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5 apartment-friendly dog breeds

Calm companion animals make great roommates.

It might come as a shock to basically nobody, but not all dogs are suited for city life. Certain breeds thrive on wide-open farmland, while others just need ample outdoor space or easy access to a yard. However, just like human beings, there are still plenty of pets that are well adapted to apartment life. 

If you’re moving into an apartment, be it in a big, bustling city or a quieter town, it’s important to find the best friend that’ll feel just as comfortable there as you do. Fortunately, there are several breeds that fit the bill perfectly. 

What types of dogs do well in apartments?

There are a few key tenets to keep in mind when finding the right dog roommate. Whether sitting on the couch with you or strolling the neighborhood, apartment dogs should be at ease in a chiller environment and at a slower pace. “Dogs suitable for apartment life should have a mild to moderate activity drive and like a more sedate life,” Dr. Betty Huang, a veterinarian at Sagamore Animal Hospital in Rye, New Hampshire, suggests. 

“These dogs don’t need to run miles in the field or engage in farm activity,” she says, adding that the best breeds for this setting are ideal companion dogs, ones that can be trained to go on potty pads, and ones that don’t tend to bark as much as high-alert guard dogs. 

Bichon frise

One breed that Dr. Huang recommends is the adorable bichon frise — a small, fluffy-white dog that’s cheerful, smart and totally down to snuggle on the couch. They can be active, but in small doses, and bichons most often prefer quietly cuddling than barking at taxis. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Although slightly larger than a bichon frise, the precious Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is another breed that Dr. Huang says is well-suited for apartment life. Still small-ish in size, with an average weight around 15 lbs., they’re calmer and more mild-mannered than other spaniels and love lounging around the house. Plus, who can say no to those flippy-floppy ears?

French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are well known for being companion dogs. There’s a reason why these happy-go-lucky pups are among the most popular dog breeds in several countries, considering how well-adapted they can be to city life and apartments. Small and stout, with a mild and quiet temperament, they’ll feel right at home in any home. 


Teeny-tiny and adorably fluffy, the Maltese is another breed that Dr. Huang says is perfect for an apartment. They’re in the toy group of dog breeds, so they fit the bill size-wise. And while they can certainly be playful and active, Maltese are known to be docile, loving and gentle, too, which means they’ll be living their best lives in your apartment.

Boston Terriers

Not to name names, but Boston Terriers are much better about chilling out in a city apartment, unlike other terrier breeds that tend to bark. Small to medium in size, with a smile that can light up a room, Boston Terriers are known for being friendly, loving and relaxed — in other words, an ideal roomie. 

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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