Small Dog Breeds for Suitable Apartment Living

Certain dog breeds adapt better to apartment life than others, and many apartment dwellers choose a small dog over a larger one. Let’s look at which small breeds are especially suited to be an apartment dog.

Why a Small Breed May Be Better

A small breed dog is more likely to live in an apartment simply because he is small. A small puppy or dog takes up less room than a larger breed might.

When selecting your apartment dog, consider the breed’s energy level. Active breeds like the Chihuahua and the Pomeranian will require daily walks, while less-active breeds like the Pug or the English Bulldog can exercise during an indoor play session with their family. Schedule these sessions with your neighbors in mind: What sounds quiet to you may be loud to people living below you.

On a related noise note, try not to select a breed that’s known for barking. Your neighbors will appreciate a dog that barks appropriately more than one that barks constantly. Breeds that can bark excessively include the Chihuahua, the Poodle and the Schnauzer.

Another issue to consider is if your apartment lease contains any limits or restrictions. Some property management companies limit the number of pets an apartment may have, while others prohibit certain breeds because of the animal’s size or the breed’s poor reputation as a pet.

Here are how some of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) group classified breeds—Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Nonsporting, Herding and Miscellaneous—work for apartments:

The Sporting Group

The Sporting Group is known for being alert and active. Many breeds in this group participate in hunting activities. The Cocker Spaniel is one representative of this group that may do well in an apartment, as long as he has daily outdoor exercise opportunities.

The Hound Group

Hounds have a history as hunting companions, using either sight or scent to locate their quarry. Many of them are highly active and need large yards for exercise. Among the hounds that may fit into apartment life are the Dachshund, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen and the Whippet, as long as daily walks are part of the dog’s routine.

The Working Group

Members of the Working Group were developed to guard livestock and homes, to rescue people from snow or water or to haul loads. The Standard Schnauzer may do well in an apartment if he is given daily outdoor walks.

The Terrier Group

Originally bred to hunt rats and other pests, terriers remain tenacious, active little dogs. Representatives of this group that may enjoy apartment living include the Boston Terrier , the Cairn Terrier, the Miniature Schnauzer, the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier.

The Toy Group

Members of this group resemble children's playthings. Potential apartment dwellers in this group include the Chihuahua, the Italian Greyhound, the Maltese, the Pekingese, the Pomeranian, the Pug, the Shih Tzu, the Toy Poodle and the Yorkshire Terrier.

The Nonsporting Group

Breeds in this group were originally developed as non-hunting working dogs, but they no longer fulfill the jobs they were bred to do. Candidates for apartment life in this group include the Bichon Frise, the English and the French Bulldog, the Lhasa Apso and the Standard Poodle.

The Herding Group

Breeds in this group were developed to herd livestock. Potential apartment residents in this group include the Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

The Miscellaneous Group

This is the AKC’s newest group, and its representatives include breeds that the AKC may place into another group after determining what the national interest level is for the various breeds. The Xoloitzcuintli (xolo or Mexican hairless) is a representative of this group that may enjoy apartment living.