35 Small Dogs That Make Great Apartment Pets

OMG March 5, 2019 By Hugo

Most of us love dogs. They are cute and great and make our lives much better. However, even the biggest of dog lovers can find themselves challenged for domestic space which can make owning certain dogs neigh on impossible.

Wikimedia/ Paulconwall

However, many smaller dogs are more than capable of adapting to smaller environments so long as the owner is taking them outside for regular toilet breaks and exercise.

Here are 35 dog breeds that are perfect for would-be dog owners living in small spaces. 

1. Löwchens


Löwchens are affectionately known as “little lions” and have been bred since the Renaissance, as evidenced by their appearances on many prominent Renaissance paintings. The dog was particularly popular with nobleman but are now incredibly rare having become all-but-extinct by the 19th century, causing their price tag to skyrocket.

Today, it isn't unheard of to hear of people pay upwards of $10,000 for these amazing dogs!

2. English Mastiff


Enormous and size and with a massive head, these dogs are noted for their gentle and loving nature. It is the largest dog breed in terms of mass.

Because of their podgy appearance, they are not the most energetic of dogs, but they still require a lot of walking and attention!

3. Welsh Corgi

Shutterstock/ Veronika 7833

Welsh Corgis, to give them their full name, were first bred as herding dogs and there are two breeds, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

The Queen received her first corgi on her 18th birthday and has had them as companions ever since.

4. Yorkshire Terrier

Shutterstock/Pshevlotskyy Oleksandr

Yorkshire terriers were bred in the 19th century to catch rats in clothing mills, hence their small size to get down at them and under the machinery.

Nicknamed the Yorkie, these shaggy dogs often make great travel companions because of their size, hence why you often see owner carrying them around in their bags when they get tired. Adorable!

5. Russian Toy Terrier

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This cute little thing was bred as a lap dog but was nearly wiped out twice. First in the 1920s with the rise of Communism due to the toy dog's traditional link to the aristocracy and again in the 1990s.

That time it was because of the influx of foreign breeds following the fall of the Iron Curtain.

6. Dachshund


One of the most aggressive dog breeds, this scrapper was developed to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals.

Dachshunds, as well as being cartoonishly cute, are one of the top 10 breeds in the USA and it's easy to see why. Just look at them!

7. Pekingese

YouTube/ Shutterstock

An ancient breed of toy dog, these cute little canines are called Pekingese dogs. They are also called lion dogs due to their resemblance to Chinese guardian lions of myth.

Favored by Imperial rulers, they have been around for centuries and remain something of a status symbol with owners.

8. Shiba Inu

Shutterstock/ Jeb Ploykrachang

Often referred to as the most feline of dog breeds, these fiercely independent dogs are playful and chaotic. Small and agile, they were bred for mountain terrain in order to hunt and flush game.

Yes, the Shiba Inu breed is almost too cute for this world and just looking at them will probably make you go into cuteness overload. The good news? They're small enough to live in your tiny apartment!

9. Jack Russel Terrier

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The Jack Russell terrier is a beloved breed, known for its larger-than-life personality and cheeky playfulness. However, as one of the most energetic breeds, they can easily turn violent if untrained.

Thus, regular exercise is essential for these muts and it's not unheard for owners to take them on 2-3 walks a day.

10. Shar-Pei


These small dogs look bare a resemblance to the English Bulldog. Like them, they are also courageous, loyal and display significant amounts of endurance.

Used to great effect as both a pet and guard dogs, these dogs, while being low-maintenance, are not canines you want to mess with.

11. Bull Terrier

Wikimedia/ Lilly M

Often painted in a negative light as aggressive dogs, the Bull Terrier has a high prey drive which can make them a problem for passing squirrels but they are relatively small themselves and aren't actually that aggressive.

However, because they have the leanest muscle of any dog pound for pound, they can become a menace if you lose control.

12. Pit Bull


Pitbull is a term that encompasses a few breeds such as  American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, and the American Bulldog which have been used for fighting and baiting bears and bulls.

Short, stout and stocky, these dogs are very muscular and prone to turns of aggression if not cared for in the right manner. They are, however, fiercely loyal and loving when looked after.

13. Chow Chow

Wikimedia/Remigiusz Józefowicz

Independent animals that require a lot of attention and exercise to not let their minds drift, these dogs can become restless, and that is when they are at their most dangerous- even if they don't look it.

But if you maintain a consistent walking routine they can be a joy to be around, so it's imperative you only choose this breed if you have a lot of time on your hands.

14. English Cocker Spaniel

Shutterstock/Aneta Jungerova

The English Cocker Spaniel is characterized by its energetic personality and friendly persona, making them perfect pets for families with young children and seniors. 

Good-natured and compactly built, these beautifully colored dogs are perfect for those with limited space. 

15. Whippet


One of the fastest breeds of dog in the world capable of reaching speeds of 35 miles per hour, whippets may appear an unusual selection for an article about suitable dogs for people with small apartments, but they are dogs that don't require as much walking as most other breeds.

Just a few mammoth sprinting sessions for perhaps 20- 30 minutes a day is all they need.

16. Maltese


This cute Maltese pupper is one of the oldest dog breeds known to man. They have entertained their owners for many millenniums and continue to serve as great companions due to their affable, outgoing nature.

So friendly and loyal are these dogs, the Greeks were known to build tombs in their honor.

17. Miniature Pinscher

Wikimedia/ Sebastian Wallin.

Ridiculously cute, these lovable dogs may only weigh around 10-pounds, but they are known for their hyperactivity and make a lot of noise, so you have to be able to match their energy- otherwise, you'll feel exhausted.

But if regular walks and playful, hands-on dog ownership is your thing, then owning one of these adorable breeds will undoubtedly bring you plenty of joy.

18. Basenji


Alert and curious dogs, they are easily distracted and so extremely hard to train which means they can have discipline problems, which goes against the preconceived notion of them being "barkless dogs."

Instead, they make an unusual chortle-like sound. YouTube it. It's pretty cool. 

19. Beagle

Wikimedia/ PumpkinSky

While the Beagle is typically a friendly and loving breed of dog, they are often trained for hunting due to their uber-sensitive noses, sometimes making them aggressive around food.

However, if well-trained, beagles can make adorable companions and are a perfect size for people living in smaller living spaces.

20. Bichon Frise

Shuterstock/ Mark McElroy

Bichon Frises are among the happiest dogs known to man and would be a delightful addition to anyone looking to get a dog. That said, these cute fluffballs are also balls of energy that demand your undivided attention, so they might not be ideal for those of an older disposition.

However, because of their size, they don't require much walking, making them perfect for dog lovers living in apartments or people with less energy/mobility.

21. Border Terrier


Energetic and happy, border terriers are stubborn, feisty characters that love nothing more than to chase anything feral or wild that catches their eye.

Interesting fact: The border terrier was bred so it could have long enough legs to keep up with the horses and other foxhounds, hence its primitive instincts.

22. Brussels Griffon

Shutterstock/Liliya Kulianionak

These so-cute-you-could-squeeze them dogs have an affectionate temperament that makes them a perfect addition for families and those wanting a loving dog. Often showing a palpable desire to be close to their owner, they will exhibit clingy tendencies and will often want to snuggle up to their owner at any opportunity.

A breed that is certainly in touch with its emotions, meaning owning one can be a rewarding a life-changing experience.

23. Yorkipoo

Shutterstock/ dansif

The Yorkipoo is outgoing and kind around people and will often be a complete show off when guests come over. However, despite their flamboyant nature, Yorkipoos are by no means uncontrollable. 

Trained well and they can be confident and independent at times as well, making for a perfect pet for someone looking for a non-clingy but lovable companion.

24. Shih Tzu

Shutterstock/ Angel Sallade

A shaggy doggo capable of exhibiting affection of the utmost kind, the American composer James Mumsford famously describe the Shih Tzu as a unique assortment of various wild animals.

“Nobody knows how the ancient eunuchs managed to mix together: a dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man, a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, a dash of teddy bear, and, for the rest, dogs of Tibetan and Chinese origin.”

25. Rat Terrier


While the name may not screen cuteness, these unique beauties make excellent watchdogs and are perfect for the vulnerable and elderly who are living alone and feel they haven't got many people to look out for them.

Often confused as a Fox Terrier or a Jack Russell, the Rat Terrier is a beautiful dog that makes a beautiful and watchful companion.

26. Cairn Terrier


These free-spirited dogs are as feisty as they come and can prove troublesome if the owner is not well-equipped with dealing with dogs that are prone to bouts of sporadic energy.

For these reasons, supervision around children is a must if the dog isn't well trained. 

27. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Shutterstock/ Hollysdogs

You may recognize this adorable breed as Charlotte's pet in Sex and the City.  Just like Carey and the girls, these dogs are highly social but aren't too hard to train and for new dog owners with limited space in their homes.

Their royal title is derived from their long-run association with King Charles II of Great Britain and Ireland (1630–1685). However, British royalty has owned these dogs since the era of Queen Mary I (1516–1558). 

28. Pug

Shutterstock/ Yuttana Jaowattana

Pugs are among the most popular breed of dog in the world for their wonderfully squished faces and comical way of walking. Yes, there flattened face, and chocolate button-like eyes are a delight and can make your day go from bad to great by merely looking at them.

For those interested, the word pug derives from the Latin word “fist” because of the face's resemblance to a human fist.

29. Havanese

Shutterstock/ Sandra Huber

Havanese dogs are the national dog of Cuba having been named after the capital, Havana. Precocious from an early age, these shaggy white dogs are known for their affectionate personalities and energetic tendencies.

It should be of little surprise to learn, then, that the Havanese requires a lot of walking. 

30. Italian Greyhound

Shutterstock/Alexandra Morrison Photo

These slender dogs are much like whippets in that they aren't the smallest of dogs but don't require much exercise and thus are suitable for dog-lovers with limited space.

The Italian Greyhound was a favorite of President John Tyler who famously bought one for his wife when in Office.

31. Lhasa Apso


If you want to own one of these cuties, you have to have a good temperament as these dogs are capable of barking a lot.

Often suspicious of anyone that is a stranger, these loyal dogs are excellent guard dogs for anyone who might not want a big dog but still want comfort in having a canine companion whilst also feeling safe.

32. Poodle

Shutterstock/Lim Tiaw Leong

The famous poodle is known for being aggressive towards strangers and they have quite the bite on them if provoked.

However, they are very loyal and loving to their owners and make great apartment dogs.

33. Pomeranian

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One of the most loving, intelligent and outgoing dogs on the market, the Pomeranian breed is a delight, with their cuteness clear as day. Still, even though they're small, they know no limits.

Because of their fiery nature, they usually bite off more than they can chew and take on much larger animals than them so be prepared to have a hot head on your hands!

34. Japanese Chin


How cool is this breed's name? The Japanese Chin... brilliant. Best of all, the charming breed combines cat-like tendencies with its natural inclinations as a dog. For instance, the Japanese Chin is one of the few dogs capable of washing themselves and climbing certain objects with ease.

For cat-lovers who are battling with their other half/ family member over whether to get a dog or cat, this is the perfect compromise.

35. Maltipoo 

Wikimedia/ Paulconwall

This mut/hybrid is spawned from mating a Maltese with a Miniature Poodle. The result is an awesome dog called the Maltipoo!

A family favorite that is relatively new in the world of professional dog breeding, these little doggies will fit right into the family set-up no matter the size of your home. 

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