even doting. Known as the “nanny dog”, this breed adores children. It is a breed that is all about people, and even though it looks like it could rip your face off, the Staffordshire is so people oriented that it will generally only bark for a short time at a stranger before becoming their best friend. Because of its highly protective nature, you should socialize it heavily while it is still a puppy. In addition to all of that, it’s not an overly yappy dog, although it will “speak” to you in a wide variety of moans, grunts, and other hilarious sounds. Because of its stubborn nature, it can be a little difficult to train, but with patience and firmness, you can have one of the best family oriented small dogs around.
The Pug is an excellent breed for people who like to stay indoors. This dog is more about people and less about the great outdoors. All it really requires is its human and a couch. This breed is extremely outgoing and friendly, and it loves to meet new people. You don’t have to worry about the pug flipping its lid every time you have company over.
The Pekingese makes a great apartment companion. It is highly affectionate and loyally devoted to its owner. One of the more wary small dog breeds, the Pekingese tends to bark because it’s always on guard. If you live alone or in a neighborhood that makes you feel unsafe, this breed is perfect for you. Be aware that you will have to be patient when training this dog, so it might not be the best choice for a first time dog owner.
The Boston Terrier is another of the family oriented small dog breeds. While it likes to be active, it is not suited for long walks. Instead a nice game of indoor fetch or rope tug is plenty to keep this pooch happy. He is extremely loving, loyal, and protective of his family. At the same time, his easy going temperament means that you don’t have to worry about him mixing it up with other animals or nipping at the heels of a visitor. This dog is ALL about kids, but it might nip just to let the kids know that they’re being too rough. Another wonderful thing about this breed is that it only barks to alert the family of a visitor or a particularly suspicious noise. This is not a yappy breed.
Small Dogs for the Active Lifestyle
The Beagle is one of the best small dogs for apartments if a person leads an active lifestyle. While generally calm indoors, the Beagle loves to get out and move. And I do mean MOVE. While it’s not a large breed, the Beagle makes a great running and hiking companion due to its high energy and stamina levels. It is loyal, kind, and loving to its owners, and although it can be a bit standoffish with strangers at first it becomes their best friend fast. This means that it’s not a very good watch dog. The Beagle can be very stubborn and sometimes catches on to potty training slowly, so this breed is not for the first time dog owner. Once you get past that, however, it’s one of the best dog breeds for a family living in an apartment.
The Miniature Pinscher is one of the more active small dogs. While short of stature, this dog needs A LOT of activity. This makes him perfect for the apartment dweller who loves to get out and walk. Although it is highly loyal and affectionate with its family, it generally bonds the closest with one family member. It loves kids, but it WILL nip at them if they handle it too roughly, and it will also nip if it feels threatened by a stranger. Because of this, it’s generally better to keep this breed if you are single or if you raise it with your kids. Always keep this dog on leash, because it is a known runner.
You wouldn’t know it to look at it, but the Dachshund makes a perfect apartment companion for the active lifestyle. It is bold, tenacious, highly affectionate towards its people, and an excellent watchdog. My only caution is that you should only have this breed if you live on the bottom floor of your building. This dog barks. A LOT. Its highly protective nature makes it a true barker. This breed absolutely loves children, so if you have kids, the guarding and subsequent barking will be in hyper drive. Although it’s not a true outdoorsy dog, its high energy level means it needs to play and go for a good, long walk.
West Highland Terrier
Also known as the “Westie”, the West Highland Terrier makes a wonderful pet for an active apartment dweller. This dog is extremely high energy and will need either a fenced in yard or a good long walk – or two. Chances are, your apartment complex doesn’t have fenced in areas. That’s why this is one of the perfect small dogs for apartments. You HAVE to walk it. When you walk the Westie, keep it only on a leash at all times. Its high energy coupled with its intense prey drive means it will chase anything that moves. If you’re up for high energy in a small package, this is a great breed. It is super affectionate and loyal. You just have to keep your eye on it.
The Best Small Dogs for Apartments are Easily Found
Whether your idea of an active day is running 10 miles or binge watching a season of your favorite television show, there’s a pet for you in my list of the best small dogs for apartments. I know you may have read my article on the best dog breeds for apartments with allergies, so don’t get the wrong idea. None of these dogs made the list based on their hypoallergenic properties.
If you’re looking for a great, low-energy dog, I would HIGHLY encourage you to look into the Staffordshire. These dogs get a bad rap, but they are absolute snuggle buddies, they love their people, and they’re so easy going. Also, there are a TON of them at your local shelter. Guaranteed.
Whatever breed you choose, remember: Adoption is the best option. There are so many small dogs out there that need homes, and every dog breed in this article can be found at your local shelter or on pet rescue sites. Google these small dogs, and you’ll be surprised at how many of these best small dogs for apartments there are for adoption.
Which of these small dogs for apartments are your favorites? Who would you love to bring home? Tell us in the comments!