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With so many of us spending more time than ever at home, now seems like a great time to have a furry friend. Navigating pet restrictions and/or making a case to the landlord about your four-legged companion is worth it when you get to enjoy their tail-wagging at the end of the day.
Granted, some apartment complexes are more pet-friendly than others. But fortunately, much like apartments, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so you can have your pick. There are the furry energy balls, the cuddlers, the runners, the shedders and the ones who don’t let you out of their sight.
Whether you rent in a hub like Houston or Chicago or in a smaller city, as fun and rewarding as it is to have a dog, it’s also important that your living environment suits them, as well. Which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best dog breeds to keep indoors. In no particular order, here are the best apartment dogs:
Yes, brushing and grooming these fluff balls is a must, but it’s worth it! Pomeranians are great if you’re looking for an independent breed that can fare just fine when left to its own devices. These dogs are highly active but do well in smaller spaces due to their tiny stature (about 10 pounds). What’s more, they love to communicate, so expect barking and every sound in between, although good housetraining can sort that out. Pomeranians are also known for being incredibly smart and can quickly pick up on tricks and commands.
2. Boston Terrier
We continue our list with the “American gentleman,” one of the most adaptable and easily trainable breeds. Perfect for apartments and condos due to their compact size (12 to 18 pounds and standing at 1 foot and a half max), Boston Terriers are affectionate and get easily attached. Plus, their short coats and minimal shedding make them ideal for indoors. They’re also not prone to excessive barking. And, even though they are high on energy, they handle small spaces well and are content as long as they get their daily dose of exercise.
If you need a small companion with an easygoing temperament and loving nature, look no further than the Doxie. As important as it is for owners to keep their pets happy, “sausage dogs” are one of those breeds that can find happiness in just about everything. Believed to be more on the loud side, they can also be very docile and tend to cling to their owners. Due to their short legs and long spines, they are prone to accidents if they run around too much, so living in smaller spaces suits them just fine. And, because Doxies have short hair, you don’t have to worry about excessive shedding, making this loyal dog perfect for indoor living.
4. Bichon Frise
The perfect dog if you suffer from allergies, the fluffy Bichon Frise is great for apartment living because of how little they shed. Between 12 and 18 pounds and never taller than 1 foot, these cuties make for the perfect companion. Although quiet, they have a lot of energy, so make sure daily walks are always on the table to keep them happy. Take note that these white fur balls get attached very easily and don’t like being alone for too long. So, if you like to play around, take long walks and spend quality time with your pup, there’s no better breed for you.
5. French Bulldog
Frenchies can be the best of both worlds, which is why they are one of the most popular breeds on our list. They love snuggling as much as they love running around, are pretty low-key but in high spirits as long as their owner entertains them, and don’t require lots of exercise but won’t say no to playtime. Around 20 pounds, Frenchies are very good-natured and not very fond of barking — a perfect combo for apartment living. They also tend to overheat, so make sure your unit has AC just in case.
Barking is often the number one concern when considering whether to own a dog. Known as “the barkless dog,” Basenjis are great if your neighbors love their silence or you have to deal with thin walls. These dogs rarely grow larger than 25 pounds and shed very little. However, beyond their silence, the Basenji is one of the most complex breeds on the list. For instance, they are extremely curious and might be tempted to leave the apartment and go explore. Therefore, it’s important to train them, walk them and make them feel safe at home. Although full of love, this breed is also very stubborn and mischievous, so pay extra care in training them and imposing limits.
Yes, really. They might be one of the tallest and fastest breeds out there but, surprisingly, these racing dogs are pretty low-maintenance and don’t require lots of exercise and space. First, make sure the breed is welcome in your apartment complex. Somewhere between 60 and 80 pounds, Greyhounds might not fit the weight limit imposed by some pet regulations. If your heart beats for larger dogs — but you aren’t sure if an apartment is the best environment for them — consider retired racing dogs, who acclimate best to a sedentary lifestyle following their careers. They don’t bark too much, don’t shed too much, are very calm and an absolute pleasure to have around.
8. Scottish Terrier
One of the most dignified breeds there is, and it has the mustache to prove it. Right off the bat, you must know that these dogs are more independent than other terriers, but also fiercely loyal. Alert, energetic and curious, they need a good deal of training to reach their full potential. But, once they do, they’re the perfect companion to share quarters with. Ideal for an active owner who enjoys walks and playtime as much as them, Scotties are also great with children. Although small, they are strong-willed and make for great watchdogs that usually bark only if they must. The breed is also known for not shedding excessively, but you will need to make time for grooming due to their longer coat.
9. Brussels Griffon
Don’t dismiss the Brussels Griffon as just another high-maintenance pooch because of its 7 to 8 pounds and beady eyes. In reality, this sturdy breed is very affectionate and tends to bond with one person. Often in need of its owner’s undivided attention, Griffons are also known as one of the funniest and most intelligent apartment dogs out there. They’re also very agile, but adapt well to living in small spaces. Griffons also love cuddles as much as they love brisk walks. However, training is a must if you don’t want to deal with relentless barking.
10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
We can’t talk about the best dogs for apartments without mentioning the Cavalier King Charles. Around 18 pounds, these dogs are the perfect breed for snuggling due to their friendly and affectionate nature. They’re also sociable, which is ideal if you want your pup to be able to interact with other pets. Cavaliers can also adapt to their owner’s personality, so they can lounge all day long inside the smallest of studios, but won’t say no to hikes or long walks through the neighborhood. While you will deal with minimal shedding, despite their long coat, a weekly brushing is enough.
Having a furry friend in your life is incomparable, no matter the size of your apartment. But there are a lot of things to consider before getting a pet — like the time and effort you’re willing to invest, their noise and energy level, and potential shedding. But, regardless of breed, every dog is different, and that’s what makes it so fun to share your life with one.
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Alexandra is a creative writer and researcher for RentCafe. With a background in e-learning content writing and a passion for knowledge-sharing platforms, she's covered topics from prop-tech to renters insurance to interior design tips. Very familiar with the renter lifestyle herself, Alexandra enjoys researching and writing about renter demographic shifts and residential real estate market trends as much as she loves writing about how to get along with roommates. You can connect with Alexandra via email.
Alexandra’s work includes collaborations with financial and business publications. Her articles have been featured in several national and international online publications, including the New York Times, Barrons, Inman, Forbes, Architectural Digest, Marketwatch, Bisnow, and Curbed. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Japanese and English and an M.A. in Journalism and Cultural Studies.
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