Best and Worst Dog Breeds for Apartments

Man’s best friend can be found all over the world, and many cities have made it a point to welcome these furry friends with open arms. Ample green space, dog runs, and even city-sponsored doggy bag stations have made dog ownership easier than ever in a concrete jungle. Still, some dog breeds have different needs, meaning that not every dog is right for the city. So which dog breeds are the best for big cities? Which ones are the most challenging?

Best Apartment Dogs

French Bulldog

Photo by Alexandru Sofronie on Unsplash

This extremely popular breed is friendly to both people and other dogs, making them a great addition to any family. In terms of maintenance, they are pretty low-key. As long as they are regularly bathed, their nails are trimmed, and their wrinkles cleaned, they’ll be good to go. These dogs are great for apartments of any size. They can be energetic, but a long walk or two a day will keep them fit and entertained. They shed, drool, and pass gas more than your average dog. That said, this pup is loyal, easy to train, and relatively quiet, making them ideal for city life.

Scottish Terrier

By narujen – Flickr: 231004-0065, CC BY 2.0

These beautiful dogs are smart, curious, and full of spirit. Though not ideal for first-time dog owners due to their stubborn personalities, these little fur-balls are great for owners seeking more of a challenge. These pups are extremely confident and affectionate with their owners, though they don’t always get along well with other dogs unless they are intentionally socialized. They do require a longer walk to keep them healthy. Also, they will require brushing, especially if they have the traditional scottie trim. The maintenance and training of this pup will be the hardest part of ownership. But these quiet, quirky dogs can thrive in the city if they are properly trained.


Photo by Marius Cern on Unsplash

This is a rarer breed of dog in the US, but it’s quickly growing in popularity for one major reason: Basenji can’t bark. Instead, they yodel when they want to be vocal, though this yodel will rarely be heard. These independent dogs have been likened to cats in terms of attitude. While they aren’t the most affectionate breed, they are fiercely loyal, especially if they’ve been well-trained and get the exercise and mental stimulation they crave. This dog takes more attention than other breeds. However, their small size, quiet disposition, and simple grooming requirements make them great pets for city dwellers.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Photo by Courtney Mihaka on Unsplash

This lap dog is great with kids, quiet, and super low maintenance. For a dog with longer fur, they don’t shed as much as one might think. A good brushing a few times a week will do the trick for this dog. While they can be extremely athletic, they don’t need much exercise. It doesn’t matter if their owner runs marathons or binge shows on Netflix. These pets are extremely versatile, making them perfect for the big city.

Great Dane

Photo by Nathalie SPEHNER on Unsplash

This might surprise some people, but these large dogs are some of the biggest couch potatoes around. That said, they do love exercise when it’s offered, so taking them on long walks to the dog park will be greatly appreciated. Folks might see the size of this dog and think that they’d hate city living. However, Great Danes are not picky, and many of them actually prefer smaller spaces. As long as they have room to go from the couch to the bed without breaking anything, they will be very happy. Friendly with children, easy to train, and very intimidating despite their sweet nature, this dog is a great, though unorthodox, breed for city living.


By Peter Ludes, 66507 Reifenberg, Germany – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Another large dog that enjoys lazy days, Newfoundlands can be athletic if properly trained, but they’d prefer to spend the day inside cuddling up with the family. This dog sheds. A lot. So grooming will become a bit of a chore. That said, these gentle giants are great with kids and other dogs, and the time saved from going on longer walks will make grooming them that much easier. Fair warning: this is a dog that drools with the best of them. So maybe invest in a few more towels.

Bichon Frise

Photo by Kristin O Karlsen on Unsplash

This dog is as close to hypoallergenic as dogs can get. While there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog, the Bichon Frise’s hair sheds very little, and is almost always soft to the touch. But this dog isn’t just for people with bad allergies. They have quirky personalities and are great with other children and dogs. They have a tendency to bark, but that’s really the only concern when it comes to these furry little goons. As long as they’re trained well and go for a long walk once a day, they will make a wonderful addition to the family.


Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash

Everyone loves a corgi, especially city dwellers seeking a loyal, adaptable companion. They shed a lot, but they are full of energy and love. Raise them right, and they can be strong and athletic. Raise them right, but differently, and they can be cuddly couch potatoes. They have a friendly disposition, though they aren’t super patient with smaller children. These dogs are quiet, smart, and love affection. They need a ton of attention, but it’ll be worth it when they become the most loyal member of the family.


Photo by David Vives on Unsplash

These little dogs get a bad rap for having a nasty temper. While they aren’t patient with young children, they are great for families with older kids. Properly socialized, they can even be downright friendly to strangers and other dogs. Training them can be a challenge, and they can be loud at times. However, they are also extremely cuddly, loyal to a fault, and don’t require much exercise. These dogs are easy to spoil for all the right reasons, and are very low maintenance when it comes to grooming needs. As long as they have a coat for the winter, they will thrive in any city.

Worst Apartment Dogs

Siberian Husky

Photo by Saira Sustaita on Unsplash

These dogs are extremely energetic, and built for cold weather climates. They require a ton of space and are happiest when they have a job to do. While they’re affectionate and good with families, they should be kept out of cities if possible. They shed everywhere, they get bored easily, and they are extremely vocal. Everyone in an apartment complex knows if someone owns a husky, which is not a good thing. These dogs won’t be happy in the city, so it’s best to avoid them when looking for a city dog.

Border Collie

Photo by Robin Jonathan Deutsch on Unsplash

While many people in cities have smaller breeds of collie, border collies are few and far between. This is because these dogs are energetic and insanely smart, meaning they get bored easily. Collies that aren’t properly stimulated have a tendency to destroy the homes they’re in. These working dogs need a ton of space, exercise, and training. These things are hard to come by in large cities, which is why these dogs work best in the suburbs and rural areas. These dogs may look small and cute, but they require a lot of work.


Photo by Michael Walk on Unsplash

These dogs are another breed that gets a bad rap. People seem to think they’re aggressive, but that’s only if they aren’t properly trained and socialized. Even though these animals don’t deserve this bad rep, they still aren’t great for apartments. First, they are large and extremely energetic. Second, they are very intelligent. This combination means they’ll likely tear up a house if left to their own devices for a long time. They also require a ton of grooming, especially compared to other short-haired dogs. Overall, these dogs thrive in areas where they can run around and explore.

German Shorthaired Pointer

Photo by Marie-Pier Fillion on Unsplash

These are hunting dogs, which means they thrive in outdoor environments. While it’s possible to maintain their outdoor activities in the city, it can be difficult. The real challenge, however, is the noise they make. These dogs love to bark and howl at everything. Sometimes they even bark and howl at nothing. This noise can be annoying for owners and neighbors alike. Additionally, they require more than average grooming. These dogs are great for families, but said families will do better in the suburbs rather than the city if they want their pointer to be happy and healthy.

All dogs, with the right training, can be friendly, sociable, and loyal. However, some dogs are simply suited for a life out in the country, while others can thrive in the mean streets of New York or Chicago. While a certain breed of dog might be someone’s favorite, that doesn’t mean that breed will be happy in every environment. Dogs require special time and attention, especially in the city. Owners with busy schedules should try and find low-maintenance dogs. Those who don’t have busy schedules should seek their nearest dog run so their pups can stay fit. Most important, would-be dog owners need to make sure their pets will be happy and healthy in a city environment and find an apartment building that allows for dogs!

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