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Best Small Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

You’ve decided to add a furry family member to your household but you're just not sure what breed to get. Here, we share a little information about some of the best small dogs for apartment living.

Points To Consider When Choosing a Family Dog

Care Needs: What are the specific care requirements of that pup you have your eye on? Do they have specific grooming needs, or known health risks? Who will walk it? Think about your new pet and who will be responsible for training and daily care.

Size: If you have young, rambunctious kids who love to run and play, you’ll want to carefully consider if a small dog is for you, since some breeds may be more fragile, while large dogs can feel more confident due to their stature (although they may require regular grooming and walks, and need a large yard). 

Temperament: Dogs can be jovial and playful, calm and laid-back, or anywhere in between - just like people. Ensure your new pet has a temperament that matches your brood’s.

Energy: You’ll find some dogs are incredibly physically active and need lots of stimulation - they love spending their days running at top speed in the yard and playing with their owners, while others are more content to lie next to you while you read. Decide among the family whether you’re looking for a running buddy or a more cuddly canine. If you live in a smaller space, you may want to read up on the best small dogs for apartment living. 

Now that you know what to consider when it comes to choosing a dog, let’s look at a few of our favorite small dogs for families that live in apartments.

A Few Of The Best Small Dogs for Families


This breed is an intelligent and playful mix of Yorkshire Terrier and toy or miniature Poodle. Yorkipoos are hypoallergenic and energetic. The perfect small dog for an active family who doesn't mind a bit of barking.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers typically weigh in just under 25 pounds, and come brimming with personality! This delightful breed craves companionship and loves to be with the family. While some are high-spirited others can be very gentle and sweet. Carefully observing the puppy at play, before adopting, can help you to find the right Boston Terrier puppy for your family.


Pugs make peaceful family pets that are perfect for apartment living. Like humans, this sturdy breed loves to eat and sleep and may need a little encouragement to get out and exercise. If your family loves to curl up on the couch together to watch movies, a pug might be the ideal breed for you. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves to cuddle and snuggle with their family but does require a fair amount of exercise to remain contented. A home with a fenced yard is ideal for this little sporting breed since chasing squirrels, chipmunks and butterflies is a favorite pastime of these lovely characters. Cavaliers need companionship and thoroughly enjoy spending time with kids as well as other dogs.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a playful, loving, bundle of fun! Low-shedding and long-lived, your kids will adore this little character. This breed forms strong ties with their people and doesn't like to spend long periods of time alone. The Bichon Frise is the ideal small dog breed for fun-loving families.

Cocker Spaniel

Good with older children and even-tempered, the Cocker Spaniel is the smallest member of the sporting group. These dogs adore romping around in the garden with the kids or playing with other dogs. Cocker Spaniels can adapt well to apartment life but crave companionship and don't do well if left alone for long periods of time.

The Mutt

Mutts might not be an official breed, but they can make fantastic pets.

There are thousands of rescue dogs and mutts - of all different sizes and breeds - just waiting for a loving forever home. Visit your local animal shelter or puppy rescue agency to see if any of the available dogs tug at your heartstrings. With a little patience and determination, you could rescue a puppy and find the ideal small dog for your family.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Found the perfect small dog to share your apartment with? Our vets can help you to keep your canine companion healthy and happy. Contact Western Carolina Animal Hospital to book an appointment for your small dog.

Contact (828) 697-7767